2013 In Photos: November

January 6, 2014

All this week, we are looking back at the photos that were in the news in 2013. Today, we are featuring photos from November.

Four people were left homeless by this November fire near Century.

A Georgia church  provided Thanksgiving dinner for Century residents. As part of their “Compel Century” outreach event, Rivertown Church of Columbus provided the free meal.

Students from several northern Santa Rosa County schools put in a hard day’s work to help make sure hundreds of families have a good Thanksgiving dinner.

Hunting and fishing licenses are now available at the Billy G. Ward Courthouse in Century.

Citrus canker was discovered in Santa Rosa County.

Century residents protested against a new barnyard animal ordinance.

Fans react as the Northview Chiefs lose to Cottondale.

Northview’s Keondrae Lett reacts emotionally after the Chief’s regional final loss  in Cottondale.

Firefighters from Alabama and Florida battled a train engine fire  near the state line.

A wreck involving a semi-truck and a car claimed one life  at the intersection of Highway 29 and Muscogee Road in Cantonment.

Two brand new Escambia County EMS units were delivered to Century.

A biker group built a ramp for an injured motorcycle rider in Molino.

An item suspected to be a possible pipe bomb  found alongside Highway 29 in Cantonment  turned out to be harmless.

Northview High School held their annual Veteran’s Day program.

A driver that allegedly fell asleep on Highway 97 late took a wild ride that ended with his SUV heavily damaging a house.

The Tate Aggies ended their best regular  season in 10 years at 8-2.

Ernest Ward Middle School held their annual Veteran’s Program.

A unique roadside bee hive in Walnut Hill on Highway 99,  just off Highway 97.

Southwest Airlines first flight to arrive in Pensacola.

Fire destroyed this home on Bradberry Road in Bratt.

The Northview High School FFA chapter was awarded one of the highest national honors presented by the National FFA in November. Northview’s FFA  received the Three Star Chapter award on live national television during the National FFA Convention & Expo in Louisville, KY.

2013 Persons Of The Year: Richard Freisinger

January 5, 2014


NorthEscambia.com is naming several Persons of the Year for 2013. More honorees will be named on Monday.

Richard Freisinger of Molino has been named one of our North Escambia persons of the Year.

Freisinger, a Tate High School graduate, has dedicated decades of service to the Molino community.

Freisinger was a charter member of the Molino Ruritan Club—a rural service organization—giving back to the community through its efforts of supporting the schools, the fire department, scholarships, and residential fires through fundraisers to meet these needs.  Freisinger was employed in 1954 in the research laboratory with Monsanto Textiles and later the analytical research laboratory working 29 years until an early retirement in 1985.  He currently operates a small tree farm after row cropping corn and soybeans for many years.

Freisinger and his wife, Jacqueline, saw the need for a rural, central water system for the Molino community and in 1965 after many hours of door-to-door contacts Molino Utilities was founded with over 200 users (members).  This system followed the first system of this type located in Walnut Hill.  Today this utility has over 2,000 members and has been extended to the Barrineau Park, Dogwood Park, and the Pine Barren communities. He served as a director for over 40 years.

He was involved with others in the community with the formation of the Molino Volunteer Fire Department and served as a volunteer firefighter for 10 years.

In 2001, Freisinger was  appointed to the board of the Escambia Soil and Water Conservation.  He  served for 12 year, including  six years as chairman,  before retiring this year.  He served on the board of Three Rivers RC&D for 29 years to the present time.  In 2006 he received appreciation from the Board for ‘Outstanding Efforts on the Big Escambia Restoration Project.’  This was the culmination of a long-time effort to remove the log jam on the Escambia River.

Freisinger is active in his church and has been recognized by the Escambia County Commission.

Pictured top: Sheriff David Morgan  talks with Molino residents Jacqueline and Richard Freisinger following a town hall meeting at Fran’s Diner. Pictured inset: Richard Freisinger. NorthEscambia.com file photos, click to enlrage.

2013 In Photos: October

January 5, 2014

All this week, we are looking back at the photos that were in the news in 2013. Today, we are featuring photos from October.

Fire ripped through the remnants of a previously burned and now abandoned home on Juniper Street in Walnut Hill.

Century added their first CNG vehicle to their fleet in October.

Hundreds attended the annual Williams Station Day in Atmore where the Alabama Blues Brothers performed on their farewell tour.

The Northview Tribal  Beat Band took top honors in their class during the annual Dixieland Band Showcase at T.R. Miller High School in Brewton.

The Tate High School Drama Department presented “Jabberwock”.

Jim Allen Elementary Principal Rachel Watts goes down in the dunking booth at the school’s annual fall carnival.

Dozens of families turned out to enjoy a free outdoor showing of the movie “Despicable Me” on a giant inflatable screen at Walnut Hill’s Bradberry Park. The event was sponsored in part by NorthEscambia.com.

Anna Fischer was crowned Northview’s homecoming queen.

The sophomore float in the Northview High School Homecoming Parade as it rolled through Bratt.

The Allen Memorial Pumpkin Patch on Highway 29 is an annual fall tradition.

Two members of the Molino Station of Escambia Fire Rescue — Lt. Drew Manning and Julia Cleckley — were united in marriage in October. Their wedding was held at the Molino Fire Station.

Hundreds attended the annual Molino Park Elementary School Fall Carnival.

This pickup collided with a tree on Highway 99 in Bratt.

A wreck in Santa Rosa County was just nuts. Seriously nuts. A peanut wagon apparently came loose from a truck and hit three parked cars, sending peanuts everywhere near the Allentown crossroads.

The  Northview High School dance team performs.

Thousands attended the annual Jay Peanut Festival

The Northview Chiefs shut out the Jay Royals.

Molino Park students try on a fireman’s hat as they learn about fire safety.

PCA topped Tate and Northview during a cross country meet in Jay.

2013 Persons Of The Year: Marilyn Robinson

January 4, 2014

NorthEscambia.com is naming several Persons of the Year for 2013. More honorees will be named on Sunday.

Marilyn Robinson of Century has been named one of our North Escambia persons of the Year.

There’s that old saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”.  That’s Marilyn Robinson.

The Carver Community Center Association has been a big part of the Century community for many years. The center was started by a group of senior citizens in 1992, spearheaded by Leola Robinson, the mother of  Marilyn Robinson, who now serves as the director. The center provides a safe place for children to go after school and during the summer and offers year-round tutoring and other programs.

The Carver Community Center on Jefferson Avenue  provides food  for 70 to 100 children Monday through Thursday and serves as a satellite office for Catholic Charities and United

Marilyn Robinson works tirelessly each year to organize Century’s annual Martin Luther King Day celebration. She is a board member of the Century/Flomaton Improvement Association, where she acts as a mentor to citizens providing services to local residents in the area of finance, education and housing improvement.

Robinson is active in the Community Action Program, assisting citizens with financial necessities and works with Farm Share to organize events to provide tens of thousands of pounds of food and necessities to the community.

During 2013, Robinson and the Center were presented The President’s Volunteer Service Award. Established in 2003, the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation encourages citizens to volunteer in their communities. Congressman Jeff Miller honored the Center and Robinson with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition. And the Carver Community Center Association was presented Gulf Power Company’s prestigious Power of Service Award.

During the past 15 months, during Robinson’s tenure as director,  a widespread group of people across the region have given back to the Carver Community Center.

After a December 2012 article about the Florida Department of Children and Families statewide “Operation Santa Cause” campaign featuring the needs of the Carver Community Center, people stepped up to help.

The Center’s needs included internet service (about $100 per month) and at least 15 computers to replace current computers that are old, slow and sometimes non-functioning. A man in St. Petersburg volunteered to cover the internet service for one year, according to DCF. And the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners donated 20 refurbished computers for the children.

A small army of volunteers organized by Americorps worked during the 2013 National Day of Service to paint the Carver Community Center. Nearly 100 volunteers painted inside the community center, a much needed facelift covering flaking and peeling paint in hallways and classrooms. The volunteers were from groups like Pensacola State College’s Student Government Association, DCF, Northwest Florida College, Americorps Coalition of Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, the Ministry Village from Olive Baptist Church, Chain Reaction and Habitat for Humanity.

Word of the Carver Community Center spread to Georgia and the Rivertown Church of Columbus. They spent a portion of their summer working and volunteering in Century, and church members returned to provide a free Thanksgiving dinner for the town.

And UF IFAS/Extension Escambia County Agents teamed up with Robinson during the summer to offer lessons to about 50 children related to nutrition, preparing healthy food, water resources, insects, livestock, discovering where originates, and healthy choices for the youth of Century.

Pictured top: Marilyn Robinson is honored during 2013 by the Century Town Council. Pictured middle inset: The Carver Community Center.  Pictured bottom inset: Children learn about nutrition during a summer event at the Carver Community Center. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

2013 In Photos: August And September

January 4, 2014

Florida is not always the “Sunshine State” as seen on Highway 97 in Davisville.

Multiple dump trucks were destroyed by fire at Roads, Inc. on Stone Boulevard in Cantonment.

The Northview Chiefs beat Bozeman 34-14.

West Florida downed Tate.

Jay beat Cottage Hill 18-12.

Groundbreaking was held for the new Ernest Ward Middle School.

Sheriff David Morgan sang the praises of neighborhood watch programs during a Molino meeting.

An empty desk were computers once sat following a burglary at Molino Park Elementary.

Jake Clayton of Molino proposed to his girlfriend Jenna Peoples of Milton during a weekend Pensacola Blue Wahoos game…and she said “yes”.

A Back to School Bash helped the needy in Century prepare for the start of school.

Tate Aggie fans.

Blue Angels at the end of the rainbow, courtesy US Navy.

Marty White marked 40 years on the radio on his “Hometown Morning Show” on WXBM.

The Ernest Ward Middle School Eagles beat the Panthers of Excel.

A pickup truck plummeted into a rain-swollen creek in Bratt. The driver escaped without injuries.

Hundreds of students gathered at  their schools across the area in September during the annual See You at the Pole event.

Northview beat Jay on the volleyball court.

Bailey Burk was crowned homecoming queen at Tate High School.

Tate High School homecoming parade.

There was a big change of address  for a home that was located on North Highway 99 in Bratt as it was moved about 10 miles to its new location.

“It literally takes your heart and breaks it” is how one Northview student described the 9/11 Memorial.

Students learn fire safety at the Cantonment fire station.

The Dollar General in Molino was the scene of an armed robbery.

The Young Marines of Pensacola honor LCpl. Travis M. Nelson at the park named in his honor in Bratt.

The Sonic restaurant on Highway 29 in Cantonment closed abruptly in early September.

2013 In Photos: July

January 3, 2014

All this week, we are looking back at the photos that were in the news in 2013. Today, we are featuring photos from July.

A Nokomis woman was attacked and mauled by two pit bulls.

North Escambia firefighters practice using the Jaws of Life.

Fire destroyed this pickup on Highway 4 in Walnut Hill.

Molino’s Caleb Gindl made history in July for the Milwaukee Brewers as he became the first in franchise history to hit a walk-off for his first MLB homer.

Two pit bulls attacked a road crew and were later shot and killed by an Escambia County deputy in the Grand Oaks Subdivision in Cantonment near Tate High School.

An educator from Iraq spent time learning about farming in Walnut Hill.

Dozens of local children took part in a musical camp at Highland Baptist Church.

A Walnut Hill farmer fertilizes cotton.

A minister at his post in the chapel of the Century Correctional Institution.

Hail from a summer thunderstorm.

The Pensacola Beach Airshow went on without the Blue Angels.

Community members, seen here reflected in a security mirror, toured the Century Correctional Institution.

Flash flooding at Highway 29 and Highway 97.

Chloe Channel wowed audiences on America’s Got Talent.

Atmore fireworks.

Century fireworks.

Century Care Residents Welcome 2014

January 2, 2014

The residents of Century Care Center welcomed 2014 with a New Year’s Day party Wednesday afternoon. Submitted photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Northview FFA Wraps Up Annual Citrus Sale, Awards Top Members

January 2, 2014

The Northview High School FFA recently completed their annual  fruit sale fundraiser.

Selling the most fruit were:

1st Place — Haylee Weaver sold $691 worth of fruit
2nd Place — Bethany Reynolds sold $534 worth of fruit
3rd Place — Kaylee Foster sold $393 worth of fruit

Fruits available included red apples, grapefruit, navel oranges, tangelos and Hamlin oranges.

Pictured top: First place fruit salesperson Haylee Weaver and second place Bethany Reynolds. Not pictured: Third place winner Kaylee Foster. Pictured inset: Some of the hundreds of pounds of fruit the Northview FFA sold.  NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

2013 In Photos: May And June

January 2, 2014

All this week, we are looking back at the photos that were in the news in 2013. Today, we are featuring photos from May and June.

Area law enforcement agencies held a June active shooter exercise in Flomaton High School.

Gov. Rick Scott signed Florida’s new texting while driving law.

One person was injured in this crash on Highway 29 near Morgan Cemetery Road in Molino.

Ernest Ward Middle School presented academic awards to hundreds of students.

The Northview High School Class of 2013 held their Baccalaureate Service at the First Baptist Church of Bratt.

Hundreds of people attended the 18th annual Heather Leonard Danceworks recital at Northview High School in May.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office recovered and returned stolen kart racing equipment belonging to a Molino teen.

An alleged burglar was shot at a home in Walnut Hill.

A high speed chase that began  in Brewton, AL, ended with an unsuccessful manhunt in Century.

Northview split two Spring Jamboree games against two Alabama teams.

Fire destroyed this community transportation bus on Highway 29 in Molino. There were no injuries.

Firefighters from Nokomis, AL, joined the Walnut Hill Station of Escambia Fire Rescue for joint training.

Two boys playing in a dirt pile at the edge of a Davisville cemetery discovered apparent human remains in early May.

Record crowds attended the annual Sawmill Day and Car Show in May.

The annual Relay for Life of Greater Escambia at Tate High School.

Northview High School presented Grease before a sold-out audience.

Rev. Ted Bridges of the Walnut Hill Baptist Church, on his knees, reading from his Bible during a National Day of Prayer event.

LCDR John Hiltz, pilot of the No. 2 Blue Angels plane, gets a little help with a story that pointed out humans have arms, not wings, during story time at the Molino Branch Library.

Fire damaged the Hadji Shrine Temple on Nine Mile Road in late June.

A stolen BMW was found torched alongside Barrineau Park Road near Molino.

Hundreds of people turned out to honor Army Staff Sgt. Jesse Thomas, 31, who was killed June 10 while serving in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Work started in June on the demolition of a portion of Ernest Ward Middle School for the construction of the new school.

NEP won the Gospel Projects 2013 Tee Ball World Series in June.

A June North Escambia sunset.

A driver slammed his pickup into a Cantonment business. The driver was not seriously injured.

Kids get hands on with a large snake during a program at the Century Branch Library.

Alabama and Florida firefighters held joint “get out alive” training in Atmore.

Flooding closed Highway 29 in Cantonment for about nine hours.

Gov. Rick Scott signs the “Infants Born Alive” bill at the Florida Baptist Children’s Home in Cantonment.

A graduation program was held for eighth graders at Ernest Ward Middle School.

Florida’s first quintuplets, the Bakers, graduated from Tate High School. Pictured  (L-R) Ian Kirk, Marcus Wade, Elizabeth Jane, Tristan Miller and Evan Whitson — with mom Mona Baker at Tate High School’s graduation.

Jazzlyn Franklin of Walnut Hill was named the Northview High Class of 2013 valedictorian.

Top North Escambia Stories Of 2013

January 1, 2014

Here are our picks for the Top 10 Stories of 2013 on NorthEscambia.com :

10. Pit Bill Attacks and Debate

A Nokomis woman was viciously attacked and mauled by two pit bulls at her home on Jakes Road in the Nokomis community. Doctors were forced to amputate 63-year old  Sandra Lambert’s arm after the attack. The dogs were euthanized.  Days later, an Escambia County deputy shot and killed two pit bulls that attacked a road crew near Tate High School in Cantonment.

9. Molino Library Opening

The Molino Branch Library opened on April 1 in the Molino Community Complex — a complete remodel of the old Molino Elementary School.  The new library was opened for 52 hours per week. An opening reception in April gave the public an opportunity to meet the library staff, peruse the opening day collection, register for a library card and tour the facility. The Molino Community Complex project included the conversion of the old Molino School in to a library, community center and museum. There was also a new 7,000 square foot facility constructed for the tax collector and property appraiser. The project was funded by local option sales tax monies.

8. Outlawing The Animal Farm

After months of debate — and public protest — the Century Town Council gave final approval just days before Christmas to a new animal control ordinance that prohibits most barnyard animals from most parts of the town. Residents that own animals that don’t meet the ordinance have just weeks to register them at the town hall.

7. One Of The Nation’s Very Best — Northview FFA

The honors just kept pouring in during 2013 for the Northview High School FFA — Outstanding FFA Chapter, State Superior Chapter, State FFA Gold Chapter Rating for hosting the top “Food for America” program in Florida. Then at the National FFA Convention in Louisville, KY, the Northview FFA was awarded the Three Star Chapter designation — the highest status at the national level — on live national television.  The chapter’s accomplishments were recognized by the Escambia County School Board and the Town of Century. And it should be noted that Northview FFA sponsor and 25-year teaching veteran Perry Byars was named Northview’s Teacher of the Year in March.

6. Molino Park Burglary

Just days before students and teachers returned to school in August, two adults and three juveniles broke into Molino Park Elementary, cleaning out tens and tens of thousands of dollars of electronics. iPads, Wii games, numerous computers and more — all gone. Within a month the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office busted the offenders and located most of the stolen merchandise. But in an almost unimaginably low twist on a despicable crime, most the items were found burned.

5.  Ernest Ward Groundbreaking

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in August for a new $17 million rebuild of Ernest Ward Middle School in Walnut Hill. The oldest buildings at Ernest Ward, including the main classroom wing, were constructed in 1945 to replace a campus ravaged by fire in 1943. That old school had been constructed to replace an Ernest Ward School that first opened in a log cabin in 1896. The new Ernest Ward will be an ultra modern learning facility designed to last for  generations to come.

4. Jobs: Black Gold And Yellow Pine

In 2013, the Walnut Hill Crude Oil Rail Unloading Facility operated by Genesis Energy, LP celebrated its first year and 100th unit train of crude oil. The oil is loaded on trains in North Dakota, transported to Walnut Hill, unloaded from the rail cars and injected into a pipeline bound for Gulf Coast refinery.  A simple sounding process that has meant mega bucks flowing through the Walnut Hill facility as the largest of its kind in the U.S. It’s also meant jobs, and it allowed Escambia River Electric Cooperative to make major improvements in the electrical system serving the Walnut Hill community. Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Scott announced in July the reopening of the McDavid Sawmill, returning 50 jobs to North Escambia.

3. Tate High Football Program

A man named Ronnie Douglas was 1 of 46 that applied and the chosen one for the Tate Aggies head football coaching job. The Aggies were coming off dismal 1-8 and 0-11 seasons as Douglas led them into a 21-7 Spring Game loss against Niceville.  Then for opening night of the fall season, the Aggies lost 45-3 to West Florida. But then the Aggies began to win, and win, and win. The Aggies ended their comeback regular season at 8-2 — their best record in a decade. And they earned a ticket to the playoffs.

2. Highway 29, Highway 97

Perhaps the most “famous” intersection in North Escambia, we reported wreck after wreck at the intersection in 2013.  Then a parade of politicians led by District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry held a sit down meeting with the Florida Department of Transportation. With Escambia County agreeing to foot the bill, the state agreed a red light and an intersection redesign was needed.

1. Crime And Punishment

The 2013 headlines were dominated by crime — and punishment.  With Operation Blister Pack 2, law enforcement at every level targeted the methamphetamine and pseudoephedrine arrests of about 60 people. Most of the arrests were North Escambia related, with drug groups dubbed “The Village Group”, centered around “The Village” area of Forrest Street and Lakeview Avenue in Cantonment; and “The Ayers Group” for a group centered around Ayers Street in Molino.  Add in murders, murder convictions, burglaries and batteries, and the most frequent headline of 2013 was crime.

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