ERC And Southwest Alabama Football Scores

October 15, 2017

Here are Saturday scores from  ERC and Southwest Alabama youth league football:

ERC Senior Scores

Flomaton-26, Straughn-8
Excel-2, Uriah-0
Jay-32, Baker-8
NWE-2, Poarch-0
Brewton-50, Neal-14

ERC Junior Scores

Straughn-33, Flomaton-6
Uriah-6, Excel-0
Baker-31, Jay-6
Poarch-41, NWE-0
Brewton-14, Neal-0

ERC Sophomore Scores

Flomaton-14, Straughn-12
Excel-13, Uriah-12
Jay-26, Baker-0
Poarch-12, NWE-6  3OT
Neal-25, Brewton-14

ERC Freshman Scores

Flomaton-3, Straughn-0
Excel-40, Uriah-0
Baker-6, Jay-0
Poarch-38, NWE-0
Brewton-39, Neal-0

Southwest Alabama Youth  Football League

Mighty Mites (4-7 year olds)
Century 62 Castlberry 42.
Tyson Phifer rushed for 242 yards and 5 touchdowns to lead the Century Blackcats Mighty Mites over Castleberry 62-42.

Tiny Mites (8-10 year olds)
Century 20  Castleberry 0.
Jaden Santiago rushed for 142 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Century Tiny Mites cruised passed Castlberry 20-0.

Per Wees (11-13 year olds)
Castleberry 32 Century 0

Pine Meadow Elementary Holds Fall Carnival

October 15, 2017

The annual Pine Meadow Elementary School Carnival was held Saturday at the school on Omar Avenue. The day featured plenty of games and activities, food, fun and a themed basket auction Courtesy photos for, click to enlarge.

Escambia County Assisted Living Owner Arrested By AG’s Office

October 15, 2017

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has arrested an Escambia County resident for criminally using someone’s personal identification information.

Aisha Westbrooks, 40, is the owner of the assisted living facility House of Honor The Westbrooks Inc. According to the investigation, Westbrooks illegally used the information of an employee’s sister to hide the identity of the same employee, who is a convicted felon. Westbrooks also allegedly used this information to bill Medicaid and private pay clients for more than $15,000 in services provided by the employee, who is not eligible to work for a Medicaid provider.

This House of Honor employee, Sade Grier, used her sister’s identification and training records to qualify employment. Grier has been previously convicted of theft from a person 65 years of age or older, fraudulent use of a credit card and grand theft. Under Florida law, a person with prior felony convictions for theft is disqualified from working with the elderly or disabled, and an assisted living facility cannot employ a disqualified person. In July 2017, the MFCU and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office arrested Grier on a lesser charge of the same crime.

According to the investigation, Westbrooks and Grier are longtime friends, and she hired her to work at the House of Honor from January 2015 through November 2015.

Westbrooks faces one count of criminal use of personal identification more than $5,000, a second-degree felony. If convicted, Westbrooks faces up to 15 years in prison. Attorney General Bondi’s Office is prosecuting this case through a special agreement with the State Attorney’s Office for the First Judicial Circuit.

Westbrooks was released from jail on a $5,000 bond.

Victory Assembly Of God Adds Sunday Morning Early Service

October 15, 2017


Victory Assembly of God in Molino has added a new early service each Sunday morning.

Sunday morning services are now at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., with Children’s church during both services. Sunday School is at 9:30 a.m. A nursery is provided for all services.

File photo.

Delta State Outlasts UWF, 28-25

October 15, 2017

The West Florida football team raced out to a 25-14 lead after three quarters, only to see 20th-ranked Delta State score early in the fourth and return a blocked kick 65 yards for a touchdown to come away with a 28-25 win at Blue Wahoos Stadium Saturday.

UWF (4-2, 2-2 Gulf South) had a season-high 443 yards of total offense and Austin Williams tied his own school record with four field goals before a Homecoming crowd of 5,458.

Mike Beaudry threw for a career-best 354 yards on 22-of-47 with a touchdown. Caleb Robinson was the biggest beneficiary among the receivers with six catches for 151 yards. Ka’Ron Ashley had six receptions for 56 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown in the first quarter that drew the Argos to within 7-6.

UWF took its first lead of the contest when Leroy Wilson broke off a 31-yard scoring run up the middle one play after Jalen Spencer intercepted Collin Willis and returned it 20 yards into Delta territory.

Wilis got some redemption in the second quarter when he capped a 5-play drive with a 1-yard run to put the Statesmen up 14-13. He opened the drive with a 40-yard pass and then rushed four-consecutive times for 16 yards.

The Argonauts were able to regain the lead at 19-14 going into the locker room thanks to a pair of Williams field goals in the final two minutes. His 51-yarder with 1:38 to play broke his own school record before he ended the period with a 48-yarder.

Beaudry led consecutive drives deep into the Statesmen end of the field in the third quarter before Williams made kicks of 24 and 26 to stake UWF to a 25-14 edge.

Delta used a 13-play, 65-yard drive at the start of the fourth to pull within 25-21 after Chris Robinson scampered in from five yards.

On the ensuing possession, UWF ended a brief drive on the DSU side of midfield and setup for a Williams attempt from 52 yards. But Quantarious Boone blocked the kick and JohnQuavious McBride returned the deflection 65 yards for the go ahead score.

Four scoreless possessions later, UWF took possession of the ball on its own five with 1:34 to play. Beaudry rushed twice for a first down and then completed three passes that put the Argos at the Delta 39 with 18 seconds left. On the second-and-five play, a mishandled snap ended in disaster for UWF as the Statesmen recovered the fumble and ran out the final 10 seconds.

Delta State (6-1, 4-1) finished with 384 yards, including 183 on the ground. Willis was 13-of-20 for 164 yards with an interception. Backup quarterback Breck Ruddick came of the bench to throw for 37 yards and lead the rushing attack with 63 yards on 17 carries.

Courtesy photo for, click to enlarge.

Fields of Faith: Student Led Community Worship Wednesday At Northview

October 15, 2017

Northview High School’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes will host their 4th annual Fields of Faith at Northview High School Wednesday, October 18, at 6:00 p.m. on the football field.

Admission is free; the public is encouraged to attend. file photos, click to enlarge.

Florida Gov’t Weekly Roundup: New Faces, Tough Issues And Irma

October 15, 2017

A few new faces, and some familiar ones that sprouted hipster beards over the summer, joined the hubbub in the Capitol for the first week of committee meetings before the legislative session kicks off in January.

Even apart from the newbies this week, a bustling downtown Tallahassee bore a somewhat different aura than it has over the past few years as lobbyists, lawmakers, aides and onlookers prepared for the 60-day crush looming on the horizon. are forced to pick their way across a Capitol courtyard maze scarred by what feels like a perpetual makeover with no end in sight.

Hurricane Irma put the kibosh on a multi-year run in which the state was flush with cash, setting up budget-related food fights.

Horror stories about the state’s opioid epidemic — including one about a toddler left alone for days in an apartment with his dead mother, who had overdosed — dominated meetings where lawmakers struggled to come up with fixes for what one doctor called “chemical warfare.”

Legislators also delved into another grim policy issue, sparked by the deaths of 14 seniors who had been residents of a Broward County nursing home that turned into a hot box after Hurricane Irma knocked out air conditioning last month.

And they explored even more fallout from storms — literally, in the case of citrus farmers.

But even the dreary wasn’t all bad. The fresh round of committee meetings presented an opportunity to remedy the state’s woes.

The Brazilian poet Ana Lins dos Guimaraes Peixoto, who wrote under the pseudonym Cora Coralina, offered some great advice for a fresh start that could serve as a guide as the 2018 legislative session heats up.

“Recreate your life, always, always. Remove the stones, plant rose bushes and make sweets,” she wrote. “Begin again.”


Irma’s taken its toll in myriad ways throughout the state, and the tab for the storm is climbing.

So far, hurricane recovery efforts have cost the state budget more than $141 million and are likely to increase, the Senate budget committee learned Thursday.

“The news isn’t good,” Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, said. “And I don’t think it’s fake news either.”

Gov. Rick Scott authorized extra spending in a series of budget amendments, using his emergency powers invoked because of Hurricane Irma.

The amendments include money spent on the Florida National Guard; food, ice, water and transportation; debris removal; mosquito control; and the operation of the state Division of Emergency Management.

Additionally, Scott has authorized a $25 million interest-free loan program for citrus farmers, whose crops were devastated by the storm, and another $10 million “bridge” loan program.

Growers reported crop losses of 40 percent to 100 percent after Irma swept through the state a month ago, resulting in what Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam called “a double kick in the gut.”

Scott and Putnam met with Florida’s congressional delegation in Washington, D.C., this week, seeking federal help for the citrus industry, which suffered an estimated $761 million in losses from the storm.

“If you were to go into an orange grove in Florida right now, you could stand there and hear fruit hitting the ground,” Putnam said.


The heat over nursing homes and air conditioners escalated this week, in the Capitol and in the courts.

Long-term care providers squared off Thursday against the Scott administration in a legal challenge to emergency rules that require nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators that can power air-conditioning systems for as long as four days.

Industry groups LeadingAge Florida, the Florida Assisted Living Association and Florida Argentum challenged the validity of the emergency rules, which were issued after eight residents of a sweltering Broward County nursing home died last month. Six more residents died later after being evacuated.

Hurricane Irma knocked out the air conditioning at the nursing home, The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which did not have a backup generator for the cooling system.

“The emergency rules simply require these licensed facilities to take the steps necessary to ensure that they can shelter in place their frail and elderly residents and patients at temperatures at or below 80 degrees for 96 hours,” Steve Ecenia, a private lawyer representing the Scott administration, said in an opening statement.

But the industry groups have argued that the emergency rules are unrealistic, in part because the regulations would require installation of generators within 60 days.

“There is no emergency that requires the imposition of an impossible deadline and the imminent revocation and imposition of fines on assisted living facility and nursing home licenses throughout the state,” LeadingAge Florida attorneys Seann Frazier and Marc Ito wrote in the organization’s challenge.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Dennis Baxley, a funeral director, was forced to issue an apology Thursday for questioning whether the nursing home deaths were related to Hurricane Irma or were an inevitability given the residents’ advancing ages.

“Look at the population. You’re dealing with the 90-somethings. Some of these deaths would naturally occur, storm or no storm,” Baxley, R-Ocala, said Wednesday at the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee, adding “eventually everyone who was in that nursing home will die. But we don’t need to attribute those all to the storm and bad policy.”

After an outcry from Senate Democrats and others, Baxley apologized, saying he has spent his “entire adult life working with families who are grieving the loss of a loved one.”
“Many of the funeral services we coordinate involve elder members of our community, and I take great pride in the opportunity to ensure their lives are honored and celebrated. No family member should have to fear that their loved one is suffering in a nursing home, particularly during a natural disaster,” Baxley said.

But Jeff Nova, whose 71-year-old mother, Gail Nova, was a resident of the Broward nursing home and died Sept. 13, wasn’t comforted by Baxley’s prepared apology.

“His first comments were the real comments. That’s what he thought of, and naturally that’s what you’re going to take to heart,” Nova said in a telephone interview with The News Service of Florida. “You can say you are sorry, but it doesn’t take back what you actually said because it’s committed to memory now and it’s in print.”


Emergency doctors, treatment providers, law enforcement officials and insurance company executives appeared at Senate meetings this week and laid out a litany of woes detailing the severity and complexity of the opioid epidemic in Florida.

Testimony from the experts made a chilling impression.

Abuse of prescription painkillers, fake street pills and street drugs such as heroin and the synthetic opioid fentanyl — and the deaths associated with the drugs — have skyrocketed since lawmakers cracked down on “pill mills” six years ago.

There aren’t enough treatment beds. Access to medically assisted treatment — where addicts receive drugs and other services, such as cognitive behavioral therapy — is limited. A stigma associated with addiction keeps many users in the shadows. The system is disjointed, making it difficult for addicts and their families to navigate.

And nearly all the entities involved — physicians, treatment providers and sheriffs and police departments — are struggling to make do with scarce resources as the number of addicts continues to soar.

Heroin overdoses jumped by 1,000 percent between 2007 and 2015, and most experts agree the number of deaths is much higher than what is being reported by the state’s medical examiners.

Overdoses related to fentanyl, which is often mixed with heroin, are also climbing.

“Currently, it’s much easier to get high than it is to get help in Florida,” Aaron Wohl, an emergency room physician from Lee County, told the Senate Health Policy Committee.

The opioid epidemic prompted Scott to declare a public emergency, and he’s asking for $50 million to address the crisis next year.

Substance-abuse treatment providers on Thursday also asked Latvala’s committee for $50 million to deal with what at least one doctor called “chemical warfare.”

STORY OF THE WEEK: Lawmakers held the first full week of committee meetings in advance of the 2018 legislative session, focusing on the budget, Hurricane Irma and the state’s opioid epidemic.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Nobody’s dying because oranges fell off of a tree.” — Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, asking Gov. Rick Scott to release $20 million in emergency funds to address the state’s opioid crisis. Scott recently authorized $25 million in emergency loans for citrus farmers impacted by Hurricane Irma.

by Jim Saunders, The News Service of Florida

Catholic Cruises Past The Northview Chiefs (With Photo Gallery)

October 14, 2017

The 1A Northview Chiefs lost their homecoming game to the 3A Catholic Crusaders 41-22 Friday night in Bratt.

The Chiefs scored on their opening drive….a 10 and a half minute drive capped by a two-yard touchdown run from sophomore Trent Peebles. With a missed extra point, the Chiefs held a 6-0 lead in Tommy Weaver Memorial Stadium.

“I though we had a great first drive,” Northview head coach Derek Marshman said.

But remainder of the second half was not as kind to the Chiefs as Catholic fought back to a 35-6 lead at the half.

The Chiefs scored with 3:30 to go in the third when junior Daniel Merit recovered a Crusaders fumble and ran it in from 30-yards out, and scored again in the fourth when Jayden Jackson was in from 3 yards out.

“I thought we moved the ball well; I though we dominated upfront on the line of scrimmage. We had a few problems backside but that is gonna be fixed. This is the first time we have run this offense in a while so it was good to be able to move the football, but there are still things we’ve gotta fix and things we need to improved. We have a bye week next week to work on that,” Marshman said. “We continue to fight. It’s just a process and I know the kids are tired of hearing ‘a process’, I thought we finished great. We won the second half against a big school, probably  one of the best schools we are going to play this year. They are a 3A but they are traditionally a power house in Pensacola.”

The Northview Chiefs are off next week. The Chiefs (1-7) will hope for a huge 1A upset on October 27 in Bratt as they host the Baker Gators (7-0).

For a game action photo gallery, click here.

For homecoming court photos, click here.

For homecoming  parade photos, click here. photos, click to enlarge.

Escambia Gators Bite Tate (With Photo Gallery)

October 14, 2017

The Escambia Gators beat the Tate Aggies 53-10 Friday night at Emmitt Smith Field.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Gators would take a 19-0 lead in the second. The Aggies would find their first half performance was limited to just scoring on a 27-yard field goal from Matt Johnson with eight seconds to go in the half. It was 19-3 Escambia headed into the lockers.

Escambia added a third quarter touchdown before Tate answered early in the fourth on a 2-yard touchdown run from Hunter Riggan to make it 26-10. with 11:09 in the game. The Gators would bite back with  two more fourth quarter touchdowns of their own.

Tate (4-2, 1-1) will travel to Pace (1-5, 0-2) next Friday night.

For a photo gallery, click here.

Photos by Jennifer Repine for, click to enlarge.

Cantonment Firefighters Share Fire Safety Info At Gonzalez Child Center

October 14, 2017

For National Fire Safety Week, crew members of Engine 419 of the Cantonment Station of Escambia Fire Rescue visited and shared fire safety tips with the children of the Gonzalez Methodist Child Enrichment Center. Courtesy photos for, click to enlarge.

Next Page »