Tate High Varsity Cheerleaders Win State Championship

January 31, 2019

The Tate High School varsity cheerleaders are state champions.

The Aggie cheerleaders won the Florida High School Athletic Association Region Small Coed Championship Thursday afternoon in Gainesville.

The Tate Aggies took first with a score of 83.10, defeating Sebring High with 74.80 and Anclote High with a score of 64.50.

The squad is coach by second-year coach and Tate graduate Morgan White, who spent four years as an Aggie cheerleader.

Pictured: The Tate High School varsity cheerleaders won a state championship Thursday in Gainesville. Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Fire Destroys Large Warehouse At Atmore Area Cotton Gin

January 31, 2019

Fire destroyed a large warehouse at a cotton gin north of Atmore Thursday afternoon.

The fire ripped through what we are  told was a seed warehouse at the Frank Currie Gin Company in the small community of McCullough, about five miles northwest of the Highway 31 Atmore exit on I-65.

At least a portion of warehouse collapsed, according to reports from the scene. Smoke from the blaze could be seen for miles.

The McCullough and Poarch fire departments were among the responders working to contain the roaring blaze.

Photos by Glenn Kelley for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Warning Issued After Rabid Raccoon Attack In Escambia County

January 31, 2019

Local health officials are warning residents and visitors to avoid contact with wild and stray animals after a rabid raccoon attacked someone in Escambia County.

The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County health specialists collected tissue samples from the raccoon and have forwarded the samples to the state laboratory, which has confirmed the presence of the rabies virus.

Officials did not release the location in the county of the incident.

Rabies is a viral disease that infects the central nervous system. Without proper treatment, rabies can cause brain infection and death. Rabies is transmitted by a rabid animal by a bite, a scratch, or by contact with mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose, or mouth. A series of “rabies shots” can protect a bite victim from developing the rabies infection, if given soon after the bite occurs.

“Rabies is a fatal infection but is preventable,” notes FDOH-Escambia’s director, Dr. John J. Lanza. “It is important to not feed or pet wild and stray animals, to avoid animals that appear to be acting strangely, and to keep pets vaccinated against rabies. Persons who are bitten by a wild animal or an animal who has not been vaccinated against rabies should seek immediate medical care. Proper medical treatment of an animal bite can be life-saving.”

In Florida, raccoons, foxes, bats, and cats are the animals most frequently diagnosed with rabies. Other animals that are at high risk for rabies include dogs, bobcats, skunks, and otters. Because of their proximity to people, stray and unvaccinated cats and dogs pose a special risk.

Individuals cannot always tell if an animal has rabies by looking at it. To guard against rabies, the health department recommends residents follow these steps:

  • Teach your children not to go near wild and stray animals, and never keep them as pets.
  • Vaccinate your dog, cat, ferret, or horse to protect against rabies. Keep vaccinations up-to-date.
  • Do not feed your pets outside. The food may attract wild animals.
  • Make sure your garbage is securely covered. Open garbage attracts wild and stray animals.
  • Spay or neuter your pet to reduce its tendency to roam or fight.
  • Do not let your pets roam freely or allow them to interact with wild or stray animals. Keep them in a fenced yard or on a leash at all times.
  • Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas, where they might come into contact with people and pets.
  • Call Escambia County Animal Control, at 850-595-0097, to remove stray dogs and cats from your neighborhood.
  • If your pet is bitten by another animal, immediately seek veterinary assistance for your pet and contact Escambia County Animal Control.
  • If you are bitten by a wild animal, or by any animal that is acting strangely, seek medical care as soon as possible so that a physician can evaluate your risk of rabies infection and administer the rabies vaccine, if appropriate.

DOH-Escambia’s Environmental Health division investigates animal bite reports, tests animals for rabies through the state laboratory, and orders animal quarantine as necessary. For more information, or to report an animal bite, contact the FDOH-Escambia Environmental Health office at (850) 595-6700 or visit www.EscambiaHealth.com.

File photo.

Wood Heater Blamed For McDavid Mobile Home Fire

January 31, 2019

A wood heater is being blamed for a mobile home fire Wednesday night in McDavid.

The fire in the single-wide home was reported about 9:15 p.m. on Worley Road, near the Mystic Springs Boat Ramp.

The minor fire was contained to the area around the stove pipe and roof. There were no injuries.

The McDavid, Century, Walnut Hill and Molino stations of Escambia Fire Rescue, Jay Fire Department, Flomaton Fire Department, Escambia County EMS and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office responded. Several fire units were canceled before arrival.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Temperatures Begin To Moderate

January 31, 2019

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 57. East wind 5 to 10 mph.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 39. East wind around 5 mph.

Friday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 62. East wind around 5 mph.

Friday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 47. East wind around 5 mph.

Saturday: A 30 percent chance of showers after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 64. East wind around 5 mph.

Saturday Night: A 40 percent chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 52. East wind around 5 mph.

Sunday: A 50 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 69. Southeast wind around 5 mph.

Sunday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 57. Southeast wind around 5 mph.

Monday: A 50 percent chance of showers. Cloudy, with a high near 73.

Monday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 61.

Tuesday: Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 74. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Tuesday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 63.

Wednesday: A 50 percent chance of showers. Cloudy, with a high near 74.

Pictured: Wednesday’s sunset at Lake Stone near Century. NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.

T.C. Venom Minor League Football Team To Call Century Home

January 31, 2019

The new T.C. Venom minor league football team will call Century home this year in a season that begins in a few weeks.

The Venom will play four home games at Anthony Pleasant Park off East Highway 4. They are the newest team in the Amateur to Professional Development Football League, the AFDFL.

The APDFL is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the promotion and advancement of adult minor league football teams throughout the Southeast, according to their website. Players are between the ages of 18 and 30 looking to obtain a second chance of reaching their college or professional football dreams. The APDFL provides these athletes a place to improve their football skills and a platform to showcase their talents by attracting scouts from the collegiate and professional levels.

Team owner Luis Waters said he currently has 53 players on his roster, many that played during their high school days on local teams like the Northview Chiefs and the Flomaton Hurricanes.

“I’m here to give these guys a second chance,” Waters said.

Other teams in the league include the Greater Pensacola Jets, Crescent City Rampage from New Orleans, and the South Alabama Dolphins from Mobile.

The T.C. Venom will open play on Saturday March 2 on the road against the Tuskegee Ayrmen, followed by games in New Orleans and Thomasville, GA. Their first home game in Century will be Saturday, March 23 at 7 p.m. as they host the Steel City Raptors of Birmingham. A complete schedule is below.

The “T.C.” in T.C. Venom is stands for “Tri-County.”

T.C. Venom Schedule

Sat Mar 2 — Tuskegee Ayrmenc — Tuskegee, AL, TBD
Sat Mar 9 — @ Crescent City Rampage — New Orleans, LA, TBD
Sat Mar 16 — @ Georgia Cobras — Thomasville, GA, TBD
Sat Mar 23 — Steel City Raptors — Century, FL, 7 p.m. CDT
Sat Mar 30 — Crescent City Kings — Century, FL, 7 p.m. CDT
Sat Apr 6 — Greater Pensacola Jets — Century, FL, 7 p.m. CDT
Sat Apr 27 — @ South Alabama Dolphins — Mobile, AL, TBD
Sat May 4 — @ Tri-City Savages — Hattiesburg, MS, 7 p.m. CDT
Sat May 11 — Florida Phoenix — Century, FL, TBD
Sat May 18 — @ Mississippi Raiders — Waynesboro, MS, 7 p.m. CDT

Bob And Bess: You Can Learn A Lot From A Couple Of Byrneville Ducks

January 31, 2019

At Byrneville Elementary School, there’s a plenty of learning about reading, writing and math, and there’s a lot of learning from Bob and Bess.

Bob and Bess are a couple of ceramic ducks that sit in the hallway near the front door. Each and every school day, there is a message taped to each, usually a conversation between the duo.

“Gosh, Bess it really is cold this morning. I am glad that we live inside the school,” Bob’s message greeted Byrneville students on a freezing cold Wednesday morning.

“Me too, Bob. I don’t think it will stay this cold much longer, but the boys and girls need to be prepared if it does,” was the reply from Bess.

They’ve spread their messages for many years, thanks to Byrneville Principal Dee-Wolfe Sullivan. Bob and Bess are a Byrneville Braves tradition and are often a first stop for students arriving at school.

“If I had saved all the messages and stacked them up, they would probably reach up to here,” she said, holding her hand above her waist.

“The kids just really love them,” Sullivan said with a smile.

Pictured: Bob (top) and Bess (below) at Byrneville Elementary School Wednesday. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

North Escambia Local ECAT Service Info Meeting Thursday In Molino

January 31, 2019

Escambia County Area Transit (ECAT) will continues a series of workshops in Molino Thursday on expanded local service in North Escambia. The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. at the Molino Community Center.

The North Escambia Transportation Service Pilot Project will roll on February 20 as a door-to-door on demand transportation project.

To qualify for the program, participants must live north of Quintette Road within Escambia County and complete a short application (click to download). All trips will require a 24-hour advance reservation by calling (850) 595-0501 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays. The participant’s fare will be $1 for each trip.

A meeting will be held February 7 at 5 p.m. at 440 East Hecker Road in Century, and a final informational meeting will be at 5 p.m. on February 11 at the Walnut Hill Community Center (Ruritan Building) on Highway 97.

Century’s Mayor, Council At Odds Over Choice For Billing Clerk Job

January 31, 2019

Century’s town council and mayor are at odds over his choice of a new billing clerk.

Mayor Henry Hawkins recommended the town promote Netanya Simmons from within. She has worked with the town for just over a year as a clerk tech. She was previously employed for six months as a cashier at Odom’s Bar and Package, and six months as a desk clerk at Performance Tire & Wheel in Brewton. She is certified in Office, PowerPoint and Excel.

Council president Ann Brooks said she did not believe Simmons is the most qualified candidate. Brooks attended interviews on behalf of the council and ranked her choices:

  1. Leslie Howington, who currently works in leasing and marketing with Lincoln Property in Pensacola. She previously worked for 7.5 years as Century’s town clerk. She is a certified municipal clerk, pursuing ceritifcation as a master municipal clerk. She listed an understanding of the town’s billing process, meter reading budget and income analysis. She was a member of the Florida Association of City Clerks for eight years and served as district director. She also holds an associates degree in paralegal studies.
  2. Kenneth Kirk, who has worked for Adcomm in Mary Ester since 2011 as an account payable lead and accounting specialist. He also has experience as an office manager at Jackson Hewitt and an agent licensing clerk and licensing analyst with Universal American. He holds an associate degree in electronic engineering and an associate degree in business administration, both from Pensacola Junior College.
  3. Guindolyn Cosey, who has worked with the East Brewton Police Department since 2016> Her experience also includes six months as a case manager with Judicial Correction Services, and a front end coordinator and clothing manager with Dirt Cheap in Brewton from 2012 to 2013. Her listed skills included calculations and proficiency in a Word and PowerPoint.

After strong discussion, Hawkins stood by his recommendation of Simmons and refused to recommend one of the other candidates.

“I made mine (recommendation). I am through,” he told the council “Y’all do my job for me.”

Hawkins said Simmons was his choice because she has some training with the town’s billing software and the billing clerk’s duties, Hawkins said.

Brooks said training is available from the town’s software vendor for $4,000 for any qualified candidate.

The council instead chose for the entire council to interview Simmons, Howington, Kirk and Cosey at a not yet announced date.

The previous billing clerk, Angela Suggs, resigned her position after seven years.

Before the recommendation of candidates, town accountant Robert Hudson explained the importance of the position.

“I think it’s unfortunate we don’t have somebody who we can train,” Hudson said. “It’s the bread and butter for the town, about $1.6 million in revenue.”

Editor’s note: All employment history and experience information for applicants was taken from their employment applications.

NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.

Escambia Schools Celebrating Literacy Week

January 31, 2019

It’s “Literacy Week” at schools across Escambia County, with plenty of activities to celebrate and enjoy reading.

At Kingsfield Elementary School Wednesday, Escambia County School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas shared his love of reading with kindergarten students (pictured above and below). And at Ransom Middle School, Wednesday was “Character Day” (below).

Courtesy photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

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