AARP: Older Floridians Worried About Finances

August 20, 2014

The senior-advocacy group AARP Florida released a survey Tuesday that found widespread financial concerns among people 50 and older.

The survey of 800 voters, conducted in late June and early July, included retirees and non-retirees who were 50 and older. In all, 59 percent said their incomes were falling behind increased costs of living. That included 64 percent of non-retirees and 80 percent of people whose income was less than $30,000 a year. Also, 55 percent of the non-retirees said they have delayed or expect to delay retirement for financial reasons.

by The News Service of Florida

Century To Update Ordinances In Online, Searchable Format

August 20, 2014

The Town of Century is taking steps to make sure that all of the town’s ordinances are up to date and searchable online.

Back in 2011, the town hired the Municipal Code Corporation to publish ordinances online in a searchable format for the public. Since that time, about nine new ordinances have been passed by the town council.

The council has voted to spend $35 per ordinance to have the ordinances updated in a searchable, cross-referenced format online, plus $35 for each additional ordinance that is passed to keep the latest ordinance information available.

To view Century’s Code of Ordinances (without the updates), click here.

The Municipal Code Corporation is one of the nation’s largest municipal code publication companies. The company currently provides code services for hundreds of governments, including Escambia and Santa Rosa counties and the City of Pensacola.

Pictured: Century Town Clerk Leslie Gonzalez explains the listing of the town’s ordinances on the Municode website. photo, click to enlarge.

Wahoos Blast Past Suns 8-4

August 20, 2014

Kyle Waldrop’s first-inning two-run home run was a sign of things to come for the Blue Wahoos on Tuesday night. It was the first of a team-record five Pensacola home runs in an 8-4 win over Jacksonville at the Baseball Ground of Jacksonville.

Waldrop hit a solo home run later in the game for his second of the contest. Wahoos starting pitcher Ben Lively got in on the act with a lead-off homer in the fifth. Leading just 5-4 in the ninth, the Wahoos belted two more round-trippers. Yorman Rodriguez led the inning off with a solo shot before Travis Mattair capped a 3-for-3 night with a two-run shot to put the game away.

Lively (W, 2-6) was solid again on the mound in his start. He battled through 6.0 innings allowing 3 R/ER on eight hits with just one walk and six strikeouts. It marked his fourth straight start allowing just one walk. He didn’t walk fewer than three in his first seven starts with Pensacola.

Lively was helped out by a stellar defensive play by Bryson Smith in fourth inning. Smith robbed what would have been a go-ahead three-run home run from Isaac Galloway. He leaped and reached over the five-foot wall in right field to make a game-saving catch, which kept the Wahoos in front.

The Suns threatened again and pulled within a run in the eighth inning before Shane Dyer (S, 17) came in to get the final four outs and earn the save for the Wahoos.

Suns starter Chipper Smith (L, 3-4) left the game with an apparent injury after facing just four batters and getting only one out. His injury hasn’t been released. Smith ended up getting hit with the loss after giving up 2 R/ER in 0.1 innings. The Blue Wahoos scored 3 R/ER off James Nygren in his 4.1 innings. They also scored 3 R/ER off Matt Ramsey in his 1.2 innings out of the bullpen.

Pensacola can even the series with a win on Wednesday night as the Blue Wahoos try to spoil the Suns postseason plans. The Wahoos will send RHP Robert Stephenson (6-8, 4.48) to the mound against Suns LHP Justin Nicolino (11-4, 2.85).  First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. CT from Bragan Field at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

by Tommy Thrall

State Completes Plans For Hwy 29, Hwy 97 Traffic Light; Construction Soon

August 19, 2014

Plans have been completed, and Escambia County is set to make a deposit of  just over a quarter of a million dollars to install a new traffic signal at the intersection of Highway 29 and Highway 97 in Molino.

Last October, the Escambia County Commission affirmed its support for improvements at the intersection and expressed a willingness for the county to pay for the red light at the intersection. A Florida Department of Transportation study determined the intersection did meet the criteria for the light, with an agreement in place that FDOT would design and construct the upgrades with Escambia County paying for the construction.

FDOT has completed the design phase and determined that Escambia County’s estimated cost for construction will be an estimated $265,400 for mast arms and signals at the intersection of Highway 29 and Highway 97. The Escambia County Commission is expected to approve payment at their Thursday meeting, with the payment to be made within 14 days.

According to District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry’s office, construction is anticipated to begin in late September or early October with a completion date by the end of the year.

A redesign of the Crabtree Church Road intersection with Highway 97, which is just feet from Highway 29, also also expected to take place as separate project.

Pictured: Traffic crashes at the Highway 29 and Highway 97 intersection in Molino. file photos, click to enlarge.

Woman Charged With Abusing Disabled Elderly Roommate

August 19, 2014

A Cantonment woman has been charged with abusing her disabled elderly roommate.

The roommate told Escambia County Sheriff’s deputies that Kelly Colleen Lister has been drinking all day and broke several things inside their house before hitting her in the face. The victim told deputies she is mentally disabled and cannot move without the aid of a walker or wheelchair. She said Lister had knocked her off a couch.

An independent witness at the home confirmed the alleged abuse to deputies, according to an arrest report, and the victim had obvious physical injuries.

When deputies ordered Lister to stand up from a couch, she instead grabbed a bottle of liquor and began to drink it, and she pulled away from deputies trying to place her under arrest, the ECSO report states.

Lister, 49, was charged with abuse of a disabled elderly person without great bodily harm and resisting arrest without violence.

Murzin To Be Interviewed For PSC Job August 28

August 19, 2014

A state panel is expected to nominate candidates for two spots on the Florida Public Service Commission after conducting interviews August 28 in Miami.

The Florida Public Service Commission Nominating Council last month chose 16 applicants to interview for the positions, including PSC member Julie Brown and former state Rep. Dave Murzin, R-Pensacola.

The nominations will go to Gov. Rick Scott, who will make the two appointments to four-year terms on the utility-regulatory commission. The current terms of Brown and Commissioner Eduardo Balbis will expire in January. While Brown is seeking reappointment, Balbis decided against applying for another term.

The August 28 meeting will start at 10 a.m. at Miami International Airport Hotel, according to a notice issued Monday.

by The News Service Of Florida

Students Head Back To Class (With Two Photo Galleries)

August 19, 2014

Monday was  the first day of school across the area, with tens of thousands of students heading back to class.

We asked readers to submit their back to school photos.

For a photo gallery, click here.

For a second photo gallery, click here.

We apologize, but due to a tremendous response, we were unable to publish all photos, and we are unable to add additional photos to the galleries.

Pictured top: In this “fun” photo, Molino Park Elementary School second grader puts up a first day of school “fight” at her front door Monday morning. Pictured inset: Mia heads off to second grade at Byrneville Elementary School. Pictured below: Benji and Jamie, kindergarten; London, first grade; and Sydney and Jada, Pre-K — all attend Bratt Elementary. Reader submitted photos for, click to enlarge.

Atmore Native Donates Gospel CD To Florida Prison Inmates

August 19, 2014

An Alabama pastor, gospel singer and teacher donated boxes of her  new CD to the Florida Department of Corrections Monday morning in Century.

Annette Haston’s “Love Through Time” was donated so that those doing time would remember God’s love for them. Enough copies of the contemporary gospel CD were donated at Century Correctional Institution Monday for every chapel at state prisons, faith-based facilities, re-entry facilities and privately run lockups in the state.

Haston was born and raised in Atmore, the daughter of the late Ernest and Alma Thomas and the youngest child of five.  She is a graduate of Escambia County High School in Atmore and a graduate of Alabama State University, Montgomery, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education.

She is co-founder of the Walls of Salvation International Church located in Prichard,and co-pastors alongside her husband, Dr. Julius V. Haston.  She is a mother, grandmother and public school teacher.

Tax Offices Collect Hundreds Of Pounds Of Food For Manna

August 19, 2014

Escambia County Tax Collector offices recently concluded a food drive for Manna Food Panties.  Tax collector offices in Molino, Marcus Pointe and downtown collected 738 pounds of food for Manna. Pictured top: Jenny and Nicole from the downtown office. Pictured inset: Kathy and Clara from the Molino office. Pictured below: Tonya, Melissa, Kimson, and Janet from the Marcus Pointe office. Courtesy photos for, click to enlarge.

Another Area West Nile Case Reported

August 19, 2014

Another human case of the West Nile Virus has been reported — this time in Santa Rosa County.

The Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County  issued a mosquito-borne illness advisory Monday after receiving a report of a case of West Nile Virus in a Santa Rosa County resident.  It is believed the virus was acquired locally, since the individual had not traveled out of the county recently.  Officials said there are no other known cases of West Nile Virus in Santa Rosa County.

Last Friday,  the Florida Department of Health issued a mosquito-borne illness advisory for Escambia County after receiving notification of a probably case of West Nile Virus in a local resident.

“There is a heightened concern that other Escambia County, Florida, residents and visitors may become ill from being bitten by an infected mosquito,” the department said in a news release.

The health department is reminding residents and visitors to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to take basic precautions to help limit exposure to mosquito-borne illnesses

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