Escambia County Honors Longtime Firefighter KC Fehl

April 25, 2015

The Escambia County Commission has issued a proclamation in honor of longtime volunteer fireman K.C. Fehl upon his retirement.

Fehl retired from Escambia County Fire Rescue on April 1 after 28 years of service. He joined the Cantonment Volunteer Fire Department in January 1987 after his interest in fire service was sparked by a neighbor’s yard fire. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in late 1990 and then soon reached the rank captain.

He left the Cantonment VFD for a short time to serve with the Molino Volunteer Fire Department before returning to Cantonment.

Fehl left the fire department in 2003 to start his service as an Escambia County Sheriff’s Office reserve deputy where he served until 2010. He moved to the Cantonment VFD’s board of directors so he could spend more time with his son by coaching his baseball team. In December 2005, he switched to “line duty” with the VFD as a driver with his son Kenny, who is now a career firefighter. Fehl was soon, once again, promoted to lieutenant and then to assistant chief. He also served the Ferry Pass fire district for just over a year.

“With his retirement, Escambia County has lost an invaluable resource that will be impossible to replace,” the county’s proclamation stated.

Commissioners congratulated Fehl, and his wife, Susan Fehl, for their years of service.

Pictured top: Susan Fehl, K.C. Fehl and Escambia Commissioner Grover Robinson. Photo for, click to enlarge.

Jim Allen Elementary Students Take Part In 4-H Speech Contest

April 25, 2015

Fourth graders at Jim Allen Elementary School took participated in the Tropicana 4-H Speech Contest on Friday.

First place was awarded to Destiny Williams, second to Joshua Jones and third to Savannah Guilford.

Fifth graders will also take part in the contest later this school year.

Pictured top: Jim Allen Elementary Tropicana 4-H Speech Contest winners (L-R) Savannah Guilford, third place;  Joshua Jones, second; and Destiny Williams, first. Below: Fourth grade participants. Submitted photos for, click to enlarge.

Friends Of The Library Book Sale Continues

April 24, 2015

The annual Friends of West Florida Public Library Spring Book Sale and Silent Auction will be held today and Sunday at the downtown library. Thousands of hardcover, paperback, and collectible books will be available for purchase, plus a variety of DVDs, CDs, puzzles, and other items. Proceeds are used to fund programs and enhancements at all WFPL branches.

On Saturday, the book sale will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with free admission and reduced prices for all shoppers.

Sunday is the final day of the book sale with free admission from noon until 3 p.m. Sunday is the popular “Bag Sale”, where shoppers can pay one price and take home as many items as will fit in their bag.
Book sale items include thousands of generous donations from the public and some library books retired from circulation, many of them now out-of-print. Novels and mysteries are sorted by author or into genres like science fiction and westerns. Other book categories include arts and entertainment, children’s, cookbooks, history, holidays, home and hobbies, literature, foreign language, military, modern living, nature and gardening, religion, science, sports, technical, and travel. Most prices range from $0.50 for paperbacks to $2 for hardcover. There are also recorded books, magazines, and other media for sale.

The Collector’s Corner will feature an assortment of signed books, pre-1950s books, books by local and Florida authors, and other special books that are great for gifts. These items are priced as marked and must be checked out separately, so shoppers paying by check should bring two of them.

Payment by cash or check is preferred. Credit cards are accepted for sales of $20 or more. All profits are used to support the West Florida Public Library branches and programs. The Main Library and the book sale are located at 239 North Spring Street. file photo.

Bratt First Graders Present ‘How Does Your Garden Grow’ (With Gallery)

April 24, 2015

First grade students at Bratt Elementary School presented the program “How Does Your Garden Grow” Thursday morning for the student body and an encore performance Thursday night for parents  and friends. Submitted photos for, click to enlarge.

Best Of The Class Of 2015 Honored

April 23, 2015

Ninety of Escambia County’s high school seniors were honored Thursday tonight at the 2015 Senior Academic Awards presented by the Escambia County Public Schools Foundation.

Honorees include the top five students in each graduating class, as well as one student from each of five disciplines.  Escambia County’s National Merit Finalists and National Achievement Finalists were also honored.

Escambia High School: TOP FIVE: Samantha Finklestine, Ryan Fournier, Macayla Gilbert, Tara Skipton, Brian Thompson, DISCIPLINES: Corey Percle, Career & Technology, Britiny Hope Vetitoe, English, Johnathan Pierce, Foreign Language, Jacob Paul Rook, Math, Megan Gillis, Science, Airamis Perez, Social Studies

Northview High School: TOP FIVE: Tristan Brown, Matthew Ryan Chavers, Kyndall Hall, Mallory Ryan, Samantha Sharpless, DISCIPLINES: Tristan Williams, Career & Technology, Austin Cunningham, English, Adriann Lee, Foreign Language, Shania Ward, Math, Joshua Borelli, Science, Charmayne Fountain, Social Studies

Pensacola High School: TOP FIVE: Tanogela Brown, Dacon Buchanan, Savannah Colby, Chloe Gillman, Heather L. Sartain, DISCIPLINES: Seyviana A. Johnson, Career & Technology, Njeri K. Nelms, English, Alberto Bretado, Foreign Language, Wen Wen Xu, Math, Anissa Brooks, Science, Andrew H. Huynh, Social Studies

Pensacola High School IB Program: TOP FIVE: *Jett Crowdis, Krisha Gupta, *Olivia Liseth, *Shayli Patel, *Nadia Razek, DISCIPLINES Lauren Pederson, Career & Technology, Sarah Haley Lenga, English, *Claire Escobedo, Foreign Language, Grace Tan, Math, *Caroline Sullivan, Science, *Laurel Rush, Social Studies, *Lauren Shumpert

*National Merit Finalist

Pine Forest High School: TOP FIVE: Kevin Chen, John Orleans Degraft-Hanson, Karin Marie Fazio, Aubrey Hagle, De’zhanae Marie McCall-Butler, DISCIPLINES Chase Holland, Career & Technology, Vamina Stevenson, English, Brittany Haines, Foreign Language, Alyssa Johnson, Math, Wenjun Ye, Science, Connor Irby, Social Studies

Tate High School: TOP FIVE: Kyle Capehart, Sarah Colburn, Taylor Ertel, *Hannah Philips, Emily Washler, DISCIPLINES Chandler Cotton, Career & Technology, Paxton Metcalf, English, Kristin Wheeler, Foreign Language, Kayla Dixon, Math, Brandon Launstein, Science, Hannah Hargett, Social Studies

*National Merit Finalist

Washington High School: TOP FIVE Elizabeth Barbour, Grayson Evan Bell, Jessica Davis-Gunn, Mallory Lurate, Taylor Daniel Perkins, Michael D. Thompson, DISCIPLINES Mariah Bush, Career & Technology, Kayleigh Fails, English, Kayla Carter, Foreign Language, *Branch Robinson, Math, Jacob Michael Brown, Science, Bailey Elizabeth Porch, Social Studies

*National Achievement Finalist

West Florida High School: TOP FIVE Jamie Marie Butler, Devin Kelby McCormick, Amy Elizabeth Murph, Raleigh Elizabeth Nesbitt, Dane Theodore Stolsig, DISCIPLINES: Christopher “Chris” Manning, Career & Technology, Lauren Elaine Brown, English, Christian J. Gould, Foreign Language, Michael Allen Small, Math, Henry Aaron Windham Thompson, Science, Hydee Nguyen, Social Studies

Jay Pro Rodeo Friday And Saturday Nights

April 23, 2015

The 13th Annual Jay Pro Rodeo will be held Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. at Ted May Arena in Jay.

The 3R Rodeo Company will entertain the crowd with rodeo action including pro bull riding, saddle broncing, calf and team roping, steer wrestling, and women’s breakaway and barrel racing.  For the little ones, there’s the calf scramble, free bouncy area, and more. There will also be plenty of great food available at the concession stand.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. All proceeds benefit area youth program through the Jay High School SGA and Ted May Arena.

The arena is located a half mile east of the red light on Highway 4 in Jay. Parking is free. For more information, contact Fredrick Barrow at (850) 288-0634.

Three Molino Park Students Win Florida DEP Earth Day Poster Contest

April 22, 2015

The Molino Park Elementary School students were the winners of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Northwest District Earth Day Poster Contest. In celebration of Earth Day, the department invited fourth and fifth grade students from Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties to creatively illustrate the importance of protecting Florida’s beautiful natural environment: air, water, land and ecosystems.

Winners were:

Escambia County

  • First Place: Carolyn Wilbanks – Molino Park Elementary
  • Second Place: Cody Chavers – Molino Park Elementary
  • Third Place: Sarah Sconiers – Molino Park Elementary

Santa Rosa County

  • First Place: Gwyneth Jackson – Gulf Breeze Elementary
  • Second Place: Sean Johnson – Pea Ridge Elementary
  • Third Place: Lindsey Castor – Bagdad Elementary

Pictured top: DEP Escambia County Earth Day poster contest winners, all from Molino Park Elementary, are (L-R) Carolyn Wilbanks, first; Cody Chavers, second; and Sara Sconiers, third. Their posters are below. Courtesy photos for, click to enlarge.

First place Escambia County poster by Carlolyn Wilbanks (above).

Second place Escambia County poster by Cody Chavers (above).

Third place Escambia County poster by Sara Sconiers (above).

Fair Provides $30K In Educational Grants To Local Students

April 21, 2015

The Pensacola Interstate Fair, Inc. has given out a total of $30,000 for the 2014-2015 John E. Frenkel, Sr. Educational Grants.

This grant provides $1,000 each to 30 recipients, made payable to any accredited college.  Since the inception of the grant program in 1983, Pensacola Interstate Fair, Inc. has given over $1 million to local students.

These grants are restricted to graduating High School Seniors of Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties who, during their high school years, have participated in or volunteered at the Pensacola Interstate Fair.

The grant recipients for this year are:

  • Brandon H. Ingram, Central High School
  • Mark A. Reid, Escambia High School
  • Amanda S. Tanner, Escambia Virtual Academy
  • Sydney J. Ezelle, Gulf Breeze High School
  • Makenzie C. Bray, Jay High School
  • Kolby L. Copeland, Jay High School
  • Clayton T. Fischer, Jay High School
  • Tucker C. Harrington, Jay High School
  • Jeffery T. Kelley, Jay High School
  • Micah J. Kemp, Jay High School
  • Colby A. Odom, Jay High School
  • Tyler W. Odom, Jay High School
  • Alisa B. Roberts, Jay High School
  • Emily S. Russell, Jay High School
  • Kourtney P. Smith, Jay High School
  • Derrill S. Starling, Jay High School
  • Donald P. Cunningham, Pace High School
  • Elizabeth A. Parra, Pensacola High School (IB)
  • Erin B. Fairall, Pine Forest High School
  • Carissa J. Carroll, Tate High School
  • Tristan W. Fromm, Tate High School
  • Samantha Early, Washington High School
  • Amy K. Fellgren, Washington High School
  • Briahna D. McDavid, Washington High School
  • Christopher P. Searcy, Washington High School
  • Michaela A Tullius, Washington High School
  • Joshua L. McLamb, West Florida High School
  • Raleigh E. Nesbitt, West Florida High School
  • Hannah E. Power, West Florida High School
  • Josephine N. Venable, West Florida High School

Weekend Livestock Show Award Winners Announced

April 20, 2015

Award winners have been announced from Saturday’s Gulf Coast Agriculture and Natural Resources Youth Organization (GCA & NRYO) Spring Livestock Show in Molino. The complete list is below.

For an earlier story about the show, click here.

Pictured is Haylee Weaver and her 1,425 pound Grand Champion Market Streer named “Breakaway”.

Click the list below to enlarge

Photos by Meridith Caum for, click to enlarge.

Grocery Prices Up In ‘Spring Picnic’ Survey

April 19, 2015

Higher retail prices for several foods, including sirloin tip roast, ground chuck, deli ham and orange juice, resulted in a slight increase in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Spring Picnic Marketbasket survey.

The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals was $53.87, up $.60 or about 1 percent compared to a survey conducted a year ago. Of the 16 items surveyed, eight increased and eight decreased in average price.

“Several meat items increased in price, accounting for much of the modest increase in the marketbasket,” said John Anderson, AFBF’s deputy chief economist. “The 1 percent increase shown by our survey tracks closely with the Agriculture Department’s forecast of 2 percent to 3 percent food inflation for 2015,” he said.

Items showing retail price increases from a year ago included:

  • sirloin tip roast, up 14 percent to $5.71 per pound
  • ground chuck, up 12 percent to $4.61 per pound
  • orange juice, up 7 percent to $3.47 per half-gallon
  • toasted oat cereal, up 7 percent to $3.12 for a 9-ounce box
  • deli ham, up 6 percent to $5.53 per pound
  • eggs, up 4 percent to $2.05 per dozen
  • shredded cheddar cheese, up 3 percent to $4.59 per pound
  • potatoes, up 2 percent to $2.74 for a 5-pound bag

These items showed modest retail price decreases compared to a year ago:

  • flour, down 9 percent to $2.52 for a 5-pound bag
  • bacon, down 8 percent to $4.44 per pound
  • apples, down 8 percent to $1.47 per pound
  • chicken breast, down 7 percent to $3.28 per pound
  • whole milk, down 6 percent to $3.45 per gallon
  • vegetable oil, down 6 percent to $2.67 for a 32-ounce bottle
  • bagged salad, down 5 percent to $2.47 per pound
  • white bread, down 3 percent to $1.75 per 20-ounce loaf

Price checks of alternative milk and egg choices not included in the overall marketbasket survey average revealed the following: 1/2 gallon regular milk, $2.24; 1/2 gallon organic milk, $4.47; and one dozen “cage-free” eggs, $3.57.

The year-to-year direction of the marketbasket survey tracks closely with the federal government’s Consumer Price Index report for food at home. As retail grocery prices have increased gradually over time, the share of the average food dollar that America’s farm and ranch families receive has dropped.

“Through the mid-1970s, farmers received about one-third of consumer retail food expenditures for food eaten at home and away from home, on average. Since then, that figure has decreased steadily and is now about 16 percent, according to the Agriculture Department’s revised Food Dollar Series,” Anderson said.

Using the “food at home and away from home” percentage across-the-board, the farmer’s share of this $53.87 marketbasket would be $8.62.


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