Early Voting Continues, About 6,000 Vote So Far

October 24, 2014

Another 1,213 early votes were cast Thursday in Escambia County, for a three-day total of 5,956.

In the North Escambia area, there have been 365 ballots cast at the Molino Community Center, 933 at the Escambia County Extension Service in Cantonment.

Earl voting continues at seven locations until Saturday November 1:

  • Molino Community Center,  6450 Highway 95A North, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Escambia County Extension Service, 3740 Stefani Road, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Genealogy Branch Library, 5740 N. 9th Avenue, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Main Library, 239 N. Spring Street, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Bellview/Saufley Early Vote Site, 4607 Saufley Field Road, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Supervisor of Elections Main Office, 213 Palafox Place, Second Floor, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Southwest Branch Library, 12248 Gulf Beach Highway, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Escambia Extension To Hold Certified Arborist Training

October 24, 2014

On December 12 a workshop will be held at the Escambia County Extension Office for those desiring to become certified arborists. The workshop will cover about 60 percent of the material that  is covered on the certification exam. Attendees will also have the opportunity to take the exam on Saturday, December 13.

Becoming a certified arborist shows that the tree care worker or arborist has a basic knowledge of  tree care. To maintain certification, arborists must continue their learning by earning continuing  education credits (CEU). This helps them keep up to date with the latest information on tree care as well as broadening their knowledge base. This training is recommended for private and public arborists, foresters, professional landscapers, nursery professionals and tree surgeons.

The workshop will be taught by Sam Hand, ISA certified arborist and forestry agent with FAMU Extension; Stan Rosenthal, Leon County Extension forestry agent; Beth Bolles, Escambia County Extension horticulture agent and Cathy Hardin, Escambia County forester with the Florida Forest Service.

Preregistration for this training is required by December 8 by clicking here.  The cost is $125.00.

The Friday workshop and the Saturday exam will take place 8:30-5:00 at the Escambia County Extension Office, 3740 Stefani Road, Cantonment.  To register for the exam, click here. Contact Beth Bolles at (850) 475-5230 or  bbolles@ufl.edu for more information.

Scott Opening Up His Wallet To Fund Campaign

October 24, 2014

Governor Rick Scott, who reportedly spent about $73 million of his own money to get elected in 2010, will soon dip into his personal wealth in an effort to retain the Governor’s Mansion. Scott will write a check to the Republican Party of Florida to assist his re-election effort against Democratic challenger Charlie Crist, Jackie Schutz, a spokeswoman for Scott’s campaign, confirmed.

The Miami Herald reported earlier  that Scott told CBS4 News reporter Jim DeFede that he “will be investing” in the campaign. DeFede’s report is scheduled to air Sunday. Schutz wouldn’t say how much the check would total. But Schutz added in an email that the governor told DeFede that the money is “a small fraction of our total campaign” and will be used to “counteract the smear campaign from Charlie’s radical left-wing guy from California.”

NextGen Climate Action Committee-Florida, founded by California billionaire Tom Steyer, has spent at least $9.44 million on such things as advertising, mail pieces and grassroots efforts that target Scott because of the governor’s views on climate change.

Scott was worth $132.7 million as of Dececember 13, 2013, according to his annual financial disclosure filed with the Department of State. The amount of Scott’s check may not be known until October 31, when the Republican Party is next required to file a finance report.

The Crowley Political Report last week posted that Republican Party sources claimed Scott would put about $20 million into the campaign.

by The News Service of Florida

Escambia Schools Offering Free Flu Vaccine To Students

October 23, 2014

The Escambia County School District is offering the mist form of the flu vaccine for free to all students.

The FluMist vaccine is a nasal spray – no needles are involved.  It’s made from the weakened live virus, stimulating the production of antibodies in the blood and the nose. Health officials say there’s no risk of getting  the flu from the vaccine.

Permission forms have already been sent home at some schools, and the forms will be headed home from other schools this week. Parents must return the forms by November 5 for their child to receive the FluMist the following week.

FHP Aims To ‘Stuff The Charger’ During Food Drive

October 23, 2014

The Florida Highway Patrol is working to “Stuff the Charger” during their inaugural food drive.

Through November 6, the FHP will be collecting non-perishable food at their district headquarters at 150 Stumpfield Road in Pensacola to stuff in a Charger and deliver to a local food bank in time for Thanksgiving.

The following items are needed:

  • Canned Goods: Sweet potatoes and yams, carrots, green beans, corn, spinach, sweet peas, black eyed peas, cranberry sauce, shelf-stable canned ham, canned meats, hearty soups and pie fillings
  • Dried Goods: Stuffing, instant potatoes, gravy mix, macaroni & cheese, rice, cornbread mix, grits and  oatmeal
  • Other Goods: Nuts, evaporated milk, broth

Poll: Scott, Crist Deadlocked As Election Day Nears

October 23, 2014

Now less than two weeks before Election Day, the fierce race between Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic challenger Charlie Crist is a dead heat, according to a poll released Wednesday.

The Quinnipiac University poll shows Scott and Crist deadlocked, with each receiving 42 percent of the vote and Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie receiving 7 percent. If Wyllie is not factored in, Scott and Crist were tied at 44 percent.

“For all the money spent on this race, it now appears the winner will be the one whose organization excels at the blocking and tackling of politics — getting their voters to the polls,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a prepared statement accompanying the results.

The survey of 984 likely voters was conducted from Oct. 14 to Oct. 20, so it does not take into account the race’s third and final debate Tuesday night in Jacksonville. The poll has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

The results are similar to a Quinnipiac Poll conducted last month that showed Scott with 44 percent of the vote, Crist at 42 percent and Wyllie at 8 percent. The new poll indicated that 90 percent of voters who said they supported a candidate are unlikely to change their minds before the Nov. 4 election.

Wednesday’s results also reinforced that voters have negative views of Scott and Crist, after months of the two sides attacking each other. Brown said voters will be casting ballots for the “lesser of two evils.”

“Will nice guys finish last in the Florida governor’s race? According to voters, there are no nice guys in this race, since neither Scott nor Crist are viewed favorably,” Brown said.

The Connecticut-based Quinnipiac frequently conducts polls in Florida and other states for major media nationwide. They are considered among the nation’s most accurate political pollsters.

by Jim Saunders, The News Service of Florida

It’s National Forest Products Week

October 23, 2014

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Florida Forest Service are celebrating the benefits of Florida’s forest industry this week during National Forest Products Week.

“Florida’s forest industry produces significant economic and environmental benefits for this state,” Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam said. “The industry’s $16 billion economic impact supports 84,000 jobs, and forestry land management promotes healthy populations of native plants and animals.”

Florida’s 17 million forest acres provide more than 5,000 types of consumer goods that most people use on a daily basis. Some are easily recognized, like paper goods and lumber, while others are not. By the time forest products reach consumers, they are transformed into products such as cosmetics, medicines and fabrics used to make clothing. Pharmaceuticals developed to treat cancer have also originated from chemicals extracted from trees.

“To maintain a sustainable supply of forest products in our state, more than 70 million trees are planted in Florida each year,” said State Forester Jim Karels. “That means more than three trees are planted for each person in the state every year.”

Florida ranks eighth in tree planting across the country. The Florida Forest Service manages more than 1 million acres of public forest land while protecting 26 million acres of homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire.

Northview Chiefs Name Players Of The Week

October 23, 2014

The Northview Chiefs have named Players of the Week from last Friday night’s 43-9 away win over Freeport. They are:

Keondrae Lett –14 carries, 216 yards, three touchdowns and one catch for 10 yards

Toney Harrison – eight total tackles, two tackles for a loss, one sack

Chasen Freeman — two good PAT, one field goal, 39 yards per punt, one punt downed inside 20

Everette Garvey — for a tackle on sideline
Hunter Cofield — for a block on TD run

Images courtesy WEAR 3 for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Davis Highway Armed Robbery Under Investigation

October 23, 2014

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the armed robbery of a business this morning just north of West Florida Hospital.

The Dollar General Store on North Davis Highway was robbed by a black male armed with a handgun just before 10 a.m. The suspect fled the store before the first deputies arrived o n the scene.

The suspect was described as wearing a gray “hoodie” type sweatsuit. There was no other physical description available.

Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (850) 433-STOP.

Northview Manufacturing Tech Program Becomes Regional Model

October 22, 2014

The Automation and Production Technology Academy at Northview High School is being used as a model for similar academies at middle and high schools across the region.

Tuesday, the Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council’s Academy Task Force met at Northview to tour the manufacturing technology program to learn more about how it works. Upon completing the program, students are able to earn industry certifications that allow them to better compete for technical jobs upon graduation, or they can early college credits to continue their education.

According to Steve Harrell, the Escambia County School District’s curriculum coordinator for Workforce Education, employers are looking for job candidates that not only know how to create technical designs, but also have real experience implementing and constructing those designs.

“Employers are looking for the person with callouses on their hands,” said Harrell. “They want the person that knows how to design that also knows how to make it work.”

Training equipment was purchased for the Northview program with a $100,000 grant that allows students to get that experience.

“The students are excited and love the hands on; they are on the computers and the equipment from bell to bell,” said academy instructor Marty Lister.

And now, the Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council is set to recommend training equipment for middle and high schools across the region, based upon the Northview academy, The council has about $1.5 million from the state, with a goal of creating an academy in at least one middle and high school in each county in the region that is comprised of  Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Franklin, Gulf, Jackson, Calhoun, Holmes, Washington, and Liberty counties.

For more photos, click here.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

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