Ernest Ward Middle Names Students Of The Month

March 9, 2018

Ernest Ward Middle School has named their Student of the Month from January. They are (L-R) Kendall Alvare,  sixth grade; Vivyan Smith, seventh grade; and Sara Sconiers, eighth grade. Submitted photos for, click to enlarge.

Great Florida Weather For Canada Geese

March 8, 2018

These Canada Geese were spotted apparently enjoying a cool Wednesday morning at a pond on Lambert Bridge Road in Walnut Hill. photos, click to enlarge.

Wreck Of USS Lexington Found After 76 Years; Ship Was Predecessor Of Pensacola’s Lady Lex

March 7, 2018

Wreckage from the USS Lexington has been discovered by the expedition crew of Research Vessel (R/V) Petrel, which is owned by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen. The Lexington was found 3,000 meters (approximately two miles) below the surface, resting on the floor of the Coral Sea more than 500 miles off the eastern coast of Australia.

“To pay tribute to the USS Lexington and the brave men that served on her is an honor,” Mr. Allen said. “As Americans, all of us owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who served and who continue to serve our country for their courage, persistence and sacrifice.”

As one of the first U.S. aircraft carriers ever built, the Lexington became known as “Lady Lex” and went down with 35 aircraft on board.

Lexington was on our priority list because she was one of the capital ships that was lost during WWII,” said Robert Kraft, director of subsea operations for Mr. Allen. “Based on geography, time of year and other factors, I work together with Paul Allen to determine what missions to pursue. We’ve been planning to locate the Lexington for about six months and it came together nicely.”

The USS Lexington was originally commissioned as a battlecruiser but was launched as an aircraft carrier in 1925. She took part in the Battle of the Coral Sea (May 4-8, 1942) along with the USS Yorktown against three Japanese carriers. This was the first carrier versus carrier battle in history and was the first time Japanese forces suffered a permanent setback in its advances on New Guinea and Australia. However, the U.S. lost the Lexington and 216 of its distinguished crew.

The Lexington had been hit by multiple torpedoes and bombs on May 8 but it was a secondary explosion causing uncontrolled fires that finally warranted the call to abandon ship. The USS Phelps delivered the final torpedoes that sank the crippled Lady Lex, the first aircraft carrier casualty in history. With other U.S. ships standing by, 2,770 crewmen and officers were rescued, including the captain and his dog Wags, the ships ever-present mascot.

During the Battle of the Coral Sea the Japanese navy sank USS Lexington (CV-2), USS Sims (DD-409), and USS Neosho (AO-23), and damaged the USS Yorktown. The Japanese lost one light carrier (Shōhō) and suffered significant damage to a fleet carrier (Shōkaku).

“As we look back on our Navy throughout its history, we see evidence of an incredible amount of heroism and sacrifice. The actions of Sailors from our past inspire us today,” said Sam Cox, Director of the Naval History and Heritage Command and retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. “So many ships, so many battles, so many acts of valor help inform what we do now.”

The Battle of the Coral Sea was notable not only for stopping a Japanese advance but because it was the first naval engagement in history where opposing ships never came within sight of each other. This battle ushered in a new form of naval warfare via carrier-based airplanes. One month later, the U.S. Navy surprised Japanese forces at the Battle of Midway, and turned the tide of the war in the Pacific for good.

Based on some initial success with his M/Y Octopus, Mr. Allen acquired and retrofitted the 250-foot R/V Petrel with state-of-the-art subsea equipment capable of diving to 6,000 meters (or three and a half miles). Since its deployment in early 2017, the ship was active in several missions in the Philippine Sea before its transition to the Coral Sea off the Australian Coast.

Allen-led expeditions have also resulted in the discovery of the USS Indianapolis (August 2017), USS Ward (November 2017), USS Astoria (February 2015), Japanese battleship Musashi (March 2015) and the Italian WWII destroyer Artigliere (March 2017). His team was also responsible for retrieving the ship’s bell from the HMS Hood for presentation to the British Navy in honor of its heroic service. Mr. Allen’s expedition team was permanently transferred to the newly acquired and retrofitted R/V Petrel in 2016 with a specific mission around research, exploration and survey of historic warships and other important artifacts.

Photos courtesy Paul G. Allen for, click to enlarge

Ernest Ward Journalism Students Tour WEAR 3 TV Studio

March 7, 2018

Journalism students from Ernest Ward Middle School recently visited the WEAR 3 studios in Pensacola. They were able to tour the station and watch a live “Dayside” news broadcast from behind the scenes. Photos for, click to enlarge.

Northview Grad Appears On National TV During Oscars, More Appearances To Come

March 6, 2018

Northview High graduate Lakelynn Parker had a (sort of) Oscar moment Sunday night during the national broadcast, and we’ll be seeing more of her on national TV in the coming weeks.

T-Mobile debuted a new commercial titled “Parade” during the Oscars. It begins with seemingly disheartened boy outside his New Orleans home. But things come to life as a parade of people wearing T-Mobile pink approaches, including a shot, albeit very brief, of Parker on horse JoJo.

The Oscars commercial and several others were filmed about a month ago in New Orleans.

“It’s been so hard to hold this in,” Parker said. “It was a great experience. Everyone was so professional and fun to work with. Getting to ride JoJo made it even better.”

Monday, T-Mobile also debuted their campaign on social media with a video that features a longer scene with Parker. And we’re told there should be additional national television ads and social media posts to come over at least the next month.

As for the experience, Parker said it was a great experience working on the ad campaign and the people involved with it.

“I loved meeting so many new friends,” she said.

Parker, of Molino, said she hopes to land more commercials, and would even like to do stunt work.

And if you think you remember Parker from another recent story, you’re right. She was in camouflage, not rhinestone cowgirl pink, in a story about two local young people that rescued and owl. [Read ...]

To view the Oscar’s T-Mobile “Parade” ad, click here. For the social media ad, click here to visit the Facebook page.

Pictured: Lakelynn Parker in New Orleans in a television commercial. First below and inset courtesy T-Mobile. Additional photos for, click to enlarge.

Branden Penegar Car Show Set For March 17

March 5, 2018

The annual Brandon Penegar Memorial Car Show is scheduled for March 17.

Any make, model or year car is welcomed for the show. Car registration will be from 8:00-11:00 a.m. on March 17th. The fee is $15 to only display a car, $25 to enter the car in the show. Spectator admission is free. Click here for a printable flyer (pdf) with more information.

Branden Penegar, known as the “Gentle Giant” was a 2011 graduate of Tate High School, an assistant coach for the freshman Tate Aggies’ football program and varsity tennis team, and a member of the Tate High School Student Hall of Fame. He passed away in March 2013 at the age of 20. Penegar was a active member of the Gonzalez United Methodist Church and youth program.

Photos for, click to enlarge.

West Florida Library Top 10 Books Of The Month

March 5, 2018

The West Florida Public Library has released their Top 10 Most Popular Books for the previous month. Clicking any title or author will search the library’s catalog to determine availability at each branch or place a hold.

“The Rooster Bar” by John Grisham

“The Woman in the Window” by A. J. Finn

“The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah

“End Game” by David Baldacci

“Origin” by Dan Brown

“Two Kinds of Truth” by Michael Connelly

“Year One” by Nora Roberts

“Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” by Michael Wolff

“The Midnight Line: a Jack Reacher Novel” by Lee Child

“The People vs. Alex Cross” by James Patterson

Registration Underway For Annual Century Sawmill Pageant

March 4, 2018

Registration is underway for the 26th Annual Century Sawmill Pageant to be held April 7.

The remaining registration date is Saturday, March 17 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Southern Treasures Florist across from Whataburger in Century. The registration deadline will be March 23 by 5 p.m. For a printable registration form and more information, click here.

The pageant is for girls age 0 and up through high school. There will be a $250 scholarship awarded to both the middle and high school division overall queens.

Weekend Gardening: March Tips

March 3, 2018

Here are gardening tips for the month of March from the University of Florida IFAS Extension office:


  • Annual flowers that can be planted in March include:  ageratum, alyssum, amaranthus, asters, baby’s breath, begonia, calendula, celosia, cosmos, dahlia, dusty miller, gaillardia, geranium, hollyhock, impatiens, marigold, nicotiana, ornamental pepper, pentas, phlox, rudbeckia, salvia, sweet Williams, torenia, verbena, vinca and zinnia.
  • Caladium bulbs are extremely sensitive to cold soil.  There is no advantage to planting early.  Purchase caladiums while there is a good selection, but wait until late March or April before planting them in shady beds.

Trees and Shrubs

  • Finish pruning summer flowering shrubs such as althea, hibiscus, abelia, oakleaf hydrangea and oleander.
  • Delay the pruning of azaleas, camellias, spiraeas, gardenias and other spring flowering shrubs until after flowering is complete.
  • Prune any cold weather-damaged plants after new growth appears.
  • If needed, fertilize shrubs and small trees  with a slow release fertilizer.  A good general-purpose landscape fertilizer is a 15-0-15.
  • Mature palms should receive an application of granular fertilizer. Use a special palm fertilizer that has an 8-2-12 +4Mg (magnesium) with micronutrients formulation.  Apply one pound of fertilizer per 100 sqft of canopy area or landscape area.
  • Last opportunity to spray shrubs with dormant horticultural oil.
  • Pick up all fallen camellia blossoms and remove them from your property.  This practice helps to prevent petal blight next season.
  • Prune ornamental grasses.
  • If you are in the market for specific colors of azaleas, visit the local nurseries and garden centers this month.  Though this is not the most ideal planting time you are assured of the right flower color without having to wait until next blooming season.

Fruits and Nuts

  • Time to finish planting bare-root fruit trees.

Vegetable Garden

  • This is the month for establishing a spring vegetable garden.  Early March plantings have about an even chance of avoiding a late frost.
  • The warm season vegetables that can be planted this month are: bush beans, pole beans, lima beans, cantaloupes, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, southern peas, peppers, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, summer squash, winter squash, tomatoes and watermelon.
  • The cool season vegetables that can be planted this month are: beets, carrots, celery, collards, endive, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, mustard, bunching onions, parsley, English peas, Irish potatoes, radish and turnips.
  • More conservative gardeners might wish to wait until the middle to latter part of the month to risk tender plants such as tomatoes and peppers.


  • Remove excessive accumulation of leaves from the lawn.  This will increase the effectiveness of fertilizers and pesticides applied to the lawn.
  • If a preemergence lawn herbicide is needed to control summer  weeds, it should be applied in early March.  Make certain to choose one that is safe on your kind of grass.
  • Keep lawn herbicides away from the root zones of desirable flower, shrubs and other plants.
  • Fertilize the lawn only after the danger of frost has passed and when the grass has greened up.  Fertilize using a complete fertilizer applied at 0.5 lbs nitrogen per 1000 sqft containing 50% soluble and 50% slow-release nitrogen.
  • Service the lawn mower: include a sharpening of the blade and adjusting of the cutting height for your type of grass.
  • Anyone considering establishment of centipedegrass from seed should hold off until the soil warms up and stabilizes above 70°F. Add Item Here…

Cantonment Rotary, Third Graders Plant Trees At Jim Allen Elementary

March 3, 2018

The Cantonment Rotary Club donated several trees to beautify the Jim Allen Elementary School campus. Friday, members of the club planted the trees with the help of Jim Allen third grade students. Photos for, click to enlarge.

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