Speak Out: Public Input Meetings Set On Escambia Superintendent Search

October 21, 2019

The Escambia County School District has scheduled five community forums to give the public the chance to share their input as the school district moves closer to advertising the school superintendent job.

All five of the meetings are in the geographic southern half of Escambia County.

The community forms will be facilitated by the Florida School Boards Association Search Team. All input gathered during the events will be collected and provided to the Escambia County School Board members and will be made available online. School board members will not attend the input sessions.

“The board members and I want to make this process as transparent as possible. The search team will lead the participants through conversations that will help us identify our school district’s strengths and weaknesses, and allow them to have a chance to tell us what skills should be present in the next superintendent,” said Patty Hightower, school board chair. “Our search team consists of professional educators from around the state who have helped other districts through this process, and they too believe these meetings are critically important. We hope everyone with an interest in Escambia County’s public schools will attend at least one of the community input sessions that fits their schedule.”

The town hall events will be held:

  • Oct. 24, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. in Room 160 of the J.E. Hall Center, 30 E. Texar Drive, Pensacola.
  • Nov. 14, 2019 at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria at Blue Angels Elementary School, 1551 Dogtrack Road, Pensacola.
  • Nov. 21, 2019 at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria at Pensacola High School, 500 W. Maxwell Street, Pensacola.
  • Jan. 7, 2020 at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria at Beulah Middle School, 6001 W. Nine Mile Road, Pensacola.
  • Jan. 9, 2020 at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria at Tate High School, 1771 Tate Road, Cantonment.

In 2018, voters approved an appointed, rather than elected, superintendent in Escambia County. The search is being guided by the Florida School Boards Association leading up the selection of a superintendent with a November 24, 2020, start date. The job is set to be advertised beginning April 1, 2020.

Tayler Mills Named Tate High Homecoming Queen; Alex Moorhead Named King

October 20, 2019

Tayler Mills was named the 2019 Tate High School homecoming queen Saturday night, and Alex Moorehead was named homecoming king.

First runner-up was Avery Young, and second runner-up was Baylor Phillips.

After the school district canceled all activities Friday due to Tropical Storm Nestor, the presentation of the homecoming court was rescheduled for Saturday night during the homecoming dance. School officials said they will recognize the homecoming court during next Friday night’s Senior Night so they will have the opportunity to walk the field with their parents.  Exact details were still being finalized Saturday night.

Photos by Jennifer Repine for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Unemployment Rate Drops Half A Percentage Point In Escambia And Santa Rosa

October 19, 2019

The latest job numbers just released by the state show a half percentage point drop in the unemployment rate in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

Escambia County’s unemployment rate dropped from 3.5% in August to 3.0% in July.  There were 4,379 people were reported unemployed during the period. One year ago, unemployment in Escambia County was also 3.3 percent.

Santa Rosa County’s unemployment rate decreased from 3.2% in August to 2.7% in September. Santa Rosa County had a total of 2,222 persons still unemployed. The year-ago unemployment rate in Santa Rosa County was 3.0 percent.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.2 percent in September 2019, down 0.1 percentage point from the August 2019 rate, and down 0.1 percentage point from a year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in September.

The jobless numbers released by the state do not include persons that have given up on finding a job and are no longer reported as unemployed.

FDOT To Hold Public Meeting On I-10 At Beulah Road Interchange Project

October 19, 2019

The Florida Department of Transportation  will hold a public information meeting on the I-10 at Beulah Road Interchange Project on Tuesday, October 22.

The project concerns the widening of Beulah Road from West Nine Mile Road to Isaacs Lane, the realignment from Isaacs Lane to West Kingsfield Road, a new interchange at I-10 and the widening of I-10 from the Florida/Alabama line to the Pensacola Weigh Station.

There will be no formal presentation. Maps, drawings and other information will be on display. FDOT representatives will be available to discuss the proposed improvements, answer questions and receive comments.

The meeting will take place October 22 from 4:30 until 6:30 p.m. at the Beulah Senior Center and 7425 Woodside Road in Pensacola.

Cantonment Woman Finds Clown Burglarizing Her Home

October 18, 2019

A Cantonment woman walked into her home to find a burglar wearing a clown mask and wig running toward her screaming, according the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies responded to a burglary in progress call in the 3000 block of Pine Forest Road. The victim told deputies she walked into her town house as a female wearing a clown mask and wig came running out of a back bedroom.

The victim said the woman wearing the clown mask ran into another town house and slammed the door.

Deputies made contact with 33-year old Julianna Josephine Ciano in the neighboring townhome where they found a Halloween type mask on the bed and a blond wig under the bed, according to the arrest report. Ciano was charged with burglary of an occupied dwelling, trespassing in an occupied structure and criminal mischief with an enhancement of wearing mask or disguise while committing an offense.

The victim did not find anything missing, but she found a screwdriver in her bedroom, and a Coke can and a makeup brush in her bathroom that were not hers, the arrest report states. A bathroom drawer had also been knocked out and a cosmetic box had been moved.

Ciano was booked into the Escambia County Jail where she remained without bond Friday morning.

Wanted Career Criminal From Molino Busted In Central America

October 17, 2019

A career criminal from Molino has learned the long arm of the law will catch up, even if you flee to Central America.

Steven Ray Stokes, 54, was arrested in Panama under the lead of U.S. Marshals. He is on federal supervised release from a conviction of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and being a felon in possession of a weapon.

“Marshals here in Pensacola sent a lead to our liaison in Panama who then arrested him,” Dominic Guadagnoli of the U.S. Marshals told NorthEscambia.com.

Stokes also has an active Escambia County Sheriff’s Office warrant for grand theft for allegedly stealing a motorcycle from Cantonment in 2018. His arrest comes two weeks after a story about the active warrant on NorthEscambia.com.

He was sentenced in 2003 to 174 months in federal prison followed by five years probation for for unlawful transport of firearms and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, His sentenced was later reduced.

He also served state prison time for multiple convictions. In 2002, he was convicted of running a chop shop on his property in Molino, along with racketeering. Over five dozen stolen vehicles were reportedly found on the property, along with over 50 pounds of marijuana. He would purchase wrecked vehicles at auction and swap the vehicle registration numbers onto stolen vehicles to be resold.

State records show he has also served prison time for convictions dating back to 1996 for trafficking in marijuana, selling cocaine, cocaine possession, fleeing from law enforcement and resisting an officer with violence.