Barrineau Park 4-H Club Places Flags On Barrancas Graves

May 29, 2016

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, click to enlarge.

Clara Gulsby Retires From Tax Collector’s Office

May 28, 2016

Clara Gulsby retired Friday after 26 years with the Escambia County Tax Collector’s Office.

Tax Collector Janet Holley said Gulsby has been an outstanding asset to Escambia County and will be hard to replace. She first joined the Tax Collector’s Office as a senior accounting clerk in April 1990 and retired as a senior manager. During her career, she managed the Tax Collector locations in Century, Cantonment and, most recently, Molino.

District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry presented Gulsby with a board proclamation in her honor.

“I am going to spend time traveling, and time with my grandkids,” Gulsby said. “I’m really looking forward to being there for my grandkids.”

Pictured top: Escambia County Tax Collector Janet Holley (left) presents Clara Gulsby with a retirement clock Friday afternoon. Pictured inset: Gulsby (left) poses for a photo with Ruby Amerson Wells, who placed Gulsby in her first job while she was attending Century High School. Pictured below: Commissioner Steven Barry presents Gulsby with a retirement proclamation from the Escambia County Commission. photos, click to enlarge.

Northview’s Amerson Awarded National Merit University of Alabama Scholarship

May 28, 2016

Northview High School honors graduate Jessica Amerson has been awarded a National Merit Scholarship sponsored by The University of Alabama.

As a junior, Amerson entered the National Merit Scholarship Competition by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test which served as an initial screen of program entrants.  Last fall, approximately 16,000 Semifinalists were named on a state-representational basis in numbers proportional to each state’s percentage of the national total of graduating high school seniors. Semifinalists were the highest-scoring program entrants in each state and represented less than one percent of the nation’s seniors.

To compete for Merit Scholarship awards, Semifinalists first had to advance to the Finalist level of the competition by fulfilling additional requirements. Each Semifinalist was asked to submit a detailed scholarship application, which included writing an essay and providing information about extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership positions. Semifinalists also had to have an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and earn SAT scores that confirmed the qualifying test performance.

Amerson is the daughter of Gary and Kayleen Amerson of Walnut Hill.

Learn How To Purchase AED At Escambia County’s Cost

May 26, 2016

Escambia County will hold a meeting next week 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.

Tate High School Orchestra Makes History At The State Level

May 25, 2016

The Tate High School Orchestra recently made history at the state level.

Tate High School’s orchestra performed The Odyssey by Soon Hee Newbold, Legends by Lorris Chobanian, and Odessa by David Bobrowitz.

“Our music selections really inspired our hard work.  The story of Odysseus is musically portrayed in The Odyssey. I was thrilled to discover that a lot of our orchestra members are mythology buffs, who shared with us the details of Odysseus’s long and arduous journey,” said Catherine McConnell, Tate High’s orchestra instructor.

“This background knowledge made the technical details a lot more fun to master:  the 16th note chromatic runs that portrayed stormy winds, the col legno bowing (striking the string with the stick of the bow) that built up ominous suspense, and muted sections that made his heartbreaking journey feel very personal.”

Tate musicians also performed three movements of Legends:  “Mystic Breeze,” “Leprechauns,” and “The Wishing Well,” a unique piece with moments of intense sadness, contrasted sharply by the fast, amazing pizzicato movement in “Leprechauns,” that makes the fictitious creatures come alive.

Their final piece Odessa, portrayed the bustling port city in Ukraine on the Black Sea.

“Dr. Leonid Yanovskiy, the concert master of the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra coached the first violins. He shared with all of us his first-hand knowledge that Odessa is a fast-paced, metropolitan city much like New York City,” added McConnell. “That helped us understand and communicate the lively, energetic music of this exciting piece.”

The months of hard work and the coaching paid off for the orchestra’s members. Fifty-one high school orchestras from across the state competed, and Tate High was one of only nine orchestras who received straight Superior ratings from the judges.

“We could not have done it alone!  A lot of work goes into solidifying the musical details of these pieces.  The Tate Orchestra has benefited from our partnership with the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, which is an educational outreach program that the PSO established with my orchestra programs this year, both at Ransom Middle and Tate High,” McConnell said.

The musicians from the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra worked closely with McCaonnell to coach the students in each section of the orchestra, helped them fine tune their musicianship, and gave the students a greater appreciation for the professional musicians in our community.

“Our success at State truly reflects the culmination of time, talent, and financial support from our dedicated Tate High Orchestra students and families, our school district, and our community,” McConnell said.

Learn About Container Gardening At The Molino Library

May 25, 2016

Area residents can learn to grow a container garden Friday with Escambia County Extension and the Master Gardener volunteers.

Adults and youth can learn about containers, soils and plants to make a small, but beautiful living display.

The program will be at 10:30 Friday morning at the Molino Branch Library in the Molino Community Complex, 6450-A Highway 95A. There will be a few plants, while they last, for participants to take home.

Courtesy photos for, click to enlarge.

Ransom Middle Students Build Tetrahedral What-A-Kite

May 24, 2016

What do you get when you combine several hundred giant Whataburger drink straws, tissue paper, Elmer’s glue and string (lots of string)? If you are one of Louis O’Rear’s 130 science students at Ransom Middle School, you get a giant 64-cell tetrahedral Whataburger kite.

“We flew it in every class today,” O’Rear said Monday. “I flew it with each class to show them that it doesn’t matter how large you build it, as long as you stay true to the tetrahedral shape, geometrically.”

It is perhaps more challenging than it sounds. Tying the smaller tetrahedral kites in a very specific geometric arrangement is a bit difficult. “There are 63 ways to attach them wrong, and only one way to attach them correctly,” he said.

There was a one little problem flying the kite Monday…there was no wind. But middle school students and Ransom track stars didn’t mind a little running to get the kite into the air.

And just in case you forgot middle school geometry –  a tetrahedron is a polyhedron composed of four triangular faces, six straight edges, and four vertex corners. The tetrahedron is the simplest of all the ordinary convex polyhedra and the only one that has fewer than five faces.

For more photos, click here.

Photos for, click to enlarge.

Demolition Of Former Century High School Continues As Memorial Is Planned

May 24, 2016

Work is continuing on the demolition of the former Century High School on Hecker Road due to tornado damage, as plans are being made to memorialize Black Cat memories with a monument.

During the EF-3 tornado that struck Century on February 15, the main potion of the old high school was heavily damaged, with windows broken and window frames pushed inward. The Kayo Stanton Football Stadium, including the press box, was also structurally damaged.

Bricks from the school, along with a flagpole and monument,  are being salvaged.  The bricks will be sold, engraved and place at a monument to the school at a location yet to be determined, but likely the Alger-Sullivan Historical Park, the Nadine McCaw Park or Showalter Park. The town has formed a committee to decide how to use the bricks and memorialize the old Century High School. The committee’s next meeting is tenatively set for 6 p.m. on June 7 at the Century Chamber of Commerce office.

The main Century High School school building was constructed in 1937. Century High School closed 20 years ago after being merged with Ernest Ward High School in Walnut Hill to form the current Northview High School.

Pictured top and bottom: Looking toward the tornado-damaged Kayo Stanton Stadium. Pictured below: Work continues to demolish the former Century High School. photos, click to enlarge.

Northview Class Of 2016 Holds Baccalaureate Service (With Gallery)

May 23, 2016

The Northview High School Class of 2016 held their Baccalaureate service Sunday afternoon at the First Baptist Church of Bratt.

“Make an intentional effort to include God in all your plans,” guest speaker Rev. Glenn Weber said during the student-led program. “I believe God has planted a dream or a vision or a plan in each of your hearts.”

You have to learn to go through the growing process o get where you want to be in life,” Weber said.

The program also included scripture, prayer and music provide by the Northview Senior Class Ensemble.

Graduation for the Northview High School Class of 2016 will be at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 28 at the school.

For more photos, click here.

Pictured: The Northview High School Class of 2016 Baccalaureate service Sunday afternoon at the First Baptist Church of Bratt. photos, click to enlarge.

Chandler Awarded Gandy Memorial Scholarship

May 23, 2016

Kelsi Rae Chandler has been named the winner of this year’s Gandy Memorial Scholarship.

With a grade point average of 3.71 at Flomaton High School, Chandler has played varsity softball, including summer travel softball, volleyball and basketball since middle school. She also participates in weightlifting.

She has been a member of the Future Business Leaders of America, FFA, Students Against Drunk Drivers, Beta Club, Student Council Association, and  Academic All-stars.  In her extra time, she is a member of the youth group at Little Escambia Baptist Church and is an active member of the Alger Sullivan Historical Society and the Keith Cabin Foundation Museum.

Chandler has participated in the Coastal Cleanup for Escambia Creek, activities with the Panhandle Historic Preservation alliance, and was recently named Miss Flomaton High School for 2015.  She wrote that her grandfather, Don Sales, has been instrumental in fostering her love for both sports and nature, and he is the one who taught her that “If you want to be good, there is no such thing as an off-season”.

The Solon Lee Gandy Memorial Scholarship was established in 2008 in memory of Solon Gandy, a 1990 Flomaton High School graduate. Solon was a member of the 1988 Flomaton High School State Baseball Championship team and was a four-year member of the high school Hurricane football team.  This scholarship was established to help foster the love of nature and sports in a deserving Flomaton and /or a Jay senior. The scholarship was started by Solon’s father, Coach Bill Gandy, who passed away of cancer in 2015.

Pictured: Solon Gandy’s mother and retired Flomaton High School English teacher, Ms. Brenda Godwin and Kelsi Chandler. Photo for, click to enlarge

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