ECUA Extends Customer Service Phone Hours

December 15, 2014

In order to alleviate the demand on its overloaded telephone system, ECUA is extending customer service telephone hours beginning today. Customer Service telephone lines will remain open until 7:00 p.m. on weekdays, and will also be open from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 20 and 27.

The ECUA telephone system first became overloaded late last week with the dramatic increase in calls from residents of north Santa Rosa County, calling in to sign up for solid waste service before the end of the year. An automated message saying that the number, (850) 476-0480, is out of service is incorrect, and ECUA is working with the telephone company to rectify this matter.

To avoid long wait times on the phone, customers may obtain information on services at  To sign-up, residents may email to request any of the solid waste services, or go to to request service online by December 26.

When making a request for service, customers are asked to include their name, service address and a daytime telephone number.  When applying for a new account, customers should be prepared to present some form of identification (for example: driver’s license, military ID card, Florida ID card or student ID card).

To contact ECUA regarding an emergency only, such as a water outage or to report a broken main, call (850) 494-7350.

The Santa Rosa County Board of Commissioners has entered into an inter-local agreement with the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority to provide single-family residential solid waste collection north of the Yellow River beginning Friday, January 2. No other large truck provider will be able to provide service in the franchise area after December 30.

The new north end Santa Rosa ECUA services are $51.27 per quarter and include:

  • Garbage pickup: twice a week in a wheeled, 95-gallon container
  • Recycling pickup: on request by resident once a week in a wheeled, 95-gallon container, residents should request recycling service when signing up for service
  • Yard debris pickup: every two weeks
  • Bulky waste pickup: service on request via phone call from resident
  • Side door collection service for the disabled at no extra charge, Non-handicapped side door collection service, additional containers or bear-resistant containers at an additional cost.

ECUA will begin delivering new garbage and recycling containers to Santa Rosa customers this week. It is important that residents do not use the new containers until after their last scheduled pickup date with their outgoing provider, either December 29, 30 or 31; as ECUA will not start service routes until January. Please leave your old empty containers at the curbside for pickup by the previous provider.

Citizens utilizing residential curbside collection in the north end of the county that do not live the city of Milton, town of Jay or NAS Whiting Field, will now have one solid waste provider assigned to their area.  The franchise agreement does not impact business or commercial dumpster accounts or residents living south of the Yellow River.  Residents in the Holley, Navarre, Midway or the city of Gulf Breeze will have no change in solid waste providers.

The residential curbside solid waste service is not mandatory.  Individuals who do not signup for service will be responsible for transporting their household waste, recyclables, yard debris and bulk waste items to the Central Landfill in Milton or the Jay Residential Drop Off Station in Jay.  Additionally, the commission chose to grandfather in the small providers. Residents may choose a provider that is currently permitted and utilizes trucks that weigh 15,000 lbs. or less.

FHP: Jay Man Killed In Morning Crash After Another Man Runs Stop Sign

December 15, 2014

A Jay man was killed in a two vehicle crash Monday morning after another man ran a stop sign and pulled into his path, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Joseph L. Lane, age 29 of Pace, was traveling west on County Road 178. He stopped a stop sign at the intersection with Highway 89, but failed to yield the right of way of 53-year old Grady K. Glover of Jay. Lane pulled his 2002 Ford F250 into the path of Glover’s 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis, according to the FHP. The vehicles collided in the intersection with Lane’s truck then hitting a guardrail and overturning into a concrete culvert.

Glover died as the result of his injuries. Lane was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital with serious injuries.

Charges against Lane are pending further investigation, according to FHP.

Escambia Schools Alert Parents About The Flu

December 15, 2014

Escambia County schools are aleart parents about the flu and encouraging them to keep infected children home to prevent sickening other students.

Flu letters were to be sent home from every school last week, following an announcement from the Florida Department of Health that the 2014-2015 flu season is off to an early start, especially among children.

The letter encourages vaccination against the flu for those that have not already done so this season, and it encourage parents to keep sick children at thome.

“It is especially important that people who do become infected with the influenza virus stay home when they are sick and parents keep sick children at home to prevent spreading the flu,” the form letter from Escambia principals states. “As a reminder our school district exclusion policy requires students to stay home from school until they are fever free for at least 24 hours without fever reducing medication.”

For a copy of the letter and “flu guide” sent home with Escambia County students, click here.

DEP, Volunteer Florida To Assist With Flood Recovery

December 15, 2014

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, in partnership with Volunteer Florida, is supporting those impacted by the spring floods in Florida’s panhandle counties. From April 28 to May 6, a severe weather system brought torrential rains to the Northern Florida Gulf Coast.

Governor Scott declared a State of Emergency for 26 Florida counties on April 30 and individual assistance was granted for both Escambia and Santa Rosa counties on May 6.

To help assist with the recovery efforts, the department has offered complimentary campsites at Big Lagoon State Park, Blackwater River State Park and Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park. The campsites will be utilized by Volunteer Florida volunteers as they rebuild and repair homes affected by the flood in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

“We are happy to contribute and help Escambia and Santa Rosa residents recover from the devastating floods this spring,” Florida Park Service Director Donald Forgione said. “Last year, more than 30,000 volunteers donated more than 1.3 million hours of their time to help with Florida State Parks operations. Just as we support and rely upon volunteers at our parks, we understand how the flood victims appreciate Volunteer Florida volunteers helping rebuild their homes. We are proud to assist with these campsites.”

Escambia All-County Band Named

December 15, 2014

The 110 members of the 2015 Escambia County School District All-County Band have been named. After several rehearsals in late January, the band will present a concert at the Saenger Theatre in Pensacola at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 28.

Members of the 2015 Escambia County All-County Band are:


  • Ashlyn Adams, Clarinet
  • Miranda Avery, Trumpet
  • Ashley Barnett, Trumpet
  • Kyndal Bray, Clarinet
  • Jenna Brooks, Clarinet
  • Olivia Brown, Bass Clarinet
  • Katlynn Buchanan, Clarinet
  • Marissa Constantakos, Clarinet
  • Bryce Coots, Alto Sax
  • Chandler Cotton, Trombone
  • Jessica Gainey, French Horn
  • Aaron Gavin, Euphonium
  • Tiana Hendricks, Flute
  • Jacob Howard, Trumpet
  • Brennan Infinger, Alto Sax
  • Toye Johnson, Flute
  • Elyse Locke, Flute
  • Anastasia Lowe, Flute
  • Ethan Millet, Trumpet
  • Eric Milligan, Clarinet
  • Ashton Nelson, Bassoon
  • Blake Norre, Trumpet
  • Keionna Odom, Bass Clarinet
  • Abbey Opalenik, Trumpet
  • Mallory Parker, Clarinet
  • Madison Philley, Oboe
  • Chad Ratliff, French Horn
  • Madison Rondeau, Flute
  • Logan Royer, Bassoon
  • Katie Snyder, Clarinet
  • Cody Swiiley, Euphonium
  • Nicholas Touchstone, Trumpet
  • Nathan Tubbs, Trombone
  • Zachary Vranich, Trumpet
  • Katie Woods, Clarinet
  • Tristan Workman, Trumpet
  • Natalie Wright, Clarinet


  • Samirah Abdul-Bari, Clarinet
  • Alexis Armour, Trumpet
  • Zach Barham, Trombone
  • Donovan Berg, Flute
  • Ryan Berg, Tenor Sax
  • Brody Cecil, French Horn
  • Sebastian Clowe, Percussion
  • Brittany Comer, Alto Sax
  • Nina Correa, Percussion
  • Tyler Crowe, Euphonium
  • Dakota Downey, Trombone
  • Andrew Gregg, Percussion
  • Robin Hall, Alto Sax
  • Jillian Heusohn, Flute
  • Zach Hogan, Contra Clarinet
  • Joshua Johnson, Trumpet
  • Justin King, Tenor Sax
  • Trevor King, Trumpet
  • Moira Leonard, French Horn
  • Jeffrey Lewis, French Horn
  • Ian Loncher, Tuba
  • Tyler Martin, Percussion
  • Skyler McLeod, Flute
  • Jacob Miller, Trumpet
  • Sadiq Muhammad, Tenor Sax
  • Halimah Muhammad, Trumpet
  • Hailey Orbik, Oboe
  • Wesley Potter, Tuba
  • Romela Romero, Clarinet
  • Melissa Thompson, Clarinet
  • Josh White, Trombone
  • Zachary Williamson, Bari Sax


  • Edden Josh Ambulo, Tuba
  • Erik Blount-Douglas, Clarinet
  • Noah Jeffery, French Horn
  • Prescott Moore, Flute
  • Jonathan Voyles, Percussion
  • Justin Zhang, Clarinet


  • Caroline Harper, Trombone
  • Jordan Riddle, Trombone
  • Anthony Tenoria, Clarinet


  • William Anderson, Bari Sax
  • Tyler Bonner, Percussion
  • Monica Bosso, Bassoon
  • Kaleb Broom, Tenor Sax
  • Adam Burns, Tuba
  • Gabriela Castaing, French Horn
  • Emily Edwards, Bass Clarinet
  • Lilly Endress, Clarinet
  • Jake Ford, Trombone
  • Omari Harris, Tuba
  • Logan Hempfleng, Trombone
  • Dune Holman, Tuba
  • Kameron Horak, Alto Sax
  • Nathaniel Jones, Euphonium
  • Kina Kawakami, Flute
  • Kela Kawakami, Clarinet
  • Deonna Lewis, Flute
  • Jacob Malonzo, Trumpet
  • Samaria McRae, French Horn
  • Madison O’Toole, Clarinet
  • Jamie Schaller, Clarinet
  • Jackson Van Matre, Tuba
  • Kimberly Vega, Flute
  • Avion Wright, Percussion
  • Dane Zimmerman, Bassoon


  • Cheynne Byrd, Flute
  • Craig Crosby, Tuba
  • Jacob Knight, Trombone
  • Kyle Lashley, Euphonium
  • Mariah McMullen, Flute
  • Dalton Merritt, Percussion
  • Elizabeth Shin, Clarinet

Smoke From Smoldering Fire Near Ransom Middle Fills Cantonment Neighborhoods

December 15, 2014

Smoke filled several Cantonment neighborhoods overnight in the Ransom Middle School area. The smoke was from a smoldering field fire that was contained Sunday afternoon.

Firefighters were called to the field behind Ransom Middle School about 2:30 Sunday afternoon and declared that the fire was contained by 3:10 p.m. The fire consumed about 10 acres of land and involved about 30-40 large bales of hay. There were no structures involved or damaged.

The bales of hay continued to smolder into the night, producing a lot of smoke and visibility problems in the Kingsfield Road area.

Shortly before 11 p.m. Sunday, a check on the area by Escambia Fire Rescue found that the smoldering areas and burning hay bales were still well within a fire line that was plowed earlier in the day by the Florida Forest Service. The fire posed no danger of escaping the fire line.

Officials were expected to monitor the fire site throughout overnight hours.

Santa To Visit Local Library Branches This Week

December 15, 2014

Santa Claus is planning several upcoming stops at local West Florida Library branches this week across Escambia County:

Pajama Story Time With Santa — Molino Branch

  • Monday, December 15, 6 p.m. – Wear your cozy pajamas, bring your blankets and join us for caroling, Christmas stories, milk and cookies and a visit from Santa himself. This will be a great photo opportunity, so parents, be sure to bring your cameras.

Santa Visits Story Time – Southwest Branch

  • Tuesday, December 16, 10:30 a.m. –Santa and Mrs. Claus will sing Jingle Bells, pose for photos and greet each child. (recommended for preschool age children)

Little Santa’s Holiday Party – Main Library

  • Tuesday, December 16, 6 p.m. – Ever wonder how Santa Claus came to be? Children will decorate a holiday cookie, enjoy carols with the Pensacola Choral Society and learn the backstory of the jolly ol’ elf from the man himself.

Meet Santa and Sing Carols – Tyron Branch

  • Thursday, December 18, 4 p.m. –Meet Santa, sing carols and enjoy holiday treats.

Christmas With Santa – Century Branch

  • Thursday, December 18, 6 p.m. – Enjoy a story, cookies and a visit with Santa Claus. Each child will receive a gift from Santa.

Local Students Place In Sub-District I FFA Competition

December 15, 2014

FFA members from three counties recently took part in the 2014 Sub-District I FFA Competition at Heritage Baptist Church in Cantonment.

Students can explore numerous career fields within agriculture by participating in Career Development Events known as CDEs, which focus on student success. Students spend many hours training for competition and receive assistance from their advisor, industry partners, alumni, and community stakeholders.

Results from the event were as follows:

High School Results
Prepared Public Speaking

  1. Mitchell Singleton – Northview FFA (Escambia)
  2. Sara Herrington – West Florida FFA (Escambia)
  3. Zach Rutherford – Central FFA (Santa Rosa)

Extemporaneous Speaking

  1. Tiffani Cruce – Northview FFA (Escambia)
  2. Erica Waters – Central FFA (Santa Rosa)

Creed Speaking

  1. Emalie Sharpe – West Florida FFA (Escambia)
  2. Rosemary Smyth – Tate FFA (Escambia)
  3. Emma Fennell – Ernest Ward FFA (Escambia)

Tractor Operation and Maintenance

  • Forrest Gibbs – Tate FFA (Escambia)
  • Joseph Roberts – Jay FFA (Santa Rosa)
  • Zach Rutherford – Central FFA (Santa Rosa)

Parliamentary Procedure

  1. Jay FFA (Santa Rosa)
  2. West Florida FFA (Escambia)
  3. Tate (Escambia)

Middle School Results

Prepared Public Speaking

  1. Lindsey Casey – Beulah FFA (Escambia)
  2. Olivia Key – Central FFA (Santa Rosa)

Extemporaneous Speaking

  1. Gabe Pfeuffer-Ferguson – Beulah FFA (Escambia)
  2. Kylie Schwarz – Central FFA (Santa Rosa)

Opening and Closing Ceremony

  1. Jay FFA (Santa Rosa)
  2. Ernest Ward (Escambia)
  3. Beulah (Escambia)

Parliamentary Procedure

  1. Jay FFA (Escambia)

Winning students and chapters are now among the top in the state and will advance to the 2015 District I FFA Competition.

George Stone To Offer EMT Program Beginning In January

December 15, 2014

George Stone Technical Center has announced an the addition of an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class beginning January 8, 2015. EMT Program Director Monica Knight and Medical Director, Dr. Chris Durant, received state credentials and final approval to start the new GSTC program from the State of Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and National Registry.

“We are excited to be working closely with Escambia County EMS and Sacred Heart Hospital on this amazing endeavor,” explained Knight.

The 10 week-long EMT program provides students with an understanding of this medical field, especially the pre-hospital setting. The students will complete a combination of classroom delivered education, along with skills training, and hands-on clinical experiences. Classes will be full-time Monday through Friday. Upon successful completion of the program, students will be eligible to take the National EMT Certification Exam.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for students in the local area. This program will prepare them for many employment opportunities with in our community,” said Thomas Rollins, Principal of George Stone Technical Center.

“EMT certification means eligibility for employment in various technical patient care fields of employment and puts students on the path to enrolling in a paramedic program, or even a firefighting program,” added Knight.

Students interested in enrolling in the EMT program should speak to a GSTC guidance counselor or Knight. The total cost for the course is between $1,200 and $1,300. The deadline to register for the first class is January 6, 2015. The next class will begin in late March. For information on the EMT program and EMS Education at George Stone Technical Center, call (850) 941-6200, ext.2177 or visit

Jay Plans Praise And Prayer Assembly At Nativity Scene

December 15, 2014

Residents of Jay and surrounding areas will hold a Praise and Prayer Assembly next Monday, December 22, at the Jay Nativity and Christmas Tree.

Called a “united community event” by organizers, the 5:30 p.m. event will feature Christmas readers, songs and prayer

After an attorney for the Wisconsin group from the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to the town claiming that a nativity display on public property is illegal, it was acquired by the Santa Rosa County Ministerial Association and moved to the corner of Commerce Street and Highway 4. [Read more...]

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