Watkins Graduates From Basic Combat Training

February 26, 2014

Army Pvt. David T. Watkins has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Sill, OK.

During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises.

Watkins is the son of Amber Fletcher of Cantonment and Tommy Watkins of Manor, TX.

He is a 2013 graduate of Siatech Charter HIgh School and the pre-law program at Job Corp in Gainseville.

Scott Appoints Merrill, Five Others To Gulf Consortium

February 26, 2014

Tuesday, Governor Rick Scott announced six appointments to the Gulf Consortium:

  • Collier Merrill, 53, of Pensacola, is the president and co-owner of the Merrill Land Company. He fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning February 25, 2014, and ending at the pleasure of the Governor.
  • Pam Anderson, 64, of Panama City Beach, is the operations manager of Capt. Anderson’s Marina. She fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning February 25, 2014, and ending at the pleasure of the Governor.
  • Peter Bos, 67, of Destin, is the president and chief executive officer of Legendary LLC. He fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning February 25, 2014, and ending at the pleasure of the Governor.
  • Lino Maldonado, 41, of Niceville, is the vice president of Wyndham Vacation Rentals North America. He fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning February 25, 2014, and ending at the pleasure of the Governor.
  • Mike Sole, 49, of Tallahassee, is the vice president of state governmental affairs for Florida Power and Light. He fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning February 25, 2014, and ending at the pleasure of the Governor.
  • Neal Wade, 67, of Panama City, is the executive director of the Bay Economic Development Alliance. He fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning February 25, 2014, and ending at the pleasure of the Governor.

The Gulf Consortium is a public entity created in October 2012 by Inter-local Agreement among Florida’s 23 Gulf Coast counties, from Escambia County in the western panhandle of Florida to Monroe County on the southern tip of Florida and the United States.

Florida’s 23 Gulf Coast Counties formed the Consortium to meet requirements of the RESTORE Act to develop a State Expenditure Plan for economic and environmental recovery of the Gulf coast in Florida following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  The RESTORE Act was passed by the Congress on June 29, 2012 and signed into law on July 6, 2012 by the President.

Softball: Northview Beats Catholic

February 26, 2014

The Northview Chiefs beat Catholic Tuesday night 14-3 in Bratt. The varsity Chiefs will take part in the T.R. Miller Tournament beginning Friday  in Brewton.

For more photos, click here.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Baseball: Tate, Northview

February 26, 2014

Northview’s  junior varsity beat the JV Tigers of Pensacola 2-0. And in varsity action, PHS defeated Northview 3-1. The  varsity Chiefs will travel to Freeport for a 4:00 district game on Thursday. For more photos, click here.

The junior varsity Aggies beat Washington 9-0 to improve to 4-2-1. Tate’s varsity beat Washington 8-3 to improve to 3-2.  And Tate’s 9th grade team lost Tuesday to Navarre 6-5, dropping their record to 2-2.

Pictured: Northview takes on Pensacola High Tuesday in Bratt. NorthEscambia.com photos and photos by Ramona Preston for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Boil Water Notice For Some Cottage Hill Water Works Customers

February 25, 2014

A precautionary boil water notice has been issued for some customers of the Cottage Hill Water Works System.

The following areas are included in the notice: McKenzie Road, Handy Road, Chavers Road, Smyers Road, Grenelefe Drive, Cottage Park Raod, Elna Road and the Huntington Subdivision.

The notice was issued following a water main break. Residents are advised to boil water for one minute at a rolling boil or to use six drops of regular unscented household bleach per gallon of water for water drinking or cooking purposes.  Bacteriological sampling is underway and the advisory will be lifted as soon as possible.

A crew has repaired the main and is flushing out the lines. Residents are advised that there is a possibility of discolored water as a result of the break and flushing, and to flush their home’s plumbing by running their taps for a few minutes. If you have questions, contact the Cottage Hill Water Works, office at (850) 968-5485.

Pedestrian Struck And Killed

February 25, 2014

A pedestrian was killed in an accident Monday night in Escambia County.

The Florida Highway Patrol said 49-year old Bettie Jill Joseph of Pensacola was northbound on Hollywood Avenue about 6:15 p.m. when a pedestrian failed to yield and stepped in front of her 2007 Dodge Charger. The pedestrian, identified as 53-year old Eric Glen Tate of Pensacola, was transported to Baptist Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

No charges were filed against Joseph.

Tate Band Members Receive Superior, Excellent Ratings At Bandmasters Event

February 25, 2014

Numerous members of the Tate High School band students  received superior and excellent ratings at the Florida Bandmasters Association District 1 Auxiliary Solo and Ensemble MPA event Friday night at Gulf Breeze High School. Tate was well represented, with the second most entries of any school in Northwest Florida.

Tate had 65 students earn a Superior rating, the most in several years.

Students listed below in bold type performed a Grade 5 piece or higher. Their Superior rating on this difficult music qualifies them to advance to the FBA State Solo and Ensemble MPA on March 24-25 in Gainesville.


  • Angel Chu – Flute (Superior)
  • Taylor Ertel – Flute (Excellent)
  • Tiana Hendricks – Flute (Superior)
  • Toye Johnson – Flute (Excellent)
  • Toye Johnson – Piccolo (Superior)
  • Madison Rondeau – Flute (Superior)
  • Jordan Rynders – Flute (Excellent)
  • Katie Woods – Clarinet (Superior)
  • Ashton Nelson – Bassoon (Superior)
  • Jacob Howard – Trumpet (Superior)
  • Ethan Millet – Trumpet (Superior)
  • Zach Vranich – Trumpet (Superior)
  • Tristan Workman – Trumpet (Superior)
  • Amber Brock – Trombone (Excellent)
  • Noah Heitz – Trombone (Superior)
  • Erica Earnest – Marimba (Superior)
  • Honya Richbourg – Marimba (Superior)
  • Kaitlin Sainata – Xylophone (Superior)


  • Victoria VanScyoc & Topanga Tucker – Flute (Excellent)
  • Toye Johnson & Madison Tourney – Flute (Superior)
  • Lillan Jensen & Jordan Rynders – Flute (Excellent)
  • Lillian Jensen, Logan Royer, & Jordan Rynders – Flute (Excellent)
  • Josh Chism, Cameron Caulder, Jacob Norre, & Brennan Infinger – Saxophone (Excellent)
  • Bryce Coots, Eric Esselburn, Kendall Sainata, & Ashton Nelson – Saxophone (Superior)

Percussion Quintet (Excellent)
Landon Benson, Emily DeRise, Kyle Irps, Ethan Jensen and Will Talley

Percussion Choir (Superior)
Erica Earnest, Tristan Hacker, Madison Metcalf, Paxton Metcalf, Honya Richbourg, Kaitlin Sainata, Danae Smith and Ryan Tanton

Woodwind Choir (Superior)

Madison Rondeau, Toye Johnson, Steffany Brown, Ana Lowe, Madison Philley, Jenna Brooks, Natalie Wright, Julie Menah, Marissa Constantakos, Lexi Dixon, Stephen Cleary, Bryce Coots, Kendall Sainata, Kayla Dixon, Geoff Nagle, Eric Esselburn, Jessica Merritt, Kathryn Howard and Ashton Nelson

Brass Choir (Superior)

Jacob Howard, Zach Vranich, Mariah Constantakos, Jacob Hall, Joel Pryor, J. D. Franklin, Hannah Chism, Molly French, Chad Ratliff, Jessica Gainey, Chandler Cotton, Zach Humphries, Aaron Gavin, Jacob Charles, Matt Hardy, Darren Gulsby and Nick Krostag

Cantonment Man Convicted Of Drug Trafficking, Possession

February 25, 2014

Another North Escambia resident has been convicted in connection with last year’s Operation Blister Pack 2.

William Bradley Edmonson, age 26 of Booth Avenue, Cantonment, was sentenced to a minimum mandatory seven years in state prison by Judge Terry Terrell for amphetamine trafficking and possession of a listed chemical.  He was also ordered to pay $106, 618 in costs and and fines.

Operation Blister Pack 2 targeted nearly 80 individuals on  methamphetamine and pseudoephedrine related charges. Many of those arrested were  involved with drug groups dubbed “The Village Group”, centered around “The Village” area of Forrest Street and Lakeview Avenue in Cantonment; and “The Ayers Group”, a group centered around Ayers Street in Molino, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

DOE Releases Teacher Data

February 25, 2014

The Florida Department of Education released reams of data Monday on how well teachers did in increasing student learning — but both the agency and the state’s largest teachers union cautioned parents against reading too much into the numbers.

The dizzying array of spreadsheets made public under court order included results for schools, districts and individual teachers. As a result, some of the documents were dauntingly lengthy — in one case, a spreadsheet including results for the state’s math teachers contains 133,580 rows of results.

Compounding the difficulty parents might have sifting through the data: the complicated mathematical formula that the department uses to calculate scores under the “value added” model, which spits out a number for each teacher.

A positive number means that student achievement grew more than would be expected when certain social and demographic factors are taken into account; a negative number means that student learning didn’t do as well as it would be expected to do.

Those numbers are later combined with other elements, such as a principal’s observation of a teacher, to come up with an evaluation for each teacher.

The Department of Education and the Florida Education Association fought to keep the data from being released, but lost a court battle to The Florida Times-Union in November.

“In addition, because these data are intended to be used in conjunction with other information about classroom practice to form a complete evaluation, looking at this information in isolation can lead to misunderstandings about an individual teacher’s overall performance,” Kathy Hebda, chief of staff at the Department of Education, told reporters in a conference call Monday.

The “value added” model was created as part of a performance-pay bill that passed the Legislature in 2011. The FEA, which waged a ferocious fight against the performance-pay measure, maintains that the formula is so flawed and complicated that it is essentially useless.

“Assessments of teachers, like assessments of students, must be valid, transparent and multi-faceted,” FEA President Andy Ford said in a statement Monday. “These VAM calculations are none of these. … They cannot measure the value of an individual teacher”

In November, a unanimous three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal sided with the Times-Union and overturned a Leon County circuit court ruling sealing the records.

The appeals court rejected arguments by the state and a teachers union that the documents should be exempt under a part of state law that shields teacher evaluations from public view until the end of the following school year.

“Had the Legislature wanted any matter material to a teacher’s evaluation to be exempt from disclosure, the Legislature would have exempted personnel files as a whole,” Judge William Van Nortwick wrote for the court. “To the contrary, personnel files of public school teachers are generally subject to disclosure.”

by The News Service of Florida

Northview NJROTC Cadets Shine At FAMU Drill Competition

February 25, 2014

The Northview High School NJROTC excelled during a drill competition last Saturday at FAMU in Tallahassee.

Northview’s NJROTC placed sixth of 16 teams overall. They won first in Color Guard, fifth in Personnel Inspection and Armed Exhibition drill. Elijah Harbison was in the top four cadets in individual drill competition out of over 200 cadets.

Pictured top: Northview NJROTC cadets pose for a candid photo Saturday with their trophies at FAMU. Pictured inset and below: Cadets competed in the drill meeting Tallahassee on Saturday. Courtesy photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

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