Escambia County To Design Expansion Of Ransom Middle Pond To Reduce Flooding In Area

May 22, 2022

The Escambia County Commission recently approved funds to design an expansion of a holding pond at Ransom Middle School.

According to the county, an existing holding pond at Ransom Middle experiences severe flooding during moderate to heavy rain events.

Sigma Consulting Group of Pensacola will design drainage improvements to expand the existing stormwater pond at cost of $39,975. The existing pond will be designed to expand to an area encompassing approximately 3.5 acres.

The goal of this project is to design and construct a pond located within the southwest portion of the Ransom Middle School property in an effort to attenuate stormwater to the constructed pond to reduce the risk of flooding. The project is considered as part of a larger plan to reduce flooding in this area, according to Escambia County.

The design will be funded using Local Option Sales Tax. photos by Kristi Barbour, click to enlarge.

Happy Birthday Mr. Frank! Local Pearl Harbor Survivor Frank Emond Turns 104

May 21, 2022

Pearl Harbor survivor Frank Emond of Cantonment celebrated his 104th birthday Saturday. You can leave your birthday wishes in the comment section below, or on our Facebook page.

Originally from Rhode Island, Emond enlisted in the Navy in 1938 as a musician. He played the French horn for the ship’s band and even got to perform at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York before he was assigned to the USS Emond, CWO4 USN (RET.), spent his naval career as a musician and band director. He was on the stern of the USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) getting ready to play morning “Colors” on his French horn when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Emond then walked to the conductor’s stand, picked up the baton and proceeded to direct the band in “Stars and Stripes”.

After seven years of playing horn, he became a Navy bandleader, retiring in 1968.

“I’m about the last one (Pearl Harbor survivor) left around here,” Emond said during a previous drive-by birthday at the Gonzalez United Methodist Church.

He remained a music man; sometimes leading the music at Gonzalez Methodist  and performing with the Pensacola Civic Band.

Last November, he broke his own Guinness World Record as “World’s Oldest Conductor”. At age 103, led the U.S. Air Force Band’s Airmen of Note in Glenn Miller’s iconic “In the Mood” at the American Veteran Center’s “America Valor: A Salute to our Heroes” at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington.

For photos from Emond’s 102 drive-by birthday event in 2020, click or tap here.

Pictured above: At 103, Pearl Harbor survivor Frank Emond of Cantonment broke his own Guinness World Record as “World’s Oldest Conductor” in Washington, D.C. Pictured below: Scenes from Frank Emond’s 102nd drive-thru birthday party in 2020 at Gonzalez United Methodist Church. photos, click to enlarge.

Northview High Names 2022 Honors Graduates

May 21, 2022

Northview High School has named their honors graduates for the Class of 2022.

Valedictorian of the Class of 2022 is Hunter Borelli, and salutatorian is John Bashore.

The Northview High School Class of 2022 graduates at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 25 at the Pensacola Bay Center.

Summa Cum Laude (4.0 GPA and above)

Valedictorian: Hunter Borelli
Salutatorian: John Bashore
Anna Faith Adams
Evelyn Liya Alexander
Tereasia Siamone Burt
Zachary Jacob Carach
Shelby Nicole Cotita
Olivia Elizabeth Crews
Weslyn Elizabeth Dunn
Jason Zane Gurganus
Sarah Margaret Hetrick
Jesse Allen Hughes
Ethan Riley Kilburn
Alyssa Mercedes Moya
Dallon Thortis Rackard
Benjamin Charles Rowinsky
Sarah Jane Sconiers
Jessica Faith Stabler
Mia Rain Starns
Madison Victoria Watson

Magna Cum Laude (3.85 GPA and above)

Kaitlin Hope Gafford
Audrey Grace Goetter
Grayson Elizabeth James
Rakailla Aja Munford
Makayla Shana Ramsey
David Dewayne Ward

Cum Laude (3.5 GPA and above)

Olan Drew Albritton
Cheveyo Dasan Bingham
Miyhanna Patrice Davidson
Zykuria Alizah Fountain
Laura Nicole Frazier
Holley Danielle Gilley
Taylor Lynn Levins
Taylor Elaine McMinn
Logan Christophor Misenar
Alanna Rose Roberson
Paige Alyssa Ross
Addison Lee White

Valedictorian: Hunter Borelli (right); Salutatorian: John Bashore

Summa Cum Laude (4.0 GPA and above)

Summa Cum Laude (4.0 GPA and above)

Magna Cum Laude (3.85 GPA and above)

Cum Laude (3.5 GPA and above)

Photos: Emma Gilmore and Sarah Bailey for, click to enlarge.

No Serious Injuries In Early Morning Wreck On Highway 97 In Molino

May 20, 2022

There were no serious injuries reported in a two-vehicle crash early Friday morning on Highway 97 in Molino.

The crash involving a car and a pickup truck happened about 2:30 a.m. on Highway 97 about one-third of a mile north of Highway 29.  The car blocked northbound Highway 97, while the pickup truck came to rest in a shallow ditch in front of a residence following the crash.

Both drivers reportedly refused transport to the hospital by Escambia County EMS.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating. The Molino Station of Escambia Fire Rescue also responded.

Photos for, click to enlarge.

Escambia Adopts HR Policy Requiring Employees To Quit Before Running For County Commission

May 20, 2022

The Escambia County Commission on Thursday formalized a human resources policy previously approved by ordinance that requires county employees to resign or take a leave of absence before running for a seat on the commission.

“There is really very, very rarely a time where it’s appropriate for a government to make determinations about who can and cannot, or how they should participate in the political process. As you move further and further down that road, you have a separation between the elected officials, the government itself, and the people that it governs,” District 2 Commissioner Doug Underhill said before the vote.

Underhill read from a state statute (F.S. 104.31) that he said prevents the policy.

“Curtailing out employees’ ability to be a nominee or participate in the election process in any way, I would consider to be a direct violation of that (statute),” he said.

District 1 Commissioner Jeff Bergosh said he found it interesting that Underhill dissented Thursday he “rushed to make the motion” for the actual ordinance approved in March. Bergosh said he policy has been vetted by the attorney, and the policy is found across the state among other governments.

“You are not saying they can’t do something. You are just stipulating as to not create a hostile work environment, to not create a dysfunctional work environment,” said Bergosh. “It’s very common.”

The complete text of the county policy is below.

Effective March 7, 2022, Escambia County, Florida, Ordinance 2022-13 states that an Employee is required to resign or take a leave of absence upon the date the Employee becomes a candidate for Elected Public Office for one of the five Commissioners’ districts of Escambia County, Florida. An Employee is prohibited from engaging in any activities in furtherance of seeking qualification as a Candidate on County time. Any Employee failing to timely comply with the requirements of this Policy will be subject to immediate termination by the Interim/County Administrator.

If the Employee chooses to take leave, the Employee may utilize all accrued Annual Leave, Paid Time Off, or Management Options Benefits before requesting Leave without Pay. This applies to all Employees who are in positions included in the Classified Service, Unclassified Service, and assigned Employees performing temporary labor services for the County on behalf of a temporary staffing agency. This applies to all Employees, whether full-time, part-time, temporary, paid volunteer, or volunteer.

As used in this provision, the terms Candidate, Employee, and Public Office shall be as defined in Sec. 2-66(a), Escambia County Code of Ordinances.

This Little Light Of Mine: Tri-City Children’s Choir Holds First Concert (With Gallery)

May 20, 2022

The sun filtered warmly through the stained glass windows at Century First United Methodist Church Thursday evening.

Smiles beamed from the faces of the crowd packed into the wooden pews as music filled the church.

“This little light of mine. I’m going to let it shine.”

It was the first concert by the new Tri-City Children’s Choir, a regional initiative of the Pensacola Children’s Chorus for young singers in grades 2-6 who reside in the Century, Flomaton, Jay and surrounding areas. They have practiced under the direction of Holley Driver, a Century-based music teacher, since March.

“They have done outstanding,” Driver said. “They have always exceeded my expectations, and so I am just terrifically thrilled.”

For a photo gallery, click here.

The choir was a tuition-based program that cost $5-15 weekly. Families could choose the weekly amount that worked best for their household finances, and scholarships were also available.

An ensemble from the Pensacola Children’s Chorus opened the concert with a performance that included Prayer for Ukraine: Bozhe Velykyi. The Tri-City Children’s Choir performed How Can I Keep From SingingTo Music and This Little Light of Mine.

Driver said the choir will open enrollment again in the fall, giving an opportunity for area youth to shine. photos, click to enlarge.