Wahoos Fall in Rain Shortened Game Against The Shuckers

April 11, 2015

Biloxi Shuckers pitcher Tyler Wagner proved why he’s ranked the No. 9 prospect by Baseball America in the Milwaukee Brewers’ organization.

Before rain canceled Friday’s game in the bottom of the sixth inning with the Shuckers ahead, 7-1, over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Wagner looked in total control through six innings. The 24-year-old right-hander gave up five hits, one unearned run and struck out four.

“Wagner did a nice job,” said Pensacola Manager Pat Kelly. “We’ve seen two really good pitchers and it doesn’t get any easier.”

Meanwhile, after a 1-2-3 first inning, Blue Wahoos Daniel Wright struggled in his Double-A debut. The righty ranked first in wins with 14 and second in strike outs with 141 in A ball for the Reds last year.

Wright gave up three runs in the second inning on a one-out, bases-loaded clearing double down the left field line by Shuckers catcher Adam Weisenburger that put Biloxi ahead, 3-1. He gave up three more runs on three singles and a walk in the third inning before being pulled with two outs and the Wahoos trailing, 6-1.

On the night, Wright lasted 2.2 innings, allowing six earned runs on five hits and four walks with no strikeouts.

“He’s a command guy and he can’t afford to get behind guys,” Kelly said.

Also making his Double-A debut was leftfielder Sean Buckley who posted a double and single in three at bats.

Pensacola, which recorded its 106th sellout in four seasons, is hosting the season opening series with Biloxi.

The third game of the five-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers Double-A affiliate Biloxi Shuckers is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. RHP Tim Adleman takes the mound for the Wahoos and is scheduled to be opposed by the Shuckers LHP Hobbs Johnson.

Car Fire Slows Highway 29 Traffic

April 10, 2015

Traffic was slowed on Highway 29 at Hannah Street in Ensley Friday afternoon by a vehicle fire. The Ensley Station of Escambia Fire Rescue quickly extinguished the blaze. There were no injures reported. Reader submitted photos by Jason Isbell, click to enlarge.

Escambia Allocates Tourist Dollars To Tate’s Aggie Classic Tourney

April 10, 2015

Escambia County will provide tourist development funding for the next Aggie Classic hosted by Tate High School Baseball.

Over its 22 year history, the tournament has brought in over 350 teams from California, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, New York, and the District of Columbia — along with thousands of out of town parents and fans spending money locally and staying nearly a week.

“We are looking to always improve our tournament and to put our best foot forward for our annual guests,” Tate baseball coach Greg Blackmon wrote in his funding request.

Escmabia County placed $250,000 in the 4th Cent Tourist Development Tax reserves. These funds are split $50,000 per commission district for events and other tourist promotion activities. District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry has proposed $5,000 for the 23rd Aggie Classic to be held March 14-17, 2016. The Escambia County Commission approved the proposal at a Thursday meeting.

Santa Rosa Deputy Attacked By Man With Sword; Suspect Shot And Killed

April 10, 2015

A Santa Rosa County deputy is recovering after being cut by a man with a Samurai sword Thursday evening in Navarre. The suspect died a short time after being shot multiple times by a second deputy.

About 5:30 p.m., deputies with the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to an address on Quail Roost Drive in Navarre for a reported active disturbance where an individual had a weapon in his possession.

Upon arrive, deputies encountered the man with the sword, who was later identified as Gordon Talmage Kimbrell Jr. Kimbrell struck Deputy Matt Ray with the sword multiple times, causing serious injuries.  Sgt. Brian Miller then shot Kimbrell.

Kimbrell  was transported to Gulf Breeze Hospital where he was pronounced deceased. Ray was transported to Baptist Hospital where he underwent surgery and was listed in good condition Thursday night. He is recovering from a serious injury to an extremity

Due to the deputy-involved shooting, the investigation is being headed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Miller has been placed on administrative leave, as is standard procedure. Further details have not yet been released.

Miller was not injured during the incident.

Baseball: Northview Tops In District; Niceville Over Tate

April 10, 2015

Northview 4, Chipley 3

The Northview Chiefs (15-2, 8-2)  beat Chipley Thursday night in Bratt 4-3. With the win, the Chiefs will enter the district tournament as the No. 1 seed. For the Chiefs, Brodie Amos was 1-3, 3 RBI; Chasen Freeman 1-3, R; Roman Manning 1-2, R; Aaron McDonalds 0-3; Zach Payne 1-2; Brian Cantrell 1-3, R.  In their final regular season game, the Chiefs will host Rocky Bayou on Monday.

Niceville 1, Tate 0

The Tate Aggies dropped a district game to Niceville Thursday night, 1-0. Branden Fryman was 1-3; Jacob Saulnier 1-2; Josh Key 1-3. The Aggies will host Fort Walton Beach Friday night in another district matchup.

Paxton 2, Central 2

West Florida 11, Walton 1

Pictured: Northview beats Chipley Thursday night in Bratt. NorthEscambia.com photos by Ramona Preston, click to enlarge.

Hurricane Forecasters Predict Quietest Season In Decades

April 10, 2015

The forecasters at Colorado State University are predicting that 2015 will be one of the quietest hurricane seasons in decades.

They are only predicting seven named storms, the lowest forecast in two decades, and three hurricanes. There are normally 12 named storms and six or seven hurricanes, the group said.

The slow season, according to Colorado State researchers is because an El Niño of at least moderate strength will develop this summer and fall, and the tropical and subtropical Atlantic are also cool.

“Despite the forecast for below average activity, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted,” researchers said.

Emergency Gun Bill Headed To Governor

April 10, 2015

A measure that would allow people without concealed-weapons permits to pocket their legally owned guns during a declared emergency is now headed to the governor.

The House voted 86-26 on Thursday to approve a proposal (SB 290) that would allow people to carry guns without concealed-weapons licenses for 48 hours during mandatory emergency evacuations. The bill would only apply to people who legally own guns.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Scott, who prodded the Florida National Guard to back a similar measure last year, wouldn’t say on Thursday if Scott would sign this year’s proposal.

“If it gets to his desk he’ll review it,” Scott spokeswoman Jackie Schutz said.

Last year’s proposal died in the Senate, amid concerns by the Florida Sheriffs Association and some Republican and Democratic senators.

But Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, made changes this year to address the concerns of law enforcement, such as adding the 48-hour limit. The timeframe can be extended by the governor during a crisis.

Proponents say the measure allows people to bring their firearms, along with other valuables, when they are forced to leave home because of hurricanes or other disasters.

“The unintended consequence would be for certain having looters to come and take weapons that have been left behind, whether they be valuable heirlooms or standard-issue firearms,” said Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, the House sponsor of the bill. “If you think for one moment that I want to walk out in an emergency situation and not be able to have some means of protecting myself and my family, you’re sadly mistaken.”

The narrowly tailored bill doesn’t address issues such as what people without licenses must do with their weapons if they evacuate to shelters that prohibit guns or whether people could continue to carry concealed weapons on their return home after an evacuation order is lifted.

Democrats objected to increasing the number of armed people roaming the streets without concealed-weapons permits during a time of crisis. They added that obtaining a concealed-carry permit, which requires firearms training, is readily available.

Tampa Democrat Rep. Ed Narain, a concealed-carry permit holder, expressed concerns about “unintended consequences” he likened to incidents he said have been tied to the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law.

“Image you’re an African-American father, and husband, who is securing his own family in an evacuation situation,” Narain said. “While driving out of town you see someone in need of help. And you decide you’re going to assist them. But this person, who is in clear distress, sees you coming towards them and they feel threatened. Thinking you could potentially have ill intentions, they decide to fire that weapon that they don’t have a conceal weapons permit for, that they don’t handle very often, and they don’t have any real training on.”

But Rep. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, called arguments against the bill “preposterous” and “ridiculous.”

“The majority of Democratic colleagues want to disarm law-abiding citizens in a time of need,” Artiles declared. “The criminals will always have their weapons…Did the criminal take a safety class? Did the criminal get a license? No, this is to defend your family. This is to defend your property, including the food you prepared. Because if you don’t have a weapon in a time of need, when a police officer or cell tower is not working, guess what, the person with a weapon is going to take your food. And that’s a reality. It’s survival of the fittest when our infrastructure has crumbled.”

by Jim Turner, The News Service of Florida

Northview Chiefs Celebrate Senior Night, Take On Wisconsin Team

April 10, 2015

The Northview High School Lady Chiefs celebrated Senior Night Thursday as they wrapped  up their regular season.  The Chiefs dropped both games of a double header to visiting Oshkosh North High School from Wisconsin. The Lady Chiefs will travel to Freeport Monday as the district tournament gets underway.

Pictured top: (L-R) Seniors Kendall Cobb, Penny Banda, Coach Ronald Peebles, Kyndall Hall, Courtney Peebles, Addy Lee, Kristen Byrd and Mallory Ryan. Not pictured above is Angel Lathan, who is on the left below, and Ciara Campbell. Submitted photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Softball: West Florida Beats PFHS; KY Over Tate

April 10, 2015

West Florida 12, Pine Forest 2
West Florida 11, Pace 6

The West Florida Lady Jaguars beat Pine Forest Thursday night 12-2. Farrah Nicholas pitched the win for WFHS, allowing two runs and striking out five. Haile Bell 1-1; Bre Rogres 1-3; Kayla Miller 1-4;  Jibrasha Moore 1-2; Ealon Pyle 1-1; Farrah Nicholas 1-2, 2 RBIs; Emily Loring 1-2; Kristin Gunter 1-4; Lauren Carnley 1-2. Earlier this week, West Florida beat Pace 11-6.’

For more West Florida softball photos, click here.

Male High (KY) 4, Tate 1

Casey McCracking went 1-3 as Tate was handed their fourth loss of the season by a visiting Kentucky team Thursday. Tori Perkins pitched seven for Tate, striking out five. Other Tate hitters were Savannah Rowell 1-3, and Jasmin Gonzalez 1-2. The Lady Aggies will next take on the Milton Panthers.

Jay 11, Flomaton 1

The Jay Lady Royals were led by Harley Tagert Thursday as they pounded Flomaton 11-1. Tagert was 3-for-4 with a homer, double and five RBIs. Other Jay hitters were Michaela Stewart 2-3, 3 runs, RBI; Riana Wolf 2-3, 2 runs; Averi Jackson 2-3, 2 runs, double; Emily Dobson 1-3, 2 RBIs, triple. Jay (18-3) will host Central Friday night.

Pictured: West Florida Jaguars softball action. Photos by Gary Carnley for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Tagert Powers Jay Over Flomaton

April 10, 2015

Jay 11, Flomaton 1

The Jay Lady Royals were led by Harley Tagert Thursday as they pounded Flomaton 11-1. Tagert was 3-for-4 with a three-run homer, double and five RBIs. Other Jay hitters were Michaela Stewart 2-3, 3 runs, RBI; Riana Wolf 2-3, 2 runs; Averi Jackson 2-3, 2 runs, double; Emily Dobson 1-3, 2 RBIs, triple. Jay (18-3) will host Central Friday night.

Thursday was Senior Night for the Royals as they honored Dana Blackmon and Emily Dobson.

Pictured top: Harley Targert slams a three-run home Thursday for the Jay Royals.  Pictured below: Seniors Dana Blackmon and Emily Dobson. Photos by Diann Tagert for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

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