Pickup, School Bus Collide Near McDavid

February 28, 2022

There were no serious injuries in a crash involving a school bus and pickup truck Monday morning near McDavid.

There were no students on the Escambia County school bus at the time of the 9:10 a.m. crash on Highway 164 about 1.3 miles east of North Pine Barren Road.

The Florida Highway Patrol said a 75-year old Atmore man attempted to pass the bus, before his vehicle collided with the lug nuts on a wheel of the bus. The pickup truck then overturned into a wooded area. The pickup truck came to rest on its side, and the driver was able to climb out of the vehicle.

Both drivers refused transport by Escambia County EMS. Escambia County Fire Rescue also responded.

The Florida Highway Patrol  is investigating.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Fire Destroys SUV In Highway 29 Median

February 28, 2022

Fire destroyed an SUV early Monday morning near Molino.

The vehicle was reported on fire in the median about 4:10 a.m. on Highway 29 near Barrineau Park Road.  The SUV was reportedly not involved in a collision.

There were no injuries reported. The vehicle fire and a resulting grass fire were extinguished by the Molino Station of Escambia County Fire Rescue.

NorthEscambia.com photos by Kristi Barbour, click to enlarge.

Sparkleberry: FPL Plans Molino Solar Farm, The Third In North Escambia

February 28, 2022

Florida Power & Light (FPL) is considering a third solar farm in North Escambia on hundreds of acres in Molino.

The Sparkleberry Solar Energy Center is planned for 555 acres south of the end of Pilgrim Trail. According to FPL, over 200,000 solar panels will generate nearly 75 megawatts — enough energy to power 15,000 homes.

The Sparkleberry site in Molino is just entering the development review process in Escambia County, prior to any construction permits being issued.

The Molino solar farm is roughly the same size as two others in North Escambia.

The 300,000 solar panels at the Cotton Creek Solar Energy Center on Bogia Road near McDavid have been in operation since the first of the year, producing up to about 75 megawatts.

The First City Solar Energy Center, the second FPL solar site to be built in North Escambia,  off Holland, Cox and Roach roads in McDavid is not yet operational. It also has a planned output of 75 megawatts.

NorthEscambia.com graphic showing the proposed location of the Sparkleberry Solar Energy Center in Molino, click to enlarge.

This Week Begins A Little Cool, But Warms Nicely

February 28, 2022

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

Monday Night: Clear, with a low around 39. North wind around 5 mph.

Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 69. Northeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the afternoon.

Tuesday Night: Clear, with a low around 43. Calm wind.

Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 71. Calm wind becoming northeast around 5 mph.

Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 42. Calm wind becoming north around 5 mph.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 77. North wind around 5 mph becoming south in the afternoon.

Thursday Night: Clear, with a low around 47. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 78.

Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 52.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 78.

Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 56.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 79.

FWC Report: Fishing Without License, Night Hunting, Deer Woes

February 28, 2022

The Florida FWC Division of Law Enforcement reported the following activity:


Officer Specialist Ramos was on patrol and observed a subject actively casting a rod and reel at a local boat ramp attempting to catch fish. When the officer contacted the subject and asked to see his fishing license, the subject admitted he didn’t have one. Officer Ramos researched the person’s prior history and discovered that the subject was also issued a citation in the summer of 2021 for failing to have a fishing license. Furthermore, the man was ineligible to purchase a license since 2019 because of his failure to fulfill financial obligations awarded by the court system. The subject was issued a notice to appear for fishing while his license was suspended due to financial

While on patrol, Officer Specialist Ramos observed a suspect harvesting blue crab from traps after midnight in an unregistered homemade motorized vessel that did not display any navigational lights. It is a violation of law for any person to pull blue crab traps one hour after sunset until one hour before sunrise. After maintaining surveillance on the suspect, Officer Ramos conducted a resource inspection. The suspect had previously been charged with violating various Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission resource regulations. The suspect was unable to prove he was the owner of the crab traps and was in possession of blue crab and several species of fish. Each of the crab traps failed to meet four separate trap specifications according to law. Officer Ramos documented 10 violations pertaining to vessel and blue crab trap requirements. The suspect was issued a notice to appear in court as well as two non-criminal citations and seven warnings for the violations.


Officers Oliver and Mullins were patrolling in Blackwater Wildlife Management Area (WMA) when they encountered two subjects hunting in the forest. They conducted a hunting and resource inspection on the two subjects and further inspection led them to finding one subject without proper licenses and two deer that were previously killed and not logged or reported. Through the course of an investigation, it was discovered that one of the deer was a small buck not meeting the antler requirement for legal size. The subjects were issued the appropriate citations, the illegal deer head was seized and destroyed.

Officer Mullins was working illegal night hunting activity and observed subjects in a truck shine lights in a clearing showing an apparent search for deer. The officer continued to watch the vehicle and observed them shine another area for deer. Officer Mullins contacted four occupants in the truck, who each said they did not have a gun with them. While searching the vehicle a rifle was found in the back seat hidden under a jacket by the passenger’s feet. Further inspection revealed a large magazine and 22 rounds of ammunition thrown under the seat. Officer Bower arrived and assisted with the investigation. Each subject was issued a notice to appear for night hunting. The rifle,
two large flashlights, and twenty-two rounds of ammunition were seized as evidence.

Officers Oliver and Mullins were on patrol checking hunters at a game checkpoint in Blackwater Wildlife Management Area (WMA). They contacted a hunter that had fresh blood on him and was extremely winded. Upon speaking with the hunter, they found that the subject had shot a deer. Officers Oliver and Mullins conducted a hunting and resource inspection and located a short horn buck in the rear of his SUV. The subject stated that it was his first deer he had killed and that he had only been hunting a handful of times. The subject was mistaken on the requirements for antler size, despite knowing the buck was close to legal size. The subject was issued a notice to appear citation for the short horn buck deer.

NorthEscambia.com file photo.

Tate High To Prep 50,000 Meals For Those In Need, And They Need Your Financial Help

February 28, 2022

The Tate High School FFA and volunteers will work this week to prepare 50,000 meals for a Meals of Hope project to help fight hunger, and they could use your financial help.

All the packaged meals will be distributed to families in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

To make a donation, click here for more information. Businesses that would like to make a donation can mail a check to Tate High School, 1771 Tate Road, Cantonment, Florida 32533. Checks should be labeled for the “Meals of Hope Campaign”.

Pictured: Packing “Meals of Hope” in 2019 at Tate High School. File photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Beulah Middle FFA Hosts Virtual Field Trip For About 300 Fifth Graders

February 28, 2022

Last Friday, the Beulah Middle School FFA hosted a virtual field trip for local fifth graders.

In the past, their FFA members have visited jus one local elementary school and talked about the Beulah farm. But, due to COVID last year, their chapter decided to take the field trip virtual. It was through this experience that they realized they were able to impact a lot more students by providing a virtual experience.

This year, instead of opening it up to just one school, they opened the field trip up to all of their feeder schools. Over 330 students joined in on the virtual field trip.

“The FFA members seriously knocked it out of the park today with their “virtual field trip” of the agriculture land lab. It was engaging, so informative, and downright fun,” said Leanne Jenkins, Beulah Middle agricultural educator and FFA advisor.

At the end of the presentation, elementary students were able to ask questions about agriculture, the program, and middle school.

“It was an amazing learning experience and highly enjoyed by all. FFA members are hoping to be able to expand their audience each year,” Jenkins added.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

West Florida High’s Cydnie Helton Signs To Play Lacrosse At Tennessee Wesleyan University

February 28, 2022

West Florida High School midfielder Cydnie Helton has signed her National Letter of Intent to play college lacrosse at Tennessee Wesleyan University. Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge

Oil Up After Russian Invasion Of Ukraine; Florida Gas Prices Rise

February 28, 2022

Florida gas prices increased four cents last week and more pump price hikes could be on the way. Crude oil prices surged in overnight trading, amid growing concerns that the Russia invasion of Ukraine could impact global crude supplies.

Floridians are paying an average price of $3.52 per gallon. That’s the most expensive daily average since July 2014. Florida gas prices have risen an average of 33 cents per gallon since the beginning of 2022, and $1.33 per gallon since the beginning of 2021.

North Escambia prices bottomed out $3.35 Sunday night at two stations on Century. A low of $3.33 could be found in Pensacola at two warehouse clubs.

Russia is the third-largest oil producing country in the world and the crude oil market was already tight before this conflict began. Last week, oil prices spiked when Russia invaded Ukraine. However, prices quickly retreated to previous levels after President Biden announced sanctions that didn’t specifically target Russian oil.

Unfortunately, oil prices quickly shot up Sunday night, when international trading began. At the time of this writing, the U.S. price of oil was trading above $96 per barrel – an increase of nearly $5/b (5%) from Friday’s closing price of $91.59. The energy market has had plenty of news to digest over the weekend, the most noteworthy may be the removal of Russian banks from SWIFT – making it more difficult for other countries to purchase Russian oil and gas.

“Unless oil prices reverse course, the pain at the pump is about to get even worse for Floridians,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “There has been a lot of speculation about oil prices, and the high seems like a moving target. If oil lands at $95 a barrel for a sustained period of time, drivers could expect to see a 15 cent jump at the pump. If U.S. oil reaches $100 a barrel, the total increase would be more like 25-30 cents per gallon.”

Oil prices have increased around $20 per barrel in 2022. At $96 per barrel, the US price for oil is up nearly $50 (100%) since the beginning of 2021.

The Russian invasion isn’t the only issue keeping upward pressure on pump prices. The busy spring and summer driving seasons are drawing near, which typically lead to strong fuel demand. Summer gasoline is moving into the market, which is more expensive to produce. Refineries are conducting seasonal maintenance, which can reduce normal gasoline production levels. And in addition to all those seasonal trends, there was an explosion at a Louisiana refinery last week.

NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.

Steven “Steve” Wilson Gallimore

February 28, 2022

Steven “Steve” Wilson Gallimore, age 67, of Pensacola, Florida, entered his heavenly home on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, in the company of his loved ones. Steve was born on December 17, 1954 (3 months early as he told everyone), to John Wilson Gallimore, LCDR, USNR (Ret) and Eulalie (Aynes) Gallimore.

Steve was a loud and proud graduate of W.J. Woodham ‘Fightin’ Titans Class of 1973.

In 1977, he married his “Lady”, Debbie, on the 4th of July, under the gazebo at Seville Square. Steve and Debbie shared 44 spectacular years together. In that time, their love grew two children, which blossomed to five grandchildren. Steve owned Sharpstuff USA, the local “Cop Shop”, on Pace Boulevard. He sold public safety supply, but as anyone would tell you, Steve didn’t have customers – he had extended family. He never met a stranger and loved when folks would stop by for a cup of coffee and animated conversation.

Steve was preceded in death by his father, John W. Gallimore, LCDR, USNR (Ret) and sister, Sharon Sue Gallimore. Survivors include his adoring wife of 44 years, Debra (Riddlebaugh) Gallimore; daughter, Jessica Nix (Shawn); son, Kevin Gallimore (Malissa); and grandchildren, Cameron, Emiliana, Lana, Harper, and Ryker. In addition to his wife, children, and grandchildren, he is survived by his loving mama, Eulalie (Aynes) Gallimore, sister Linda (Ray) Malone and niece Melissa Malone (grand nephew and niece Daniel and Mallory).

Funeral will be held on Friday, March 4, 2022, at Faith Chapel Funeral Home South, 100 Beverly Parkway. Family viewing will begin at 11:00 a.m., with family and friend visitation from 12:00-1:00 p.m. Funeral service begins at 1:00 p.m. Graveside service will follow at 2:00 p.m. at Serenity Gardens, 6208 Stewart St., Milton, FL 32570.

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