Update: Molino Man Stabs Brother With Tire Patch Tool

June 29, 2015

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has released more information in the case of a young adult male that was stabbed by his brother with a tire patch tool at a mobile home in Molino Sunday morning.

Anthony Julious Johnson, 24, was taken into custody at the scene and charged with aggravated battery using a deadly weapon. He was booked into the Escambia County Jail without bond.

The 20-year old victim was found on the floor of a mobile home on McKinnonville Road Sunday morning by deputies that had responded to a reported domestic disturbance.  He was suffering from a stab wound to his lower abdomen.

Witnesses told deputies that Johnson and his brother got into an argument inside the mobile, with Johnson grabbing a tire patch tool and stabbing his brother. Johnson told deputies that he confronted the victim, during which time the victim grabbed a machete, prompting him to act in self defense.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Ransom Middle Principal Talks Education With Congressman During Washington Trip

June 29, 2015

Brent Brummet, principal of Ransom Middle School, and John Spolksi, principal of Fort Walton Beach High School, stopped the office of Rep. Jeff Miller in Washington recently to discuss education policy.

“We are blessed in Northwest Florida with many first-class schools, and the success of these schools depends on a commitment to excellence that starts with great leadership,” Miller said. “I thank Principal Brummet and Principal Spolski for their work in Northwest Florida, and I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to ensure that we empower parents and local and state officials to make the best decisions to support the educational needs of their communities.”

Pictured top: (L-R) Rep. Jeff Miller with Ransom Middle Principal Brent Brummet and Fort Walton Beach High Principal John Spolksi. Courtesy photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Register Now For Camp Fire Wild And Wise Day Camps In Century Or Pensacola

June 29, 2015

Space is available for July at Camp Fire Gulf Wind’s WILD & WISE Safari camp in Century, Pensacola or Milton.

Each week, campers will explore different environmental themes such as flying wild and aquatic wild. Weekly camps will continue through August 14, with registration open now for one or more week. Weekly rates start at $85 per camper in Century or Milton and $100 per camper in Pensacola.

For more information, visit campfirekids.com or call (850) 476-1760.

Council on Aging Offers Cool Tips For Beating The Heat

June 29, 2015

As summer approaches and temperatures begin to rise, the elderly will be particularly vulnerable to heat-related illnesses like heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, older adults, especially those taking medications that impair the body’s ability to regulate temperature, should be aware of the following cool tips for beating the heat:

  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible.
  • Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device during an extreme heat event.
  • Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.
  • Don’t use the stove or oven to cook—it will make you and your house hotter.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
  • Check the local news for health and safety updates.
  • Seek medical care immediately if you have, or someone you know has, symptoms of heat-related illness like muscle cramps, headaches, nausea or vomiting.

Older adults and their caregivers are also encouraged to learn the signs and first aid response for heat-related illnesses. Warning signs may include:

Heat exhaustion symptoms:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Weakness
  • Skin cold, pale and clammy
  • Weak pulse
  • Fainting and vomiting

If heat exhaustion symptoms are present:

  • Move to a cooler location.
  • Lie down and loosen your clothing.
  • Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of your body as possible.
  • Sip water.
  • Seek medical attention if you have vomited and it continues.

Heat stroke symptoms:

  • High body temperature (above 103 degrees F)
  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin
  • Rapid and strong pulse
  • Possible unconsciousness

If heat stroke symptoms are present:

  • Call 911 immediately – this is a medical emergency.
  • Move the person to a cooler environment.
  • Reduce the person’s body temperature with cool cloths or a bath.
  • Do NOT give fluids.

For more information on how you can protect yourself against heat-related illnesses, call Council on Aging of West Florida at 850.432.1475.

FWC: Summer Best Time To Take A Hunter Safety Class

June 29, 2015

With the dog days of summer almost upon us, it’s sometimes hard to even think about hunting. But if you’re age 16 to 40 and haven’t completed the state’s hunter safety course requirement, now’s a good time to be thinking about signing up. Don’t put it off – summer is the best time to take a class in your area.

Many of these classes, offered statewide, fill up fast during hunting season as people scramble to get certified. So the summer months offer smaller class sizes and a better opportunity for students to take a class, because they have more free time than they will once school cranks up and they get busy with homework and school-related activities.

People born after May 31, 1975, must complete the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) hunter safety class before they can buy the type of hunting license that allows them to legally hunt alone. A law passed a few years ago by the Florida Legislature enables individuals to hunt without having to complete the state’s hunter safety certification, but they may only hunt while under supervision.

It’s called the Hunter Safety Deferral, and it allows people the opportunity to purchase a license to hunt while under the supervision of a licensed hunter who is at least 21 years old and meets the hunter safety requirement. It’s designed to encourage experienced hunters to teach novice hunters safety, ethics, wildlife and hunting skills and respect for the great outdoors.

It’s a great incentive for getting more people to try hunting. Also, I hope, the experienced hunters among us can hook some new folks on the sport we love. However, to hunt by yourself unsupervised, you still have to take and pass a hunter safety class and purchase a regular hunting license.

If you’re a youngster and already a hunting fanatic, I suggest you go ahead and take a hunter safety class before you turn 16. Of course, until then, you may hunt under adult supervision without having to take the class or buy a license.

Even if you were born before June 1, 1975, and are exempt from having to take the class, it’s still a good idea, because you’ll learn so much. The FWC encourages beginning hunters to do so. Even the most experienced hunter will learn something new, which will help him or her become an even better hunter – and a safer one.

Also, if you’re new to our state, these classes will make you aware of Florida’s hunting laws. Or, if you just relocated from another town, the classes are a great way to meet other hunters. You can make some new hunting buddies or maybe even get a line on a great hunt club that’s looking for new members.

You can register for a hunter safety class by going to MyFWC.com/HunterSafety or by contacting your nearest FWC regional office. Also, for your convenience, there are two ways to take the course.

Two course options

There’s the traditional course, which is 12 hours of classroom instruction plus a four-hour skills day. If you’d prefer to get most of the classroom stuff out of the way from the convenience of your own home, you can opt for taking the online course. But, you’ll still have to sign up for the skills-day part of the course, which includes time at the shooting range.

The traditional course is offered during four weekdays or on a Saturday-Sunday. If you take it during the week, each session is three hours and offered after normal working hours. On the weekend, you’ll spend eight hours Saturday and four hours Sunday morning in the classroom. For the remainder of the Sunday session, you’ll move to the shooting range to complete your certification.

During the traditional hunter safety class, each segment is roughly 50 minutes long, followed by a 10-minute break. The first thing you’ll learn about is Florida’s hunting laws/regulations. An FWC law enforcement officer gives this introduction. Volunteer hunter safety instructors teach the remaining curriculum.

And speaking of that, if any of you reading this are older than 18 and would like to give something back to the sport of hunting, you might consider becoming a certified volunteer hunter safety instructor in your community. The FWC is always in need of people who possess good hunting and gun safety knowledge. If you’re interested in learning more about this great teaching opportunity, go to MyFWC.com/HunterSafety or call 850-413-0084 to find out how to get involved.

One segment of the program teaches ethics and hunter responsibility. You’ll also learn the parts of a firearm, gun and hunting lingo and the proper way to shoot a firearm. This is the longest section of the program, and you’ll spend approximately two hours going over all that.

You’ll learn the differences between all the various bullets, calibers and gauges and how to identify different animal species. You will also hear about wildlife conservation and discover best management practices for native game species.

In addition, you’ll find out about outdoor survival techniques and learn how to administer first aid in the field. You’ll gain knowledge of the parts of, and how to shoot, a muzzleloading gun. Furthermore, you’ll be taught archery and the fundamentals of how to hunt with a bow.

In your last hour in the classroom, you’ll be given a standardized test of true-or-false and multiple-choice questions. You need to score 80 percent or better, and then you get to move outside to the shooting range for the last part of the hunter safety certification – the skills day portion.

If you choose instead to take your hunter safety class online, you’ll learn all of the material that’s taught in the traditional classroom setting, and you’ll be given a practice test, which will go over what you’ve learned and prepare you for the last segment of the requirement – the skills day.

Skills day

Skills day takes about five hours to complete, which includes time on the shooting range and serves as the completion for both the traditional course and the online class.

Skills days start with a law enforcement officer discussing hunting laws and ethics. After that session, you’ll pass through four different stations. The first station reviews safety rules, then the students demonstrate proper firearms carry positions, safe zones of fire, how to cross obstacles with a firearm and tree-stand safety.

The second station covers safe, effective shot placement; then students walk down a trail where they are presented with shoot/don’t shoot scenarios. The third station discusses clearing, matching, loading and unloading.

After an instructor’s brief presentation, students practice selecting the proper ammunition, loading each of the five major firearms actions, and demonstrating how to properly clear the firearm of ammunition. At the last station, students review marksmanship skills and have different opportunities to practice or demonstrate their skills.

Most students shoot a rifle from various positions, many get to shoot clay pigeons with a shotgun, and others practice archery skills by shooting a bow. Most courses provide a muzzleloader demonstration, where you’ll have the chance to shoot one if you’d like. All guns, bows, targets and ammo are provided. All you have to do is take aim!

The last steps

After you complete the skills day, you’ll be given your hunter safety card. At that point, you can purchase your very first Florida hunting license and be ready for opening day. Youth under 16 – no matter how young – can purchase their first annual license that will be good until their 17th birthday. This allows the FWC to count the youth’s license in their annual license sales until the license expires on their 17th birthday. This benefits a wildlife restoration program by approximately $7 per year for the additional years the child holds a license.

Just a couple of things for parents to remember: The course is designed for youth ages 12 to 16. If your child is younger than 18 years old, you must fill out our parental release form and present it to the instructor at all courses. This will enable your child to participate in the live-shooting exercises. Also, if your child is younger than 16, you are required to accompany him or her to all classes.

Register for a hunter safety class today, ’cause the 2015-2016 huntin’ season is just around the corner.

Submitted by FWC.

Escambia Sex Offender Busted In FDLE Operation

June 29, 2015

An Escambia County sex offender was among 42 arrested during a month and a half long operation coordinated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the U.S. Marshals and other agencies to hunt down offenders violating registration laws.

George R. Reddick of Escambia County was arrested in Geneva County, AL, by the Geneva County (AL) Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with FDLE and is awaiting extradition back to Florida. He was convicted in Escambia County in July 2001 of lewd assault sexual battery on a victim under 16.

“Operation Summer Heat should send a strong message to all sex offenders that Florida law enforcement is serious about registration,” said FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen.  “We are just beginning our work.  If you are a sex offender and you violate registration laws, we are looking for you.”

Arrests were made from either warrants initiated by FDLE’s EIS Unit or were the result of investigations by local sheriffs or police departments.  EIS was created in 2014 to assist local and federal agencies to locate sex offenders who have absconded, many of whom cross jurisdictional lines. Offenders who intentionally avoid registration requirements are arrested. In addition to the arrests, seven offenders were brought into registration compliance.

“The sex offender registration system is a critical tool in monitoring sex offenders and ensuring they are compliant with the terms of their release,” said Sheriff David Shoar, president of the Florida Sheriffs Association. “Florida Sheriffs and deputies worked diligently during Operation Summer Heat to find and arrest offenders who sought to evade authorities. We are sending a very clear message: if you cannot follow sex offender registration laws, you will go to jail.”

“Sex offenders should know that Florida will not tolerate noncompliance with our registry laws,” said Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow, President of the Florida Police Chiefs Association. “Our police departments throughout the state will continue to enforce these laws because they help protect our families and neighborhoods.”

Florida’s Sex Offender Registry began in 1997.  Florida laws require sexual offenders to register with local sheriff’s offices to be maintained publicly online at http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us.

Slight Chance Of Rain Today, Otherwise Mostly Sunny

June 29, 2015

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:
Monday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 91. Light west wind becoming southwest 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon.

Monday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 73. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm after midnight.

Tuesday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 90. Light southwest wind increasing to 5 to 10 mph in the morning.

Tuesday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 74. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light after midnight.

Wednesday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 90. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

Wednesday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 75. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 90. West wind 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 75. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

Friday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 93.

Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 74.

Independence Day: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 91.

Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 74.

Sunday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 93.

Mississippi Tops Wahoos

June 29, 2015

The Mississippi Braves evened the series at two games apiece against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos with a 3-1 victory Sunday at Trustmark Park.

Mississippi went ahead, 2-1, in the sixth inning when center fielder Matt Lipka singled and stole second, his 11th of the year, and went to third on Pensacola catcher Cam Maron’s throwing error. Left fielder Kevin Ahrens then drove him in with a sacrifice fly to left field to tie the game, 1-1. The Braves added another run when shortstop Emerson Landoni tripled to right field to drive in third baseman Rio Ruiz, 2-1.

The Braves tacked on another run in the eighth inning to go up, 3-1, when Landoni hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Braves first baseman Matt Kennelly.

Pensacola scored first with a run in the second inning, 1-0, when center fielder Beau Amaral singled to drive in catcher Cam Maron, who hit a ground-rule double with two out.

Blue Wahoos right-hander Robert Stephenson lasted six innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and three walks. He also struck out three batters to regain the Southern League lead with 89 on the season. His record fell to 4-7 with a 3.68 ERA.

Mississippi also relied on strong starting pitching with Tyrell Jenkins giving up three hits, five walks and one earned run in 5.1 innings of work, while striking out six.

Then three Braves relievers combined to shutout the Pensacola lineup allowing just three hits in 3.2 innings, while striking out four more batters. Tyler Jones pitched the ninth for his eighth save on the year.

Pensacola right fielder Jesse Winker went 1-4 and walked and is batting .467 (7-15) in the second half of the Southern League season. The Cincinnati Reds No. 2 prospect has had two hits in each of the first three games and one hit Sunday in the series against Mississippi. Winker has a homer, two RBIs, three runs scored and four walks against the Braves.

Blue Wahoos first baseman Marquez Smith was 2-4 with a double to extend his hit streak to six games and is batting .329 with four homers and 10 RBIs in June.

Both teams take the field at 7 p.m. Monday to decide the winner of the first five-game series in the second half of the Southern League season.

Have You Registered Your Emergency Contact Info?

June 29, 2015

Florida’s Emergency Contact Information system reached a milestone this week, surpassing the 10 million mark in the number of people who have securely registered their contact information with the state. That’s an average of more than a million new registrants a year since the system was created in

“The response we’ve seen from Floridians has been tremendous, but there are still more than five million licensed drivers who have not registered their emergency contact information,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes.  “ECI provides you with a safe and secure way to register your contact information so that authorities can reach your loved ones when it matters most. It takes just a few minutes to register.”
The ECI program was established in 2006 and immediately garnered national recognition. The idea for ECI  came from Christine Olson, whose daughter, Tiffiany, was killed in a traffic crash on US 19 in Manatee County more than nine years ago. It was several hours after Tiffiany’s death before authorities were able to find her contact information and notify her parents. Her mother didn’t want other families to experience a similar fate and began pushing for the creation of a system that allows people to submit their emergency contact  information as part of their secure driver license or identification card record. The information can only be  accessed by law enforcement in times of an emergency.

“Ten years ago my life changed forever with my daughter’s death. I did not have the opportunity to say goodbye to Tiffiany,” said Christine Olson. “I didn’t want her death to be in vain. I began working to create a program to help other families so that they might avoid what my family experienced. I am  pleased to hear that 10 million people have taken advantage of the Emergency Contact Information system.”

If you have already registered, be sure to keep your emergency contact information current. To register or update your information, go to: https://services.flhsmv.gov/eci/

Melva Lou Howell

June 29, 2015

Mrs. Melva Lou Howell, 73, passed away on Saturday, June 27, 2015, in Flomaton.

Mrs. Howell was a native and former resident of Fairhope and resided in Flomaton most of her life. She was of the Holiness faith. Her husband, Levon Howell; parents, Floyd and Eloise Knowles; sister, Mildred Emmons; grandson, Caleb Hallford; and son-in-law, George Hallford precede her in death.

She is survived by her son, Paul Levon (Samantha Kay) Howell of Flomaton; three daughters, JoAnne (Will) Chavers, Sandra Hallford and Sharon K. (David) Baggett all of Flomaton; one brother, Billy Joe Knowles of Flomaton; one sister, Myrtice Carnley of Brewton; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be Tuesday, June 30, 2015, at 11 a.m. at the Petty-Eastside Chapel Funeral Home with Rev. David Baggett officiating.

Burial will follow at the Lambeth-Boutwell Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Jim Manning, Kevin Knowles, Keith Baggett, Ethan Howell, Jesse Baggett and Zack Knowles.

Honorary pallbearers will be Larry W. Davis and Junior Davis.

Petty-Eastside Chapel Funeral Homes is in charge of all arrangements.

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