Ceres Stark Rodgers

April 30, 2020

Ceres Stark Rodgers, 95, of Atmore, AL, passed away April 26, 2020, in Atmore. She was born on November 20, 1924, in Atlanta, GA. She was an active member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Atmore where she served in many capacities.

She is preceded in death by her father, Stafford Stark and mother, Lura Fouche Stark; husband, Dr. Henry H. Rodgers, Jr; siblings, Stafford Stark, Jr; Buell McCutchen and Margaret Rodgers Kemp.

She is survived by three sons, Todd (Deborah) Rodgers of Marietta, GA; Matthew (Sheri) Rodgers of Navarre, FL and Mark (Cynthia) Rodgers of Atmore, AL; grandchildren Brian, Amanda, Kathryn, Suzanne, Mark, Jr, Bradley, Kevin, and Jennifer and numerous great-grandchildren.

Graveside services for Ceres S. Rodgers will be held Friday, May 01, 2020, at 11:30 a.m. at Oak Hill Cemetery with Rev. John Phillips and Rev Albert Kennington officiating.

Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Due to the current health crisis it is asked of you to please use the social distancing requirements for the safety of the family and others.

Active pallbearers will be Mark Rodgers, Jr. Brain Rodgers, Bradley Rodgers, Dale Lineberry, Robert Kemp, Tommy Kemp, Matt O’Neil and Dave Douglass.

Johnson-Quimby Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Evelyn Oree Killam

April 30, 2020

Ms. Evelyn Oree Killam, age 95, passed away on Saturday, April 25, 2020, in Century, Florida.

Ms. Killam was a native and lifelong resident of Byrneville, FL. She was a member of the Beulah Chapel Assembly of God Church.

She is survived by her brother, John Elton (Betty) Killam of Century, FL and numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

Graveside services were held Thursday, April 30, 2020, at the Beulah Chapel Cemetery with Bro. Tim Floyd officiating.

Petty-Eastside Chapel Funeral Homes is in charge of all arrangements.

Curtis Columbus Welch

April 30, 2020

Curtis Columbus Welch, 76 of Bratt, FL, passed away April 27, 2020, in Bratt. He was born in Perdido, AL, to the late Gary C. and Laura Levins Welch on October 27, 1943. He was a farmer most of his life.

He is preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his wife, Marsha Adele Brock Welch of Bratt, FL; four children, Rodney Lee (Crystal) Welch of Maryland, Mark Gary Welch of Virginia, Lisa Jeanette (Jimmy) Sellers of Maryland, and Katie Marsha (Jeff) Grimaud of Tennessee; one brother, Ray Donald Welch of Bratt, FL; sister, Shirley Wyatt of Delaware; 11 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and many family and friends.

Graveside services will be held Saturday, May 2, 2020, at 11:30 a.m. at Pine Barren Baptist Church Cemetery with Bro. Collingsworth officiating.

Active pallbearers are Vincent Moore, Ray Welch, Jeff Grimaud, Jacob Grimaud, Leslie Barnes and James Sigafoose.

Due to the current health crisis it is asked of you to please use the social distancing requirements for the safety of the family and others.

Johnson-Quimby Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Ann Elizabeth Johnson

April 30, 2020

Mrs. Ann Elizabeth Johnson, age 80, passed away on Monday, April 27, 2020, in Birmingham, Alabama.

Mrs. Johnson was a native of Atlanta, GA, raised in Andalusia and Birmingham, AL and had resided in Milton, FL for the past five years. She was a member and ordained Deacon of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Milton, FL, ZTA Sorority, graduate of Auburn University with BS Degree and Central Michigan University with a MS Degree. Her hobbies included knitting, garden club, loom weaving, backpacking (did a 160 mile trek in the Himalayas), international traveler, camping, charities, reading, cross country skiing and sewing. She retired from Indian Health services as a medical technologist.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Simmons.

She is survived by her husband, James Johnson, III; children, Andrew Johnson and Melissa Harris; grandchildren, Matthew, Katie, James, Ben, Deanna, Sarah; great-grandchild, David Stokes, Jr.; brother, Donald Simmons; brother-in-law, Lamar Ellis; and many nephews and nieces.

Visitation will be held Saturday, May 2, 2020, from 10:30 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the Petty-Eastside Chapel Funeral Home.

Memorial services will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Family Resource Center at 6607 Elva Street, Milton, Florida 32570.

Petty-Eastside Chapel Funeral Homes is in charge of all arrangements.

Florida Reopening Begins Monday. Here’s What Opens, What Stays Closed.

April 29, 2020

Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the first phase of his plan to reopen Florida.

“We will get Florida back on its feet by using an approach that is safe, smart, and step by step,” the governor said.

Beginning Monday, May 4:

  • Retail can operate at 25% of indoor capacity
  • Restaurants may offer outdoor seating with six foot spacing between tables, and indoor seating at 25% capacity
  • Elective surgeries can resume
  • No change for bars, gyms, movie theaters and personal services such as hairdressers (all remain closed)
  • Schools remain with distance learning
  • Visits to senior living facilities are prohibited
  • Vulnerable individuals should avoid close contact with people outside their home.
  • All individuals should maximize physical distance from others in public
  • Avoid socializing in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for physical distancing.
  • Face masks are recommended for in close interactions without social distancing.

He said the next step will be data driven based upon key metrics and does not need to take months. The state will maintain health benchmarks, assure hospital bed capacity is maintained and the COVID-10 positive rate will be monitored.

Part of the Phase One strategy includes the expansion of testing. DeSantis announced a drive-thru testing site with no pre-screening requirements will be opening Friday at the University of West Florida.

DeSantis said Florida will take “small, deliberate, methodical” approach to reopening the state. His current reopening plan excludes Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties for now where the virus has been much worse than the remainder of the state.

“What is our biggest obstacle? Fear sparked by constant gloom and doom and hysteria that has permeated our culture for the last six weeks,” DeSantis said. “There’s been a lot that’s been done to promote fear, to drive worse-case scenario,”

Before announcing his plan, DeSantis noted all of life’s moments that citizens have missed over the last six weeks, including in his personal life.

“Our newborn daughter Mamie has yet to be held by any of her grandparents,” he said.

Rain Won’t Stop The Beulah Food Trucks Today. Here’s The Schedule For The Rest Of The Week.

April 29, 2020

Ran won’t damped the food trucks in Beulah today. The trucks will be parked in the covered arena of the Escambia County Equestrian Center, 7550 Mobile Highway, until 7 p.m.

Here’s the tentative schedule for the remainder of the week:


  • 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. The Po Boy Shack
  • 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Joe’s Caribbean
  • 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Arlene Williams BBQ and Grill
  • 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Dr Sno’s Shaved Ice


  • 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Whacked Out Weiner
  • 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. 3-D Eats
  • 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Joe’s Caribbean
  • 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sneaky Tiki Shaved Ice
  • 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Jordan Valley Mediterranean


  • 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Dr Sno’s Shaved Ice
  • 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. Fresh Food Factory
  • 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Wacked Out Weiner
  • 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Arlene Williams BBQ and Grill
  • 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Rolling Embers Pizza


  • 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Fantastic Foods Sweets Snacks & More
  • 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. Dr Sno’s Shaved Ice
  • 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Beck’s Jamaican Kitchen
  • 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Arlene Williams BBQ and Grill

Ordinarily, the food trucks are in the parking lot. Both the arena and the parking lot  provide ample room for residents to adhere to all CDC social distancing protocols, according to the county. Trucks will be spaced out in the lot and patrons will be asked to stay six feet apart and limit gathering to groups smaller than 10.

To participate as a food truck vendor, call (850) 941-6042 for a vendor application. All Equestrian Center vendor fees will be waived.

Pictured: Food trucks at the Escambia County Equestrian Center Monday. Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Escambia, Santa Rosa COVID-19 Cases Increase By 13 Since Yesterday

April 29, 2020

The two-county area COVID-19 case count increased by 13 in Wednesday’s report from the Florida Department of Health.

Escambia County cases were up 11 to 496  and, and Santa Rosa was up two to 153. There have been 11 deaths in Escambia County, with eight of those in long-term care facilities. Santa Rosa County has had seven deaths with none in long-term care centers.

Statewide, there were 33,193 cases including 32,318 Florida residents. There have been 5,419 hospitalizations and 1,218 deaths.

  • Total cases — 496 (+11 since Tuesday)
  • Pensacola — 376
  • Cantonment — 37
  • Bellview — 6
  • Perdido Key — 1
  • McDavid/Walnut Hill — 1
  • Molino – 4
  • Century — 2
  • Hospitalizations:  41*
  • Deaths — 11
  • Male — 193
  • Female — 235
  • Youngest — 0
  • Oldest — 100

Santa Rosa County cases:

  • Total cases — 153 (+2 since Tuesday)
  • Milton — 82
  • Navarre — 31
  • Gulf Breeze — 24
  • Pace — 13
  • Jay — 2
  • Residents: 129
  • Nonresidents — 1
  • Hospitalizations — 22*
  • Deaths — 7
  • Male — 105
  • Female — 47
  • Youngest — 2 months
  • Oldest — 94

Florida cases:

  • Total cases — 33,193
  • Florida residents — 32,318
  • Deaths — 1.218
  • Hospitalizations — 5,419*

*“Hospitalizations” is a count of all laboratory confirmed cases in which an inpatient hospitalization occurred at any time during the course of illness. These people may no longer be hospitalized. This number does not represent the number of COVID-19 positive persons currently hospitalized. The FDOH does not provide a count of patients currently hospitalized.

Escambia Beaches Reopen Friday. Here’s What You Need To Know.

April 29, 2020

Here’s what you need to know about the reopening of beaches in Escambia County:

  • The Escambia County Board of County Commissioners voted Tuesday, April 28, to reopen county public beaches to allow citizens access to all beach activities beginning Friday, May 1
  • Public county beaches, including the sound side, Gulf side, Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key, will open 30 minutes before sunrise and close 30 minutes after sunset, daily.
  • Beaches in the Gulf Islands National Seashore are not open.
  • Pavilions, the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier and the area around and under the fishing pier will remain closed.
  • Pensacola Gulfside pier will reopen Saturday, May 2 for fishermen only – no pedestrians. Fisherman must maintain six-foot separation.
  • Beach bathroom facilities will be closed and portable toilets will be used to maintain social distancing. Hand-washing stations will be provided.
  • Dog parks will be reopened and permitted in designated areas.
  • Groups are limited to 10 people or fewer. Beach goers should adhere to CDC social distancing measures by keeping a six-foot distance between others who are not in their immediate household.
  • The toll on the Bob Sikes Bridge to Pensacola Beach is all-electronic. The new tolling system on the bridge went live on March 20, which was earlier than anticipated to adhere to social distancing for toll booth workers. The toll remains $1, and cash and change are no longer accepted at this location. Motorists can use either SunPass®, another interoperable transponder or be billed utilizing the TOLL-BY-PLATE system. TOLL-BY-PLATE customers will be charged a $1 toll, plus a monthly $2.50 administrative fee and will receive a bill by mail.

“The health of our citizens is our number one priority,” Commission Chairman Steven Barry said Tuesday. “The decision to reopen the beaches came primarily after thorough discussion with our health care professionals, including all three hospitals and probably most importantly, Dr. Lanza’s comments at the board meeting today. We believe, based on the public’s willingness to adhere to CDC guidelines and social distancing measures, that we can successfully open our public beaches and allow citizens to take advantage of this great resource while enjoying all beach activities.”

National Guard Deploys Medical Strike Teams To Escambia County; Southern Oaks Confirms Four Deaths

April 29, 2020

The National Guard has been deployed to assist with COVID-19 in Escambia County nursing homes.

The Florida National Guard ambulance strike teams were deployed to assist with specimen collection efforts in long-term care facilities in Escambia County, according to the county.

The county did not specify which facilities are being visited.  According to Gov. Ron DeSantis, the strike teams are medical professional able to ramp up testing.

As of Tuesday evening, the Florida Department of Health reported a dozen long-term care centers in Escambia County with active COVID-19 cases in the staff or patients (list below).

Southern Oaks Care Center has the greatest number of cases in all of Florida. The FDOH said 94 current Southern Oaks residents and 15 staff members are confirmed positive, and five positives were transferred out of the facility for further treatment.

In a press release, Southern Oaks said they have 94 patients that have tested positive, “but none are showing any respiratory symptoms or fever”, and of those that tested positive in April six required hospitalization.  The facility said one remains in the hospital and two returned. They also confirmed four fatalities — three that died at the hospital and one that passed away in the facility.

Click here to read the entire Southern Oaks Care Center press release.

The Florida Department of Health confirmed eight total COVID-19 fatalities in Escambia County among residents or staff of long-term care facilities.

Pictured: A Florida National Guard member performs a COVID-19 test. File photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Cantonment Man Charged With Threatening Wife With A Brick

April 29, 2020

A Cantonment man is facing charges after allegedly pulling his wife’s hair and threatening her with a brick.

Michael Demetera Kirkland, 51, was charged with felony aggravated assault, battery and resisting arrest.

His wife told deputies they were outside their trailer arguing when he grabbed her hair and pulled her toward him with a brick in his hand, according to an arrest report.

Kirkland ran away from the scene before deputies arrived, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

The following day deputies receive a tip that Kirkland was on Calloway Street. When he spotted deputies, he ran and deputies pursued on foot. Deputies caught up with him behind a trailer in the 200 block of Sheppard Street and took him into custody.

Kirkland was booked into the Escambia County Jail with bond set at $8,000.

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