Century Adopts New Fee Schedule For Planning, Zoning, Development Review

July 23, 2014

The Town of Century has adopted a new fee schedule for planning, zoning and development review as part of the town’s land development code.

The new fee schedule items such as residential site renovation permits for $25, commercial site renovation permits for $50 and $50 demolition permits. In many cases, a portion of the fee is refunded once the applicant receives  the required  building permits from Escambia County.

The only fees greater than $50 are: $250 for a new commercial site or development, $500 for a small scale comprehensive plan amendment and $750 for large scale amendment to the comprehensive plan.

For a pdf copy of the fee schedule, click here.

Blue Angels Announce 2015 Team Members

July 23, 2014

The Blue Angels have announced the officers selected for the 2015. The squadron selected an executive officer, three F/A-18 demonstration pilots, an events coordination officer, two C-130 demonstration pilots, a flight surgeon, and a supply officer to join the 2015 team.

Many highly-qualified Navy and Marine Corps officers submit applications to join the Blue Angels each year.

“We remain committed to selecting the most talented and qualified individuals to join the Blue Angels,” said Cmdr. Tom Frosch, flight leader and commanding officer for the team. “Once again, a significant number of extremely talented, experienced Sailors and Marines applied this year, and we are proud of those we have chosen to join the 2015 team. They are excellent representatives of the skilled service members defending our freedom around the world.”

The Blue Angels select finalists to interview at the Blue Angels’ home base at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., during the week of the Pensacola Beach Air Show. The team makes selections at the conclusion of the interview week.

“All of our finalists this year are incredible examples of some of the finest officers in the Navy and Marine Corps, from both the aviation community and the fleet,” said Lt. Cmdr. John Hiltz, Right Wing pilot and the applications officer for the 2014 team. “What was most important for us — regardless of anything else — was to select the most qualified individuals for the team to represent the more than 540,000 Sailors and Marines deployed around the world, around the clock. And I’m happy to say that we’ve done that.”

The newly-selected 2015 team members include:

Executive officer:
Navy Cmdr. Bob Flynn, 45, of Moorestown, N.J., is a S-3B Viking naval flight officer and is currently assigned to the Naval War College. He is a 1992 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.

F/A-18 demonstration pilots:
Navy Lt. Matt Suyderhoud, 31, of Honolulu, is currently assigned to Training Squadron 22 (VT-22) at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas. He is a 2005 graduate of Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Mo.

Navy Lt. Andrew Talbott, 31, of Sedan, Kan., is currently assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106) at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va. He is a 2005 graduate of Kansas State University, Salina, Kan.

Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, 30, of Durango, Colo., is currently assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312 (VMFA-312) Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C. He is a 2006 graduate of Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colo.

Events coordination officer:
Marine Capt. Corrie Mays, 34, of Marstons Mills, Mass., is currently assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (All Weather) 225 (VMFA(AW)-225) at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego. She is a 2003 graduate of the University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.

C-130 demonstration pilots:
Marine Maj. Mark Hamilton, 36, of Becker, Minn., is currently assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 (VMGR-252) at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. He is a 2000 graduate of Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.

Marine Capt. Katie Higgins, 27, of Annapolis, Md., is currently assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 (VMGR-252) at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. She is a 2008 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.

Flight surgeon:
Navy Lt. Joe Schwartz, 34, of Arlington, Va., is currently assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron 132 (VAQ-132) at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Oak Harbor, Wash. He is a 2002 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind.

Supply officer:
Navy Lt. Gregory Bollinger, Jr., 31, of Carbondale, Ill., is currently assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 9 (VX-9) at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Calif. He is a 2006 graduate of the University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, Md.

Expected to return for the 2015 season are:

F/A-18 demonstration pilots:
Navy Cmdr. Tom Frosch, 44, of Clinton Township, Mich.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Barton, 33, of Hummelstown, Pa.
Navy Lt. Mark Tedrow, 31, of Charleroi, Pa.
Navy Lt. Ryan Chamberlain, 29, of Bloomington, Ill.

C-130 demonstration pilots:
Marine Capt. Dusty Cook, 32, of East Bernard, Texas.

Maintenance officer:
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Declan Hartney, 44, of Limerick, Ireland.

Administration officer:
Navy Lt. j.g. Phillip Harper, 33, of Chicago.

Public affairs officer:
Navy Lt. j.g. Amber Lynn Daniel, 33, of Ramona, Calif.

The mission of the Blue Angels is to showcase the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country through flight demonstrations and community outreach.

Since its inception in 1946, the Blue Angels have performed for more than 484 million fans.

Wahoos Beat Mobile

July 23, 2014

With hundreds of budding princesses roaming Pensacola Bayfront Stadium in their dresses and tiaras, something magical happened in the first inning.

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos scored seven runs on eight hits, including five doubles, and went on to defeat the Mobile BayBears, 8-4, on 18 hits.

Daddy-Daughter night at the ballpark included a pre-game parade where Little Mermaids, Snow Whites and Jasmines pranced down the first baseline to loud applause. It included Wahoos Manager Delino DeShields young daughter helping her daddy deliver the lineup card to the umpires and join a quartet of other princesses to sing, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” during the seventh inning stretch.

Whether it was magic spells at work or not, DeShields was just happy to see his hitters hitting. During the team’s 1-8 skid entering Tuesday’s game, the Wahoos hit .239 as a team and had 77 strikeouts and 67 hits.

All nine starters got on base during the game and only pitcher Daniel Corcino was hitless. In fact, seven of the nine hitters had at least two hits and Ryan Wright, Kyle Waldrop and Juan Duran all had three.

DeShields said it was the first time his 7-year-old daughter, Delaney, got to sit in the dugout and hangout on the field. They watched the 7-minute fireworks show to Disney tunes together after the game.

“She might be a good luck charm,” DeShields said. “I’m going to have to start bringing her all the time.”

Yorman Rodriguez, who went 2-5, including a double to start the game, said one of the most special feelings he has is when he hears his toddler in the stands behind the backstop shouting his name.

“The whole game she yells, ‘Poppie! Poppie!’” Rodriguez said. “She yells loud, too. It’s awesome.”

Mobile scored three of its runs on a homerun over the right-center fence by Jake Lamb, who is leading or near the top in every offensive category in the Southern League. The Arizona Diamondbacks No. 9 prospect according to MLB.com has 13 homers and 76 RBI.

The third game of the five-game series with the Arizona Diamonbacks Double-A affiliate the Mobile BayBears gets underway at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. RHP Jon Moscot (5-9, 3.19) takes the mound for the Wahoos and is scheduled to be opposed by the BayBears RHP A.J. Schugel (4-1, 3.70).

by Tommy Thrall

Escambia Issues Air Quality Health Alert For Wedgewood Area

July 22, 2014

Effective immediately, in response to air quality monitoring, the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (FDOH-Escambia) is issuing a health alert for the area surrounding the Wedgewood Community Center and the Rolling Hills Construction and Demolition Landfill in Escambia County.

Air quality monitoring has been performed by Escambia County at the Wedgewood Community Center (6405 Wagner Road, Pensacola). This center is adjacent to the Rolling Hills Construction and Demolition Landfill located at 6990 Rolling Hills Road, Pensacola. The monitoring has revealed elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide in the air at a minimum level of concern for long term exposure to humans. Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless gas which often has an odor similar to rotten eggs, but which may have no detectable smell when present in low concentrations. However, even low concentrations of hydrogen sulfide gas can have negative health effects.

Exposure to hydrogen sulfide may cause respiratory symptoms such as eye, nose, and throat irritation in some individuals. People experiencing respiratory symptoms should consult their physician for treatment and should stay inside their homes.  According to FDOH-Escambia’s Director, Dr. John Lanza, “While inside, people should close their windows, run their cooling/heating system, and change their system’s filter, as needed. If symptoms persist while inside an air conditioned home, people may choose to leave the area until their symptoms are tolerable.”

Persons who have questions about health problems or symptoms they may be experiencing related to hydrogen sulfide exposure should contact their primary care physician. Those who have asthma or other chronic lung disease should follow their disease management plan, and should call their doctor if symptoms worsen. For medical emergencies, call 911 or go immediately to the nearest emergency facility.

The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County will continue to evaluate air quality monitoring results, as reported by Escambia County. Any further recommendations and alerts will be released as more information becomes available.

Century Takes Step Forward To Repair Gas Leak Under Highway 29

July 22, 2014

Over three years since the problem was first publicly revealed as a potential “major public safety issue”, natural gas continues to leak under Highway 29 in Century.

Monday night, the Century Town Council voted to take out a short term loan, up to 180 days, with United Bank for $678,300 to pay for the project before receiving reimbursement from a USDA program. The loan will cost the town $350 in fees at 2.75 percent in interest.

Back in April, the town awarded a repair contract to R.A.W. Construction, LLC of Tallahassee for $393,500 to repair the problem. The overall repair portion of the project, according to the town’s engineer, was estimated to about $1 million.

About 6,515 feet of 4-inch steel natural gas line was buried beneath the southbound lanes of Highway 29 when the road was widened to four lanes. Now, over 45 years since the almost 1.25 mile long pipe was put into the ground, the town believes the steel is corroding and leaking somewhere between West Highway 4 and McCurdy Street.

In April 2012, Century signed off on a $1.4 million USDA Rural Development loan to cover the cost of replacing the pipe. But, according to town officials, the town received the wrong form from the USDA, and as a result advertised the meetings incorrectly.

That meant heading back to the drawing board and starting the loan process again.

A new 4-inch pipe will be placed on the west side of Highway 29, while a new 2-inch pipe will be installed on the east side of the highway, eliminating the need to install pipes under the road to service natural gas customers. The pipe will be installed where existing easements exist or can be obtained at no cost, otherwise, it will be installed under existing sidewalks.

Two other bids were received on the project — one for $795,700.75 from Utility Service Company  and one for $897,000 from Roberson Excavation, Inc. of Milton.

Pictured above and below: Natural gas is leaking somewhere under Highway 29 in Century. Pictured inset: Century Mayor Freddie McCall signs documents in April 2012 for a $1.401 million USDA Rural Development loan to repair the leaky gas lines. The loan was later invalidated by the USDA due to  an incorrect form.  NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Ascend Volunteers Pitch In To Help Panhandle Equine Rescue

July 22, 2014

A group of volunteers from Ascend Performance Materials went up against the heat and humidity Monday to make some much needed improvements around the Cantonment home of Panhandle Equine Rescue.

“Despite the heat, 17 men came out, tore down an old stall that was rotting and built a new one,” said PER President Diane Lowery. “They also did fencing and painting. We appreciate large corporations who help non-profits since they have the manpower and resources that can be so difficult for organizations who depend on volunteers and donations.”

Ascend donated materials, in addition to the labor needed, for Monday’s improvements. Panhandle Equine Rescue is a non-profit organization that rescues and rehabilitates abused or neglected horses.

As part of their orientation program, new hires at Ascend participate in a community volunteer project.

Gulf Power, Other Big Utilities Ask To Scale Back Energy Efficiency Goals

July 22, 2014

Gulf Power and Florida’s other big electric providers are asking state regulators this week to let them scale back energy-efficiency programs — such as rebates for installing solar panels and power-saving appliances — that they say have become expensive and benefit few customers.

But conservationists argue that dramatically reducing energy-efficiency programs will only result in higher monthly bills for customers as the utilities eventually will need to build more natural-gas and nuclear power plants.

On Monday, Gulf Power Company, Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric Co and JEA in Jacksonville began presenting testimony to the Florida Public Service Commission that they should be allowed to roll back energy-efficiency goals, as demand for the conservation programs has declined.

“We think it’s in the best interest of our 1.7 million customers to reduce that energy conservation goal and let us look at programs that could benefit the whole entire customer base,” Duke spokesman Sterling Ivey said. “It could be a community solar offering versus a rebate to an individual to put a solar panel on a roof, perhaps we can build a community solar array that all our customers pay into it and all would benefit.”

Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg, said customers’ electricity bills have dropped due to conservation efforts and “slashing” the energy-efficiency programs will simply allow the power companies to make more money.

“This is not in the interest of the public, this is not in the interest of the people,” Dudley told the commission.

The hearing is expected to last three days. Two extra days have been set aside next week if the review runs long.

The commission isn’t expected to make a ruling on any of the requests until late fall.

by Jim Turner, The News Service of Florida

Pictured: Concerned citizens and conservation groups are attending the three-day meeting of the Florida Public Service Commission in Tallahassee to protest rollbacks in conservation rebates for energy consumers.  Top photo by  Ivan Penn, Florida News Connection , inset photo by Tom Urban, News Service of Florida, for  NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Hospice Volunteers Needed; Free Training Available Saturday

July 22, 2014

There is a shortage of hospice volunteers in the North Escambia area.  Covenant Hospice will hold a new volunteer workshop  at the Century Chamber of Commerce this Saturday.

Covenant Hospital volunteers help with:

  • patient and family support
  • honoring veterans
  • children’s programs
  • faith- based initiatives
  • teen volunteers
  • ambassadors
  • fundraising and special events
  • community events
  • bereavement services
  • Alzheimer’s family services
  • administrative projects

The training will take place from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday at the chamber office, 7811 North Century Boulevard. RSVP to Sharon Oakes at (850) 380-0356.

Deputies: Man Hid, Fed Wanted Woman In His Shed

July 22, 2014

A Century man has been charged for allegedly hiding a wanted woman in his backyard shed, even feeding her there, to help her avoid arrest on felony warrants.

Gregory Lee Martin, 53, was charged with resisting an officer/obstruction of justice and released from the Escambia County Jail on a $500 bond.

Over a period of about a month, Martin allegedly allowed wanted felon Judy C.  James of Atmore to stay  in a shed in the backyard of his home in the 4700 block of Highway 168. Once arrested at Martin’s home, James told deputies that Martin routinely brought her meals from inside the main house to the shed for her to eat. James was charged with a probation violation and possession of drug paraphernalia.

During the period the woman was hidden in the shed, Martin reportedly told deputies several times that he had not had any contact with James and did not know her whereabouts.

Martin is current awaiting trial for felony unarmed burglary of an unoccupied structure, felony larceny and and obstructing an officer without violence.

According to an arrest report, Martin told deputies that he allowed a suspect in a nearby burglary to store stolen property in his shed. Martin also admitted to allowing the suspect to get dressed in camouflage on his property prior to a burglary, the report states.

Recycling Resumes In Santa Rosa County

July 22, 2014

Recycling resumed in Santa Rosa County recently when a contract with the Emerald Coast Utility Authority (ECUA) to transport recyclable material from the recycling transfer station at the Central Landfill in Milton was approved by the commission. Residents who previously had curbside recycling will see no change in service from their curbside providers.

At this time two recycling drop off sites are available for residents that do not have curbside recycling. Recycling can be dropped off at no charge at the Central Landfill located at 6337 Da Lisa Road in Milton and Jay Transfer Station located at 3786 Transfer Station Road in Jay.  Residents who do not currently have curbside recycling are encouraged to contact their service provider to inquire if curbside recycling is an available service option.

Additionally, the county is currently exploring expanding the solid waste service provider franchise to areas north of the Yellow River. A franchise agreement would mean that only one hauler would be able to provide residential curbside service in a specified area, it would not impact business or commercial accounts.  If approved, service could begin as soon as January 1, 2015 and is expected to include residential curbside recycling, yard waste and bulky waste pickup in addition to household solid waste services.

« Previous PageNext Page »