Cantonment Rotary Provides Thanksgiving Meals For Nearly 1,300 People (With Photo Gallery)

November 26, 2020

About 1,300 people can enjoy a complete Thanksgiving meal this year thanks to the members and friends of the Cantonment Rotary Club.

Wednesday the club distributed everything for a turkey meal to 325 families in the North Escambia area, including Quintette and Carver Park. The recipients were chosen with the help of local school guidance counselors who helped identify families that might need a little help this time of year.

The Tate High School cheerleaders volunteered Wednesday to help package the meals for delivery.

The Cantonment Rotary project continues to grow each year. In 2017, they provided meals for 545 people, and in 2018 it was 988 people.

The Publix at Nine Mile provided generous support for the Cantonment Rotary project.

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Miracle League Holds Annual Turkey Fry (With Photo Gallery)

November 26, 2020

The Miracle League of Pensacola held their annual turkey fry fundraiser Wednesday at their park on East Nine Mile Road.

Volunteers with the Miracle League spent their day frying about 250 turkeys for a minimum $30 donation, with all of the proceeds going to benefit the Miracle League.

A small army of volunteers worked to deep fry the turkeys to perfection, rows of timers keeping track of the cooking time at a command center of sorts. Cadets from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office didn’t help with the cooking, but they did make sure the turkeys were nicely packaged and ready to enjoy for Thanksgiving.

The Miracle League provides physically and mentally challenged children a safe and spirited program in which they can hit, run, and catch on a baseball field – just like other kids. MLP offers a unique and memorable opportunity these children would not otherwise have. It is a place where every player plays, every player hits, every player gets on base, every player scores, and every player wins – every inning.

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‘Fill The Mayflower’ Food Drive Will Help Manna Feed 130,000

November 26, 2020

Tens of thousands of area residents will benefit from the annual Fill the Mayflower food drive, which supports the operations of Manna Food Pantries.

Donations from the two-day event held earlier this week will provide more than 130,000 meals to neighbors in need in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

Food collected during Fill the Mayflower will be distributed through Manna’s programs and partners in the two-county area, which have experienced increased need for food assistance this year. In response to the effects of coronavirus and Hurricane Sally, Manna has focused on supporting the needs of at-risk, vulnerable populations served pre-COVID-19, as well as those who suddenly find themselves unemployed or with reduced hours and have unmet needs. As a result, Manna has distributed nearly 600,000 pounds of food this year, including fresh produce, to neighbors in need.

“Over the past year, Manna has provided food to more than 30,000 people – significantly more than the year before,” said DeDe Flounlacker, executive director of Manna. “Fill the Mayflower raised the food and funds we need to help feed the hungry in the coming months. We’re so grateful to the Northwest Florida community for supporting this event and continuing to show an amazing capacity to help those in need.”

Malfunctioning Traffic Light Leads To Overturned Log Truck Wreck In Molino

November 24, 2020

Drivers stopped at a malfunctioning traffic signal at Highway 29 and Highway 97 in Molino led to an injury crash with an overturned log truck Tuesday morning.

The Florida Highway Patrol said a 67-year old Baker man was traveling south on Highway 29 approaching the Highway 97 intersection. The traffic light ahead of the trucker was blinking yellow and multiple cars had stopped for the blinking yellow light.

The driver of the log truck swerved into the right turn lane to avoid a collision with the stopped vehicles. The log truck overturned and struck the rear of a passenger car.

The truck driver was seriously injured, while the occupants of the car suffered minor injuries. All were transported to area hospital by Escambia County EMS following the 7 a.m. crash.

Southbound Highway 29 remained closed for hours to clean up the wreckage and logs. Traffic was detoured onto Highway 97. photos by Kristi Barbour, click to enlarge.

Navy Releases Report On NAS Pensacola Shooting, Says Shooter ‘Self-Radicalized’ In ‘Toxic’ Climate

November 24, 2020

The U.S. Navy has released their investigative report into the deadline December 2019 terrorist attack at NAS Pensacola.

An armed Lt. Mohammad Saeed Al-Shamrani, an international flight student from Saudi Arabia, entered the Naval Aviation Schools Command building about 6:40 a.m. He killed three sailors and injured five additional military and civilian personnel.

Al-Shamrani was shot and killed by an Escambia County Sheriff’s Office deputy.

Ensign Joshua K. Watson, Airman Mohammed S. Haitham and Airman Apprentice Cameron S. Walters were dead.

The 260 page report found “the self-radicalization of 2nd Lt. Al-Shamrani was the primary cause of this fatal attack. However, his actions and behaviors, along with the organizational environment inherent in the aviation pipeline, likely increased his probability of committing an insider attack.”

“Military leaders, government employees, contracted employees, peers and civilians knew of isolated events and indicators, but all remained unaware of a complete picture of 2nd Lt. Al-Shamrani’s potential threat indicators,” the report states. “Based upon the information available at the time, no one person or organization knew or could have known 2nd Lt. Al-Shamrani would attack active duty service members and civilians.”

An instructor at Training Wing 6 witnessed Al-Shamrani applying to purchase a gun used in the attack, the report states.  The purchase of the gun was legal, but Al-Shamrani violated Navy regulations for International Military Students (IMS). The report continues that the instructor did not report the incident because he was unaware of the policy violation.

The investigation found there was “an adverse microclimate for all students as NASC”, and international students were subjected to “derogatory and sometimes abusive comments as well as humiliating public reprimands.” Military and civilian leaders aware of the complaints did not take steps to correct the toxic climate, investigators found.

“In addition, 2nd Lt. Al-Shamrani likely faced additional personal and professional stressors due to a language barrier, cultural differences, and the rigor of high-risk aviation training and academics,” the report states. “Mitigating these individual risk factors may not have stopped 2nd Lt. Al-Shamrani from evolving into a hostile insider threat, yet they may have lessened his cumulative load of stress, pressure and anger.”

But the stress triggers were not unique to Al-Shamrani.

“In the absence of proactive leadership, positive command climates and personalized risk management, they may also apply equally to our own Sailors and civilian personnel,” the report states.

The report found that “current technology is unable to effectively monitor social media”, such as the jihadist, anti-U.S. and anti-Israeli rhetoric found on Al-Shamrani’s social media accounts.

Pictured top: The scene outside Building 633 as law enforcement responds to a terrorist attack on December 6, 2019. exclusive photo.

Christmas Parades: Pensacola And Molino Canceled, But Jay And Atmore Still On

November 24, 2020

Christmas parades in Pensacola and Molino have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the parades will go on in Atmore and Jay.

Molino Christmas Parade

The Molino Christmas parade has been canceled The parade annually benefits needy families in the community, and donations are still being accepted. To make a donation, message the Molino Ballpark on Facebook. Last year, they were able to help 10 families.

Pensacola Christmas Parade

The Pensacola Christmas Parade has been canceled for 2020. “Considering 50,000 attendees and 5000 participants, it would be impossible to social distance,” according to organizers.

Jay Christmas Parade

It’s “Joy in Jay” for Christmas on Saturday, December 5. The annual Jay Christmas parade will roll at 11 a.m. It will be followed by a festival on Commerce Street with Santa’s workshop, food and craft vendors, Christmas theater and more. For information, to volunteer or a vendor application, call the Jay Town Hall at (850) 675-4556.

Atmore Twilight Christmas Parade

The Atmore Twilight Christmas Parade “Songs of Christmas” will take place on Saturday, December 12 beginning at 5:30 p.m. The parade will travel from Atmore City Hall south on Main Street to Lindberg Avenue, ending at Escambia County High School.

Pictured: The 2019 Molino Christmas Parade Saturday and visits with Santa. file photos, click to enlarge.

Crash Near Atmore Claims Life Of Local Man

November 23, 2020

A crash just outside Atmore claimed the life of a local man Friday afternoon.

Alabama State Troopers said Monday afternoon that a two vehicle crash at 1:35 p.m. Friday involved two vehicles on Highway 31 at 21st Avenue.

Mathiew Norman Wilson, 58, attempted to turn his 1997 Dodge Ram pickup onto 21st Avenue when he collided with a Ford Excursion driven by 18-year old Phenix Nicole Crews, according to state troopers. Wilson’s passenger, 31-year old Jacob Oran Bailey, died from his injuries.

Alabama troopers are continuing their investigation.

File photo.