Byrneville Elementary Considers Becoming Accredited

March 30, 2017

Byrneville Elementary School’s Board of Directors decided Wednesday to consider going through the accreditation process with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Accreditation is a process in which an independent  agencies such as SACS assess the quality of education that an education institution offers and ensures they meet certain standards. All K-12 school operated by the Escambia County School district are accredited,  but Byrneville Elementary operates as a charter school and must independently seek accreditation.

“It’s more like a self-check thing,” Principal Dee Wolfe-Sullivan said, “to find our if we are fulfilling our mission…It validates what we are already doing.”

She said the accreditation process would be lengthy and create  a lot of work for the school staff and community volunteers. But without the accreditation, it is possible that an out of state district might not accept a child’s educational record at face value if a Byrneville student were to transfer elsewhere.

The accreditation process costs $500 and is $900 per year thereafter. The board will make an official decision on the accreditation process at an upcoming meeting. photo, click to enlarge.

New Members Inducted Into Northview High Beta Club

March 30, 2017

New members were inducted Wednesday  into the National Beta Club at Northview High School. The new members are:

9th Grade
Will Beach
Keaton Brown
Lacie Carter
Karlee Criswell
Jackson Edwards
Ashlan Harigel
Anna King
Kayla McKillion
Colby Morris
Kinzie Rackard
Savannah Roley
Savannah Spence
Jace Weber

10th Grade
Lexxi Baggett
Logan Chavers
Justin Cruce
Rebecca Dunn
Dalton Hamilton
Tanner Levins
Delaney Reynolds
Valen Shelly
Aaliyah Tucker

The National Beta Club’s purpose is “to promote the ideals of academic achievement, character, leadership and service among elementary and secondary school students.”

Pictured: New Beta Club members at Northview High School  Ninth grade (below) and tenth grade (above). photos, click to enlarge.

Spring Livestock Show, Blue Jacket Jamboree Are Saturday

March 30, 2017

University of Florida IFAS Extension in Escambia County is hosting the Gulf Coast Agriculture & Natural Resources Youth Organization Annual Spring Livestock Show and FFA Blue Jacket Jamboree Saturday, April 1 at the Escambia 4-H Livestock Facility located at 5701 Highway 99 in Molino.

This year’s show begins at 8 a.m. with over fifty 4-H and FFA youth exhibiting hogs, beef cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, and rabbits from Escambia and neighboring counties. The day will conclude with youth exhibitors auctioning off their market animals beginning at 5 p.m. The event is open to the public and there is no charge to attend.

Youth exhibitors receive quality premiums for their animals as well as proceeds from the auction of their animals. The GCA/NRYO show and auction is the culmination of the projects that youth have invested months and numerous hours in preparation. The livestock auction has become a success through the generous support of local sponsors and businesses who purchase the animals.

The Northview High School FFA Blue Jacket Jamboree will be held from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. with plenty of arts and crafts, a car show, a tractor show and more. An Egg Drop will be held at noon, with over 2,000 Easter eggs dropped from a ladder fire truck for children to hunt for free.

Arts and crafts vendors are still being accepted….visit or call (850) 712-6267 or (850) 572-1076.

The Blue Jacket Jamboree is sponsored in part by file photo, click to enlarge. Publisher Named One Of Area’s Most Influential People

March 30, 2017

The Pensacola Independent News has released their 2017 IN Power List — their ranking of the most the most powerful and influential people in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

Only two people that work primarily in the North Escambia area were named to the list — Escambia County Commissioner Steven Barry of Cantonment and, for the sixth consecutive year, Publisher William Reynolds.

Topping this year’s list was Rishy Studer, co-owner Studer Properties, Blue Wahoos and Bodacious Shops.

To read this year’s Inweekly Power List edition, click here.

Multiple Fires Set Along Miles Of Roadway

March 30, 2017

Firefighters battled about a dozen brush fires along a 3-4 mile long stretch of Highway 31 east of Flomaton Wednesday afternoon. It appeared that as many as  dozen small fires may have been intentionally set along the roadway, with several of those fires spreading into wooded areas. The Flomaton, Brewton, McCall and Friendship fire departments from Alabama, and the Century and McDavid fire stations of Florida were dispatched to the fires. Photos for, click to enlarge.

Today’s Tate Baseball Games Canceled

March 30, 2017

Due to the loss of a member of the Tate High School baseball family, their games today against Milton have been canceled.

Former Tate Football Coach Arrested On Multiple Child Sex Charges

March 29, 2017

A former Tate High School football coach and church leader has been arrested on multiple child sex offenses against multiple victims over a period from at least 1997 to 2016. Offenses allegedly occurred in locations that included the Tate High School locker room.

Charlie Mabern Hamrick, 54, is facing charges that include three counts of providing obscene material to minors, multiple counts of lewd and lascivious behavior on a victim age 12 to 16, lewd and lascivious behavior on a victim less than 12 years old, and 36 counts of capital sexual assault on a victim under 12. The capital assault charges are life felonies. He remains in the Escambia County Jail.

Hamrick was allegedly director  of a boy’s group called the Royal Rangers at Harvest Christian Center in Cantonment  when a 11-year old boy asked him about puberty during the summer of 2014. The victim’s mother agreed to allow Hamrick to show an educational video to the boy. Hamrick took the boy to the Tate High School locker room and showed him a series of videos, including teens discussing puberty, nude men in sexual acts ,and a video of a nude man and woman engaged in sexual intercourse, according to court documents.

Hamrick is also accused of inappropriately touching a 13-year old boy’s private area at Hamrick’s home at 7855 Sasser Lane.  He also allegedly led a young boy to a bedroom in his home and while Hamrick was nude in front of him.

An adult male came told investigators this month that he was abused  by Hamrick between 1997 and 2000. The victim was 8-11 years old at the time of the alleged abuse and had met Hamrick through his position as a Sunday School teacher at Pine Forest United Methodist Church.  Charges against Hamrick include 36 counts of capital sexual assault for allegedly abusing the young boy on numerous occasions at his home, then in the Pebble Creek Subdivision, and at a Pensacola Beach house and onboard his boat.

An Escambia County Sheriff’s Office report details numerous types of sexual contact between Hamrick and the boy, averaging about once per month for three years. Some of the inappropriate contact reportedly happened under a blanket in Hamrick’s living room while his wife was present, but the victim told investigators that the wife had no knowledge of the abuse.

The victim said he just recently reported the abuse from the late 1990’s because he heard of Hamrick’s other charges and wanted to make sure it did not happen to anyone else.

Another boy reported late last year that he was abused by Hamrick during the summer of 2016 while at his house for fishing, four-wheeler riding and other activities with an additional male friend. The victim was 12-13 years old at the time.

Hamrick was not a full time school district employee, but was paid a stipend as a coach at Tate High School where he reportedly served as the freshman team coach. He was at Tate from August 1, 2012, to September 14, 2015.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan is encouraging any additional victims to come forward and contact local law enforcement.

ECSO: Woman Pulls Machete On Man Outside Century Business

March 29, 2017

A woman was jailed after allegedly threatening a man with a machete in the parking lot of a Century gas station Monday afternoon.

Sandra Ann Delafosse was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia following the  2:50 p.m. incident at the Century Food Mart in the 7900 block of North Century Boulevard.

The victim told deputies that Delafosse pulled a machete out of her car and approached him. He said he was in fear for his life and that he felt she was going to cut him, according to an Escambia County Sheriff’s Office report.

When deputies searched Delafosse, they reported finding a burnt glass pipe on her person.  Further details on the incident have not yet been released.

Delafosse was booked into the Escambia County Jail with bond set at $7,500.

Bratt Elementary Names March Students Of The Month

March 29, 2017

The following students (pictured above) were named Students of the Month for March at Bratt Elementary School.

Landon Allcock
Kyle Blanton
Madilynne Cardwell
Jonah Carter
Malonie Curry
Irmani Dixon
JaCee Dortch
Elizabeth Gilley (not pictured)
Nathan Gilmore
Cate Greenwood
Kyndal Hadley
Joshlynn Helton
Fallon Hubbard
Camden Jacobson
KayLeigh Jay
Savannah Lowry
Kaya Mason
Carley Moore (not pictured)
Briley Moore
Gracie Norton
Brooklyn Reynolds
Cooper Rice
Braylan Shelly
Brayden Smith

The students pictured below, Cooper Rice and JaCee Dortch were chosen to represent Bratt Elementary School as Escambia County Students of the Month for March.

Photos for, click to enlarge.

House Moves Foward On Medical Marijuana

March 29, 2017

Pledging that it is only a start, a Florida House panel gave a thumbs-up Tuesday to a medical-marijuana proposal castigated by supporters of a constitutional amendment that legalized cannabis for a broad swath of patients with debilitating conditions.

The House Health Quality Subcommittee overwhelmingly approved the measure (HB 1397), sponsored by House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, with just one “no” vote after nearly three hours of public testimony.

“I believe this is a measured approach,” Rodrigues, R-Estero said, “but I will caution you that it is not the final product.”

The Rodrigues proposal would prohibit smoking of cannabis products, as well as edibles, and would ban all but terminally ill patients from using vaporizers to consume medical marijuana, one of the biggest objections to the bill raised by supporters of the constitutional amendment.

Known as Amendment 2, the ballot initiative was approved by more than 71 percent of Florida voters in November. It came after the Legislature in 2014 and 2016 passed far-more limited medical marijuana laws, allowing non-euphoric cannabis for some patients and full-strength marijuana for people with terminal illnesses.

The House bill would provide fewer additional licenses for purveyors of medical marijuana than a Senate plan would allow. Currently seven “dispensing organizations” have been approved by state health regulators.

Another point of contention in the House proposal would require health officials to grant medical marijuana licenses to applicants that lost out when vying to become one of the handful of operators authorized to grow, process and distribute non-euphoric cannabis products more than a year ago.

The proposal would require the Department of Health to grant another five licenses once the patient population reaches 200,000, and another three licenses for every additional 100,000 patients registered in a state database.

That’s in contrast with a leading Senate proposal, which would require the state to issue five new licenses by the end of the year and up to 20 new licenses — nearly quadruple the current number of seven — by the time the patient registry reaches 500,000.

Rodrigues’ legislation would also maintain a required three-month relationship between patients and doctors before health care providers could order the marijuana treatment, something critics say is detrimental.

Opponents of the constitutional amendment — including Drug Free America and Save Our Society from Drugs — are throwing their support behind the Rodrigues bill.

Calvina Fay, executive director of St. Petersburg-based Drug Free America, told the panel Tuesday she was pleased the proposal “has incorporated many of our recommendations.”

But Ben Pollara, campaign manager for the political committee that backed Amendment 2, harshly criticized the House plan, saying it “was written for the less than 29 percent who voted ‘no’ rather than the over 71 percent who voted ‘yes’ “” on the amendment.

“This proposal undermines and contradicts the Constitution, the will of 71 percent of Floridians, and would impose significant, arbitrary barriers to patient access,” Pollara said.

by Dara Kam, The News Service of Florida

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