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Thousands Evacuated as Subtropical Storm Alberto Fast Approaches Florida

Subtropical Storm Alberto is making its way to the Florida Panhandle. (AP)

Thousands of residents evacuated homes on Sunday as subtropical Storm Alberto is expected to slam into the Florida Panhandle about mid-afternoon Monday.

Heading north through the Gulf of Mexico, the storm is expected to wallop parts of the southeastern United States with drenching rains, blasting winds and possible tornadoes, officials said.

“It’s maintained its strength and wind speeds overnight, and it looks like it’s headed for landfall at Panama City, (Florida),” said David Roth, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

“It’ll probably hit land either mid or late afternoon,” he said. “It has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph, which is about 10 miles shy of being a hurricane. This is definitely a dangerous storm.”

Forecasters said it could bring life-threatening inundation to Southern coastal states.

Lifeguards posted red flags along the white sands of Pensacola Beach, where swimming and wading were banned amid high surf and dangerous conditions.

The National Hurricane Center said a tropical storm warning was in effect from the Suwannee River in Florida to the Mississippi-Alabama state line.

Alberto, the first named Atlantic storm of 2018, which spun up days before the formal June 1 start of the hurricane season.

Alberto was expected to drop as much as 12 inches (30 cm) of rain, slamming an area from Mississippi to western Georgia, the Miami-based hurricane center said.

After that, it will bring powerful winds and heavy rains as it moves into the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday, the hurricane center said. The storm comes during the Memorial Day weekend and was expected to scramble transportation on Monday as many people return from holiday travel.

Alberto was also forecast to bring storm swells of about 2 to 4 feet (60-120 cm) to low-lying areas that were “likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions”.

A water spout, a dangerous vortex of wind and water, was spotted late Sunday about 7 miles off shore of Alligator Point, Florida, said Roth.

Franklin County, in the Florida Panhandle, has issued a mandatory evacuation for its barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico affecting some 4,200 housing units, while Taylor County, to the east, has a voluntary evacuation order in place for its coastal areas.

Florida Governor Rick Scott, who issued a state of emergency on Saturday in all of the state’s 67 counties, said on Sunday that the Florida National Guard had 5,500 guard members ready to be deployed if needed.

“If evacuations have been ordered in your community, do not ignore them,” Scott said on Twitter.

Governors in Alabama and Mississippi also declared states of emergency on Saturday.

There were a number of deadly hurricanes in the United States and Caribbean last year that pummeled places including Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, causing hundreds of billions of dollars in damage, massive power outages and devastation to hundreds of thousands of structures.

Alberto’s projected storm track has shifted eastward since Friday, lessening its threat to the active oil production areas in the Gulf of Mexico. Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp have evacuated some personnel from offshore Gulf oil facilities.

A subtropical storm like Alberto has a less defined and cooler center than a tropical storm, and its strongest winds are found farther from its center. Subtropical storms can develop into tropical storms, which in turn can strengthen into hurricanes.

A separate storm system on Sunday caused flash flooding in the Baltimore suburb of Ellicott City, Maryland, turning its historic Main Street into a raging river with water reaching past the first floor of buildings and sweeping cars down the road, local news video showed.

Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency for the area rebuilding from a devastating flood about two years ago that killed two people and damaged dozens of buildings.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a hurricane season forecast Thursday that calls for 10 to 16 named storms, with five to nine hurricanes. One to four hurricanes could be "major" with sustained winds of at least 111 mph (178 kph).

If that forecast holds, it would make for a near-normal or above-normal season. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

"There are no strong climate signals saying it’s going to be extremely active, like last year, or extremely weak," said Gerry Bell, the lead hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

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Share memories or express condolences below.

Irma Swanson

Pensacola – Irma Swanson departed this world peacefully on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 in Pensacola, FL at the age of 80. She was born on January 10, 1938 in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba and immigrated to the United States in 1962. She became a naturalized citizen and resided in Pensacola for the past 46 years with close ties to the local Navy community. She worked various jobs from the Navy Exchange and Commissary to volunteering at the Naval Aviation Museum. Irma was a loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. She is preceded in death by her husband, Gordon, her parents, Mariano Perez and Hilda Drago, and her nephew, Dio Valerio. Irma is survived by her daughter Belinda (John) Althouse and granddaughter Claire of Springfield, VA, her sister Mirella (Pete) Valerio of Pensacola, FL, her niece Mary (Dan) Meyer of Ortonville, MN, her nephew Victor Valerio of Penscola, FL, her grand-niece Angie (Steve) Chen, grand-nephew Tony Kightlinger, great grand-nieces Caitlyn, Isabelle, Lidia, and great grand-nephews Adrian and Tyler. Irma always had a zest for life and enjoyed cooking and music with family. Her spark and kindness will be dearly missed.

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Mother of Naomi Jones plans event in her memory

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) – It’s been almost a year since 12-year-old Naomi Jones disappeared from the Aspen Village apartments in Pensacola. She was found dead five days later in Eight Mile Creek in Pensacola. Registered sex offender Robert Howard was arrested and charged with her death.

Jones’ mother Shantara Hurry says she’s planning an event at the Wedgewood Center in Pensacola on June 10th. It’s called the 1st Annual Naomi Jones Day.

"If we are able to stop predators, it will stop that from happening to one more child," Hurry said.

Hurry says the event will have food and drinks and she’s asking people to bring white, pink and purple balloons because her daughter loved Hello Kitty. Hurry says she’s going to address several topics at the event that could save lives.

"Just because you have a neighbor and you live in an apartment complex, and just because you see them in passing, it does not mean you can trust them," Hurry said.

Hurry says she’s looking for food and drink donations. You can either bring the donations to the event or drop them off at Whiz Kidz Christian Academy or Executive Car Care, both are in Pensacola.

"The words and encouragement I give, will always leave a lasting impression," Hurry said. "I don’t care if I only touch one child’s life the whole duration of me doing this."

The event starts at 3 p.m. and will end at 7 p.m.

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‘Bachelorette’: Three Central Florida men compete

Becca Kufrin is "The Bachelorette” (File photo)

The 28 suitors on the new season of “The Bachelorette” include three men from Central Florida.

ABC has introduced them as Chase, 27, an advertising vice president from Sanford; Chris, 30, a sales trainer from Orlando; and Nick, 27, an attorney from Orlando.

They will compete for the affections of Becca Kufrin on the 14th edition of the ABC dating contest. The new season starts at 8 p.m. Monday, May 28.

Other Florida contenders are Connor, 25, a fitness coach from St. Petersburg; Jean “Jean Blanc,” 31, a colognoisseur from Pensacola; Jordan, 26, a male model from Crystal River; and Trent, 28, a real-estate agent from Naples.

There are also Christon, 31, a former Harlem Globetrotter from Los Angeles; Colton, 26, a former professional football player from Denver; and Leo, 31, a stuntman from Studio City, Calif.

Chris Harrison returns as the show’s host.

The season will include appearances by actor Fred Willard, former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson and Wayne Newton and performances by Lil Jon, Morgan Evans and the Baha Men.

The show will visit Park City, Utah; Las Vegas; Richmond, Va.; Nassau, the Bahamas; and Chaing Mai, Thailand.

hboedeker@orlandosentinel.com and 407-420-5756.

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Escambia County Public Meeting Schedule

Here is a schedule of Escambia County public meetings for the week of May 7-11:

Tuesday, May 8

Florida West Economic Development Alliance – Co: Lab Policy Board, Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, 3rd Floor Conference Room, 418 W. Garden Street, 11 a.m.

Environmental Enforcement Special Magistrate, Escambia County Central Office Complex, 3363 West Park Place, 1:30 p.m.

Florida West Economic Development Alliance Board of Directors, Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, 3rd Floor Conference Room, 418 W. Garden Street, 2 p.m.

Escambia County Housing Finance Authority, 700 S. Palafox St., 5 p.m.
Wednesday, May 9

Development Review Committee – 1 p.m., Escambia County Central Office Complex, 3363 West Park Place

Olive Road East Phase 2 Ribbon Cutting – 2 p.m. 2603 E. Olive Road

Santa Rosa Island Authority Board Meeting, 1 Via de Luna Drive, 5 p.m.

Thursday, May 10

Committee of the Whole – 9 a.m., Ernie Lee Magaha Government Building, Board Chambers, 221 Palafox Place

Science Hour: Backyard Wildlife/Butterflies – 6 p.m., Escambia County Central Office Complex, 3363 West Park Place

Saturday, May 12

Regional Round-up – 8 a.m. to noon, Pensacola High School. 500 W. Maxwell St. north parking lot, dispose of electronics, household hazardous waste and up to four tires per vehicle, free of charge. Proof of Escambia County residency is required.

NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.

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Written by William · Filed Under News

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They were supposed to watch over CareerSource. Many didn’t show up.

The executive committee at CareerSource Pinellas meets in Decmeber 2017 in Clearwater. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]

With millions of tax dollars at stake, the board members of two local job centers are supposed to attend quarterly meetings to scrutinize spending and policy decisions.

But many members rarely bother to show up, the Tampa Bay Times has found.

Dozens missed at least half of their CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay meetings since 2014, according to an analysis of agency records. Several, in fact, never showed up at all.

“They should be dropped,” said Pinellas board member and electrician Tom Bedwell, who attends most meetings. “They’re not helping anybody. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.”

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They were supposed to watch over CareerSource. Many didn’t show up.

The executive committee at CareerSource Pinellas meets in Decmeber 2017 in Clearwater. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]

With millions of tax dollars at stake, the board members of two local job centers are supposed to attend quarterly meetings to scrutinize spending and policy decisions.

But many members rarely bother to show up, the Tampa Bay Times has found.

Dozens missed at least half of their CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay meetings since 2014, according to an analysis of agency records. Several, in fact, never showed up at all.

“They should be dropped,” said Pinellas board member and electrician Tom Bedwell, who attends most meetings. “They’re not helping anybody. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.”

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Tromp, Gonzalez lead the way for Pensacola

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — Chadwick Tromp doubled and singled, scoring a pair of runs while also driving home a couple as the Pensacola Blue Wahoos beat the Birmingham Barons 9-8 on Wednesday.

Luis Gonzalez doubled and singled with two runs for Pensacola.

Trailing 4-3, Pensacola batted around in the fifth inning, sending 10 batters to the plate and scoring six runs, including a solo home run by Gavin LaValley.

After Birmingham added two runs in the sixth, the Barons cut into the deficit in the eighth inning when Zack Collins hit a two-run home run.

Pensacola starter Wyatt Strahan (3-1) picked up the win despite allowing six runs and 10 hits over five innings. Opposing starter Ian Clarkin (2-2) took the loss in the Southern League game after a rough outing in which he allowed six runs and nine hits over four innings. Alex Powers retired the side in order for his second save of the season.

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Dosev challenges Gaetz for GOP nomination

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@JennieMnwfdn

FORT WALTON BEACH — Cris Dosev ran his first campaign for Florida’s District 1 congressman in 2016 against seven other Republicans.

This time, he has a good feeling about the November election.

″(In 2016) name recognition was everything,” Dosev said Monday during an interview at the Daily News office. “And needless to say, the Gaetz name was very popular in the community. From our perspective, we were very proud of our efforts. We went from zero percent in the polls to over 20 percent in three and a half months. We look at this particular election as a runoff. We think that there’s a lot of room there for picking up some voters.” 

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Luther Lee Gilchrist

Luther Lee Gilchrist died peacefully at the Hospice House on Wednesday, April 4, 2018. Born on January 10,1943, he was the son the late Ethel Lene Palmore Gilchrist and Joe L. Gilchrist.

He was retired from Self Regional Healthcare after working for 20 years. He attended Bailey Bethel AME Church.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Joseph Gilchrist, and a sister, Roselene Gilchrist.

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