Agricultural Conservation Easements Program Applications Due June 6

June 1, 2014

Applications are due June 6 for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service new Agricultural Conservation Easements Program (ACEP), which provides financial assistance for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to establish conservation easements.  The ACEP was created through the 2014 Farm Bill and funds easements for agricultural lands and wetland reserves, combining NRCS’ former Farm and Ranch Lands Protection, Grassland Reserve and Wetlands Reserve programs.

Indian tribes, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations and private landowners can contact their local NRCS office to find out how to apply.

The program is comprised of two types of easements: agricultural and wetlands. Agricultural easements prevent productive working lands from being converted to non-agricultural uses and protect land devoted to food production. Cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forestland are eligible.  Wetland reserve easements restore and enhance wetlands and improve habitat. Eligible lands include farmed or converted wetlands that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored.

Applications will be rated according to the easement’s potential for protecting and enhancing habitat for migratory birds, fish and other wildlife. Applications are available at local NRCS office and at

Retired Navy Captain From Molino Honored As ‘Hero Among Us’

May 31, 2014

A Molino man known for his F -14 Tomcat fighter expertise was honored Friday evening as a Hero Among Us.

Dan “Darth” Cain served as a U.S. Marine in Vietnam. Then he went to the University of West Florida, graduated with a degree in marine biology, and became a pilot in the U.S. Navy, where he logged 6,700 hours in various military fighter aircraft, including 4,200 in F-14 Tomcats.

Cain retired from the Navy as a captain in 2004 after 36 years of military service. Cain has been awarded the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three Gold Stars, and many other honors for his service.

Cain was honored as part of the Heroes Among Us series at the Veterans Memorial Park near Bayfront Parkway and Ninth Avenue in downtown Pensacola.

The series, now in its second year, features veterans of every service and is held on the last Friday of each month from May through October. It is presented by the local Marine Corps League, J. R. Spears Detachment 066. Admission is free, although donations are accepted for the Marines in Distress Fund to help veterans in need.

The “Heroes Among Us” series features people who have compelling tales to tell about military experience and life.

Escambia County High School Graduation Schedule

May 31, 2014

Here is a schedule of high school graduations in Escambia County:

Saturday, May 31

Northview High School

Monday, June 2 at Pensacola Bay Center

Tate High School, 11 a.m.
West Florida High School, 2:30 p.m.
Pine Forest High School, 6 p.m.

Tuesday, June 3 at Pensacola Bay Center

Escambia High School, 11 a.m.
Pensacola High School, 2:30 p.m.
Booker T. Washington High School, 6 p.m.

Thursday, June 26

Summer School Graduation, PHS, 4 p.m.

Molino Man Cited After After Hitting School Bus In Cantonment

May 31, 2014

A Molino man was ticketed Friday morning after rear-ending a school bus in Cantonment.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol 21-year old Anthony Lee Salas was traveling southwest on Highway 95A approaching the traffic light at Highway 29 when he rear-ended the Escambia County School District bus driven by 46-year old Barbara Joszell Johnson of Cantonment. There were nine Jim Allen Elementary School students on the bus at the time of the collision.

There were no injuries.

Salas was cited by the FHP for careless driving.

Pictured: The driver of this white car rear-ended an Escambia County School District bus late Friday morning on Highway 95A  at Highway 29 in Cantonment. Reader submitted photo by Laura Eggart for, click to enlarge.

Storm Debris Drop Off Site To Remain Open Another Week

May 31, 2014

Due to continued demand, the Escambia County free storm debris drop off site at John R. Jones Athletic Park, 555 E. Nine Mile Road, will remain open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Friday, June 6.

This storm debris drop off site first opened on May 10, allowing citizens a place to dispose of debris. This site is for residential use only. Commercial haulers, contractors or commercial companies are prohibited.

Residents needing curbside storm debris removal should contact their waste service provider:

  • Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (850) 476-0480
  • City of Pensacola Sanitation Service (850) 435-1890

Anyone with concerns, questions or issues with the storm debris collection effort following the closure of this free drop off site is encouraged to contact the Escambia County Solid Waste Management Division at (850) 937-2160.

Nine-Day Hurricane Sales Tax Holiday Now Underway

May 31, 2014

Florida’s nine-day Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday begins this weekend.

From May 31 to June 8, numerous items often purchased to prepare for hurricanes will be tax free:

Qualifying Items

Selling for $10 or less:
• Reusable ice (reusable ice packs)

Selling for $20 or less:
• Any portable self-powered light source
• Battery-powered flashlights
• Battery-powered lanterns
• Gas-powered lanterns (including propane, kerosene, lamp oil, or similar fuel)
• Tiki-type torches
• Candles

Selling for $25 or less:
• Any gas or diesel fuel container (including LP gas and kerosene containers)

Selling for $30 or less:
• Batteries, including rechargeable batteries and excluding automobile and boat batteries
(listed sizes only)
• AA-cell
• C-cell
• D-cell
• 6-volt
• 9-volt
• Coolers (food-storage; nonelectrical)
• Ice chests (food-storage; nonelectrical)
• Self-contained first-aid kit (already tax exempt)

Selling for $50 or less:
• Tarpaulins (tarps)
• Visqueen, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths, and other flexible waterproof sheeting
• Ground anchor systems
• Tie-down kits
• Bungee cords
• Ratchet straps
• Radios (self-powered or battery-powered)
• Two-way radios (self-powered or battery-powered)
• Weather band radios (self-powered or battery-powered)

Selling for $750 or less:
• Portable generators that will be used to provide light, communications, or to preserve food in the event of a power outage
Note: Eligible battery-powered or gas-powered light sources and portable self-powered radios qualify for the exemption even though they may have electrical cords.

Northview Seniors Earn Over $1.7 Million In Scholarships

May 31, 2014

Northview High School has announced that members of the the Class of 2014 were awarded at least $1,713,445 in scholarships, a school record.

Awarded scholarships included:

Mariah Albritton

  • Gold Seal Vocational – Bright Futures – $3,384

Madison Arrington

  • Atmore Rotary All-Star – $500

Kevin Barrow

  • Atmore Rotary All-Star – $500
  • Gautrelet Award – Spring Hill College – $52,000

Kasie Braun

  • AT&T Foundation Scholarship – $2,500
  • Atmore Rotary 4 Year – $750
  • Florida Academic Scholar- Bright Futures – $12,000
  • IIT Heald Scholarship – $100,000
  • Jim & Jumi Ross Memorial – $500
  • Johnson & Wales – $500
  • Mary Baldwin College – $80,000
  • MIRA Book Award – $200
  • NJROTC Scholarship – $180,000
  • United Bank of Atmore – $300

Taylor Brook

  • MIRA Book Award – $200
  • Troy Band Scholarship – $2,500

Dale Brown

  • Florida Academic Scholar – Bright Futures – $12,000
  • UWF Argonaut Scholarship – $12,000

Skye Brown

  • Atmore Rotary All-Star – $500

Audrey Byrd

  • Atmore Rotary All-Star – $500

Katelynne Calloway

  • Atmore Rotary All-Star – $500

Kira Cartwright

  • Atmore Rotary All-Star – $500

Matthew Cayson

  • Studer Make a Difference Award – $1,000

Mashama Codrington

  • Atmore Rotary All-Star – $500
  • Take Stock in Children partial – $6,191

Lana Clayton

  • Atmore Rotary All-Star – $500

Morgan Digmon

  • MIRA Book Award – $200
  • Atmore Rotary All-Star – $500

Hunter Dettling

  • MIRA Book Award – $250
  • University of Mobile University Scholarship – $20,000
  • University of Mobile Center for Performing Arts – $8,000
  • Fualkner State Music Scholarship

Anna Donald

  • Atmore Rotary 4 year – $750
  • FBLA District One Scholarship – $250
  • MIRA Book Award – $200
  • Troy University Chancellors Award Scholarship – $35,000
  • Troy University Trojan Opportunity Scholarship – $3,000

Anna Fischer

  • Atmore Rotary All-Star – $500
  • Gold Seal Vocational – Bright Futures – $3,384
  • MIRA Book Award – $200
  • UWF Nautilus Scholarship – $6,000

Marina Gray

  • Atmore Rotary All-Star – $500

Tamara Green

  • Atmore Rotary All-Star – $500
  • Southern Normal School Scholarship – $500

Rebecca Grim

  • Atmore Rotary All-Star – $500
  • Take Stock in Children Scholarship – $12,382

Talana Heathcock

  • Spring Hill – Portier Leader Award – $80,000
  • University of South Alabama Presidential – $14,000

Cory Hester

  • MIRA Book Award – $200

Kelsie Hudson

  • Fortis Institute A.S.N. Scholarship – $1,000

Courtney Jones

  • Atmore Rotary All-Star – $500

Justin King

  • Gold Seal Vocational – Bright Futures – $3,384
  • MIRA Book Award – $200

Chloe Leonard

  • MIRA Book Award – $200
  • Atmore Rotary All-Star – $500

Jessica Lowery

  • Florida Medallion Scholar – Bright Futures – $9,000

Ali Martin

  • Atmore Rotary All-Star – $500
  • PSC Outstanding Minority Scholarship – $1,800

Rachel Presley

  • 1st Generation Poarch Scholarship – $40,000

Tiffani Pritchett

  • Atmore Rotary All-Star – $500
  • Take Stock in Children Scholarship – $12,382

Jonathan Baccari Ramer

  • 1st Generation Poarch Scholarship – $40,000

Caitlyn Rigby

  • Atmore Rotary All-Star – $500

Hilery Scott

  • Atmore Rotary All-Star – $500
  • PSC Concert Chorale – $1,400
  • PSC Entertainers Scholarship – $1,400

Danny Slay

  • Mayville State University Football – $4,800

Kent Smith

  • Troy University Band Scholarship – $6,000

Courtney Solari

  • Atmore Rotary 4 Year – $750
  • Charles & Alice Mayson – $17,400
  • FFA Friends and Alumni Scholarship – $500
  • Florida Academic Scholar- Bright Futures – $12,000
  • Pensacola Interstate Fair Scholarship – $1,000
  • Thomas Weaver Memorial FFA – $500
  • UWF Nautilus Scholarship – $6,000

Jeremy Stacey

  • UWF Argonaut Scholarship – $12,000
  • FFA Friends and Alumni Scholarship – $500
  • Florida Academic Scholar- Bright Futures – $12,000

Danielle Steadham

  • PSC President’s Award – $1,800

Karissa Strickland

  • Barrineau Park Scholarship – $500
  • Florida Medallion Scholars – Bright Futures – $9,000
  • Take Stock in Children – $10,420

Daulton Tullis

  • McGhee Tullis Tuition Assistance Scholarship – $100,000

Lauryn Walker

  • Atmore Rotary All-Star – $500
  • Tommy Weaver Memorial DCT Scholarship – $500

Courtney Weaver

  • Atmore Rotary 4 year – $750
  • Gold Seal Vocational – Bright Futures – $3,384
  • Spring Hill College – Portier Leader Award – $80,000

Victoria Wright

  • AFROTC Scholarship – $180,000
  • American Legion Auxillary Scholarship – $5,000
  • Atmore Rotary 4 Year – $750
  • Barrineau Park Scholarship – $1,000
  • District One FBLA – $250
  • EREC Scholarship – $4,000
  • First National Bank – Sal award – $50
  • Florida Academic Scholar- Bright Futures – $12,000
  • Florida PEO Scholarship – $2,000
  • Jim & Jumi Ross Memorial Scholarship – $500
  • United States Air Force Academy – $444,984
  • UWF Nautilus Scholarship – $12,000

Northview senior and co-valedictorian Kasie Braun was presented a NJROTC scholarship valued at up to $180,000. photo, click to enlarge.

Niceville Upends Tate In Spring Football Jamboree

May 31, 2014

The Niceville Eagles got past the Tate Aggies 21-13 in a two-quarter spring football jamboree Friday night at Pete Gindl Stadium in Cantonment.

Quarterback Sawyer Smith capped an 80-yard trip down the field with a seven-yard touchdown pass to Reginald Payne to open the scoring for the Aggies.  Tate scored again on a seven-yard run from Alondo Thompkins.

In the first two quarters of the jamboree, the Niceville junior varsity defeated the Tate JV 16-0. photos by Kristi Smith, click to enlarge.

‘Genius Map Drawer” Denies Sharing With GOP Officials

May 31, 2014

A state Republican staffer, tagged as a “genius map drawer,” denied discussing or sharing proposed new district lines in 2011 with national GOP officials, as the second week of a trial over the state’s redrawn congressional maps concluded Friday.

GOP staffer Frank Terraferma was called back to provide additional testimony after his name was revealed to have been included in an emailed invitation to a June 15, 2011, meeting at Republican National Committee headquarters.

Terraferma’s brief appearance Friday via telephone highlighted testimony as the state began its defense against allegations from voting-rights groups, including the League of Women Voters of Florida, and seven voters that are challenging the constitutionality of the congressional map.

The plaintiffs had been seeking for six months the full email announcing the 2011 meeting sent by RNC staffer Jessica Furst Johnson.

The names of those invited to the meeting — Terraferma, current House Speaker Will Weatherford, current Senate President Don Gaetz, Weatherford’s chief of staff Kris Money, and Gaetz’s chief of staff Chris Clark — had been redacted on a prior version of the document.

Terraferma, whose name was accompanied on the email by the sobriquet “genius map drawer,” said he was unaware of the meeting, which would have been held prior to the Legislature redistricting effort, or even the full email that was ordered released by a Washington D.C. court on Thursday.

Terraferma recalled little about the national party staffers also listed on the email, saying he may have spoken to Johnson after redistricting was completed, and added there was never talk of submitting maps under third-party names.

Districts identical to those drawn by Terraferma wound up submitted to the Legislature under the names of other individuals, including Alex Posada, a former Florida State University student.

Posada said under oath in a deposition given Thursday morning that he did not draw the congressional map, did not submit it to the Legislature and did not authorize anyone else to do so on his behalf, a lawyer for the voting rights groups told The News Service of Florida.

Terraferma may be called back for additional questioning, as John Devaney, a plaintiff’s attorney, said work is continuing with the D.C. court to get additional documents released from the Republican National Committee.

George Meros, an attorney for the Legislature, said the defense should be completed by Tuesday.

Closing statements could take the trial to Wednesday.

By Jim Turner

Bad Check Racketeering Gets Man 15 Years In Prison

May 31, 2014

Irving Brown was sentenced Friday by Circuit Judge Linda Nobles to 15 years state prison for conspiring to conduct or participate in an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering  activity and grand Theft. Brown was convicted by an Escambia County jury on May 8.

In 2012, an investigation began after an individual was arrested for failing to pay for a taxi cab fare. It was later determined she had been in Marion, Broward, Orange, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Escambia counties involved in a ring of individuals who had burglarized vehicles, stolen people’s identities and checks, and writeenfraudulent checks within Escambia and other counties.

The investigation implicated Brown as the person who broke into the vehicles and provided identifications and stolen checks for other conspirators to cash.

Additionally, the investigation revealed the group traveled on multiple occasions from  Fort Lauderdale  to Escambia County for the purposes of passing stolen checks that Brown and his co-conspirators provided.

Brown would then get the females in their group to utter forged checks at various banking institutions throughout  Florida and several other states. The checks that were issued were written for various amounts and the cash was then turned over to Brown and his associates.

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