Planned Water Service Interruption: Bristol Park And Devine Farms

November 29, 2015

Water service to ECUA customers located in the Bristol Park and Devine Farms subdivisions will be interrupted on Monday, November 30, from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., as water utility lines are relocated to facilitate an Escambia County drainage project.

Customers may choose to store some water ahead of time for drinking and cooking purposes.  Lines will be flushed thoroughly following the utility work, but residents in the area may experience some temporary discoloration of the water as a result of turbulence created by the displaced utility main.

The ECUA recommends flushing the home’s lines by running their taps and outside spigots for a few minutes.

If customers are still experiencing discoloration in their water by late evening after flushing internal plumbing, they are asked to call the ECUA at (850) 476-5110 for assistance.

FHP Remains Out In Force For Long Holiday Weekend

November 29, 2015

The Florida Highway Patrol remains out in force today as the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend continues, and they are encouraging all drivers to take extra car while driving and to buckle up before they hit the road.

During the 2014 Thanksgiving holiday period, law enforcement agencies statewide worked 3,988 crashes. Tragically, 43 motorists lost their lives and 10 of those were not wearing seat belts.

“We are committed to making Florida’s roadways safer by augmenting troopers on the road during this busy travel period. But we’re also asking you to do your part.  Buckling your sea tbelt is one of the simplest, safest things you’ll ever do to stay alive,” said Col. Gene Spaulding, director of the Florida Highway Patrol.\

FHP reminds drivers to obey the speed limit, and adjust accordingly as traffic congestion and weather conditions may require driving more slowly. Keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel, and your mind on driving.

The public is encouraged to report aggressive or impaired drivers by dialing *FHP (*347). Remember to check  traffic conditions before you leave for your trip.

Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office Warns Of Scam

November 29, 2015

The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office has received information related to an adult male representing himself as a member of the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office.

This individual was seen wearing a grey polo shirt with the Skyline Fire Department logo. It is believed he has been asking citizens to inspect their home alarm system. This individual does not represent the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office and or Skyline Fire Department. Reports came from Milton and Pace.

The sheriff’s office is asking citizens to be “Scam Smart” when solicitors visit your home. All solicitors in Santa Rosa County are required to carry and display a Solicitation Permit which contains a photo ID issued by Santa Rosa County.

Sunny And Warm Sunday

November 29, 2015

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:
Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 74. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the morning.

Sunday Night: Patchy fog. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 56. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Monday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 77. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the morning.

Monday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 57. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Tuesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 74. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the morning.

Tuesday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 55. South wind around 5 mph becoming northwest after midnight.

Wednesday: A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 63. North wind 5 to 10 mph.

Wednesday Night: A 20 percent chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 47. North wind around 5 mph.

Thursday: Partly sunny, with a high near 60.

Thursday Night: A 20 percent chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 46.

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 62.

Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 45.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 63.

Northview Mini Cheerleader Camp Begins Monday

November 29, 2015

The Northview High School Cheerleaders will hold a mini-cheerleader camp this Monday and Tuesday from 3:30-5:30 in the school gym.

The camp is $15. Girls may wear the mini-cheerleader shirts from football season or any white shirt. They will cheer with the Northview cheerleaders during the December 3 “white out” basketball games as Northview hosts Jay. file photo, click to enlarge.

Forest Service Does Battle With Invasive Cogongrass

November 29, 2015

Listed as one of the world’s worst weeds, cogongrass is throughout Escambia County and the Gulf Coast. County, state and private landowners are attempting to stop its spread. Information and programs are available to those who are willing to join in the fight.

Cogongrass is not the only invasive plant in our area, but it is arguably one of the worst. For instance, cogongrass can easily choke out native plants and grasses and prevent the establishment of trees. It also changes fire behavior making prescribed burning more difficult and wildfires burn much hotter. It reduces habitat for native wildlife and is not normally used as a food source by wildlife or livestock.

Many private landowners are treating cogongrass using herbicides, disking and planting other  vegetation. Some of these landowners have received treatment recommendations from a Florida Forest Service’s County Forester or other professional. Additionally, approximately  130 acres of cogongrass on private land was treated through state or federal cost sharing programs. Escambia County’s Division of Natural Resource Conservation recently received a grant to begin treating county rights of way. Florida Department of Transportation treats cogongrass on state rights of way.

Because of its aggressive, invasive nature, it is illegal to sell, transport or plant cogongrass.  It is spread by seed or rhizomes and readily invades disturbed sites, such as construction sites, timber harvests, crop fields or road edges.  In addition to natural means of dispersal, seeds and rhizomes are often unwittingly spread by equipment working in or driving through cogongrass.

Help prevent the spread of cogongrass by cleaning equipment before moving it to another location if it has been used in an infested area. Do not use cogongrass in landscaping and be careful about the source of fill dirt and mulch. Plant disturbed areas in native vegetation as  soon as possible. More information about cogongrass can be found at .

If you have cogongrass and need help fighting, the Florida Forest Service is taking applications for the Cogongrass Treatment Cost Share program. For more information on that program, call the Escambia County Forester at (850) 587-5237.

Cathy Hardin works for the Florida Forest Service as the Escambia County Forester. She has 11 years of experience with the state and a degree in Forest Resource Conservation from the University of Florida. This article is part of a quarterly series highlighting forestry practices and programs focused on our area.

Despite Gains, Florida Still Has High Rate Of Uninsured Kids

November 29, 2015

The number of uninsured children in the U.S. has dropped to a “historic low” under the federal Affordable Care Act — but Florida, while showing improvement, still has one of the highest rates of children without coverage.

A report released by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center for Children and Families found that in 2014 — the first year for which numbers were available on the impact of the law known as Obamacare — 6 percent of U.S. children were uninsured, down from 7.1 percent in 2013.

In Florida, 9.3 percent of children were uninsured, down from 11.1 percent in 2013, said the report, which was based on U.S. Census data. Roughly 378,000 Floridians under age 18 lacked health care coverage in 2014, down from more than 445,000 the year before.

Florida went from being ranked 49th out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2013 to 46th in 2014 for its overall percentage of uninsured children.

“It (the rate) is the lowest in the six years’ worth of data that I have,” said Laura Brennaman, policy and research director for the advocacy group Florida CHAIN.

The number of uninsured children in Florida declined from 667,758 in 2008 to 377,987 in 2014. Approximately 4.4 million children remain uninsured in the U.S.

According to the report, the states that saw the greatest gains were those that had expanded Medicaid under Obamacare.

The findings show that expansion states saw a decline in the number of uninsured children of 21.7 percent, while the rate for states that didn’t expand Medicaid was 11.6 percent.

“Children ride on the coattails of their parents,” Brennaman said. “Children whose parents have insurance are much more likely to have insurance, too.”

In a conference call with reporters, Joan Alker of the Georgetown Health Policy Institute said Obamacare had spread among families as some members gained coverage.

“Even states that didn’t expand Medicaid saw what we like to call a ‘welcome-mat effect’ from the ACA generally, that you get from covering the whole family,” Alker said. “But in our report we did find that states that expanded Medicaid saw a larger welcome-mat effect.”

Key Florida Republican leaders have opposed Medicaid expansion, arguing that the federal program is “broken” and unlikely to keep its financial commitments to Florida.

During the 2015 session, the Florida Senate fought to use Obamacare dollars to extend coverage through private insurers, but Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida House strongly opposed the effort, and they prevailed.

A quarter of the Florida children who remain uninsured are under age 6, Brennaman said — “and that’s that critical age when screening and preventive services can really have major implications for them, in terms of warding off big problems and allowing those children to reach their full potential.”

by Margie Menzel, The News Service of Florida

Lillie Louise Watford Day

November 29, 2015

Lillie Louise Watford Day, 89, of Atmore, passed away Wednesday, November 25, 2015, in Atmore. She was retired after more than 30 years of service as a clerk for the City of Atmore. She was born on April 5, 1926, in Uriah, to the late Claude W. and Recie Gulsby. She was a member of Brooks Memorial Baptist Church.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Henry Joel Day; one brother, Carl Watford; and two sisters, Elizabeth Mills and Genise Franklin.

She is survived by two sons, Sammy (Sandra) Day and Randy (Kitty) Day all of Atmore; one daughter, Sybil Day of Fairhope; one brother, James (Sylvia) Watford of Crossroads, AL; one sister, Kathryn (Leonard) Stanley of Atmore; grandchildren, Marla Driver, Kelly Gurganus, Natalie Sandoval and Jarrod Day; great-grandchildren, Caleb, Canaan, Zane, Ava, Samuel and Sawyer.

Services will be held Sunday, November 29, 2015, at 2 p.m. from Johnson-Quimby Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Mike Grindle officiating.

Interment will follow in Oak Hill Cemetery.

Active pallbearers are Jay Driver, Caleb Driver, Roland Sandoval, Jason Gurganus, Jarrod Day and Billy Watford.

Family will receive friends Sunday, November 29, 2015, at Johnson-Quimby Funeral Home from 1 p.m. until service time at 2 p.m.

Johnson-Quimby Funeral Home is in charge of all arrangements.

Shots Fired Disturbance Leads To Fiery Crash On Highway 29

November 28, 2015

[Updated] A shots fired disturbance and a burglary in McDavid ended with a fiery two vehicle crash that injured five people on Highway 29 near Molino early Saturday morning.

Witnesses said two or three males were breaking into vehicles on Highway 164 off of Highway 29 in McDavid. They were spotted by residents of one home who reportedly gave chase southbound on Highway 29. Witnesses said as they followed the vehicle down Highway 29, they were on the phone with 911 emergency operators as someone in the suspects’ vehicle fired multiple shots at their pickup.  By the time the vehicles reached Molino, the distance between the car and the following pickup had reportedly increased substantially, with the pickup following at a long distance behind.

As the suspects’ southbound vehicle reached Barth Road, they reportedly pulled across the Highway 29 median into the direct path of another pickup truck.

Following the 5 a.m. collision, the suspects’ vehicle burst into flames with at least two people still inside. Bystanders said they used a bucket to retrieve water from a ditch and attempted to douse the flames. The three vehicle occupants were able to escape. One was airlifted to a Pensacola hospital in critical condition; the conditions of the other two people in the vehicle were not available.

The pickup truck involved in the crash left the roadway and overturned down an embankment, coming to rest on its side at the edge of a wooded area. The two occupants of the pickup truck were trapped until extricated by firefighters. They were transported to area hospitals by Escambia County EMS with injuries that were not considered immediately life threatening.

The pickup truck that originally gave chase from McDavid had at least three obvious bullet holes — one in the driver’s door, on in the side panel of the bed, and one in a taillight.

The vehicle occupied by the suspects had reportedly been stolen earlier in the morning from a home on Barth Road. A gun was recovered at the scene of the accident.

The investigation into the incident and the crash are being conducted by the Florida Highway Patrol and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

UPDATES: Story updated at 2:30 p.m. to reflect the vehicle occupied by the suspects was stolen. And updated to reflect that the pickup following the car was at a distance away at the time of the crash. Updated 3:30 p.m. to reflect a gun was recovered from the scene.

Pictured top and inset: Three people were injured when this vehicle crash and burst into flames on Highway 29 at Barth Road early Saturday morning. Pictured below: The vehicle collided with this pickup, in which two people were trapped. Pictured bottom two photos: Bullet holes in a pickup that was reportedly following the car down Highway 29 after an attempted burglar in McDavid. photos, click to enlarge.


#AGGIENATION: Graffiti Bridge Proclaims ‘Tate To State’

November 28, 2015

Pensacola’s iconic Graffiti Bridge was painted in support of the Tate High School Aggies early Saturday morning, following Tate’s 21-20 win over Niceville to claim the 6A Regional 1 championship.

We are told that a few Tate Showband of the South Color Guard painted the bridge to show their love and support for the Aggie football team as they are just two games away from a state  championship.

The bridge was painted with the hashtag #AGGIENATION, “Tate to State” and “Love, Your Showband”, along with numerous football player numbers.

(Editor’s note: If you are unfamiliar, it is an acceptable practice to paint the 17th Avenue Trestle, better known as Graffiti Bridge. Every day, there’s a new coat of paint and a new message. It’s been happening for years, and it’s considered a local landmark. It’s led to art exhibits and even a book project. It is Pensacola’s public canvas.)

Photos for, click to enlarge.


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