February 19, 2016
Feeding the Gulf Coast, together with Flomaton Pentecostal Holiness Church and several local volunteer groups and churches in Flomaton and Brewton, distribute 5,000 pounds of free groceries, plus hot meals and clothing to families in the Flomaton area that we impacted by the February 15 tornado. The Thursday distribution took place at the Flomaton Pentecostal Holiness Church. Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.
February 19, 2016
The Legislature sent nine bills to Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday, including a measure (SB 130) known as the “backyard gun range” bill, which is intended to curb recreational shooting in residential areas. Another bill presented to the governor (SB 228) would remove aggravated assault from a list of offenses that lead to people being sentenced under the 10-20-Life mandatory-minimum sentencing law. A third bill (SB 158) would allow people with lifetime fishing or hunting licenses or boater-safety identification cards to have a symbol added to their driver licenses displaying that lifetime status. The addition of the symbol, when the driver’s license is issued or renewed, would come with a $1 fee.
Scott will have seven days to sign, veto or allow the bills to become law without his signature.
Of the remaining measures, one bill (SB 182) would extend several public-records exemptions involving financial “trade secret” information, while a related proposal (SB 180) would make theft of trade-secret financial information a third-degree felony. Four of the measures (SB 1030, SB 1032, SB 1038 and SB 1040) involve technical changes to state statutes.
by The News Service of Florida
February 19, 2016
Firefighters from multiple Escambia Fire Rescue stations and the Florida Division of Forestry battled a brush fire in the 3800 block of Highway 196 in Barrineau Park Thursday afternoon. There were no structures damaged, but several large round bales of hay were damaged. NorthEscambia.com photos by Kristi Price, click to enlarge.
February 19, 2016
Local score roundup:
Tate 10 Washington 0
The Tate High School Aggies shut out Washington 10-0 Thursday night. Madison Lockman pitched the win for the Aggies, allowing no runs, four hits and striking out one n four innings. Hitters for Tate were: Branden Fryman 3-3, 2 RBIs, 2 runs; Mason Land 1-3; Jake Davis 1-3, RBI, run; Cole Halfacre 2-3, HR, 3 RBIs; Josh Kea 1-3; Logan McGuffey 2-3, RBI, run; Madison Lockman 1-2, run; AJ Gordon 1-2, RBI, run.
JV – Northview 9 West Florida 7
The Northview JV baseball team defeated West Florida on Thursday night by a score of 9-7. The Chiefs rallied from a 7-3 deficit with a 5-run 4th inning. The Chiefs added 1 more run in the 5th inning to secure the victory.
Leading the Chiefs at the plate were Jackson Moore (2-2), Devin Stabler (2-4, 2B and 1 run scored), Luke Ward (2-3, 2 runs), Andrew Sharpless (1-1), Trevor Singleton (1-1), M.J. Jones (1-3) and John Chivington (1-4, 1 run). Seth Killiam led the Chiefs with 3 runs scored and Sam Stott added 2 runs.
Killiam started on the mound, striking out five batters on the night. Stabler finished the game and had three strikeouts. The Chiefs improved to 1-1 on the season. They travel, along with the varsity team, to Freeport this Friday. JV starts at 4:00 and varsity at 6:00.
Jay 4, Central 3
Destiny Herring got the win pitching five innings allowing six hits, three runs, three errors and striking out nine. Michaela Stewart was 3-4 with an RBI and Samanta Steadham was 1-3 with two runs for Jay. The Lady Royals (3-1) are on the road next Tuesday at Freeport.
Northview 8 Baker 1
Tori Herrington pitched the win for Northview, striking out nine. Hitting for Northview were: Hannah Ging 3-4, Kendall Enfinger 3-4, Laurie Purdy 3-4 and Jamia Newton 3-3. Northview will be at Central on Monday.
Tate 7 Pine Forest 0
Tate blanked Pine Forest 7-0 Thursday.
Pictured top: The Northview Lady Chiefs celebrate a win over Baker, 8-1, Thursday night. Submitted photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.
February 19, 2016
Here is tornado cleanup information for Friday, February 19.
Debris Pick Up
- Vegetative debris is being picked up within the town limits curbside and taken to a designated location on town property at the end of Industrial Boulevard. Debris outside town limits is being handled by Escambia County.
- Private vehicles can also dump vegetative debris only at the end of Industrial Boulevard, if the debris originated inside the town limits. Tag numbers and measurements of loads will be recorded.
- Town Hall will be open on Saturday, Feb. 20th from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. to process permits only. County permits will also be available at town hall, with all fees waived. Representatives from both Escambia County and the Town will be available. Beginning Monday, Feb. 22, county permits will be available at the Century Business Center on Pond Street, also with all fees waived, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
- Residents must go through Century Town Hall for permits and construction
- Residents needing a contractor should contact town hall for a list of contractors who are licensed and approved to do business in the town
- Before the Town of Century will issue a demo permit, contractors must meet with utility personnel on site
Small Business Development Center:
- The Florida Small Business Development Center will be in Century Friday, Feb. 19th with their Mobile Assistance Center (MAC) unit to assist any local small businesses. They will be located outside the Century Chamber as well as making site visits.
- LSNWFL will be at the Century Business Center on Pond Street Friday, Feb. 19th from noon – 4:00 p.m. assisting residents with property related legal issues.
- The Century Town Council Meeting that was scheduled for Monday, Feb. 15th has been rescheduled for this Monday, Feb. 22nd at 7:00 p.m. Please find the public notice attached.
- The church cannot accommodate additional clothing donations at this time. The Town is working to identify another organization that might be able to receive and distribute donations.
February 18, 2016
An Escambia County house fire claimed the lives of four children this morning in Escambia County.
Escambia Fire Rescue responded to the 5:28 a.m. call in the 2500 block of North Baylen Street in Pensacola to find small wood frame home fully involved in fire. Four children — an 11-year old male, 5-year old male, 3-year old female, and and 11-month old female perished in the blaze. They were discovered in a back bedroom of the 700-square foot home.
The mother, Curtisa Johnson, and her 15-year-old daughter, Lakeisha King, escaped without injury.
There were no working smoke detectors in the home, according to firefighters. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office.
NorthEscambia.com photos by Kristi Price, click to enlarge.
February 18, 2016
A man was killed Thursday morning in Escambia County when a tree, or a large tree limb, fell on him. It happened about 9 a.m. on Malvern Street, just south of Jackson Street. The man was pronounced deceased on the scene. Details about the accident and the man’s name have not yet been released. NorthEscambia.com photos by Kristi Price, click to enlarge.
February 18, 2016
Concern over tornado recovery efforts in Century continued to mount Wednesday as residents learned that the area likely won’t qualify for FEMA assistance. But one state department leader says his agency will work to find any available state dollars to assist.
Gov. Rick Scott visited with Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan in Pensacola for a briefing on the EF-3 tornado and recovery efforts, but Scott did not visit Century. Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management Bryan Koon did visit Century — first attending a briefing with Escambia County and Century leaders at the Century Fire Station.
NorthEscambia.com was along with County Administrator Jack Brown and Dosh as Koon was driven around the damaged areas in Century for about 25 minutes, but he never got out of the truck or talked with any of the tornado victims.
“I talked to the folks with the city commission and the county commission, some of the emergency managers. I’ve talked to some of the volunteer organizations involved with that and I think that gave me a pretty good idea of what the situation looks like on the ground,” he said. “”We got a good idea of just how badly the storm impacted the community,” he said. “I saw a real sense of community here in Century. I was pleased about that and their effort to get back up on their feet as quickly as possible.”
“I’ll take the data and what I have seen today back to Tallahassee and start working with the other state agencies that are involved in this sort of thing,” he said. “We’ll start looking at what are the types of assistance that may be available. in these kinds of situations. It’s might be through the Small Business Administration, it might be through the Florida Housing Finance Cooperation, it might be through Volunteer Florida. There’s a lot of stuff going on here through Escambia County, BRACE and other organizations. So we are going to go back and piece together all of the different opportunities that may be available to the citizens to help them recover.’
But it may be weeks before Century sees any funding the state might find.
“It’s not as fast as possible, unfortunately. The best case scenario is that you’ve got insurance, and your insurance agent comes out here and writes you a check,” Koon said. “But I know for many of these citizens that don’t have insurance the recovery process can take a little while for the governmental processes to understand what is going on and spin up. So it could be a couple of weeks before they would see any of the assistance..”
Of the 110 homes that impacted by the storm, most were probably not covered by insurance, according to Brown.
Escambia County Emergency Management Director John Dosh said a federal disaster declaration from the White House would require documented losses of over $25 million in the county. He said it is extremely unlikely for the tornado damage to totals to be anywhere near $25 million. Without the federal disaster declaration, FEMA funds will not be released.
“Our hearts go out to anybody that was impacted by this storm; we are going to go back and see everything we can to help them get back up on their feet,” Koon said. “This is one of those situation where we really want to do everything we can to get the community back up because it looks like a strong community, and old community that’s been here a long time. A very close-knit community judging by what I saw out there today…we will work with every agency we can and find out how we can bring assistance.”
Pictured top: Escambia County Administrator Jack Brown (left) discusses tornado recovery with Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management Bryan Koon Wednesday afternoon in Century. Pictured below: (L-R) Escambia County Commissioner Steven Barry, Florida Department of Economic Development Director Cissy Proctor, Century Council President Ben Boutwell and Florida Division of Emergency Management Bryan Koon Wednesday afternoon at the Century Fire Station, which was being used as a command center. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.
February 18, 2016
The Town of Century officially declared a state of emergency Wednesday afternoon.
The emergency declaration allows the mayor, or his representative, to make emergency purchases and repairs outside the normal day to day limits imposed by the town charter. It also allows the town to seek additional public assistance and implement emergency plans.
Escambia County is also expected to declare a local state of emergency due to tornado damage in areas outside Century.
February 18, 2016
Governor Rick Scott was in Pensacola Wednesday, visiting with Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan to learn about the tornado damage in Century.
Really governor? You just can’t set foot in North Escambia? We are extremely disappointed and want to know where is the compassion in that?
We’ve been behind the scenes – in the command post and in the midst of the destruction since just minutes after the tornado hit. The Sheriff’s Office has done an excellent and commendable job in Century, so Sheriff Morgan was certainly qualified to relate information about the situation. We have nothing but praise for the hard working men and women of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and their response to the Century tornado. The Sheriff and his department are not any part of our issue.
Escambia County Administrator Jack Brown, Commissioner Steven Barry, Century Council President Ben Boutwell and very long list of county department heads and key personnel were in Century Wednesday afternoon and could have filled you in , as they did your EMA director that did visit. He took a 25 minute vehicle tour of the damage, but, strangely enough, never stepped outside the vehicle in the damaged area to speak to a single victim.
But to not set foot in Century was, in our view, inexcusable for the top leader of our state that was instead inside an office just 45 miles away. The “at a distance” meeting was nothing more than a slap in the face to those in their time of suffering.
Let us remind you, that according to 2008–2012 American Community Survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Century is the poorest town (over 1,000 population) in the entire state. Century is anything but a poster child for your “Let’s Get To Work” campaign. But this should not have been about politics, political parties or political ambitions.
This is about the elderly lady that lived near Jefferson Avenue. She worked hard, very hard, for 60-70 years for what she had until Monday’s tornado. She begged us Monday for information about her home, but we had been unable to reach it. On Tuesday, we climbed over downed trees, and power lines and fences to get pictures of her home. We found her later in the day helping her neighbors and were able to show her photos of her destroyed home. We held her as she cried.
This is about the Healthy Start office that was flooded due to roof damage. We stopped by and helped them pour water out of their computers. They don’t know how they are going to provide WIC services next week for the babies they serve.
This is about standing in the shadows of the Lord’s house…the historic Methodist Church moved from it’s foundation. This is about talking to church members and learning that the wooden building may be off its foundation, but the church — the people — remain firm in their foundation and praise for the Lord.
This is about walking the streets and seeing the magnitude of the destruction and understanding that pictures, or a briefing from officials is not the same. But you know that Governor, from your visit last month to see the Siesta Key tornado damage, like a roof ripped off a condo building by the EF-2 tornado. For those that don’t know, Siesta Key has an average family income four or five times that of Century.
It’s about the people in Century who don’t know what they will do without state and federal aid as they look at their homes in shambles, their belongings scattered everywhere. Many of them honestly didn’t have much in this old world. But sometimes when have very little you treasure it more.
This is about the lady with no insurance on Pond Street who now has no home. Yes, she could have done the responsible thing and purchased insurance, but she chose to work the best job she could find and use the money on other things…like food for her children. Oh, and by the way Governor, her little kids are still looking for their beloved cat. He’s a grey tabby with “big and sad” eyes, and the kids are more worried about him than they are their home with no roof.
Those are just a few of the things you can learn walking through the destruction in Century.
Governor, Century is not just your state’s poorest little town. It’s a place full of people rich beyond belief in their love for their little town and each other. Perhaps you have to deny them assistance under existing state and federal regulations, but the least you could have done is stood with them and looked them in the eye.