April 22, 2017
On Friday, the faculty and staff at Jim Allen Elementary showed their appreciation and love for their principal, Rachel Watts, by declaring the day “National Watts Day”. All grades, pre-kindergarten through fifth grade were involved in honoring Watts for her surprise celebration. All throughout the day, students and faculty showed their admiration for her.
The day began with messages posted on the school marquee and lawn signs with slogans such as “Happy National Mrs. Watts Day” , “#wattsday”, “#1 Principal” , “You’re the Best”, “We Love You!”. Even her parking space was reserved for “The Best Principal Ever”.
The front office and Watts’ desk were decorated with her favorite flowers and balloons of her favorite color.
The faculty and staff gathered in the front hall to kick off the festivities with a proclamation that declared that this day was to honor Watts for her outstanding leadership, her love, patience, kindness and goodness. Then she was presented with a crown to wear for the day.
A large sign in the hallway was mounted to allow students, faculty and staff to write a ‘thank you’ or simply sign their name.
The school’s “Friday Shout-Outs”, which is a weekly email highlighting faculty and staff for going above and beyond, was dedicated completely to Watts.
Every 15 minutes of the day, students arrived in the office to deliver apples and message cards to Watts with sayings like “You are the queen of our castle”, “You Rock!”, and “You are the type of leader others love to follow”. She collected the apples in a decorated bucket and posted the cards all over her office. Other students arrived with handwritten notes that said things like “You are my favorite principal!” and “You are the best principal ever!”.
Every 30 minutes, each school department or grade level came to give a variety of gifts such as; baskets of goodies, gift cards, chocolate, flowers, lunch from a favorite restaurant, beach bag, t-shirt stating “Most Special Principal in the Area” (from the special area department), cleverly written poems, and even a massage.
For Jim Allen Elementary, it was a day to show Watts what a wonderful leader she is and how much she is loved and appreciated for all that she does for the school.
Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.
April 21, 2017
Road Prison Officer Robert Oliver was looking for the perfect dog for Narcotic Detection Handler’s School. While he was anxious to begin the training, he knew that finding the right dog was worth the wait.
Britt, a 4-year-old German Shepherd, was picked up by Escambia County Animal Control as a stray. After being adopted from the shelter, she was returned because her adopters thought she was “too much dog.”
On Nov. 4, 2015 Oliver rescued Britt from the Escambia County Animal Shelter after spotting her during a random checkup on a work squad.
“She stood out from the rest of the dogs,” Oliver said. “We were checking on a squad and we walked through the kennels and saw her. We got a ball and took her out to a pen and threw the ball to see if she had toy drive.”
At that point, Oliver knew he had found something special in Britt.
“We asked if we could borrow her, and I contacted the trainers from the sheriff’s department,” he said. “They tested her and said if we didn’t want her, they did.”
Britt was tested by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office K-9 instructors and recommended for narcotic detection. On Nov. 17, 2015 Officer Oliver and K-9 Britt began Narcotic Detection Handlers’ School. After 200 hours of training, both handler and K-9 received their Certification in Narcotic Detection.
The first week of March, the pair attended a testing seminar put on by The United States Police Canine Association. Testing was conducted on room searches as well as vehicle searches. Officer Oliver and K-9 Britt were both certified through USPCA in narcotics detection. They have since re-certified.
As the Road Prison’s only narcotics dog, K-9 Britt and Oliver have made numerous narcotic “finds.” They routinely search the Road Prison, crew trucks and job sites where road crews are working. They also search the Work Release center and the Main Jail.
The pair have also trained and competed at the Southern States Manhunt and Field Trials. In 2016, just after becoming certified, they took fourth place out of nearly 20 teams in the Drug Detection Division. This year they fared even better, winning second place out of 14 teams.
“I’ve had several other institutions ask me to keep an eye out for a dog at the pound,” Oliver said. “We’ve even connected a few dogs.”
While Oliver’s demeanor is stoic, he recognizes how lucky a find K-9 Britt was.
“She’s a great dog,” Oliver said. “She’s loveable, she’s wired up. She checks on you all the time. If you move she thinks you want to go throw the ball.”
Courtesy photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.
April 21, 2017
The Century Branch Library celebrated 10 years on Thursday with cake for patrons all day. Librarian Pat Rigel is also celebrating 10 years at the Century Branch Library. Pictured below: Rigel, who has several horses, received sack of animal feed as a gift from Todd Humble, director of the West Florida Public Library System. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.
April 20, 2017
The Century Health and Rehabilitation Center is planning an Earth Day Celebration for Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Vendor applications are being accepted now. Contact Mae at (850) 256-1540 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information. Pictured: Earth Day 2016 at the Century Health and Rehabilitation Center. NorthEscambia.com file photo, click to enlarge.
April 16, 2017
Lower retail prices for several foods, including eggs, ground chuck, sirloin tip roast, chicken breasts and toasted oat cereal resulted in a significant decrease in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Spring Picnic Marketbasket Survey.
“As expected due to lower farm-gate prices, we have seen continued declines in retail prices for livestock products including eggs, beef, chicken, pork and cheese,” said John Newton, AFBF’s director of market intelligence.
The informal survey showed the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals was $50.03, down $3.25 or about 6 percent compared to a year ago. Of the 16 items surveyed, 11 decreased, four increased and one remained the same in average price.
Egg prices are down sharply from a year ago and also are down slightly from the third quarter of 2016.
“Egg prices continue to move back toward long-run average prices following the bird flu of 2014/15,” said Newton. “The Agriculture Department is currently monitoring bird flu detections in the Southeast U.S. If detections continue, retail poultry prices could feel an impact due to lower exports or changes in supply,” he said.
“As farm-gate prices for livestock products have declined and remained lower, prices in the retail meat case have become more competitive,” Newton said.
Retail price changes from a year ago:
· eggs, down 41percent to $1.32 per dozen
· toasted oat cereal, down 15 percent to $2.83 for a 9-ounce box
· sirloin tip roast, down 13 percent to $4.95 per pound
· ground chuck, down 10 percent to $3.92 per pound
· chicken breast, down 6 percent to $3.17 per pound
· apples, down 6 percent to $1.55 per pound
· flour, down 5 percent to $2.36 for a 5-pound bag
· shredded cheddar cheese, down 4 percent to $4.10 per pound
· deli ham, down 3 percent to $5.42 per pound
· bacon, down 3 percent to $4.65 per pound
· potatoes, down 1 percent to $2.68 for a 5-pound bag
· bagged salad, up 6 percent to $2.34 per pound
· white bread, up 2 percent to $1.72 per 20-ounce loaf
· orange juice, up 1 percent to $3.22 per half-gallon
· whole milk, up 1 percent to $3.27 per gallon
· vegetable oil, no change, $2.55 for a 32-ounce bottle
Price checks of alternative milk and egg choices not included in the overall marketbasket survey average revealed the following: 1/2 gallon whole regular milk, $2.10; 1/2 gallon organic milk, $4.20; and one dozen “cage-free” eggs, $3.48.
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,” Newton said.
AFBF, the nation’s largest general farm organization, began conducting informal quarterly marketbasket surveys of retail food price trends in 1989. The series includes a spring picnic survey, summer cookout survey, fall harvest survey and Thanksgiving dinner cost survey.
According to USDA, Americans spend just under 10 percent of their disposable annual income on food, the lowest average of any country in the world. A total of 117 shoppers in 31 states participated in the latest survey, conducted in March.
April 15, 2017
The children at the Camp Fire Century Youth Learning Center recently attended an annual Easter Egg Hunt with the staff and residents at the Century Health and Rehabilitation Center. Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.
April 14, 2017
Students from the Ransom Middle School Multimedia Academy made a presentation to the Escambia County School Board Thursday afternoon during a board workshop. The students created personalized books to stimulate an interest in reading for students at Bellview Middle School. Photos by Kim Stefansson, ECSD, click to enlarge.
April 12, 2017
The Pre-K Students of the Month and Good Citizens of the Month for March were recently recognized at Molino Park Elementary School. Pictured are (L-R) Good Citizen of the Month Walker Maughon; Principal Lisa Arnold, Students of the Month Alexis Blackburn and Jayce McBroom. Submitted photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.
April 11, 2017
Jim Allen Elementary School recently received an donation containing assorted supplies from the Masonic Lodge in Cantonment.
“The supplies are appreciated, and the students are excited to receive them,” Susan Dorman, assistant principal, said.
Submitted photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.
April 11, 2017
Tate High School’s Geometry and Algebra 2 teams both placed third in their divisions at the Nickolas Walker Math Tournament at Milton High School last week. Courtesy photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.