Ron Paul Endorses North Escambia Native Rebekah Bydlak For Congress

June 29, 2016

North Escambia native Rebekah Johansen Bydlak has been endorsed by former presidential candidate and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul.

“I am pleased to endorse Rebekah Bydlak for Congress,” Paul said, “Rebekah’s commitment to, and experience in advancing, the principles of liberty show that she is the type of leader the GOP, Florida, and the country need.”

“I am thrilled and honored to be endorsed by the godfather of the Tea Party,” Bydlak said, “Ron Paul’s name has become synonymous with the defense of the Constitution and reducing the size of government.”

“For years, he fought the good fight in Washington D.C. against career politicians and unconstitutional government overreach, and I am proud to have his support,” she added.

Bydlak would make history if she is successful in the August 30 Republican primary as the first female to represent Florida’s 1st District and youngest-ever elected woman in Congress.

Bydlak, a Cantonment resident and native of McDavid in North Escambia, is a former Florida state chair of Young Americans for Liberty, the youth organization that began as an outgrowth of Paul’s 2008 presidential bid. She has also served as director of outreach for the Coalition to Reduce Spending, an advocacy organization dedicated to reducing spending and debt.

She is a graduate of Pensacola State College and the University of West Florida. She holds a master’s degree in political science and public administration from UWF.

Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Flomaton Opens New Municipal Complex (With Gallery)

June 29, 2016

A ribbon cutting was held Tuesday for the new Flomaton Municipal Complex, replacing a city hall building that was overrun with mold.

About two years ago, the then-town hall was closed due to mold, and offices such as the town clerk, police department, and utilities scattered to other locations around town.

“We are extremely proud of this new facility,” Flomaton Mayor Dewey Bondurant said.

The new building is located on Ringold Stret at the site of the old town hall. The modern building cost the town about a half million dollars.

For a photo gallery, click here.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1099714813423606.1073742406.165318000196630&type=1&l=d079e4e6ac

Three Escape Serious Injury In Backwoods Road Crash

June 29, 2016

There were no serious injuries when two vehicles wrecked Tuesday evening on Backwoods Road near Century. A pickup truck and a passenger car collided about 7:10 p.m. in a curve on the dirt road. The driver of the pickup, the driver of the car and a passenger in the car all refused medical treatment.

The accident is under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol. Details have not been released.

The Century Station of Escambia Fire Rescue, Escambia County EMS and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the crash.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

MESS Hall Presents Science In The Summer Programs At The Library

June 29, 2016

The Pensacola MESS Hall presented four weeks of Science in the Summer programs at each branch of the West Florida Library.  Student learned about electricity and magnetism through hands-on activities and experiments like building an electrical circuit and observing the affects of magnets on different materials.

The Pensacola MESS Hall is a hands on science museum located in downtown Pensacola. Visitors enjoy exploring math, engineering, science, and stuff with an ever-changing menu of mess kits, activities and exhibits

Pictured: The final Pensacola MESS HALL Science in the Summer program Tuesday evening at the Century Branch Library. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Police Issue Warning After Smashing Window To Save Puppy From Hot Car

June 28, 2016

The Pensacola Police Department has issued a warning about leaving pets in a hot vehicle, after smashing a window to save a puppy.

“Don’t. Just don’t. If you leave your dog in a hot car and that dog is suffering, we will do whatever we have to do to free him. Or her. Doesn’t matter, we like both kinds of dogs. We will drive your pooch to the caring folks at the Escambia County Animal Shelter and we will drop you off with the caring folks at the Escambia County Detention Facility. You will both receive attention, food, and shelter, albeit different kinds. So, don’t,” the PPD posted on Facebook Tuesday afternoon, along with the two photos on this page.

Photos courtesy Pensacola Police Department for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Gulf Power Looks To Add More Wind Energy

June 28, 2016

Gulf Power is seeking to further diversify its energy mix by adding more wind. Monday, the company filed a petition asking the Florida Public Service Commission to approve adding 94 megawatts of wind energy from the Kingfisher Wind farm in Oklahoma.

Gulf Power is already a leading purchaser of wind generation among Florida utilities. Since January of this year, Gulf Power’s original Kingfisher Wind project has been producing 178 megawatts of wind-generated energy. The energy company is seeking approval of a second agreement involving the Kingfisher Wind project that would add an additional 94 megawatts of wind energy to its energy mix, for a total of 272 megawatts.

“Gulf Power is committed to renewable energy that makes economic sense for our customers,” said Rick DelaHaya, Gulf Power spokesperson. “Our renewables team worked very hard to make these projects affordable. These smart renewables, like Kingfisher Wind, can actually put downward pressure on prices.”

Located in Oklahoma, the Kingfisher Wind project has a total of 136 wind turbines capable of producing enough energy to power approximately 77,150 homes for a year.

“Adding alternate sources of renewable energy to our portfolio is important for our customers and takes careful planning,” added DelaHaya. “By diversifying our energy supply with an ‘all of the above’ approach that includes renewable energy, our customers can count on us for their energy needs today and well into the future.”

If the additional 94 megawatts are approved by the FPSC, and once construction of Gulf Power’s military solar projects are complete, renewable energy sources are projected to be approximately 9 percent of the company’s energy mix, helping to diversify the power supply. Kingfisher is the energy company’s sixth renewable energy project following the Perdido Landfill Gas-to-Energy Facility, which has produced more than 100 million kilowatt hours of electricity since 2010.

Gulf Power is also bringing large-scale solar to Northwest Florida at three military solar energy projects across Northwest Florida. Located at Eglin AFB (Air Force), Saufley Field (Navy) and Holley Field (Navy), the projects are expected to provide approximately 30MW, 50MW and 40MW of renewable energy respectively.

Volunteer Firefighters Undergo Hands On LifeFlight Training

June 28, 2016

Volunteer firefighters participated in a LifeFlight training class Monday evening at the Molino Fire Station.  A LifeFlight crew gave the participants from Molino and other area fire stations a tour of the aircraft, plus instruction on how to handle emergencies involving the helicopter, how setup a landing zone and how patients are loaded.

Courtesy photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Lowes Community Heroes Spruce Up Century Healthy Start

June 24, 2016

Volunteers from the Lowes on Airport Boulevard in Pensacola worked Thursday to spruce up the landscaping around the Century Healthy Start.

Lowes selected Healthy Start as their Community Hero Project.  Lowe’s Heroes is a company-wide volunteer initiative that offers employees the opportunity to work on a project in their own neighborhood, helping to make their communities better places to live, work and play.

The volunteers painted  a handrail, installed landscaping, planted a tree and installed a bird feeder.

The Century Healthy Start building at 511 Church Street has been closed since being damaged in a February EF-3 tornado.  Healthy Start is expected to reopen in the building in late July.3

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

FDOT Engineer Plots Action Plan To Remedy Hwy 29 Truck Rollovers

June 23, 2016

Twice in just over a week, semi-trucks have rolled over on North Century Boulevard at Jackson Street in a curve town officials believed was ill-designed. And Wednesday, the Florida Department of Transportation agreed something needs to be done.

Century Mayor Freddie McCall met with Michael Lewis, FDOT traffic safety program engineer at the site of the accident. McCall said the slope and design of the roadway in the curve is such that trucks in the outer lane have a difficult time navigating the curve at the posted speed limit. The amount of lean on an 18-wheeler in the outer lane is demonstrated in the photo above and at the page bottom.

Lewis agreed, laying out a course of action.

(article continues below photo)

“In the near term, we are going to look at sign improvements that we can do right away. It’s going to warn trucks that there is a tipping hazard,” Lewis said. The sign with a flashing beacon will alert truck drivers to a lower speed limit, or perhaps to use the inside lane. The speed limit won’t be changed for all drivers, but there will be a new advisory speed for trucks.

“In the longer term, we are going to look at what we call super elevation. That’s a feature like…at the raceway, they bank their curves. We will bank the curve to help the truck resist the centrifugal force that’s trying to push them off the curve,” Lewis said. “That’s a longer process, and we are certainly going to look at what the funding options are to make sure we can do that as soon as possible.”

The new signs should up within a few months, and a funding source for banking the curve should also be identified, the engineer said.

McCall said he was pleased that FDOT was taking a serious look at what he considers a serious – and potentially life-threatening – situation.

(article continues below photo)

Tuesday morning’s overturned truck (pictured above) was hauling bales of cotton. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 30-year old Aref Alday of Miami traveled off the roadway, causing his 2000 Freightliner semi-truck to overturn. He was cited for careless driving. Aref Alday was not injured; his passenger, 53-year old Amnerys Alday was transported to Jay Hospital with minor injuries.

Eight days prior, the truck that overturned in the curve was hauling logs, a previous accident involved a truckload of peanuts.

McCall and Lewis agreed that the potential exists for a much more serious rollover accident, perhaps involving a fuel truck or a chemical tanker.  And the city has spent somewhere near a quarter million dollars to make repairs to a sewage lift station located in the curve to repair damage from overturned trucks.

Pictured: Century Mayor Freddie McCall (blue shirt) meet with Florida Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Engineer Michael Lewis (yellow vest) and FDOT Traffic Safety Specialist Matt King about a dangerous curve on North Century Boulevard. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Century Deputies Write 1,286 Traffic Tickets In Three Months

June 23, 2016

As attention has turned to a Century curve that is prone to truck rollover accidents, attention has also turned to speeders and traffic enforcement on North Century Boulevard.

Wednesday afternoon, Escambia County Sheriff’s deputies were seen making several traffic stops on North Century Boulevard. From a woman not wearing her seat belt, to a vehicle clocked at 57 mph in the 35 mph zone, to an 18-wheeler, deputies were busy with citations.

According to the latest data available from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, deputies in the Century precinct — the area north of Molino — wrote 1,286 citations during the March 1 to June 1 time period. While a specific breakdown was not immediately available, most of the citations were written on North Century Boulevard in the Century area and on Highway 97 in the Walnut Hill area, including the Ernest Ward Middle school zone.

“The deputies in the Century area have been very proactive in enforcing traffic laws for the safety of our citizens,” said Sgt. Andrew Hobbs, spokesperson for the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

It’s an effort that that has not gone unnoticed by Century officials. At a recent meeting between the Century Town Council and the Florida Department of Transportation, Century Mayor Freddie McCall expressed his appreciation to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office for their frequent traffic enforcement efforts on North Century Boulevard.

For more on the truck rollover problem in Century, click here.

Pictured: Escambia County Sheriff’s deputies made several traffic stops in a short time period Wednesday afternoon on North Century Boulevard. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.