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Camp Fire Century Holds Graduation; Registration Underway For Summer Camp (With Gallery)

Camp Fire Century Holds Graduation; Registration Underway For Summer Camp (With Gallery)

The Camp Fire USA Century Youth Learning Center held a graduation program recently. For more photos, click here. Registration is underway for Camp Fire’s WILD and WISE Nature Day Camp. Parents can register this children today for a nature adventure offered offered at Camp Fire Century Youth Learning Center beginning June 1. Each week campers will explore the outdoors and different environmental themes like WILD Adventure, Gulf Coast Safari and WISE Journey. The camper’s goal is to complete the Camp Fire Trail to Environment program and earn the emblem during the summer, which includes the Wise Old Willie program; children discover outdoor basics and learn about ecology and the 3 R’s: reduces, reuse and recycle. Campers explore Florida flora and fauna though Project WILD hands-on activities from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.  Additionally, campers complete a community service project to keep the earth healthy and give service to  others. Weekly camps are for ages 5-12 years old and runs through August 5. “Camp Fire is the first camp both of my kids have enjoyed. They both ask to return year after year. The program has truly mentored my children and helped them grow into  mature, responsible young adults. The staff genuinely care about my children and their  wellbeing. I cannot thank each of them enough for all of their help, kindness, and flexibility throughout the years,” said parent Sunni Solveson. Campers may register for one or more weeks of summer program. In Century, weekly rates start at $85 per camper with discounts for a second and third child. A registration fee of $20 is due upon registration of a child. Camp hours are 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Camp Fire Century Youth Learning Center. For more info, contact Pam Townson, director of the Camp Fire Century Youth Learning Center at (850) 256-0953 or email ptownson@cfgulfwind.org. For more details and registration forms, visit http://www.campfirekidsfl.com/camps_1.  Read More →

May 31, 2016 | Read the story »


Mostly Sunny, Scattered Showers For Some

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast: Tuesday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 94. West wind around 5 mph becoming south in the afternoon. Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 68. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening. Wednesday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 91. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the afternoon. Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 69. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm after midnight. Thursday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 90. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the afternoon. Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 68. South wind 5 to 10 mph. Friday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 90. West wind around 5 mph becoming south in the afternoon. Friday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 69. South wind 5 to 10 mph. Saturday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 88. Saturday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 70. Sunday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 86. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Sunday Night: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 70. Monday: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 86.  Read More →

May 31, 2016 | Read the story »


Bratt Elementary K-3 Award Winners Announced

The following students in grades K-3 were presented year-end awards at Bratt Elementary School: KINDERGARTEN AWARDS Progress Award Anthony, Eli Anthony, Eric Burt, Tycoren DuBose, O’Neshia Gibson, Presley Hubbard, Graysen Southard, Adalynn Outstanding Attendance Dinc, Braxton Durant, Jamaris Lee, Peyton Mooney, Wyatt Parker, Hunter Spence, Noah Spence, Wyatt Ward, Kennedy Perfect Attendance Gilmore, Sawyer Satterwhite, Chloe Outstanding Citizenship Award Allcock, Landon Boatwright, Gabrielle Diller, Logan Roley, Makinzi AR Award Amerson, Tyler Anthony, Eli Diller, Logan Ganey, Parker Gilmore, Sawyer Jacobson, Camden Roley, Makinzi Art Allcock, Landon Hall, Brody Holliman, Hunter Peters, Jordan Music Gilmore, Sawyer Hadley, Aubrey McAnally, Tyler Pittman, Madalynn PE Alexander, Govan Bolyard, Helen Grace Peters, Jordan Stilwell, Cassandra BRATT ELEMENTARY 1ST AND 2ND GRADE AWARDS Honor Roll Abbott, Lauren Allen, Austin Amerson, Claire Bailey, Wade Blackwell, Bailey Bush, Nevaeh Campbell, Amara Chavers, Luke Davis, Crimson Dean, Trevor Eady, Nolan Eicher, Addison Flowers, Allison Gipson, Hayden Greenwell, Shelby Gregson, Talise Hadley, Laila Heard, Will Jarvis, Emily Jowers, Jessica Lowry, Savannah Nicholson, Kayleb Plato, Makayla Smith, Brayden Smith, Miles Stewart, Maggie Taylor, Jake Thames, Zy’nia Warr, Raleigh Watson, Landon Zisa, Jasmine Academic Achievement Award Bagwell, Desiray Bingham, Lexi Bridges, Jackson Bryan, Luke Caraway, Christian Classen, Addison Classen, Will Crumm, Tristan Davis, Carlie Dougall, Jacobi Greenwood, Cate Hall, Lori Johnson, Presley Long, Kaylee McAnally, Mikayla Richardson, Dakota Simmons, Jackson Stuckey, Avery Progress Award Amos, Presley Bryan, Trinity Helton, Jackson Howell, Jasmine Long, Emily Nettles, Monqarious Odom, Aydin Peebles, Reagan Reid, Samuel Warta, Thomas III Yalch, Garrett Outstanding Attendance Amerson, Claire Bagwell, Desiray Caraway, Christian Crumm, Tristan Curry, Talaysha Davis, Crimson Greenwell, Shelby Hall, Lori Jarvis, Emily Johnson, Presley Kelson, Dallas Mason, Max Taylor, Jake Thomas, Jeremy Warr, Raleigh Warta, Thomas III Watson, Landon Watson, Ollie Wiggins, Jason Outstanding Citizenship Award Chavers, Luke Classen, Addison Garrett, Chase Jowers, Jessica McAnally, Mikayla Stuckey, Avery Thomas, Jeremy AR Abbott, Lauren Bagwell, Desiray Bailey, Kylie Bailey, Wade Bingham, Lexi Blackwell, Bailey Bryan, Luke Bush, Nevaeh Caraway, Christian Chavers, Luke Classen, Addison Classen, Will Curry, Talaysha Davis, Carlie Dougall, Jacobi Gipson, Hayden Gregson, Talise Hall, Lori Johnson, Presley Long, Kaylee McAnally, Mikayla Nicholson, Kayleb Plato, Makayla Richardson, Dakota Simmons, Jackson Smith, Miles Stuckey, Avery Taylor, Jake Thomas, Jeremy Watson, Landon Art Clemmons, Zakhel Garrett, Chase Harvey, Keon Helton, Jackson Smith, Brayden Zisa, Jasmine Music Curry, Talaysha Davis, Carlie Dougall, Jacobi Eicher, Addison Greenwood, Cate Thomas, Jeremy P.E. Bryan, Ora Caraway, Christian Chavers, Luke McAnally, Mikayla Plato, Makayla Stewart, Maggie  Read More →

May 31, 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: U.S. 29 – Intermittent and alternating lane closures within the town of Century and from Champion Drive north continue. Interstate 10 (I-10)/U.S. 29 Interchange Improvements – The U.S. 29 south to I-10 eastbound ramp will be closed Tuesday, May 31 through Thursday, June 2 from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. as crews place barrier wall. Traffic will be detoured south to make a U-turn at Diamond Dairy Road. In addition, the U.S. 29 north to I-10 westbound ramp will be closed during this time. Traffic will be detoured north to make a U-turn at Broad Street. I-10 Widening – Intermittent and alternating lane closures on I-10, near U.S. 90 (Scenic Highway/Exit 17), from 7 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. the week of Tuesday, May 31 as crews perform bridge work. Dupont Road- DuPont Road between Bayou Boulevard and Gonnell Drive will be closed to traffic Wednesday, May 25 through Wednesday, June 1.  The temporary road closures will allow crews to make drainage improvements.  Detour signs and variable message boards are in place to direct traffic.  The drainage work is part of the Bayou Boulevard resurfacing project from Baisden Road to U.S. 90. Santa Rosa County: I-10 Widening – Alternating lane closures on I-10, between the Escambia Bay Bridge and S.R. 281 (Avalon Boulevard/Exit 22), from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Tuesday, May 31 through Thursday, June 2 as crews continue widening work. In addition, alternating lane closures on Avalon Boulevard near the I-10 interchange for bridge work. State Road (S.R.) 87 Widening – The speed limit will be reduced from 55 mph to 45 mph between the Eglin Air Base boundary and the south end of the Yellow River Bridge beginning Tuesday, May 31. I-10 Santa Rosa and Okaloosa Rest Area – Crews will continue resurfacing entry/exit ramps of rest areas on Interstate 10 in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties Tuesday, May 31 through Friday, June 10.   Lane closures will be in effect 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.  Only one rest area in each county will be closed during paving operations. Variable message boards and the I-10 Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) will be used to alert drivers of the temporary closure.  No work will take place during the Memorial Day holiday period. S.R. 281 (Avalon Boulevard)- Intermittent lane closures and mobile operations from U.S. 98 to the toll bridge from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. beginning Tuesday, May 31 and continuing for approximately one month as crews perform striping operations. There will be no work performed Friday through Sunday. S.R. 87 and S.R. 89 from S.R. 4 to the Alabama line – Intermittent and alternating lane closures and mobile operations from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning Tuesday, May 31 and continuing for approximately one month Monday through Saturday as crews perform striping operations. U.S. 98 – Crews will perform striping operations and install raised pavement markers (RPMs) from the Pensacola Bay Bridge to Central Parkway (approximately nine miles) Sunday through Thursday nights through Thursday, June 30. Motorists may encounter minor traffic delays from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.  No work will take place during the Memorial Day holiday period. S.R. 399 over U.S. 98 – Overnight repairs to the S.R. 399 southbound overpass over U.S. 98 will be in place from 8 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. throughout the project. U.S. 98 will be reduced to one lane in each direction from Shoreline Drive to just east of S.R. 399 to allow westbound U.S. 98 traffic to be diverted to eastbound U.S. 98. Westbound U.S. 98 access to S.R. 399 will be closed. An on-site detour will direct traffic to turn left on Daniel Street, left on Shoreline Drive and then right on eastbound U.S. 98 to access S.R. 399 via the at grade on ramp. 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 →

May 31, 2016 | Read the story »


ECAT Holding Workshops On Future Transit Needs

Escambia County, in coordination with Escambia County Area Transit (ECAT), has launched a major update to the County’s 10-year Transit Development Plan (TDP), which is named the Connections 2026: Moving Escambia Forward. The TDP update will serve as a guide for the future of public transportation in Escambia County from 2017–2026, representing Escambia County’s vision to promote transit growth and improvement over the next decade. Public participation is an important part of the ECAT TDP planning process. The public is encouraged to attend one of two public workshops to discuss the findings from the previous Connections 2026 TDP workshops and online surveys, and to provide input on the draft 10-year TDP transit needs plan. Staff and consultants will be available at these workshops to provide information, answer questions, and take comments. Public Workshop #1  Tuesday, May 31 (4:30 PM – 6:00 PM) West Florida Genealogy Library 5740 N. 9th Ave. Pensacola, FL 32504 ECAT Bus Routes 31, 43, 52, 63* Public Workshop #2  Wednesday, June 1 (4:30 PM – 6:00 PM) West Florida Public Library 239 North Spring Street Pensacola, FL 32502 ECAT Bus Routes 2, 31, 41, 44, 58*  Read More →

May 31, 2016 | Read the story »

Meeting Tonight: How To Purchase AED At Escambia County’s Cost

Meeting Tonight: How To Purchase AED At Escambia County’s Cost

Escambia County will hold a meeting tonight to provide more information on how to purchase an automated external defibrillator (AED) at the county’s cost. District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry and Escambia County Public Safety will host a meeting Tuesday, May 31 at 6 p.m. for groups or individuals interested in purchasing an AED for their church or business at the county’s cost. The meeting will take place at the Walnut Hill Fire Station at 7760 Highway 97. Escambia County Public Safety Director Mike Weaver will be available to answer questions about purchasing an AED at the same cost the county received during its last bid solicitation and provide information about AED kit options and available warranty programs. An AED will be available to view at the meeting. The cost will be $1,317.31 for the AED and associated equipment, according to Mike Weaver. Escambia County Public Safety Director . The vendor is also offering a wall mount cabinet for an additional $99.. “By no means are we trying to ’sell’ this particular AED. It is the same AED that we have chosen for our responders, County Buildings and parks. There are other devices and distributors that may be able to offer a lower price that will be shared,” Weaver said. An automated external defibrillator is a lightweight, portable device that delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart. The shock can stop an irregular heart rhythm and allow a normal rhythm to resume following sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest is an abrupt loss of heart function. If it’s not treated within minutes, it quickly leads to death. According to Escambia County, AEDs are important because they make it possible for more people to respond to a medical emergency where defibrillation is required. Because AEDs are portable, they can be used by anyone who has been trained how to use them – not only by medical professionals. They can be made part of emergency response programs that also include rapid use of 9-1-1 and prompt delivery of CPR. All three of these activities are vital to improving survival from cardiac arrest. For more information, contact Escambia County Public Safety at (850) 471-6400.  Read More →

May 31, 2016 | Read the story »

Appeals Court Rules In Escambia Case: Only One Parent Must Sign Off On Medical Procedures

In what could be first-of-its-kind case in Florida, an appeals court  rejected arguments that both parents need to sign off before a child can undergo surgery. The ruling, by a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal, upheld an Escambia County circuit judge’s decision in a case in which parents had separated and the mother gave consent for a 3-year-old child to have adenoid and ear-tube surgery. The father, Imad S. Angeli, had objected to the child undergoing surgery and filed a lawsuit against physician Evelyn Kluka and the Nemours Children’s Clinic, alleging battery and intentional interference with a parent-child relationship, the ruling said. But the appeals-court panel found that state law only requires the consent of one parent and pointed to a potentially “untenable” situation if medical providers had to navigate disputes between parents about performing procedures. “We conclude, just as the trial court did, that Florida law does not require health care providers to assume the burden of refereeing or going to court to resolve disputes between parents, so long as at least one legally authorized person provides consent,” said the nine-page ruling, written by Judge Susan Kelsey and joined by Judge T. Kent Wetherell and Associate Judge Angela Dempsey. “One would hope that parents committed to successful co-parenting, as they should be, would resolve these disputes between themselves or with the informal assistance of counselors or advisors. Failing that, a parent seeking to prevent the rendition of medical care or treatment to which the other parent has consented can go to court to seek an injunction and resolve the dispute.” The Escambia County circuit judge, Ross M. Goodman, noted that the dispute appeared to be a case of “first impression” — meaning a first-of-its-kind case in Florida, the ruling said. The appeals court also pointed to “limited analogous case law” and cited one decade-old article in a legal publication about the issue. Angeli, who the ruling said was formerly known as Imad S. Girgis, was going through divorce proceedings with his wife and had equal custody rights to their two children. The mother, who is not identified in the ruling, initially scheduled adenoid surgery for both children, but the procedures were canceled after the father called the doctor and objected. The mother rescheduled surgery for the younger child about three months later. The father said he informed a member of the surgeon’s staff that he did not consent to the surgery, which was performed with the approval of the mother, according to the ruling. The surgeon noted in a medical chart that a nurse had informed her before the surgery that the parents had reached agreement on the procedure — though Angeli alleged the mother had misrepresented his position. Nevertheless, the appeals court said no state law requires medical providers to get consent from both parents. “The bottom line is that health care providers are not required to referee parental disputes about medical care for their minor children, and may render medical care or treatment upon the consent of only one parent,” the ruling said. by Jim Saunders, The News Service of Florida  Read More →

May 30, 2016 | Read the story »

Escambia Extension Urges Smart Grilling For Food Safety

by Escambia County Extension Service Safety is an important consideration when operating a grill. Improper use can cause a fire or explosion. Keep the area around a lighted grill clear of combustible materials, and never use a grill in an enclosed area such as a sheltered patio or a garage. Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing that may catch fire. The cooking grids should be cleaned after every cookout. The last thing you want to do is cause someone to become ill due to improper cleaning or unsafe food preparation practices. Wash your hands with hot soapy water for at least 20 seconds before starting to prepare any foods, and wash your hands again if you do anything else—change a diaper, pet an animal, or blow your nose, for example. Cover any cuts or sores on your hands with a bandage, or use plastic gloves. If you sneeze or cough while preparing foods, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and turn your face away, or cough into your sleeve. Always wash your hands afterwards. Bacteria multiply rapidly at room temperature. Most food-borne illness-causing bacteria cannot grow well at temperatures below 40°F or above 140°F. Thaw foods in the refrigerator or in the microwave. Never leave foods out at room temperature. Keep everything that touches food clean. Bacteria can hitch rides around your kitchen on all sorts of things—plates and cutting boards, dirty utensils, dish rags and sponges, unwashed hands. Never chop fresh vegetables or salad ingredients on a cutting board that was used for raw meat without properly cleaning it first. If possible, keep a separate cutting board just for the preparation of raw meat, poultry, and fish. Wash cutting boards thoroughly with hot soapy water, and then sanitize with a solution of household bleach and water. Keep raw meat, poultry, fish, and their juices from coming into contact with other foods during preparation, especially foods that will not be cooked. Wash all utensils and your hands with hot soapy water after contact with raw meat. Marinate meat, poultry and seafood in the refrigerator in a covered, non-metal container. Throw away any leftover marinade. Grill food to a safe internal temperature. Use a meat thermometer to assure correct doneness of the food being grilled. Safe minimum internal temperatures: Poultry (whole, ground, and breasts): 165°F Hamburgers, beef: 160°F Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks, roasts and chops): Medium rare: 145°F Medium: 160°F. All cuts of pork: 160°F. Hold meat at 140°F until served. Use a clean platter for transferring cooked meat from grill to serving table. Summer is the time for getting together with friends and family and cooking outdoors. Make your outdoor grilling experience safe and enjoyable. For further information regarding food safety and other related topics, go to the University of Florida’s Solutions for Your Life website: http://www.solutionsforyourlife.com. By the Escambia County Extension Service. Reference: Safe Food Handling Fact Sheet, United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Series.  Read More →

May 30, 2016 | Read the story »

Dixon Smashes Two Homers In Wahoos Win

Brandon Dixon hit a grand slam over the left field wall in the bottom of the first inning to give the Pensacola Blue Wahoos a lead it would never relinquished. With one swing off of Birmingham lefty Blair Walters, Dixon gave Pensacola a, 4-3, lead and added another solo shot in the fifth inning to left center as the Blue Wahoos defeated Birmingham, 12-5, Sunday in front of its third straight sellout of 5,038 at Blue Wahoos Stadium. Pensacola is now 5-for-5 in five-game series at home, beating Birmingham 4-1. Blue Wahoos southpaw Amir Garrett uncharacteristically walked four batters in a row in the first inning, after getting the first two outs of the game on three pitches. After 35 pitches he finally got out of the inning giving up three runs to the Birmingham Barons. Dixon was hitting .163 against left-handed pitchers entering the game. But he ended up with two homers for the second time in his minor league career. He had a career-high six RBIs. The second baseman now is tied with Pensacola outfielder Phillip Ervin with five home runs, leads the team with 25 RBIs and is batting .277 on the year. In its franchise history dating back to 2012, the Blue Wahoos have hit 10 grand slams total. “It definitely was one of my best games for sure,” the soft-spoke Dixon said. “I was looking for something up over the plate. I’ve struggled against lefties this year.” Pensacola manager Pat Kelly said he saw Dixon play in the California League two years ago and admired his swing. “He’s one of those guys who has a different sound coming off of his bat,” Kelly said. “He’s got raw power and he’s starting to harness it. He has really been swinging the bat well.” The Blue Wahoos remained in first place in the Southern League South Division at 30-20 and improved to 18-7 at home. Not only did Dixon hit two blasts, but Garrett settled down after his rough start. Birmingham scored in that first inning when Garrett gave up a two-out bases loaded walk to catcher Jeremy Dowdy to score DH Eudy Pina. The next batter Nick Basto hit a two-out, line drive double down the third base line that scored both Barons left fielder Courtney Hawkins and third baseman Trey Michalczewski to put Birmingham on top, 3-0. “In the past, (Garrett) has been really emotional and really hard on himself,” Kelly said. “He was terrific. He pitched a solid six innings.” Garrett would then bear down and throw 58 pitches the rest of the way. He retired the last seven batters he faced, striking out the last four before giving way to Pensacola reliever Kyle McMyne in the seventh. Garrett, who gave up a double in the first inning gave up one more hit the rest of the way – a bunt single to Birmingham right fielder Keenyn Walker. Garrett, the Cincinnati Reds No 3 prospect, worked six innings, giving up three runs on two hits and four walks and striking out seven. He’s now 4-3 on the year with a 1.79 earned-run average and a 1.06 WHIP. His ERA is fourth in the Southern League and he moved into third in strikeouts with 61 on the year. Entering Friday’s game, Garrett walked 17 in 54.1 innings or 2.81 per nine innings. He did throw a season high five walks against the Biloxi Shuckers May 8. Dixon was happy to give Garrett a lift. “That’s the name of the game,” Dixon said. “We’ve been doing it all year long. After that (grand slam) Amir was lights out.” With two outs and the bases loaded in the first inning, Dixon walked to the plate and promptly jumped on the first pitch by Birmingham lefty Blair Walters to put Pensacola ahead, 4-3, for good with his first grand slam of the season. Dixon then hit a bullet over the left center wall for a 10-3 Pensacola lead. His sixth and final RBI came when he doubled in the eighth inning to score DH Donald Lutz. Birmingham committed five errors and gave up 13 hits to Pensacola. Other than Dixon, Tony Renda led the way at the plate going 2-3 with a double and two runs scored and an RBI. Renda is now batting .308 on the season after going 11-22 against the Barons this series.  Read More →

May 30, 2016 | Read the story »

Escambia Pedestrian Killed

A pedestrian was struck and killed near an Escambia County Walmart Saturday night. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 18-year old Haley G. Jennette was westbound on Mobile Highway at Tonawanda Drive when 49-year old Sonya Leona Henderson walked directly into the path of her vehicle.  Troopers the accident happened in a dark area of the roadway. Henderson was pronounced deceased at the scene. Jennette, who was not injured, was not charged.  Read More →

May 29, 2016 | Read the story »

Is Your Church Having VBS?

Now is the time to submit your Vacation Bible School announcements to NorthEscambia.com so that we can include them on our events page and let everyone know. Email your VBS event details to: news@northescambia.com Please try to submit your information as far in advance as possible.  Read More →

May 29, 2016 | Read the story »

Memorial Day Closures

The following will be closed Monday in observance of the Memorial Day holiday: Escambia County Escambia County Board of County Commissioners West Florida Public Library System Escambia County Property Appraiser Escambia County Tax Collector Escambia County Supervisor of Elections Escambia County Clerk of the Court & Comptroller Perdido Landfill, excluding the administrative offices, will be open Oak Grove Convenience Center will be closed Escambia County Area Transit (ECAT): Administrative offices closed ECAT will ONLY operate the following routes on Memorial Day: 59 Express 64 Beach Jumper Beach Trolley UWF Trolleys will not operate ECUA ECUA Business Offices will be closed Residential and commercial sanitation collections will be unaffected and will follow normal schedule Cities/Town Of Century, Pensacola, Jay All city offices and departments will be closed Santa Rosa County Santa Rosa County Board of Commissioners, including the library system and animal shelter The Central Landfill is open Monday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Santa Rosa County Clerk of the Court Santa Rosa County Property Appraiser Santa Rosa County Supervisor of Elections Santa Rosa County Tax Collector  Read More →

May 29, 2016 | Read the story »

Video: Northview High Graduation

This is a replay video of the Northview High School graduation: (Video is provided by the Escambia County School District and is embedded here as a service of NorthEscambia.com. If the video does not work, click here to visit the school district homepage and follow the links to the video.)  Read More →

May 29, 2016 | Read the story »

FWC Law Enforcement Report

The Florida FWC Division of Law Enforcement reported the following activity during the weekly period ending May 19 in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. ESCAMBIA COUNTY While working on Opal Beach in a shore bird nesting area, Officer Clark observed a red Dodge traveling above the posted speed limit. He initiated a traffic stop and asked the driver for his license. The driver provided a Michigan Identification Card. Officer Clark asked the driver if his license was suspended and he advised it was. While confirming the suspension, Officer Clark discovered the driver’s license had been suspended at least three times by the State of Michigan. He also discovered that the driver had an active warrant out of Santa Rosa County. The subject was issued traffic citations for excessive speed, tag expired more than six months and placed under arrest for driving on a suspended license (third or more convictions) and for the active warrant through Santa Rosa County for the violation of probation. Officer Allgood was conducting resource inspections in state waters 17 miles east-southeast of Pensacola Pass. He observed an individual fishing, pulled his patrol vessel alongside the fishing vessel, and asked the boat owner if he had any luck. He failed to respond to the question and started throwing red snapper in the water. Officer Allgood told him to stop throwing fish, but the man failed to comply and continued throwing the red snapper in the water. The owner then grabbed three bags full of fillets and dumped them overboard as well. Officer Allgood positioned his patrol vessel alongside his vessel and boarded the vessel. During his inspection, he found the man in possession of two additional red snapper and two grey triggerfish. Officer Allgood arrested the subject for interference and over the bag limit of red snapper. This was the second time this subject has dumped fish when approached by Officer Allgood in the past three months. SANTA ROSA COUNTY Officer Lewis was on forest patrol in Blackwater River State Forest when he observed a man and woman sitting in a truck together at a popular swimming hole. He observed litter around the truck and asked the man for his identification. A computer check for the man came back that he had a domestic violence injunction protection order imposed against him, and there was a protected person on the order that the man could not be with. Officer Lewis determined that the woman the man was with was the protected person on the order. Officer Lewis arrested the man for violation of the order and transported him to the Santa Rosa County Jail. Officer Ramos was patrolling in the Escribano Point Wildlife Management Area (WMA) when he responded to a group of disruptive campers. While there, he discovered that one of the campers had intentionally placed an improper tag on a newly purchased RV. He issued the man a notice to appear for attaching a tag not assigned. Officer Ramos and other members of the FWC Dive Team responded to the Escambia River at Fisher Landing to assist the Escambia County, Alabama Sheriff’s Office with a search for a shotgun that was used in an attempted murder. The search was unsuccessful, but the joint cooperation between the FWC, Alabama Sheriff’s Office, and North Bay Fire Department made the task much easier and they were able to rule out the possibility of the shotgun being in this area. (For further details, click here.) Officer Lewis was on water patrol on Blackwater River when he observed a woman in the water clinging to an overturned kayak. The woman had a dog with her and the dog was attempting to climb on her back, and the woman was unable to upright the kayak. Officer Lewis emptied water from the kayak and turned it upright. He helped the woman on board the kayak, but she was unable to maintain her balance because the kayak was still taking on water. Officer Lewis helped the woman and the dog onto his patrol vessel and transported them to a local boat ramp. Her kayak was towed in by a group of kayakers she was with. Officers Cushing, Land and Allgood conducted offshore fishery patrols aboard the FWC Vessel FinCat. The officers inspected 30 vessels and found two to be in violation of marine fishery rules. The officers issued federal citations for undersized mingo snapper and for possession of red snapper during the closed season. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.  Read More →

May 29, 2016 | Read the story »

Barrineau Park 4-H Club Places Flags On Barrancas Graves

The Barrineau Park 4-H Club was among the many groups Saturday that placed flags at each grave in the Barrancas National Cemetery in advance of Memorial Day. Submitted photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.  Read More →

May 29, 2016 | Read the story »

Blue Wahoos Win Over Bimingham

Pensacola Blue Wahoos fans know Phillip Ervin is speedy. After all, he has stolen 19 bases this season, which is tied for third in the Southern League. However, who knew he was so light on his feet? Ervin refused to get tagged out in a rundown in the eighth inning that allowed Pensacola third baseman Tony Renda to score the winning run to edge the Birmingham Barons, 5-4, in front of a sellout crowd of 5,038 Saturday at Blue Wahoos Stadium. It was the Blue Wahoos 11th sellout this season. Ervin, who lost 10 pounds in the offseason, said that’s helped improve his speed and footwork. Ervin was 0-11 in his last three games before going 3-4 and getting on base four times, scoring twice, including the tying run in the sixth inning and knocking in one run. “I just didn’t want to run into a tag and give (Renda) enough time to score,” Ervin said. “I was trying to get as many throws as possible. The more throws the more chance of getting a mistake. It all worked out in the end.” Renda, who leads Pensacola with 14 multi-hit games and a .302 average, scored the winning run and Ervin made it to second base when shortstop Eddy Alvarez dropped the ball. The rundown started when right fielder Sebastian Elizalde grounded to the second baseman. Pat Kelly called the game “ugly.” There was a combined 21 hits, seven walks, seven errors and 21 runners left on base in the three hour and 16 minute game. “It was an ugly game and we didn’t play very good,” Kelly said. “(Barons pitcher David) Holmberg put the whole ballpark to sleep. We played ugly enough to win.” Birmingham center fielder Adam Engel takes Blue Wahoos pitcher Nick Travieso over the left field wall in first inning to put the Barons ahead, 1-0. Then in the bottom of the first inning, Pensacola third baseman Tony Renda led off with a stand-up double to the left center gap and scored on left fielder Phillip Ervin’s line drive single to left to tie the game, 1-1. Ervin then scored after stealing second and third base, his 18th and 19th steals on the season, when DH Donald Lutz hit a sharp liner to center field to put the Blue Wahoos up, 2-1. Lutz is hitting .368 in his six game hitting streak (7-19) with one RBI, three walks and only four strikeouts. On the year, Lutz, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, is hitting .217. Birmingham’s starter Holmberg threw 43 pitches in the inning in which he also walked Pensacola first baseman Kyle Parker and hit center fielder Bryson Smith with a pitch. Last season, Holmberg started six games going 1-4 with a 7.62 ERA for Cincinnati Reds last season before being granted free agency. Birmingham tied the game, 2-2, when Barons first baseman Nick Basto, who singled to right field, scored on a wild pitch by Travieso. Birmingham loaded bases with one out in the fourth inning and Travieso went to three balls and no strikes on Birmingham third baseman Jake Peter, the No. 3 hitter, and ended up striking him out on a 93 mph heater. However, right fielder Eudy Pina slapped a grounder to Pensacola’s Renda at third base and he threw it to second baseman Alex Blandino, who dropped the ball and then was slow to pick it up, allowing Barons shortstop Eddy Alvarez and center fielder Adam Engel to score for a 4-2 lead. Travieso threw 101 pitches over 5.2 innings and gave up 11 hits, four runs, three earned and struck out six. He battled out of jams all night, except in the fifth inning when he retired Birmingham 1-2-3. Pensacola catcher Joe Hudson launched a deep fly ball for a double over the center fielder’s head in the bottom of the fifth inning that drove in second baseman Zach Vincej, pulling the Blue Wahoos within, 4-3. Pensacola loaded the bases in the sixth inning and Ervin, who doubled, scored on a wild pitch by Barons reliever Nolan Sanburn to tie the game, 4-4. The only thing that wasn’t ugly about the game was when center fielder Bryson Smith, who has played parts of the last five seasons with Pensacola, proposed to his girlfriend, the future Raphaelle Smith. Smith got down on one knee after the game and asked for her hand in marriage. Then fireworks went off. The Blue Wahoos captured its fifth straight five game series at home and improved to 17-7 at Blue Wahoos Stadium. This season, they are 29-20 and remain in first place against the Biloxi Shuckers, who defeated Mobile, 2-1, to improve to 28-21.  Read More →

May 29, 2016 | Read the story »

FHP Out In Force For Holiday Weekend

This Memorial Day holiday weekend, Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) troopers will be looking for unsafe driving behavior in an effort to reduce fatalities, injuries and crashes. Throughout the 2015 Memorial Day holiday weekend, 24 motorists were killed in a traffic crash and, of those, eight were not wearing safety belts. “As families take vacation and more people head out on Florida roads, FHP will be looking for unsafe driving behavior to ensure safe travels for everyone,”  said FHP Director, Col. Gene Spaulding. “FHP reminds motorists to buckle up every time and arrive alive.” All uniformed FHP personnel, including those normally assigned to administrative duties, will be patrolling interstates and other major state roads throughout the holiday period. FHP Auxiliary and Reserve troopers will volunteer to augment the Patrol’s forces during the holiday enforcement period, too. This strategy will increase FHP’s presence on major arteries throughout Florida in an effort to deter traffic violators and to provide enhanced service to motorists who break down while traveling or need other assistance. Motorists may also dial *FHP (*347) from their cell phone to contact FHP to report an aggressive driver or to request roadside assistance. FHP offers the following tips to help you and your family arrive at your destination safely: Buckle up…every time. A seatbelt is your vehicle’s best safety feature. Make sure your passengers are also buckled in. Obey all speed limits, bearing in mind that traffic congestion may require driving more slowly. Don’t drive distracted: Anything that takes your full attention off of the road, even for a second, could be deadly. This includes texting, changing the radio station, talking to passengers and much more. Motorists should always keep their hands on the wheel, eyes on the road and mind on driving. Get plenty of rest before setting out on a long trip.  Read More →

May 28, 2016 | Read the story »

Florida Gov’t Weekly Roundup: Three Coaches And A Governor Walk Onto A Stage…

It’s not often that Jim McElwain, Jimbo Fisher and Mark Richt share the stage during one of the most significant policy events in Florida on a given week. But on Thursday, that’s exactly what the football coaches of the University of Florida, Florida State University and the University of Miami did, showing up at Gov. Rick Scott’s “Degrees to Jobs Summit” in Orlando, speaking on leadership as the national championship trophy for the coming college football season stood between the governor and the trio. Things got even more unusual this week when it came to the state’s delegation to Washington, D.C., with some Republicans openly imploring a sitting U.S. senator to sit awhile longer. Meanwhile, the state’s public education system was allowed to maintain the status quo, at least for now. SCOTT: TWO LESS YEARS Scott’s higher-education summit had a little bit of everything, from the panel with the football coaches to a discussion of middle-class wages going the way of the buffalo. However, there was at least one somewhat concrete proposal to emerge from the gathering: Scott wants colleges and universities to encourage full-time students to graduate in four years. Just 44 percent of undergraduates at state universities graduate within four years, according to the Florida Board of Governors, with a total of 71 percent earning a four-year degree within six years. And since undergraduates spend roughly $17,000 per year on tuition, fees, books and living expenses, those finishing in four years will avoid the added cost, Scott said. They’ll also bring in salaries for those two years, rather than paying out money to attend classes. Additionally, the governor called for the expansion of Bright Futures scholarships to cover the summer semester and urged the elimination of fees for online courses. Using a little bit of creative math — combining the extra tuition over two years with the amount of salary the students would earn if they were in the workforce instead — Scott came up with a six-figure savings estimate for graduates who wrapped up college in what used to be the standard timeframe. “Finish in four, save more,” Scott told business and education leaders at the event. “You could save $100,000 by getting out in four years rather than six years.” Scott also used the conference to promote his higher education agenda the way he has in the past: by tying it to his focus on the state’s economy. He did, however, manage to stay away from taking digs at anthropology. “If our students are the best-educated in the country — in the world — the companies are going to be here,” Scott said. “This is about building a workforce.” ‘A TOP PRIORITY’ While Scott was preparing in Orlando to discuss ways to overhaul higher education, a Leon County judge was passing on an opportunity to upend the way elementary and secondary schools are funded in the state. But the battle looks to be far from over. Seven years after the case was filed, Circuit Judge George Reynolds on Tuesday rejected a wide-ranging challenge to the state’s public education system. While Reynolds raised concerns about the outcome for some students in Florida, he ruled that lawmakers had met their constitutional obligation to provide a free, high-quality public education. “The weight of the evidence shows that the state has made education a top priority both in terms of implementation of research-based education policies and reforms, as well as education funding,” Reynolds wrote in the decision. Backers of the lawsuit vowed to appeal, potentially setting up a landmark ruling by the Florida Supreme Court. “We’re in this as long as children continue to be harmed by Florida’s school reform policies,” said Kathleen Oropeza, co-founder of the advocacy group Fund Education Now. “And we’ve always known, regardless of the outcome, there would be an appeal.” The lawsuit is rooted in a 1998 constitutional amendment that says it is a “paramount duty of the state to make adequate provision for the education of all children residing within its borders.” The amendment fleshed that out, in part, by saying adequate provision will be made for a “uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system” of public schools. Republican lawmakers were quick to applaud Reynolds’ decision as an endorsement of their polices, including 15 years of education-reform efforts and initiatives that expanded school choice programs. While Reynolds had already curtailed challenges to the state’s system of charter schools and private-school scholarships funded by tax credits, he also found that those programs had not hurt public education. “Florida’s education policies have resulted in all-time high graduation rates, an overall increase in student achievement, and our low-income and minority students closing the ‘achievement gap’ at a rate faster than the rest of the nation,” said House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island. “Today’s order ensures our children will continue to receive the high quality education they deserve.” Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, specifically underscored the parts of Reynolds’ ruling that dealt with school choice programs and used the ruling to take a veiled shot at the Florida Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union. The FEA has filed a separate challenge to the voucher-like scholarship program. “I am hopeful that today’s ruling will cause other groups to re-evaluate their attempts to deprive tens of thousands of students with unique abilities and students from low-income families of the educational opportunities their parents have selected,” Gardiner said. The FEA said it would do no such thing. RUBIO AGAIN? The 2016 election, as just about anyone who even casually follows politics can tell you, is one of the most unusual campaigns in decades. And rumors started to emerge of another twist this week that could upend the headline non-presidential race in Florida: an effort by some Republicans to get U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio to run for re-election. During his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, Rubio repeatedly and emphatically ruled out running for a second term in the Senate if voters rejected his attempt at the White House. And he tried again this week to quell talk that he would get into the Senate race and elbow out the five major Republican candidates currently running for the seat. One of those candidates, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, is a personal friend of Rubio, as the incumbent pointed out. “I think he’s a great candidate,” Rubio said. “I think he’ll make a great senator.” But Rubio didn’t completely and irrevocably shut the door on the possibility of running again, particularly if Lopez-Cantera, who like his fellow GOP candidates has struggled to gain much traction, was forced to drop out of the race. Republican candidates started getting questions about whether they would or wouldn’t clear the field if Rubio got in, and Democratic candidate Patrick Murphy issued a statement saying “this race won’t be about” Rubio regardless of the decision. But Murphy, who faces a Senate primary against fellow Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson, indicated he was preparing for the possibility. “For years Floridians have been disappointed by Marco Rubio’s complete disinterest in the job they elected him to do,” Murphy said. “Floridians know his record of missing votes, flip-flopping on immigration reform, and fighting against women’s health care.” Adding fuel to the story, even one of Rubio’s harshest president primary nemeses — presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump — joined the “Draft Rubio” movement on Twitter. “Poll data shows that @marcorubio does by far the best in holding onto his Senate seat in Florida. Important to keep the MAJORITY. Run Marco!” Trump tweeted. STORY OF THE WEEK: Gov. Rick Scott held his “Degrees to Jobs Summit” in Orlando and unveiled a plan to encourage Florida university students to get their undergraduate degrees within four years. QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “If he tramples self-defense rights as a legislator, it is frightening to imagine how he will trample constitutional rights as a judge. He has to be stopped!!”—Marion Hammer, a past president of the National Rifle Association and executive director of the Unified Sportsmen of Florida, in a letter opposing state Rep. Charles McBurney, R-Jacksonville, for a judicial position. McBurney, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, angered Second Amendment groups this year when his committee did not move forward with a bill related to the “stand your ground” self-defense law. by Brandon Larrabee, The News Service of Florida  Read More →

May 28, 2016 | Read the story »

Blue Wahoos Beat The Barons

Pensacola Blue Wahoos’ do-it-all Tony Renda, not only can play nearly every position on the field, he’s also a mathematician. Renda, who’s batted first in the lineup 15 times this season, singled to start Friday’s game and scored the first run of the game when Blue Wahoos first baseman Kyle Parker knocked him in on a line drive to center field. “It helps cause 76 percent of the time the team that scores first wins,” Renda said. “You might want to check that. But if you believe it long enough, it comes true.” Well, Pensacola did go on to win Friday by beating the Birmingham Barons, 9-1, in front of its third straight Friday night sellout of 5,038 fans at Blue Wahoos Stadium. He made up for going 0-5 the previous game to end his five game hitting streak by going 4-5, all singles, scoring a run, and walking. Renda, who came over in the Cincinnati Reds trade with the New York Yankees for closer Aroldis Chapman, is batting .307 (16-52) when leading off an inning. He leads the Blue Wahoos with a .293 average this season. He played both second and third base Friday. Renda has been regulated to second base most of his professional career. But he’s played every position except for catcher, pitcher, first base and center field, so far. “Hey, it’s fun,” he said about playing multiple positions for the Blue Wahoos. “I show up to the park and it’s a guessing game where I’m going to play that day.” Blue Wahoos team improved to 28-20 and regained sole possession of first place again from the Biloxi Shuckers who dropped to 27-21 with a 1-0 loss to the Mobile BayBears. Pensacola manager Pat Kelly said Renda always tells him that he’s played the position that he starts him in. “He gets us going,” Kelly said. “He just sparks our offense and everyone else follows.” Pensacola jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. After Renda scored when Parker extended his hitting streak to six games, Pensacola center fielder Phillip Ervin, who had walked, scored on a bases-loaded walk by third baseman Eric Jagielo, who was tossed from the game for arguing a third strike call in the fifth inning. Chicago White Sox No. 1 prospect Carson Fulmer continued to struggle with his control. The eighth pick overall in the 2015 draft, walked seven Pensacola batters in four innings. The Barons pitcher walked eight against the Jackson Generals on May 11. Birmingham pitchers walked 11 total Pensacola batters. Still the Blue Wahoos had trouble scoring, leaving the bases loaded three times in the first five innings. In all, Pensacola left a season high 14 runners on base. However, Barrett Astin in his third spot start for the injured Rookie Davis, went five innings and gave up one run on three hits and struck out three. He had no walks. Astin, who started for Pensacola last year, improved to 4-1 on the season with a 3.00 ERA. “Pitching was the key,” Kelly said. “(Astin) gave up only three hits. It was a nice start.” Pensacola finally pulled away when it scored three runs in the sixth inning to take a 6-1 lead. The first run of the inning came when right fielder Sebastian Elizalde scored from third base on a ground out by Pensacola catcher Chad Wallach to make the score, 4-1. Blue Wahoos second baseman Zach Vincej then drove the ball through the left side of the infield to score DH Donald Lutz to go up, 5-1. Pensacola went ahead, 6-1, when left fielder Jeff Gelalich beat out a bouncer to second base. Barons first baseman Jake Peter turned and fired to his catcher Jeremy Dowdy but Vincej slid around the tag on the bam-bam play. The hit that gave the Blue Wahoos a big breather, though, came when Wallach capped the game off with a deep three-run shot over the left field fence in the seventh inning. It was his third blast of the year and the Blue Wahoos third homer in the past 11 games. The other two homers shot off the bat of Parker. Pensacola now has 25 home runs this season with 15 coming in May.  Read More →

May 28, 2016 | Read the story »

Sheriff’s Office ‘Clean Sweeps’ Cottage Hill

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office held a  Clean Sweep operation Thursday morning in the Cottage Hill area. The focus of “Operation Clean Sweep” was to work with the Cottage Hill Neighborhood Watch group, residents, churches and business owners to control and prevent the damaging effects of criminal activity, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Volunteers also worked throughout the day to clean trash and debris from alongside neighborhoods streets. During Thursday’s event, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office issued eight traffic citations, two warnings, and a 13 sex offender addresses were verified. There were 20 code violations cited, and 14.67 tons of debris was removed. One arrest was report. A man was arrested for violation of probation. Escambia County Animal Control seized two unlicensed pit bulls from his property and issued two citations. The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office plans their next Clean Sweep for June 23 in Warrington, following by a Clean Swep on July 21 in the 9½ Mile Road area.  Read More →

May 27, 2016 | Read the story »

Northview High Names 2016 Honors Graduates

Northview High School named their honors graduates during Thursday night’s 2016 Senior Awards Night. Valedictorian of the Class of 2016 is Bethany Cheyenne Reynolds, daughter of William and Jane Reynolds of Walnut Hill. She is graduating with a final weighted GPA of 5.06. Salutatorian is Moriah Renee’ McGahan, daughter of Greg and Candy McGahan of Molino. A total of 28 students were named honors graduates with a final GPA of 3.5 or above. The Northview High School Class of 2016 graduates at 4 p.m. Saturday in the school gym. Summa Cum Laude (4.0 GPA and above) are, in class rank order: 1. Bethany Cheyenne Reynolds 2. Moriah Renee’ McGahan 3. Jessica Kathryn Amerson 4. David Franklin Thorpe 5. Madison Paige Weber 6. Bradley Andrew Van Pelt 7. Abbie Elizabeth Johnson 8. Haylee Alease Weaver 9. Harmoni Faith Till 10. Savanna Brianne Roux 11. Jada Mona Tucker 12. Trevor Dale Levins 13. Courtney Bryce Weekley 14. Tyler Ray Houston 15. Jordan Caroline Taylor 16. Jason Andrew Perritt 17. Christopher Gavin Grant 18. Benjamin Tate Preston 19. Jadlyn Skye Agerton 20. Leah Grace Fischer 21. Lawrence C W Douglas Magna Cum Laude graduate (3.85 or higher) is: 22. Jacob Wade Dunsford Cum Laude (3.5 and above) graduates are: 23. Jewel Regina Garner 24. Trevor James Lassiter 25. Jordan Noelle Helmken 26. Katelyn Michelle Born 27. Jensyn Lillian Warner 28. Carly Marie Ward Pictured top: Northview High School Class of 2016 Salutatorian Moriah Renee’ McGahan (left) and Valedictorian Bethany Cheyenne Reynolds. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.  Read More →

May 27, 2016 | Read the story »

Escambia Tax Certificate Sale Set For June 1

Escambia County Tax Collector Janet Holley announces the tax certificate sale for 2015 delinquent real estate taxes in Escambia County will be held June 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CDT at BidEscambia.com. Bidding opened May 5, 2016. Property taxes unpaid as of 4:30 p.m. on May 31 will be eligible for purchase. To prevent a certificate from being sold, property owners with delinquent taxes must make their payment by 4:30 p.m. May 31 either through the website, EscambiaTaxCollector.com, or in person at any of our four convenient tax collector offices. All late payments will be returned for additional fees. Registration for the sale is open at BidEscambia.com and will continue until the sale ends June 1. The sale is a reverse auction, with interest rates on individual certificates starting at 18 percent. Bidders compete for the lowest rate, and certificates are awarded to those with the lowest bid. All unsold certificates will be issued to Escambia County at 18 percent annual interest. The tax certificate sale is an annual online auction where bidders can purchase a delinquent taxpayer’s debt in exchange for an annual interest rate, ensuring the majority of unpaid taxes are collected and distributed to taxing authorities. Last year, more than 7,800 certificates were sold for a total of over $10.9 million, recovering 97 percent of delinquent taxes. Delinquent real estate accounts are published online at BidEscambia.com.  Read More →

May 27, 2016 | Read the story »

Pearl Harbor Survivor Featured In Memorial Day Civic Band Concert

Pearl Harbor Survivor and musician Frank Emond recently celebrated his 98th birthday. “When you’re 98, you’re allowed more than one birthday party,” said nonogenarian Frank Emond. “I’ve celebrated with family and friends and I got a cake from Cordova Park Elementary School, when three other Pearl Harbor Survivors and I spoke last week.” “I’m grateful to all our Pearl Harbor Honor Flight friends that worked so hard to take us back to Pearl for the 70th commemoration in 2011. They continue to arrange things for us to keep us going. That’s my secret to long life, keeping busy,” he continued. Frank Emond, CWO4 USN (RET.), spent his naval career as a musician and band director. He was on the stern of the USS Pensylvania (BB-38) getting ready to play morning “Colors” when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941. “At five minutes to eight, I looked up and saw a line of planes coming in. The first one peeled off and dropped something. I thought the plane was coming apart. I watched it until the something hit the ground and exploded. We knew we were in trouble then …” Frank will tell the rest of his story on Monday night, May 30th as a part of Pensacola’s Inaugural Memorial Day Concert presented by the Pensacola Civic Band. The concert begins at 5:00 PM in the Hunter Amphitheatre at Community Maritime Park and will include a program of music honoring our military fallen heroes. Additionally, the program will include narration by Rev. Gerald Mundy & Paula Dorrett and a special performance by soloist, Holly Shelton. There is no charge for the concert, food and drink will be available from outside vendors. Be sure to bring some chairs or a blanket. For more information on the concert, contact the Pensacola Civic Band www.pensacolacivicband.org or call 850.484.1847  Read More →

May 27, 2016 | Read the story »

Scott Says Higher Education Efforts ‘About Building A Workforce’

Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday wrapped up a two-day higher education conference in Orlando with a list of goals that included making colleges and universities more affordable and more responsive to the needs of businesses. The second day of the “Degrees to Jobs Summit” included sessions about trying to make Florida first in jobs for university and college graduates, along with discussions about keeping students in the state after they graduate. “If our students are the best-educated in the country — in the world — the companies are going to be here,” Scott said. “This is about building a workforce.” Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam noted that many of his classmates at the University of Florida left the state after graduation. “We can reverse that flow, and we must reduce that flow,” Putnam said. Cammy Abernathy, dean of engineering at the University of Florida, said today’s graduates approach careers with the belief that they will change jobs multiple times. Some are afraid they’ll lose opportunities if they stay in Florida, she added. “The way to get around that is to show them there are opportunities in the state of Florida — in the Southeast in general,” Abernathy said. “If we grow the jobs and the grads at the same time, we’ll keep more of the grads in Florida.” Putnam also said Florida should have at least one other state institution besides his alma mater as a member of the prestigious, 62-member Association of American Universities. “The AAU schools in this country produce 60 percent of doctoral degrees and over half of the science and engineering degrees,” he said. “The third-largest state needs another AAU school, and we need a plan and a pathway to get there.” Scott held the conference to bring together business and education leaders, but the event drew criticism from the United Faculty of Florida, which said it was not invited. “Without meaningful faculty participation, this summit does little to move Florida’s higher education system to the next level of excellence,” the group, which represents more than 22,000 faculty members, said in a statement this week. Scott on Wednesday used the conference to challenge colleges and universities to help full-time students graduate in four years rather than as many as six years. That call, said University of West Florida President Judy Bense, was her top takeaway of the conference. “Those two extra years cost time, money, in many different ways,” she said. “So I hope that’s going to be the cornerstone of (Scott’s) action plan.” Bense also said bringing the business people and university people together had been a success. “It happens all the time in our communities and our regions, but it hasn’t happened on this scale,” she said. “My new trustees and my older trustees — they like it. They made connections, because they’re businessmen and (business) women, too.” The conference ended with Scott conducting a three-way interview with football coaches Jimbo Fisher of Florida State University, Jim McElwain of the University of Florida and Mark Richt of the University of Miami. by The News Service of Florida  Read More →

May 27, 2016 | Read the story »

Two Atmore Men Facing Drug Charges

Two people have been arrested in Atmore in unrelated drug cases. Jabarie Arnold, 37, was charged with possession of marijuana, three counts of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, altering a firearm’s identification and resisting arrest. Arnold’s arrest came after officer with the Atmore Police Department, Poarch Police Department and Escambia County (AL) Sheriff’s Department served a search warrant at home on New Order Lane. Officers found numerous illegal items, including 278 grams of synthetic marijuana, hydrocodone, methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and a pistol with serial numbers filed off (pictured top). Arnold attempted flee officers from the Atmore Police Department and the U.S. Marshals but was apprehended with drug paraphernalia in his possession, according to police. Arnold was booked into the Escambia County (AL) Detention Center in Brewton where he remains with bond set at $1 million. In an unrelated case, 22-year old Justin Lacy of Atmore was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana first degree. His arrest came after Atmore Police received a tip of illegal drug activity in vicinity of Avenue E in Atmore. An investigation was initiated and surveillance of the area found drug activity to be present, according to police. A search warrant was executed by officers with Atmore Police Department, Poarch Police Department and the  Escambia County (AL) Sheriff’s Office. Officer reported finding 90 grams of marijuana and several hydrocodone pills with a street value of $700 (pictured below). Lacy was booked into the Escambia County (AL) Detention Center in Brewton. Courtesy photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.  Read More →

May 27, 2016 | Read the story »

Escambia Company Expands, Adding New Jobs

An Escambia County manufacturing plant is adding to their facility and adding new jobs. The Danish based Jupiter Group held a grand opening Thursday for a 25,000 square foot addition to their facility in the Ellyson Industrial Park. With the expansion, they plan to employ a total of 250 people in Escambia County. The company builds turbines that produce clean power, mostly from wind. Their primary customer is the General Electric Wind Energy Plant in Pensacola. Courtesy photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.  Read More →

May 27, 2016 | Read the story »

Pensacola Mullets Fall To Birmingham

After the game, Pensacola manager Pat Kelly wanted to know if its 6-4 loss to the Birmingham Barons counted against the Blue Wahoos. On “What If” night Thursday, the Pensacola players sported Mullet jerseys, instead of its regular Blue Wahoos uniforms and they played in Mullet Stadium. “The Mullets are 0-1,” Kelly said jokingly. “I don’t think it counts against our record.” Unfortunately, the loss does go in the Blue Wahoos loss column. The team fell into a first place tie with the Biloxi Shuckers at 27-20. The logo for the Mullet name sported the fish with a mullet leaning up against the letter “P” for Pensacola. In 2012, the fish was one of six finalists for the name of the Cincinnati Reds Double-A affiliate. The loss spoiled a strong outing by big righty Sal Romano. Romano got the first five outs of the game on strike outs. He finished with a season-high nine strikeouts and lasted 7 innings for the second time in three games. He walked just one batter. Romano still got a K on a 94 mph fastball in the seventh inning when he struck out Birmingham center fielder Adam Engel. Kelly said the 21-year-old Romano, the Cincinnati Reds No. 9 prospect, is slowly turning into a pitcher, instead of a thrower. “The seventh inning might have been his best inning,” Kelly said of Romano, who set the Barons down in order. “It’s small baby steps but he’s not rearing back and throwing as hard as he can. Harder is not always the best.” Romano said when he takes the mound his goal is to reach the seventh inning. That’s much easier to do with his increasing confidence in his changeup that he has been developing the last few seasons. “That’s a big thing for me,” he said. “I just said, ‘Let’s bear down here.’ I’m trying to make pitches, not just be a big kid throwing hard.” Pensacola came back in the bottom of the eighth to make it a one-run game, 5-4, against the Barons, who tied the series, 1-1. The Mullets loaded the bases on two walks and a single. Pensacola center fielder Phillip Ervin scored on DH Sebastian Elizalde’s ground out and then Mullets first baseman Kyle Parker scored on a wild pitch. Pensacola catcher Chad Wallach, who entered the game in an 0-12 slump, then singled in Mullet’s second baseman Brandon Dixon. Wallach was 2-3, walked and knocked in a run. Birmingham scored an insurance run in the ninth, however. The Barons added another run in the ninth when Engel singled in Barons shortstop Eddy Alvarez with no outs. With runners on first and third for Birmingham, Pensacola center fielder Bryson Smith caught a fly ball by right fielder Eudy Pina and then threw a perfect strike to Wallach to get Engel out at the plate and prevent more runs from scoring. “Bryson did a nice job staying back on the ball,” Kelly said. Also playing well for the one-time Mullets Thursday, was Pensacola first baseman Kyle Parker, who made up for his error by slicing a solo shot over the left field wall just inside the foul pole in the fourth inning to pull the Mullets within, 2-1. Parker got on base three times and scored twice. Birmingham first baseman Jake Peter also hit his fourth home run of the season on a solo blast in the fifth inning to put the Barons up, 3-1.  Read More →

May 27, 2016 | Read the story »

Woman Hit By Her Own Vehicle In Convenience Store Parking Lot

A woman was injured when she was hit by her own vehicle in a convenience store parking lot early Thursday morning. About 2:30 a.m., the woman was reportedly working on her vehicle in the parking lot of the Tom Thumb on Highway 29 at West Roberts Road when it jumped into gear, dragging the woman across the parking lot. The vehicle then ran over the woman before crossing West Roberts Road and hitting a privacy fence. The woman was transported to an area hospital by Escambia County EMS. The accident remains under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol. Further details have not been released. The Ensley Station of Escambia Fire Rescue also responded. NorthEscambia.com photos by Kristi Barbour, click to enlarge.  Read More →

May 26, 2016 | Read the story »

Cantonment Couple Charged In ‘Heart-Wrenching’ Child Abuse Case

A Cantonment couple has been charged in a child abuse case that Escambia County David Morgan called “heart-wrenching” and one of the worst he has ever seen. Jeffrey Scott Linton, 48, and Rachel Watkins Linton, 34, of Muscogee Road in Cantonment, are facing multiple child abuse charges based upon allegations that they inflicted severe  physical abuse on three young children. “It is one of those things that bring tears to your eyes to think that a child would be treated in this manner,” Morgan said during a Wednesday afternoon press conference.  He said there were nine total children in the home – eight biologically belonging to Rachel Linton, one the biological child of Jeffrey Linton.  The charges filed relate to the three youngest of the children. All of the children have been removed from the home. The investigation began after the Department of Children and Families received an anonymous tip. That led to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office opening an investigation and executing a search warrant at the couple’s Cantonment home. “These investigations are always ongoing. If at any point and time additional facts come out that warrant additional charges being filed, we would review it at that time and file the appropriate charges,” Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille said. “We do take these types of cases very seriously.” Jeffrey Linton remains in the Escambia County Jail with bond set at $1.5 million; Rachel Linton’s also remains in jail with a bond set at $900,000. The allegations against the Lintons span the period August 2015 to May 23, 2016, according to an arrest report obtained by NorthEscambia.com. On May 24, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office was made aware of the allegations. EDITOR’S NOTE: The remainder of this story details some of the severe physical child abuse allegations in this case. There are details that some readers will find disturbing. The report indicates that about one month ago, one of the victims suffered a broken leg and then a broken arm caused by one of the siblings, and that Rachel Linton did not feed or bathe the children or take them to medical appointments. Two of the victims were born prematurely and are developmentally delayed. DCF received a tip that Rachel Linton was planning to flee the area and has a history of fleeing when she is under investigation. DCF received a report that two victims had injuries to their faces and heads, and Rachel Linton took the victims to West Florida Hospital where a trauma survey found that one victim had two broken arms and a broken leg and all three victims were malnourished. The report says Rachel Linton frequently hits the victims’ heads on the walls and that Jeffrey Linton also abuses them. Rachel Linton threatened the children with further punishment if they provided any information to DCF about the ongoing abuse in the home. Both allegedly told the children to blame their injuries on the other children in the home. One child allegedly suffered a broken arm as the result of Jeffrey Linton twisting an arm. DCF discovered the children had multiple bruises on their faces, back and arms, and that the children had knots on the back and tops of their heads. They suffered a variety of other injuries, including an abscess on the bottom of a foot, scarring and scabbing of lips, scarring of a nose, lacerations to their ears and bruising to their genital areas. A witness alleged that Jeffrey Linton would hold the victims upside down by their feet and hit their heads on the floor as punishment and that he would hit them with a paddle “2-3 feet long” and throw them and slam their heads against a wall, and he would allegedly hit them with a fly swatter. The witness said the paddle is now broken from use, and that she would hear the children cry and scream in pain.  Read More →

May 26, 2016 | Read the story »

Work Complete On Replacement Of 75 Year Old Highway 97 Bridge

Work is now mostly complete on the replacement of a 75-year old Highway 97 bridge over Little Pine Barren Creek in Walnut Hill. Work at the site began back in March 2015, with traffic moved to a temporary bridge in July. The construction was part of a $2.5 million contract which consisted of replacing a structurally deficient bridge, including roadway reconstruction, milling and resurfacing, guardrail, drainage, new signs and pavement markings. The bridge is located at the intersection of Wiggins Lake Road, about one mile north of Ernest Ward Middle School.  The bridge that was  replaced was constructed in 1940. Pictured: Traffic flows across a completed bridge on Highway 97 in Walnut Hill late Wednesday afternoon. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.  Read More →

May 26, 2016 | Read the story »

State Supreme Court To Hear High Profile Gambling Case

The Florida Supreme Court is expected to hear a high profile gambling case next month. Justices will take up a closely watched case about whether a pari-mutuel facility in rural Gadsden County should be able to offer slot machines — a case that could have implications for five other counties across the state. The pari-mutuel Gretna Racing., operated by the Poarch Band of  Creek Indians of Atmore,  argues it should be allowed to offer the lucrative machines, at least in part because Gadsden County voters approved slots in a referendum. But a divided 1st District Court of Appeal last year sided with Gov. Rick Scott’s administration, which contends that the small North Florida horse track cannot have slot machines without the express permission of the Legislature. The outcome of the case could affect five other counties — Brevard, Hamilton, Lee, Palm Beach and Washington — where voters have approved slots in similar referendums. The case (Gretna Racing, LLC v. Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, etc.) is scheduled for arguments June 7. by the News Service of Florida  Read More →

May 26, 2016 | Read the story »