No Threat Via Social Media Against Flomaton High School

February 20, 2018

Rumors were rampant on social media last Monday that a student was threatening to take weapons to Flomaton High School today.

Authorites investigated and “didn’t find any threat” made on social media.

“We will have officers around school tomorrow,” Flomaton Police Chief Bryan Davis said Monday night,  in order to reassure parents. He said parents should feel confident that their students are safe at the Flomaton schools.

“The Flomaton Police Department will have an increased presence today at Flomaton Schools. This should not be an alarm to parents but a reassurance with the rumors circulating on social media last night. We have confidence in the school resource officer, Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, school administration, along with our department to deter any type of activity,” the department posted on their Facebook page.

Social media rumors indicated that a student had threatened online to take a gun and knife to the school.

Last week, a 19-year was arrested on murder charges in a mass shooting that claimed 17 lives last week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Century Council Holds Moment Of Silence, Prayer For School Shooting Victims

February 20, 2018

The Century Town Council held a moment of silence Monday to honor the 17 students killed last week during a mass school shooting in Parkland, FL.

Following the moment of silence, Council member Gary Riley remembered the Parkland victim’s during  the council’s traditional opening prayer.

“Oh God,  I know we had silent prayer, but we ask you in the name of Jesus to look over those victims of south Florida,” the council member said, “in Jesus name we pray, amen.”

As the moment of silence was held, simultaneous vigils were being held across Florida.

Pictured: Century Town Council members during a moment of silence Monday night for mass school shooting victims last week at a Parkland high school. NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.

Tate High Marks National FFA Week By Hosting Breakfast

February 20, 2018

It’s National FFA week, and Monday morning member of the Tate High School FFA served breakfast to faculty and staff members.

National FFA Week is a time for FFA members to host activities that raise awareness about the role the National FFA Organization plays in the development of agriculture’s future leaders and the importance of agricultural education.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Wife, Kids In Dispute Over Sen. Greg Evers Retirement Money

February 20, 2018

Nearly six months after former Sen. Greg Evers died in a traffic accident, the State Board of Administration has  filed a court document that said his wife and children are in a dispute about who should receive his state retirement money.

The State Board of Administration filed what is known as a “complaint of interpleader” in Leon County circuit court that indicated Evers’ wife, Lori Weems Evers, and his children, Jennifer J. Evers, Robert S. Evers and Stephanie E. Barlow, are battling about Evers’ Florida Investment Plan account.

Greg Evers named his wife as beneficiary but then subsequently named his children as beneficiaries, with each child to receive an equal third share, the document said. The State Board of Administration, which administers the retirement system, said it can continue to hold the money if directed by a judge while the dispute plays out.

“Each defendant (Lori Weems Evers and the children) has demanded the plaintiff (the State Board of Administration) pay the entire FRS Investment Plan account to her/them,” the document said. “Plaintiff has no interest in the FRS Investment Plan account and did not cause the conflicting claims between defendants. Plaintiff cannot determine which defendant is entitled to the FRS Investment Plan account and runs the risk of paying the account twice if it decides between defendants.”

Greg Evers, a 62-year-old Republican who served in the state House and Senate, died Aug. 22 when his truck ran off a road near his home in Baker in Northwest Florida. The court document did not indicate how much money is in the retirement account, only that the amount is more than $15,000.

by The News Service of Florida

Pictured: Sen. Greg Evers works to remove debris from Front Street in Century two years ago in the days following and EF-3 tornado.  NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.

Blackwater CI Counselor Arrested For Smuggling Contraband Cellphone In Her Underwear

February 20, 2018

A substance abuse counselor at the Blackwater Correctional Facility in Santa Rosa County has been charged with smuggling contraband into the facility by the Office of Inspector General of the Florida Department of Corrections.

An arrest affidavit states 29-year old Patrice LaFaye Ealy had a cellular phone wrapped in black electrical tape and six bundles of loose tobacco in her bra and underwear as she was entering the prison for work last Friday. The facility was conducting “an enhanced search operation of all employees entering the facility”.

Ealy was released from the Santa Rosa County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

Weekend visitations were canceled at Blackweater CI, the Century Work Camp and four other facilities in the state due to contraband discoveries.

Ashley Cook, press secretary for the Florida Department of Corrections, said the contraband discovery at the Century Work Camp is under investigation by the Florida Department of Corrections Inspector General’s Office. There have been no arrests reported at the Century Work Camp.

FWC Law Enforcement Report: McDavid Man Caught With Pet Owl

February 19, 2018

The Florida FWC Division of Law Enforcement reported the following activity recently in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

ESCAMBIA COUNTY

Officer Long checked a subject as he returned to the Heron Bayou Boat Ramp. While speaking to the individual, Officer Long noticed that both the vehicle and vessel the individual had been operating had expired registrations. A criminal history on the individual revealed he had an active warrant in Escambia County for violation of probation.

Officer Manning received information that an individual in McDavid was keeping an eastern screech owl as a pet and attempting to sell the owl. The owl was seized and turned over to a wildlife rehabilitator and the subject was issued a notice to appear citation.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

Officer Hutchinson and Investigator Hughes received a call from a complainant who informed them that he saw a truck drive up to the edge of a field, two teenagers exit the vehicle, and one of them fired a rifle in his direction at a deer. After missing the deer, the teens drove off. The complainant said the following day, the same truck was seen again at the field after more shots. The complainant identified one of the subjects. The officers drove to the field and located evidence from the incident. The following day, Officer Hutchinson located both subjects at their residence and interviewed them. One of them confessed to shooting at the deer from the right of way and trespassing. The firearms used to commit the violation were seized as evidence and charges were filed with the State’s Attorney Office for attempting to take deer from a right of way.

Officers Hutchinson, Long, and Clark were working late at night targeting night hunting. Officer Hutchinson saw a truck shining the field he was watching and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. While speaking with the three subjects, he discovered that the driver was the father of the other two subjects. All three subjects admitted to shining several fields that night to try to shoot a deer. The shotgun and the spotlight were seized and the subjects were cited appropriately.

Officer Hutchinson saw a vehicle travelling towards him while shining a field with an LED light bar mounted on the vehicle. He watched the vehicle turn towards the field a couple of times and sweep the light across the field attempting to locate deer. As the vehicle approached Officer Hutchinson’s location, it stopped. A loaded hunting rifle was in the front seat. While interviewing the subjects they admitted to shining the field to look for deer. The firearm was seized and the driver of the vehicle was charged with night hunting.

Officers Lewis and Jernigan received a complaint regarding someone illegally camping in a non-designated camping area in Blackwater River State Forest. Camping in the forest is only allowed in designated areas. When the officers arrived at the site, there was no one in the area. The area was in disarray, with trash and camping supplies consisting of propane bottles, a grill, soda cans, papers, and alcoholic beverage containers strewn about. The debris extended into a nearby creek. Various trees had been cut down. The officers identified two individuals from articles that were left behind.

The officers contacted the subjects who cooperated with the officers and gave them the names of seven other subjects that camped in the area. The subjects were juveniles and young adults. The officers individually interviewed the subjects at their residences. Each of the subjects admitted to various crimes and, in total, 25 citations and three warnings were issued to the nine subjects.

Officer Ramos discovered several large piles of yard waste, construction debris, fencing materials and insulation that had been illegally dumped on a county road. An investigation led to a nearby home which was undergoing an extensive remodel. The homeowner advised he paid a man to take the debris to the county landfill for proper disposal and that the man even asked for extra money for landfill fees. With the cooperation of the homeowner, Officer Ramos, along with FWC Investigations, set up a second job for the suspect to return to the property and haul off more debris a couple of days later. When the suspect arrived, he loaded a flatbed trailer full of debris and was paid to deliver it to the landfill. Officer Ramos and the FWC investigator followed the suspect covertly when he left the home. The suspect drove directly to the same dumpsite as before and quickly offloaded the debris on the county road. The officers revealed themselves and the suspect was placed under arrest. He was transported to the county jail and faces multiple counts of felony and commercial dumping.

Officer Hutchinson was on patrol when he observed a truck parked in the middle of a paved road. He pulled up to the vehicle and saw a man slumped over in the driver seat. He attempted to get his attention and when he did the man sat up in the seat and drove off. The truck swerved off the roadway and into the other lane several times. Along with a Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s deputy who was patrolling the area, the vehicle was stopped and the man was placed under arrest for driving with a suspended license and driving under the influence of alcohol.

This report represents some events the FWC handled over the past week; however, it does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement. Information provided by FWC.

NorthEscambia.com photo.

Escambia County Seeks Appointee For Housing Finance Authority

February 19, 2018

The Escambia County Board of County Commissioners is seeking Escambia County residents interested in volunteering to be considered for an appointment to the Escambia County Housing Finance Authority. Appointees serve without compensation. Escambia residents interested in serving on the Escambia County Housing Finance Authority are asked to submit a resume and letter indicating their desire to serve by 5 p.m. Friday, March 2. Resumes should be submitted to Judy Witterstaeter, Program Coordinator, Board of County Commissioners, P.O. Box 1591, Pensacola, FL 32502 or jhwitter@myescambia.com.

The Escambia County Housing Finance Authority was established in accordance with Florida law. The authority’s duties are to assist in eliminating shortages of adequate housing, stop reoccurrence of slum conditions and stimulate employment and commerce. Knowledge in the area of labor, finance or commerce required. Authority members serve a four-year term of office. Financial disclosure is required.

Requirements:

  • The authority’s regular meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month and typically last between one to two hours (i.e. 24 hours annually). Board members are also required to attend special meetings that are occasionally called on an “as needed” basis in connection with proposed multi- and single-family financings.
  • Board members must review various documents (official statements, trust statements, loan agreements, etc.) prior to each monthly meeting. Preparation time generally ranges from one hour for a normal meeting, to four to six hours if there is a substantial item on the agenda.
  • Board members are also required to be available for any bond issue closings that occur during the year and to also make time during the month to consult with the executive director (and/or be available to sign documents, checks, etc.) as needed in connection with routine authority business.
  • Board members are also strongly encouraged to participate in various educational workshops and conferences sponsored by the National and Florida Associations of Local Housing Finance Authorities (approximately two a year) in an effort to stay abreast of emerging trends and changes to all the various laws and regulations in the housing finance and municipal finance industries (such as their due diligence responsibilities before approving a bond issue, SEC/MSRB regulations, disclosure responsibilities, etc.) that impact the authority’s mission of providing safe, decent and affordable housing.

Escambia BOCC Weekly Meeting Schedule

February 19, 2018

Here is a schedule of Escambia County public meetings for the week of February 19-23:

Monday, Feb. 19

Offices Closed in Observance of Presidents Day

Tuesday, Feb. 20

Board of Electrical Examiners – 9 a.m., Escambia County Central Office Complex, 3363 West Park Place

FDOT Public Hearing on Nine Mile Road Access Management Modification – 5:30 p.m., Smyrna Baptist Church, 7000 Pensacola Boulevard, Pensacola

Wednesday, Feb. 21

Escambia soil and Water Conservation District Board – 8 a.m., 153 U.S. Highway 97, Molino

Board of Adjustment – 8:30 a.m., Escambia County Central Office Complex, 3363 West Park Place (Agenda)

Development Review Committee – 1 p.m., Escambia County Central Office Complex, 3363 West Park Place

UF/IFAS Escambia County Extension Gardening Series Growing Tomatoes in Pots – 6 p.m., Myrtle Grove United Methodist, 1030 N. 57th Ave.

Thursday, Feb. 22

FDOT Public Meeting for U.S. Highway 90 Project Development and Environmental Study – 5:30 p.m., Santa Rosa County Auditorium, 4530 Spikes Way, Milton

Black History Month Program – 6 p.m., Brownsville Community Center, 3200 W. DeSoto St.

Florida School Shooting: Hundreds Attend Gun Rally

February 18, 2018

Chants of “Enough is enough!” reverberated down the street as hundreds of people gathered for a gun-control rally on the steps of the federal courthouse in Ft. Lauderdale, in response to a mass shooting at a Broward County high school on Wednesday.

Saturday’s speakers included students and teachers who survived the horrific event at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland — the second-deadliest mass school shooting in the nation’s history — along with state and local elected officials and others.

“I am not here as a candidate for governor, I am here as a mom,” Democratic gubernatorial Gwen Graham said. “And I have had it. I have had it. As a mom I am crushed. Enough. Enough. Enough.”

The League of Women Voters of Florida organized the rally to call for stricter gun control laws after gunman Nikolas Cruz shot dead 17 individuals — including 14 teenagers — using an assault weapon-style rifle.

Cruz, who was expelled from the high school, had such a troubled history that some of those who knew him weren’t surprised by his violent outburst. Authorities have charged the 19-year-old with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

“Sadly, my sister lost four of her friends and so many other friends and parents were lost that day, and it’s a terrible event,” said David Hogg, a student at the Parkland high school. “Now is the time that we say, ‘thank you for your prayers and condolences, but that is not enough.”

On Friday afternoon, the FBI acknowledged that it had failed to act on a tip about Cruz expressing concern about his erratic behavior.

Hogg was among the students and teachers who criticized Florida’s gun laws, questioning how individuals like Cruz are able to purchase semi-automatic weapons despite alerts to the FBI.

“Teachers should not fear for the lives of their children,” said Melissa Falkowski, the school’s journalism teacher who hid students inside a closet during the shooting.

Student Emma Gonzalez said shooting drills at schools could be stopped “when we have had our say with the government.”

“Maybe the adults have gotten used to saying, ‘it is what it is,’ but if us students have learned anything, it’s that if you don’t study, you will fail.  And in this case, if you actively do nothing, people continually will end up dead,” an impassioned Gonzalez said.

Congressman Ted Deutch, whose district includes Parkland, pledged to continue to fight for common-sense gun-control laws in Washington.

“Five years ago, elementary school kids were slaughtered at Sandy Hook, and there is silence out of Washington,” Deutch, a Democrat, said. “After the horrific mass shooting here in our community, that silence will not continue.”

Like others in the crowd, Western High School junior Isabella Wood and Tara Callahan, a teacher at Lyons Creek Middle School, expressed optimism after attending the rally.

But, they said, change needs to occur for schools to feel safe again.

“It makes me sad. I shouldn’t have to come out here today,” Callahan said, holding back tears. “I shouldn’t have to see small children here today. I shouldn’t have had to come here to see teenagers here today who don’t know (if) they’re going to be able to return to their parents.”

by Nathalie Sczublewski The News Service of Florida

Camp Fire Kids Celebrate 100th Day Of VPK

February 18, 2018

Students at the Camp Fire Youth Learning Center in Century recently celebrated the 100th day of this years VPK program. Courtesy photos for NorthEcambia.com, click to enlarge.

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