Century Not Have To Repay $2.7 Million In Special Revenue Funds (Even With Their 750 Year Payment Plan)

January 28, 2020

Century’s accountant may have found a way to get the town out of an obligation to repay millions to a restricted special revenue fund.

At the time of a 2019 grand jury investigation, the town owed their special revenue fund approximately $2.7 million. The sales tax revenues placed in the special revenue fund were restricted for specific purposes. The grand jury found these funds would have to be repaid or it will be considered an inappropriate use of the restricted revenues. In June 2018, the town council approved a repayment plan of $300 per month — a 750 year payback..

Accountant Robert Hudson recently told the town council that the $2.7 million can be accounted for as operating transfer during this fiscal year for documented capital outlay projects.

Hudson plans to explain the plan further at a council workshop at a future date that has not yet been announced. The council will discuss an amended budget for the current fiscal at the workshop, prior to public hearings and a vote to approve the amended budget.

NorthEscambia.com photo.

Sheriff: Driver Killed In Atmore Crash May Have Never Known He Was Being Pursued

January 28, 2020

A local sheriff says a driver killed in a four vehicle crash north of Atmore last week may not have known a deputy was trying to catch up with him.

Warren Demetrick Stallworth, 39, of Monroeville, died in the crash about 5:45 p.m. January 23 on Highway 21 near Ross Road. Minutes before, an Escambia County (AL) Sheriff’s Office began to pursue Stallworth, but Sheriff Heath Jackson said Monday that Stallworth may have never known because the deputy never caught up.

Jackson said one of his investigators was traveling south on Highway 21 in an unmarked vehicle when he was passed by a 2019 Acura TLX being driven in excess of 100 mph. The investigator and other drivers were forced off the roadway.

“The investigator activated his lights and siren and attempted to catch up to the vehicle but was unable to. It is not known if the driver of the Acura (Stallworth) knew that law enforcement was behind him,” Jackson said. “A few miles down the road near Ross Road, the investigator came upon a crash that involved the 2019 Acura and numerous other vehicles.”

Stallworth’s Acura collided head-on with a 2019 Ford F-150 driven by Spencer Rogers, 36, of Atmore. Also involved in the crash was a 2015 Chevrolet Impala driven by Sherry Ann Dale, 60, of Frisco City and a 2008 Dodge Ram driven by Sharon Banks, 53, of Monroeville.

Rogers, Dale, Banks, and two others were transported for treatment of injuries. Stallworth, who was not using a seat belt, was ejected from his vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

Alabama State Troopers are continuing their investigation.

Fire Departments Respond To Oil Well In Jay, Discover Pipeline Leak

January 27, 2020

Fire departments from across the area were dispatched to a reported structure fire at an oil well in Jay late Sunday afternoon.

They arrived in the area of Highway 89 and Exxon Road to find what was described a “pipeline leak”. The leak was contained by oil company personnel at 5:40 p.m., according to the Jay Volunteer Fire Department.

There were no injuries reported, and further information has not been released.

The Jay, Allentown and Berrydale volunteer fire departments, the Century Station of Escambia Fire Rescue and the Flomaton Fire Department were initially dispatched to the incident.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

One Injured In Highway 29, Quintette Road Rollover Wreck

January 26, 2020

One person was injured in a rollover crash Saturday night on Highway 29.

The driver was transported to an area hospital by Escambia County EMS with injuries that were not considered life threatening following the crash about 6:35 p.m. on Highway 29 at Quintette Road.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating and has not released additional details. The Cantonment, Molino and Ensley stations of Escambia Fire Rescue and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office were also dispatched to the crash.

NorthEscambia.com photos by Kristi Barbour, click to enlarge.

Did You See A Sundog Saturday? (And What Is A Sundog Anyway?)

January 26, 2020

People across the North Escambia area were treated to a cool sight Saturday afternoon. Sundogs are a literally cool natural phenomenon as light bends around in icy crystals.

They are colored spots of light, much like rainbows, that develop due to the refraction of light through ice crystals.  They are located approximately 22 degrees either left, right, or both, from the sun, depending on where the ice crystals are present, according to the National Weather Service. The colors usually go from red closest to the sun, out to blue on the outside of the sundog.

Sundogs are also known as mock suns or parhelia, which means “with the sun”.

Pictured: A sundog over Walnut Hill Saturday afternoon. NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.

Escambia County Unemployment Rate Slips Downward

January 26, 2020

The local unemployment rate trended slightly downward over the past month.

Governor Ron DeSantis said Pensacola area added 1,900 new private-sector jobs in the past year. The area’s unemployment rate was 2.7 percent in December, down 0.5 percentage point from one year ago and one-tenth of a point from one month ago.

The industry with the highest growth over the year in the Pensacola area was leisure and hospitality with 1,300 new jobs.

Statewide, Florida businesses created 16,300 new private-sector jobs in December 2019. Florida’s annual private-sector job growth rate of 2.5 percent continues to exceed the nation’s rate of 1.5 percent. Florida’s unemployment rate of 3.0 percent represents a drop of 0.3 percentage point over the year. This is while 220,000 people entered Florida’s labor force, a growth of 2.1 percent in the past year.

Man Killed In Single Vehicle Chumuckla Highway Crash

January 25, 2020

A 28-year old man was killed in a single vehicle wreck early Saturday morning in Santa Rosa County.

The Florida Highway Patrol said Mason Scott Tobin of Pace was traveling on Chumuckla Highway north of Willard Norris Road about 5:10 a.m.. His Chevrolet Tahoe left the roadway and traveled 107 feet before striking a large tree.

Tobin was extricated to his vehicle and airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital where he was pronounced deceased at 6:21 a.m.

DeSantis Flunks Common Core, Announces New State School Standards

January 25, 2020

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday announced a new set of education standards to replace common core, including a requirement that students meet literacy standards based upon their grade level, learn cursive and study the Constitution.

Complete details on Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking — B.E.S.T. — Standards won’t be published on the Florida Department of Education website until next week, but a summary has been made available.

The plan outline includes several major points:

  1. Eliminate Common Core (Florida Standards) and ensure we return to the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic.
  2. Provide a roadmap to make Florida’s standards number one in the nation.
  3. Reflect the Commissioner’s consultation with relevant stakeholders to include parents and teachers.
  4. Deem how to increase the quality of instructional curriculum.
  5. Suggest innovative ways to streamline testing.
  6. Equip high school graduates with a sufficient knowledge of America’s civics, particularly as reflected in the Constitution.
  7. Outline a pathway for Florida to be the most literate state in the nation.

The plan will remove “confusing/crazy math”, provide targeted instruction for students who struggle with reading, reinforce the the basics of arithmetic before students enter middle school and develop a plan with the goal of reducing the total amount of time students spend testing as well as reducing the total questions on assessments.

The U.S. Constitution will be introduced in the fifth grade under the B.E.S.T. Standards. All high school students will be required to take the Florida Civics Literacy Test. Financial literacy will taught in high school, unlike Common Core that did not teach the basics like balancing a checkbook.

B.E.S.T. Standards will replace state tests with the SAT or ACT, better aligning testing for college readiness.