Mostly Sunny And Dry Memorial Day Weekend

May 29, 2021

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 58. North wind around 5 mph.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 82. North wind around 5 mph.

Sunday Night: Clear, with a low around 60. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Memorial Day: Sunny, with a high near 90. Northeast wind around 5 mph becoming southeast in the afternoon.

Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 64. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Tuesday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 89. Light and variable wind becoming south 5 to 10 mph in the morning.

Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 67. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Wednesday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 88.

Wednesday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 69.

Thursday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 86.

Thursday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 69.

Friday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 85.

Woman Pleads No Contest In Hot Vehicle Death Of Her 2-Year Old Child

May 29, 2021

The mother of a two-year old  has entered a plea to the death of her child left inside a hot vehicle.

Jessica Monell, 38, entered a plea of no contest to aggravated manslaughter of a child and child neglect. She previously entered no contest pleas to aggravated child neglect and multiples charges involving possession of controlled substances.

On April 10, 2019, Monell’s two-year old child was found deceased in Monell’s van parked outside the home. The subsequent investigation revealed that Monell had ingested methamphetamine and forgot to remove her child from the van. The child was strapped in her car seat for about nine hours.

The medical examiner determined that the child’s cause of death was hyperthermia. At the scene, Monell consented to a blood draw and methamphetamine was found in her blood. A search warrant was executed on the home and various drugs and paraphernalia were found. The child’s autopsy report revealed that the child also had a trace amount of methamphetamine in her system.

Monell will be sentenced by Escambia County Circuit Court Judge Lee Robinson on July 15, 2021. She faces a maximum of 50 years in state prison.

Police Vs. Fire: Atmore Battle Of The Badges Charity Softball Game Saturday Afternoon

May 29, 2021

The Atmore Police Department and the Atmore Fire Department will face off in the Battle of the Badges Charity Softball Game. Saturday afternoon.

The game between the AFD Plug Uglies and the APD Road Runners will be at 5 p.m. at Tom Byrne Park. Adult tickets are $5; everyone 12 and under will be admitted free. Concessions will be available.

Proceeds will benefit The Forgotten Initiative, an organization that works with and for foster families and children.

Burdick’s Slam Propels Wahoos To Thrilling 5-4 Win

May 29, 2021

Peyton Burdick blasted a go-ahead grand slam in the top of the ninth against Braden Webb (L, 1-1) to give the Blue Wahoos an improbable 5-4 win against the Shuckers on Friday night.

Pensacola entered the top of ninth trailing 3-1. Webb, who was one of six pitchers used by the Shuckers on Friday, was making his third in appearance in four nights. He opened the ninth by walking Lazaro Alonso before striking out Lorenzo Hampton.

After the strikeout, Bubba Hollins and Devin Hairston delivered back-to-back singles with two strikes to load the bases. That brought up Burdick, who fell behind 0-2, crushed a 2-2 changeup over the left-field netting to put the Wahoos up 5-3.

With the sudden lead, the Wahoos quickly got Colton Hock (S, 5) up and into the game in the bottom of the ninth. Chad Spanberger and Tyler Friis led off the inning with singles, setting the Shuckers up with the winning run at the plate and nobody out.

However, Hock escaped peril by striking out Ryan Aguilar before Tristen Lutz grounded into am RBI fielder’s choice. With the Shuckers down 5-4 and the tying run on, Brice Turang popped out to third to end the game.

Earlier in the night, there was serious doubt as to whether these two teams would even finish Friday’s contest.

In the bottom of the second with the game tied at 1-1, heavy rain made its way through the area and forced the game into 1 hour, 28-minute delay. After a lengthy discussion between the managers, the umpires, and member of the Shuckers’ Front Office, the decision was made to resume the game at 8:30.

Jeff Lindgren was Pensacola’s starter on Friday, and despite having to wait almost an hour and a half between innings, the right hander remained in the game after the delay. Lindgren pitched 3.2 innings for the Wahoos, but gave them much needed length, which helped saved the bullpen for later in the game.

Biloxi starter Noah Zavolas pitched two innings for Biloxi but made way for Peter Strzelecki after the rain delay.

With the Wahoos trailing 3-1, Zach Wolf, Sean Guenther and Zack Leban pitched a combined 4.1 innings of scoreless ball. Those relievers only allowed a total of one hit, one walk while striking out eight. That set the stage for Hock to collect his league-best fifth save of the season.

Burdick has now homered in five of his last 10 games for the Wahoos and has 10 RBI during that stretch, while JJ Bleday snapped an eight-game hitless streak by going 2-for-4 with a double and a triple.

The series continues Saturday evening where the Wahoos will look to close out their third series win of the year. LHP Will Stewart (0-1, 3.21) will make his fourth start of the year for the Wahoos. Biloxi has yet to announce their Saturday starter, after Zavolas (Biloxi’s original starter for Saturday) had to pitch tonight.

by Chris Garagiola, Pensacola Blue Wahoos

Memorial Day Programs Planned In Pensacola, Atmore

May 29, 2021

Memorial Day programs are planned at Veterans Memorial Park in Pensacola and the Veterans Monument in Atmore.

A Memorial Day Ceremony will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Park in Pensacola.

Rear Admiral Peter Garvin, Commander, Naval Education and Training Command, will be the Keynote speaker. A Marine Corps Color Guard will present the colors and the Pensacola Opera Chorus will perform a patriotic medley of songs. In addition, the Gold Star and Surviving Families Connect group will make a special presentation of an Honor & Remember Flag.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to those who have given their lives in the service of our great nation,” said Veterans Memorial Park Foundation of Pensacola President, Paul Entrekin. “Memorial Day is set aside to honor and remember these men and women so that their service and their sacrifice is never forgotten.”

The American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars will hold their annual Memorial Day Program at 9 a.m. Monday at the Atmore Veterans Monument located in front of Atmore City Hall. Attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair.

Escambia Records 15 New COVID-19 Cases

May 29, 2021


There were 15 new COVID-19 cases reported Friday in Escambia County by the Florida Department of Health.

Here is the latest data:

Escambia County cases:

Total cases: 36,590  (+15)
Non-Florida residents: 3,700
Recovered: 34,168*
Total deaths: 700
Long-term care facility deaths: 287
Current hospitalizations: 24 (-5
Number of tests reported last day: 415
Percent positive reported last day:  3.7%
Percent positive reported last week: 4.0%

Escambia County cases by location*:

Pensacola: 27,441 (+12)
Cantonment: 3,292 (+1)
Century: 1,185
—-including 774 Century prison inmates
Molino: 497
McDavid: 216
Bellview: 59
Walnut Hill: 58
Perdido Key: 21
Gonzalez: 13

Santa Rosa County cases:

Total cases: 18,522 (+18)
Non-Florida residents: 260
Total deaths: 291
Long-term care facility deaths: 82
Cumulative Hospitalizations: 918*
Number of tests reported last day: 338
Percent positive reported last day: 5.3%

Santa Rosa County cases by location*:

Milton: 8,845 (+6)
Navarre: 3,811 (+5)
Gulf Breeze: 3,395 (+3)
Pace: 1,524 (+4)
Jay: 561
Bagdad: 32

Florida cases:

Total cases: 2,320,818
Florida residents: 2,277,470
Deaths: 36,774
Hospitalizations: 94,930

*“Hospitalizations” in the statewide and Santa Rosa County totals is a count of all laboratory confirmed cases in which an inpatient hospitalization occurred at any time during the course of illness. Most of these people are longer be hospitalized. The FDOH does not provide a count of patients currently hospitalized. The Escambia County number is current data compiled each day from the local hospitals.

**On cases by location, the city is based upon zip code and is not always received as part of the initial notification. There may be a delay in reporting locations, and locations will not total the daily case increase as a result.

***The Florida Department of Health does not have a clear standard or definition of “recovered” and does not report a number of recovered individuals. Escambia County is reporting an approximate recovery number defined as the total cases prior to last month, minus deaths. In other words, anyone that tested positive more than a month ago is presumed to have recovered by Escambia County.

**Data Sources: Florida Department of Health, Escambia County, City of Pensacola, local hospitals.

It’s Like Mardi Gras: Carnivale Parade Saturday Afternoon

May 28, 2021

The parade is set, and the krewes are ready for Carnivale Saturday at 2:00 Saturday afternoon..

“We’re recreating the spirit and energy of Mardi Gras with our Carnivale parade,” said Danny Zimmern, president of Pensacola Mardi Gras,. “We’re expecting great crowds on Saturday for this huge parade — everyone is welcome.”

After the singing of the national anthem, the parade kicks off at Garden and Spring Streets with a very special and somber moment as Gold Star Members and Surviving Families are honored during a Memorial Tribute. The Northwest Florida Patriot Guard Riders will escort the special float along the parade route ahead of the Krewes.

Danny is being called the “man who saved Mardi Gras” but he gives the credit to his Executive Director, Amy Newman, and says he and his team just want to give the community an event to remember.

“We do this because it’s for the entire community,” said Zimmern. “Mardi Gras and Carnivale are for absolutely everyone, and that’s why these events and parades are so important. Losing Mardi Gras kept the Krewes from the social interaction that allows ideas and passions for the community to foster. Costumes, building social circles, hearing community needs, coming up with solutions, and guaranteeing a great quality of life for Krewe members, and families who come and make a day of watching are what it’s all about.”

The parade will follow the traditional downtown route from Garden and Spring to Palafox and up to Wright, then south on Palafox to Main.

Pensacola Bay Bridge Is Now Open

May 28, 2021

The Pensacola Bay Bridge is now open for the first time since it was damaged by Skanska barges during Hurricane Sally, restoring the vital connection between Pensacola and Gulf Breeze.

The majority of the bridge is open to four lanes of traffic (two in each direction) except for a two-lane, half-mile segment just west of the bridge’s arch while work to complete final repairs continues. The speed limit is temporarily set at 35 mph and emergency refuge areas are available on the bridge.

To quickly clear travel lanes following vehicle incidents FDOT’s Road Ranger Service Patrol will be stationed on each end of the bridge from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. on weekends and major holidays. At other times, at least one unit will be on-call and available. Law enforcement will also be on-site 24-hours a day on both ends of the bridge to alert drivers about the temporary restrictions.

Consistent with the requirements within the construction contract, FDOT will continue to withhold payments of $35,000 per day until four lanes of traffic are restored to the entire southbound span of the Pensacola Bay Bridge. FDOT is regularly reviewing the contractor’s schedule of the entire Pensacola Bay Bridge Project with the anticipated completion date for all improvements currently scheduled for January 2022.

At this time, tolls on the Garcon Point Bridge are suspended through Sunday, June 6, 2021. Escambia County Area Transit (ECAT) will soon discontinue service for the Route 61 detour across the Garcon Point Bridge. Normal schedules for Route 61 and Route 64 Beach Jumper will restart.

For a video animation exploring the traffic patterns on the bridge, click or tap here.

Pictured above: Traffic crosses the Pensacola Bay Bridge Friday morning. Pictured below: This 18-wheeler was among the first vehicles to cross the bridge Friday morning. Pictured bottom: The new flyover on the Pensacola end of the bridge. Images for, click to enlarge.

Splash Pads Are Now Open For The Summer In Century And Atmore

May 28, 2021

Splash pads are now open in both Century and Atmore.

The Town of Century Splash Pad officially opens today (May 28). The splash pad is open daily from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. It is located in Showalter Park on Kelly Field Road.

The Atmore splash pad is open daily from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. It is located near the intersection of West Craig Street and South Trammell Street. That’s at the back of Heritage Park on South Main Street.

Pictured: The splash pad in Century. file photos, click to enlarge.

UWF Launches Edible Campus Program To Combat Food Insecurity

May 28, 2021

With 200 new trees and bushes on the University of West Florida’s Pensacola campus, the University is taking another step toward combating food insecurity with its Argos’ Edible Campus program. The program will provide access to fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables, free of charge to students. In March, Chasidy Hobbs, lecturer in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and her students, participated in the first planting event.

“Through this program, we’re creating sustainable environments by incorporating landscapes with plants that are both beautiful and edible,” Hobbs said. “Our goal is to have 1,000 fruiting trees or bushes by 2024.”

In addition to Argos’ Edible Campus program, the Argo Pantry and UWF Community Garden are a part of UWF’s response to food insecurity. One in 12 UWF students visit the Argo Pantry annually. The Argo Pantry is a campus resource that sustains currently enrolled UWF students with free, healthy food and basic personal care items, allowing students to focus on academic goals and progress toward degree completion and not worry about food insecurities. Hobbs hopes to remove the stigma of food insecurity by empowering students to get involved with growing their own food.

“We welcome anyone who would like to be involved,” Hobbs said. “Spend some time learning to grow your own food. If you do not have the time to come get dirty with us, but want to contribute to food production on campus, we suggest donating, if you can. Once the trees and bushes get established and start producing much more fruit we will have harvesting events, but that is likely a few years away. The next planting event will be held in Spring 2022.”

Since becoming involved, sophomore Monica Woodruff, who is majoring in Environmental Sciences, says her interest in food insecurity has now turned into a passion.

“I have learned a lot about my community and a lot about myself as an ally this semester,” Woodruff said. “Food insecurity is everywhere, it just hides in plain sight. I’ve realized I have a personal (and enjoyable) duty within myself to help those who are struggling with food insecurity around me by doing something I love – planting.”

For more information, visit the Argos’ Edible Campus website.

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