Tate Students, Parents: Upcoming Important Dates

July 19, 2017

Tate students and parents — mark your calendars. Here are some upcoming important  dates  for Aggie Day, Orientation, and schedule pickup for Tate High School.

Thursday, July 27 – AGGIE DAY

Aggie Day is a Welcome to Tate workshop led by Tate’s leadership students. Incoming 9th graders and new students are invited to take a few hours to learn about Tate High School. At 9 a.m., students will be split into groups in the Fryman Gym. Our leadership students will lead their group in a series of workshops to learn about activities, sports, clubs, and what makes Tate a great place to attend. Schedules will not be handed out at this event, and guidance counselors and administrators will not be present. This is a for-students, by-students event.
Drop Off: New Gym, 9:00 am
Pick Up: New Gym, 12:00 pm

Friday, August 4 – Freshmen/New Student Orientation, 9:00 am-10:30 am

Our more formal, assembly-style orientation will be at 9:00 am in the Fryman Gym. You will meet our administrators, deans, and 9th grade guidance counselor, Chuck Stanhope. Also, coaches and club sponsors will be available to answer any questions. At 10:30 am, 9th grade schedules will be available (in the gym). Tate leadership students will be present to assist in learning where classes are located. At 11:00, any schedules not picked up will return to the front office.

Friday, August 4 – Upperclassmen Schedule Pickup

10th-12th Schedules will be available for pick up from 1:00-3:00 in the Cafeteria.

Ask MyEscambia App Now Available for Residents

July 18, 2017

Escambia County has launched Ask MyEscambia, a mobile and web application making it easier than ever for residents to connect with county services 24 hours a day.

With Ask MyEscambia, residents can request non-emergency services for road issues, code enforcement, stray animals, stormwater maintenance and much more. The app also provides a convenient way for citizens to request public records from Escambia County.

Making a request through Ask MyEscambia is very easy. Simply find the request type that best fits the problem you are encountering, then enter the information promoted by your specific request – which may include information like the address, a photo and detailed description of your issue or question – and click the submit button. There is no need to wait for a return call, you have the ability to receive notifications, monitor the status and communicate with staff at your convenience via the Ask MyEscambia app.

Ask MyEscambia can be accessed on a desktop computer at MyEscambia.com/ask, or residents can download the mobile app for free by searching “Ask MyEscambia” in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store or searching “PublicStuff” in the Windows Store or BlackBerry App World.

Guy Harvey Mentors Ernest Ward Student, Aspiring Marine Artist

July 17, 2017

Nolin Godwin, an incoming sixth grader at Ernest Ward Middle School, recently spent time painting a mural at Sea World in Orlando with world renowned conservationist and artist Guy Harvey

Nolin, now 12, has been obsessed with the ocean, sharks and saving the environment since he was about two years old. The aspiring artist started drawing sharks at a very young ago. Four years ago, the Godwin family vacationed on Grand Cayman, the largest of the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean.

Harvey has a home and an art gallery on Grand Cayman. Nolin met Harvey and showed him some of his paintings. Harvey invited Nolan to draw with him in his gallery, inspiring Nolan to continue his love for the ocean, drawing and learning to paint. The family has continued yearly summer vacations back to Grand Cayman to see Harvey. They spend two to three weeks at a time to allow Nolin time in Harvey’s gallery.

He has also participated directly with Harvey multiple years in a Sting Ray City project, tagging and researching the ocean creatures.

When Nolin broke his arm at age 8, his Aunt Ruth Harrell bought him paint and canvases. Nolin sold his paintings, raising enough to donate $1,000 of  to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. With the money, Harvey tagged a Mako shark and named it Nolin.

Nolin was invited recently to help Harvey with the mako shark mural at Sea Wold. Nolin signed the painting, with Harvey signing below wince he helped with touch-ups.

Nolin is the son of Gordon and JoLynn Godwin.

For more photos of Nolin and Guy Harvey painting, click here for a gallery.

Pictured: Guy Harvey paints with Nolin Godwin, incoming Ernest Ward sixth grade student. Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

July Gardening Tips

July 15, 2017

The heat, humidity and frequent rains of July are great for tropical plants. Gardeners, however, take a bit of a beating. Remember to keep the sunscreen, insect repellant and iced tea handy as you venture out into your garden to perform some needed summer maintenance.

A midsummer application of fertilizer is usually required, especially on annual flowers, lawns, shrub beds and vegetable gardens. This is a supplemental application, so don’t overdo it. A 15-0-15 slow-release fertilizer is a good general purpose landscape fertilizer for most plants.

Major pruning jobs should have been done earlier, but there is still some maintenance pruning that should be done. Deadhead, or clip old flowers, from summer flowering shrubs as soon as they fade to help insure an extended season of bloom. Crape myrtles, hibiscus, hydrangeas and althea are examples of shrubs that will bloom repeatedly if light, selective pruning is done.

Flowering annuals also respond well to deadheading. Snip off old flowers and flower spikes before they have an opportunity to form seed. Allowing annual flowers to set seed can shorten their blooming season considerably.

Inspect your lawn and shrub plantings frequently in order to identify pest problems as early as possible. The most severe damage from pest insects normally begins in July. Be on the lookout for chinch bugs in St. Augustine grass; spittlebugs in centipede grass; sod webworm in all lawns-especially new ones; lacebug and caterpillars on azaleas; whiteflies on gardenia and spider mites on lots of different types of shrubs.

Sod webworms often attack lawns in the summer. They eat the grass blades producing areas that look as if they have been mowed too short. Close inspection will reveal that the blades have not been cleanly cut as with a mower blade but have been chewed along their edges and tips. These caterpillars feed at night and rest during the day down among the runners and in the thatch.

Once an insect pest is found, evaluate the damage and determine if control is necessary. If it is, choose the least toxic option. If only a few caterpillars are found, hand picking might be the choice. Aphids and spider mites can often be controlled by spraying with an insecticidal soap solution. Chemical insecticides are sometimes required. Before choosing one be sure that the insect pest has been properly identified and that the insecticide is labeled for that purpose For vegetable gardeners that have problems with nematodes, soil borne diseases and extensive weed problems, July is a great time to try soil solarization.

Prepare the soil as you normally would for a vegetable garden including adding organic matter. Moisten the area and cover with clear plastic, not black plastic. Clear plastic will produce the highest temperatures. Be sure to weigh down the edges of the plastic so that it doesn’t blow up. Allow the soil to bake in the sun for four to six weeks. The sun will raise the soil temperature high enough to kill many soil borne problems.

Tip of the Week: The nice thing about tomatoes is that you have the option of harvesting when the fruit is green if needed. Tomatoes will ripen indoors at room temperature. To ensure even ripening, place the tomato with the stem up. The ideal time to harvest tomatoes is when they are fully colored but still firm.

In general, it is best to harvest vegetables early in the mornings while the moisture content is higher. The overall quality will quickly diminish as vegetables are exposed to hotter temperatures later in the day.

Barrineau Park 4-H Raises Hogs For Local Food Banks

July 12, 2017

The Barrineau Park 4-H Club raised two hogs and donated the fresh pork to two local food banks.  Over 300 pounds of fresh pork was delivered to the food banks at Aldersgate United Methodist Church and Molino Outreach.   The fresh pork was distributed in their food boxes. Submitted photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Looking To Grow Hydrangeas In The Sun?

July 8, 2017

Looking to grow hydrangeas in the sun? The “Limelight” hydrangea is a beautiful specimen that grows well locally in the sun, according to the Escambia County Extension Service. For more information, contact Escambia County Extension in Cantonment at (850) 475-5230.

Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Join The ‘Air Potato Patrol’ To Battle Invasive Plant

July 7, 2017

In Florida, air potato is a state-wide problem, but the battle against the invasive plant starts in greenbelts and back yards, according to scientists with the University of Florida and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Experts are calling on the public to join the Air Potato Patrol, a citizen science project that trains residents to identify and report air potato vines in Florida and the Southeast.
“If someone has air potato vines on their property, we want to get status updates on these plants —  for example, are they growing and expanding or are they dying back?” said William Lester, a horticulture agent with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension.

“We also want to know if people see air potato leaf beetles on the vines. That’s because the beetle eats only this plant, and we want to know how many are out there seasonally, and how successfully  they’ve been able to control the vine,” he said.

Air potato is a vining plant named for potato-like tubers called bulbils. The plant grows aggressively  and can quickly overtake and kill other vegetation. The plant is currently found in 60 of the 67 counties in Florida, as well as in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.

Air potato leaf beetles, which are native to parts of Africa and Asia, eat only air potato leaves and can decrease the density of air potato in an area by 25 to 70 percent, according to a UF/IFAS Extension publication. From 2012 to 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released air potato leaf beetles at more than 2,000 locations in Florida.

About a year ago, Lester started getting calls from locals concerned that they weren’t seeing as many air potato beetles as they used to. Lester suspected that winter weather had hit the beetles harder than usual, leading to the decline in numbers.

Those calls showed that everyday people were a valuable source of intelligence in the ground fight against air potato.

In response, Lester contacted Chris Kerr, who leads the air potato beetle rearing program at the  FDACS Division of Plant Industry facility in Gainesville As the two discussed how they could get the public more involved in air potato control, the Air Potato Patrol was born.

Lester and Kerr collaborated on the videos and training materials that teach citizen scientists how to identify air potato and report on plant growth and beetle activity. Videos and more information on how to participate are available at airpotatobeetle.com.

“Anyone who wants to learn more about controlling this invasive plant, and has access to air potato on their property or a friends’, is welcomed to participate,” Lester said. “The data collected will be used to help better understand the timing and seasonal distribution for both air potato plants and beetles.”

Residents with air potato vines on their properties can request beetles online.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Safety Tips For Blue Angels Weekend

July 7, 2017

With the Blue Angels ready to take to the skies for the Pensacola Beach Air Show, be sure to follow these tips from Escambia County for a safe, fun weekend in the sun:


  • Leave early. Traffic will be heavy, and parking is limited on Pensacola Beach.
  • Get in the fast lane to the beach with SunPass® and the reduced-price Pensacola Beach Annual Pass. Watch this video for everything you need to know about SunPass, or visit MyEscambia.com/PensacolaBeachPass.
  • If parking is full in the core areas, take advantage of the free Pensacola Beach trolleys offered by the Santa Rosa Island Authority. East and west parking lots will be serviced by trolleys and will take beach goers to and from Casino Beach. For a map of trolley stops and a live trolley tracker, click here.
  • Remember that access into and exiting the Casino Beach parking lot along Via De Luna Drive and Fort Pickens Road has been modified. The parking lot now functions in a circular configuration, with one way in and one way out. The only entrance into the parking lot is along Via De Luna Drive next to Sidelines Sports Bar & Restaurant and across the street from Flounder’s Chowder House. The only exit from the parking lot is along Fort Pickens Road near the public restrooms/Public Safety Building.

Water Safety

  • Be sure to wear and reapply sunscreen often and drink plenty of water. Remember that alcohol, sun and swimming do not mix.
  • Swim in lifeguarded areas, and be sure to follow all lifeguard instructions. Swimmers will not be allowed in the Gulf during the airshow.
  • Check before you go and follow the posted beach condition flag warnings. Watch our lifeguards explain the flag system on Pensacola Beach. Beach conditions can be checked at PensacolaBeachLifeguards.com and on the Pensacola Beach Lifeguards Facebook page.
  • Know how to escape from a rip current. Watch our rip current video and learn how to break the grip of the rip, which can pull even the strongest swimmer out to sea.

Beach Rules

  • Remember to “leave no trace” and keep Pensacola Beach sea turtle-friendly. Properly dispose of trash, fill in any holes in the sand and remove belongings from the beach at the end of the day. This includes not leaving any personal property unattended on the sandy gulf beach from sunset until sunrise like umbrellas, tents, beach toys and chairs. To view the Leave No Trace ordinance, click here.
  • Follow all Pensacola Beach rules, including:
    • Glass containers are not allowed on the beach.
    • The west side of the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier is an alcohol free zone.
    • Open containers are not allowed off the boardwalk or outside any establishment.
    • No alcohol can be consumed in any parking lot on Santa Rosa Island.
    • Dogs other than service animals are not permitted on the any of the beaches except in designated dog parks. To view complete rules and boundaries for Pensacola Beach dog parks, click here.

Rising From The Winds And Ashes: Wesley Chapel Church Breaks Ground

July 1, 2017

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Friday for a new building for the Wesley Chapel Church on Jefferson Avenue in Century.

The church building  suffered significant damage when it was  shifted off its foundation during the EF-3 tornado that hit Century in February 2016.  The congregation continued to meet in an alternative location each Sunday. They made plans to dismantle the old building board by board, hoping to salvage and use as much of the wood as possible from the 1934 structure in a new church building.

But then the building was reduced to ashes and rubble after an arsonist set fire to it on an early Sunday morning in October.

Now the church is moving forward with plans to rebuild after holding fundraisers and taking donations. There’s no firm construction timetable in place.

For more photos, click here.

Pictured above and below: Groundbreaking ceremony at Wesley Chapel in Century on Friday. Pictured three up from the bottom: Wesley Chapel shortly after an EF-3 tornado in February 2016. Pictuered bottom two photos. The remains of the building were destroyed by an arsonist in October 2016. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Saturday Is Deadline To Apply For $100K In IP Grants

June 30, 2017

International Paper Pensacola Mill will award $100,000 in IP Foundation Grants in 2017. The deadline for all 2017 grant applications is July 1, 2017.

Grants are awarded through the International Paper Foundation. International Paper’s Foundation supports sustainable investments to address critical needs in the communities where IP team members live and work.

Signature causes are:

Education – Priority given to literacy programs from birth through third grade.

Hunger – Community programs that provide access to food for those in need or provide solutions to alleviate hunger.

Health & Wellness – Programs that promote basic health and human needs.

Disaster Relief – Programs that reduce suffering or saves lives as a result of a natural disaster.

For more information about the Foundation and/or to apply online, interested applicants should visit www.ipgiving.com.

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