Northview Grad Singleton Lobbies Legislative Committee For FFA Education Bill

January 18, 2018

Northview High School graduate Mitchell Singleton lobbied a Florida legislative committee Wednesday on behalf of a bill to benefit agricultural education and the Florida FFA.

Mitchell currently serves as the Area 1 State Vice President of the Florida FFA Assocation. He spoke to the members of the Florida House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee in favor of House Bill 3053, Next Generation Agricultural Education Student.

The bill would provide a $1.25 million appropriation — $1 million would go toward making each of over 60,ooo agricultural education students in Florida members of the FFA at no cost to them, and $250,000 would go toward updates to the FFA’s Leadership Training Center in Haines City which used by thousands of FFA members each year.

“For  me personally, my FFA story doesn’t being like most of you may think,” Mitchell told the committee. “I don’t have a background in agriculture. None of my family are farmers. I joined the FFA in the sixth grade at Ernest Ward Middle School because some of my friends were doing it and I thought that would just be the cool thing to do. So at that time I was a shy little sixth grader that would not even be caught dead speaking in front of this committee this morning, but also I didn’t know that I could have a place in agriculture because at that time my plan wasn’t to grow up and to be a farmer. But through the seven years that I have zipped up that blue corduroy jacket, I have realized that I can take every opportunity that is given to me to step out of my comfort zone, to grow myself as as individual, to grow myself as a leader.”

“But equally as important, I realized even I have a place in the agriculture industry,” he said.

He told the subcommittee members that the FFA and agricultural education is about much more than production agriculture, with positions such as social media marketing, scientists, or Singleton’s personal choice of education.

He said there are hundreds, or even thousands of FFA members with similar personal growth stories.

“This funding will allow us to truly change the future of Florida FFA forever,” he said. “We are asking your support to be able to open the door for every student in ag eduation courses in Florida so that we can build a better future for them, a better future Florida and a better future for the United States of America.”

Following Mitchell’s speech, the PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee voted 12-0 in favor of the bill. It next goes to the full House Appropriations Committee.

Pictured: Mitchell Singleton addresses the Florida House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee Wednesday in favor of the Next Generation Agricultural Education Student bill.  Image courtesy The Florida Channel for, click to enlarge.

Ice, Ice Baby: Our Favorite Sleet And Ice Event Photos

January 18, 2018

Here are some of our favorite sleet and ice photos from Wednesday.

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Photos for, click to enlarge.

U.S. House Approves Poarch Creek Land Reaffirmation Act

January 17, 2018

The U.S. House passed a bill known as the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Land Reaffirmation Act on Tuesday.

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians Land Reaffirmation Act is a bipartisan bill that simply affirms that land that was taken into trust for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians prior to the 2009 decision in Carcieri vs. Salazari will remain in trust.

On February 24, 2009 the Supreme Court handed down a decision in Carcieri v. Salazar stating that Section 5 of the Indian Reorganization Act  authorized the Secretary of the Interior to take land into trust only for those tribes that were “under federal jurisdiction” in 1934, when the IRA was enacted

The legislation simply clears up any legal ambiguity that may have been caused by the previous court decision. The legislation does not have any change over the way the Poarch Creek Indians or their land are currently being treated in Alabama.

The bill prohibits and lawsuits related to the trust land

“The Poarch Creek Indians are a valued and trusted part of our community in Southwest Alabama. Their economic impact in Escambia County, Alabama speaks for itself. From their help with funding for community projects to their business enterprises that employ thousands of Alabamians, the Poarch help make life better for so many people in our area,” bill sponsor Congressman Bradley Byrne said.

Pictured: Congressman Bradley Byrne speaks in support of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Land Reaffirmation Act on the floor of the U.S. House. Image for, click to enlarge.

Atmore Approves Sunday Alcohol Sales

January 16, 2018

The city of Atmore has unanimously approved a resolution to allow Sunday alcohol sales after 10 a.m.

Now that the resolution has passed, the local legislative delegation will introduce a bill in the Alabama Legislature for final approval. Once the bill passes, it would head to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey for a signature making it effective.

Last year, Ivey signed a bill passed on the last day of the legislative session allowing cities or counties to authorize businesses to begin alcohol sales at 10 a.m. Sundays under ordinance or resolution.

Pictured: Businesses such as this Winn Dixie in Atmore may soon be able to sell alcohol as early at 10 a.m. on Sundays. photo, click to enlarge.

Century Celebrates Legacy Of Martin Luther King, Jr. (With Gallery)

January 15, 2018

Dozens turned out in Century Monday to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Century-Flomaton Improvement Association held their annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration at the Century Ag Building Monday.

Songs, essays and speeches honored King’s memory during the program, which was themed “Keep the Dream Alive”.

“If we can dream it, with the Lord’s help we can achieve it,” guest speaker Pastor Lloyd A. Hicks told the assembly. Hicks was employed by the Alabama Department of Corrections for 28 years and received his first pastoral appointment to Westley Chapel CME Church in Century. He is now employed as a staff chaplain at Brookwood Princeton Medical System in Birmingham and pastors Unity CME Church in Bessemer, AL.

“This is not a black thing; this is not a white thing. This is a God thing,” he said. “If you can dream, and you have the will of the Lord, you can achieve.”

For more photos, click here. photos, click to enlarge.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Marked With Parade In Atmore (With Gallery)

January 15, 2018

Martin Luther King Jr. Day programs were held across the area on Monday. In Atmore, a parade wound through the streets Monday morning.

For a photo gallery, click here. photos, click to enlarge.

Large Crowds Attend Pensacola MLK Parade (With Gallery)

January 15, 2018

Large crowds gathered in downtown Pensacola for the annual MLK Day Parade Monday.

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Photos for and courtesy photos by WEAR 3, click to enlarge.

Escambia EMS Reaches Full Staffing Level, Coverage Expands

January 15, 2018

Escambia County EMS now has more ambulances on the road than ever before, including their newest until stationed in Walnut Hill.

About a year go, there were an average of 11 ambulances on the road and available for calls during peak hours; now, that number is usually 16. It was never a matter of ambulances; it was a matter of people to staff them.

In October, the Escambia County Commission increased the Escambia EMS budget for 13 more people, bringing the staffing level to near 100 percent. Some of those new positions went to staff an Escambia County EMS unit recently stationed at the Walnut Hill Fire Station to primarily serve Walnut Hill and Bratt.

Pictured: An Escambia County EMS unit responds to a motor vehicle accident Saturday afternoon in Bratt. photos, click to enlarge.