Jim Allen Elementary Welcomes Escambia’s Teacher Of The Year To Class

January 31, 2017

Escambia County School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas joined Jim Allen Elementary School in welcoming teacher Lacey Brown to campus Monday morning. Brown was named the Escambia County School District Teacher of the Year Saturday night.

The campus was decorated with signs and balloons to welcome Brown, and a balloon drop awaited her in her classroom.

Photos by Savanna Calhoun ECSD for NorthEcambia.com, click to enlarge.

IP Explosion: Beware Of Scammers

January 31, 2017

Officials are warning those impacted by the International Paper explosion to be aware of scammers.

The Unified Command Teams says they have been made aware that businesses are contacting community members potentially impacted by the explosion and offering various services including water testing, pressure washing and carpet cleaning for a fee.

International Paper, through the Unified Command Team, is not currently coordinating with any businesses other than Cotton and CTEH, who are managing the community cleanup.

Gonzalez Utilities, which operates the water system in much of the area most impacted by the IP explosion, is also warning customers that any testing of the water quality should be done by Gonzalez Utilities to eliminate scams. Gonzalez Utilities employees will have the necessary identification to prove their association.

Gonzalez Utilities officials said Monday that the water system has been inspected and no contamination issues have been found..

For more information, contact Unified Command (850) 968-4208 at or Gonzales Utilities at (850) 968-5434.

The Unified Command Team is comprised of International Paper, Escambia County EMA/Public Safety, Florida Department of Health, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Sunny And Warm Today

January 31, 2017

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 75. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

Tuesday Night: Patchy fog after midnight. Otherwise, mostly clear, with a low around 48. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Wednesday: Patchy fog before 7am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 75. Light south wind becoming southwest 5 to 10 mph in the morning.

Wednesday Night: Patchy fog after midnight. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a low around 50. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 74. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 50. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 69. Calm wind becoming southwest around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 49. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Saturday: Partly sunny, with a high near 65.

Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 52.

Sunday: A 40 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 69.

Sunday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 48.

Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 65.

IP Explosion: Coast Guard Joins Cleanup Effort

January 31, 2017

The cleanup and remediation continue following the explosion just over a week ago at International Paper. And now the Coast Guard has joined the effort.

The Coast Guard National Strike Force is working to monitor any potential environmental impact. They are working directly under the United States Environmental Protection Agency  (EPA) to collect air, water and soil samples from across the area surrounding the Cantonment mill.

The monitoring includes the search for any possible impacts from a pulp and black liquor by-product blown across several neighborhoods during the blast.

Nine Mile Widening Traffic Update

January 31, 2017

This week, both travel lanes of Nine Mile Road will be shifted between Stefani and Waring Roads southward onto temporary asphalt. The shift will allow drainage crews to extend the box culvert under Nine Mile Road.

Also, alternating lane closures will continue on Untreiner Avenue as crews drive temporary sheet pile.

Byrneville Elementary Releases Honor Roll

January 31, 2017

Byrneville Elementary School named the following students to their honor roll for the first nine weeks of the school year:

Mrs.Barberree Kindergarten
All Satisfactory

Landon Barrow
Mazie Burkett
Zoey Dunsford
McKenzie Griffis
Olivia Levins
Ruby Lovely
Ashanti Manuel
Bryce Miller
Molly Powell
Zi’nique Smith
Kinley White
Bryce Yoder

Mrs.Coleman Kindergarten
All Satisfactory

Ethan Carter
Anastacia Cooley
Allison Grant
Ta’kayvia Jackson
Brandon Lambeth
Brooklyn Miller
Tyson Milliken
Iviyanah Phifer
Brody Rigby
Natalie Rogers
Ember Claire Waters
Jazzlynn Wesley

Mrs.Seales Kindergarten
All Satisfactory

A’zariyah Elliott
Bryce Giger
Annie Mathis
Kaden Smith

Mrs.Brown 1st grade
A- Honor Roll

Jaxon Anderson
Briley Beers
Lyla Calloway
Emma Godwin
Sydney Little
Nicholas Long
Lola Weldon
A/B- Honor Roll
Blaine Buckhault
LaWayne Grice
Katelyn Levins
Trayton Phifer
Zane Weaver
Cecelia Whorff

Mrs.Kitchin 1st grade
A-Honor Roll

Sierra Carnley
Brylen Hadley
Meeyah Lassitter
Olina Miles
Jordan Mullally
AnnaBelle Odom
Jackson Salter
Olivia Thomas
Audrinna Woods
A/B-Honor Roll
Jacob Bolen
Madelyn Calloway
Kallie Harwell
Aziyah Jackson
Tyson Phifer
Dalton Smith
Taraji Wesley

Mrs.Frankhouser 2nd grade
A/B-Honor Roll

Taylor Curtis
Gabrielle Hawsey
Caleb Levins
Benji Parker
Isaiah Phifer
Jase Portwood
Aleah Therrell
Cannon Whorff
Allison Yoder

Mrs.Linton 2nd grade
A/B-Honor Roll

Autumn Coleman
Crest Waters
Trenton Wright

Mrs.Dunsford 3rd grade
A-Honor Roll

Elizabeth Coleman
Makenzie Levins
Christian Velazquez
A/B-Honor Roll
Cameron Bourgeois
Easten Odom
Braxton Wagner
Charlee Weaver

Mrs. Weaver 3rd grade
A-Honor Roll

Luke Godwin
London Brooks
A/B-Honor Roll
Jaycee Harvell
Savannah Hudson
Ryder Lee
Andrew Plant
Bree Robertson
Evelyn Smith
Malia Smith

Mrs.Marshman 4th grade
A-Honor Roll

Maddie Mae Driskell
Madison Levins
Riley Long
Brian Yoder
A/B-Honor Roll
Kailee Ancell
Ayden Atallah
Braden Glick
Zack Herndon
Jaci Jackson
Mia Kornegay

Mrs.Thornton 4th grade
A-Honor Roll

Kelan Jury
A/B-Honor Roll
Tripp Curtis
Evin Matlock
Addisen Miller
Mia Turner-White
Jayden White

Mrs.Johnston 5th grade
A-Honor Roll

Kaylie Glick
Madalyn Grimes
Kaylee Hamilton
Meredith Johnston
Tyler Riggs
Aydan Smith
A/B-Honor Roll
Adrianna Atallah
Malachi Bolen
Kadence Calvert
Caitlyn Dortch
Nolin Godwin
Isaiah Hetrick
Camron Howell
Josh Johnson
M.J. Smith
Reygan Steadham
Leif Waters
Joe Wright

State Seeks To Keep Feds Out Of Prison Disability Case

January 31, 2017

The Florida Department of Corrections has asked a judge to block the U.S. Department of Justice from intervening in a year-old lawsuit alleging that the state’s prison system has violated the rights of inmates with disabilities.

The Justice Department sought this month to intervene in the case, which was filed in January 2016 by the organization Disability Rights Florida and alleges violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal laws. The Justice Department’s motion to intervene focused on inmates who are deaf or hard of hearing, alleging that the state routinely fails to provide hearing aids, interpreters and types of communication devices that inmates could use to contact attorneys, families or friends.

But the Department of Corrections filed a 21-page document in federal court in Tallahassee, arguing, in part, that the Justice Department took too long to seek to intervene. It said federal officials first expressed concerns about the rights of disabled inmates in 2013 but did not take action.

“During the past year, DRF (Disability Rights Florida) has aggressively pursued this case, interviewing numerous inmate witnesses, employing at least three experts who have conducted many weeks of prison visits, and propounding massive discovery requests that have resulted in the DOC (the Department of Corrections) producing over 190,000 pages of documentation,” the state department argued. “Significantly, upon information and belief, the DOJ (Department of Justice) has been in communication with DRF about the proceedings in this case, yet it did not attempt to intervene in this case until a few weeks ago. Based on the foregoing, the DOJ, which knew of the issues for years, and clearly had an interest, unreasonably delayed its attempt to enter this case.”

by The News Service of Florida

IP Explosion: Gonzalez Utilities Says Water Is Safe

January 31, 2017

Gonzalez Utilities said its water system is  uncontaminated following the January 22 explosion at International Paper in Cantonment. That includes customers in Cantonment Heights –  Woodbury Circle, Woodbury Drive, Woodbury Place and Greenberry Drive.

The utility said water distribution lines, wells and tanks have been inspected and no contamination issues have been found. Any testing of the water quality should be done by Gonzalez Utilities to eliminate any scams, the utility said. A Gonzalez Utilities employee will carry property identification.

Customers will questions should contact the Gonzalez Utilities office at (850) 968-5434 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. until 4p.m. or Russell Bracken at (850) 554-6845.

Escambia Commission, Pensacola Council Hold Joint Meeting

January 31, 2017

The Pensacola City Council and the Escambia County Commission held a joint meeting Monday to discuss common issues.   They discussed the creation of a commerce park in central Pensacola, the reduction of homelessness and panhandling, and the creation of “park rangers” or “ambassadors” to watch over security in public parks. None of the discussions or decisions made Monday are binding; any final decision must be approved at a council or commission meeting.  The bodies will scheduled another joint meeting within the next couple of months.  Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

FWC Law Enforcement Report

January 31, 2017

The Florida FWC Division of Law Enforcement reported the following activity during the weekly period ending January 26 in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.


Officers were working a night-hunting detail in the north end of Escambia County when FWC Pilot Tolbert and Lieutenant Golloher, acting as a spotter, saw a subject shining a light in a manner capable of disclosing deer. They directed Captain Rondeau to the subject’s location to investigate. Captain Rondeau attempted to stop the vehicle, but the subject fled.

Officers Clark and Long assisted in the pursuit along with the Aviation Unit. After a lengthy pursuit, the subject was finally apprehended by Captain Rondeau and Officers Long and Clark. The subject had an outstanding warrant in Alabama and charges were filed in Florida for felony fleeing and eluding, reckless driving, night hunting, felony driving on a suspended license and possession of a firearm/ammunition by a convicted felon.


While on patrol in Blackwater Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Officer Land stopped to check two hunters who were standing near their vehicles. When asked to see their hunting licenses, one of the men replied that he was just driving around. The front seat of the man’s truck had a hunter orange vest and a rifle was in the back seat. Eventually, the man admitted to participating in man drives. He had no valid hunting license or required permits and came back as a convicted felon when his information was run through Dispatch. The firearm was seized and the individual was arrested for the violations.

While on patrol near Gulf Islands National Seashore, Officer Land and Park Ranger Robinson stopped to check a group of duck hunters near Ft. McCree. While Officer Land was inspecting one of their firearms, he found that it was capable of holding more than three shells. It is illegal to use a firearm capable of holding more than three shells while hunting migratory birds and the hunter was issued a notice to appear for the violation.

Officer Hoomes was notified of a trespassing complaint and while working this complaint, he encountered two subjects squirrel hunting on the complainant’s property. These two subjects were not related to the original complaint. The subjects were issued citations for trespassing and for not possessing Florida hunting licenses.

Officer Hoomes was notified of an illegal deer that was killed in the Hutton Unit of the Blackwater WMA. He made contact with the subject who took him to the deer. The antlered deer was smaller than the regulations allow for the area and was issued a citation for the violation. The deer was seized and donated to a local charity.

Officers Land and Manning responded to a call of a distressed vessel. A family of four was on board their vessel in Escambia Bay when their motor stopped and their boat began to take on water. A Good Samaritan in the area agreed to tow the vessel back to the boat ramp and Officer Land escorted the family back to shore.

This report represents some events the FWC handled over the past week; however, it does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement. Information provided by FWC.

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