Northview Takes On Jay In Spring Game (With Photo Gallery)

May 23, 2015

In the end, the scoreboard said the Northview Chiefs topped the Jay Royals 52-31 Friday night at Tommy Weaver Memorial Stadium in Bratt. The spring game started with a Northview 22-6 lead in the first half, which consisted mostly of the two team’s junior varsity or reserve players. The second half, which pitted varsity against varsity, Jay earned a 31-30 advantange.

“”We didn’t necessarily come into the game thinking we’d work it at a high tempo, but that’s what we did,” Northview Coach Sid Wheatley said following the win. He said while the Chiefs were on top, there’s still a long hot summer full of work before they are ready for the regular season in the fall.

“”We definitively have to clean some stuff up. We’ve got to get bigger, stronger, faster in the weight room and with our conditioning during summer,” he said.

For a photo gallery, click here. photos, click to enlarge.

Scott: Area Adds Almost 5,000 Jobs

May 23, 2015

Governor Rick Scott has announced that the Pensacola metro area again experienced positive annual job growth over the year in April 2015 with 4,900 new jobs. The area’s unemployment rate declined by 0.7 percentage point over the year, from 5.7 percent in April 2014 to 5.0 percent in April 2015. Florida businesses have added more than 865,000 private-sector jobs since December 2010.

Governor Scott said, “Our work to make Florida the most business-friendly state in the nation is paying off in Pensacola as 4,900 new jobs have been added over the year. Florida has seen positive job creation statewide with more than 865,600 private-sector jobs added across the state since December 2010.”

The industries with the largest job gains in the Pensacola metro area over the year were education and health services with 1,000 new jobs, leisure and hospitality with 900 new jobs, and trade, transportation, and utilities with 800 new jobs. The Pensacola metro area had the fastest annual job growth rate compared to all metro areas in financial activities at 5.7 percent in April 2015, tied with the Orlando metro area. The Pensacola metro area had 6,223 online job openings in April 2015 and 1,014 openings for high wage, high skill science technology engineering math (STEM) occupations over the year.

Florida created 25,800 private-sector jobs in April 2015, and a total of 865,600 private-sector jobs since December 2010. Florida’s statewide unemployment rate for April 2015 was 5.6 percent. In April, more than 37,600 Floridians were placed in jobs by CareerSource Escarosa and the state’s other 23 Regional Workforce Boards.

Scott Signs Evers’ Bill, Unbuckles Seat Belts For Rural Letter Carriers

May 23, 2015

Rural letter carriers in Florida no longer have to wear seat belts while working their routes, under a bill signed Friday by Gov. Rick Scott.

The bill, sponsored by Greg Evers, R-Baker, took effect immediately. The bill adds an exemption to the state’s mandatory seat-belt law for rural letter carriers “performing duties in the course of his or her employment on a designated postal route.”

The state’s law requiring motorists to wear seat belts already included limited exemptions, such as for workers collecting garbage or recyclable goods. During floor debate on April 22, Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, warned the bill could be the “unraveling” of primary enforcement of the seat-belt law. He said mandatory use of seat belts has helped reduce traffic fatalities.

Suspicious Infant Death Under Investigation

May 23, 2015

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an infant death.

At about 12:45 Friday afternoon, deputies responded to the 300 block of a Teakwood Circle in reference to the death of an infant under suspicious circumstances. The ECSO said the investigation is ongoing and further information will be released upon completion of the medical examiner’s report and consultation with the State Attorney’s Office on applicable charges, if any.

Former Cantonment Resident Killed In Baldwin County Crash

May 22, 2015

A former Cantonment resident was killed in a two-vehicle crash in Baldwin County Thursday morning.

According to Alabama State Troopers, 27-year old Heather Propst of Robertsdale, AL, was killed when her 2012 Nissan Altima collided head-on with a tractor-trailer on Alabama Highway 112, about eight miles northeast of Cantonment. (Highway 112 becomes Muscogee Road when it crosses the Perdido River into Florida.)

Michael Vaughan, the driver the tractor-trailer, was not injured in the 10:45 a.m. crash.

Area Population: Local Florida Cities Growing; Alabama Cities Decline

May 22, 2015

New estimated population numbers released Thursday show the population on the upswing in Florida cities in the North Escambia area, while Alabama city populations in the area are on the decline.

The data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that between 2013 and 2014:

  • Century’s population increased  by 0.9 percent to 1,752, up from 1,736.
  • Pensacola’s population increased  by 0.5 percent to 53,068, up from 52,778.
  • Jay’s population increased by 1.4 percent to 566, up from 558.
  • Milton’s population increased by 1.7 percent to 9,445, up from 9,289.
  • Atmore’s population decreased by 0.3 percent to 10,006, down from 10,036.
  • Flomaton’s population decreased by 0.5 percent to 1,417, down from 1,424.
  • Brewton’s population decreased by 0.4 percent to 5,391, down from 5,408.

The four-year trend from the last complete census in 2010 to the 2014 estimate showed the same trend of decline in the Alabama cities and increases in the Florida cities.

Over the four-year period, Milton’s population was up 7 percent; Jay was up 6 percent, Century increased by 3 percent and Pensacola grew by 2 percent. The population in Atmore and Flomaton fell by about two percent over the four years, while Brewton saw a 0.3 percent decrease.

IP Awards $50K In Grants To Local Community Groups

May 22, 2015

International Paper has awarded $50,000 in Foundation Grants to local community organizations. Grants are awarded by the IP Foundation in Memphis, Tenn., which focuses on environmental education, literacy, employee involvement and critical community needs.

“We are privileged to be able to assist our local community organizations in their efforts to make a difference in the lives of the residents and children of Northwest Florida,” said Janice Holmes, communications manager. “Their efforts serve to strengthen our community.”

North Escambia area community organizations and their projects that were awarded grants for 2015 are:

Escambia County Extension 4H “4H Environmental Stewardship”

The 4-H Environmental stewardship program supports the educational directives implemented at the new 4-H Center on Chalker Road in Molino.  Specific forestry and natural resource program material will emphasize the concepts of tree value, development of plant communities, forestry services and related ecosystem management. The funds will be used to plant pine and hardwood trees for demonstrations. “We will be using it for a teaching demonstration for the 4-H youth,” Extension Agent Hank Bignell said. The learning process will begin as the 4-H members assist in planting the trees.

Greater First Baptist Church, “Community Literacy Mentoring and Tutoring Program”

Greater First Baptist Church of Cantonment (GFB) serves as a resource and learning center for the Cantonment community and the surrounding areas.  The grant helps them to provide a continuum of supplemental reading and writing activities, tutoring and homework assistance and various other structured learning, which also includes peer mentoring.  Activities are designed to strengthen each participants self-esteem focusing on reading programs and the performing arts. The built in social and life skills development highlights self-respect, respect for others, cooperation, sense of community ownership and responsibility and youth participation in the management of their own behavior.

Cantonment Improvement Committee “Cantonment Resource Center Training Hub”

Escambia County has installed a modular building that is now used as the Cantonment Resource Center near Carver Park. The grant will fund materials and supplies to help outfit the training hub. A ribbon cutting for resource center was held Monday (pictured).

Jim Allen Elementary School, “Eggstraordinary Readers”

The goal of the Reading Eggs program is to support each child’s learning by offering activities in an interactive way to help children progress at their own rate. It fosters a love of reading at a young age so students will continue to read and to be successful throughout life. The Reading Eggs program is a powerful educational program that is based on the most up to date research on how children learn to read. The program includes activities and reward games to keep children motivated and interested in learning to read. This program includes progress reports that can be printed and shared with parents.

J.M. Tate High School “New Life for Old Fish”

Teacher John Hannon will utilize the grant to refurbish all of the science aquariums and redesign each one to represent a different marine habitat that one might find along Florida’s diverse shoreline.  The aquaria will be outfitted with living flora and fauna representative of each habitat.

Other grants awarded include:

  • American Red Cross “Home Fires Campaign”
  • Autism Pensacola “Kids for Camp Summer Learning Lab”
  • Ballet Pensacola, ”Discover Dance”
  • Council on Aging of NWFL, “Big Green, Little Green Composting!”
  • Creative Learning Academy “Middle School Library”
  • Escambia County Public Schools Foundation for Excellence, “Literacy and Environmental Classroom Grants”
  • Every Child a Reader in Escambia “Project Ready 2015”
  • First City Arts Alliance “Green Art Program: Recycled Papermaking and Paper Arts”
  • Partnership for Community Programs “Bay Day 2015,” “Stormwater Curb Marking Program,”  and “Stormwater Estuary Education Program
  • Pensacola Mess Hall “Natural History Discover Cart”
  • Pensacola Opera “From Words to Music”
  • Pensacola State College Foundation, Inc., “PSC Summer Environment Camp”
  • Perdido Bay United Methodist Church, “Global Learning Academy Reading Volunteers” and “Nature Trail”
  • The Global Corner “New Zealand and Activity Book for Children”
  • UWF Foundation, “Emerald Coast BEST Robotics Hub” and  “Summer Institute for the National Writing Project”

Pictured top:  Extension Agents Hank Bignell and Beth Bolles accepted a grant Thursday from the International Paper Foundation. Photo for, click to enlarge.