Crime Fighting Duo — A Deputy And His Dog — Present Library Program

January 24, 2017

Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Joseph Marcum and his K-9 partner Benga took part in a special Community Hereos Story Time Monday morning at the Molino Branch Library. The crime fighting duo taught children about what to do in the event of an emergency. They also demonstrated how they are trained to work together as a team. Photos for, click to enlarge.

Weekend Gardening: Tips for January

January 21, 2017

Here are gardening tips for the month of January from the IFAS Extension Service:


  • Refrigerated bulbs such as tulip, daffodil and hyacinth should be planted in prepared beds.
  • Start seeds of warm season flowers late this month in order to have transplants in March.
  • There’s still time to transplant some cool season annuals such as carnations, foxglove, pansies, petunias and snapdragons.
  • Re-fertilize cool season flowerbeds, using a liquid or dry form of fertilizer. Be careful not to apply excessive amounts and keep granules away from the base of stems.
  • Finish dividing crowded perennials. Don’t wait until spring for this job.
  • Plant bare root roses immediately after they are purchased.

Trees and Shrubs

  • Plant trees and shrubs. This is an ideal time of year for transplanting larger specimens.
  • Plant bare root plants such as deciduous ornamental shrubs and trees.
  • Prune dormant shade trees, if needed.
  • Stick hardwood cuttings of fig, grape, honeysuckle, Althea, Catalpa, Forsythia and Wisteria.

Fruits and Nuts

  • Apply dormant oil spray to peach, plum, nectarine and other deciduous fruit trees. This practice is necessary when growing the stone fruits in locations along the Gulf Coast. Note: This applies to the flowering peaches and cherries since they are susceptible to the same pests as their fruiting cousins.
  • Plant bare root deciduous fruit trees
  • Prune dormant fruit trees if needed

Vegetable Garden

  • Start seeds of warm season vegetables late this month in order to have transplants in March.
  • Lime (if needed), and begin preparing vegetable gardens for the spring planting.
  • Cool season vegetables that can still be planted in the garden are: beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, Chinese cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, leek, mustard, bunching onions, parsley, English peas, Irish potatoes, radishes and turnips.
  • Irish potatoes can be started from January through March by planting seed pieces 3 to 4 inches deep in rows. Always purchase certified seed potatoes.


  • Check soil moisture during winter and water as needed.

Family Celebrates Three Generations Of Birthdays

January 20, 2017

Against tremendous odds,  a  local family had three members celebrating a birthday on Friday

Janis O’Farrell of Walnut Hill, born in 1935, turned 82 Fiday. Her son Dennis O’Farrell of Walnut Hill, born in 1959, turned 58. His daughter Candi O’Farrell Lusk of nearby Perdido, AL, was born in 1981 and turned 36 Friday.

What are the odds? 1 in 48,627,125, according to published reports.

Photo for, click to enlarge.

Gulf Power Installs First Solar Panels On Local Large-Scale Projects

January 19, 2017

Executives from Gulf Power and Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic, joined officials from Eglin Air Force Base and Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola for the installation of the first two solar photovoltaic panels on two large-scale solar projects. The projects at Eglin Air Force Base and NAS Pensacola’s Navy Outlying Landing Field (NOLF) Saufley, along with a third project at NAS Whiting Field’s NOLF Holley, comprise the Gulf Coast Solar Center Portfolio.

When complete, the combined facilities will be among the state’s largest solar projects with approximately 1.5 million solar panels capable of generating up to 120 megawatts of electricity, enough energy to power approximately 18,000 homes annually.

“These projects exemplify our commitment to leveraging strong partnerships and innovative solutions to develop large-scale solar projects that deliver clean energy to a diverse set of customers,” said Jonathan Jaffrey, chairman and CEO of Coronal Energy™. “The collaborative approach to the development of the Gulf Coast Solar Center Portfolio represents a smarter approach to pursuing solar energy, and may serve as a model for future public/private sector renewable energy initiatives.”

Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic, is constructing the three facilities on Department of Defense property in Northwest Florida – one at NAS Pensacola’s NOLF Saufley, one on NAS Whiting Field’s NOLF Holley, and one at Eglin Air Force Base. Construction began at all three locations in November 2016 and are expected to become operational during the summer of 2017.

Stan Connally, Gulf Power chairman, president and CEO, pointed out that the solar projects are vital to building a sustainable energy infrastructure while easing the impact on the environment. They also help further diversify the company’s energy portfolio and support the mission to provide safe, affordable and reliable energy to its Northwest Florida customers.

“We’re proud to work with Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic, the Air Force and the Navy as we work toward meeting critical energy needs as well as the energy needs of the region,” said Connally. “Gulf Power is investing in smart renewables such as these solar projects that make economic sense for our customers as part of a balanced energy mix.”

Jim Doyle, president of Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company, added: “Solar is the world’s fastest-growing energy source. With these projects, Gulf Power — in cooperation with the Air Force and the Navy — takes a big step forward adding clean, resilient, domestic renewable energy to its portfolio for the benefit of its customers. They’re showing how going solar translates to smart business and smart government, not just for residents and businesses in Florida but also across the country.”

“We continually seek to balance the military mission with the stewardship of this environmental national treasure and look for innovative ways to excel in both arenas,” said Col. Craig Johnson, 96th Civil Engineer Group commander at Eglin AFB. “This project does that by leasing 240 acres of underused land to Gulf Power and in turn Eglin AFB will receive lease payments we will use to improve the energy resiliency of our installation. At the same time, the project will provide a substantial amount of clean energy back to Eglin and the surrounding community.”

“It’s rewarding to be part of this project, which will provide an opportunity for us to assist local and state partners in understanding the Department of the Navy’s overall strategy and commitment for renewable energy,” said NAS Pensacola Commanding Officer Capt. Christopher Martin.

“It is gratifying to be part of a partnership that truly is beneficial to everyone,” NAS Whiting Field Commanding Officer Capt. Todd Bahlau stated. “This effort will develop cost-effective, renewable sources of energy, which will also enhance the Navy’s energy security. Our team is excited to play a role in this collaborative project.”

Energy produced by the projects will serve Gulf Power customers across Northwest Florida and were unanimously approved by the Florida Public Service Commission in April 2015. Together, these facilities will be among the largest photovoltaic arrays in Florida and have the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 3.5 million tons over 25 years. Combined they will be one of the largest solar projects east of the Mississippi.

The solar facilities are estimated to generate the following amounts of energy:

·         NAS Pensacola’s NOLF Saufley: approximately 600,000 photovoltaic panels with a capacity of 50 megawatts producing enough energy to power nearly 7,400 Escambia County homes for a year

·         NAS Whiting Field’s NOLF Holley: approximately 475,000 photovoltaic panels with a capacity of 40 megawatts producing enough energy to power nearly 6,100 Santa Rosa County homes for a year

·         Eglin Air Force Base: approximately 375,000 photovoltaic panels with a capacity of 30 megawatts producing enough energy to power nearly 4,500 Okaloosa County homes for a year

Courtesy photos for, click to enlarge.

Last Man To Walk On The Moon Dies; Remembered By Local Friend

January 17, 2017

Former U.S. astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the surface of the moon, died Monday at age 82.

Cernan was a Navy captain that trained in Pensacola. NASA chose him and 13 other astronauts for the pioneering Apollo program, created after President John F. Kennedy announced the goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. When Cernan stepped off the moon in December 1972, he left his footprints and his daughter’s initials in the lunar dust.

“He was very kind and enjoyed sharing his knowledge and experiences,” pilot David Gehman of Atmore said. Gehman and Cernan met a few years ago at a Learjet pilot meeting Kansas. They became friends, years after Gehman had watched him blast off of Kennedy Space Center on Apollo 17.

“He was a Navy pilot, and flew out of Pensacola. He was familiar with Atmore. We talked about having him come to Atmore but it never happened,” Gehman said.

“He was very kind and enjoyed sharing his knowledge and experiences.”

Cernan flew on Apollo 10 in May 1969, the final test flight before the actual moon landing two months later.

He was part of the last manned moon mission in December 1972 — Apollo 17.

“We had a lunar rover, we were able to cover more ground than most of the other missions. We stayed there a little bit longer. We went to a more challenging unique area in the mountains, to learn something about the history and the origin of the moon itself,” Cernan later recalled of the mission.

Just before leaving the moon as the last man to walk on it, Cernan said man would return there one day “with peace and hope.”

He was still waiting at the time of his death. Speaking on the 40th anniversary of the last mission, Cernan said he is not proud to be the last man to walk on the moon because of a fading interest in space travel.

“It is tremendously disappointing that here I am, 40 years later, and still hold that title,” he said.

Cernan retired from the Navy and NASA in 1976 and later did television commentary for early space shuttle flights.

Pictured top: Cernan on the moon. Pictured bottom: Cernan in the lunar module of Apollo 17. NASA photos, click to enlarge.

IEA Equestrian Team Qualifies For Upcoming Regionals

January 15, 2017

Local middle and high school equestrian teams from Trinity Farm have qualified for regionals.

The teams compete in Interscholastic Equestrian Association “IEA” horse shows. in which they “blind ride” — drawing a horse to ride at the event ratheru than riding their personal horse. The show judges the riders primarily on their abilities for the chance to win college scholarships.

The regional competition will  be held February 5 at the Escambia County Equestrian Center.

Pictured: Trinity Farm of Northwest Florida team members (front center) Paige Keener, (first row, L-R) Lexi Bryant, Megan Gulsby, Sarah Hodge, Olivia Stone, (back) Morgan Mickel, Tessa Walsingham, Lilli Bonner, and Athena Critides, Photo for, click to enlarge.

Jay Cheerleaders Perform During Sugar Bowl Halftime

January 14, 2017

The Jay High School cheerleaders were among 10 squads from across the country that performed during the halftime of the recent Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

The squad, coaches, and parents spent five days and four nights in the city practicing for the half time performance, participating in the Sugar Bowl parade, touring the Mardi Gras World, and enjoying a Cajun Barn Dance.

Squad members are seniors Savannah Seevers, Madelyn Godwin, Rebecca Boutwell, Courtney Walther, Marisa Kirkland, and Meghon Mayo;  juniors Jescie Roberts, Morgan Floyd; sophomores  Carsen Arrant, Maci Holt, Jaeci Cooley; freshmen Catrina Crandall and Carly Willis. Coaches Junia Fischer, Heather Willis and Assistant Principal Carlise Griffin also attended.

Photos for, click to enlarge.

Bratt Elementary Releases Latest Honor Roll

January 13, 2017

The following students were named to the second nine weeks honor roll at Bratt Elementary School:


Kindergarten – A Honor Roll

Alexis Amerson
Eric Anthony
Sadie Baker
Landen Barlow
Abigail Brown
Alysa Bryan
Jaxon Byrd
Jerick Cooper
Carson Eady
Aubrey Flowers
Pryce Flowers
Kintley Flowers
Josyah Fontenot
Christian Fountain
Olivia Garrett
Nathan Gilmore
Autumn Heist
Sophia Ikner
Maybree Johnson
Noah Luker
Ava Marquis
Parker Marsh
Ava McCann
Mya McCants
Briley Moore
Demeatree Moorer
Natalia Morales
Rainey Nelson
Jonathan Patrick
Jade Presley
Madison Rice
Ashton Roberts
Caden Sanspree
Kaden Seelig
Kimmora Thomas
TyDereon Thomas
Javan Thompson
James Thompson
Brooklyn Turk
Na’Kiyah Williams
Taryanna Wright

First Grade – A Honor Roll

Govan Alexander
Landon Allcock
Gabrielle Boatwright
Jamarreai Davison
Logan Diller
Parker Ganey
Elizabeth Gilley
Sawyer Gilmore
Brody Hall
Camden Jacobson
John McAnally
Hunter Parker
Makinzi Roley
Adalynn Southard
Cassandra Stilwell
Kennedy Ward
Kaylee Wilson

Second Grade – A Honor Roll

Lexi Bingham
Christian Caraway
William Classen
Carlie Davis
Jacobi Dougall
Cathryn Greenwood
Lori Hall
Presley Johnson
Kaylee Long
Mikayla McAnally
Dakota Richardson
Miles Smith
Avery Stuckey

Third Grade -A Honor Roll

Desiray Bagwell
Wade Bailey
Bailey Blackwell
Jackson Bridges
Nevaeh Bush
Addison Classen
Tristan Crumm
Mary-Clayton Dawson
Talise Gregson
LanDon Johnson
Jackson Simmons
Jasmine Zisa
Colton Criswell

Fourth Grade – A Honor Roll

JaCee Dortch
Noah Faulkner
Jamison Gilman
Zyein Harris
Mary Catherine Hughes
Laura Laborde
Colby Pugh
Ally Richardson
Maggie Scott

Fifth Grade – A Honor Roll

Raegan Abbott
Sarah Bailey
Haydn Baker
Carsyn Dortch
Maggie Godwin
Ava Gurganus
Leah Hetrick
Allyson Jones
Jaquez Moorer
Jacob Spence
Emily Stilwell
Bentley Van Pelt


1st Grade – AB Honor Roll

Tyler Amerson
Eli Anthony
Marquis Banks
Serenity Conway
Braxton Dinc
Jacob Dove
O’Neshia DuBose
Evelyn Esparza
Zachary Flowers
Aubrey Hadley
Sandra Hall
Ashleigh Harris
Anthony Johnson
Jaivion Kyles
Peyton Lee
Caleb Nezovich
Levi Peters
Jakel Phifer
Alivia Pierce
Madalynn Pittman
Brooklyn Reynolds
Christian Roberts
Annsleigh-Nikole Rodriguez
Chloe Satterwhite
Jackson Sellers
Breah Shelly
Noah Spence
Wyatt Spence
Kameryn Thompson

2nd Grade – AB Honor Roll

Margaret Baker
Montgomery Baker
Luke Bryan
Amara Campbell
Madilynne Cardwell
Crimson Davis
Kylar Davis
Nolan Eady
Hayden Gipson
Jackson Helton
Savannah Lowry
Khloe Mason
Logan Morris
Makayla Plato
Jamie Roberts
Jake Taylor
Raleigh Warr

3rd Grade – AB Honor Roll

Lauren Abbott
Ellie Adkins
Claire Amerson
Kylie Bailey
Isaiah Boatwright
Lindsey Brown
Michael Butler
Tyler Carach
Luke Chavers
Richard Clarke
Zakhel Clemmons
Talaysha Curry
Aakira Davis
Jordan Dawson
Addison Eicher
Allison Flowers
William Heard
Fallon Hubbard
Emily Jarvis
Tristan Johnson
Daniel Johnson
Jessica Jowers
Maxwell Mason
Samantha Minchew
Carley Moore
Kayleb Nicholson
Braylan Shelly
Justy Starns
Maggie Stewart
Charles Waters
Mya Wilson

4th Grade – AB Honor Roll

Luke Amerson
Kinslee Coker
Payton Daw
Richard Emmons
Aliyah Fountain
Jared Hudson
Adannaya Mondaca
Zakyla Smith
Sydney Snow
Bryce Stabler
Jonathon Stilwell

5th Grade – AB Honor Roll

Rabekah Abbott
Elijah Amerson
Sophia Bailey
Ethan Bingham
Kyle Blanton
Ava Brock
James Condrey
Edward Conway
Chloe Criswell
Riley Dawson
Samuel Dettling
Tyteanna Dubose
Mayson Edwards
Gage Eicher
Scotty Elliott
Zykuria Fountain
Raleigh Gibson
Berklee Hall
Joshlynn Helton
Sarah Long
Austin Minchew
Chloe Morris
Alexis Moya
Ryan Odom
William Plato
Angel Schoonover
Jaimee Taylor
Corbin Turberville
Raycer Watson

Photo: Full Moon Rises

January 13, 2017

Pictured: A full moon rises behind a tree as seen on Pine Barren Road in Bratt on January 12, 2017. photo, click to enlarge.

Florida Ag Comm. Putnam Recognizes Molino Park, Other Healthy Escambia Schools

January 12, 2017

Molino Park Elementary School was one of 30 schools across the state honored by Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam  Putnam Wednesday.

Putnam announced Molino Park was among the schools that earned HealthierUS School Challenge designations during December, bringing the current total of Florida’s HUSSC schools to 249. Under Commissioner Putnam’s leadership, the number of certified HUSSC schools has increased from 27 schools in 2012, when the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services assumed responsibility of the state’s school nutrition programs.

Other Escambia County schools earning the designation included CA Weis, Ferry Pass, Holm, Myrtle Grove and O.J. Semmes elementary schools.

“It’s great that these schools are providing their students the nutrition and physical activity needed for academic success,” said Putnam. “Our goal is to continue working with schools to increase the amount healthy choices offered to Florida’s students.”

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