Master Gardener Open House And Info Session Scheduled

July 31, 2019

Escambia County Extension Service will host a special Volunteer Open House on Tuesday, Aug. 6, for those interested in learning about the University of Florida’s Master Gardener Volunteer Program. The open house will be held at the Escambia County Extension Service offices, 3740 Stefani Road, Cantonment.

Attendees will learn about training sessions, volunteer activities and the role of master gardeners in our community. Applications will also be available for the 2019-20 fall/winter master gardener training program. During the open house, a program overview and tour of the projects at the Extension Service office will be given by the agent and master gardeners at 9 a.m., lasting approximately 30 minutes.

For information, contact Beth Bolles with Escambia County Extension at (850) 475-5230 or at

Wahoos Stop The Jumbo Shrimp 1-0

July 31, 2019

On a night when Jacksonville’s stadium was virtually empty, the scoreboard was filled with zeroes, the Blue Wahoos reversed the previous game’s storyline with their 1-0 win against the Jumbo Shrimp.

Only two fans, Josh Ribeiro Sr. and his son Josh Ribeiro Jr., watched the game in a special partnership with Dreams Come True of Jacksonville. It is a wish granting organization and the wish Josh Ribeiro Jr. wanted.

Like any other game, The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville was staffed with concessions, food and drink vendors walking the ballpark, team promotion staff and the press box.

But only the Ribeiros were in the stands.

The official attendance was listed at 2 in the recorded box score, setting a Southern League all-time record. In this case, however, it was by design.

The special game experience, entitled “Literal 2 For Tuesday,” was sponsored by Community First Credit Union of Jacksonville and the Dreams Come True foundation.

The Blue Wahoos’ win, one night after a 1-0 loss, clinched the team’s first road series win since May 15 when the Blue Wahoos won three of five games against the Chattanooga Lookouts, now the Cincinnati Reds affiliate. The Blue Wahoos (57-51 overall) and Jumbo Shrimp (50-58) conclude their series Wednesday night.

The Ribeiros watched both teams’ pitching staffs dominate for a second consecutive night.

The Blue Wahoos’ Edwar Colina, making his third start since being promoted from Advance-A Fort Myers Miracle on July 11, had his second consecutive outing without allowing a run.

Colina (2-0) worked 5.2 innings, giving up just three hits, one walk and striking out seven batters to earn a second straight win. He’s now pitched 12.2 scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 1.08.

Colina was followed by relievers Gabriel Moya, who earned his second hold, and Alex Phillips, who picked up his third save. The duo combined for 3.1 perfect innings, facing the minimum 10 batters.

Moya struck out former Blue Wahoos star Lewin Diaz to end the sixth inning with Jacksonville’s Anfernee Seymour stranded at third base.

Diaz, traded Saturday to the Miami Marlins organization in a deal that sent Marlins’ veteran major league reliever Sergio Romo to the Minnesota Twins, continued to struggle since switching dugouts in Jacksonville.  Diaz went 0-for-4 and has not had a hit since joining the Jumbo Shrimp.

In the ninth inning, Phillips struck out Diaz for the game’s final out.

The game’s only run was provided by Blue Wahoos’ first baseman Ryan Costello, who smashed a one-out, solo homer in the fifth inning. The Blue Wahoos were held to four hits, Jacksonville had three in an identical box score reversal from Monday’s game.

Trevor Larnach, Jimmy Kerrigan and Jordan Gore had the Blue Wahoos’ other three hits, all singles.

The Jumbo Shrimp received outstanding games from starter Kolton Mahoney (4-1), who went six complete innings, allowing the three hits, three walks and striking out four, along with relievers Jordan Guerrero and Chad Smith, who allowed just one hit, one walk in the last three innings.

The Blue Wahoos win, coupled by the Biloxi Shuckers’ loss Tuesday, moved Pensacola (19-19 second half) to within four games in the second half chase in the South Division. The Blue Wahoos lead the Mississippi Braves by 4.5 games in the overall standings for second-best record.

If Biloxi wins both half-season division crowns, the second-best team makes the playoffs.

The Blue Wahoos will open a five-game homestand Thursday against the Birmingham Barons, the Chicago White Sox affiliate, who are battling for the North Division title, trailing the Montgomery Biscuits.

Two Killed In Pine Forest Road Crash (Updated With Details)

July 30, 2019

Two people were killed in a two vehicle crash Tuesday afternoon on Pine Forest Road at Wilde Lake Boulevard and I-10. Both were in a vehicle that split in half after striking a traffic signal pole.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 51-year old Wendell L. Jones of Pensacola was traveling north on Pine Forest Road at a high rate of speed in a 2010 Dodge Charger. He collided with a Toyota van driven by 81-year old Mary A. Simmons of Cantonment as she attempted to turn from southbound Pine Forest Road to I-10.  That caused the Charger to rotate into a traffic signal pole and split in half.

Jones was ejected and pronounced deceased on the scene. His passenger, 33- year old Laura Fulgham of Pensacola was also killed.

Simmons was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital with minor injuries. Her passengers, 8-year old  Ella Almond and 4-year old Grant Almond both of Cantonment, were treated and released at Sacred Heart, according to immediately family. photos by Kristi Barbour and traffic camera courtesy FDOT, click to enlarge.

Alleged Intruder Shot And Killed By Homeowner In Ferry Pass

July 30, 2019

An alleged intruder has died after being shot by a homeowner in Ferry Pass early Tuesday morning.

The incident occurred shortly before 1 a.m. in the 7600 block of Lawton Street, south of Olive Road.

The resident says the suspect entered the home through a broken window and was going through his belongings. The resident told our news partners at WEAR 3 that he was asleep at the time. The intruder slapped him in the face, exited the home through the front door then re entered through the window.

The suspect was transported to a local hospital where he died.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has not released further details.

File photo.

Boil Water Notice Issued For Portion Of Cottage Hill

July 30, 2019


A precautionary boil water notice has been issued for a portion of Cottage Hill after a water main break on Cottage Hill Road.

The notice is in effect for residents of 16 to 460 Williams Ditch Road, Virecent Road, Crowndale Road, Cottage Hill Road and Eden Lane.

Cottage Hill Water Works is advising that all water used for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth, or washing dishes be boiled. A rolling boil of one minute is sufficient as an alternative bottled water may be used.

The precautionary boil water notice will remain in effect until the problem has been corrected and a bacteriological survey shows that the water is safe to drink.

For any additional information, contact Cottage Hill Water Works at (850) 968-5485.

With $325 In The Bank, Century Gas Department Can’t Make Payroll Or Pay $63K In Bills

July 30, 2019

The Century Town Council held an emergency meeting Monday evening to figure out how to meet the gas department financial obligations with just $325 in the bank. The council also decided what to do about 12 customers receiving free gas, discovered that hundreds of new meters have not been installed and that a corrected gas bill has not been presented to the prison months after a new meter was installed.

Thousands In Bills, Just A Few Hundred In The Bank

With just $325.09 in the bank, the town’s gas department was unable to make its payroll of $5,872.70 or pay $63,287.73 in bills. Bills included $40,944.05 to BP Energy for the natural gas that is sold by the department.

Only July 18, the town council voted to transfer $5,000 per month from the garbage fund to the payroll account to supplement the gas department’s payroll, but the gas department used the extra cash for just one week’s paychecks.

Monday night, the town council voted transfer $40,000 from a special revenue fund and $36,024.68 from the water department to the gas department, plus transfer up to another $20,000 in August and September from the water fund if needed.

A Dozen Homes Receive Free Gas

Gas Superintendent Wally Kellett told the council Monday night that he’s found 12 residential users receiving free gas from the town. Most, he said, are outside the town and receive water from Central Water Works. He said there’s no record of how long the 12 non-paying customers have received free gas, and there’s no record of who the people actually are. He  noted none answered their doors when town representatives knocked.

“They know that they are receiving free gas,” council member Luis Gomez said. “If I’m receiving free gas, do you think I am going to open the door?”

The council voted unanimously to immediately turn off service to the 12 meters. With no records, the individuals won’t be billed for previous usage, but they will be required to come in to town hall, make a deposit, and sign up for a legitimate account.

Where Are The New Meters?

The town purchased 500 new residential natural gas meters and 52 new commercial meters months ago in an effort to increase billing accuracy and revenue. The meters arrived in February.

Kellett said Monday night only 40 of the new residential meters have been installed because he has been busy with his regular job duties.

The council also decided to have the 40 meters that were removed from service tested to determine just how inaccurate they may have been.

Where’s A Correct Prison Bill?

The Century Correctional Institution is by far the largest customer of the town’s utilities. Town accountant Robert Hudson (pictured) estimates the prison’s aging gas meter was not accurately recording usage from 2016 until it was replaced in October 2018. He estimates that adjusting the prison’s bill will mean up to an extra $80,000 in revenue.

Kellett was tasked with creating an adjusted gas bill for the Florida Department of Corrections, but so far he’s been unable to find the time to even start the process.

“I’m working on it,” he told the council. “I am also trying to run a gas department.”

Century’s New Consultant

Monday was the first day for Century’s new consultant, former Gulf Breeze City Manager Edwin “Buz” Eddy, who has promised to help turn the town around. Eddy was unable to attend Monday evening’s emergency council meeting due to a previously scheduled obligation. Monday’s emergency meeting was not scheduled until late Friday afternoon.

Pictured top: Century Gas Department Superintendent Wally Kellett addresses to the Century Town Council on Monday. Pictured inset: Accountant Robert Hudson explains finances to the council. photos, click to enlarge.

Carter, Fleming Named Tate Varsity Cheer Captains

July 30, 2019

Bailey Carter (pictured left) and Shelby Fleming have been named Tate High School varsity cheer captains for the 2019-2020 season. They are seen with their state championship rings from last season. Photo for, click to enlarge.

Inmate Airlifted To The Hospital After Stabbing At Century Prison

July 30, 2019

A Century Correctional Institution inmate was airlifted to the hospital after being stabbed Monday afternoon.

Florida Department of Corrections Press Secretary Rob Klepper told that he could confirm that it was an inmate that was stabbed, not a staff member. Late Monday afternoon he said additional details were not yet available from FDC.

Escambia County Fire Rescue and Escambia County EMS were dispatched to the prison on Tedder Road at 2:27 p.m., according to a county spokesperson. The prisoner was airlifted by LifeFlight helicopter  as a trauma alert. file photo, click to enlarge.

Tate Graduate Keeps The Navy’s Newest, Most Advanced Helicopters Flying

July 30, 2019

A 2014 J.M. Tate High School graduate and Pensacola native is serving with a U.S. Navy helicopter squadron that flies the Navy’s newest and most technologically-advanced helicopter.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Joanna Osburn credits much of their success from lessons they learned growing up in Pensacola.

“I learned that I am never alone and to never give up,” said Osburn.

Osburn is an aviation maintenance administrationman with the “Airwolves” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 40, a Mayport, Florida based squadron that operates the Navy’s next generation submarine hunter and Anti-Surface Warfare helicopter, the MH-60R Seahawk. Each helicopter is nearly 65 feet long, may weigh up to 23,500 lbs. (max gross) and can travel over 120 miles per hour for nearly 320 miles on a tank of gas.

As an aviation maintenance administrationman, Osburn is responsible for clerical, administrative, and managerial duties for the squadron.

According to Navy officials, the MH-60R is the most capable multi-mission helicopter available in the world today. It is used for a variety of missions, including hunting and tracking enemy submarines, attacking enemy ships, search and rescue, drug interdiction, delivering supplies and supporting the Navy’s special operations forces.

It is replacing the Navy’s older helicopters because of its greater versatility and more advanced weapon systems.

Osburn is now a part of a long-standing tradition of serving in the Navy our nation needs.

“My brother served in the Air Force, my dad in the Navy, my uncle Army, and my other brother served in the Marines,” said Osburn. “It’s definitely a big part of my family.”

Osburn said they are proud to be part of a warfighting team that readily defends America at all times.

“Watching junior sailors develop into become great leaders is incredibly satisfying,” said Osburn.

Sailors’ jobs are highly varied within the squadron. Approximately 297 Navy men and women are assigned and keep all parts of the squadron running smoothly. This includes everything from maintaining helicopter airframes and engines, to processing paperwork, handling weapons and flying the aircraft.

Osburn is playing an important part in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon capital assets, Osburn and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes.

Serving in the Navy, Osburn is learning about being a more respectable leader, Sailor and person through handling numerous responsibilities.

“The Navy is a big family. They always have your back through thick and thin, no matter the situation,” said Osburn.

by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amanda Rae Moreno

Hot, Slight Chance Of Scattered Showers

July 30, 2019

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

Tuesday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Increasing clouds, with a high near 94. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 70. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Wednesday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 92. Calm wind becoming northeast around 5 mph.

Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 71. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Thursday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 94. Calm wind becoming north around 5 mph.

Thursday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 71. Calm wind.

Friday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 92. Calm wind.

Friday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 72. Calm wind.

Saturday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 92.

Saturday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 71.

Sunday: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 91.

Sunday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 72.

Monday: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 92.

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