Labor Day Gas Prices Down Slightly This Year
Gas prices on this Labor Day weekend are at their lowest in a couple of years, and AAA says that will translate to more people on the highways.
Escambia County’s average gas price on Saturday was $3.37 for a gallon of regular unleaded —less than the year-ago price of $3.43 per gallon.
Escambia 4-H Horse Club Donates To Manna Food Pantries
Members of the Escambia County 4-H Horse Club was concerned by the spring floods that devastated the Manna Food Pantries. In order to help, the group collected 121 pounds of food for Manna Food Pantries. The club plans to help Manna again in the future. Submitted photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.
Body Found After Suspicious Fire
The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is investigating suspicious death following structure fire about 9 p.m. Friday.
An unidentified body was found in the vicinity after a suspicious structure fire in the first block of East Herman Avenue near a homeless camp, and homicide investigators were called to the scene.
At this time, the cause of death is [...]
ECUA Approves Rate Increases
Emerald Coast Utilities Authority customers will see rates increases on their bills after October 1.
The ECUA board has approved a 3 percent increase in water and wastewater rates. The board also approved a 3.5 percent, or 66 cent, increase in the sanitation rate, a direct pass-along of increased tipping fees at the [...]
Escambia Animal Shelter Suspends Cat Adoptions Due To Infections
The Escambia County Animal Shelter has temporarily suspended the adoption of cats as a result of widespread upper respiratory infections in the shelter’s feline population.
Under the advice of the shelter’s medical staff, the public will not have access to the cats until the cats are treated and recover. The purpose of this effort [...]
Flomaton Storms Past Jay 42-20 (With Photo Gallery)
A storm was brewing Friday night in Jay as the Flomaton Hurricanes beat the Jay Royals 42-20.
In a game that saw a 15-minute lightning delay at a packed Merle North Stadium, Flomaton’s Jamel Grace and Jamal Brown combined for three touchdowns with about 140 yards each. The Hurricane’s Tripp Vickery completed three passes to Andrew [...]
Tate Aggies Beat West Florida Tech (With Photo Gallery)
The Tate High School Aggies had a little revenge on their minds Friday night as they beat West Florida in Cantonment 19-7, a far cry from last year’s 45-3 loss to the Jaguars.
Tate controlled the first half on the scoreboard, with a 10-0 lead at the half that they expanded to 17-0 with about eight [...]
Northview Rolls Past The Bozeman Bucks, 49-7
The Northview Chiefs rolled into Panama City Friday night and left the Bozeman Bucks behind with that deer in the headlights look as the Chiefs opened their season with a powerful 49-7 rout.
The Chiefs were first on the board with a play that left the Buck standing in disbelief. Cameron Newsome called for a fair [...]
Vehicle Registration Fees Drop Next Week In Florida
Florida motorists will save on motor vehicle registration fees beginning Monday.
Floridians will save approximately $17 to $25 when renewing their registrations, depending on the size of vehicle. The fee reductions were proposed by Governor Rick Scott earlier this year and were approved by the Florida Legislature during the 2014 legislative session. [...]
Escambia Prostitution Stings Nets 15 Arrests
The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit has arrested 15 people for prostitution related crimes following an undercover operation.
The anti-prostitution operations took place over the past week and targeted both those individuals engaged in prostitution and the clients that sought their services. The arrests occurred after the suspects either offered to perform sexual acts [...]
Atmore Hospital To Be Managed By Infirmary Health; Baptist Out
The Escambia County Healthcare Authority (ECHA) voted during a called meeting Thursday afternoon to move forward with a management agreement with Infirmary Health of Mobile rather than renewing a 20-year old agreement with Baptist Health Care of Pensacola.
Baptist entered into an agreement in 1995 to manage the 49-bed facility; that agreement expires in June 2015.
Calendar Change: Escambia Schools Cancel ‘Late Start’ Days
Three “late start” days on this year’s Escambia County School District calendar are being removed.
Schools were scheduled to start late on September 17, November 5, and December 3, but school will now begin on those days at the regularly scheduled time.
“This decision is based on a large number of concerns that parents have expressed regarding [...]
Felony Fraud Charges Filed Against Former Escambia Schools Food Services Director
The State Attorney’s Office has filed felony fraud charges against Gail M. Szoboszlay, former Escambia County School District Director of Food Services, according to State Attorney Bill Eddins.
Szoboszlay was hired by the Escambia County School District in July 2012 at a salary of $82,875. She subsequently resigned in February 2013 after issues were raised regarding [...]
Thompson Indicted For Santa Rosa Double Murder
A Santa Rosa County grand jury Thursday indicted Derrick Ray Thompson for a double murder last month.
Thompson was indicted for two counts of first degree murder in the deaths of 60-year old Steven Tyrone Zackowski and 59-year old Debra Lynn Zackowski, both found shot to death in their Goliath Road home July 20.
Thompson was previously [...]
Other Top Stories:
Amber Alert Issued For Abducted Alabama Child
An Amber Alert has been issued for a nine-year old abducted by his grandmother from Fairfield, AL. Officials say the child may be in extreme danger, and his abductor may be traveling to the Mobile area. Complete details are in the poster below; click to enlarge. Read More →
Sunny Days: Growing Sunflowers
by the Santa Rosa Extension Service Sunflowers not only make the garden beautiful but can also be used to bring the beauty of outdoors inside. It may be towards the end of summer, but you can still plant sunflowers and enjoy them during the fall. In north Florida, try to complete sunflower planting by the third week in August. Depending on the variety, sunflowers will bloom about 55 to 75 days after planting – 60 days is a good average. Some sunflowers are sensitive to day length and may yield shorter plants and earlier bloom when planted in late summer. This corresponds to the reduction in daylight hours as summer progresses toward autumn. To begin, choose cultivars that fit your landscape. There are now more sunflowers than just the seed bearing giants that many gardeners are familiar with. Just take a look at the gardening catalogs. Sunflowers can be broadly divided into two types: those grown for production of edible seeds and those grown as ornamentals and cut flowers. Most gardeners will be interested in the ornamental sunflowers, also known as Helianthus annuus. Sunflowers come in heights ranging from less than one foot to ten feet and also come in a wide range of flower colors. While brilliant yellow will always be popular, you can also choose from creamy white, bronze, mahogany, rusty red, burgundy and orange. Some types produce flowers with more than one color. The center disk of the sunflower also adds to the display and goes through color changes as the flower matures and seeds form. Sunbright, Sunrich Lemon, Sunrich Orange, Soraya and Moulin Rouge are some that are recommended for Florida. For best bouquet results, choose cultivars that are pollen-less to prevent pollen from shedding onto a tablecloth or other flowers in an arrangement. If you want to grow sunflowers for the delicious, nutritious seeds, make sure you choose varieties bred for seed production, such as Mammoth Russian – also known as Mammoth, Russian Giant and Gray Stripe. These tall-growing sunflowers produce a single enormous flower at the top of the plant. To grow a really big seed head, apply general-purpose fertilizer when the flower head begins to appear. Just be sure to place them so that you can stake them if necessary. Sunflowers are true to their name, they need to be grown in full sun. Prepare a sunflower bed as you would for planting most vegetables. They tolerate heat and dry conditions and almost any soil type. The pH preference is 6.5 to 7.5 and the addition of composted organic matter is beneficial. Plant seeds about one-quarter inch deep directly into a prepared garden bed. It’s common to plant sunflowers into landscape beds, and many gardeners include a row of sunflowers in spring and fall vegetable gardens. After sowing the seeds, water the bed well and thesun water it as needed to keep the soil moist – even lightly every day if the weather is dry. Sunflowers should be harvested in early morning before 10:00 a.m. It is best to cut the stems and place them in warm water right away for best results. The versatility and variety of today’s sunflowers offer something for almost every garden and gardener. If you haven’t tried this plant lately, give it another look. Theresa Friday is the Residential Horticulture Extension Agent for Santa Rosa County. Read More →
Pack A Better School Lunch
by Dorothy Lee, Escambia County Extension It’s that time of year again. With kids off to school they are again faced with the important question: What’s for lunch? With childhood obesity on the rise, having a nutritious lunch is an important part of an overall healthful diet. Since most kids consume one-third of their daily total calories at lunch, here are some tips on helping them eat more super-nutritious foods: Plan ahead. It helps to have all the right ingredients on hand for making the best lunch. You might even consider coming up with a weekly menu. Involve the kids in planning whenever possible. Avoid last-minute rushing by preparing all or part of lunch the night before. Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes with sandwiches, etc. Make sure you always include at least one fresh fruit or vegetable – both is even better. Hide special notes or cards in the lunch box. Best beverage bets include skim milk, water or 100% fruit juice. Try to use more low-fat snack and cookie items – see the list below for ideas. Remember food safety. It is better if you keep foods chilled in insulated lunch boxes with either an ice pack or frozen juice box. And consider options when choosing ingredients for lunches: Dorothy C. Lee, CFCS, is an Extension Agent, Family & Consumer Sciences with the Escambia County Extension Service. Read More →
Slight Rain Chances Continue
Here is your official North Escambia area forecast: Sunday A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 94. Light southeast wind becoming south 5 to 10 mph in the morning. Sunday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 74. South wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light after midnight. Labor Day A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 94. Light southeast wind becoming south 5 to 10 mph in the morning. Monday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 74. South wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light and variable in the evening. Tuesday A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 94. Light and variable wind becoming south 5 to 10 mph in the morning. Tuesday Night A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 72. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening. Wednesday A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 93. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph in the afternoon. Wednesday Night A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 72. Southeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening. Thursday A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 93. Thursday Night A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 71. Friday A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 91. Friday Night A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 71. Saturday A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 90. Read More →
Flood Survivors: Group To Access Needs At Cantonment Interviews
Volunteer interviewers will meet with flood survivors to help individuals connect with resources and gain a clear picture of what it will take to recover. BRACE and the Escambia County Long-Term Recovery Group have requested the services of a national disaster recovery group to determine who in the community will not be able to rebuild and recover without assistance. A team of World Renew volunteers will conduct one-on-one interviews with flood survivors at Allen Memorial United Methodist Church at 200 Pace Parkway in Cantonment from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m on Wednesday, September 3; Friday, September 5; Monday, September 8; Wednesday, September 10; and Friday, September 12. An appointment is not necessary. The process will help to prioritize individual and family needs and connect survivors with organizations offering long-term support. Several voluntary organizations have committed to sending volunteer reconstruction teams to the community to assist survivors in their recovery once the needs can be defined and prioritized. Those volunteer organizations will be assisting survivors with unmet disaster caused needs with reconstruction. Interview questions are straightforward and should not require residents to supply any paperwork, although if flood survivors do have a FEMA number, they are asked to bring that with them to the center. For more information contact the Escambia County Long-Term Recovery Group, at (850) 292-8024 or email email@example.com. Read More →
Cotton Transition Assistance Program Enrollment Underway
Farmers can enroll in the Cotton Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) beginning through October 7. The program, created by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides interim payments to cotton producers during the 2014 crop year until the Stacked Income Protection Plan, a new insurance product also created by the legislation, is available. Details on the plan will be released by mid-August. CTAP applications approved before Oct. 1, are subject to Congressionally mandated automatic reductions of 7.2 percent for the 2014 crop year. Applications approved after October 1 will be reduced the required 7.3 percent for the 2015 crop year. The Budget Control Act of 2011 requires USDA to implement these reductions to program payments. For more information about CTAP, visit a local FSA office or go online to www.fsa.usda.gov. NorthEscambia.com file photo. Read More →
Florida Gov’t Weekly Roundup: The Inevitable Battle Begins
With the unofficial beginning of campaign season just around the corner, Florida voters headed to the polls this week to choose their nominees for governor and seats in the Legislature. Or, at least, to finish the predetermined coronations in many of those races. There never seemed to be any real danger that either of the leading gubernatorial candidates would lose their primaries. And virtually every incumbent on the ballot Tuesday was still standing on Wednesday. But the election wasn’t the only battle that moved into a new phase. As candidates began to turn their attention to the broader electorate, opponents of the state’s de facto school-voucher program were going from the court of public opinion to the actual courts. Almost four months after the Legislature followed through on a promise to expand eligibility for the voucher program, groups opposed to the move filed a lawsuit that could lead to the entire system being overturned. NOW FOR THE MAIN EVENT For the most part, there were few surprises in the primaries Tuesday night. Republican Gov. Rick Scott and former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, now a Democrat, cruised through primaries against lesser-known candidates. Crist easily defeated former Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich and was officially welcomed by his new party as its nominee. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a congresswoman from Broward County, praised Crist and running-mate Annette Taddeo as working-class champions. “Charlie and Annette have embraced policies that will help Florida’s middle-class families, a stark contrast to the current governor, Republican Rick Scott, who is beholden to special interests and radical tea party ideology,” she said in a statement. Scott handily defeated two obscure GOP opponents, Yinka Abosede Adeshina and Elizabeth Cuevas-Neunder. But the Scott team’s primary focus has long been on Crist. “The next few months are about talk versus action,” Scott said. “That means Florida will have a choice between a governor who sent our state into a tailspin and a governor who gets results.” In a marginally competitive statewide race, former Department of Children and Families Secretary George Sheldon beat House Minority Leader Perry Thurston in the Democratic primary for attorney general. “I believe the attorney general is the people’s lawyer, not the governor’s lawyer, and not the Legislature’s lawyer,” Sheldon told supporters during a victory party at the Wine Loft Wine Bar in Tallahassee. “Help me give Pam Bondi the job she really wants, as an anchor on FOX News.” Bondi wasted little time in both congratulating Sheldon and challenging him to a debate. “The voters will have a clear choice between candidates in this election, and they deserve to hear directly from us on the distinct difference in visions and leadership that each candidate will offer to the attorney general’s Office,” Bondi said in a prepared statement. Races in the House provided the sole state-level incumbent to go down and the usual bit of Florida elections drama. In Central Florida, Rep. Ricardo Rangel, D-Kissimmee, was defeated in his bid for a second term by John Cortes, vice chairman of the Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida. State Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant seemed just fine with Cortes beating the incumbent. “From his time as a police officer to his extensive work as an activist in Osceola County, John has always put his fellow community members ahead of himself,” Tant said in a statement. “I look forward to working with John to ensure that the residents of District 43 continue to have representation that puts the middle class first this fall.” Meanwhile, the costly and bitterly fought Republican primary in Duval County’s House District 15 turned into a nail-biter between Jay Fant, a tea party-style candidate, and Paul Renner, who had much of the local establishment behind him. Fant, who loaned his campaign $375,000, ended up with a two-vote margin of victory after a manual recount and is now almost certain to replace Rep. Daniel Davis, R-Jacksonville. SCHOOLING THE ELECTORATE Scott didn’t wait until he had officially dispatched his challengers to start rolling out what will clearly be one of the central themes of his campaign. He unveiled an education agenda Monday that included promises to review the number of tests being administered to Florida students and to take further steps to rein in the cost of college if he wins a second term in November. “We want to make sure that our students have every opportunity to succeed in the classroom and in their careers, and we want to make sure our teachers have every tool they need to make that possible,” Scott said. The call for an investigation of standardized testing is noteworthy, given that Republicans interested in education reform have long looked at assessments as a way to judge how well schools are educating children. In 2011, Scott signed a bill that more closely tied teacher pay to student performance on standardized tests A brochure outlining Scott’s proposals seemed to place the blame for the amount of testing on local school districts. But Kathleen Oropeza, co-founder of the advocacy group Fund Education Now, said blaming local school districts was disingenuous, because many of the tests they require are tied to state laws. Districts will have to create tests for some courses under the teacher-pay law that Scott signed, Oropeza said. On higher education, Scott said he would push for a requirement that colleges outline the costs of textbooks and other materials before students register for classes. In his official capacity, the governor joined Education Commissioner Pam Stewart on a jaunt across the state to welcome students back to school. Crist’s campaign cried foul on that. “Floridians should not be fooled by Rick Scott’s shameful, taxpayer-funded campaign events this week,” spokesman Brendan Gilfillan said in a statement. “Scott’s back-to-school tour should be an apology tour for the $4.8 billion he wanted to cut and the $1.3 billion he did cut from education.” WE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT “That’s all I can stands; I can’t stands no more,” the cartoon character Popeye used to say — and a coalition of groups including the state’s largest teachers union essentially said the same thing this week in launching a legal assault on Florida’s de facto school-voucher program. The lawsuit comes after the Legislature approved a bill this spring that would expand eligibility for the program and increase the value of scholarships given to participating students. While one of the central claims of the lawsuit — that the program gets in the way of the state’s responsibility to provide a quality education to all children — could have been made for years now, those filing the challenge said the expansion forced their hand. Ron Meyer, an attorney for the groups, said while education advocates were willing to allow the program to go forward initially, “this has become an industry.” “It’s a money-maker for scholarship-funding organizations,” Meyer said. “And it’s a program that we think is a dereliction of the constitutional requirement (to provide public education).” The Tax Credit Scholarship Program, which could raise as much as $357.8 million this year, provides tax credits to companies that donate money to nonprofit entities that pay for children to go to private schools. Without the scholarship program, critics say, those tax dollars could be used to help fund public education. But supporters say the program provides better opportunities for low- or middle-income children trapped in failing public schools. Republicans, who led the charge to institute and then broaden the voucher program, saw things a bit differently. Those attacking the scholarships were actually the special interests. “This lawsuit is just the latest attack on parental choice by an entrenched education establishment more concerned about protecting the status quo than providing families the opportunities afforded by a great education,” said former Gov. Jeb Bush, who signed the legislation creating the program and is still an influential figure in the state’s education debates. STORY OF THE WEEK: Primary elections cleared the way for general elections, including the long-awaited battle between Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist for control of the Governor’s Mansion. QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “We’re not the Rick Scott campaign. We can’t go whenever and whatever we want on TV. We have to make choices. So why would we make the choice to go spend a bunch of money in a primary that we know we’re going to win?”—Steve Schale, a consultant for the Crist campaign, on why the former governor essentially ignored primary opponent Nan Rich. by Brandon Larrabee, The News Service of Florida Read More →
Wahoos Drop Second Straight 6-3
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos (27-41, 58-80) fell for the second straight night to the Birmingham Barons (31-37, 60-78) 6-3. With the win, the Barons take a two games to one lead in the series. The Wahoos benefitted from a couple of errors to get on the board in the first inning. Yorman Rodriguez reached on an error, stole second and third, and a throwing error by the catcher allowed him to score. The Barons would take a 3-1 lead into the sixth thanks in part to solo home runs from Dan Black and Kevan Smith. Pensacola cut into the lead on a two-out RBI single from Travis Mattair in the sixth. They would add one to tie the score at three when Ryan Wright followed Juan Silverio’s triple with an RBI single. The big blow came once again off the bat of Joey DiMichele, who singled home Kevan Smith off of RHP Kyle McMyne in the bottom of the eighth inning. Trayce Thompson put the game away with a two-run double down the right field line to give the Barons a 6-3 lead. McMyne took the loss for the Blue Wahoos. RHP Kevin Vance earned the win in relief for the Barons. Vance struck out six batters over 2.2 innings and surrendered just one hit. Gulf Breeze native Ben Lively made his final start of the season for the Blue Wahoos. Lively got the no decision going 5.0 innings and allowing three runs on five hits. He added five strikeouts to his season total of 171 and finished the night tied for second in the minor leagues in punch-outs. Sunday’s game marks the penultimate contest in the Blue Wahoos season and starts at 3:00 p.m. at Regions Field. The Wahoos will send Cincinnati’s top prospect RHP Robert Stephenson (6-10, 4.93) to the mound. Terance Marin (0-1, 9.00) will start for the Barons. by Tommy Thrall Read More →
Construction Activities Suspended For Labor Day Weekend
To promote safety and reduce congestion over the Labor Day weekend, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is suspending normal road construction activities on all major roads in Northwest Florida. There will be no work on state roads requiring lane restrictions from Friday through Monday. Work on projects requiring lane closures will resume Tuesday, September 2. All major roads will be open to normal traffic. If an emergency situation occurs during the upcoming holiday weekend requires a lane closure, repairs will continue until that lane is reopened to the traveling public and all safety issues related to the traveling public have been addressed. Motorists are reminded to use caution while traveling through work zones around barricades and equipment on current projects. Travelers can access Florida’s 511 service from cell phones, landlines, and at www.FL511.com to receive updates on travel in the area. Read More →
Wahoos Fall 1-0
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos (27-40, 58-79) fell 1-0 to the Birmingham Barons (30-36, 59-77) at Regions Field Friday night. It was a game dominated by pitching with both starting pitchers going 7.0 innings. RHP Tim Adleman started for the Wahoos and lowered his ERA as a starter to a miniscule 2.38. He pitched 7.0 strong innings and allowed just one run in the fifth. Adleman added five strikeouts and walked just one batter, but still took the loss for the seventh time this season. Rangel Ravelo led off the fifth inning with a triple to right field and Jason Coats followed it with an RBI single. It was all the Barons would need to prevail. Birmingham did not leave a single runner on base and went 1-for-1 with runners in scoring position. By contrast, the Wahoos were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left nine batters on base. Yorman Rodriguez, Ryan Wright and Kyle Waldrop were the only Wahoo players with hits and Waldrop had the only multi-hit game for Pensacola. RHP Mike Recchia earned the win for the Barons and spun a gem. Recchia did not allow a run over 7.0 innings and surrendered just four hits in the contest. RHP Braulio Ortiz earned his first save of the season for the Barons. The Wahoos would once again put multiple runners on base in the ninth, but Ortiz got Brodie Greene to fly out to right field to end the contest. RHP Drew Hayes pitched a perfect bottom of the eighth while striking out one Baron batter. He’s posted a 1.72 ERA during the month of August and hasn’t allowed a hit over his last 4.0 innings pitched. Pensacola’s series continues with Birmingham on Saturday. The Blue Wahoos will look to take control of the series in game three at 6:30 p.m. Saturday night at Regions Field. The Blue Wahoos will send RHP Ben Lively (3-6, 3.76) to the bump on Friday. Terance Marin (0-1, 9.00) will start for the Barons. by Joey Truncale Read More →
Friday Night Finals
Here are final scores from around the North Escambia area Friday night: Northview 49 Bozeman 7 [Read more...] Tate 19 West Florida 7 [Read more, photo gallery...] Flomaton 42 Jay 20 [Read more, photo gallery...] Pine Forest 36 East Gasden 0 Baker 30 Graceville 27 Tallahassee Lincoln 31 Pensacola High 27 Navarre 31 Catholic 21 Niceville 55 Rutherford 7 Choctaw 36 Pace 28 Milton 28 Crestview 14 W.S. Neal 27 Escambia County (Atmore) 6 T.R. Miller 21 Tallassee 10 Milton 28 Crestview 14 Escambia Academy 21 Autauga 20 Read More →
Photos: Ernest Ward At Jay HS Football
The junior varsity Jay High Schools Royals defeated their Ernest Ward Middle School Eagles Thursday in Jay, 24-12. Ernest Ward’s Eagles will be in action again next Thursday, September 4 on the road in Fairhope, AL. For a photo gallery, click here. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge. Read More →
Northview Grad Neiko Robinson Makes College Football Debut
Northview High School graduate Neiko Robinson made his college football debut Thursday night for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Bulldogs as they rolled passed Northeast 41-8 in Perkinston, MS. Robinson, a freshman defensive back, recorded five tackles, one quarterback sack and one pass breakup for the Bulldogs. “I’m proud of the way our guys came out strong. They had a lot of energy and played fast and hard,” said new Gulf Coast coach Chad Huff after his first win. Gulf Coast, ranked #9 in the NJCAA, takes on Northwest (0-1) Thursday, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. at A.L. May Memorial Stadium in Perkinston. Read More →
Volleyball: Northview Wins Beats Holmes County; Ft Walton Over Tate
The Northview Lady Chiefs earned a couple of big wins on the road Thursday at Holmes County, while the Tate Lady Aggies opened their season with a district loss. In varsity action, Northvew beat Holmes County 23-25, 25-15, 25-17, 25-14. In junior varsity play, Northview downed Holmes County 25-19, 25-21. The Northview Chiefs will host the Baldwin County Tigers on Tuesday. Play begins at 4:00 for junior varsity, 5 p.m. for varsity. The Tate Aggies opened District 1-7A play with a loss to Fort Walton Beach, 25-13, 25-22, 26-28, 25-17. Read More →
Experts Learn About Local Stormwater Issues
Stormwater is a hot issue in Northwest Florida after the April 30 flood that did millions in damage in the local area. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Northwest District and the Northwest Florida Water Management District (NWFWMD) held the Northwest Florida Stormwater Conference Thursday in Pensacola for local governments, engineers, consultants, architects and other experts. The conference was designed to highlight some of the key issues DEP and NWFWMD review for permitting and compliance of stormwater treatment systems to ensure proper design and functionality. Appropriate stormwater treatment system design and maintenance ensures that development activities will not cause violations of water quality standards in receiving waters or adverse impacts to on-site and off-site property. The conference also provided information on stormwater regulations and thresholds, operating agreements between DEP and NWFWMD, design criteria and best management practices, compliance, and online permitting tools. Courtesy photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge. Read More →
Family Fishing Rodeo This Weekend To Support The ‘Backpack Project’
The Escambia County School District’s Maintenance Department is hosting the “Backpack Project” fishing competition this weekend. Last year’s event raised enough money to provide nutritious food that was able to be sent home weekly to 150 students at three different schools. Charles Peterson, director of Maintenance and Custodian Services, said, “All research indicates that adequate nutrition in children can be linked to improved learning skills and memory work. Inadequate nutrition can contribute to lower test scores and poor concentration.” “Anglers will have the opportunity to win cash prizes in 17 different sponsored categories,” he added. There will be two groups of fishermen: an Open Division for anglers 10 and older, and a Junior Division for those under ten years of age. A Captain’s meeting will be held Friday at 6:30 p.m. at the Grand Lagoon Yacht Club. The fishing fun and competition begins Saturday at 12:01 a.m. and ends Sunday at 4:00 p.m. Weigh-in times are scheduled as follows: Saturday 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. The awards ceremony will start at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. In addition, a fish fry will be held on Sunday from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. The cost will be $5.00 for adults and $1.00 for children under 10. T-shirts will be sold for $15. For additional information, contact Rodeo Chairman Scott Stillman at (850)595-0135, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read More →
Wahoos Get Comback 6-5 Win
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos (27-39, 58-78) won in thrilling fashion, 6-5, over the Birmingham Barons (29-36, 58-77) at Regions Field Thursday night. After tying the game with two runs in the ninth, the Wahoos took the lead in the 10th on Bryson Smith’s fourth single of the game. RHP Shane Dyer earned his franchise leading 20th save of the season in the bottom half of the inning. The Wahoos shot out to an early lead in the top of the first with a two-out RBI double from Travis Mattair. The Barons tied the score up in the bottom of the second on an RBI double from Joey DeMichele, who scored Jason Coats from second base. The score remained even until the sixth when Devin Lohman knocked a double deep to left center field. Kyle Waldrop’s groundout moved Lohman to third and he came home to score on Mattair’s fielder’s choice ground ball on the right side. Pensacola’s lead was short-lived as the Barons scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth. With the bases loaded, DeMichele hit his second double of the game, which scored two Barons. Yorman Rodriguez and Brodie Greene would combine to throw out the runner, Jason Coats, at home as he attempted to score from first. Birmingham’s manager Julio Vinas argued with the umpires and protested the call believing that Wahoos’ catcher Chris Berset was blocking the plate. The rest of the game was played under protest. The Barons tacked on another run in the bottom of the seventh to take a 4-2 lead over the Wahoos. Waldrop answered for the Blue Wahoos with his seventh home run since the All-Star break to cut the lead to one. Again, the Wahoos could not put together a shut down inning as the Barons re-took a two-run lead in the bottom of the eighth. Pensacola refused to go down without a fight in the top of the ninth inning. Juan Silverio led off with a double and the next hitter, Bryson Smith, singled him home on a sharp line drive to left field. Smith would eventually come home on a sacrifice fly from Greene to tie the contest at five. It was Birmingham’s 23rd blown save of the season. In the 10th, Mattair bunted himself on and reached second on the Barons’ third error of the night. Smith, who finished the day 4-for-5 with two RBI, singled him home for the eventual winning run. Smith was one of four Wahoos that ended up with a multi-hit game. RHP Mikey O’Brien rejoined the team from Triple-A Louisville and made his 11th start of the season with Pensacola. O’Brien pitched well, allowing just three runs over 5.2 innings of work. RHP Radhames Quezada made his Double-A debut for the Blue Wahoos in the seventh inning. Quezada went 1.0 innings and struck out a batter. LHP Fabian Williamson earned his second win of the season going 2.0 innings and allowing 1 R/ER on one hit. LHP Nelvin Fuentes allowed the winning run in the 10th and took the loss for the Barons. Pensacola’s series continues with Birmingham on Friday. The second game of the series will begin at 7:05 p.m. at Regions Field. The Blue Wahoos will send RHP Tim Adleman (3-7, 3.00) to the bump on Friday. The Barons have tabbed RHP Mike Recchia (5-4, 3.32) as their starter. by Tommy Thrall Read More →
Two Sentenced For Theft Of Molino Teen’s Kart Racing Gear
Two people have been sentenced in connection with the May 2013 theft of kart racing gear from a Molino teen. Amos Dewayne Sellers, age 34 of Pensacola and Lake Daniel Brooks, age 23 of Cantonment, were both charged with burglary and grand theft following the incident. Both men entered pleas of no contest to the charges against them. Judge Michael Allen withheld adjudication in both cases. Each was sentenced to one year community control, three years probation, 250 hours of community service and ordered to pay $1,194 restitution plus $518 in fines and court costs. The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office says the pair were responsible for the theft of about $16,000 worth of stolen kart racing gear. In May 2013, Investigator David Preston returned the stolen gear back to the family. Jarrett Parker is a star of sorts in the world of kart racing, winning state titles and racing his way to the top in several national events. But the brakes were put on his racing career after the burglary at the family workshop on Gibson Road. A 2012 Elite Triton kart, five motors, cases of MAXXIS tires, tools and other items were taken from the workshop, while other items not related to kart racing like lawn equipment were left behind. After a story about the thefts appeared on NorthEscambia.com on May 6, 2013, the Sheriff’s Office and family began to receive tips that led to the recovery of the racing equipment. Some of the stolen items, including three motors, belonged to Jarrett’s then 10-year old teammate in Selma, Ala. Just days after the stolen equipment was returned, Parker was the Senior Pro Clone Winner at Checkered Flag Speedway in Stateline, MS. Pictured top: Molino teen Jarrett Parker with about $16,000 worth of stolen kart racing gear returned in May by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. Pictured inset: The suspects attempted to change the appearance of motors by painting them. Pictured below: Jarrett Parker and his father Cott discuss the case with Escambia County Sheriff’s Investigator David Preston. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge. Read More →
Workshop To Explore 6-Laning Highway 29 South Of 9½ Mile
The Florida Department of Transportation will host a public workshop concerning proposed improvements to Highway 29 from I-10 to Nine and One Half Mile Road. The meeting will be held Tuesday, September 9, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Northside Apostolic Church, 213 West Nine and One Half Mile Road, Pensacola. The intent of the project is to increase vehicular capacity of the corridor as well as accommodate bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Improvements include widening 2.46 miles of U.S. 29 from four to six lanes, while adding curb and gutter, sidewalks, improving drainage and constructing various safety upgrades along the corridor to meet current standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Additionally, there will be traffic signal modifications and the construction of storm water drainage treatment facilities, the project is funded for right-of-way acquisition and construction. Maps, drawings and other information will be on display. There will be no formal presentation. Representatives from FDOT will be available to discuss proposed improvements, answer questions and receive comments. Read More →
Escambia, AL, Animal Shelter Now Empty, 200 Animals Gone Days Before Closure
The animal shelter in Flomaton is quiet today…almost 200 animals either adopted out or pulled by another rescue group. The Humane Society of Escambia County (Ala.) announced in July that it will no longer operate the shelter as of the end of the August. “When we saw ourselves a month ago with no future in the shelter, but with almost 200 poor souls whose future depended on us, we almost went into despair,” the group said in a written statement. “But anything is possible with the help of so many animal lovers out there.” As for the future of The Humane Society of Escambia County (Ala.), the group plans to form a network of foster homes. They’ve pledged to continue helping animals as they can in Escambia County, Ala. but without a kill shelter. The humane society decided to close the shelter, saying that they were unable to “humanely operate” on a $120,000 per year budget proposed by the Escambia County (Ala.) Commission. Read More →
Citizens Insurance Seeks Rate Cuts For Inland Homeowners
Citizens Property Insurance Corp. wants state regulators to reduce base rates for the majority of its policyholders for the first time since a move to artificially lower rates ended in 2009. About 70 percent of Citizens’ policyholders, mostly inland residential customers, would benefit from the proposed 5.8 percent reduction for multi-peril coverage, according to the state-backed insurer. Meanwhile, the other 30 percent, many in commercial, condominium and coastal properties, could face increases. Citizens President and CEO Barry Gilway told the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation on Wednesday that the request comes as efforts have been successful to move more than a half-million policies into the private market the past two years and as rates in prior years have been increased to bring the state-backed insurer more in line with the private market. Citizens has also been able to bulk up its surplus as Florida is now in its ninth hurricane season without the center of a major storm making contact with the state, he said. “It’s has been hard getting here,” Gilway said. “But we’re finally at that point where we have good news.” The Office of Insurance Regulation has until September 4 to rule on the request. Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty wouldn’t speculate on how his office will rule after the “fact finding” session with Citizens officials Wednesday. Amy Bogner, a spokeswoman for the office, said the decision may not be released publicly until September 5. The proposed reduction doesn’t automatically mean a drop in costs for all policyholders as individual rates vary county by county, by the locations of properties and by property owners’ different types of coverage. For example, sinkhole rates will remain flat for most of the state except in Hernando County, where Citizens is requesting a 10 percent increase. Also, rates for businesses and condominium associations, which comprise about 36,000 of Citizens’ policies, are proposed to increase from 0.2 percent to 10 percent depending upon the type of coverage. Gilway said more work is need to further trim the number of policies in Citizens. “I’m not suggesting that the glide path (rate) increases have not been significant in some areas,” Gilway said. “And I’m also not suggesting that we’re there yet, because primarily in the commercial lines arena and the coastal arena, we’ve got a ways to go to get to rate adequacy.” State lawmakers froze rates from 2007 through 2009 in reaction to a public outcry over spiraling insurance rates, particularly in coastal areas, despite the argument that the freeze would place a burden on the rest of the insurance market. Citizens quickly became the go-to insurer for many homeowners rather than serving as an insurer of last resort. Since 2009, rates have steadily increased as lawmakers have sought to draw private insurers to the state. Citizens had 933,807 policies in place as of July 31, down from 1.5 million two years ago. Read More →
UF Report: Florida Consumer Confidence Holds Steady
The state’s consumer confidence remains at a post-recession high for the third consecutive month, according to a University of Florida report. On a scale that ranges from two to 150, confidence among Floridians sits at 82, four points higher than in May, the last time the number changed, according to a release Tuesday from UF’s Survey Research Center in the Bureau of Economic and Business Research. The numbers, however, don’t reflect mass optimism in the Sunshine State. The overall index shows an increasing pessimism in households with incomes over $30,000 a year and also recorded a drop among respondents ages 50 to 65 who may be concerned about their personal finances at they look toward retirement, the UF report noted. “These results suggest the Florida economy is not growing rapidly,” said Chris McCarty, director of the research center. “While it’s good news that the index is not volatile, we would like it to be about 10 points higher given that the recession ended more than five years ago.” Read More →
New Fiber Optic Internet Connection Being Installed For Schools
A new fiber optic cable is being installed in the Byrneville, Bratt and Walnut Hill areas. The fiber connection is being installed by a contractor for Southern Light Fiber based in Mobile. According to Escambia County School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas, the fiber connection will be used to provide improved high speed internet services for Northview High School, Bratt Elementary and Ernest Ward Middle School. Pictured: A new fiber optic cable is installed outside Bratt Elementary School. NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge. Read More →
No Surprises: With Primaries Over, Scott And Crist Look Toward November
Republican incumbent Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist are headed for a November battle of the governors after both easily sailed through Tuesday’s primary elections. The race between Scott and his predecessor Crist is already one of the nation’s most-watched, and expensive, campaign throw-downs. Crist was elected in 2006 as a Republican governor and served a single term before losing a 2010 bid for the U.S. Senate as an independent to Marco Rubio. Crist, who defeated former lawmaker Nan Rich on Tuesday, registered as a Democrat less than two years ago. “On to November. It’s us against Rick Scott — and for the people of Florida, we’re going to win. Are you in?” Crist posted on Twitter shortly before addressing supporters in Fort Lauderdale Tuesday night. After taking the stage to “Here Comes the Sun,” Crist said he is focused on “giving Florida back to the people of Florida.” Since entering the governor’s race last November, Crist largely ignored Rich, a former state Senate minority leader. That included refusing to debate Rich, a 72-year-old grandmother from Weston and former national president of the National Council of Jewish Women. Outraised 20-to-1 by Crist, the little-known Rich traversed the state on a shoestring budget, meeting with Democratic clubs from the Panhandle to the Keys while painting herself as the “true” Democrat in the race. Crist, meanwhile, travels on private planes and has campaigned almost exclusively against Scott, whose allies have pledged to spend $100 million to keep Crist from returning to the plaza level in the Capitol. Crist spent much of 2014 reinventing himself as a Democrat. He apologized to gays for his former support of Florida’s law banning same-sex marriages, put into the state Constitution by voters in 2008. Crist also backed away from his previous opposition to instate tuition for undocumented immigrant students, something Scott and the GOP-dominated Legislature approved this spring. Crist, who as education commissioner was a cheerleader for Gov. Jeb Bush’s “A+” education reforms, has also since tempered his positions on school vouchers and high-stakes testing for public school students. While Crist — the self-dubbed “People’s Governor” — concedes he has evolved on some issues, he insists that he has remained steadfast on issues important to Democrats. Soon after taking office as governor in 2007, Crist convinced the Florida Cabinet to make it easier for felons to have their rights, including the right to vote, restored. In contrast, one of Scott’s first actions as governor was to push the Cabinet to impose some of the nation’s harshest restrictions on felons seeking to have their rights restored, including a minimum five-year wait period. Crist, who says he personally opposes abortion, earned high praise from women’s rights advocates when he vetoed a controversial abortion measure that would have required women to undergo ultrasounds prior to getting the procedure. Scott later signed a similar bill into law. Before leaving office in 2010, Crist became a darling of the teachers’ unions after he vetoed a far-reaching education measure, backed by Bush, which would have made it easier to fire teachers and would have linked educators’ pay to student test scores. Crist’s efforts at winning over progressives and base voters, who are more likely to show up for primaries in mid-year elections like Tuesday’s, appeared to succeed. As of 9 p.m. Tuesday, he had captured nearly 75 percent of the vote, including in Rich’s Broward County backyard, the bastion of Democratic voters in Florida. Crist, 58, began his career in public service after being elected to the Florida Senate in 1992, where he served until 1999. His current quest for governor is Crist’s sixth attempt at statewide office — he ran losing bids for U.S. Senate in 1998 and 2010, and was elected as education commissioner in 2000, attorney general in 2002 and governor in 2006. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a U.S. congresswoman from Broward County, praised Crist and running-mate Annette Taddeo as working-class champions. “Charlie and Annette have embraced policies that will help Florida’s middle-class families, a stark contrast to the current governor, Republican Rick Scott, who is beholden to special interests and radical Tea Party ideology,” she said in a statement. And Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant also praised Crist, saying that Democrats “are ready to work harder than we’ve ever worked” to boost him to victory. Scott handily defeated two obscure GOP opponents, Yinka Abosede Adeshina and Elizabeth Cuevas-Neunder, on Tuesday. But the Scott team’s primary focus has been on Crist. “The next few months are about talk versus action. That means Florida will have a choice between a governor who sent our state into a tailspin and a governor who gets results. Charlie Crist failed as governor, lost 830,000 jobs, and tried to run off to Washington — and now he wants his job back. We’ve come a long way in the last few years, but there’s plenty of work left to do. Let’s keep working,” Scott said in a statement after the polls closed Tuesday evening. by Dara Kim, The News Service of Florida Read More →
Century Man Threatens To Kill Deputies, Every Cop That He Sees
A Century man is behind bars on a weapons charge after allegedly threatening to kill multiple Escambia County Sheriff’s deputies and every cop that he saw. Aaron Tyrone Madison, Jr., 31, was charged with possession of a concealed weapon by a convicted felon and criminal mischief with property damage. An Escambia County Sheriff’s deputy observed a four wheeler traveling north on Highway 29 carrying a passenger. The driver cut across Highway 29 onto Highway 4A. The deputy caught up with the four wheeler after it stalled in the 4000 block of Highway 4A. The driver of the four wheeler, identified as Madison, immediately took “an aggressive posture by balling his fists and taking a fighting stance, then started cursing, and threatened to shoot me and every cop he sees,” an arrest report states. Madison told the deputy that he was upset because “the police were shooting [expletive] in the street,” according to the arrest report. The deputy reported that Madison continued to be aggressive, verbally abusive and continued to threaten to kill him while holding an aggressive stance with his fists balled up. Madison was detained after he pleaded with the deputy to shoot him. A loaded .22 caliber semi-automatic Ruger pistol was found concealed under the driver’s seat of the four wheeler, with one bullet in the chamber and the weapon ready to fire, according to the report. Madison claimed ownership of the gun, saying “he wanted to shoot some police”. The passenger on the four wheeler was released and not charged. While being transported to the jail, Madison slipped his handcuffs to the front and attempted to break the plexiglass partition in the deputy’s vehicle as he yelled for the deputy to stop the vehicle or he would climb up front and kill him. The deputy stopped his vehicle near the Camp O’ The Pines in McDavid where additional deputies arrived and assisted in placing Madison in leg restraints and reposition his handcuffs. Damage to the vehicle was estimated at less than $200. Madison made several more death threats to each deputy and stated several times that he wanted deputies to shoot him, the arrest report states. Several corrections officers were needed to removed Madison from the deputy’s vehicle. The deputy’s in-car video and audio were active during the incident. Madison remained in the Escambia County Jail with bond set at $15,500. Read More →
Complete Escambia Election Results
Here are complete, but unofficial, election results from Tuesday’s primary election in Escambia County: Read More →
Valentino Off Escambia Commission; School Board Seat Still Undecided; Rep. Miller Wins
One Escambia County commissioner was unseated and a school board race is head back to the ballot following Tuesday’s primary voting in Escambia County. And Congressman Jeff Miller easily cruised past his Republican challenger on his way to the November ballot. Only 17 percent of registered voters in Escambia County voted in Tuesday’s primary. Escambia Commission District 2 Incumbent Disitrict 2Commissioner Gene Valentino was solidly defeated by challenger Doug Underhill in the Republican Primary. Underhill received 62.49% of the vote to Valentino’s 37.51%. Underhill will move on to the general election to face Deb Moore who defeated Ray Guillory in the Democratic primary 56.62% to 43.38%. Underhill, 45, works as a contractor for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and serves an executive officer of the information warfare unit at the Navy Reserve Information Operations Command at Corry Station. His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and various unit and campaign awards. Underhill resides in Perdido Key with his wife Wendy and sons Bret and Avery. Underhill’s endorsements included Sheriff David Morgan, Rep. Mike Hill, ECUA member Dale Perkins, and the Florida Police Benevolent Association. This was Underhill’s first run for office. Valentino has served two terms — eight years — on the Escambia County Commission. School Board District 3 Incumbent Linda Moultrie and challenger Charlie Nichols will face off in the general election for the District 3 Escambia County School Board seat as the top vote getters since neither received 50% of the vote. Moultrie received 36.15% of the vote Tuesday, while Charlie Nichols received 35.80%. Laura Dortch Elder is out of the race after receiving 28.05%% of the District 3 vote for the non-partisan seat. Congressional Representative District 1 Three-time incumbent Jeff Miller easily defeated challenger John Krause Tuesday for the Republican nomination for the District 1. U.S. House seat. Miller received about three quarters of the vote. In November, Miller will face Democrat James Bryan and NPA candidate Mark Wichern. Read More →
10 Years After Arriving In America, New Citizen Votes For The First Time
Ten years to the day since Cesar Gonzalez came to America from Colombia, South America, he voted in his first election Tuesday in Century. Gonzalez became a naturalized citizen on November 9, 2012, and registered to vote in the lobby of the courthouse immediately following the ceremony. Tuesday he showed his identification, just like every other U.S. citizen, and cast his vote at Precinct 22, the Century Town Hall. His path to citizenship took seven years. Gonzalez was already a permanent resident, so the only tangible benefit he received with his citizenship was the right to vote. He and his wife, Century Town Clerk Leslie Gonzalez, moved to Century in 2010. Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge. Read More →
Sheldon Advances To Take On AG Pam Bondi
Democratic voters believe George Sheldon, a former Department of Children and Families secretary, is their best hope to take on Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi in November. Sheldon, a former state legislator who most recently held a post in the Obama administration, defeated state House Minority Leader Perry Thurston on Tuesday after a mostly cordial primary campaign. Sheldon, who received a concession call from Thurston just after 8:30 p.m., was leading with more than 61 percent of the unofficial tally at 9 p.m., according to the state Division of Elections. “I believe the attorney general is the people’s lawyer, not the governor’s lawyer, and not the Legislature’s lawyer,” Sheldon told supporters during a victory party at the Wine Loft Wine Bar in Tallahassee. “Help me give Pam Bondi the job she really wants, as an anchor on FOX News.” Bondi wasted little time in both congratulating Sheldon and challenging him to a debate. “The voters will have a clear choice between candidates in this election, and they deserve to hear directly from us on the distinct difference in visions and leadership that each candidate will offer to the Attorney General’s Office,” Bondi said in a prepared statement. Sheldon, whose campaign contends Bondi has politicized the office, said he would accept the challenge, adding he would prefer a series of up to five debates. Sheldon has run for statewide office before. He was defeated in a run for education commissioner in 2000 by then-Republican Charlie Crist, who on Tuesday became the Democratic gubernatorial nominee. Sheldon offered his congratulations to Crist. Sheldon, Thurston and Crist are expected to appear together Thursday at party unity rallies in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. The first order of business for Sheldon must be to quickly build a campaign account that can give him the statewide media attention needed to compete with Bondi. Approaching the primary, Bondi had $1.68 million of the $1.84 million she had raised. A political committee she is associated with, Justice for All, has another $1.65 million waiting to be spent. Bondi has also been able to offset expenses through nearly $1 million in in-kind donations — mostly from the Republican Party of Florida — for consulting, campaign staffing, research, mailers and polling. Sheldon, meanwhile, had raised $495,948, of which $474,959 was spent heading into the primary. Libertarian Bill Wohlsifer will also appear on the November ballot. Sheldon acknowledged a tough campaign is ahead but said he believes Democrats were holding back on endorsements and contributions during the primary. “We’re not going to compete with her dollar for dollar,” Sheldon told reporters Tuesday night. “But I think if we can be competitive with half the money, then I think we can make a difference.” But while Sheldon expects to see his fund grow, the same will go for Bondi who has attracted national attention as a frequent guest on FOX News and helped lead a Republican legal battle against the federal Affordable Care Act. Bondi has also championed legislation against pill mills, synthetic drugs and human trafficking. However, Democrats believe she has made enough questionable decisions that could be exploited this fall, including her ongoing opposition to legalizing same-sex marriage and contesting a medical marijuana amendment that will go before voters this fall. by Jim Turner, The News Service of Florida Read More →
2014 Escambia County Youth Farm Bureau Speech Contest Entry Deadline Near
The Escambia County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, in collaboration with UF/IFAS Extension Escambia County Extension, EscaRosa Young Farmers and Ranchers and the Escambia County Women’s Committee, will hold the 2014 Escambia County Youth Farm Bureau Speech contest on Thursday, September 4, at 4 p.m., at the Farm Bureau Building at 153 Highway 97, Molino. The topic of this year’s speech is “Food security is an important issue to the people of the United States. How can Florida Agriculture continue to provide quality solutions for the future?}” The speech time limit is five minutes for each personally crafted speech. Competitors must be at least 14 years old and not over 18 years old on or before September 19, 2014, and must be a resident of Escambia County, Florida, but do not need to be a member of Farm Bureau. Judges reserve the right to ask questions not to exceed more than three minutes per contestant. The winner of the county contest will be asked to compete in the district contest. Escambia County Farm Bureau will help with the cost of transportation to the district meeting, and if the Escambia County contestant wins the district, Escambia County Farm Bureau will also help defray part of the cost to attend the state competition. Anyone wanting to participate must contact Katrina Sanford at (850) 587-2135, by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, September 2, to schedule a time for the competition. To access the application and more information, along with resources that can be used for the speech contest visit www.floridafarmbureau.org. Pictured: Nort hview student Courtney Solari placed second in the state last year in the Florida Farm Bureau Speech Contest. She is pictured with Northview FFA Alumni President Angus Brewton (left) and Escambia County Farm Bureau President Jimmy Cunningham. NorthEscambia.com file photo, click to enlarge. Read More →
Escambia Sheriff’s Office Schedules Drug Take-Back
The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is once again teaming up with Walgreens for another a drug take-back program with drop off locations in Escambia County, Saturday, September 27, from 8:00 am to 1:30 pm. The “Prescription Drug Take-Back” is a one-day effort to provide the public a site to voluntarily surrender expired, unwanted, unused pharmaceutically controlled substances, and other medications for destruction. Medications will be accepted at Walgreens locations: 9th and Langley Ave. Mobile Hwy and Fairfield Dr. Olive rd. and Davis Hwy. Palafox and Brent lane Mobile Hwy and Saufley Field Rd. “Prescription drug abuse is not uncommon in our society and this is an opportunity for members of our community to get rid of their unwanted drugs before they fall into the hands of someone who may abuse or misuse them,” said Sheriff David Morgan. For more information, contact Sgt. Delarian Wiggins at (850) 554-1362. Read More →
Wahoos Ends Year At Home With 6-2 Win Over Montgomery
The Pensacola Blue s ended the 2014 season with a standing ovation from the packed stadium. It was a heart-felt and electrifying moment to end the team’s 70 home games this year and deeply appreciated by the Blue Wahoos players and coaches. Plus, it was particularly gratifying going out with a victory, 6-2, over the Montgomery Biscuits Tuesday at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium. “It reminds me a lot of Wrigley Field,” said Pensacola Manager Delino DeShields. “The people keep coming back no matter what. The fans really make this place go. They are the best in the league by far in my opinion.” Starting pitcher Michael Lorenzen admitted that the players joke that they like Pensacola so much, they don’t want to get called up. “The atmosphere is always fun here, no matter the wins and losses,” said Lorenzen, who worked four innings and gave up two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out three. “We love it here. A lot of the players say we don’t want to go up. We want to stay because it’s so nice here.” Pensacola’s closer Shane Dyer, who earned his franchise record 19th save Tuesday, was on the mound as the fans rose to their feet with two out and the last Biscuits player coming to the plate. Of course, Dyer struck out Montgomery’s Richie Shaffer, who has homered the past two games. “It’s a great feeling,” he said of the loudly cheering fans. “That’s what guys in the bullpen thrive on. It’s always exciting to go out on top.” The Wahoos ended their final game of the 2014 season with a sellout crowd of 5,038 to reach 311,687 total, which is the second highest total in the Southern League behind the Birmingham Barons. It was the 33rd sellout in 70 home games this season for the Blue Wahoos, who averaged 4,453 fans a game. Pensacola had entered the final game 445 fans short of passing last season’s attendance total of 307,094. The Wahoos are now 53,072 fans from reaching the 1 million mark in attendance in their fourth season in existence, which they will likely reach by the third homestand next season. Jack-of-all-trades Brodie Greene came over from the Carolina Mudcats, which Quint and Rishy Studer bought and moved to Pensacola to start the 2012 season. Greene, who has played second base, shortstop and the outfield this season, has spent all three years in Pensacola. His season was cut short last year, when he broke his leg in July. He ended his third season with the Blue Wahoos in fairy-tale fashion, belting a solo home run to deep leftfield – his third of the year and first at home. “It was a good way to end a tough season,” Greene said. “I’ve been scuffling a little bit. I finally got one over the fence, though. It was great to see everyone behind us. It was like we were in the playoffs or something.” The Wahoos have five more games on the road against the Birmingham Barons before the end of the Southern League season. They’re 56-78 overall and out of the playoff picture. Many are making their plans for the offseason, such as playing in the Arizona Fall League, running a baseball academy in Europe, coaching a Wyoming and Colorado high school All-Star team, playing winter ball in Venezuela and returning home to their families, among other things. One thing’s for sure. As they break for the winter, the Blue Wahoos fans’ standing ovation Tuesday will still be ringing in their ears. The final five-game series for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in the 2014 season is against the Chicago White Sox Double-A affiliate the Birmingham Barons. It gets underway after a day off Wednesday with a 7:05 p.m. start Thursday. LHP Tim Adleman (3-7, 3.00) takes the mound for the Wahoos and is scheduled to be opposed by the Barons RHP Tony Bucciffero (2-2, 5.59). The season concludes Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 1. by Tommy Thrall Read More →
Man Charged In Santa Rosa Homicide; Trio Was Playing With Shotgun
One person has been arrested in connection with a homicide Monday night in Santa Rosa County. James “Hunter” Gates, 20, was charged with homicide-negligent manslaughter, using a firearm under the influence of alcohol and possession of alcohol by a person under 21. The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office responded to a shooting incident about 10:15 p.m. Monday. Gates, a female and the victim were at Gate’s home on Keyser Lane in Pace. Gates and the victim were intoxicated when they began to play with a 12 gauge pump-action shotgun. Gates observed the victim load a shotgun shell into the chamber and then eject the shell. “In a playing manner,” according to an arrest report, the victim held the muzzle end of the shotgun to his chin and waved the butt of the gun toward Gates and the female. The victim then said “something to the effect of ‘bet you won’t pull it’, which referred to pulling the trigger,” the report states. Gates took hold of the shotgun and pulled the trigger. The gun fired a shell, hitting the victim under the chin. He was pronounced deceased on the scene by a responding paramedic. According to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office, Gates had previously loaded a shotgun shell into the gun’s chamber. When the victim loaded the gun, Gates forgot about the previous shell. When he saw the victim eject a shell, Gates thought the gun was empty, the report states. The name of the victim has not yet been released pending notification of next of kin. Read More →