May 11, 2014
Saturday was the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive, with letter carriers in Escambia County collecting tons and tons of food to benefit local groups like the Manna Food Pantries.
Manna Food Pantries received 73,485 pounds of food, with more expected to trickle in next week from Publix stores and late donations at area post offices. Saturday morning, the Manna warehouse was nearly empty after having been devastated by the flood, but by the end of the day it was nearly fully again.
North Escambia residents were generous in their giving. The Century, Jay, Molino and McDavid post offices collected a combined total of 4,004 pounds of food — 722 pounds more than last year. The Cantonment Post Office collected 10,172 pounds, up 1,484 pounds over last year.
Each year the National Association of Letter Carriers holds the “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive, where U.S. Postal Service employees pick up donations of non-perishable food along their routes.
Pictured top: Shelves restocked at Manna Food Pantries. Pictured inset and below: Letter carriers and scores of volunteers collect and sort food donations to Stamp Out Hunger Saturday. Courtesy photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.
May 11, 2014
The non-profit group Farm Share and dozens of local volunteers handed out the food items at Ransom Middle School. Those in need received food items that included pasta, breads, yogurt, cantaloupe and fresh corn.
Pictured: Volunteers load food at a Farm Share event Saturday at Ransom Middle School in Cantonment. Pictured inset: Rep. Clay Ingram helps load food into a vehicle at the event. Pictured bottom: Commissioner Steven Barry lends a hand. NorthEcambia.com photos, click to enlarge.
May 10, 2014
The Northview High School FFA has named chapter offers for the upcoming school year.
New officers are:
- President-Haylee Weaver
- Vice-President-Bethany Reynolds
- Secretary- Courtney Weekley
- Treasurer- Moriah MaGhan
- Reporter- Tiffani Cruce
- Sentinel- Tabitha Chavers
- Public Relations- Mitchell Singleton
- Parliamentarian- Hunter Kite
- Historian- Kaitlyn Klinatland
- Chaplain – Cody Kite
- Photographer- Tamara Barrows
The new officers will be installed during the annual Northview FFA banquet on May 16.
The Northview High School FFA has been recognized as one of the top FFA chapters in the state and nation.
Pictured top: Northview FFA officers (L-R) Mitchell Singleton, Haylee Weaver and Courtney Weekley serve breakfast during a recent event at the school. NorthEscambia.com file photos, click to enlarge.
May 7, 2014
Pine Forest Assembly in Cantonment is conducting a toy and backpack drive for the youngest victims of the recent flooding.
Backpacks and toys small enough to fit inside of backpacks are being collected at Pine Forest Assembly of God, 3125 Pine Forest Road from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Monday-Friday.
“As I continued to think about the families who have lost all of their belongings, God placed the children on my heart. Sometimes we forget about the little ones and the impact that these kinds of disasters have on them,” said Pine Forest Assembly Children’s Pastor Heather Murphy. “Knowing that most families do not have a home to store items, I am asking for smaller toys that can fit inside of a backpack.”
For more information, contact Heather Murphy at (850) 476-1378.
May 7, 2014
Participants will enjoy a great story about summer. Cookies and treats will be served and children will also plant a summer flower in a pot to take home.
The Century Branch Library is located at 7991 North Century Boulevard, next to the Century Town Hall.
May 6, 2014
Northview High School senior Lauryn Walker has been awarded the Tommy Weaver Memorial Scholarship.
She will receive $500 upon enrollment in college. Applicants were required to fill out a brief application and write an essay explaining why the scholarship was important to them and how it would make it possible for them to continue their education.
Walker was awarded the scholarship recently during the annual Northview DCT banquet. The scholarship fund was established in memory of Tommy Weaver, DCT/Ag instructor and assistant coach who passed away in March 2012.
Pictured top: Tommy Weaver Memorial Scholarship Lauryn Walker with Northview Principal Gayle Weaver. Submitted photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.
May 5, 2014
Northview High School presented two performances of Shrek the Musical over the weekend. The musical was based on the Oscar winning DreamWorks film that started it all, bringing the hilarious story of everyone’s favorite ogre to life on stage.
The production starred Cory Hester as Shrek, Anna Donald as Fiona, Kendrick Walker as Donkey, Kent Smith as Farquaad and host of other Northview students.
NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.
May 4, 2014
Bristol Park Road was nearly quiet, strangely peaceful late Thursday afternoon. The sound of a few generators, a little hammering and even a little laughter from neighbors gathered on a lawn.
Just a few hours before, the neighborhood had been the scene of a hellish nightmare for residents and rescuers as heavy rains sent people scurrying into their attics to avoid rising flood waters. At first, the normally peaceful creek behind their homes began to lap at thresholds before entering uninvited and to the surprise of most residents. Important items were saved, albeit very temporarily, by moving them to higher spots around the home — the couch, the top of the fridge. But the water became a raging river, rising and rising, consuming worldly possessions and leaving some residents to question their own mortality.
Dozens were rescued in boats by first responders and volunteers alike. Many times, rescuers were forced to cut their way into attics to rescue men, women and children.
Most were quiet, very methodical as they toted a lifetime of possessions to the curb. A bedroom dresser looked very normal, nearly off the showroom floor new, as it sat on the sidewalk. But it’s contents were held tightly inside by the wet swollen wood, the homeowner forced to use crowbar to pry open drawers. Couches, mattresses, bedroom suites, dining tables, refrigerators — all the usual household contents — were piled high up and down the road.
But it was some of the smallest items in the trash piles that quietly told the biggest stories. A “Christmas 2007″ ornament amongst the soaked Christmas decor that held happy stories of many a Christmas morning. Prom pictures from days, and hairstyles, gone by, next to a bagged cap and gown and a “Snowflake 1990″ Christmas bear. The things of memories decades ago destroyed.
The piles were endless on the curb at almost every house. Wet, drippy sheet rock and the entire contents of every home. One house was different….the household items were piled in the side yard, not by the road for pickup. Perhaps a little hope that everything could simply dry, be put back inside, and everything would be the same. Perhaps an optimist, perhaps a dreamer. Perhaps it was just a little too hard to say goodbye to everything.
Sewage bubbled and gurgled into the street from a manhole, the stench drifting along in the cooling late evening air. Night was settling in on a neighborhood united by great loss and sorrow, their dreams and memories washed away.
At a nearby Publix, a woman stood near the checkouts, her face telling a story worth volumes as she broke into tears. It’s going to be a long, tough recovery for the area.
By Saturday, the Bristol Park neighborhood was different. The shock was gone, reality had settled in for many. It was no longer the quiet, surreal feeling of shortly after the flood.
At a town hall meeting, residents expressed concerns about “looters” — outsiders seen as criminals going through the neighborhood loading up items like appliances from the trash piles and hauling them off. The “looters” were a real concern for many residents. Sure the items were out for a trash pickup, almost a proper burial, but something about the idea of taking away your lifetime of possessions as their own was just wrong. A deputy told residents that items on the roadway are considered “abandoned property” and that there was nothing the Sheriff’s Office could do to stop them.
ECUA board member Larry Walker told residents that ECUA would begin pickups of the trash and debris bright and early Sunday morning, continuing until the area was clean.
Bristol Park was a hustle and bustle of wall to wall activity Saturday. Churches, aid groups and well-meaning individuals flood packed the street between the mountains of household items and wet carpet and sheet rock. They passed out cleaning supplies, helped tote debris, provided food and even a shoulder to cry on.
Saturday was a return trip to the Bristol Park neighborhood for Brennan Moore and Tim Stewart of Tag’ Tail (TNT) Charters. Both captains used their boats to rescue trapped residents during the flood. Saturday, they were joined by friends and volunteers to cook and serve over 60 whole chickens, 40 Boston butts, 40 racks of ribs and 200 pounds of fish.
“”They don’t have power and they don’t have anywhere to go. They don’t have anywhere to cook. So, if we come out here and we cook and come here and do what we need to do and they’re fed for the day,” Moore said. “It just makes me feel like the Lord has put me in the place today where he wants me and this is where I need to be.”
Pictured top: Sewage bubbles onto Bristol Park Road Thursday afternoon. Pictured top inset: A rescue hole cut into an attic. Pictured inset: A soaked prom photo and Christmas bear placed out with the contents of a house for trash pickup. Pictured lower inset: Household contents piled outside homes. Pictured lower inset and below: A free meal provided by volunteers on Saturday. (Saturday photos credit Linda Craft.) NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.
May 4, 2014
Over the history of the fishing rodeo, it has been held at locations ranging from Ft. Pickens to the Three Mile Bridge in Pensacola. Since 2001, it has been held at Jantz’s Catfish Pond on South Highway 99, just off Highway 97.
Dozens of volunteers stood ready Saturday to help the disabled. They baited hooks, tossed a line and offered words of friendly encouragement, while dozens of disabled people were registered in Saturday’s fishing rodeo. They were from around the area, including Pensacola and Century.
The Pen Wheels Fishing Rodeo is provided to the disabled for free as a project of the Pensacola Fiesta of Five Flags organization.
Pictured: The Pen Wheel Fishing Rodeo for the disabled Saturday in Walnut Hill. NorthEscambia.com exclusive photos, click to enlarge.
May 4, 2014
Large cowds attended the fourth annual Sawmill Day and Car Show Saturday at the Historical Park in Century. The event featured continuous entertainment, a car show, yard sale, plenty of good food, arts and crafts and free museum tours.
NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.