Escambia County Mosquito Borne Illneses Advisory Upgraded To Alert

August 20, 2014

An mosquito-borne illness advisory for Escambia County has been upgraded to an alert.

The change came after the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County received notification of  a confirmed case of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in a resident of Escambia County, FL, according to a news release issued Tuesday afternoon. A probable human case in the county was previously reported.

The Escambia County Mosquito Control Division and the health department continue surveillance and prevention efforts.  FDOH-Escambia reminds residents and visitors to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to take basic precautions to help limit exposure to mosquito-borne illnesses.

Century To Update Ordinances In Online, Searchable Format

August 20, 2014

The Town of Century is taking steps to make sure that all of the town’s ordinances are up to date and searchable online.

Back in 2011, the town hired the Municipal Code Corporation to publish ordinances online in a searchable format for the public. Since that time, about nine new ordinances have been passed by the town council.

The council has voted to spend $35 per ordinance to have the ordinances updated in a searchable, cross-referenced format online, plus $35 for each additional ordinance that is passed to keep the latest ordinance information available.

To view Century’s Code of Ordinances (without the updates), click here.

The Municipal Code Corporation is one of the nation’s largest municipal code publication companies. The company currently provides code services for hundreds of governments, including Escambia and Santa Rosa counties and the City of Pensacola.

Pictured: Century Town Clerk Leslie Gonzalez explains the listing of the town’s ordinances on the Municode website. photo, click to enlarge.

State Completes Plans For Hwy 29, Hwy 97 Traffic Light; Construction Soon

August 19, 2014

Plans have been completed, and Escambia County is set to make a deposit of  just over a quarter of a million dollars to install a new traffic signal at the intersection of Highway 29 and Highway 97 in Molino.

Last October, the Escambia County Commission affirmed its support for improvements at the intersection and expressed a willingness for the county to pay for the red light at the intersection. A Florida Department of Transportation study determined the intersection did meet the criteria for the light, with an agreement in place that FDOT would design and construct the upgrades with Escambia County paying for the construction.

FDOT has completed the design phase and determined that Escambia County’s estimated cost for construction will be an estimated $265,400 for mast arms and signals at the intersection of Highway 29 and Highway 97. The Escambia County Commission is expected to approve payment at their Thursday meeting, with the payment to be made within 14 days.

According to District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry’s office, construction is anticipated to begin in late September or early October with a completion date by the end of the year.

A redesign of the Crabtree Church Road intersection with Highway 97, which is just feet from Highway 29, also also expected to take place as separate project.

Pictured: Traffic crashes at the Highway 29 and Highway 97 intersection in Molino. file photos, click to enlarge.

Students Head Back To Class (With Two Photo Galleries)

August 19, 2014

Monday was  the first day of school across the area, with tens of thousands of students heading back to class.

We asked readers to submit their back to school photos.

For a photo gallery, click here.

For a second photo gallery, click here.

We apologize, but due to a tremendous response, we were unable to publish all photos, and we are unable to add additional photos to the galleries.

Pictured top: In this “fun” photo, Molino Park Elementary School second grader puts up a first day of school “fight” at her front door Monday morning. Pictured inset: Mia heads off to second grade at Byrneville Elementary School. Pictured below: Benji and Jamie, kindergarten; London, first grade; and Sydney and Jada, Pre-K — all attend Bratt Elementary. Reader submitted photos for, click to enlarge.

Atmore Native Donates Gospel CD To Florida Prison Inmates

August 19, 2014

An Alabama pastor, gospel singer and teacher donated boxes of her  new CD to the Florida Department of Corrections Monday morning in Century.

Annette Haston’s “Love Through Time” was donated so that those doing time would remember God’s love for them. Enough copies of the contemporary gospel CD were donated at Century Correctional Institution Monday for every chapel at state prisons, faith-based facilities, re-entry facilities and privately run lockups in the state.

Haston was born and raised in Atmore, the daughter of the late Ernest and Alma Thomas and the youngest child of five.  She is a graduate of Escambia County High School in Atmore and a graduate of Alabama State University, Montgomery, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education.

She is co-founder of the Walls of Salvation International Church located in Prichard,and co-pastors alongside her husband, Dr. Julius V. Haston.  She is a mother, grandmother and public school teacher.

Operation Summer Heat: 69 Arrested On Outstanding Warrants

August 18, 2014

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan announced Monday afternoon that 69 people were arrested during “Operation Summer Heat”.

The operation included a warrant sweep that concluded Friday, August 8. The sweep was conducted by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshal’s Task Force, which includes deputies from Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties.

A total of 95 mostly felony warrants were served on the 69 individuals during the week-long sweep, according ot Morgan.

Pictured top: Sheriff David Morgan announces the results of “Operation Summer Heat” during a press conference Monday afternoon at the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

Thomas: It’s Going To Be A Great School Year

August 18, 2014

As about 40,000 students head back to school today in Escambia County, Superintendent Malcolm Thomas says the district is ready for a successful school year.

“I think we are going to have a good year,” Thomas said. “We ended strong last year, and we are going to build strong on those successes.”

In the North Escambia area, students are anticipating the completion of a new school at Ernest Ward Middle.  School officials are hopeful that Ernest Ward students can be transitioned into the new building over this year’s Christmas break.

“We may be a just little off from Christmas, but we have a new facility coming this year for those students,” the superintendent said.

Three North Escambia schools were rated as “A” schools by the Florida Department of Education — Byrneville Elementary, Ernest Ward Middle, and Molino Park Elementary — while other schools record grade level increases.  And Molino Park Principal Alice Woodward was recently named the county’s principal of the year.

“Student performance has been great,” Thomas said of the North Escambia area. “And student performance will continue to increase. It’s going to be a great year.”