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Northview Yearbook Receives Top Columbia Scholastic Press Association Award

Northview Yearbook Receives Top Columbia Scholastic Press Association Award

The Northview High School Tribal Spirit yearbook staff has been honored  with a Gold Medal from the nationally recognized Columbia Scholastic Press Association, affiliated with Columbia University in New York City and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. The book received 910 points out of a maximum 1000 points to place it well within the Gold category (800-1000 points.) Yearbooks are judged in three areas – reference, verbal, and visual. In the visual category, Northview received 388 points out of a possible 400, earning them All-Columbian Honors for Visual. This was the first year that they entered their yearbook for critique. The purpose of the critiques and medal awards is to direct students and advisers toward a better publication through growing in knowledge of correct journalism standards. “It was a pleasure to read and critique the 2014 Tribal Spirit Yearbook. It was quite evident that you and your fine staff contributed countless hours to produce this commendable publication. You especially excelled in achieving a strong grasp of journalism standards, writing skills, and photography techniques,” the judges commented. The Tribal Spirit yearbook staff and their adviser, Alison Robinson, attended the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Convention in New York City in 2011 and 2013. “Being on yearbook staff teaches life skills and technical skills that are unsurpassed in any other course. The students on this staff learn manual photography, how to make sales, write copy and captions, create and properly use  graphic design, but mostly how to take constructive criticism and use it to improve themselves,” Robinson, a 20-year veteran staff adviser, said.  “They have seen the results of constantly designing pages and taking pictures over and over until they get those technical aspects right. This is an ongoing learning process. The staffers work together on every part of the book and learn to use each individual’s strengths to fortify the team. It is because of their grit and determination that they have reached the Gold Medal level.” Tamara Green, a 2014 senior editor said, “Receiving this award means so much to me because I know that we all worked so hard throughout the school year. Not every day was easy, but with much hard work and determination, we created a yearbook that was definitely one to remember.” Another senior editor for the  2014 book, Dalton Daniel, said “I know we all put forth 110% to our  work, and that’s what got us this medal.” Yearbook Staff members for the Columbia Scholastic Press Association award-winning 2014 edition were – editors Justin King, Anna Fischer, Dalton Daniel, and Tamara Green; and  Kamryn Brock, Jessica McCullough, Haylee Weaver, Bethany Reynolds, David Thorpe, Jessica Amerson, Mitchell Singleton, and David Weber. To order this school year’s Northview High School Tribal Spirit yearbook, click here. Pictured: Current Northview Tribal Spirit Yearbook staff members David Weber (standing background), Bradley Van Pelt (white shirt)), Jordan Taylor (standing), Bethany Reynolds (standing, foreground), Kamryn Brock (seated at computer) and Jessica McCullough (with camera). Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.  Read More →

September 23, 2014 | Read the story »


Envision Escambia: Traffic Safety Survey Results

Escambia County has released the second in a series of surveys. The “Envision Escambia 2028: Traffic Safety” survey results, as provided by Escambia County, are below. A third survey regarding residents opinions on storm water drainage systems is now being conducted. Future surveys will ask questions about traffic calming efforts, pedestrian safety, public safety, parks and recreation, job growth and natural resources. Envision Escambia 2028: Traffic Safety Question # 1: In which area of Escambia County do you currently live? Twenty-eight percent of respondents to our second survey live north of Nine Mile Road, with close to 15 percent living between Cantonment and the Alabama state line. Another 20 percent came from the extreme southern portion of the County on Pensacola Beach. Nearly 9.5 percent lived in between Nine Mile Road and I-10. Over 7.3 percent of respondents were from Perdido Key and another 7.3 percent represented the neighborhoods in the area East of Palafox, South of Brent Lane/Bayou Boulevard to the Escambia Bay on the East and Pensacola Bay on the South. No area of Escambia County was unrepresented in this survey. Question # 2: What are the biggest Traffic Safety Problems in Escambia County? 52.69 percent = Distracted drivers. 47.31 percent = Drivers who don’t obey speed limits and/or drive agressively. 39.78 percent = There are not enough bike lanes and/or sidewalks. 35.48 percent = There is too much traffic. 26.88 percent = The poor condition of roads leads to accidents. 13.98 percent = There is no where to pull over if you have car trouble. 4.3 percent = I don’t have any serious concerns about traffic safety. Comments included: “Northbound Pine Forest needs to widen/bike lanes and four lanes. Roberts Road and Pine Forest intersection needs to be a four way stop with flashing red lights in all four directions.” “Need another north/south artery besides 29. What happened to the roads envisioned in the Optional Sector Plan.” “So many ‘local’ roads feel and are designed for higher speeds …” “The exits going onto and coming off of I-10 to Cantonment. Going from I-10 to 29 is a nightmare.” “Too many unsynchronized lights.” Question #3: If you walk or bicycle on County roads, have you ever felt your personal safety was threatened by motorists? 57.89 percent = Yes 4.21 percent = No 37.89 percent = I don’t walk or bicycle on County roads. Question #4: Do you encounter unpaved roads in your daily driving routine? 3.23 percent = Yes, I live off an unpaved road. 11.83 percent = Yes, I drive an unpaved road at least once per month. 84.95 percent = No, I rarely or never encounter unpaved roads. Question #5: Since the advent of Local Option Sales Tax in 1992, almost 250 miles of roads have been paved bringing asphalt to residents throughout the County. Approximately $8 million will be spent over the next three years to continue paving eligible dirt roads. Do you think this is a good expenditure of Local Option Sales Tax dollars? 82.42 percent = Yes. 17.58 percent = No “However, I do no think LOST money should be used to 4-lane a state road like Perdido Key Dr. SR 292″ “I believe there are other pressing issues in the county that the tax dollars could be spent on.” “Maintaining unpaved roads are a higher cost in the long run. Unpaved roads are more likely to damage vehicles and are generally less safe.” “Paving dirt roads lessens the likelihood of having red clay wash into local waterways. Clay seriously deteriorates water quality in or bays and bayous.” “I don’t like asphalt … but it is certainly better than mud and dust and ruts and all else that goes with dirt roads.” Question #6: Several major road-widening projects are in the planning stages or under construction throughout the County. Some of these projects are funded by Local Option Sales Tax dollars and some are projects being conducted by the Florida Department of Transportation. Several common reasons for supporting road-widening projects are given below, as well as several concerns regarding road-widening. Please tell us whether or not you agree with the following statements. Almost 71 percent of respondents who answered this question felt that roadways with wider lanes and paved shoulders had lower accident rates and close to 90 percent felt that adding shoulders to roads where they do not previously exist provides disabled vehicles with a place to stop safey. More than 70 percent also felt that wider lanes allowed drivers to better see pedestrians and bicyclists, while 74 percent agreed that adding shoulders to roads provided bicyclists and others a way to safely share the road with motorists. Fewer, but still the majority with 54.6 percent, said they felt that widening roads supported economic development and was good for job growth. Only 23 percent of survey respondents felt that widening lanes made roads more dangerous by encouraging increased speeds and 25.5 percent said they thought that road widening fuels new development at the expense of existing residents and businesses. Question #7: Do you have any additional comments questions or concerns? “Gulf Beach Highway needs to be widend (sic) or 4 laned. The traffic is horrible and dangerous!” “Traffic is too fast on South Navy Blvd.” “Consider an LDC requirement that new sprawl residential developments include additional roadway connectors …” “Synch lights and add left and right turn lanes.” “The light at Casino Beach is a problem especially during a big event.” “Highway 29 is a nightmare on my drive to work.” “I am an avid cyclist but I refuse to ride on many roads in the county due to a near-guarantee of being struck or threatened by a motorist.” “How is increased traffic to/from the new Bay Bridge going to be handled?”  Read More →

September 23, 2014 | Read the story »


Hill Bolsters Finances In Re-Election Bid

Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola raised more than $35,000 from August 30 to September 12 to help fuel his re-election campaigns, according to newly filed finance reports.3 Hill, who is running in House District 2 in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, collected $35,450 during the two-week period, bringing his overall total to $153,856. Democrat Jeremy Lau, who is trying to unseat Hill, had raised a total of $10,295 as of September 12. by The News Service of Florida  Read More →

September 23, 2014 | Read the story »


Sheriff’s Office Seeks Woman For Questioning In Convenience Store Murder

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is looking to talk to an Escambia County woman in connection with the murder of a convenience store murder. Investigators are looking for 39-year old Willie Mae Thornton for questioning only concerning the September 13 homicide of 50-year old Phuong Nguyen Truoug, who was found deceased behind the counter at his place of business, the T M Food Mart located in the 1000 block of W. Michigan Avenue. Anyone with any information as to her whereabouts is asked to call the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office at (850) 436-9620 or Gulf Coast Crimestoppers at (850) 433-STOP.  Read More →

September 23, 2014 | Read the story »

Beulah Volunteer Firefighters Practice Tanker Operations

Beulah Volunteer Firefighters Practice Tanker Operations

Volunteers at the Beulah Station of Escambia Fire Rescue learned about tanker truck and drop tank set up procedures during a Monday night training session.  Tanker trucks, and the pictured 2,500 gallon drop tank, are used to shuttle and supply water to firefighters when there is no or an inadequate water supply from a fire hydrant. Photo courtesy Capt. Mike Aaron for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge .  Read More →

September 23, 2014 | Read the story »

Tate Quarterback Club Meets Tonight

Tate Quarterback Club Meets Tonight

The Tate High School Quarterback Club will meeting this evening. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the school’s media center. Non-members are welcome to attend and join the organization. For more information or to join the Tate Quarterback Club online, click here.  Read More →

September 23, 2014 | Read the story »

Volleyball: Northview And Central

Central defeated Northview in high school volleyball action Monday. Junior Varsity JV 25-15, 12-25, 8-15. Chipley wins Varsity 17-25, 15-25, 8-25. Chipley wins The Lady Chiefs will back in action Tuesday at Pensacola Christian Academy and will host Freeport on Thursday, with the JV playing at 4:00 and the varsity to follow at 5:00.  Read More →

September 23, 2014 | Read the story »

All West Florida Libraries Closed Tuesday

All West Florida Public Library System locations will be closed to the public Tuesday. During this time the libraries will undergo a new software migration featuring expanded services to better serve the community. All library staff will receive training on these days. While the libraries will be closed, patrons will be able to view the library system’s website, MyWFPL.com and online databases accessible through the library system.  Read More →

September 22, 2014 | Read the story »

Citizens: There May Be An Early End To Storm Tax On Propery Insurance

A 1 percent charge imposed on most homeowners’ policies to help the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. cover losses from the last of the 2005 hurricanes may come off the books two years early. Citizens’ Board of Governors will be asked Wednesday to put an end date of July 1, 2015, on the storm assessment, which has been slated to continue until June 30, 2017, according a proposal on the board’s agenda. Citizens Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Montero is recommending the change, noting that the state-backed insurer is on track to have collected enough money to meet its remaining debt obligations by the middle of 2015, according to the agenda item. Citizens imposed the storm assessment in 2007 on insurance policyholders throughout the state —- whether they were Citizens customers or not — to recoup $887 million of the roughly $1.7 billion deficit created by Hurricane Wilma, which hit South Florida in October 2005. The state picked up $623 million of the costs from Wilma, while the remainder was covered by additional assessments on Citizens policyholders. The storm assessment, initially set at 1.4 percent and reduced to 1 percent in 2011, is imposed on a variety of types of property-insurance policies. The potential early end of what critics have labeled a storm “tax” comes two months after the Office of Insurance Regulation issued orders for insurance companies to end on Jan. 1 a 1.3 percent “emergency assessment” for the state-run Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, which provides backup coverage to insurers. The so-called “Cat Fund” charge, imposed on most home and auto policies, had previously been set to end July 1, 2016. That assessment has hit policyholders for $2.9 billion, which has gone to reimburse insurance companies for claims from the eight hurricanes that hit Florida in 2004 and 2005, the last time any hurricane made landfall in Florida. Citizens officials have moved more than a half-million policies the past couple of years into the private market, in part to lessen the potential assessments that could be needed after future storms. Citizens, which will reduce rates next year for most customers, had 933,807 overall policies in place as of July 31. The company has an eye on bringing the number to around 850,000 later this year and to about 650,000 by the end of 2017. by Jim Turner, The News Service of Florida  Read More →

September 22, 2014 | Read the story »

FWC: Floridians Hunting Deer Out Of State Need To Know CWD Laws

Florida hunters planning to hunt deer, moose or elk out of state this year need to be aware of certain laws and regulations aimed at preventing chronic wasting disease (CWD) from entering the state, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. CWD is a contagious neurological disease that has been found in captive and wild cervids (white-tailed deer, mule deer, moose and elk) within 22 states, two Canadian provinces and in South Korea. The disease causes degeneration of the brains of infected animals, resulting in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death. There is no known evidence that CWD can be transmitted to livestock or humans. The disease has been detected in New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, Virginia, Missouri, North Dakota, Maryland, Texas, Alberta and Saskatchewan Canadian provinces, and in South Korea. Hunters need to know that it is against the law to bring into Florida whole carcasses of any deer from any of the above-listed areas. The purpose of this measure is to prevent CWD from being brought into the state. The infective agent is more likely to be concentrated within the brain, eyes, spinal cord, lymph nodes, tonsils and spleen of the animal. This infective agent, called a prion, can be accidentally deposited into the environment, where it can remain for years and can infect other deer. Many states have a prohibition in place that is similar to Florida’s. It is not illegal to bring into Florida deboned meat and finished taxidermy mounts, tanned hides, cleaned skulls, antlers and teeth from any of these places, as long as all soft tissue has been removed. For more information about CWD or the rule, visit MyFWC.com/CWD.  Read More →

September 22, 2014 | Read the story »

Another Group Launches Another Challenge To Florida Pot Rule

A trade association has challenged the Florida Department of Health’s plan for carrying out a new medical-marijuana law, adding to two challenges filed last week. The Florida Medical Cannabis Association is asking an administrative law judge to reject a department rule unveiled this month. The earlier challenges were filed by nurseries Plants of Ruskin, Inc., and Costa Farms. The cases stem from a law passed this spring that allows strains of marijuana low in euphoria-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and high in cannabadiol, or CBD. Supporters say the substances can help children with severe forms of epilepsy and some people with other medical conditions. Plants of Ruskin and Costa Farms meet legal requirements to apply for licenses to grow, process and distribute the substances. But the association and growers take issue with parts of the rule and contend, in part, that that department has overstepped its rulemaking authority. Similar to the challenge filed by Plants of Ruskin, the association argued Wednesday that department’s proposals “fail to establish even minimum criteria to evaluate (a license) applicant’s financial, technical and technological ability to securely cultivate and produce low-THC cannabis.”  Read More →

September 22, 2014 | Read the story »

Deadline Approaching To Register To Vote In November Election

Monday, October 6 is the last day to register to vote in the November 4 general election, according to Escambia County Supervisor of Elections David Stafford. Florida law mandates that registration books close 29 days before an election. New  registrations must be completed and received or postmarked no later than October 6 in order for them to be effective for the November 4 election. Address and party changes can be made after the books close. If you are unsure of your registration status, visit EscambiaVotes.com and click Am I Registered?. Escambia County citizens have several ways to register or update their record: Online/By Mail: Visit EscambiaVotes.com and complete, print, and sign the online application. Be sure to include a valid Florida Driver’s License number, a valid Florida ID number, or if you have neither, the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number in the appropriate space. Completed applications must be received or postmarked no later than July 28. Send to: Escambia County Supervisor of Elections, PO Box 12601, Pensacola, FL 32591-2601, or take the completed application to the Elections Office at 213 Palafox Place, 2nd Floor, in downtown Pensacola. Also, to have a form mailed to you, call (595-3900) or e-mail the Elections Office (soe@escambiavotes.com). In Person: You can register at the Elections Office at 213 Palafox Place, 2nd Floor in downtown Pensacola, at any Florida Driver’s License Office, and several other governmental offices and public assistance centers. Registration forms are also available to pick up at many locations countywide. For a complete list of locations throughout Escambia County, visit EscambiaVotes.com or call or e-mail the Elections Office. For voters who wish to cast a ballot by mail (an absentee ballot), go to EscambiaVotes.com and complete the online request form, or call or e-mail the elections office.  Read More →

September 21, 2014 | Read the story »

Molino Naval Officer Promoted To Lieutenant Commander

Lieutenant Troy Bertran of Molino was recently took an oath to accept a promotion to lieutenant commander. Bertran started his Naval careeer at at 17 as a seaman recruit. He worked his way up to petty officer first class before being commissioned as an ensign in the limited duty officer program. Bertran current has over 25 years in the Navy. Originally from Palmetto, FL, Betrain knew he wanted to call Florida home again as some point during his career, settling in Molino. Pictured top. Lt. Troy Bertran (left) of Molino and Capt. Alan Dean. Submitted photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.  Read More →

September 21, 2014 | Read the story »

Fall Gardening Tips

As fall approaches, now is the time to start preparing your landscape for the upcoming cooler weather, according to the UF/IFAS extension service. Flowers Cut back, and remove old flower stalks from flowering annuals and re-fertilize in order to obtain one more color before cool weather. Prepare beds for the planting of cool season annuals next month. Some plants to establish for fall, winter and early spring include: pansy, petunia, snapdragon, larkspur, stocks, statice, bachelor button, calendula, cleome, alyssum, marigolds, verbena, dianthus and candytuft. Divide perennials such as Shasta daisy, canna, amaryllis, daylily, coneflower, violets, and ornamental grasses like mondo grass and liriope. Cut strong stems of roses to encourage new growth for final flush of the year. Find a local source, or order wildflower seeds for fall planting. Be certain to choose a mixture that is specifically for the south. Prepare the area, but wait until November to seed them. Trees and Shrubs Last month to fertilize woody ornamental shrubs in the landscape. No pruning unless it’s absolutely necessary. This is probably the worst time of year to do major pruning of shrubs. Late summer/fall pruning can stimulate tender growth that might be damaged by low winter temperatures. Plant woody ornamentals, including trees, shrubs, vines and ground covers during the fall and early winter. They respond well to planting late in the year because our relatively mild winters allow for root growth. Fall planted shrubs, for example, are well on their way toward having their roots established before hot weather arrives next spring. Select crape myrtles while in bloom. Examine the small twigs on the outer canopy of hardwood trees for black twig borer damage. Remove and destroy infested twigs. Pine needles fall during September and October. Rake and use them in the vegetable and flower garden as well as in shrub beds. Pine needles make excellent mulch. Apply generously to obtain a depth of 2 to 3 inches on the soil surface after they have settled. Mature palms should receive an application of granular fertilizer. Use a special palm fertilizer that has an 8-2-12 +4Mg (magnesium) with micronutrients formulation. Apply one pound of fertilizer per 100 sqft of canopy area or landscape area. Vegetable Garden Prepare the soil now, allowing about 3 weeks between the incorporation of amendments and planting. In September sow seeds of beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, endive, escarole, kale, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, mustard, onions, parsley, radishes and turnips. Last planting of beans (bush, lima and pole), cucumbers and summer squash Clean out the spring/summer vegetable garden once plants have stopped producing. Remove any that are known to have been diseased or heavily insect infested during the previous season. Lawns Check the lawn weekly and watch for lawn pests. Check for chinch bugs and sod webworms in St. Augustine, spittlebugs and sod webworms in centipedegrass and mole cricket damage in all grasses Last month to fertilize bahiagrass, bermudagrass, St. Augustinegrass and Zoysiagrass using a complete fertilizer applied at 1.0 lb nitrogen per 1000 square feet containing 50% soluble and 50% slow-release nitrogen.  Read More →

September 21, 2014 | Read the story »

Gulf Breeze Woman Killed In Wreck South Of East Brewton

A Gulf Breeze woman was killed in a single vehicle crash between Jay and East Brewton Friday night. According to Alabama State Troopers, 24-year old Mary Emma Grace lost control of her 2003 Toyota Camry and ran off the road. The accident happened about eight miles south of East Brewton on County Road 55, commonly called Travis Road or the Jay Road, near the Alabama/Florida state line. Further details have not been released by Alabama troopers.  Read More →

September 21, 2014 | Read the story »

Man Gets Prison Time After Young Child Drinks Acid At Meth Lab

A man has been sentenced to prison after a young child drank acid from a sippy cup at a Santa Rosa County meth lab. A jury found Jonathan Wayne Glass, 38, guilty of  child neglect causing great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement.  Immediately following the trial, Santa Rosa County Circuit Court Judge John F. Simon sentenced Glass to 15 years state prison. On February 20, 2013, Glass brought sulfuric acid into a residence he shared with a woman and her three children at Piney Woods Place Apartments in  Milton. Glass brought the acid into the residence so that he could use it during the process of manufacturing methamphetamine. The acid had been placed into a small plastic cup with a screw-on lid with a straw attached to it. Glass left the cup of acid on a bathroom counter where a 3-year old child drank the acid while brushing his teeth. Although there was a hospital within three miles of the residence and Glass had a working vehicle and an access to a telephone, he failed to seek medical attention for the child and instructed another child who was present in the residence during the incident not to call 911. A neighbor who heard screaming and the sound of a child moaning coming from the Glass’ apartment called 911. The 3-year old child was transported by ambulance to Sacred Heart Hospital. As a result of drinking the sulfuric acid, the child suffered severe chemical burns to his chin, lips, mouth, tongue, esophagus, and hands. The child was initially treated in the emergency room; however he was transferred to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit due to the severity of for several weeks following the incident. Glass is also facing drug charges which include trafficking in methamphetamine and  trafficking in hydrocodone. He will be back in court October 20.  Read More →

September 20, 2014 | Read the story »

Florida DOC Fires Another 32 Workers For Misconduct

In what has become a frequent exercise, Department of Corrections Secretary Mike Crews on Friday fired 32 workers accused of breaking the law, including three prison guards involved in the gassing death of an inmate at a Panhandle prison four years ago. All of the workers fired were on administrative leave pending a review launched earlier this summer. The housecleaning is part of the secretary’s attempt to salvage the reputation of the beleaguered agency in the wake of reports of widespread abuse and corruption, whistleblower complaints and federal investigations surrounding prisoner deaths. Among the axed workers are Rollin Austin, Randall Johnson and Kevin Hampton, three former prison guards at Franklin Correctional Institution where inmate Randall Jordan-Aparo died after allegedly being repeatedly gassed by guards and then left to die. Dismissal letters from Crews to the workers say they are being let go because they “participated in a force incident that resulted in the death of an inmate.” None of the fired workers has been arrested or charged with any crimes. Four Department of Corrections investigators say they’ve been retaliated against for exposing a cover-up about Jordan-Aparo’s September 2010 death. The investigators claim that Gov. Rick Scott’s chief inspector general Melinda Miguel — who refused to grant them whistleblower protection — was aware of the cover-up for at least three years. The DOC investigators, who found that Jordan-Aparo was too ill to warrant being treated as a threat, are themselves now the subjects of internal reviews. According to a whistleblower lawsuit, Austin gave the order to gas Jordan-Aparo, who died five hours later after being gassed twice more and being left to die. The 27-year-old, coated in yellow residue from the noxious chemicals, was found dead in solitary confinement with a Bible beside his head. Jordan-Aparo was serving an 18-month sentence for fraud and drug charges. Also fired Friday were nine Charlotte Correctional Institution guards involved in the April 11 death of inmate Matthew Walker, who was allegedly beaten to death while handcuffed. Walker’s death — and that of another inmate who died at the Punta Gorda facility a month later — are among more than 80 inmate deaths now being probed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Fifteen prison guards at Union Correctional Institution, all under investigation for use-of-force incidents against prisoners over the past two years, were also pink-slipped Friday. Another guard at the Raiford prison was also fired for unspecified reasons. Crews’ review also resulted in three employees being sent back to work, including the assistant warden at the Raiford prison, Nan Jeffcoat, who has been on leave with pay since the death of an inmate two years ago. Crews has been on a housecleaning mission in the wake of Miami Herald reports earlier this year about Darren Rainey, a mentally ill inmate at Dade Correctional Institution who died after guards allegedly forced him to shower in scalding hot water as punishment two years ago.. “I have made it clear that there is zero tolerance for corruption or abuse at the Department of Corrections, and we continue to root out any-and-all bad actors who do not live up to our expectations. Our standards are high and we will accept nothing less to ensure the safety of our staff and those in our custody, as well as Florida families,” Crews said. by Dara Kim, The News Service of Florida  Read More →

September 20, 2014 | Read the story »

Unemployment Outlook Improves Slightly In Local Area

The latest job numbers released Friday show the unemployment level decreasing in the  North Escambia area. Escambia County’s unemployment dropped slightly from 6.8 percent in July to 6.6  percent in August.  There were 9,390 people reported unemployed  during the period. One year ago, unemployment in Escambia County was 7.2 percent. Santa Rosa County unemployment also decreased,  from 6.3 to 6.2 percent from July to August. Santa Rosa County had a total of  4,704 persons still unemployed. The year-ago unemployment rate in Santa Rosa County was 6.6 percent. In Escambia County, Alabama, unemployment decreased  from 9.4 percent in July to 8.8 percent in August. That represented 1,232  people unemployed in the county during the month. One year ago, the unemployment rate in Escambia County, Alabama, was 8.5 percent Florida’s unemployment rate, which a year ago was at 7.1 percent and just below the national mark of 7.2 percent, has been mostly flat this year, wavering between 6.2 percent and 6.3 percent.  Across Florida, the lowest unemployment rates continued to come from the Florida Keys and parts of the Panhandle. Alabama’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, at 6.9 percent in August, was down from July’s rate of 7.0 percent nd was above the year-ago rate of 6.5 percent. The jobless numbers released by Florida and Alabama do not include persons that have given up on finding a job and are no longer reported as unemployed. The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.  Read More →

September 20, 2014 | Read the story »

Friday Night High School Football Finals

Here is a look at final high school football scores from across the area Friday night – FLORIDA Tate 52, West Gadsden 3 West Florida 39, Mosley 15 Escambia 41, Pine Forest 12 Navarre 21, Crestview 0 (final, called early due to weather) Milton 31, Pensacola High 21 Pace 35, Washington 19 Catholic 35, Bay 14 Niceville 42, Choctaw 20 Navarre 21, Crestview 0 Rocky Bayou 35, Oak Hill 8 OPEN: Northview, Jay, Gulf Breeze ALABAMA Flomaton 37, Southern Choctaw 34 T.R. Miller 43, Hillcrest 20 UMS-Wright 38, W.S. Neal 16 Jackson 49, Atmore 0 OPEN: Escambia Academy  Read More →

September 20, 2014 | Read the story »

FWC Law Enforcement Report

The Florida FWC Division of Law Enforcement reported the following activity during the weekly period ending September 18. ESCAMBIA COUNTY Lieutenant Berryman and Officers Miller and Cushing went on patrol in the FINCAT (Offshore Patrol Vessel). Covering more than 140 nautical miles, the crew inspected several recreational, charter and commercial vessels.  One spear fisherman was issued a Federal citation for being in possession of a greater amberjack during the closed season. Officers Miller and Cushing worked the Pensacola Fishing Bridge late Saturday night into early Sunday morning.  Officer Miller issued a citation to an individual for oversized redfish.  Upon the initial contact, the individual stated that they only had catfish. An inspection of the cooler, on top of which he was cutting bait, revealed several catfish and one oversized redfish. The subject said the fish was given to him hours ago, but the fish were still moving. A few moments later, they conducted a fisheries inspection of another group of fishermen. The fishermen initially denied having any fish and quickly revealed the contents of their drink cooler, which had only drinks.  When asked if there was any fish in the cooler covered by a blanket in the back of their pickup, the fishermen declared “no.”  One of the individuals opened and closed the cooler quickly and continued to deny having any fish. When he realized the officers would look all the way in the cooler, he admitted that he had an illegal fish.  Officer Cushing issued him a citation for an oversized redfish. 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 →

September 20, 2014 | Read the story »

Tate Blasts West Gadsden For Homecoming Win (With Gallery)

It was a very happy homecoming Friday night for the Tate High School Aggies as they easily beat the Panthers of West Gadsden. Seven first half touchdowns were one after another for the Aggies as they earned a 52-3 victory. One their first offensive possession, junior Reginald Payne scored on a 42-yard touchdown pass from Aggies quarterback Sawyer Smith.  After the Panthers were forced to punt, Josh Kea returned the pigskin for another TD. Toss in a field goal and 5-yard touchdown pass to Corey Moorer from Smith, and Tate was up 24-0 by the end of the first quarter. After a Kea punt return, sophomore quarterback Jake Henry ended Tate’s drive with a 1-yard TD run for a 31-0 advantage. Tate scored again with an 18-yard touchdown run from Jesse Fernandez and a 1-yard TD from LaDarius Thomas to move ahead 45-0. A Panther fumble was recovered by Tate’s Trace Penton who broke a dozen or so tackles for another score, 52-0.  West Gadsden managed a 45-yard field goal at the end of the half, 52-3. The running-clock second half was scoreless. For a photo gallery, click here. (Photos by Jennifer Repine and Kristi Price for NorthEscambia.com) Next Friday night, the Aggies (4-1) will be at Pine Forest (2-3) with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. HOMECOMING QUEEN Tate’s 2014 Homecoming Queen was Carissa Carroll (pictured). First runner-up was Sarah Baxter, and second runner up was Madison Metcalf.  Read More →

September 20, 2014 | Read the story »

Friends Of The Library Plan Book Sale For Next Weekend

Friends of West Florida Public Library, a non-profit support organization of the West Florida Public Library, will hold its Big Fall Book Sale and Silent Auction September 26, 27 and 28 at the downtown Main Library at 239 N. Spring Street. Thousands of hardcover, paperback, and collectible books will be available for purchase, plus a variety of DVDs, CDs, puzzles, and other items. Proceeds are used to fund programs and enhancements at WFPL branches. Friday, September 26 is preview day of the book sale. From 4-8 p.m., Friends of WFPL members get exclusive early access to the book sale. Non-members can pay $5 admission to take part in preview day. Memberships can be purchased at the door. On Saturday, September 27, the book sale will be open from 9-5 p.m. with free admission and reduced prices for all shoppers. Sunday, September 28 is the final day of the Book Sale, with free admission and the popular $5 Bag Sale from noon to 3pm. Book Sale items include thousands of generous donations from the public and some library books retired from circulation, many of them now out-of-print. Novels and mysteries are sorted by author or into genres like Science Fiction and Westerns. Other book categories include arts and entertainment, children’s, cookbooks, history, holidays, home and hobbies, literature, foreign language, military, modern living, nature and gardening, religion, science, sports, technical, and travel. Most prices range from $0.50 for paperbacks to $2 for hardcover. There are also recorded books, magazines, and other media for sale. The Collector’s Corner will feature an assortment of signed books, pre-1950s books, books by local and Florida authors, and other special books that are great for gifts. These items are priced as marked and must be checked out separately, so shoppers paying by check should bring two of them. Payment by cash or check is preferred. Credit cards are accepted for sales of $20 or more. All profits are used to support the West Florida Public Library branches and programs. For more information about the Book Sale or to become a Friends member, visit friendsofwfpl.org or facebook.com/friendsofwfpl.  Read More →

September 20, 2014 | Read the story »

Florida Tax Holiday Continues For Energy Saving Appliances

State officials are promoting the potential for long-term savings on utility bills as they tout sales-tax breaks this weekend for shoppers who buy energy-saving and water-conserving appliances. The discount period is the third sales-tax “holiday” offered by Florida lawmakers as part of an election-year package of tax cuts. Through Sunday, sales taxes won’t be collected on the first $1,500 of the purchase price of certain Environmental Protection Agency-designated Energy Star and WaterSense products, including new refrigerators, dishwashers, ceiling fans and even light bulbs. “You don’t have to spend a lot to save, but every little bit you save on your taxes this weekend will also save on your electric and water bill in the future,” said Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services spokeswoman Erin Gillespie. “People that buy the appliances can save anywhere from $1 to $100, but more than that, you’ll save on your electric bill every month that you have that appliance or product in your house.” The discount period isn’t anticipated to drive as many shoppers to the stores as the more popular back-to-school tax “holiday,” which was held in August, or even a tax-free period in June on certain hurricane supplies. Many of the discount items this weekend are considered bigger-ticket items purchased more out of necessity than on a whim — refrigerators, clothes washers, dishwashers, swimming pool pumps, water heaters, weather-based irrigation controllers and high-efficiency toilets. But not everything on the exemption list is a costly purchase, as Energy Star and WaterSense-approved products include light bulbs, air purifiers, ceiling fans, shower heads and bathroom sink faucets. State economists, sitting as the Revenue Estimating Conference, have projected that the overall savings for shoppers this weekend could dent the revenue of state and local governments between $890,000 and $2.67 million. By comparison, the same economists projected the “holiday” period for back-to-school items reduced state revenue by $32.3 million and local revenue to the tune of $7.3 million. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who pitched the energy-savings tax discount nearly a year ago as part of his 2014 legislative agenda, put the consumer savings around $900,000. But he also sees the products as helping the state long-term. “The sales-tax holiday will not only put money back in the pocket of hard-working Floridians, it will also help conserve water and energy for our future generations,” Putnam said in a prepared statement. The Tallahassee-based Florida Retail Federation is looking at closer to the $2 million number, expecting the sales-tax discount to be popular for shoppers who have been looking to replace aging appliances. “This is a great opportunity for Floridians to upgrade those appliances and make those purchases that they’ve been waiting to make,” said Samantha Stratton, a federation spokeswoman. “Previously, the economic downturn sort of inhibited those purchases. And now that consumers are feeling more confident, they’re ready to go out and make these purchases that will last them longer.”  Read More →

September 20, 2014 | Read the story »

Female Jogger Attacked In Attempted Rape After Woman Carjacked From Gas Station, Assaulted

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a carjacking and aggravated assault suspect after a Thursday morning incident in Cantonment. And deputies now say the suspect may be responsible for an incident a short time later in which a female jogger was attacked. At aproximately 8:15, a carjacking was reported at a gas station at Highway 29 and Muscogee Road. The victim had pumped gasoline and entered the store when an unknown black male suspect entered her unlocked vehicle and concealed himself in the backseat. The victim did not see the suspect and drove away from the store, according to information released Thursday afternoon by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. The suspect confronted the victim once the vehicle was moving. He told her that he had a knife and to keep driving or he would “stick” her. She drove around randomly and eventually drove to a neighbor’s residence. Once there she honked the car’s horn in distress to get someone’s attention. The suspect struck her and pushed her from the vehicle. He left in the car, heading back towards Highway 29. The victim was treated at the scene for minor injuries. Shortly afterward, the vehicle was located on Pine Street. NEW INFORMATION New information released Friday morning the Sheriff’s Office says that about 8:35 a.m. deputies received a call about the attempted sexual battery of a female jogger on Rocky Avenue. The victim reported that as she was jogging when an unknown black male suspect grabbed her from behind and dragged her into a wooded lot. Once there he struck her in the face and attempted  to remove her clothing but the victim fought back and was able to escape. The suspect fled deeper into the wood lot while the victim contacted authorities. The victim was transported to a local hospital where she was treated for minor injuries and released. Due to the time and location of the incident, description of the suspect and the vehicle found at the location, investigators believe this incident may be connected to the carjacking. In both  cases, the suspect was described as a black male with short hair, a mustache and dark clothes. The Sheriff’s Office said investigators are actively working the case at this time and more information will be released as it becomes available. Anyone having information on this incident is asked to contact CrimeStoppers at (850) 433-STOP.  Read More →

September 19, 2014 | Read the story »

Scott Picks Patronis, Brown For PSC; Skips Escambia’s Murzin

Looking to a political ally to fill the job, Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday named state Rep. Jimmy Patronis to a seat on the Florida Public Service Commission. Scott also reappointed Commissioner Julie Brown to a four-year term on the panel that regulates utilities. Both appointments take effect in January, when the current terms of Brown and outgoing Commissioner Eduardo Balbis expire. Scott chose Patronis and Brown from a list of seven finalists that also included former state Rep. Dave Murzin, R-Pensacola. Patronis, 42, a Panama City Republican, is scheduled to leave the House in November because of term limits. Patronis, vice president of the family-run Captain Anderson’s Restaurant, was an early political supporter of Scott in 2010 and most recently has served as chairman of the House Economic Affairs Committee. “Representative Patronis has faithfully served Florida families during his years of service in the Florida House of Representatives,” Scott said in a prepared statement. “I am confident that Jimmy will make an excellent addition to the Public Service Commission as he continues to put Florida families first.” Brown, 39, an attorney from Tampa, has served on the Public Service Commission since January 2011. Balbis declined to seek another term. by The News Service of Florida Pictured: Dave Murzin.  Read More →

September 19, 2014 | Read the story »

Girlfriend’s Facebook Selfie Helps Land Cantonment Burglar Behind Bars

A Flomaton man has been busted in connection with a Cantonment burglary after his girlfriend posted a “selfie” Facebook photo showing stolen goods in the background, according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. Colby Wayne Satterwhite, 22, was charged with armed burglary of a residence, grand theft and criminal mischief. Residents of a home in the 300 block of Jacks Branch Road reported that their home had been burglarized sometime during a two day period in which they were gone. They returned home to find a exterior door pushed open, and missing items including $200 in cash, a large collection of collectable coins, a camera, a Mossberg shotgun in a tan case and ammunition. The total estimated value of missing items was $15,060. Acting on a tip, the burglary victim checked the Facebook page of Satterwhite’s girlfriend and spotted what she believed to be her shotgun case in the background of one of the girlfriend’s “selfie” photographs. There’s no word from the Sheriff’s Office if the stolen items were recovered.  Read More →

September 19, 2014 | Read the story »

Impact 100 Names Finalists For $102,500 Grants

Impact 100 Pensacola Bay Area has announced its 15 grant finalists for 2014. Ten of the projects will each receive a grant of $102,500 when the winners are announced after final voting on October 19. ARTS & CULTURE Ballet Pensacola — Technology and Infrastructure for Production – Moving Ballet Pensacola Forward with IMPACT First City Arts Alliance dba First City Art Center — Increasing Capacity, Building Community The Santa Rosa County Creek Indian Tribe — Infrastructure Development of Tribal Grounds EDUCATION East Hill Academy — The IMPACT 100 Autism Learning Center: “Use Your WORDS” Escambia County Public Schools Foundation for Excellence — Shoot For The Stars! The Pensacola MESS Hall — The MESS Hall Express ENVIRONMENT, RECREATION & PRESERVATION Miracle League of Northeast Pensacola — Field of Dreams: Finishing the Work Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center — Conservation and Protection: Sea Turtle Center Improvements Rotary Club of Pensacola Foundation — Rotary Centennial Playground FAMILY Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida — 100 Men in 100 Days Manna Food Pantries — Preparing for a Brighter Tomorrow Society of St. Vincent De Paul Alfred Washburn Center — Living on the Edge HEALTH AND WELLNESS Alzheimer’s Family Services — Project Lifesaver Health and Hope Clinic — Strengthening the Safety Net Our Lady of Angels St. Joseph Medical Clinic — Improving and Expanding Patient Services  Read More →

September 19, 2014 | Read the story »

Chamber Celebrates Accomplishments During Annual Meeting

Thursday, over 400 community, business, state and regional representatives gathered for the Greater Pensacola Chamber’s 124th Annual Meeting in Downtown Pensacola. The event featured a commemorative year in review, as well as the official passing of the gavel from past Chamber Board of Directors Chair Gary Huston to current Chair Carol Carlan, the president of Sacred Heart Foundation. “The Chamber is dedicated to driving economic prosperity, enhancing our region’s quality of life and supporting local businesses through public advocacy and partnership support,” said Carlan. “I am honored to serve as the Chair for an organization that continues to have positive impacts on our community and enhances our region.” “As one of Northwest Florida’s oldest and largest business associations, the Chamber continues to stand united as an organization of passionate and innovative leaders driven to provide professional, personable and positive assistance to companies in our region,” said Greater Pensacola Chamber President Jerry Maygarden. “This annual event enables us to reflect on our year-long accomplishments that have contributed to making our organization a valuable voice for the business community.” Pictured top: Gary Huston (right), 2013-2014 Chair of the Greater Pensacola Chamber Board of Directors, officially passes the gavel to the 2014-2015 Chair Carol Carlan (left) during ther chamber’s annual meeting Thursday. Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.  Read More →

September 19, 2014 | Read the story »

JV Football: Northview Beats West Florida 16-14

Nortview High School’s JV football team beat West Florida tonight 16-14. Northview scored in the first quarter on a touchdown run by Toney Harrison. They converted a two-point conversion on a run by Jared Aliff. The JV Chiefs scored on the first play of the 4th quarter on a touchdown run by Hunter Edwards. Toney Harrison converted the two-point conversion to put Northview up 16-0. West Florida countered with two late touchdowns, cutting the lead to 16-14. Toney Harrison also had a sack and forced fumble in the first quarter. Northview’s JV will travel to Baker on October 16 and round out their season when they  host West Florida on October 23.  Read More →

September 19, 2014 | Read the story »

All About Peanuts: 48th Annual Santa Rosa Farm Tour Held

The 48th Annual Santa Rosa Farm Tour was held Thursday. Participants had the opportunity to watch a peanut digging demonstration at the Roy Ward Farm in Chumuckla and learn about the science of peanut farming at the UF/IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center in Jay. The day’s events also included visits to the Golden Peanut Company in Jay and Holland Farms for boiled peanuts. Pictured: Participants in the 48th Annual Santa Rosa Farm Tour enjoy boiled peanuts at Holland Farms. Courtesy photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.  Read More →

September 19, 2014 | Read the story »

Volleyball: Lady Chiefs Split Games With Central

The Northview Lady Chiefs split volleyball games with Central High Thursday. In junior varsity action, Central won 11-25, 20-25. In varsity action, Northview won 25-11, 25-22, 23-25, 25-14 The varsity Lady Chiefs will take part in the Spanish Fort Tournament Friday and Saturday. The JV will be back on the court Monday in Chipley at 4:00, with the varsity to follow at 5 p.. NorthEscambia.com file photo, click to enlarge.  Read More →

September 19, 2014 | Read the story »