Escambia 4-H Horse Club Lending A Hand To The Leaning Post Ranch

September 10, 2014

The Escambia County 4-H Horse Club is working this month to assist the Leaning Post Ranch in Molino with needed supplies while learning about the services the ranch offers to the community. The Leaning Post Ranch’s mission is provide equine assisted activities and therapeutic riding to individuals with disabilities and at-risk youth in Northwest Florida –offering health, hope, and healing through horses. Submitted photo for, click to enlarge.

Rattlesnake Bite Victim Back Home, Tells Her Story

September 9, 2014

A Walnut Hill woman returned home Monday afternoon, two days after being bitten by a pygmy rattlesnake.

Saturday morning, Sandy Marsh was outside her home on Highway 97. She was picking weeds that were popping through the rocks in her well manicured lawn. She reached under a bench to pull a small weed, and that’s when she was bitten on a finger by the poisonous  snake.

“The bite was really like a little prick,” she said, sitting back on the bench Monday afternoon. “But I knew what had happened when I saw the snake. My first thought was really my dogs. So I shooed the dogs away and grabbed a shovel and killed the snake. I wanted to protect the dogs, and I knew that would want to know what kind of snake it was for the anti-venom.”

Marsh said she remained calm  — a key point she said — and called 911. She told the 911 operator that she was bitten by a pygmy rattler and she was 40 miles from Pensacola.

“The person at 911 told me to put my arm down. It’s good that she said that, because I always thought you were suppose to put your arm up. She (the 911 dispatcher) was really great, telling me that you must keep it below the heart.”

Within moments of her 911 call, the Walnut Hill Station of Escambia Fire Rescue, Atmore Ambulance and LifeFlight were on their way to her remote home.

In the meantime, Marsh tried unsuccessfully to call her husband; he was in an area with no cellular service. “He was up to his neck in weeds at the hunting camp in Alabama, and I was the one here in the yard being bitten by a snake. That was ironic.”

As paramedics loaded her into LifeFlight, Marsh was busy snapping cell phone photos of the helicopter and the view out the windows.

“I really did not realize the seriousness of it all until later, about half an hour later, when my arm began to swell.” Lines on her arm marked the progression of the swelling from the snake venom.

“When the swelling got to here,” she said, pointing at a spot nearing her elbow, “they decided to give me the antivenom. That was rough, much rougher than the snake bite itself. I was so nauseous and pouring sweat.” She ended up with four doses of the antivenom.

Marsh said she learned several important things during her experience –”Keep you cell phone charged. I was trying to take pictures and call my husband but my battery was dying.” Also, she said, wear gloves when working outside.

There’s still no word of any possible lasting effects from the snakebite. For now, Marsh said she’s glad to be recovered enough to return home from intensive care.

“Thank God I had plenty of people praying for me,” she said. “I keep a positive attitude because of them, and I think that really helped save my life.”

Pictured top: Pygmy rattlesnake bite victim Sandy Marsh returned home to Walnut Hill Monday. Pictured top inset: Marsh shows how she was bitten as she pulled a weed from under a bench. Pictured middle inset: Lines on Marsh’s arm Monday continued to show the progression of swelling on her arm. Pictured bottom inset: The pygmy rattlesnake the bit Marsh was just a few inches long. Pictured below: Marsh’s swollen hand and the snake in a small cup shortly after she arrived at Baptist Hospital via LifeFlight. Pictured bottom: Marsh was airlifted from her Walnut Hill home. and courtesy photos, click to enlarge.

Photos: NHS Cheerleaders, Mini-Cheerleaders, Band, Dance Team, NJROTC

September 8, 2014

For a photo gallery featuring the Northview High School cheerleaders, mini-cheerleaders, band, dance team and NJROTC from Friday night’s football game, click here. photos, click to enlarge.

Tate Band Holds Multi-Location Car Wash To Philly

September 7, 2014

The Tate High School Showband of the South held a car wash at several locations Saturday to raise money for a trip to Philadelphia to march in the Dunkin Donuts Thanksgiving day Parade.

The car wash was held at Pizza Hut on Nine Mile, Advance Auto Parts on Highway 29, Auto Zone on Hood Drive,  Tractor Supply on Nine Mile and Aaron’s on Highway 29.

Several future fundraisers to assist the band will be announced on

Courtesy photos for, click to enlarge.

Camp Fire Century Presented With Community Pride Award

September 5, 2014

The Century Chamber of Commerce has named the Camp Fire Century Youth Learning Center as the winner of the September Community Pride Award.  The award was presented Thursday during at at-large chamber meeting at Lake Stone.

Pictured: Century Chamber President Don Ripley, Camp Fire Century Director Pamila Townson and Camp Fire Gulf Wind Council Director La-Vonne Haven., click to enlarge.

What A Good Teacher Does At School: Dresses Snazzy, Smells Like Strawberries?

September 4, 2014

When first graders at Molino Park Elementary School were asked “what does a good teacher do at school?”, there were the usual answers about reading and recess, but there were a few surprises too.   It is, after all, important that a good teacher “dresses snazzy” and “smells like strawberries and candy” (actual answers).

So what does a good teacher do at school? Here are actual answers from first grade teacher Sara Calhoun’s class at Molino Park Elementary School:

  • makes sure everyone obeys the rules
  • helps us learn to read
  • their voice always sounds kind and nice with gentleness
  • reads us stories on the rug
  • takes us to recess
  • cares and takes care of the kids
  • smiles a lot
  • gives good instructions for the playground
  • dresses snazzy
  • lets us have centers
  • helps us to be rockstar readers
  • let’s us get a treat from the birthday blessing box
  • looks fancy and has pretty clothes
  • sings “Who Let The Vowels Out”
  • has lots of iPads and computers
  • always feeds us lunch
  • we can clip up if we make a good choice
  • never yells or screams
  • lets us have scissors and markers
  • gives us stickers and candy
  • we get cozy critters to sit on our desk if we are good
  • teaches us to be ‘bucket fillers’
  • teaches us our supplies are tools not toys
  • helps us know how to be quiet in the hallway
  • makes learning fun
  • gives us treasure box
  • tells us to add more details to our writing
  • gives us a compliment party
  • smells like strawberries and candy
  • always lets the kids go to the bathroom
  • teaches math
  • sings silly songs
  • lets us have a class pet
  • reads “Pete the Cat” books
  • gives lots of hugs

Inside Century Correctional Institution

September 3, 2014

Century Correctional Institution recently offered community members an inside look at what goes on inside the facility, plus insight into how the prison gives back to the community.

A great deal of what happens daily inside Century CI is targeted toward preparing and reforming prisoners for life outside the facility. The ultimate goal is to reduce recidivism — former prisoners returning to prison. Florida’s recidivism rate has dropped from 30.5 percent in 2011 to 27.6 percent in 2013. Approximately 90.3 percent of offenders who complete community supervision do not return to custody or supervision within three years.

The main unit at Century CI has a total capacity of 1,508 inmates. Currently, about 300 of those are service life sentences. Over 600 other inmates are housed under the supervision of the Century Correctional Institution in the Century Work Camp, Berrydale Forestry Camp and the Pensacola Community Release Center. The average prisoner in Century is serving 5.21 years and is about 38 years old.

Locally, Century Correctional Institution currently employs 341 security staff; of which 210 reside in Escambia County, 74 in Santa Rosa, six in Okaloosa and  48 live in Alabama. The facilities annual budget is just under $17 million.

For a photo gallery, click here.

Work squads from Century CI and the Berrydale Forestry Camp provide inmate labor for numerous agencies, including Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, the Department of Transportation, Century, Jay and Gulf Breeze — resulting in a $3.1 million savings for taxpayers. Additional, Century CI inmates work on the campuses of local schools including Bratt Elementary, Ernest Ward Middle and Northview High. Prisoner work squads are only allowed on school campuses when no students are present.

Volunteers from the outside also assist inside the prison, with 3,294 volunteer hours recorded in the first half of 2014.

Through a partnership with the UF/IFAS program, prisoners have raised 647,968 pounds of produce such as tomatoes, collards, turnips, sweet corn, cabbage and watermelon valued at $925 thousand.

Statewide the Community Partnership Meetings such as the one held at Century Correctional  aim to open avenues of communication and build strong relationships between the correctional institutions and local communities.

“I look forward to the upcoming session and being able to assist the Department in addressing many of the issues that I have heard and seen today,” Rep. Mike Hill said following the tour, while commending staff “on an outstanding job they do every day in keeping our communities safe.”

For a photo gallery, click here.

Pictured top: Open bunks in a prison dorm at Century Correctional Institution. Pictured top inset: Inside a more secure housing unit. Pictured below: Community leaders tour a housing unit inside Century Correctional Institution. photos. click to enlarge.

Northview To Host Mini-Majorette Clinic

September 3, 2014

The Northview High School Majorettes will host a  Mini-Majorette Clinic this Saturday, September 6th from 8-11 a.m. and September 11th from 4-5 p.m.

The clinic will teach students baton tricks, skills, and a baton routine that they will perform at pregame during the Northview vs Chipley game on September 12th. The clinic is open to any student from 5 years of age to 8th grade. Students must bring their own baton due to limited extras. The cost will be $25 per child and includes the clinic, a t-shirt, admission to the home game and a performance before kick-off.

If interested, registration is on September 6th between 7:30-8 the Northview band room, just before the Saturday practice. Registration fees are due on September 6 to ensure that t-shirts are available on time. Call Julie Hester, NHS majorette captain, at (850) 380-2531 for more information.

Snacks and drinks will be provided on the Saturday practice, but students are encouraged to bring something of their own.

Pictured top: Northview High School majorettes Julie Hester, Brianna Smith and Hanna Mascaro. Submitted photo for, click to enlarge.

Ransom Responds, Tate’s Shackle Shivers With Ice Bucket Challenge

September 2, 2014

Ransom Middle School staff members recently responded to the ice bucket challenger for ALS, as did Tate High Principal Richard Shackle.

Shackle recently completed the ALS ice bucket challenge from Superintendent Malcolm Thomas. Shackle challenged the Escambia County School District’s assistant principals and Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan. Shackle also donate $100 to ALS. (Video below)

And the staff at Ransom Middle School stepped up to the challenge after Principal Brent Brummet was challenged by Thomas. About 50 Ransom staff members took part in the ALS challenge.

The ALS challenge has a couple of goals — raise money and raise awareness about ALS, a neurodegenerative nerve disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

Pictured top: Ransom Middle School staff members including Principal Brent Brummet (tan pants) and Assistant Principal Sandy Ames (long black pants) take the ALS ice bucket challenge. Pictured inset: Tate Principal Rick Shackle takes the challenge.

If you do not see the video below, it is because your work, school or home firewall is blocking external videos from Youtube.

Faulk Graduates From Basic Military Training

September 2, 2014

Air Force Airman Randy Faulk graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Faulk is the son of Volante Henderson of Augusta, Ga., and grandson of Junius McGee of Century.

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