Senator Questions Fairness Of Algebra EOC Exam

July 24, 2017

While praising a recent legislative decision to eliminate an end-of-course exam for students taking Algebra II, a Northeast Florida senator is raising questions about whether the change is being applied fairly.

Sen. Travis Hutson, R-Elkton, sent a letter Thursday to top state education officials that focused on students who took the exam during the past school year. In part, the letter pointed to other students who had planned to take an end-of-course makeup exam this month but, he said, will no longer be required to do so.

The end-of-course exam was eliminated as part of a massive education bill (HB 7069) approved by lawmakers this spring. “Specifically, since the enacting of HB 7069 on July 1, students who took Algebra II last year are graded differently depending on whether they took the end-of-course exam or not,” Hutson wrote to Education Commissioner Pam Stewart and State Board of Education Chairwoman Marva Johnson.

“While the exam counted as 30 percent of the final grades for those who took it, those who were intending to take the makeup test this month can no longer do so and their grades will be calculated without the exam. This creates a scenario where some students who took the exam would see their grades improve if their grades were calculated the same way as students who did not take the exam.” Hutson, who said he was contacted by parents and teachers in his district, also raised other concerns about fairness. “The problems with the Algebra II end-of-course exam are well documented and the reasons for its elimination are well founded,”

Hutson wrote. “However, there is a current cohort of students who took the exam and had their grades negatively affected by a flawed test that their peers who will take Algebra II next year will not have to worry about. While it is too late to help those who are starting college this year, there is still time to right this wrong for the rising sophomores, juniors and seniors who have had the Algebra II exam hurt their GPAs.”

by The News Service of Florida

Escambia County Meeting Schedule

July 24, 2017

Here’s a look at public meeting scheduled for next week in Escambia County:

Tuesday, July 25

Coffee with the Commissioner – Jeff Bergosh, District 1, McDonald’s, 5 South Blue Angel Parkway, 6:30 a.m.

Environmental Enforcement Special Magistrate, Ernie Lee Magaha Government Building, 221 Palafox Place, 1:30 p.m. (Agenda)

Wednesday, July 26

Development Review Committee, Escambia County Central Office Complex, 3363 West Park Place, 1 p.m. (Agenda)

Santa Rosa Island Authority Committee Meeting, 1 Via de Luna, Pensacola Beach, 5 p.m.

Committee of the Whole-Economic Development Summit, Ernie Lee Magaha Government Building, 221 Palafox Place, 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 27

Special BCC Meeting, Ernie Magaha Government Building, 221 Palafox Place, 9 a.m. The Board of County Commissioners will continue its review of the 2017-2018 Proposed Fiscal Year Budget as well as other items that may need to be addressed by the board.

Extension Council Meeting, 3740 Stefani Road, Cantonment, 5:30 p.m.

Military Members Boost Concealed Weapons Licenses

July 24, 2017

Florida has fast-tracked concealed-weapons licenses to 82,000 military members and honorably discharged veterans since terror-related shootings at a pair of military installations in Tennessee two years ago.

State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who along with Gov. Rick Scott helped expedite the permitting process as part of the state’s reaction to the shootings in Chattanooga, Tenn., made an appearance Tuesday to discuss the effort, which has played a part in Florida’s increased number of people allowed to carry concealed firearms.

But with Putnam running for governor in 2018, his stances on Second Amendment issues are drawing criticism from Democrats.

Since Putnam first won statewide office in 2010, the number of concealed-weapons licenses has soared from about 800,000 to more than 1.78 million. Putnam’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issues the licenses.

The tens of thousands of active-duty military members and veterans getting expedited permits has come as the state has seen “heavy” demand for concealed-weapons licenses, Putnam said.

“This is just one example of what we do through our department to make Florida the most veteran- and military-friendly state in the nation,” Putnam said during an appearance at the National Guard Armory in Tallahassee.

The fast-tracking for military members, who don’t have to wait until they’re age 21 as do civilian applicants, was established as part of Florida’s reaction to the July 16, 2015, terrorist-motivated shootings in Chattanooga that resulted in the deaths of four Marines, a Navy sailor and the gunman. Florida also upgraded security at National Guard recruitment centers, including arming guard members.

During his appearance at the armory, Putnam said the Legislature “continues to wrestle with the right way to get there” when asked about allowing concealed-weapons license holders to carry firearms on college and university campuses or to openly carry handguns.

Efforts to pass such proposals have failed in the Senate in recent years.

“Gun-free zones, where the victims have no opportunity to defend themselves, ought to be modified in a responsible way so that people can exercise their Second Amendment rights and protect themselves,” Putnam said.

As Putnam was speaking, Democrats criticized him about a comment posted online Monday about people protesting in Tampa over a recent National Rifle Association recruitment video.

“Classic progressive move,” Putnam said on Facebook. “Desperate attempt to limit our 2nd Amendment rights.”

Florida Democratic Party spokeswoman Johanna Cervone called the video, narrated by NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, an attempt to “provoke fear and stoke the flames of division.”

“If Adam Putnam is endorsing this video, he’s encouraging violence against fellow Americans,” Cervone said in a prepared statement. “Could Putnam be more transparent in his pandering to the far right? It’s clear Putnam is more than a little insecure about his credentials as a conservative.”

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is running as a Democrat for governor, was also critical of Putnam for supporting the video.

“It’s a shameful day when someone who wants to lead our state stands behind such violent, divisive rhetoric, and against commonsense gun protections for Floridians,” Gillum said in a prepared statement.

In the video, Loesch called out progressives in education, the media and Hollywood for their resistance against President Donald Trump.

“The only way we stop this, the only we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth,” Loesch said in the video.

by The News Service of Florida

New Book Drop Available At The Molino Branch Library

July 24, 2017

A new book drop was installed recently at the Molino Branch Library at 6450-A Highway 95A in the Molino Community Complex.

The library is open 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday toThursday, and 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The outside book drop is available for library returns outside business hours.

For more information about the Molino Branch Library, call (850) 435-1760.

Courtesy photos for, click to enlarge.

Northview Baseball To Host Coed Softball Tournament

July 24, 2017

The Northview Baseball team will be host a coed softball tournament Saturday, July 29 at Bradbury Park (NWE).

Entry fee is $200 per team and each team must have a minimum of three females. Rules will be based on USSSA rules. This is a two loss elimination tournament, so each team is guaranteed two games.

To participate or donate, call (850) 232-3205.

Pensacola Falls, 4-2, To Montgomery

July 24, 2017

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos scored two runs in the second inning and were blanked the rest of the way.

The Montgomery Biscuits came from two runs down to beat Pensacola, 4-2, Sunday at Riverwalk Stadium to capture the series, 3-2.

Pensacola scored its two runs when right fielder Aristides Aquino tripled to center field to drive in left fielder Josh VanMeter to put the Blue Wahoos ahead, 1-0. VanMeter hit an infield single to shortstop and stole second base, his 10th of the season, to start the inning.

Blue Wahoos second baseman Shed Long walked putting runners at first and third. Aquino then scored when Montgomery starting pitcher Hunter Adkins made a wild pickoff throw that allowed Aquino to cross the plate to make the score, 2-0.

Montgomery scored one run in the second, third and fourth innings to take a, 3-2, lead. In the second inning, catcher Nick Ciuffo grounded out to allow shortstop Jake Cronenworth to score. In the third inning, Montgomery loaded the bases with two outs, when first baseman Michael Russell hit an infield single to third that brought in left fielder Nathan Lukes. In the fourth inning, Biscuits center fielder Andrew Velazquez hit what turned out to be a game-winning home run, his sixth of the season, to center field that put Montgomery up, 3-2.

Ciuffo padded the Biscuits lead with a homer to start the eighth inning to make it a, 4-2, game.

Meanwhile, the Biscuits pitching staff shut down the Pensacola lineup. The Blue Wahoos never threatened to score over the last seven innings.

Montgomery starter Adkins earned the win to improve his record to 2-2 with a 3.91 ERA. He retired nine of the last 11 batters he faced, giving up two singles. In his five innings of work, he gave up two runs on five hits and one walk and struck out four.

Then Biscuits relievers Yoel Espinal, Kyle Bird and Ian Gibaut took over and allowed just two hits, no walks and struck out three over the last four innings.

Pensacola pitcher Domingo Tapia made his fifth spot start for the Blue Wahoos and earned the loss to drop to 3-6 on the season with a 3.77 ERA.

At the plate, Pensacola was led by Aquino, who was 1-4 with a triple and RBI. Both shortstop Blake Trahan and third baseman Nick Senzel went 2-4.

Silver Alert Issued For Missing Escambia County Woman

July 23, 2017


A Florida Silver Alert has been issued for a missing Escambia County woman.

Mildred Taylor Parker, 88, was last seen in the 7800 block of Apollo Drive in Pensacola, where she was on her way to church.

She was last seen driving a dark blue Toyota Camry with Florida tag number Y24RAN. If you see Mildred Parker call the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office at (850) 436-9620 or 911.

Escambia House Fire Claims One Life

July 23, 2017

Escambia County Fire Rescue firefighters responded to a fire at a single family home in the 4500 block of Havre Way on Sunday, July 23.

An adult male victim was found during the search. The Florida State Fire Marshal and Escambia Sheriff’s Office are conducting an investigation into the death.

Escambia County Emergency Communications received multiple calls around 7:45 a.m. reporting a structure fire with flames and smoke visible. The first crew arrived on scene at 7:48 a.m. to find flames coming from the year of the home. The fire was called under control at 8:07 a.m. The home was a total loss.

Five adults and one infant were displaced. The American Red Cross has been called in to assist.

Fire officials found no evidence of a working smoke detector. If you do not have a smoke detector in your home and need assistance, both the county and the city have programs to help. For more information, contact Escambia County Fire Rescue at 850-595-HERO (4376). Residents within city of Pensacola limits may call 850-436-5200 for smoke detector installation assistance.

Deidra’s Gift: Free School Supplies Distributed To Hundreds

July 23, 2017

Free backpacks and school supplies were distributed Saturday in Century to hundreds of children in need. The distribution at the Nadine McCaw Park (former Roadside Park) was thanks to a family honoring the memory of one of their own in a program called “Dedria’s Gift”.

The bookbags full of supplies were distributed in memory of Dedria Robinson, who was killed in 2005 in an automobile accident at age 11.

In addition to the annual school supply giveaway, “Dedria’s Gift” visited three area nursing homes and assisted living facilities last Christmas with gifts for less fortunate residents.

And last spring, Dedria’s Gift  presented two scholarships to deserving Northview High School students. photos by Bethany Reynolds, click to enlarge.

McCants And Team Win At Wood Bat Classic

July 23, 2017

Torianno (TJ) McCants of Quintette and the East Coast Sox’s 2020 Select won the 15U World Wood Bat Classic held in Cartersville, GA. The tournament hosted over 300 15U wood bat teams from across the United States.

McCants is the starting short stop for the 2020 Select and ended the tournament with a .389 batting average and no fielding errors.

Submitted photo for, click to enlarge.

By reader submitted.

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