Century Suffers Water Meter Woes After Company Goes Bankrupt

July 30, 2015

The Town of Century has been forced back to manually reading water meters, abandoning the automated reading capability of nearly 1,000 meters.

In 2010, Century purchased 941 water meters and associated software and equipment from Datamatic, Ltd. for $137,386. Company officials said the town was provided with $140,000 in discounts because a previously installed system sold by the company did not work as promised.

In a meeting with town officials, the company touted the accuracy of the new system, which they said would result in the town recouping most of the purchase price in additional billings due to increased meter efficiency.

Datamatic has now filed for bankruptcy, according to Mayor Freddie McCall, leaving Century with an automated meter system that does not work properly, and leaving Century without 40 meters that were at the company for repair.

McCall said that by returning to manually readings on the meters mistakes in the automated system have been eliminated, actually resulting in an increased profit for the water system.

Teen Charged With Burning Home In Attempt To Kill Her Family

July 30, 2015

A 17-year old Escambia County, AL, teen is charged as an adult after authorities say she set fire to the family’s mobile home with four relatives inside.

Love Freedom Rutledge of Brewton is charged with four counts of attempted murder and one court of first degree arson. She remained in the Escambia County (AL) Detention Center Wednesday with bond set at $200,000.

The Appleton Volunteer Fire Department responded to a fully involved mobile home fire on McGougin Road northeast of Brewton about 1:00 Sunday morning. The mobile home was a total loss.

A man was transported to the University of South Alabama Medical Center Burn Center in Mobile, while three family members received injuries that were not serious.

After realizing Rutledge was missing, K-9 units, including one from the Century Correctional Institution, were called to the scene. Rutledge was located in a  wooded area a short distance away.

Authorities have not released a motive or other details in the incident as their investigation continues.

Man Charged With Recording Women In Hospital Bathroom

July 29, 2015

An Alabama man has been charged with using his phone to record women in a bathroom at Atmore Community Hospital.

Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks told NorthEscambia.com Tuesday night that 49-year old Curtis Overstreet of Jackson, AL, was a part-time employee at the hospital. He was charged with three counts of criminal surveillance and later released on bond.

Overstreet reportedly confessed to video recording three women in an employees-only bathroom inside the hospital in Atmore. He would allegedly leave his phone in the female employees’ bathroom where one employee reported finding the phone in record mode. The phone was traced to Overstreet, and a search warrant was served at his home in Jackson, AL, where no evidence of the alleged video recordings was found.

According to Infirmary Health, parent company of Atmore Community Hospital, Overstreet is no longer employed with Atmore Community Hospital.

Pictured top: Atmore Community Hospital, NorthEscambia.com file photo. Pictured inset: No booking photo of Curtis Overstreet was available, but he is seen here in a Facebook photo.

One Injured As Kitchen Fire Damages Century Mobile Home

July 29, 2015

A kitchen fire damaged a Century mobile home Wednesdays morning and sent one man to the hospital.

The kitchen fire, caused by cooking, was reported about 7:10 a.m. in the 9400 block of Ivey Street. The first firefighters on scene reported some smoke inside the trailer when they arrived.

One resident of the mobile home was transported by Escambia County EMS to Jay Hospital for smoke inhalation and burns.

The Century, McDavid and Walnut Hill stations of Escambia Fire Rescue, the Flomaton Fire Department and the Jay Fire Department were dispatched to the fire.

NorthEscambia.com file photos, click to enlarge.

The New Ernest Ward: Where To Park, And Where Is The Front Door?

July 29, 2015

As the new Ernest Ward Middle School nears completion, and the new school year nears the first day, here’s a look at where to park and how to find the not-so-obvious front door.

Since students moved into the school back in February, parents and visitors have used a side parking lot and door to enter the school.  That side door is now locked on a regular basis, and that parking lot is for employees and will be closed to the public.

Parents and the public should enter and exit from the northernmost gate on Highway 97. That’s the one farthest away, not actually in front of the school, all the way up near the fire department (pictured above).

The other Highway 97 gate, located in front of the school, is closest to the front door. But it’s the wrong way in. This gate (pictured above) is only for buses to exit and is marked “Do Not Enter”.

Back to that northernmost gate for the public, up near the fire department. After driving through the gate(pictured above), it’s still hard to even see the front door. But it’s there. Just keep driving and find the parking spaces, which, by the way, still are not in front of the front door.

The awning, and the driveway the loops around to the right of the above photo the student drop-off and pick-up line. The parking lot is to the the left (look for the arrow to the left of the picture). It’s still very hard to see and find the front door from here, but it’s there.

From the public parking lot the front of the school looks like this. Over on the bottom left of the photos, at the end of the awning, is the elusive front door of Ernest Ward Middle School. The awning, and the driveway that loops around by the front door, is the student drop-off and pick-up line for parents.

And finally, here are the front doors — the only doors that will be unlocked for the rest of the summer and during the school  year for the public to use.

There are plans to install signage to help those entering the campus, but those signs may not be completed in time for the first day of school.

Second Motorcylist Dies Following Saturday Crash Near Century

July 29, 2015

An Alabama man died Tuesday afternoon from injuries he received in a motorcycle crash Saturday evening that claimed the life of his wife.

Wilmer Rankin Barnes, age 54 of Stockton, was pronounced deceased at 1:39 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Wilmer Barnes was westbound on a 2015 Harley Davidson motorcycle on Highway 4 near Canoe Creek just after 7 p.m. Saturday. The Harley left the roadway in a curve and struck a culvert, causing the motorcycle to overturn.  Barnes and his passenger, 55-year Linda Ann Barnes of Stockton, were both ejected from the motorcycle. Linda Barnes  was pronounced deceased at the scene by Escambia County EMS.

Both occupants were wearing their helmets.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Injured Teen Airlifted After Cantonment ATV, Vehicle Crash

July 29, 2015

At teen was airlifted to the hospital following an ATV crash with a vehicle Tuesday afternoon in Cantonment.

The accident happened about 5:20 p.m. at the intersection of Nowak Road and Country Road 97 when the ATV and a SUV collided. According to the FHP, the 2000 Yamaha ATV driven by 16-year Timothy Trouch of Cantonment was traveling northbound on County Road 97 in the right turn lane. As Trouch attempted a right turn onto Nowak Road, he pulled into the path of a 2006 Lexus RX 400 driven by 46-year old Tammi Hill of Cantonment.

A passenger on the ATV, 17-yar old Morgan Long of Cantonment, was airlifted by Lifeguard helicopter to Sacred Heart Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Trouch received minor injuries.

Hill and her passenger, a 14-year old female, were not injured.

Trouch was cited by the FHP with driving an all terrain vehicle on the roadway.

Escambia County EMS and the Cantonment Station of Escambia Fire Rescue responded to the crash.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Millions Available For RESTORE Projects For Individuals, Businesses, Organizations

July 28, 2015

Individuals, businesses and organizations in Escambia County have the opportunity to submit projects for millions of dollars in RESTORE projects to be funded with civil penalties from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Monday evening, a Distirct 5 pubic workshop was held at the Langley Bell 4-H Center to give residents an opportunity to learn more about using the project portal, answer questions regarding application preparation and submission, and encourage collaboration.

The Escambia County RESTORE Project Application Portal is now open and can be accessed by visiting restore.myescambia.com until September 30.

Submitted projects must:

Once the application portal closes, project proposals will be evaluated by the technical review team consisting of subject matter experts, the RESTORE Act Advisory Committee and the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners.

During the review process, applicants may be contacted for more information. Once all projects have been ranked, a list of recommended projects will be posted on www.myescambia.com/restore. The public will have an opportunity to provide comments on the project list. The Board of County Commissioners has the final authority for approval of the project list before it is submitted to the U.S. Department of Treasury for federal level review.

For more information, contact Shelly Marshall, RESTORE coordinator for Escambia County, at (850) 595-5460, email restore@myescambia.com.

One additional public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 11 at  the Gull Point Community Center at 7000 Spanish Trail Road.

Pictured: A Monday evening District 5 RESTORE project meeting at the Langley Bell 4-H Center in Cantonment.  NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Cantonment Drive-By Shooting Under Investigation

July 27, 2015

A drive-by shooting late Sunday night in Cantonment is under investigation.

About 11:20 p.m., Escambia County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 200 block of Sheppard Street, between Booker and Washington streets, for a reported drive-by shooting.

A resident was outside locking up his vehicle when he said an older model Jeep drove by his residence.

An unidentified suspect was standing up in the back of the Jeep and began firing at his residence. The victim took cover and the Jeep fled from the area.  Neither the victim nor the two occupants located inside of the residence were injured by the gunfire.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (850) 433-STOP or the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office at (850) 436-9620.