Jay Lady Royals Beat Franklin County; One Win Away From Final Four

February 15, 2019

The Jay Royals beat Franklin County 53-37 Thursday night. It was the first playoff win in 23 years for the Lady Royals, and their 24th win in the last 25 games.

Jay was led by Madison Mathis with 20 points.

The Lady Royals are one away from a trip to the 1A Final Four in Lakeland. Jay will travel to Port St. Joe for the Region 1A finals.

Photos: Jim Allen Elementary Holds Valentine’s Day Heart Run

February 15, 2019

Jim Allen Elementary School held their annual Heart Run on Valentine’s Day Thursday.

For more photos, click here.

Courtesy photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Escambia, Santa Rosa K-9 Deputies Place In Regional Event

February 15, 2019

Several K-9 deputies from Escambia and Santa Rosa counties placed in the 2019 USPCA Region 1 Field Trials in Lakeland.

Escambia County Sheriff’s Office

  • 5th place Overall Top Dog – Wayne Gulsby and K-9 Enzo
  • 2nd place Search – Wayne Gulsby and K-9 Enzo
  • 1st place Two-man Dept Patrol team – Wayne Gulsby and K-9 Enzo & Tommy Nyughn (Tarpon Springs, FL)

Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office

  • 1st place Agility- Dep. Shawn Swindell and K-9 Ziggy
  • 2nd place Obedience- Dep.Shawn Swindell and K-9 Ziggy
  • 3rd place Two-man Dept Patrol team- Dep. Jason Land and K-9 Ode & Dep. Shawn Swindell and K-9 Ziggy
  • 11th overall Patrol Dog – Dep. Danny Miller and K-9 Orkon
  • 5th place Agility – Dep. Danny Miller and K-9 Orkon
  • 2nd place two-man interdepartmental team – Dep .Danny Miller and K- 9 Orkon & Officer Travis White (Gulf Breeze Police Dept.) and K-9 Loki.

For more photos, click here.

Pictured top: Santa Rosa County K-9 Deputy Jason Land (left) and Escambia County K-9 Deputy Wayne Gulsby at the 2019 USPCA Region 1 Field Trials in Lakeland. Photos by Mary Land and Abbie Gulsby for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Spring Ball Registration Extended At Cantonment, Continues In Century

February 15, 2019

Spring ball registration has been extended through Saturday at the for the Cantonment Youth Sports Association, and registration will continue through March 2 in Century.

Cantonment Ballpark

Registration at the Cantonment Ballpark been extended for T-ball, softball and baseball for all ages. Registration will be at the ballpark from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 16. . Registration is $80 and includes the team uniform jersey. For more information, email cantonmentsports@gmail.com. First practice will be Tuesday, February 19, and Opening Day is set for Saturday, March 30.

Century Little League

Century Little League registration for 2019 is continuing. The cost is $70 for the first child, $65 each additional through March 2.

Register online here, or in person registration will be held February 16 and March 2 from 9 a.m. until noon at the Showalter Park press box.

All fees are due at the time of registration. Credit and debit cards are accepted online. In person registration is cash or check only.

Note: Registration has closed from Northwest Escambia and Molino.

State Honors School Victims On ‘Solemn Day’

February 15, 2019

Outside the Florida Capitol, a bell tolled 17 times Thursday morning in somber recognition of the one-year anniversary of the state’s deadliest school shooting.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and his wife, Casey, led a moment of silence for the victims of last year’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School before traveling to the Parkland school to commemorate what the governor called “one of the worst days that we’ve had in the history of Florida.”

DeSantis and the First Lady were joined in the Capitol courtyard by Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Attorney General Ashley Moody, state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, House Speaker José Oliva, Senate President Bill Galvano and numerous legislators.

A short time later inside the Capitol, lawmakers held a moment of silence at 10:17 a.m. That also was when more than 1,000 schools across the state held a moment of silence, though the shooting happened about 2 p.m. on Feb. 14, 2018.

Later in the day, DeSantis attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the Broward County high school and an evening prayer vigil in Parkland, one of numerous vigils being held throughout the state.

“On this solemn day, our state mourns the lives of the 17 souls lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School one year ago. Since that tragic day, the Parkland community has demonstrated tremendous courage and resiliency, reminding us just how strong and united Floridians can be in the face of such devastating loss,” DeSantis said in a statement. “We will never forget the heroes who risked and sacrificed their lives to protect others, nor the actions taken that day by first responders. Casey and I continue to keep the families and loved ones of the innocents who were lost in our prayers as we honor their memory today in a moment of silence.”

Andrew Pollack, whose daughter, Meadow, was among the 14 students who were slain, joined DeSantis at the Capitol bell-ringing ceremony. Also killed were three faculty members.

For the grieving father, Thursday wasn’t different from any other day since the unthinkable happened.

“This is everyday life, for every parent who loses a kid like I did. We live it every single day. For today to be any different, it’s not. Every day is the same pain, from when you wake up until when you go to sleep,” Pollack told reporters.

Pollack, a close political ally of DeSantis, has been a fierce critic of suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and Broward County school officials, including Superintendent Robert Runcie, over their handling of the shooting incident and school safety.

“I fight for most Americans, who just want their kids safe in school. I am going to keep fighting until we get it,” he said.

Throughout the day, Florida political leaders and elected officials issued statements of condolence or memorial in recognition of the Parkland victims.

Introducing a resolution to honor their memory, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, who was Florida’s governor at the time of the shooting, began his remarks by reading aloud the names of the 17 people who were killed.

“One year ago today, these 17 souls were taken from us in a brutal act of violence. They were sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. They were students and athletes and musicians and teachers. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about that day and the amazing people that were snuffed out by the deranged actions of a mad man. Over the course of the last year, I’ve spent countless hours with the families of the victims. Unfortunately, I wish we never had to meet like this,” Scott said.

The mass shooting sparked a national movement, led by students at the high school who quickly become international celebrities with appearances at the White House and state capitals and on television newscasts. The student-organized “March for Our Lives” movement drew thousands of supporters as the teens channeled their anger, fear and frustration into voter-registration drives and demands for stricter gun laws.

The attack on the school in an affluent Broward County suburb also angered parents, after investigations revealed failures by local, state and federal officials to intervene with confessed killer Nikolas Cruz before he opened fire on his former school. Cruz had a long and troubled history of interactions with educators, law enforcement and social services.

In response to the shooting, the Republican-controlled Legislature hurriedly passed a sweeping law addressing mental health, gun sales and school-safety measures. A statewide commission, created in the law, recently released a 458-page report detailing the events surrounding the attack and recommended a series of enhancements to the law and other changes aimed at making schools safer.

Since taking office last month, DeSantis has responded with a series of high-profile actions, including suspending Israel, accusing the sheriff of “incompetence” and “neglect of duty.” Israel is appealing the suspension.

On the eve of the one-year anniversary, the governor requested a statewide grand jury to probe whether school districts are complying with mandated safety measures. He also ordered the Department of Education to conduct an audit of school districts’ alternative discipline programs. And DeSantis gave sheriffs more time to request money for the school “guardian” program, which allows certain school personnel to be armed.

by Dara Kam, The News Service of Florida

Man Murdered Thursday In Escambia County

February 14, 2019

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a murder Thursday in Escambia County.

Deputies were called to the 2100 block of Spink Lane, off North 9th Avenue, at 11:11 a.m. where they made contact with a male victim who appeared to have been severely beaten. The victim told deputies what had taken place inside his residence, but that information has not been disclosed.

The victim was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Investigators believe the pictured vehicle may be connected to the crime.

The man’s name has not been released as the investigation continues.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office at (850) 436-9620 or Crime Stoppers at (850) 433-STOP.

FDOT Adds $20 Million To ST Engineering Project

February 14, 2019

The Florida Department of Transportation will contribute $20 million to the expansion of ST Engineering in Pensacola, completing the dollars needed for the project.

“I am proud to announce City of Pensacola has secured the remaining funding for Project Titan, which will expand the Aviation Maintenance Overhaul Repair (MRO) campus at the Pensacola International Airport,” said Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson.

FDOT stated in a letter to Robinson that the agency is amending funding for other unspecified projects to fulfill the $20 million.

Earlier this month, Escambia County contributed another $5 million, for a total of $15 million, to the project. The money is mostly from local option sales tax funds. The Pensacola City Council also voted to contribute another $5 million to their previous $10 million commitment.

The city asked Friday morning for another $12.5 million from Triumph Gulf Coast in addition to their previously committed $56 million. The Triumph board committed to additional $10 million, $2.5 million short of the ask, for a commitment of 1,325 jobs for at least seven years.

The project includes the construction of hangers and is expected to create over 1,300 jobs.

“I am extremely thankful for Governor Ron DeSantis, DOT Secretary Kevin Thibault, DOT District Secretary Phillip Gainer and all else involved. I am excited for this transformational project to move forward,” Robinson said.

Group Wants To Split Atmore Schools Away From County System

February 14, 2019

A local group wants the Atmore schools split away from the county system.

Atmore Citizens for Change wants a separate Atmore City School System, and they’ve notified Atmore Mayor Jim Staff and Escambia County (AL) School District Superintendent John Knott.

“In light of recently published school scores and the news of Escambia County High School being deemed ‘failing’ — for the third year in a row — with no change and no apparent intervention efforts by the Escambia County Board of Education, several local civic groups joined together to form the Atmore Citizens for Change coalition,” the group said in a media release. “The group feels it is time for citizens to explore a separate school option and plans to present its supporting facts, data, and plans to the Atmore City Council.”

Atmore Citizens for Change will hold a public meeting on the issue at 6 p.m. Friday at Deliverance Ministry at 103 2nd Avenue in Atmore.

The group is led by Loumeek White, president; Michael Arnold, vice president; Vasaroy Johnson, secretary; and Sandra Gray, assistant secretary.

NorthEscambia.com file photo.

Moment Of Silence In Escambia Schools Marks Parkland Shooting Anniversary

February 14, 2019

A moment of silence in Escambia County schools Thursday marked one year since the the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, that left 17 dead.

“On February 14, 2019, at 10:17 a.m., our school district joins Broward County Public Schools in observing a moment of silence to honor those whose lives were lost and recognize those injured during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy,” said Escambia County School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas.

Escambia Man Sentenced To Federal Prison On Child Porn Charges

February 14, 2019

A convicted sex offender from Escambia County has been sentenced to federal prison on child porn charges.

Christopher M. Arguelles, 34, of Pensacola, was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison today and a lifetime of supervised release as a federal sex offender. On November 15, 2018, Arguelles pleaded guilty to possession and access with intent to view child pornography. The sentence was announced by Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

In February 2018, while a telecommunications provider was assisting Arguelles with his slow running cellular telephone, the provider observed a large amount of pornography on the phone, including a folder titled “underage.” Several days later, Arguelles, a sex offender, was arrested for failure to register a change in his residence, and his cellular telephone was seized. A forensic review of the device revealed images and videos of child pornography both on the phone and on the memory card.

Some of the child pornography involved females under age 12. Arguelles also maintained a cloud storage account with similar illicit materials.

“I am proud that prosecutors, law enforcement professionals, and North Floridians are all working together to bring child predators to justice and protect the most innocent members of our communities from exploitation,” Keefe said.

“This case highlights the value of vigilance by members of the community, who come forward and work with law enforcement when they see something wrong,” said Charles P. Spencer, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners are dedicated to working together to protect and serve, but we are far more effective when the community also works with us. We appreciate the efforts of everyone involved in the case, and their unwavering commitment to protect our children.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, the State Attorney’s Office – First Judicial Circuit, and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David L. Goldberg.

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