Farmers Use Pink Cotton Bales To Spread A Message Of Hope

January 3, 2018

Farmers across North Escambia are spreading a message of hope with huge pink cotton bales.

The plastic bale wraps are pink — really, really John Deere pink. The pink cotton bales have lined the highways for weeks as they await transportation to the cotton gin. John Deere makes the pink bale wrappers available for breast cancer awareness and a way for farmers to show support for those battling breast cancer.

“It’s a way for farmers to raise awareness about breast cancer,” Robert Godwin, manager of West Florida Gin, said. “About a third of the bales we take in this year will be the bright pink.”

Godwin said the pink wraps, at about $12-14 per bale, don’t cost the producer any more than the traditional yellow.

“It’s just a visible way for farmers to show their support.”

Pictured: Cotton is baled and wrapped in pink wrappers along Highway 97 in Walnut Hill. photos, click to enlarge.

UF Financial Expert: Be ‘SMART’ About Your New Year’s Resolutions

January 3, 2018

If you dread looking at your bank account balance, you might consider adding fiscal responsibility to your list of New Year’s resolutions.

And when it comes to setting goals, especially financial ones, it’s important to be specific, according to a University of Florida expert.

“If you want to make a change, it helps to have a SMART goal. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound,” said Jorge Ruiz-Menjivar, assistant professor of family, youth and community sciences in the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

“So instead of saying, I want to start saving money this year, make your objective more concrete. A better resolution would be something like, I will set up an automatic transfer of $25 into my savings account each month so that I have $300 saved by the end of the year,” he explained.

Ruiz-Menjivar has these tips for making better financial resolutions in the New Year:
Identify your unhealthy money habits.

Do you go shopping without a shopping list? Do you hate budgets? Do you use a credit card for any and all purchases? If so, you may have some unhealthy money habits. Targeting a specific habit you want to change is the first step toward changing your behavior for the better, Ruiz-Menjivar said.
Think about positive habits that you can start now to help you toward long-term goals.

“Something you can change in the short term is how you save money and for what purpose. For example, it’s a good idea to have a rainy day fund equal to three to six months of your regular income. You can start doing small things now to reach that goal, such as setting up automatic payments into a savings account—the Florida Saves program is a great way to set these small, short-term goals,” Ruiz-Menjivar said.
Know your weak spots.

“There are a few common barriers people encounter when they are trying to change their financial habits,” Ruiz-Menjivar said. “Being disorganized with your recordkeeping is a common one. Keeping your information—especially about your income and spending—in order will help you stay on track for reaching many financial goals.”

Often times, people don’t think “big” enough when it comes to their money, Ruiz-Menjivar explained. “If you are only planning month-to-month, you won’t get to where you want to be in 10 years,” he said. “Time perspective does matter; consumers with a longer time horizon tend to think and plan potential purchases in the near and far future.”
Create an environment that enforces healthier habits.

There are several things you can do to create the conditions for financial success.

  • Track income and expenses with a tool that works for you. Some people like to write everything in a calendar, others save receipts, some prefer a spreadsheet. There are a lot of apps out there that let you keep tabs on everything from your phone.
  • Become a “convenience user” of credit cards: you use the card to enjoy the perks, such as miles or cash back, but you don’t carry a balance over months
  • Set up your bank account to transfer money automatically to a savings or retirement account.

by UF/IFAS Extension.

Frozen Fountain Photo

January 3, 2018

Pictured: Ice was building up Tuesday morning on the Nona Hightower Fountain at Century Health and Rehabilitation Center. Photos for, click to elarge.

Byrneville Ice Show

January 2, 2018

Lon and Alice Malone decided to create a little ice show in their yard on Highway 168 in Byrneville. This is how it looked Monday morning. Photos for, click to enlarge.

Old Fashioned Wagon Train Riding Slowly Toward The New Year (Gallery)

December 30, 2017

An old-fashioned trail ride set out Friday from Bratt, headed south through North Escambia to greet the new year — and help a friend in need.

The New Years wagon train left a home on Breastworks Road, stopping for lunch at Crossroads Grocery at the Bratt Crossroads. Participants used the stop as a chance to load up last minute supplies and have lunch, the smell of grilled food waffling through the cool midday air as they grilled up some grub.

Riders then headed north on North Highway 99 to take less traveled roads like Oakshade and Pine Barren on their way to Molino and a New Year’s dinner and party at the Barrineau Park Community Center.

They will also hold a baked goods auction to raise money to help friend Doug Poston. He had a stroke a few months back and has been out of work since while he recovers. And that’s just the way it works on the wagon train, where everyone is a friend, a part of the family, as the world passes by at two or three miles per hour.

For more photos, click here. photos, click to enlarge.

Escambia 4-H Holiday Bake-Off Winners And ‘Christmas Cracker Candy’ Recipe

December 25, 2017

Escambia County 4-H recently hosted its inaugural Holiday Bake-Off with 89 entries.

The best of show award went to Allen Thomas Bridgers from the Barrineau Park 4-H Club  for his Christmas Cracker Candy.

Category winners were:

  • Cloverbuds (Participation ribbon only)-Bailey Bray-Crews (2) and Kassidy Weiss
  • Cakes-Taylor Nelson of the HorsePower 4-H Club
  • Cupcakes-Nathan J. of the Cool Clovers 4-H Club
  • Pies-Brayton Workman of the Cool Clovers 4-H Club
  • Candies-Allen Thomas Bridgers of the Barrineau Park 4-H Club
  • Cookies-Taylor Nelson of the HorsePower 4-H Club
  • Brownies-Ethan Thorne of the Lucky Clovers 4-H Club
  • Breads-Hannah S. of the Northview 4-H Club
  • Specialty Items-Hannah Thorne of the Escambia County Leadership 4-H Club
  • Appetizers-Izzy Kent of the Barrineau Park 4-H Club
  • Lite Recipes-Izzy Kent of the Barrineau Park 4-H Club


Christmas Cracker Candy
2017 Escambia County 4-H Holiday Bake-Off Best of Show
Allen Thomas Bridgers
Barrineau Park 4-H Club

1 Sleeve Saltine Crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 bag chocolate chips (milk or dark per your liking)
Toppings: White chocolate drizzle, sprinkles, nuts, or candies

Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Lay a single layer of saltine crackers on the baking pan.

Melt butter in a sauce pan on the stove. Once melted, add brown sugar and mix until dissolved. Bring to a boil. Let boil 3-4 minutes until the sauce is thick and darker in color; stirring constantly.  Pour caramelized sauce over crackers and smooth to cover all.

Place pan in the oven for 7-10 minutes until bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Let sit for a couple of minutes until the chocolate chips have softened. Smooth melted chocolate to cover all of the crackers. Top with whatever toppings you prefer. (We drizzle melted white chocolate and add sprinkles.)

Place in the refrigerator to set for 30 –45 minutes, or the freezer for 15 -20 minutes. After candy has set, break apart and enjoy!

Molino Outreach Ministry Shoppers Provide Christmas For 100 Local Kids

December 23, 2017

Over 100 local children will have a Merry Christmas thanks to the generous support of Molino Outreach Ministry’s store in Molino. Photo for, click to enlarge.

Town Hosts Santa, Christmas Movies In Century Park

December 22, 2017

The Town of Century hosted a family friendly event at Nadine McCaw Park Thursday evening with Santa, hot cocoa and Christmas movies.

For more photos, click here. photos, click to enlarge.

Santa To Ride Fire Truck Through Century On Saturday

December 22, 2017

The Century Station of Escambia Fire Rescue will escort Santa through Century, Byrneville and Poplar Dell on Saturday on “Ladder 5″.

Santa will leave the Century Fire Station on Tedder Road about 10 a.m., and return about 12:00 or 12:30 where Santa will be available for photos for a short time.

For a route map, click here.

The complete route, as provided by the Century Fire Station, will be:

  • Parents please have your kids come out to see them and maybe catch some candy and other goodies when you hear the sirens getting close by!
  • We will leave Century Fire Station on Tedder Road at 10:00 AM.
  • From there we will head down Hwy 29 to West Hwy 4 to the Century Care Center.
  • We will leave Century Care Center heading back to Hwy 29.
  • Then we will travel Hwy 29 to East Pond Street and make a right on Jefferson Ave.
  • Zooming down Jefferson Ave and making left on East Hecker Rd.
  • Going down East Hecker Rd and turning left onto Mayo St.
  • Then Santa will go down Mayo St and make a right onto Front St.
  • Will travel Front St. and make a right on Alger Rd, and fly down Alger to Hwy 29!
  • You can catch a glimpse of the Jolly Ole St Nick moving down Hwy 29 headed towards the Dollar General Store in Century!! Santa and his elves will stop for a short period at the Dollar General for kids that want a closer look! Pictures can be taken here but the kids will have to stand by the truck, Mr. and Mrs. Claus can’t climb down!
  • Then we will head towards West Stateline Rd and make a fly over by Shady Lane Apartments.
  • Then Byrneville area here he comes! We will be traveling down West Stateline Rd / Hwy 4A and make left onto Killam Rd.
  • Travelling down Killam Rd. we will make a right onto West Hwy 4.
  • We will travel West Hwy 4 and make a left onto Byrneville Rd. and Santa and his elves will stop for another short break at the old Driscolls Gas Station. Bring the kids here to catch another closer look! Again pictures can be taken with kids standing by the truck but Mr. and Mrs. Clause can’t climb down!
  • Leaving Driscolls you can catch a view of them heading down Byrneville Rd all the way to Hwy 29.
  • Then the sleigh will be headed down Hwy 29 back to the Century Fire House on Tedder Rd so Mr. and Mrs. Claus and the reindeer can get back to the North Pole and get ready for Christmas Eve night!

Pictured: Last year’s Century Santa Run. file photos, click to enlarge.

Council On Aging Distributes Over $28K Worth Of Christmas Presents

December 21, 2017

Every year since 2009, Council on Aging of West Florida has asked Escambia and Santa Rosa county residents to help make Christmas special for our clients age 60 and over, and every year, the community answers the call. Approximately $28,300 worth of gifts were donated to Council on Aging beginning in mid-November and continuing through the week before Christmas. These gifts included blankets, craft supplies, vacuums, microwaves, space heaters, hygiene products and more courtesy of individuals and organizations.

The holidays can be an especially lonely time for vulnerable elders, as many of their friends and family have either passed away or no longer live nearby. The delivery of these gifts – made to homebound seniors through the Meals on Wheels program, Senior Dining Sites and other initiatives – infuses their end-of-year season with joy.

“Receiving these gifts not only makes a tangible impact by disbursing the necessities of life to these low-income elders, but it also makes an emotional impact when they see that they have not been forgotten, that people still care,” said Josh Newby, marketing communications director at Council on Aging. “They are reminded that they can still be active in their community, and that is the greatest gift of all.”

Nearly 1,500 older adults received Christmas gifts through the initiative this year.

“Our clients are so grateful for these gifts,” said Margaret Jerauld, activities supervisor at Council on Aging who helps oversee the Christmas program each year. “These may be the only presents they receive and the only quality interaction they have during the holidays, so it makes a transformative impact.”

In addition to the presents that delivered holiday cheer to hundreds of aging adults, the agency helps distribute hundreds of blankets and heaters to senior citizens who are particularly vulnerable to the cold weather this time of year, and we are still receiving donations of these items.

If you are interested in volunteering to help Council on Aging, or if you would like to drop off any new heaters or blankets, call (850) 432-1475.

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