Tate And Northview FFA Chapters Named Among The Best In The Nation

August 13, 2018

Both the Northview High and Tate High FFA chapters have been named two of the very best in the nation as Three-Star Chapters by the National FFA Organization.

The National Chapter Award Program is designed to recognize FFA chapters that actively implement the mission and strategies of the organization. These chapters improve chapter operations using the National Quality Chapter Standards and a Program of Activities that emphasize growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture. Chapters are rewarded for providing educational experiences for the entire membership.

Pictured: The Tate High School FFA Chapter (above) and the Northview High School FFA Chapter (below) at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, IN, last fall. Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Fall Veggies Are Cool To Grow

August 11, 2018

by UF/IFAS Extension Service

In Northwest Florida, vegetable lovers can enjoy harvests from their backyard gardens throughout the year. However, to ensure a productive and enjoyable vegetable garden, you must understand and abide by planting times.

In general, vegetable crops can be grouped into warm-season and cool-season varieties. Warm-season crops do not grow well at temperatures below 50 degrees F and are killed by frost. Cool-season crops are those that grow at lower temperatures, are not injured by light frost, but can’t take the heat.
In late summer and early fall, North Florida gardeners experience a unique opportunity. You can still plant another round of warm-season crops and/or start your cool-season vegetables.

Planting of warm-season vegetables gets to be more critical with the fall garden because we have an end point—frost and freezes. When planted too late, plants will grow, but may not provide enough of a harvest to make the effort worthwhile. Examples are peppers, eggplants and tomatoes. These vegetables can easily take up to two months from transplanting to producing the first fruit. All the time, the fall is getting shorter in day length and cooler in temperatures. That’s really tough on “warm-loving,” full-sun plants.

Since timing is so important with the fall crop, choose warm-season crops that will produce well within a short time. Look for fast-maturing and determinant or bush-type cultivars to ensure a good yield before frost.

Crops to plant outdoors in August include bush and lima beans, cauliflower, collards, cucumbers, onions, southern peas, peppers, squash, tomato and turnips.
In September, you can set out beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, endive, kale, kohlrabi, mustard and radish.

The cooler temperatures of October are better for planting Chinese cabbage, lettuce and spinach.

To find specific recommendations on when to plant vegetables in Florida, read the UF/IFAS “Vegetable Gardening Guide”. It’s online at edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021

The leafy crops excel in the fall. Some of the more popular leafy crops are Swiss chard, collards, spinach, mustard, turnip greens and lettuce. Endive, escarole, kale, arugula and the greens of mesclun mix also do very well during the cooler months.

Garden lettuces can be divided into three classes based on habit of growth – leaf or loose-leaf types, semi-heading types (such as butterhead and romaine) and heading or crisp-head types.

Crisp-head lettuces, such as the iceberg types available in supermarkets, are more of a challenge to grow here, so its recommend you stay with the leaf and semi-heading varieties. Other than generally avoiding the heading types, feel free to try just about any variety that strikes your fancy.

Leaf lettuces are the most decorative and least-demanding. They also are among the most heat-tolerant lettuces. This type of lettuce grows in a loose rosette of foliage, and the leaves can be smooth or crinkled, pointed, lobed, curled or ruffled. Foliage color runs from deep ruby red to dark green to pale greenish yellow, with just about every combination in between.

Collards will withstand wide ranges of temperatures if properly conditioned. They may be direct seeded and or plants can be transplanted. Collards may be harvested by cutting the whole plant or by “cropping” individual leaves.

Onions are generally grown from sets or plants. Sets and plants will require about six to eight weeks to reach eating size. Bulbing onions will not be ready to harvest until spring.

Radishes are fast growers and fun for the kids. Many are ready to harvest 25 to 30 days after planting.

So take the leap and “fall” into vegetable gardening.

Total Cuteness Alert: Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office Names New K-9 Pups

August 11, 2018

The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office has named their two newest K-9 pups — meet Copper and Zinc.

The department held a naming contest on social media that ended Friday that receive about 2,000 entries.

The two bloodhounds were donated to the department SRSO Capt. Jim Cotton and Maj. Randy Tifft. Once Copper and Zinc are trained, the new deputies will be used for tracking.

Courtesy photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Escambia County Program Puts Youth To Work

August 10, 2018

As 17-year-old Raina Brown quickly made her way through a stack of emergency medical bills on a bustling Thursday morning at Escambia County Public Safety, you’d never know she’d only been doing her job for a couple of months – or that she just graduated high school in May.

Rather than just enjoying a break before starting her college education, Brown – who plans to be a nurse – spent her summer working for Public Safety through the Escambia County Youth Employment Program. She learned the ins and outs of Emergency Medical Services billing, insurance, customer service and related skills, also becoming CPR certified.

Brown was one of 76 local youth who participated in the Youth Employment Program this summer, which gave 16 to 24-year-olds the opportunity to get paid work experience in various county departments, including Public Works, Public Safety, Escambia County Area Transit, West Florida Public Libraries and more.

Through the program, youth worked up to 30 hours a week at minimum wage, gaining valuable experience all summer while learning workforce etiquette such as professional dress, timeliness and respect.

Brown said she was excited to work with computer programs and learn terminology often used in hospitals, which she said will help her in the future as she studies to become a registered nurse.

“Just knowing that I am getting an opportunity to do something like this, and the fact that I know it’s going to help me in the future makes it a lot better for me, and a lot more fun because I know I’m going to take something out of this,” she said. “It’s not just a job, it’s not just fast food – it’s something that I can keep with me forever.”

Brown’s supervisors were so impressed with her that they hired her after the program ended to work part-time while she attends Pensacola State College to get her associate degree.

“Raina is the type of person who’s a go-to,” EMS Billing Manager Shandra Jenkins said. “She takes the initiative, and she thinks outside the box. She would be an asset to any company that would employ her…Raina takes every challenge as an opportunity for growth.”

Several youth employees got to see what it’s like to work at one of the county’s seven public library branches, which was especially exciting for 17-year-old Sarah Hammer, who plans to be a librarian and author.

Hammer, who is starting her junior year at Pensacola High School, said the Youth Employment program gave her a great first job experience that helped build a solid foundation for when she begins her career as a librarian.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Hammer said. “A lot of learning opportunities, a few challenges, but mostly it’s been a good time…I’ve enjoyed getting the basics now so that when I try to get a real job in a library or I try to become an actual librarian, I already have the basic knowledge of what goes on in a library from day to day.”

Ben Areola, 17, also had his first job experience through the Youth Employment Program, spending his summer working with the Escambia County Supervisor of Elections Office as they prepared for the Aug. 28 primary. He worked on everything from preventative maintenance on the voting machines to making ballot decks to test the machines before election day.

Although the tasks were outside of Areola’s projected study field of architecture or engineering, he said he enjoyed the variety of the work and appreciated learning about timeliness, responsibility and how to work well with his supervisor.

“I’m always excited to get up in the morning and see what I’m doing, because it’s not like you do the same thing every day,” he said. “Because once you’ve done one thing, you have to do something different to get ready for the election. So I just enjoyed the work environment.”

Doug Browne, a warehouse specialist with the Supervisor of Elections Office, supervised Areola over the summer and had nothing but positive feedback about working with him.

“I wish I had more of Ben,” Browne said. “He’s a very, very good employee. When I give him a task, he does it well. There are some things I gave him to do that he found an easier way to do it, so he was quicker at it – he’s always thinking about stuff like that.”

For one youth employee, working with the county over the summer helped solidify his plans to pursue studies in video and digital production. James Hill, a 19-year-old sophomore at Florida State University, worked in the county’s Community and Media Relations Division. His tasks included filming and editing videos for the county’s TV station, ECTV, working in the studio during the live broadcast of county commission meetings and making online documents compatible with Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.

“My experience has been pretty interesting,” Hill said. “It’s been a learning experience, and it kind of helped me reevaluate what I like about videos and photos and editing. And it was also a learning experience because I had more of a sense of responsibility having to do certain things on my own.”

Youth Employment Program participants also received job readiness training and post-employment briefings, which provided them feedback about their job performance. The youth workers were recognized by District 3 Commissioner Lumon May and Neighborhood & Human Services staff at a ceremony Thursday.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Escambia Animal Shelter Offers Back To School Adoption Specials

August 9, 2018

To celebrate the back to school season, The Escambia County Animal Shelter is offering a special reduced adoption fee of $50 for all dogs and puppies and $20 for all cats and kittens from Wednesday, Aug. 8 through Saturday, Sept. 8.

Adoption fees include altering of the animal (spay or neutering services), microchip and the initial vaccinations, including rabies vaccinations. Escambia County residents will be required to purchase a license at the time of adoption. The license is an additional $11 over the adoption fees and is paid separately. Adopters are required to take their new pet to a primary vet within the first week, and owners will be provided a copy of their pets medical record to show the vet.

The Escambia County Animal Shelter is located at 200 W. Fairfield Drive and is open Monday-Friday from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, contact the shelter at (850) 595-3075

Deidra’s Gift: School Supplies Donated To Area Elementary

August 8, 2018

The group Dedria’s Gift donated school supplies Tuesday to Flomaton Elementary School. The supplies were distributed in memory of Dedria Robinson, who was killed in 2005 in an automobile accident at age 11. Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Two Gardening Programs This Week In Cantonment

August 7, 2018


Two gardening programs are coming up this week at Escambia County Extension in Cantonment.

Learn About Master Gardener Program

The Master Gardener volunteer program will hold an open house and information session on Wednesday from 9-10 a.m. at Escambia County Extension, 3740 Stefani Road in Cantonment.

The program is for those interested in the University of Florida Master Gardener Volunteer Program in Escambia County. Learn about training sessions, volunteer activities, and the role of Master Gardeners in the community. Applications will be available for interested participants for the 2018‐19 Fall/Winter Master Gardener training program.

For more information, call (850) 475-5230.

Garden Club Gardening Classes

The Florida Federation of Garden Clubs will sponsor gardening classes from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday at Escambia County Extension, 3740 Stefani Road in Cantonment. The short course will teach gardening and environmental issues.

Lean how to plant and maintain ornamental grasses, native and pollinator plants, shade and rain gardening and alternatives to turf. The program is $50 for garden club members, $60 for non-members, lunch included. For more information, call (850) 293-4902.

Escambia County Native Inducted Into Florida 4-H Hall Of Fame

August 6, 2018

Florida 4-H honored several lifetimes of positive youth development last week week when five community leaders — including a North Escambia native — were inducted into the UF/IFAS Extension Florida 4-H Hall of Fame.

Henry Davis was born to John A. and Annie V. Davis and raised in Davisville. He joined 4-H in Escambia County in 1937, when he was 10-years old. A World War II veteran and UF alumnus, he became the director of UF/IFAS Extension Taylor County in 1954 and retired in 1982. During his tenure, five Taylor County youth served as state 4-H president — an impressive track record, considering Taylor County’s small and largely rural population.

Davis has been very involved in giving back to the Taylor County community, holding numerous positions in local organizations. In 2002, the Henry P. Davis Scholarship Fund was established to help disadvantaged Taylor County 4-H members attend 4-H summer camp.

Northview NJROTC Holds Orientation Camp

August 5, 2018

Incoming freshmen at Northview High School recently participated in a week-long Naval Science orientation camp for the NJROTC unit.  The learning and fun activities at the camp included a NJROTC program overview, Northview campus tour, basic drill, basic uniform standards, physical fitness, Adopt-A-Campus and a field trip to the Pensacola Lighthouse.

The focus was all about developing team-building skills and getting to know their future peers, and the program they will be participating in prior to the new school year and entering high school. Orientation was ran by graduates of the  Leadership Academy and Basic Leadership Training camp held yearly at NAS Pensacola.

Program participants were John Bashore, Aaliyah Cottrell, Jonathan Gibbs, Paige Gibbs, Wyatt Greenberg, James Hasty, Ethan Kilburn, Dallon Rackard, Ashton Ray, Aaliyah Tucker and Skylar Wise.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Local Thrift Store Offers Back To School Deals, New Hours

August 5, 2018

A local thrift store has new hours, and they are have bargains just in time for back to school shopping.

The My Father’s Arrows Thrift Store in Century is now open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. The store offers a clothing, housewares and more. It is located at 11 East Highway 4 near the railroad tracks, just east of North Century Boulevard.

My Father’s Arrows  is a faith based, community driven, public charity that helps children in foster care. Foster families received free merchandise when they provide their care and custody letter.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.


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