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Firefighters Save Cantonment Home

Firefighters Save Cantonment Home

Quick work by firefighters saved a Cantonment home early Tuesday morning. They were able to quickly extinguish an apparent stove fire about 2 a.m. in the 9900 block of Bristol Park Road. The Cantonment, Ensley and Bellview stations of Escambia Fire Rescue responded to the blaze. Photo by Kristi Barbour for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.  Read More →

August 30, 2016 | Read the story »

One Injured When Semi Hits Two Vehicles In Jay

One Injured When Semi Hits Two Vehicles In Jay

One person was injured when the driver of a semi plowed into a couple of other vehicles in Jay Monday morning. According to the Florida Highway Patrol,  semi truck driver Winston Terry Spencer, age 45 of Chipley, said his vision was obstructed by a glare on his windshield as he rear-ended a 2002 GMC Sierra driven by 22-year old Gerald Casey Kilpatrick of Jay. The accident happened about 11 a.m. on Highway 4 at Commerce Street as Kilpatrick slowed for traffic. After hitting Kilpatrick’s Sierra, the semi also hit a parked Kia Sorrento and a sign belonging to Tri-City Home Medical Supply. Spencer and Kilpatrick were not injured. Kilpatrick’s passenger, 29-year old Rachel Jackson of Jay, was transported to Jay Hospital with minor injuries. Spencer was cited for careless driving by the FHP.  Read More →

August 30, 2016 | Read the story »

Watching The Gulf

Watching The Gulf

Eyes remain upon the  tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico today, but it appears more and more likely that it will have little or no impact on the local area. It is now forecast to remain east of Northwest Florida. The latest information is in the graphic above.  Read More →

August 30, 2016 | Read the story »


Slight Chance Of Rain Today

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast: Tuesday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 92. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph. Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 71. Northeast wind around 5 mph. Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 95. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph. Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 73. Northeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening. Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 96. North wind 5 to 10 mph. Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 75. North wind around 5 mph. Friday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 95. North wind around 5 mph. Friday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 74. West wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening. Saturday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 92. Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 72. Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 89. Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 71. Labor Day: Mostly sunny, with a high near 89.  Read More →

August 30, 2016 | Read the story »


FWC Law Enforcement Report

The Florida FWC Division of Law Enforcement reported the following activity during the weekly period ending August 25 in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. ESCAMBIA COUNTY Officers Allgood, Cushing, Roberson, Manning, Miller and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Pensacola worked commercial shrimp boats in Pensacola Bay for several nights. Multiple net and safety violations were documented with warnings and citations. A total of four oversized shrimp nets were seized. One of the nets measured more than 900 square feet, almost twice the legal size. Officers Allgood, Cushing and McHenry worked offshore onboard the FinCat. During an inspection of a commercial reef fish vessel, Officer Allgood discovered a grossly undersized greater amberjack in an ice box. One of the crew members stated that he was going to use it for bait. A federal citation was issued for the violation. While approaching a different vessel during the patrol, the FWC crew noticed a red snapper floating in the water behind it. During the inspection, Officer Allgood located several undersized Spanish mackerel. While alongside, the FWC crew members observed several large red snapper scales on the transom of the vessel. After speaking with the subjects on board, Officer Allgood was directed to a bag of red snapper fillets. Federal citations were issued for the violations. While approaching a recreational vessel, the FinCat crew observed one subject on board move to the rear of the vessel and throw something out of the vessel. The FWC crew observed a one-gallon bag full of fish fillets floating on the water. During the subsequent vessel inspection, Officers Allgood and McHenry discovered several more bags of fillets including gray triggerfish, greater amberjack, red snapper and another 50‑pound greater amberjack in whole condition. Federal citations were issued for the violations. Lieutenant Hahr was patrolling in the Perdido River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) when he observed a car pull into an area where nighttime access is prohibited. He made contact with the driver and observed signs of impairment. After field alcohol tasks were performed, he arrested the driver for driving under the influence (DUI). She was transported to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office where she provided a breath sample of .099 almost 2 ½ hours after the stop. She was booked for driving with a breath alcohol level of .08 or above. SANTA ROSA COUNTY Officers Jones, Roberson, Barnard, Rockwell and Trueblood and the USCG responded to a missing boater in the Intracoastal Waterway near the Navarre Causeway. It was reported by fire rescue that two people were on board a small sailing boat when one of them fell overboard. Rescue units worked through the night searching for the missing person. The following morning the missing person was found alive and well at a family member’s residence. The investigation is ongoing. Officers Ramos and Lewis taught the laws portion of the Hunter Safety Course at Avalon Middle School and Jay High School. As hunting season nears, FWC reminds hunters that anyone over the age of 16 and born on or after June 1, 1975, is required to complete the Hunter Safety Course unless using the Hunter Safety mentoring exemption and hunting under the supervision of a qualified hunter. This report represents some events the FWC handled over the past week; however, it does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement. Information provided by FWC.  Read More →

August 30, 2016 | Read the story »

Both Sides Urge Justices To Resolve Credit Card Law

Both Sides Urge Justices To Resolve Credit Card Law

A group of Florida businesses agrees the U.S. Supreme Court should resolve questions about the constitutionality of a state law that has barred merchants from imposing surcharges on customers who pay with credit cards — but the answer might ultimately come in a case from New York. Attorney General Pam Bondi in June asked the Supreme Court to take up the dispute, after a federal appeals court ruled that the law violated the First Amendment. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the law allows businesses to offer discounts to customers who pay with cash but does not allow surcharges for credit-card purchases — a situation the ruling likened to “distinctions in search of a difference.” Lawyers for four Florida businesses that challenged the law filed a document this month agreeing that the case is worthy of a Supreme Court decision. But they urged justices to resolve the issues through a New York case, which involves a similar law and was filed earlier. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a New York law blocking businesses from imposing surcharges for credit-card purchases. That conflicts with the ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the Florida case — a conflict that could serve as potential grounds for the Supreme Court to decide to take up the case. “None of this is to say that this (Florida) case would be a poor vehicle. It would not be,” said the document filed this month in the Florida case. “But there is nothing to suggest that it would be a better vehicle than (the New York case). If anything, the robust record of enforcement in (the New York case) makes that case a superior vehicle. That record includes a criminal prosecution and numerous detailed and uncontested declarations from merchants targeted by the New York attorney general in recent years for violating the law.” A petition filed in May at the Supreme Court in the New York case said 10 states have laws regulating how businesses can communicate price differences when customers pay with credit cards or cash. Florida has allowed businesses to offer discounts to customers who pay with cash but has not allowed price differences to be construed as surcharges for credit-card users. The challenge to the Florida law was filed in 2014 by businesses that had received “cease-and-desist” letters from the state related to alleged violations of the credit-card surcharge law, according to court documents. The businesses were Dana’s Railroad Supply in Spring Hill, TM Jewelry LLC in Key West, Tallahassee Discount Furniture in Tallahassee and Cook’s Sportland in Venice. The law says violators can face second-degree misdemeanor charges. The businesses argued, and a majority of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, that the law violates free-speech rights. In the document filed this month at the Supreme Court, for example, the businesses’ lawyers wrote that Dana’s Railroad Supply wanted to “disclose the true cost of accepting credit cards” to customers of the model-railroad hobby shop. “They want to put their sign back up without fearing criminal prosecution,” the document, posted on the website SCOTUSblog said. “They would like to truthfully tell their customers — ‘both at the entrance to (the) store and at the register so that there will be no surprise’ — that the store ‘will add a small fee onto the sale if they choose to pay by credit card, and that there will be no fee if they choose to pay with cash or debit.’ The other respondents (businesses) want to say the same.” But in the June petition to the Supreme Court, Bondi’s office argued that the law deals with a “pricing practice” and is not a free-speech issue. “This (Supreme) Court’s intervention is necessary to correct the 11th Circuit’s contravention of a well-established axiom of First Amendment law: Regulations of economic conduct do not implicate the First Amendment,” the petition said. “The surcharge statute, by prohibiting a particular pricing practice, is just such a regulation. If allowed to remain, the 11th Circuit’s holding to the contrary will obscure the bright line that this (Supreme) Court has drawn between speech and economic conduct and … will cast a First Amendment cloud over a variety of economic regulations.” by Jim Saunders, The News Service of Florida  Read More →

August 30, 2016 | Read the story »

Volleyball: PHS Downs Northview

Volleyball: PHS Downs Northview

The Northview High School varsity and junior varsity volleyball teams fell to Pensacola High School on Monday in Bratt. JV 22-25, 12-25 PHS wins Varsity 18-25, 5-25, 8-25 PHS wins The Northview Lady Chiefs will travel to Central on Tuesday for junior varsity at 5:00 and varsity at 6:00. The Chiefs will host Laurel Hill on Thursday, JV at 4:00, varsity at 5:00. NorthEscambia.com file photo, click to enlarge.  Read More →

August 30, 2016 | Read the story »

Wahoos Beat Jacksonville

Wahoos Beat Jacksonville

Pensacola Blue Wahoos Barrett Astin threw in relief and as a starter in college with the Arkansas Razorbacks and in his four seasons in professional baseball. The 24-year-old freely admits he prefers the bullpen but you wouldn’t know it from his 11 starts with Pensacola this season. Astin started his third straight game for Pensacola and threw a season-high seven scoreless innings to lead the Blue Wahoos to its fourth consecutive win, 4-0, Monday over the Jacksonville Suns at Blue Wahoos Stadium. The victory clinched the Blue Wahoos fourth straight series win and they are 13-5 heading down the stretch. It puts them just a half game behind the Mississippi Braves who are on a 3-10 slide, including a seven game losing streak, since the Atlanta Braves called up Mississippi shortstop Dansby Swanson on Aug. 17. Pensacola, the first half Southern League South Division champion, is 34-29 in the second half and has its best overall record in franchise history at 75-58, while Mississippi is 34-28 and 68-63. Astin said he feels comfortable in either role. Last year, he started all 14 games he pitched for Pensacola and 11 of the 16 games he played at High-A Daytona Tortugas to start the 2015 season. He was 8-9 overall with a 3.98 ERA. “Really I’ve been starting and relieving my whole career,” said Astin, who reached the College World Series in 2012 as the Arkansas closer. “I prefer being a reliever. But right now this is what the (Cincinnati) Reds want.” They may want more of right-handed starter Astin who ended up tossing seven innings, allowing five hits, no walks and striking out seven. He is the second Pensacola pitcher after Rookie Davis, who got called up to the Triple-A Louisville Bats, to win nine games (9-3) and Astin now has a 2.29 ERA and a WHIP under 1.00. Pensacola manager Pat Kelly said he believes Astin has benefitted from returning to the Blue Wahoos this season. Astin was 1-4 in his last seven starts last year in Double-A for the first time with Pensacola and saw his ERA balloon from 3.48 to 5.63. “He has shown confidence and been aggressive, coming right after the hitters,” Kelly said. “Repeating this league has been good for him.” Astin agrees that a second year of seasoning has helped him develop as a pitcher. He throws a fastball, slider, curveball, changeup and cutter. Last night, he threw all of them over the plate throwing 59 of 84 pitches for strikes. “I had five (Monday) tonight and threw them all for strikes, which helps a lot,” he said. “It gives me a lot of confidence getting ready for the playoffs. You want to go in clicking on all cylinders.” Kelly said that Mississippi misses Swanson, who even though he was hitting .261, provided the leadership and defense the Braves needed. “That’s a huge part of it,” said Kelly about Swanson’s promotion to Atlanta. “At this level one player, one batter can improve your lineup or really hurt it. He was only hitting in the .260s but he played solid steady defense for them.” Jacksonville Suns pitcher Luis Castillo quickly showed his 99-mph fastball, striking out Pensacola second baseman and leadoff hitter Alex Blandino, in the first inning. Still, both Blandino and left fielder Phillip Ervin hit his main pitch out of the park just foul down the left field line. Despite Castillo’s velocity in only his second start for Jacksonville, center fielder Brandon Dixon crushed a pitch into left-center over Suns left fielder Austin Dean’s head that drove in Ervin, who drew a walk, for a 1-0 Blue Wahoos lead. Castillo was replaced after 3.2 innings giving up three runs on two hits and four walks, while striking out five. He earned the loss and now 0-1 with a 1.86 ERA. He had an impressive Double-A debut last week against the Chattanooga Lookouts, allowing one earned run in six innings. Dixon led Pensacola at the plate, going 2-4, with his 22nd double of the season and driving in his 63rd RBI.  He now has hit in nine straight games and is batting .462 (18-39) with one homer and nine RBIs. Meanwhile, Pensacola right fielder Sebastian Elizalde had his hit streak end at 13 games, going 0-4 and striking out twice. He fell one game short of his career-high 14 game hitting streak for High-A Daytona last year.  Read More →

August 30, 2016 | Read the story »

Residents Urged To Monitor Tropics, Check Storm Preparations

Escambia County Emergency Management is closely monitoring the tropics.  Residents are urged to do the same by monitoring local media, including NorthEscambia.com, for the most up-to-date forecasts daily, as the track is currently very uncertain. While this storm may not or may not impact our area, residents are encouraged to take the time now double check their storm supplies and began basic storm preparations. The key to reducing the stress and impact on your family is to prepare by having a plan, getting a kit and staying informed: Review or make a family plan. This includes: Knowing your evacuation zone. Check online at http://maps2.roktech.net/escambia_searchbar/results.html Know where you will go. If you live in an evacuation zone, know where you will go and how you will get there.  Will you go to a friend or relative’s home, a hotel, or as a last resort, a public shelter? It is always easier to go tens of miles, not hundreds. Have a communication plan. Plan now how you will contact one another and where you will meet. Plan for those with special needs. Make arrangements in advance to accommodate those in your family with special needs like the elderly, children and pets. Always have at least an extra three day supply of medical supplies, medication and any other special items you may need. Understand Watch vs. Warning, the hurricane cone and what steps you need to take when. Learn more at myescambia.com/docs/default-source/default-document-library/escambia-county-disaster-guide-2016.pdf#page=20 Get a Kit - Your disaster kit should have at least three days of nonperishable food and three gallons of water for each person and pet in your home, along with other supplies. See myescambia.com/docs/default-source/default-document-library/escambia-county-disaster-guide-2016.pdf#page=46 Stay Informed – A tropical system can develop very quickly. Be sure you take time every day to monitor the local media. It is also recommended that residents begin take a few minutes to inspect their home and yard. Check for, fix or remove loose items on your home and sheds. Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and down spouts. Trim trees and shrubs around your home.  Read More →

August 29, 2016 | Read the story »

Winning Fantasy 5 Tickets Sold In Molino and Pensacola

Two people are over $44,000 richer after purchasing winning Florida Lottery Fantasy 5 tickets in Molino and Pensacola. A ticket sold at the Molino First Stop at, 6530 Highway 95A and another ticket sold at the Tom Thumb, 5695 Pensacola Boulevard were the only two tickets in the state to match all of Sunday night’s winning numbers. The two winners will share a top prize of $88,852.35. The 239 tickets matching four numbers won $119.50 each. Another 6,879  tickets matching three numbers are worth $11.50 each, and 66,910 ticket holders won a free Quick Pick ticket for picking two numbers. Sun day’s winning numbers were 20-23-30-33-35  Read More →

August 29, 2016 | Read the story »

UWF’s Haas Center, Supervisor Of Elections To Study Voting Process

The Escambia County Supervisor of Elections Office and the Haas Center at the University of West Florida is undertaking a new study to determine how satisfied voters are with the types and availability of voting options in the county. “For quite some time, we have wanted to conduct a study to try to gauge voter attitudes and opinions in Escambia County,” said David Stafford, Escambia County supervisor of elections. “With higher voter participation in a presidential election year, this seemed like the perfect time to conduct this project.” The study will assess the ease and efficiency of the voting process and the voters’ knowledge of voting options, locations and other general election information. “The research will be starting up with a pilot study for the August primary and then larger data collection for the November general (election),” said Amy Newburn, assistant director of the Haas Center. Data collection will consist of two parts, post-election phone surveys and early voting and election day intercept surveys. The analysis will continue through the end of the 2016 with the final findings released in 2017. Participants will be asked questions such as, “How confident are you that your vote counted as intended, and how confident are you that all of the ballots in the county are counted as the voter(s) intended?” “We are looking to see what voting method voters chose and why, where they get their election information, and how knowledgeable they feel the election workers are at the polling location or early-voting site,” Stafford said. The project is funded jointly by the supervisor of elections and a grant from the UWF Center for Research and Economic Opportunity’s Northwest Florida Asset Valuation and Marketing Support Program. The Escambia County Supervisor of Elections Office and the Haas Center at the University of West Florida is undertaking a new study to determine how satisfied voters are with the types and availability of voting options in the county. “For quite some time, we have wanted to conduct a study to try to gauge voter attitudes and opinions in Escambia County,” said David Stafford, Escambia County supervisor of elections. “With higher voter participation in a presidential election year, this seemed like the perfect time to conduct this project.” The study will assess the ease and efficiency of the voting process and the voters’ knowledge of voting options, locations and other general election information. “The research will be starting up with a pilot study for the August primary an “We are looking to see what voting method voters chose and why, where they get their election information, and how knowledgeable they feel the election workers are at the polling location or early-voting site,” Stafford said. The project is funded jointly by the supervisor of elections and a grant from the UWF Center for Research and Economic Opportunity’s Northwest Florida Asset Valuation and Marketing Support Program. d then larger data collection for the November general (election),” said Amy Newburn, assistant director of the Haas Center. Data collection will consist of two parts, post-election phone surveys and early voting and election day intercept surveys. The analysis will continue through the end of the 2016 with the final findings released in 2017. Participants will be asked questions such as, “How confident are you that your vote counted as intended, and how confident are you that all of the ballots in the county are counted as the voter(s) intended?”  Read More →

August 29, 2016 | Read the story »

Pensacola Blue Wahoos Rally To Top Jacksonville, 7-4

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos spotted the Jacksonville Suns four runs in the first inning Sunday at Blue Wahoos Stadium. But after that, the Blue Wahoos bullpen combined on 8.1 innings of shutout ball to deliver a 7-4 victory over the Suns. With eight games left in the season, the Blue Wahoos have won three straight games and seven of its last 10. Pensacola manager Pat Kelly said there was no panic in the dugout after digging themselves into a four-run hole. “It was early,” Kelly said. “We emphasized they didn’t have to make it up all at once. Mentally, the guys never felt they were out of the game.” In fact, the Blue Wahoos cut the lead in half, 4-2, in the bottom of the first inning when left fielder Brandon Dixon smashed a fly ball into the left center gap to drive in Blue Wahoos second baseman Alex Blandino to make the score, 4-1. Pensacola shortstop Zach Vincej then delivered a single to center to score Dixon and put the Blue Wahoos right back in the game. Vincej entered the game in a 4-29 slump but got on base all four times with two singles, a double and a walk Sunday, plus he scored and drove in a run. Vincej said his swing had gotten “too big and too long” and he concentrated on having a quicker swing. “The end of the year is the time to heat up,” said Vincej, who hit .370 in July. “Every single day we’re trying to compete. We still want to have pride in what we’re doing. We want to go into the playoffs with a hot streak.” Pensacola pitcher Jackson Stephens uncharacteristically had his shortest outing of the season, lasting just 0.2 innings while giving up four runs on three hits and three walks. But the Blue Wahoos bullpen came through after that. Pensacola reliever El’Hajj Muhamad pitched 3.2 scoreless innings, allowing four hits, one walk and striking out three. He was followed by 2.2 scoreless innings from Evan Mitchell, who earned the victory and is 3-1 on the year. Abel De Los Santos walked two and struck out two in one shutout inning and then Kyle McMyne earned his fifth save by pitching a scoreless ninth inning. “I thought (Muhammad) did a tremendous job,” Kelly said. “Eight and a third scoreless innings. You can’t ask for more than that.” Vincej said “El” fired up the offense with his performance. “El came in and did a phenomenal job,” he said. “Everyone kind of got fired up after that. You want to put up runs for guys competing their butts off like that.” Chad Wallach hit a two-out, two-run bomb over the left field fence in the fourth inning to tie the game, 4-4. All of Wallach’s seven homers this season have come at home in Blue Wahoos Stadium. Three innings later in the seventh inning, Ronald Bueno scored the go ahead run, 5-4, when he smacked a pinch hit single up the middle, reached second on Pensacola second baseman Alex Blandino’s single to third and then scored from second base on a passed ball and throwing error by Jacksonville catcher Sharif Othman. Right fielder Sebastian Elizalde doubled in Blandino for a 6-4 lead. Elizalde now has hit in 13 straight games, which is one game short of his 14-game streak last season with the High-A Daytona Tortugas. The 24-year-old is 22-52 or .423 during his current streak. Derek Dietrich, who is doing a Major League rehab assignment for the Miami Marlins with Jacksonville, was 2-4 with a walk and scored the first run of the game for the Suns. In two games, he is 2-8. The Mississippi Braves snapped its seven game losing streak with a 6-4 win over the Chattanooga Lookouts and improved its record in the second half to 34-27 in the South Division. It remains 1.5 games ahead of Pensacola, which won the South Division in the first half, and is now 33-29 in the second half. “If we can win both halves that would be a pretty impressive thing to do,” Vincej said.  Read More →

August 29, 2016 | Read the story »

FDOT: Weekly Traffic Alerts

Drivers will encounter traffic disruptions on the following state roads in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties as crews perform construction and maintenance activities. Escambia County: Interstate 10 (I-10) Widening – Alternating lane closures on I-10 east and westbound, between Davis Highway (State Road (S.R.) 291/Exit 13) and Scenic Highway (U.S. 90/Exit 17), from 8 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 29 through Thursday, Sept. 1 as crews place temporary barrier wall and pavement markers. I-10 / U.S. 29 Interchange – Drivers will experience the following impacts on I-10 and U.S. 29 the week of Sunday, Aug. 28. Alternating lane closures on I-10 eastbound near U.S. 29 from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 28 through Thursday, Sept. 1 as crews perform drainage work. The U.S. 29 north to I-10 eastbound ramp will be intermittently closed Sunday through Thursday nights from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. through the end of August as crews work on the shoulder of the roadway. Traffic will be detoured north to make a U-turn at Broad Street and access I-10 eastbound. Traffic on U.S. 29 near the I-10 interchange will be shifted to the outside beginning Wednesday night, Aug. 31. The shift will allow crews to perform drainage improvements in the median and will be in place for approximately one month. 9th Avenue (S.R. 289) - Southbound outside lane restricted between Berkley Drive and Barcia Drive from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 28 through Thursday, Sept. 3 as crews perform underground utility maintenance work. Santa Rosa County: I-10 Widening – Alternating lane closures, between the Escambia Bay Bridge and S.R. 281 (Avalon Boulevard/Exit 22), from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 28 through Thursday, Sept. 1 as crews continue widening work. In addition, there will be alternating lane closures on Avalon Boulevard near the I-10 interchange for bridge work. I-10 Resurfacing – Intermittent and alternating lane closures east and westbound between the S.R. 87 interchange and the Okaloosa County line from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 28 through Thursday, Sept. 1 as crews perform paving operations.  Motorists are reminded the speed limit is reduced to 60 MPH within the lane closure. U.S. 98 - Intermittent and alternating lane closures and slow moving operations between Bayshore Road and the Okaloosa County line continue  from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Wednesday, Aug. 31.  as crews perform striping operations. All activities are weather dependent and may be delayed or re-scheduled in the event of inclement weather. Drivers are reminded to use caution, especially at night, when traveling in a work zone and to watch for construction workers and equipment entering and exiting the roadway.  Read More →

August 28, 2016 | Read the story »

Ernest Ward Middle School Advisory Council To Meet Tuesday

The Ernest Ward Middle School Advisory Council will meet this week. The SAC is an avenue through which parents can meet with representatives from school administration, teachers, educational support staff, and students to discuss all aspects of student life at Ernest Ward, from academics to extracurricular activities. The SAC meets at least four times per year. The first meeting will be at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, August 30 and is open to the public.  Read More →

August 28, 2016 | Read the story »

Florida Gov’t Weekly Roundup: Where’s The Love?

Floridians may be excused for avoiding their mailboxes, refusing to answer knocks on their doors and turning off their televisions. It’s what’s known in Capitol circles as “the silly season,” and the mud is at an all-time high. Accusations of bribery and links to terrorist groups and arguments about the rap sheets of candidates’ dads are part of the campaign slime leading up to Tuesday’s primary elections, which can’t come soon enough for some. Thank goodness for the Florida Supreme Court for providing a salacious respite from business-as-usual on the election trail. The justices permanently disbarred two lawyers affiliated with a bizarre case involving a Tampa radio personality known as “Bubba the Love Sponge.” Trustees of a Florida university also offered a diversion from the antics leading up to Tuesday’s primary elections, but what happens now at the school is about as clear as, well, mud. Inboxes are bursting with last-minute appeals from candidates and strategists who could not be blamed for relying on the wisdom of Sun Tzu, whose “The Art of War” is considered a handbook for many in the hand-to-hand combat of politics. “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity,” the centuries-old advice reads. NO LOVE LOST From Miami to Pensacola, political campaigns and shadowy committees are doing their final bits of dirty work before the primaries. In an already-contentious state Senate primary in Palm Beach County, the acrimony reached a new level after two Democratic contenders dragged in paternal rap sheets. State Rep. Bobby Powell, D-West Palm Beach, and personal-injury attorney Michael Steinger of Palm Beach Gardens had already exchanged volleys about alleged vote-by-mail ballot shenanigans and ties to special interests. But Steinger, who has put $490,000 of his own money into the Senate race, ran a television ad that included a mug shot of Powell’s father. Powell’s father, a previously convicted felon, was arrested in July for aggravated assault. He was alleged to have hit a woman in the head and fired a gun in a Riviera Beach home the Powells have shared. Steinger said the intent wasn’t to make the senior Powell an issue, but to highlight that Bobby Powell talks of supporting gun control yet he allowed a firearm to have been “illegally” kept in his home. “It seems to go against everything he says,” said Steinger, who added he was simply responding to prior negative ads from Powell. Powell lashed back Monday against the TV spot through an email, which also served as a fundraising message, saying, “This race isn’t about our parents — which is why I’ve never talked about his father — this race is about Michael Steinger and me.” But that didn’t stop Powell from visiting the sins of Steinger’s father. “If my father were currently serving a 20-year sentence in federal prison after being convicted of running a $1.25 Billion Ponzi scheme (as Mr. Steinger’s father Joel is), I don’t think I would bring family into things,” Powell said in the email. Further south, a contentious Senate battle between three Democrats has included accusations of bribery, links to a terrorist group and election hijinks. The fight has roped in state prosecutors and local police as three Democratic primary contenders vie in the newly redrawn Senate District 40. Incumbent Sen. Dwight Bullard is being challenged by Andrew Korge, who doesn’t live in the district but says he grew up in it, and Ana Rivas Logan, a Republican-turned-Democrat who served a single term in the state House. Korge and supporters have recently focused on a trip Bullard took to the Middle East with members of the Dream Defenders, a group affiliated with the Black Lives Matter organization. Bullard’s tour guide was affiliated with the anti-Israel BDS movement, a pro-Palestinian group linked with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, something Bullard said he was unaware of until news reports raised questions after he returned from the May trip. “It’s just disturbing,” Korge said in an interview outside the West Miami Dade Regional Library recently. “This raises a lot of questions. … It’s concerning that an American elected official should be meeting with members of a terrorist organization.” Bullard said he is “agnostic” about Palestinians and Israel, a hot-button issue in a district with many Jewish voters. “I am not supporting a terrorist organization nor have I ever nor am I leaning to it,” Bullard said in a telephone interview this week. “The reason I went was because I had never been to the region and had been hearing all kinds of issues and concerns related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as to the conditions under which the Palestinians were living.” Rivas Logan, the only Hispanic seeking the nomination, suspended her campaign a month ago but has re-emerged on the scene in the final days before the Aug. 30 primary. “People are using whatever they can to get elected, and running at all costs is not victory,” she said. NOT MUCH LOVE FOR LOVE SPONGE LAWYERS In a rare move, the Florida Supreme Court permanently disbarred two lawyers for their roles in setting up the drunken-driving arrest of an opposing attorney in a high-profile case involving radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge Clem. Describing the misconduct as “essentially unprecedented,” the Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously supported the disbarment of Robert D. Adams and Adam Robert Filthaut, who were with the Tampa firm Adams & Diaco, P.A. in January 2013 when the bizarre series of events occurred. At that time, Adams & Diaco was defending Clem in a defamation lawsuit filed by another radio personality, Todd Schnitt. Adams, Filthaut and a third member of the firm, Stephen Christopher Diaco, took part in a scheme to set up a DUI arrest of one of Schnitt’s lawyers, Phillip Campbell, according to the Supreme Court. Diaco agreed earlier to disbarment, according to the ruling. The set-up took place on Jan. 23, 2013, as the civil lawsuit involving the radio personalities was in recess for the night. Campbell and his co-counsel in the case had walked to Malio’s Steakhouse in Tampa for dinner and drinks and were spotted by a paralegal who worked for Adams & Diaco. The paralegal, Melissa Personius, contacted Adams about Campbell being in the restaurant and ultimately had drinks with Campbell at the bar without telling him that she worked for Adams & Diaco, the Supreme Court ruling said. Filthaut, meanwhile, called a friend, then-Tampa police Sgt. Raymond Fernandez and told him Campbell was drinking at Malio’s and might drive while intoxicated. Later in the evening, Campbell — who planned to walk to his nearby home — offered to call a cab for Personius. Personius refused to leave her car overnight in valet parking and insisted it be moved to a secure parking lot, the ruling said. Campbell agreed to move the car to a lot near his apartment building, was pulled over by Fernandez and subsequently charged with DUI. Campbell’s bag containing trial information was left in Personius’ car. FAMU PREZ DOESN’T FEEL THE LOVE The future of embattled Florida A&M University President Elmira Mangum remained in limbo after the school’s board of trustees this week narrowly rejected a one-year extension of her contract. Following a trustees’ decision in June to take no action on Mangum’s three-year contract, which is scheduled to expire April 1, the board renewed its debate Wednesday after an annual evaluation that was critical of her leadership. A solid majority of the 13-member board found the president did not meet expectations on four of the 11 goals, including her relationship with trustees. Mangum, who was appointed in 2014, said there was a “lack of clarity” on many of the evaluation goals, which included items like “organizational management.” “What does success look like and how do the members of the board define it?” Mangum asked, adding she had expected more discussion between herself and the evaluators before the report was finalized. But Mangum’s comments drew a strong rebuttal from a number of trustees, who noted the evaluation goals were very similar to last year’s evaluation and the process has been underway for months. Matthew Carter, a trustee and former member of state Public Service Commission, said if Mangum had issues with the evaluation process, they should have been raised much earlier. “I’m just kind of in shock really,” he said. STORY OF THE WEEK: Florida health officials reported the state’s first locally transmitted case of the mosquito-borne Zika virus outside of Miami-Dade County, announcing Tuesday that a case had been found in Pinellas County. The state later said another locally transmitted case was found in Palm Beach County. QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “The misconduct giving rise to the disciplinary actions against these three attorneys is among the most shocking, unethical, and unprofessional as has ever been brought before this (Supreme) Court.” — The Florida Supreme Court in a ruling permanently disbarring two lawyers involved in a high-profile case involving “Bubba the Love Sponge,” a Tampa radio personality. by Dara Kam, The News Service of Florida  Read More →

August 28, 2016 | Read the story »

Wahoos Beat Jacksonville

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos won the first half of the Southern League South Division and now are in the hunt to win the second half, too. The Blue Wahoos defeated Jacksonville, 5-3, thanks in part to a two-out, two-run homer by Brandon Dixon and pulled within 1.5 games of current frontrunner Mississippi Braves. Mississippi lost its seventh game in a row and is 33-27 in the South Division and are 67-62 overall. Meanwhile, Pensacola is 32-29 in the second half and are having the club’s best season in its five-year history at 73-58 overall. Pensacola won five in a row starting Aug. 17 and are 12-5 since then. The Blue Wahoos pulled out another victory Saturday when they scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning when Pensacola shortstop Zach Vincej hit a sacrifice fly to left field that allowed both center fielder Jeff Gelalich and left fielder Phillip Ervin to score when Jacksonville left fielder Austin Dean threw the ball to home off the mark. The two runs put the Blue Wahoos ahead, 5-3. Pensacola closer Alejandro Chacin then entered the game in the ninth and saved his 26th game for the Blue Wahoos record, surpassing Zack Weiss, who had 25 for Pensacola last season. Pensacola manager Pat Kelly, who was celebrating his 61st birthday, likes the way his team is playing, especially Chacin, who allowed two hits and struck out two in his one inning. “The players have confidence behind him,” Kelly said. “There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that he was going to finish that one out.” Pensacola jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Dixon smashed a two-out, two run homer to left field. Dixon, who last hit one out of the park on Aug. 2, now has a team-leading 15 homers and 61 RBIs. He has a seven game hit streak and is batting .469 (15-32) with one homer and seven RBIs. Dixon, who has 28 hits in August compared to 31 in June and July combined, said he turned things around working with Cincinnati Reds instructor Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin on being more consistent and driving the ball. “I’m just driving the ball more and trying to make more consistent contact,” said the 24-year-old Dixon, who played for the Arizona Wildcats in college. “You get hot sometimes and sometimes things just don’t go your way.” Ervin generated a run in the sixth inning. He leadoff with a hit by a pitch, stole second for his 34th steal of the year, move to third on a ground out by Vincej and beat a diving Jacksonville catcher Cam Maron to home plate for a 3-0 lead. “He had Billy Hamilton in him there,” Kelly said about the Cincinnati Reds base thief. “He got a great break to the plate. It was outstanding.” After allowing 10 runs in eight innings in his last two starts, Pensacola starter Tyler Mahle returned to his pitching form when he came up with the Blue Wahoos mid-season. Mahle had retired 12 batters in a row before Jacksonville right fielder Alex Glenn smashed a two-run, line drive home run with no outs to pull within, 3-2, of Pensacola. The 21-year-old Mahle tossed 6.1 innings, gave up two hits, two runs, three walks and struck out seven. Jacksonville’s Glenn, who is hitting .296 this season, has four homers and 12 RBIs in his last 11 games.  Read More →

August 28, 2016 | Read the story »

High School Football Finals

Here are final scores from around the area: Crestview 70, Northview 0 Flomaton 42, Jay 7 Tate 42, Biloxi 22 Pine Forest 33, Pensacola 12 Washington 25, Milton 13 Gulf Breeze 38, Choctaw 29 Pace 35, Fort Walton Beach 7 Navarre 41, Catholic 13 Baker 30, Holmes County 14 West Florida 28, Escambia 27 (Thurs pm) Escambia County (Atmore) 24, Wilcox Central 16 Opp 30, T.R. Miller 20 Tallassee (AL) 26, W.S. Neal 21 Escambia Academy (off week)  Read More →

August 27, 2016 | Read the story »

UWF Enrollment Reaches Record Of 13,000 Students

The University of West Florida has surpassed 13,000 in enrollment for the first time in the institution’s history, reaching 13,030 students for the Fall 2016 semester, as of today, Aug. 24, 2016. “We have a lot to be excited about as we start the fall semester, and this news adds to that excitement,” said UWF President Dr. Judith Bense. “I am proud that we’ve reached this milestone, as it shows we are becoming a first-choice university. Enrollment is dropping at many mid-sized public and private universities, but we are growing and thriving. The future is bright at UWF.” UWF reached 10,000 in enrollment in 2008 and 12,000 in 2012. The growth has been steady in recent years, reaching 12,416 in 2014 and 12,603 in 2015. “We have added a number of new programs to meet student demand and regional workforce needs,” added Dr. Martha Saunders, executive vice president and provost. “Our cybersecurity, supply chain logistics and online programs have generated a great deal of enthusiasm. Combine that with the finest faculty on the planet, and we have a winning combination for a great academic year.” Graduate students accounted for the largest growth entering Fall 2016. The total graduate student headcount increased by approximately 20 percent compared to Fall 2015. Additionally, sophomore undergraduate students increased by approximately 15 percent for Fall 2016. The increase in sophomores is a direct result of the University’s increased focus on student retention.  Read More →

August 27, 2016 | Read the story »

Tate Tops Biloxi (With Photo Gallery)

The Tate High School Aggies hit the road Friday night for their season opener to hand Biloxi High School a 44-22 loss. The Aggies were first on the board with 8:12 on the clock in the first, and added another touchdown with 1:07 in the first to end the quarter with a 14-0 advantage. Tate scored again early in the second for comfortable 21-0 lead, but Biloxi scored in the second and again early in the third to make it 21-14. Tate answered with 9:48 to go in the fourth to make it 28-14; however, the Indians scored again and had two point conversion for a 28-22 score. The Aggies scored again twice in the fourth quarter for the 44-22 final. The Tate Aggies (1-0) will be at home in Pete Gindl Stadium next Friday night as they host the West Florida Jaguars. For more photos from Biloxi, click here. Photos by Jennifer Repine for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.  Read More →

August 27, 2016 | Read the story »

Early Voting Ends Today, Over 7,000 Voted Early So Far In Escambia County

Today is the final day of early voting in Escambia County, with seven sites available.  As of Friday, 7,092 residents — a 12 percent turnout — had voted early in Escambia County. Early voting is available today at the following locations: Molino Community Center, 6450 Highway 95A North, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Escambia County Extension Office, 3740 Stefani Road, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Genealogy Branch Library,  5740 N. 9th Avenue, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Bellview-Saufley, 916 W Michigan Avenue, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Southwest Branch Library, 12248 Gulf Beach Highway, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Main Library, 239 N. Spring Street, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Supervisor of Elections Main Office, 213 Palafox Place, Second Floor, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Early voters cast paper ballots through digital scanners and may choose any one of the seven sites. On Election Day, Tuesday, August 30, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Voters must present a valid photo and signature ID and must vote at their home precinct on Election Day.  Voters are encouraged to be sure to know where to vote on Election Day by checking their Voter Information Card, sample ballot, the precinct finder at EscambiaVotes.com, or by contacting us by phone or e-mail prior to Election Day. Any voters who need to change their address should contact the elections office prior to Election Day. Vote-by-mail ballots must be received in the elections office by 7 p.m. on Election Day. The Postal Service recommends voters mail ballots at least one week before the due date. Vote-by-mail participants may track the status of their ballot at EscambiaVotes.com.  Read More →

August 27, 2016 | Read the story »

Escambia Man Gets Federal Prison As ‘Armed Career Criminal’

An Escambia County man is headed to prison on federal firearms charges. Robert Lamar Gerald, 37, was sentenced Friday to 210 months in federal prison, after pleading guilty in April 2016 to possessing a firearm as a  convicted felon. In June 2015, an Escambia Country Sherriff’s deputy on patrol stopped the vehicle Gerald was driving. After the traffic stop, Gerald fled on foot and was apprehended after a brief chase. The search of his vehicle revealed a loaded 9 millimeter pistol. The indictment lists 14 prior state felony convictions for Gerald. As a previously convicted felon, Gerald is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law. Because his prior criminal record includes several violent felonies and drug offenses, Gerald qualifies for enhanced sentencing as an Armed Career Criminal under federal law. This case resulted from investigations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, and the Gun Crime Response Team.  Read More →

August 27, 2016 | Read the story »

Santa Rosa Man Gets Federal Prison For Facebook Child Porn

A Santa Rosa County man was sentenced Friday on federal child pornography charges. Winston D. Foster, 40, was sentenced  to 210 months in federal prison, after pleading guilty in April 2016 to production and distribution of child pornography. In January 2016, law enforcement agents became aware that Foster was communicating via Facebook with a 12-year-old child. These communications included Foster requesting the child perform and photograph sexually explicit acts and then send him the images. Foster also sent many sexually explicit images of himself to the child. In February 2016, a search warrant was executed at Foster’s residence, and agents seized his computers and cellular telephone. A forensic review of Foster’s electronic media revealed approximately 46 images of child pornography, of which approximately 33 were of the victim. The case was investigated by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)  Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Walton County Sheriff’s Office, and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.  Read More →

August 27, 2016 | Read the story »

Wahoos Take Home Series Over Mobile With 3-2 Win

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos bats sprung back to life at just the right time in the bottom of the ninth inning. After scoring one run on three hits in the first inning, Pensacola got just one more hit and trailed, 2-1, in their last at bat of the game. But with two outs Blue Wahoos left fielder Phillip Ervin blistered a ground ball down the third base line to drive in Jeff Gelalich with the second run of the ninth inning for a 3-2 victory Friday over the Mobile BayBears in front of 4,299 fans at Blue Wahoos Stadium. Pensacola extended its franchise record to 11 walk-offs this season. Pensacola tied the game, 2-2, when Pensacola center fielder Jeff Gelalich hit a grounder to second base that forced out Blue Wahoos catcher Joe Hudson at second for the second out. But Gelalich hustled to first and beat the throw and allowed Taylor Sparks to score the tying run. With two out, it was Pensacola second baseman Alex Blandino, who extended the inning with a bloop single to left field, allowing Ervin to be the hero Friday. “I was just trying to keep it going and give us a chance,” Blandino said. “We battled back today and all year we’ve shown resilience, which is a lot of fun for the fans and a lot of fun for us.” The victory was a big one for Pensacola with just 10 games left in the season. Not only did they win the series to improve to 11-2 in series at home this season, but they remained just three games behind Southern League South Division leader Mississippi Braves, which has lost 10 of its last 14 games. The Braves are 33-25, while Pensacola, the first half champions, are 31-29. The BayBears dropped to 30-29. “That’s the way we played all year,” said Pensacola manager Pat Kelly. “We’re very gritty down to the last out and we’ve gotten clutch hits.” Going into the end of the season, all of the players at the top of the Pensacola order are on a tear. Blandino, the leadoff hitter, is hitting .316 in August after struggling all year. Ervin is hitting .294 over the last 10 games with a homer and three RBIs. No. 3 hitter and right fielder Sebastian Elizalde has a 12-game hit streak and is hitting .442 (23-52). Center fielder Brandon Dixon, hitting in the cleanup spot, has his own six game hit streak and is batting .459 in the last 10 games with six RBIs. And finally shortstop Zach Vincej has been one of the hottest hitters in the Southern League in the second half, hitting .370 in July and .285 since the All-Star break. “We’re solid one through five every day,” Kelly said. “We have to just keep playing and giving someone a day off every day.” Blandino said the team is taking a positive approach to the final two series of the season. “We’re already in the playoffs but it definitely would have been a blow to lost that game and lose that series.” Pensacola scored first when Vincej stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning and lifted a fly ball to short right field. But the speedy Ervin snuck past the catcher and threw his left hand back to touch home plate for the 1-0 Blue Wahoos lead. John Omahen made his first start for Mobile since June 30 after spending July and August with Triple-A Reno. He gave up three hits and a run in the first and then retired 11 of the next 12 through the fourth inning and did not give up another hit or run. The BayBears righty worked five innings and did walk three batters and strike out five in his outing. The Mobile bullpen then kept Pensacola off the bases until the ninth. Meanwhile, Nick Travieso worked five innings, too, as Pensacola’s starting pitcher. He gave up two runs in the fifth inning that put Mobile ahead, 2-1, when BayBears shortstop Domingo Leyba clobbered a two-run homer into the Hill-Kelly Dodge Hill also bringing home center fielder Evan Marzilli who leadoff with a walk. Travieso ended up giving two hits, four walks and striking out four. The homer by Leyba gave Mobile its 100th home run of the season, which leads the Southern League.  Read More →

August 27, 2016 | Read the story »

Century Resident Jailed After Threatening To Kill Man With A Toy Gun

A Century man was jailed after allegedly threatening to kill another man with toy gun. James Mitchell, 68, was charged with aggravated assault with the intent to commit a felony. He was released from the Escambia County Jail on bond. The victim told deputies he was walking on Jefferson Avenue in front of Mitchell’s residence when Mitchell confronted him, pointed a black handgun and told the victim that he would kill him, according to an Escambia County Sheriff’s Office report. When deputies made contact with Mitchell at his residence, they reported finding an empty firearm magazine in his pocket. Mitchell then became upset and accused the victim of stealing his air compressor. Mitchell told deputies that a firearm was in his residence “but anybody could have put it there”, an arrest report states. Mitchell gave deputies consent to search his residence, which was condemned by the Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office after a January fire. A toy replica handgun was located in a bedroom dresser drawer. Pictured above: James Mitchell. Pictured below: Mitchell’s residence was condemned after a January fire. NorthEscambia.com file photo, click to enlarge.  Read More →

August 26, 2016 | Read the story »

Scott Plans DC Trip To Urge Zika Funding

Gov. Rick Scott will travel to Washington, D.C. in early September, when Congress returns from its summer recess, to seek funding to fight the mosquito-borne Zika virus. “During Congress’ vacation, we have identified 43 cases of locally acquired Zika in four Florida counties,” Scott said in a prepared statement Thursday. “The Zika virus demands immediate federal action and I will impress upon our congressional members the urgency to protect our residents and visitors.” Scott intends to meet Sept. 6 with members of Congress, which is in a seven-week recess. President Barack Obama early this year proposed spending $1.9 billion to address the Zika issue, but Congress could not agree on funding. The Florida Department of Health on Thursday reported that in addition to the locally transmitted cases, there are 534 travel-related cases of Zika in the state. Travel-related cases stem from people bringing the disease into the state after being infected elsewhere. The state reported 11 new travel-related cases Thursday, with three in Miami-Dade County, two in Alachua County, two in Orange County, and one each in Duval, Monroe, Osceola and Polk counties. Florida also has a total of 70 cases involving pregnant women. The virus is particularly dangerous to pregnant women because it can cause severe birth defects. Much of the state’s focus on local transmissions have been on Miami’s Wynwood area and on an area in Miami Beach. However, this week cases of locally transmitted Zika were reported in Pinellas and Palm Beach counties. by The News Service of Florida  Read More →

August 26, 2016 | Read the story »

Thursday Night Football Scores; Friday Night Lights Schedule

Here’s a look at Thursday night football scores and Friday night’s football schedule. For live updates from select games tonight, follow @northescambia on Twitter, or like the NorthEscambia.com Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/northescambia/. And if you have football photos from any of the games, email news@northescambia.com on send on the social media pages above. THURSDAY NIGHT West Florida 28, Escambia 27 Baker 20, Northview 6 (JV) Jay 34, Ernest Ward Middle School 8 FRIDAY NIGHT: Northview at Crestview, 7 p.m. Flomaton at Jay, 7 p.m. Tate at Biloxi, 7 p.m. Pensacola at Pine Forest, 7:30 p.m. Milton at Washington, 7:30 p.m. Escambia County (Atmore) at Wilcox Central, 7 p.m. Escambia Academy (off week) Opp at T.R. Miller W.S. Neal at Tallassee (AL) File photo.  Read More →

August 26, 2016 | Read the story »

Putting It On The Line – Lineworker Appreciation Day

Friday, Gulf Power and the State of Florida  recognized the contributions and dedication of lineworkers during Lineworker Appreciation Day, a day set-aside by the state Legislature in 2012. Gulf Power paid special tribute to almost 200 employees that work on the company’s 9,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines between Pensacola and Panama City, which serves more than 450,000 customers. Over the past few years, the Pensacola area has endured an ice storm, a 500-year flood and most recently, severely damaging tornados. While most people seek shelter during these storms, Gulf Power lineworkers venture out into the dangerous elements, putting it all on the line to restore power, and hope. Despite numerous safety precautions, these workers face dangerous conditions on a daily basis. It’s a job that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is one of the deadliest and most dangerous in the United States. Yet, with all the known hazards of working with electricity, lineworkers are committed to keeping the energy flowing safely to homes and businesses no matter the conditions or weather. One of those lineworkers, Demetric Washington, has worked seven years at Gulf Power as a distribution service and line technician. Washington started working at Gulf Power in 2009 after having worked for Solutia for 10 years as a carpet operator. His first position with the energy company was working as a utility person. After seven long years of training and preparation, he completed the apprentice phase in May and is now working as a journeyman. Washington points out how seriously safety is taken in his line of work. “In the work that we do everyday, it’s very necessary to be your brother’s and sister’s keeper,” Washington said. “You could easily have an accident. I don’t ever want that on my conscious.” In this extremely hazardous line of work, a family-oriented atmosphere seems to come with the job. It’s common to hear most lineworkers talk fondly about their teammates. “I love the people I work with. Sometimes you’re working with them for 12 hours straight, and we have to travel together to help other utilities with major outages,” he said. “They become like extended family.” Gulf Power crews have traveled more than 30 times since 2008 to help other utilities restore power to their customers. Washington says he enjoys getting the call to help people, though. “When I’ve traveled to other areas in the country where people have been experiencing longer outages, and you can see on their faces how stressed out and miserable they are. I get to help those people.” The worst damage Washington remembers seeing was the 2011 tornado in Tuscaloosa. “It basically looked like a scene out of a movie. I can remember booming up in the bucket and actually seeing the path that the tornado took. It was something I’ve never seen before in my life.” Despite all the dangers and hardships, Washington says he wants to do this for a long time. “The dangers of my job are always in the back of my mind, but the training I have been through the past seven years prepares me for what obstacles I may come across,” he said. Washington’s wife Amanda, and their four children look forward to him returning home safely each and every day.  Read More →

August 26, 2016 | Read the story »

Volleyball: Northview Takes On Pensacola Christian (With Gallery)

Pensacola Christian Academy defeated Northview High School 3-2 in high school volleyball action Thursday evening in Bratt. The varsity Chiefs won the first set 25-15, lost the second and third sets 19-25 and 23-25, and bounced back 25-14 in the fourth set. The Chiefs lost the final set 9-15. In junior varsity action. Northview beat Pensacola Christian in two straight, 26-24, 25-16. Up next, the Northview Chiefs will host Pensacola High School on Monday before traveling to Central on Tuesday. For more photos from the JV game, click here. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.  Read More →

August 26, 2016 | Read the story »

Northview High Seeks School Advisory Council Members

Northview High School is seeking volunteers for their 2016-2017 School Advisory Council. The council meets four times each year after school. Any interested parents and community members are asked to call (850) 327-6681 ext. 221 and let the school know of your interest to serve.  Read More →

August 26, 2016 | Read the story »

FWC Bowhunting Course Offered In Escambia County

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is offering a free bowhunting course in Escambia County. All classroom materials are provided free of charge. Students should bring a pen or pencil, paper and all bowhunting equipment they have. An adult must accompany children younger than 16 at all times. Anyone born on or after June 1, 1975, must pass an approved hunter safety course and have a hunting license to hunt alone (unsupervised). The FWC course satisfies bowhunter safety training requirements for all other states and Canadian provinces. The Escambia County class will be held August 27 from 8 a.m. until noon at 7201 Sparshott Drive in Pensacola. Those interested in attending this course can register online and obtain information about future hunter safety classes at MyFWC.com/HunterSafety or by calling the FWC’s regional office in Panama City at 850-265-3676. Courtesy photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.  Read More →

August 26, 2016 | Read the story »

BayBears Top Wahoos 5-3

Pensacola Blue Wahoos reliever Abel De Los Santos is human after all. The Mobile BayBears scored three runs on three hits in the eighth inning off of De Los Santos, who had not allowed an earned run since joining the Blue Wahoos on July 13. The inning allowed the BayBears to pull out a 5-3 victory Thursday over Pensacola in front of 4,278 fans at Blue Wahoos Stadium. The Mobile win also tied the series, 2-2, with the final game of the five-game series scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday. The come-from-behind win also pulled Mobile within three games of South Division-leading Mississippi, which fell to 33-25 on the season. The BayBears are 30-28, while Pensacola dropped to third at 30-29. De Los Santos, who was making his third appearance this series, hadn’t given up an earned run in 17 innings over 13 appearances but Mobile shortstop Dawel Lugo tripled in third baseman Travis Denker and left fielder Rudy Flores and Lugo scored when center fielder Gabriel Guerrero hit a sacrifice fly to left field. It gave Mobile a two-run lead that they clung to. “Lugo kept fighting off the breaking balls until he got a pitch he liked and drove it to left field,” said Pensacola manager Pat Kelly. “It came down to executing some pitches.” Pensacola had led before the Mobile rally. Blue Wahoos right fielder Sebastian Elizalde extended his hit streak to 11 games when he drilled a three-run homer into the Hill Kelly Dodge Hill area in the fourth inning to give Pensacola a 3-1 lead. Elizalde’s fifth homer of the season and 46 RBIs came after Blue Wahoos center fielder Jeff Gelalich hit a leadoff single down the first base line to break up Mobile starter Edgar Garcia’s perfect game to that point. Pensacola left fielder Phillip Ervin followed Gelalich in the order with a walk — giving him 58 on the season which ties him for fourth in the Southern League. Elizalde is now hitting 21-48 or .438 during his hit streak, going 1-4 Thursday. His career-high hitting streak is 14 games at High-A Daytona Tortugas last season between April 22 and May 6. He had 20 hits and batted .345 then. “We weren’t really doing much with Garcia,” Kelly said. “He was pitching well with three days rest. Elizalde smoked that ball to right field. You don’t see a lot of home runs to right field here.” Also leading Pensacola at the plate was second baseman Brandon Dixon. Hehas hit in 12 of his last 13 games, going 21-49 or .429 with nine RBIs, six doubles, six runs scored and six multi-hit games. He was 3-4 with his 25th multi-hit game on the year. Meanwhile, Blue Wahoos starter Sal Romano turned in his second strong performance throwing 91 pitches in six innings, scattering seven hits and a walk, giving up two earned runs and striking out seven. The flame-throwing Romano increased his strikeouts to 134 this season, which is second in the Southern League. The righty, who is the Cincinnati Reds No. 17 prospect, entered the game coming off of his longest outing of the season, going eight scoreless innings, giving up four hits and striking out eight. In his last three games, he has thrown 20.1 innings, giving up four runs and striking out 18 for a 1.77 ERA. “He fought his way through and turned it over to the bullpen,” Kelly said. “The biggest difference in the second half is he has been able to control his emotions. He realizes he has good enough stuff to get out of a lot of jams.” Garcia was a last minute fill in for scheduled starting pitcher Vincente Campos, who was called up to the Arizona Diamondbacks. A spot starter for Mobile, Garcia has pitched five innings in each of his last three starts, giving up 21 hits, seven runs, five walks and 17 Ks for a 4.20 ERA. However, he left the game after the fourth inning when Pensacola took the lead, allowing three hits, one walk and striking out four.  Read More →

August 26, 2016 | Read the story »

Florida Sending Crews To Fight Wildfires In Washington

Twenty Florida firefighters are heading to Washington as part of continued efforts to help the western state battle ongoing blazes. The announcement Thursday from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services, which includes the Florida Forest Service, came as 40 other firefighters returned from western assignments. “Thanks to sustained low fire activity in Florida, we are able to share our skilled firefighters with our western partners while continuing to provide for the safety of Florida’s residents and visitors,” Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said in a news release. The state has said that by assisting other regions, Florida wildland firefighters build their expertise. Florida, on average, experiences about 4,000 wildfires a year. In addition to the latest deployment, there are 74 other Florida Forest Service employees helping with firefighting efforts in California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. by The News Service of Florida  Read More →

August 26, 2016 | Read the story »

FWC Offering Hunter Safety Courses In Molino, Milton And Jay

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is offering free hunter safety courses Saturday in Molino, Milton and Jay. Students who have taken the online course and wish to complete the classroom portion must bring the online-completion report with them. Traditional course students must complete the entire course in person. All firearms, ammunition and materials are provided free of charge. Students should bring a pen or pencil and paper. An adult must accompany children younger than 16 at all times. Anyone born on or after June 1, 1975, must pass an approved hunter safety course and have a hunting license to hunt alone (unsupervised). The FWC course satisfies hunter-safety training requirements for all other states and Canadian provinces. The locations and times are: Escambia County Aug. 27 (7 to 10 a.m.) Molino Community Center 6450 Highway 95A N. in Molino Santa Rosa County Aug. 27 (7 to 10 a.m.) Avalon Middle School 5445 King Arthurs Way in Milton Those interested in attending a course can register online and obtain information about future hunter safety classes at MyFWC.com/HunterSafety or by calling the FWC’s regional office in Panama City at 850-265-3676. Aug. 27 (7 to 10 a.m.) Jay Community Center 5259 Booker Lane in Jay  Read More →

August 25, 2016 | Read the story »