Century Gets Look At Future Economic Development Plan

April 18, 2014

The Century Town Council got a sneak peek at their Economic Development Strategic Plan during a special meeting Thursday afternoon with the Haas Center, the research and consulting arm of the University of West Florida, updating the council on their work over the past several months.

Once finalized, the plan will lay out a vision, a road map of sorts, that will guide Century into their economic future.

Ideas presented by the Haas Center’s Brice Harris included: promoting educational opportunities at locals schools, free financial literacy programs, skills training, anti-poverty initiatives , development of partnerships with organizations that aid low income households and dropout prevention.

The plan also calls for identifying industrial opportunities, soliciting input from local businesses for marketing efforts, developing marketing, pursuit of a daycare program, partnerships with other local communities, improving Century’s “curb appeal”,  expanding available broadband Internet services, Internet subsidies for low income residents, identification of mass transit needs, exploring the benefits of expanding the town limits, and pursuing grants for low income residents.

Also under the strategic plan, Century would work with business networks, provide support and training to local businesses, pursue grant funding to staff business incubator, offer small businesses classes, conduct a feasibility study for a local hotel, increase civic participation in local government, stream council meetings online, publish town council meeting minutes, utilize an online calendar, distribute a town newsletter and institute a youth leadership program. The town would also have an increase social media presence, organize more community events and work with area schools and churches to bring more youth-based activities and sports to Century.

In addition to research, the Haas Center has solicited input from area businesses, residents and other economic development agencies in the region in developing the plan, funded by a $25,000 a Community Planning Technical Assistance Grant from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Under the grant requirements, the Haas Center is developing an economic and demographic profile report, local and regional market area analysis, accepted input from local and regional stakeholders and soliciting input from a steering committee.

The final draft of the strategic plan is  due to the town by April 30, with an implementation plan and funding matrix to be submitted by May 30.

Pictured top: Brice Harris of the University of West Florida’s Haas Center provides a look at Century’s new Economic Development Strategic Plan during a Thursday afternoon meeting. NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.

Tate Lady Aggies Win District 1-7A Championship

April 18, 2014

The Tate High School Lady Aggies won the District 1-7A championship Thursday night with a 8-1 win over the Navarre Raiders. The Aggies will now host Tallahassee Chiles in the quarterfinals next Thursday. Photos by Timothy Dunsford for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

West Florida Lady Jags Win District 1-4A Championship

April 18, 2014

The West Florida Lady Jaguars won the District 1-4A championship Thursday night with a 10-0 blowout of the Marianna Bulldogs. The Lady Jags will host Godby on Wednesday at 7p.m.  in the Region 1-4A finals. Pictured: (bottom, L-R)  Jibrasha Moore, Danyelle Black, Ealon Pyle, Korina Rosario, Jordaine Watkins, Nachelle Watson, Kristin Gunter, Kayla Miller, (back row, L-R))Maegan Freeman, Farrah Nicholas, Lauren Carnley, Breana Rogers, Emily Loring, Ali Cutaio, Coach Angie Johnson, Jasmyn Nguyen, Kathleen Smiley, Head Coach Jessica Smith, Coach Gary Jackson. Photos by NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Jay Lady Royals Claim District 3-1A Championship

April 18, 2014

The Jay Lady Royals won the District 3-1A championship  Thursday night with a 5-2 win over Chipley.  It was the third consecutive district championship for Jay.

Chassity McCraney pitched the win in seven for the Lady Royals, allowing five hits, striking out seven.

Jay hitters were Destiny Herring 2-4, R, RBI; Sydney Lowery 3-4, 2RBI; Samantha Steadham 1-3, R, 2B; Michaela Stewart 1-4, R, 2B; Harley Taggert 1-3, 2R.

Photos by Diann Penton Tagert for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Arrest Made After Teen Stabbed In Barth

April 17, 2014

A teenager was airlifted to a Pensacola hospital after being stabbed in the  Barth community north of Molino Wednesday night, and another teen is charged with the crime.

The 16-year old male was reportedly stabbed twice — including once in the chest area — about 7:15 p.m. during and altercation in the area of Barth Lane and Barth Road.   He was transported by ambulance to the Molino Fire Station and transferred to an awaiting LifeFlight helicopter.  The teen’s wounds were not believed to be life threatening.

Justin Demartre Young, 17, was arrested and charged with aggravated battery in connection with the incident, according to the  Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. The name of the victim has not been released.

Pictured top and inset: The scene of a stabbing in the Barth community Wednesday night in the area of  Barth Lane and Barth Road. Pictured below: The victim was transported by ambulance to the Molino Fire Station and transferred to an awaiting LifeFlight helicopter. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Trial Postponed For Molino Woman Claiming Self Defense In Husband’s Fatal Shooting

April 17, 2014

Trial been postponed  for a Molino woman accused of murdering her husband last year.

Rebecca A. Rogers, 43, appeared before Judge Linda Nobles Wednesday in Escambia County Circuit Court. Nobles, at the request of both her defense attorney and prosecutors, reset Roger’s jury trial. Jury selection is now set to begin in late June.

Rogers allegedly shot her husband, 42-year old Jason Lee Rogers, in the head last August at the couple’s home in the 3400 block of Highway 29 near Mathison Road. He died about two days later.

Rebecca Rogers called 911 to say that her husband choked her and she shot him, according to an arrest report. Deputies arrived to find Rebecca Rogers standing outside the home. They found Jason Rogers lying unconscious in the back bedroom of the home on his stomach with what appeared to be a gunshot to his  head. According to the report, he also suffered two other gunshot wounds to the back.

Rogers has claimed  the shooting was in self defense. She remains free on a $300,000 bond.