Bratt First Graders Present ‘How Does Your Garden Grow’ (With Gallery)

April 24, 2015

First grade students at Bratt Elementary School presented the program “How Does Your Garden Grow” Thursday morning for the student body and an encore performance Thursday night for parents  and friends. Submitted photos for, click to enlarge.

Friends Of The Library Plan Book Sale Begins Today

April 24, 2015

The annual Friends of West Florida Public Library Spring Book Sale and Silent Auction will be held today through Sunday at the downtown library. 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 all WFPL branches.

Today is “preview day” of the sale. From 3-7 p.m., Friends of the Library members will get early access to the book sale. Non-members can pay a $5 admission, or memberships can be purchased at the door.

On Saturday, the book sale will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with free admission and reduced prices for all shoppers.

Sunday is the final day of the book sale with free admission from noon until 3 p.m. Sunday is the popular “Bag Sale”, where shoppers can pay one price and take home as many items as will fit in their bag.
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. The Main Library and the book sale are located at 239 North Spring Street. file photo.

Three Molino Park Students Win Florida DEP Earth Day Poster Contest

April 22, 2015

The Molino Park Elementary School students were the winners of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Northwest District Earth Day Poster Contest. In celebration of Earth Day, the department invited fourth and fifth grade students from Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties to creatively illustrate the importance of protecting Florida’s beautiful natural environment: air, water, land and ecosystems.

Winners were:

Escambia County

  • First Place: Carolyn Wilbanks – Molino Park Elementary
  • Second Place: Cody Chavers – Molino Park Elementary
  • Third Place: Sarah Sconiers – Molino Park Elementary

Santa Rosa County

  • First Place: Gwyneth Jackson – Gulf Breeze Elementary
  • Second Place: Sean Johnson – Pea Ridge Elementary
  • Third Place: Lindsey Castor – Bagdad Elementary

Pictured top: DEP Escambia County Earth Day poster contest winners, all from Molino Park Elementary, are (L-R) Carolyn Wilbanks, first; Cody Chavers, second; and Sara Sconiers, third. Their posters are below. Courtesy photos for, click to enlarge.

First place Escambia County poster by Carlolyn Wilbanks (above).

Second place Escambia County poster by Cody Chavers (above).

Third place Escambia County poster by Sara Sconiers (above).

Weekend Livestock Show Award Winners Announced

April 20, 2015

Award winners have been announced from Saturday’s Gulf Coast Agriculture and Natural Resources Youth Organization (GCA & NRYO) Spring Livestock Show in Molino. The complete list is below.

For an earlier story about the show, click here.

Pictured is Haylee Weaver and her 1,425 pound Grand Champion Market Streer named “Breakaway”.

Click the list below to enlarge

Photos by Meridith Caum for, click to enlarge.

Grocery Prices Up In ‘Spring Picnic’ Survey

April 19, 2015

Higher retail prices for several foods, including sirloin tip roast, ground chuck, deli ham and orange juice, resulted in a slight increase in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Spring Picnic Marketbasket survey.

The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals was $53.87, up $.60 or about 1 percent compared to a survey conducted a year ago. Of the 16 items surveyed, eight increased and eight decreased in average price.

“Several meat items increased in price, accounting for much of the modest increase in the marketbasket,” said John Anderson, AFBF’s deputy chief economist. “The 1 percent increase shown by our survey tracks closely with the Agriculture Department’s forecast of 2 percent to 3 percent food inflation for 2015,” he said.

Items showing retail price increases from a year ago included:

  • sirloin tip roast, up 14 percent to $5.71 per pound
  • ground chuck, up 12 percent to $4.61 per pound
  • orange juice, up 7 percent to $3.47 per half-gallon
  • toasted oat cereal, up 7 percent to $3.12 for a 9-ounce box
  • deli ham, up 6 percent to $5.53 per pound
  • eggs, up 4 percent to $2.05 per dozen
  • shredded cheddar cheese, up 3 percent to $4.59 per pound
  • potatoes, up 2 percent to $2.74 for a 5-pound bag

These items showed modest retail price decreases compared to a year ago:

  • flour, down 9 percent to $2.52 for a 5-pound bag
  • bacon, down 8 percent to $4.44 per pound
  • apples, down 8 percent to $1.47 per pound
  • chicken breast, down 7 percent to $3.28 per pound
  • whole milk, down 6 percent to $3.45 per gallon
  • vegetable oil, down 6 percent to $2.67 for a 32-ounce bottle
  • bagged salad, down 5 percent to $2.47 per pound
  • white bread, down 3 percent to $1.75 per 20-ounce loaf

Price checks of alternative milk and egg choices not included in the overall marketbasket survey average revealed the following: 1/2 gallon regular milk, $2.24; 1/2 gallon organic milk, $4.47; and one dozen “cage-free” eggs, $3.57.

The year-to-year direction of the marketbasket survey tracks closely with the federal government’s Consumer Price Index report for food at home. As retail grocery prices have increased gradually over time, the share of the average food dollar that America’s farm and ranch families receive has dropped.

“Through the mid-1970s, farmers received about one-third of consumer retail food expenditures for food eaten at home and away from home, on average. Since then, that figure has decreased steadily and is now about 16 percent, according to the Agriculture Department’s revised Food Dollar Series,” Anderson said.

Using the “food at home and away from home” percentage across-the-board, the farmer’s share of this $53.87 marketbasket would be $8.62.


Smith Completes Parris Island Training

April 19, 2015

PFC Cody Dewayne Smith graduated recently after 13 weeks of Marine Corp training at Parris Island, SC.  Smith served as a squad leader during his training. He was awarded as an expert in rifle markmanship  and was promoted to private first class. Smith is the son of Rex and Theresa Smith of Jay.

Molino Park Presents ‘Alphabet Adventures of Sometimes Y’

April 17, 2015

The first grade classes at Molino Park Elementary School presented “The Alphabet Adventures of Sometimes Y” Thursday night at the school. photos by Kristi Price, click to enlarge.

Tate Students Get Real World Voting Experience

April 16, 2015

Students at Tate High School got a little real world voting experience Wednesday. They voted for class officers and student council officers during lunch, using real ballots and real voting equipment provided by the Escambia County Supervisor of Elections Office.

Students cast 501 ballots, the Elections Office was able register 21 students to vote in real elections.

Absentee ballots will be available Thursday for students that missed voting on Wednesday, and the winners be announced on Friday.

Tate Juniors also cast ballots for their prom court, king and queen.

Courtesy photos for, click to enlarge.

Bigfoot Monster Truck Visits Local Company That Keeps It Running

April 14, 2015

Bigfoot monster truck “Trick Flow” made a stop by sponsor Alto Products in Atmore Monday afternoon. The truck achieves its superior power from Atmore-made Alto Red Eagle clutches. Alto has provided the transmission clutch plates for the Bigfoot vehicles for the past 15 years.

“The most fun is the kids. I can remember being a little kid and looking up to the truck drivers. When they come up to see the truck and they light up, that just makes my day,” Trick Flow driver Darron Schnell said. He has been a part of the Bigfoot team for seven years.

The truck is also sponsored by Trick Flow, a division of Summitt Racing.

Pictured: Bigfoot monster truck “Trick Flow” at Alto Products in Atmore, where the vehicle’s transmission clutch plates are manufactured. photos, click to enlarge.

Ernest Ward Names Students Of The Month

April 13, 2015

Ernest Ward Middle School has named students of the month for March. They are (L-R) Gabrielle Peebles, eighth grade; Destiny Bradley, sixth grade; and Melissa Sunday, seventh grade. Submitted photo for, click to enlarge.

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