Highway 29 Closed By Nails, Screws After Pickup Truck Crash

November 30, 2016

Northbound Highway 29 was closed for about an hour Tuesday night due to a single vehicle traffic crash.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 32-year old Christopher Armour of Pensacola was northbound on Highway at Victory Road, just south of Barrineau Park Road. He attempted to change lanes and lost control, causing his 2006 Ford F150 to spin and then overturn several times into the median about 9:50 p.m.

Armour and his passenger, 21-year old Montana Ard of McDavid, were not injured.

The vehicle came to rest on its roof after it flipped, causing a large quantity of screws and nails from the truck’s cargo bed to be scattered over hundreds of feet of northbound Highway 29. Highway 29 northbound was closed from Quintette Road to Barrineau Park Road, with a detour on Highway 95A for the cleanup.  A FDOT contractor used a large blower to blow the debris off the roadway by 10:45 p.m.

Armour was cited for careless driving by the FHP.

NorthEscambia.com photos by Kristi Barbour, click to enlarge.

Showers And Storms, Turning Cooler Today

November 30, 2016

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

Today: Showers and thunderstorms before noon, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm between noon and 3pm, then a slight chance of showers after 3pm. Temperature rising to near 73 by 10am, then falling to around 61 during the remainder of the day. South wind 10 to 15 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming clear, with a low around 42. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 65. North wind around 5 mph.

Thursday Night: Clear, with a low around 37. North wind around 5 mph.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 66. Northeast wind around 5 mph.

Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 41. Northeast wind around 5 mph.

Saturday: A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 61. East wind around 5 mph.

Saturday Night: A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 51. East wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Sunday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Cloudy, with a high near 66. East wind around 5 mph becoming north in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Sunday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Cloudy, with a low around 51. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

Monday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 66.

Monday Night: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 57. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Tuesday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 73.

Quick Work Saves Century Home From Kitchen Fire

November 30, 2016

The quick work of responding firefighters save a Century home Tuesday night.

The kitchen fire was reported about 8:25 p.m. in the 9400 block of Old Flomaton Road. Firefighters were able to contain the blaze mostly to the kitchen.

The occupants of the home were able to escape without injury.

The Century, McDavid and Walnut Hill stations of Escambia Fire Rescue, the Flomaton Fire Department and the Jay Fire Department were dispatched to the fire.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Escambia County’s Top 10 Teachers Named

November 30, 2016

Escambia County’s Top 10 Teachers of the Year have been named.

They are (in alphabetical order):

Lisa Bloodworth – Workman Middle School

Lacey Brown – Jim Allen Elementary School

Angelia Grimes-Graeme – Hellen Caro Elementary School

Jessica Kelly – Cordova Park Elementary School

Ursula LaMontagne – Tate High School

Emily McMillan – C.A. Weis Community School

Cassie Mense – Myrtle Grove Elementary

Bonny Shiflett – R.C. Lipscomb Elementary School

Nichaka Tribbey – Global Learning Academy

Christy Ueberroth – N.B. Cook Elementary School

Atmore Police Seek Shooting Suspect

November 30, 2016

The Atmore Police Department is seeking information in connection with a shooting late last week that left one man in critical condition.

About 2:15 a.m. last Friday, Anthony Jerome Riley of Sunset Drive in Atmore was shot multiple times in the rear parking lot of “Special Occasions” at 129 South Main Street, Atmore Police said in a Tuesday afternoon news release.

Witnesses described the suspect as a black male who fled the area in black Dodge Charger. The witnesses could not provide a license plate number or other information about the shooter.

Riley was transported to Atmore Community Hospital and later transferred to a Mobile hospital.

The Atmore Police Department said the business is licensed to hold banquets, wedding receptions and retirement parties. “The business is not allowed to have alcohol on the premises, but evidence at the scene showed alcohol was present at the time of the shooting,” police said.

Anyone with information on the shooting should call the Atmore Police Department at (251) 368-9141.

Three State Supreme Court Nominees Would Add Conservative Voice

November 30, 2016

Florida Supreme Court justices Charles Canady and Ricky Polston will almost certainly have a conservative colleague to join their frequent splits from the court’s majority when Gov. Rick Scott appoints a replacement for Justice James E.C. Perry.

Perry’s constitutionally mandated retirement gives Scott the opportunity to continue moving Florida’s appellate courts to the right, and the three nominees to replace Perry left no doubt this week as to how they would rule if appointed to the state’s highest court.

Fifth District Court of Appeal judges C. Alan Lawson and Wendy Berger and civil lawyer Dan Gerber made the final cut Monday from six women and five men who went before the Scott-appointed Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission. The governor had asked for six nominees by mid-December, but wound up with a list of three.

“While I certainly, and the commission, strive to give the governor the maximum amount of names, sometimes that just doesn’t happen in the process,” Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission Chairman Jason Unger told The News Service of Florida in a telephone interview Tuesday. “Governors usually ask for the maximum. And we try to respect that, but we are sometimes not able to vote out six names.”

Lawson and Gerber were both nominated the last time there was an opening on the court in 2008, but were passed over by then-Gov. Charlie Crist, who instead tapped the man they are seeking to replace.

Perry, one of two black justices on the seven-member court, frequently is part of a liberal-leaning majority in decisions that have chafed Scott and the Republican-dominated Legislature.

The three high-court hopefuls, during interviews with the commission Monday, made clear that their allegiances lie with Canady, a highly respected jurist who is on President-elect Donald Trump’s list of potential U.S. Supreme Court picks.

“The brilliance is there. Every Thursday you look and say, OK, let’s see what the dissenting opinions have brought this week,” said Gerber, a partner with the Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell firm in Orlando.

If selected by Scott, Gerber would be the first justice in 14 years appointed to the high court without any previous experience on the bench. He also could wind up being the next chief justice, because all of the other justices on the seven-member court have served in that role.

Historically, the role of chief justice rotates to the court’s next-senior member every two years. Perry would have been in line to become chief justice July 1 but chose not to seek the position because he would have to retire several months later. Breaking with tradition, the court re-elected Chief Justice Jorge Labarga to serve a second term, making him the first to do so in more than a century.

Gerber’s lack of a judicial record creates uncertainty about how he might rule, an issue raised by at least one commissioner on Monday.

But Gerber’s experience litigating on behalf of clients like Publix Supermarkets and Orkin, his extensive appellate work and his criticism of the Supreme Court’s administration — in addition to his previous nomination — could make him a prime pick for Scott, an attorney and former health-care executive.

A lawyer would provide insight into how “users and consumers” interact with the courts, Gerber told the nine-member nominating commission Monday.

“Every now and then we need a practitioner to go on the court and bring practical experience and judgment to the court,” said Gerber, a University of Florida College of Law graduate.

Gerber, 53, called the Supreme Court’s procurement process “antiquated” and “simply too loose.”

“I don’t think they lend themselves to what we would consider in private free-enterprise systems,” Gerber said, pledging to “cut waste” and make the “consumer experience more efficient, more fair and more effective.”

Perhaps even more important, Gerber also promoted the same “rule of law” judicial approach espoused by The Federalist Society, embraced by Scott, and mirrored by the other two nominees.

The prominent conservative legal group, with about 2,000 members in Florida, adheres to the “originalist” and “textualist” philosophy maintained by the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Jason Gonzalez, Florida co-chair of the Federalist Society, said judicial conservatives believe “that judges should focus on original meaning of the text of the law, rather than taking a more ‘activist’ approach where the judge stretches or ignores the text of the law to reach a desired outcome in a case,”

Gonzalez said he was encouraged that the Supreme Court interviews focused more on judicial philosophy than they may have in the past. Gonzalez served as Crist’s general counsel at the time of the last four Supreme Court vacancies.

“A judge or justice’s judicial philosophy or approach to interpreting the written law is highly relevant, especially for aspiring appellate judges. Judicial philosophy differs from personal beliefs or political ideology, which should never influence how a judge applies the written law,” Gonzalez said.

Scott is required to choose a justice from the sprawling region covered by the Daytona Beach-based 5th District Court of Appeal. The region stretches across the state from Brevard to Citrus counties and includes counties such as Orange, Volusia, Marion and St. Johns.

Selecting Lawson or Berger — who each earned a law degree from Florida State University — would give Scott the chance to make another appellate court appointment.

Berger, appointed by Scott three years ago to the 5th District Court of Appeal, was reimbursed for a hotel room by the Federalist Society when she was a moderator of a panel discussion entitled “Perspectives on the Florida Judicial Selection Process” at the group’s statewide conference in 2015, according to her application for the Supreme Court opening.

The Supreme Court justices’ role is “to apply the law, to interpret the law,” Berger told the nominating commission Monday.

“It’s not to make it, or force my will upon the people through a written opinion,” she said.

Berger’s youth — she is 47 — provides Scott the prospect of having his legacy reflected on the court for more than two decades.

Berger formerly served as then-Gov. Jeb Bush’s assistant general counsel in charge of the death penalty and clemency, and earned a reputation for meting out stiff sentences during her tenure as a circuit judge, factors which could appeal to tough-on-crime Scott.

While the court spends more than half of its time dealing with death penalty cases, Scott is expected to be more focused on civil matters in trying to reshape the court.

Lawson, who was promoted by social conservatives during the nomination process in 2008, has the broadest experience of the three nominees, having served as a trial lawyer, a circuit judge and, now, chief of the appellate court.

“Anyone who applies for this position can say that they are committed to the ideal of judicial restraint and will faithfully follow the law if appointed. I do not know that any other applicant will have a track record to prove that commitment,” Lawson, 55, wrote in his application.

by Dara Kam, The News Service of Florida

Century To Officially Light Christmas Tree Thursday Evening

November 30, 2016

Century will hold an official Christmas tree lighting ceremony  Thursday at 5 p.m.  The short ceremony will take place in the Nadine McCaw Park located on North Century Boulevard at Hecker Street. Children from Byrneville Elementary School will perform Christmas songs during the event. Pictured: Century’s Christmas Tree in Nadine McCaw Park on North Century Boulevard as seen Tuesday night. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Gulf Power Seeks To Keep Group Out Of Rate Increase Case

November 30, 2016

Gulf Power is asking state regulators to block the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy from intervening in a case about the utility’s proposal to raise base rates by $106.8 million next year.

The Tennessee-based Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, which has frequently clashed with Florida utilities, filed a petition  seeking to intervene in Gulf Power’s rate case before the Florida Public Service Commission. In the petition, the group pointed to a potential rate restructuring that it argued could discourage energy efficiency and the use of rooftop solar devices.

But in a filing last week, Pensacola-based Gulf Power argued that the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, commonly known as SACE, has not shown that its interests or the interests of its members will be “adversely affected” by the rate case.

“It is clear from SACE’s petition to intervene (including its allegations of general and specific interests and proposed issues) that SACE is attempting to significantly and improperly expand the scope of this base rate proceeding beyond whether Gulf’s proposed rates are just and reasonable. It appears SACE will use this proceeding as a platform upon which SACE can advocate ‘for energy plans, policies and systems that best serve the environment, public health and economic interests of communities in the Southeast,’ ” the utility argued, partially quoting from the group’s petition.

Gulf Power, which provides electricity to about 450,000 customers in Northwest Florida, filed the rate-increase proposal in October with the Public Service Commission. If approved, the increase would take effect July 1, 2017.

by The News Service of Florida

HS Basketball: Tate Boys, Northview Girls Win; Jay And Tate Girls Fall

November 30, 2016

Here’s a look at high school basketball scores from around the area Tuesday night:


Tate 55, West Florida 50

The Tate Aggies picked up their first win of the young season at home Tuesday night 55-50 over West Florida. The Aggies were led by Robert Rush with 19. Up next, the Tate Aggies (1-3) will be at Pine Forest on Thursday.


Northview 44, Catholic 20

The Northview Lady Chiefs defeated the visiting Catholic High Lady Crusaders Tuesday night in Bratt, .  The Lady Chiefs will be at Chipley at 5:00 Thursday and at Baker at 5:30 on Friday.

For more photos, click here.

West Florida 56, Tate 19

The West Florida Lady Jaguars defeated the Tate Lady Aggies Tuesday 56-19. The Lady Aggies will host Escambia High School at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Baker 57, Jay 26

The Jay Lady Royals (2-2) lost to Baker 57-26 Tuesday night at Jay. Corrissa Mulford added 10 points to lead the Royals. The Lady Royals will host Catholic High School on  Thursday at 4 p.m.

Pictured: Northview’s Lady Chiefs defeated Catholic Tuesday night. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

James D. Beasley

November 30, 2016

James D. Beasley, 88 of Atmore, AL, passed away Friday, November 25, 2016, peacefully in his home surrounded by his loving family.

Donald was born in Walnut Hill, FL on October 23, 1928. He was an operator/foreman with St. Regis Paper Company for 41 and a half years.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Novy and Myrtle Hale.

He is survived by his devoted wife, Louise Beasley of Atmore, AL; two sons; Donny (Donna) Beasley of Gulf Breeze, FL, and Ronnie (Sandie Roberts) Beasley of Atmore; siblings, Clark (Diane) Hale of McComb, MS, Douglas (Mary Elizabeth) Hale of Atmore, Rodney (Dena) Hale of Clearwater, FL, Sue Mahoney of Milton, FL, Sandra (Ruthie) Muffler of California and Linda (Bernard) Peacock of Stockton, AL; four grandchildren, Justin Beasley, Brennan Beasley, Jace Beasley and Jenna Beasley, MD and eight great-grandchildren.

Services were held on Tuesday, November 29, 2016, from the Trinity Episcopal Church of Atmore.

A private family graveside followed in Oak Hill Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Wounded Warriors Project or Trinity Episcopal Church of Atmore, AL.

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

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