Century Council Declares State Of Emergency, Learns Large Groups Were Shooting Hoops Last Weekend

April 7, 2020

The Century Town Council declared a state of emergency during a telephone meeting Monday night, and council members discussed a problem with large groups of people gathering to play basketball against social distancing guidelines.

Monday night was the first time the council had met since March 2 and their first chance to declare an official state of emergency concurrent with those declared by the state and county due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council also discussed the need for town crews to immediately remove basketball goals from town parks and reinforce that the playgrounds should not be used due to the coronavirus.

Council member James Smith said residents of surrounding areas like Atmore and Brewton were traveling to Century to play hoops because basketball goals were already removed in their towns. Smith said he there were about 50 people at a basketball game outside a community center in Century.

Council member Luis Gomez said there were about 100 people gathered, and a fight broke out.

Ordinarily, a majority of a governing body like the Century Town Council must be present in the same location in order to conduct a meeting in Florida, but that requirement was suspended by Gov. Ron DeSantis. That allowed the council to hold the phone meeting.

Mayor Henry Hawkins, Interim City Manager Vernon Prather and two other town staffers were the only people present in the council chambers for the meeting. All five council members participated by phone.

The phone meeting using a free conference call service went reasonably well. At least two council members dropped their connections during the call but were able to quickly reconnect. The meeting was delayed for a few minutes because someone did not mute their phone and background noise from a television made it impossible for callers to hear each other.

“It’s not me,” Council member Sandra McMurray Jackson quipped about the noise from a TV. “I’m at the funeral home.”

The council meeting ended with a prayer from Hawkins and a round of goodbyes between callers.


10 Responses to “Century Council Declares State Of Emergency, Learns Large Groups Were Shooting Hoops Last Weekend”

  1. Concerned Resident on April 9th, 2020 9:24 am

    This will not stop until the Police and the town put a stop to it. There have been several facebook post stating that they will continue to gather at the community center and since they can’t play ball they will get drunk and have fun. It has been advertised that they will DRINK AND DROWN and there is nothing you can do to stop them. This place really needs to have a gate with a lock put around it, it was suppose to be a playground for the kids, but its really not safe for kids to even be in the area with all the fights, alcohol and drug selling that goes on. CLOSE IT DOWN AND KEEP THE KIDS HOME

  2. E.Lane on April 8th, 2020 10:39 am

    The PD are doing the minimum. They’re still discussing gathering this weekend without the goals. They need to be stopped. This virus will never go away as long as they’re still gathering!

  3. retired on April 8th, 2020 9:48 am

    Century had its own police dept. but could not afford it, had to disband it. back in the 80’s. Your taxes will go up!!!!!!!

    You heard sheriff Morgan he was not going to arrest anyone or give out ticket for violating the Gov. order.

    They rode through and earned their pay, (YOU WANTED THEM TO ACTUALLY WORK!!!!!!!!!!!)

  4. Jerry on April 7th, 2020 3:25 pm

    That is why there is 165 cases in Escambia County now. People will not obey the social distancing rules. Too bad that these people will get sick and give it to others who
    do not deserve it, like they do.

  5. E.Lane on April 7th, 2020 12:27 pm

    They were out there fighting! Needs to be shutdown! There were 50+ people. Good job town/city council!

  6. Stumpknocker on April 7th, 2020 10:00 am

    Was there signs posted, is it public or private property? I say it’s way past due century gets it own law enforcement agency just like PPD.

  7. Century Resident on April 7th, 2020 9:47 am

    Law Enforcement rode thru on four wheelers but didn’t stop. That property isn’t owned by the town of century so they can’t make people leave

  8. Jalisa on April 7th, 2020 9:32 am

    Y’all keep asking about the law enforcement well guess what? The law enforcement rode around there three to four times on their four wheelers and didn’t have a care in the world they just seen people having a great time enjoying themselves! So no they weren’t called because they were already around there enjoying the weather like everybody else was!

  9. sam on April 7th, 2020 8:05 am

    sheriffs dept should have been contacted. easy remedy.

  10. Lisa Fuller on April 7th, 2020 6:21 am

    Regarding the large group of people playing basketball, this was apparently witnessed by two city council members and probably many other people in the area. Did anyone report it to law enforcement?

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