Tate Showband Earns Straight Superiors At Blackwater Classic Festival

October 4, 2016

Tate Showband of the South scored straight superiors at the Blackwater Classic Marching Band Festival last Saturday at Milton High School  performing their show “Home Sweet Home”.

For additional photos, click here.

Photos by Perry Doggrell for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Roy Hyatt Environmental Center Holds Open House

October 4, 2016

The annual open house was held Saturday at the Roy Hyatt Environmental Center in Cantonment.

Visitors had the opportunity to stroll through the center’s butterfly garden, hike trails into a bog, meet owls from the Wildlife Federation of Northwest Florida, peer through telescopes from with the Escambia Amateur Astronomy Association, meet the resident reptiles, and bid on artwork and other items in a silent auction.

The Roy Hyatt Environmental Center is at 1300 Tobias Road, Cantonment.

For more photos, click here.

Courtesy photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Kena Spivey, 2, Loses Battle With Cancer

September 30, 2016

Kena Spivey, age 2, lost her battle to cancer Thursday morning. We introduced your to Kena and her unlikely friend, Bryant Cooper, in previous stories here on NorthEscambia.com.

In late October of 2014, Bryant was a happy, focused young man with a love for football. And John Deere…that love was strong enough that he had even landed a dream job of sorts with a local John Deere dealership. But pain in his back — he thought just a pulled muscle or maybe kidney stones — sent him to the emergency room.  The preliminary diagnosis was not good…suspicious spots on his liver. More tests for a final diagnosis that Bryant and his mother, Janet Little Cooper, never expected on November 4, 2014.

Cancer. Not just cancer, but a Stage 4 rare neuroendocrine cancer, and it had spread with a vengeance to other parts of this body.

Kena was diagnosed with a Stage 3 tumor on her cervix and uterus on July 7, 2014.

Kena was in Sacred Heart Hospital for a chemo treatment, and Bryant was in for his first ever treatment when the two met on November 17. Her parents, Charles and Dawn Spivey, were walking her down the hallway trying to calm her when they met Janet.

Kena’s tears stopped when she saw Bryant lying in his hospital bed. The  friendship continued to grow up until her passing.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

On average, 43 teens are diagnosed with cancer each day. And before the day ends, a childhood cancer will claim seven lives, Janet Cooper said.  “There are billions and billions of dollars spent on cancer research every year in this country. But only four percent is spent on find a cure for childhood cancers.”

New Sign Proclaims Century Blackcat Pride At Anthony Pleasant Park

September 29, 2016

The Century Blackcats youth football league has a new press box sign at Anthony Pleasant Park. The sign, painted and donated by Tabitha Schoonover, reads “Century, Home of the Blackcats” — similar to a sign that greeted visitors at the old Century High School. Submitted photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Hundreds Of Students Gather To Pray At The Pole

September 29, 2016

Hundreds of students gathered to pray at their schools  across the area Wednesday morning during the annual See You at the Pole event.

Students gathered as school began to pray in the non-denominational event. See You at the Pole is a student-initiated, student organized, and student-led event. Students prayed for their school, friends, teachers, government and the nation.

For a photo gallery from Northview High, West Florida High, Ernest Ward Middle and Molino Park Elementary, click here.

Pictured: See You at the Pole this morning at Molino Park Elementary School (Dayna St Cyr photos), Northview High School and Ernest Ward Middle School. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Brick Sale Continues For Century High School Monument

September 28, 2016

Memorial bricks from the old Century High School have been on sale since July for inclusion in a monument, and so far sales have been very, very slow.

To date, only eight bricks have been purchased for the monument, but now is the time for former  Century Blackcats to step up and buy a brick, according to members of the Century Bricks and Monument Committee.

Engraved bricks are being sold at $50 each to be placed around a 1936 monument and flagpole salvaged from the former school, which was demolished due to tornado damage. In total, about 2,100 bricks were saved from the school building for the project. The $50 covers the cost of engraving the brick and construction of the monument; there is no profit made.

“No two of the bricks look alike,” Committee member Regi Burkett said during a Tuesday evening meeting. “That’s the character of 80-year old brick. This is not a store bought brick. The history is there.”

Each brick can be engraved with up to three lines of text with up to 20 characters per line.

To print an order form, visit CenturyHighBricks.com or pick up an order form at the Century Town Hall. Committee members will also be taking orders and have sample bricks available during a Fall Festival October 15 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Showalter Park.

Pictured top: A Tuesday evening meeting of the Century Bricks and Monument Committee. Pictured bottom: A sample engraved Century High School brick. Pictured inset: A 1936 monument salvaged from the former school will be in the center of the monument. Pictured below: A conceptual drawing of the monument. NorthEscambia.com photos/images, click to enlarge.

Wednesday: See You At The Pole

September 27, 2016

The annual See You at the Pole rally will be held Wednesday morning at several North Escambia area schools.

Students will gather as school begins to pray in the non-denominational event.  See You at the Pole is a student-initiated, student organized, and student-led event. Students typically pray for their school, friends teachers, government and the nation — often meeting at their school’s flagpole.

Local See You at the Pole events include:

  • Northview High School: 8:15 a.m.
  • Ernest Ward Middle School 8:30 a.m.
  • Molino Park Elementary School 7 a.m.
  • Ransom Middle School 8:40 a.m.
  • Tate High School 7:45 a.m.
  • West Florida High School 7:45 a.m.

For more information, contact an individual school.

Submit See At The Pole photos from area schools to news@northescambia.com.

Pictured: See At the Pole events from last year. NorthEscambia.com file photos, click to enlarge.

Ernest Ward’s Deputy Ronnie Gill Receives Sheriff’s Meritorious Service Medal

September 24, 2016

Senior Deputy Ronnie Gill, school resource officer at Ernest Ward Middle School, has been awarded the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Meritorious Service Medal for the crucial role he plays in breaking down the barriers between law enforcement and youth.

In July, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and the Florida Association of School Resource Officers Monday named the Gill the 2016 School Resource Officer of the Year.

His law enforcement career spans nearly 40 years. He joined the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office in 2002 and joined the school resource officer program over 12 years ago.

Senior Deputy Gill not only works hard protecting the students and faculty within Ernest Ward, he also gives selflessly of his time to mentor and help students in need. Whether it is counseling students, leading the Ernest Ward “Teens for Christ” group, or showing up at community sporting events on his own time, Gill has built a reputation within the student population as not just a law enforcement officer, but a person they can look up to and approach.

Gill also gives selflessly of his finances. He has opened his own lunch account with the school and now transfers money into needy student’s accounts on a regular basis. He has been known to provide funds for students that cannot afford trip fees and club dues. He has also taken students shopping for Christmas and has even paid a high school senior’s graduation fees. Whenever there is a need that has been identified, Senior Deputy Gill steps up and fulfills that need.

Pictured: Senior Deputy Ronnie Gill (left) was presented the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Meritorious Service Medal by Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan. Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Taking A Bite Out Of Hunger: Peanut Butter Drive Underway

September 24, 2016

In an effort to boost the supply of the most requested food pantry item, peanut butter, UF IFAS Escambia County Extension is teaming up again with the Florida Peanut Producers Association to help “Take a Bite out of Hunger” by participating in a local peanut butter drive.

Residents are asked to help meet the challenge of collecting 1,000 pounds of the versatile food by donating unopened jars of peanut butter at one of five locations now through Wednesday, November 23.  All peanut butter collected will be donated to local food pantries in December.

Drop-off locations:

  • Escambia County Administration, 221 Palafox Place, 4th Floor
  • Escambia County Extension Office, 3740 Stefani Road
  • Escambia County Farm Bureau,153 Highway 97, Molino
  • Escambia County Public Safety, 6575 North W Street
  • Gilmore Services, 31 East Fairfield Drive

Many families in our community experience food insecurities. They rely upon food pantries to supplement their family’s meals and reduce worries about running out of food. To help meet the need of providing healthy options for our residents in need, this is the fourth year UF IFAS Escambia County Extension has participated in the peanut butter drive.

Last year, more than 2,800 jars of peanut butter were donated to local food pantries.

NorthEscambia.com file photo, click to enlarge.

Bratt Superhero Boy On A Mission To Thank Law Enforcement

September 22, 2016

Tyler Carach is a Bratt Elementary School student by day, and an after school superhero that’s on a mission to thank law enforcement officers.

Tyler and his mother Sheena, who is a former police officer, created the “I DONUT need a reason to THANK a cop” program  after an encounter with Escambia County Sheriff’s deputies at Gilley’s Store in Bratt during the summer. He asked if he could use some of his own money to buy doughnuts for the officers. He purchased four packs of chocolate doughnuts to share with the deputies.

He learned that there are  just over 400 sworn officers in the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, and he composed a letter to a the Krispy Kreme on 9th Avenue asking for a discounted bulk price. The store manager instead donated 420 doughnuts to the project. Tyler, dressed in a superhero doughnut cape, delivered the doughnuts to Sheriff David Morgan and his department.

“It was really cool and fun I love getting to meet one of the dogs and one of the horses and I also found a lizard outside the Sheriff’s Office,” Tyler said. “The sheriff gave me a really cool coin and said it was very special. It was called a challenge coin. I got to go on the command center and also sit in the SWAT mobile — that’s like the Batmobile but way cooler.”

Thursday, Tyler continued on his mission to thank every cop in America with a visit to the Flomaton Police Department. He provided each officer with doughnuts and a goodie bag. He was able to test out the siren, public address system and computer in a brand new Dodge Charger patrol car, and he even raced a couple of officers on foot. His request to play with an officer’s pepper spray and Taser was cheerfully denied for safety reasons.

“I like cops because they are the best and they are my friends and they like one of my favorite dessert — doughtnuts, he said. “They wear blue and green and those are two of my favorite colors. I like drinking coffee and they like coffee too it helps them stay awake when they have to work all night long to keep us safe.”

Tyler hopes to be a law enforcement professional one day.

“I want to be a cop to keep people and my family safe like the cops keep me and my family safe,” he said. “I also want to stop bad guys like bank robbers and stuff. I want to be a SWAT because they have riot shields and I want to be a canine because they have dogs and I love them and they are really cute.”

Mom Sheena said Tyler is remarkably quiet and reserved at a school and home. But put him in a room of police officers, like Thursday’s visit to Flomaton, and he’s extremely into his zone — even trading tips on dealing with bad guys and making arrests.

Through his Facebook page (click here), Tyler is working on finalizing an Adopt-A-Cop program with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office to connect residents with deputies. He will be collecting goodie bags with items like gum, candy, hand sanitizer, pens, notepads and other item. And he is working on plans to visit more departments, spreading his message one doughnut at a time.

“You DONUT need a reason to thank a cop because everything they do is a reason to thank them, so if you see a cop today, take a second to say thank you,” Tyler said.

Pictured top: Bratt resident Tyler Carach servers a doughnut Thursday afternoon at Flomaton Police Chief Bryan Davis. Pictured bottom inset: Tyler with members of the Flomaton Police Department. Pictured first below: Tyler checks out the interior of a 2016 Dodge Charger police vehicle. Pictured second below: Tyler’s doughnut mission started with four Escambia County deputies at Gilley’s Store in Bratt. Pictured bottom: Tyler with Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan. NorthEcambia.com photo and courtesy photos, click to enlarge.

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