Troopers Remain Out In Force For Holiday

May 31, 2010

The Florida Highway Patrol remains out in full force today as the Memorial Day holiday weekend continues.

“The Florida Highway Patrol will employ all available resources to enforce Florida’s traffic laws and to remind drivers to slow down and buckle up. No one wants their weekend, much less their life, ruined by a crash,” said Colonel John T. Czernis, FHP director.

All uniformed FHP personnel, including those normally assigned to administrative duties, have been patrolling  interstates and other major state roads throughout the four-day holiday period. FHP Auxiliary and Reserve troopers have volunteered to augment the Patrol’s forces during the holiday enforcement period, too. The strategy aims to increase the Patrol’s presence throughout Florida in an effort to deter traffic violations and to enhance services to motorists who break down while traveling or who need other assistance.

During this holiday weekend, the FHP is participating in three distinct traffic education and enforcement initiatives: Operation C.A.R.E. – a Combined Accident Reduction Effort, involving all 50 state police and highway patrol organizations across the United States; Take Back Our Highways, a multi-state effort involving the Highway Patrol from Alabama and its neighboring states; and the highly publicized Click It or Ticket program. All three campaigns focus on saving lives, preventing injuries, and mitigating property damage associated with traffic crashes.

Drivers can dial *FHP (*347) from their cell phone to contact FHP to report an aggressive driver or to request roadside assistance.

Pictured above: A Florida Highway Patrol trooper pulls out into Highway 29 at Fran’s Diner Saturday morning in Molino. photo, click to enlarge.

Flomaton Wreck Leads To Meth Lab Discovery, Hazmat Situation

May 30, 2010

A Saturday night wreck in Flomaton led to the discovery of a possible mobile meth lab, landed a Niceville man in the Escambia County (Ala.) Detention Center and created a hazardous materials incident.

Ronnie Eugene Ordis, Jr., 29, was charged with second degree unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance after authorities found numerous items commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine, according to Interim Flomaton Police Chief Kataris Jenkins.

Ordis was southbound on Upper Creek Road about 7 p.m. when he lost control and ran off the road. When Flomaton Police Officer Jimmy Davis arrived at the scene, he reportedly began to question Ordis and look in his vehicle. When Davis opened a small container in the vehicle, an unknown substance irritated his eyes and nose. Davis was later evaluated by Escambia County (Fla.) EMS and decontaminated by a hazmat team from the Poarch Creek Fire Department.

According to Escambia County (Ala.) Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Mike Lambert, Ordis was decontaminated at the jail prior to being booked. Lambert said Ordis had most, but not all, of the components needed to manufacture methamphetamine. in his vehicle.

The Drug Enforcement Administration in Mobile was notified of the find, and a hazardous materials team from Birmingham was dispatched to clean up the scene. The Flomaton Fire Department, Lambeth Volunteer Fire Department and Pineview Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the call.

The incident shut down Upper Creek Road for several hours while authorities awaited the arrival of the hazmat team from Birmingham.

For a photo gallery from the scene, click here.

According to Escambia County (Fla.) Circuit Court records, Ordis is a former resident of West Highway 4, Century.

Pictured top: Some of the meth making ingredients found after a Saturday night wreck near Upper Creek Road in Flomaton. Pictured inset: The suspect’s wrecked vehicle. Pictured below: (L-R) Flomaton Fire Chief Steve Stanton, Escambia County (Ala.) Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Mike Lambert and Sheriff Grover Smith discuss the situation. photos, click to enlarge.

Ronald Newton Arrested Saturday, His 12th Arrest In A Year

May 30, 2010

Ronald Berlan Newton, 49, of Century, was arrested again Saturday night — making about a dozen times he has been busted in the past two years.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to an address on Zion Street in Century about 6:45 Saturday night after Newton allegedly threatened to shoot  someone. He did not produce a weapon during the incident.

When deputies arrived, he had fled the scene. But a short time later, Newton walked up to an Escambia County deputy near the intersection of Cottage and Zion Streets. He was taken into custody without incident.

Newton was booked into the Escambia County Jail on an outstanding trespassing warrant stemming from an incident Monday afternoon at an address on North Century Boulevard. Newton was reportedly at an address from which had been previously banned.

He is being held in the Escambia County Jail with bond set at  $10,000.

Escambia County court and jail records show the following arrests and charges for Newton:

April 11, 2007

  • trespassing, charges dropped

August 14, 2007

  • simple assault — 60 days in jail
  • aggravated assault with deadly weapon — charges dropped
  • criminal mischief under $1,000 — charges dropped

April 28, 2008

  • driving while license suspended, first offense – charges dropped
  • open container in vehicle – paid $123.50 fine
  • expired registration – paid $73.50 fine

May 31, 2009

  • battery — charges dropped
  • criminal mischief — charges dropped

July 29, 2009

  • driving while license suspended, second offense — fined $500, suspended 11 months, 30 days in jail

January 8, 2009

  • battery — charges dropped, defendant “mentally defective”

September 1, 2009

  • indecent exposure in public — dismissed due to incompetence
  • lewd lascivious behavior victim under 18 — no action by prosecutor
  • lewd lascivious behavior victim under 18 — no action by prosecutor

November 23, 2009

  • criminal mischief under $1,000 — dismissed

January 1, 2010

  • disorderly conduct — charges dropped

February 1, 2010

  • battery — dismissed

March 23, 2010

  • trespassing, case pending, pleaded not guilty, released on $500 bond
  • disorderly conduct, case pending, pleaded not guilty, released on $500 bond

April 27, 2010

  • trespassing, case pending, pleaded not guilty, released on $500 bond
  • criminal mischief over $1,000 — case pending, released on $2,500 bond, pleaded not guilty

April 8, 2010

  • littering under 15 pounds, fine and costs of $135 remains unpaid

May 7, 2010

  • aggravated assault — case pending, released on $5,000 bond

May 19, 2010

  • contempt of court
  • criminal mischief

May 29, 2010

  • trespassing

Soggy Sunday And Monday

May 30, 2010

Sunday could be a wet repeat of Saturday — with some North Escambia residents seeing heavy downpours. And Monday also looks to be soggy and less than perfect for a Memorial Day barbecue.

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

  • Sunday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 86. East wind 5 to 10 mph becoming south. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
  • Sunday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 67. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm.
  • Memorial Day: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 87. Calm wind becoming south southwest between 5 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
  • Monday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 67. South southwest wind around 5 mph.
  • Tuesday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 87. Southwest wind between 5 and 10 mph.
  • Tuesday Night: Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 68. South southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
  • Wednesday: Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a high near 89. Calm wind becoming south between 5 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
  • Wednesday Night: Isolated showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 69. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
  • Thursday: Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a high near 90. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
  • Thursday Night: Isolated showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 69. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
  • Friday: Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a high near 88. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
  • Friday Night: Isolated showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 67. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
  • Saturday: Isolated showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a high near 89. Chance of precipitation is 20%

Saturday Blood Drive Honors Woman; More Bloodmobile Visits Scheduled

May 30, 2010

A blood drive was held Saturday in Molino in memory of Karen R. Broxson, 23, of Molino, who was killed last July in an accident at Highway 29 and 9 1/2 Mile Road. And there are at least two more chances to give the gift of life coming up in the North Escambia area.

The Northwest Florida Bloodmobile will be at the McDavid Mini Mart on Wednesday, June 2 from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. and Saturday, June 5 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. And the Bloodmobile will be at the Walnut Hill Farm Supply on Monday, June 7 from 7:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

When you donate to Northwest Florida Blood Services, you can save the life of a hospital patient in northwest Florida. Northwest Florida Blood Services is the exclusive provider of blood products to more than 24 area hospitals who need 175 blood donations a day. Each donation can save up to three lives.

Requirements for giving blood are below.

  • Donors must be in generally good health
  • At least 17 years of age, without permission.  16-year olds are now allowed to donate with permission granted by parents or legal guardians.
  • Must bring picture ID
  • Weigh at least 110 lbs
  • Free of infection, fever or flu symptoms, for 3 days
  • No cancer within the last 5 years
  • No antibiotics within the last 48 hours
  • No tattoos within the past 12 months
  • No chest pain, heart disease, heart surgery (Requires written physician release with diagnosis)
  • No history of viral hepatitis
  • Cannot have lived in France for 5 years or more between 1980 and the present
  • Cannot have lived or visited in the UK for a total of 3 months or more from 1980 to 1996
  • Cannot have received a blood transfusion in the UK between 1980 and the present
  • Military personnel (current and former), and their dependents, who spent time in military bases in northern Europe during 1980-1990, or southern Europe during 1980-1996, for 6 months or more
  • All military personnel (active & reserve) that are returning from Iraq, are deferred for a period of 1 year after the last date on location in that country.

Pictured: The Northwest Florida Blood Services Bloodmobile at Fran’s Diner in Molino on Saturday.

Free Fishing In Florida

May 30, 2010

Saltwater fishing is free this weekend in Florida as state officials hope to lure visitors and residents to the coast amid fears from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Gov. Charlie Crist signed an executive order establishing two free fishing weekends to help draw visitors to the beaches of the Sunshine State. Both residents and nonresidents in Florida can fish for saltwater species around the state without a license during the  Memorial Day weekend, May 29 to May 31, and the weekend of June 5 and 6, which is the first weekend after the popular red snapper season opens in the Gulf on June 1. All other fishing rules apply.

“Florida is the fishing capital of the world,” said Governor Crist, “Our beaches are clear, the fish are biting, and we invite our friends to enjoy some Florida hospitality.”

Chairman Rodney Baretto of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) applauded the Governor’s decision.

“Governor Crist’s actions to offer free fishing this weekend will do wonders for our business communities that have been suffering cancellations since the oil spill started,” Barreto said. “We are not experiencing any oil impacts, and the fact remains that Florida is open for business.”

The FWC will continue to monitor all of the potential impacts of the oil spill on Florida’s fish and wildlife and continue to be involved with many aspects of the oil spill response, Barreto added. In addition, the FWC has consulted with key representatives from several fishing organizations in Florida who are very concerned about inaccurate public perceptions regarding the condition of Florida’s fisheries and the state’s marine environment. There has been strong agreement from these stakeholders that the fishing business in Florida is “as usual” and that fishing remains a safe and viable recreational and commercial activity.

Go to to learn about fishing regulations in Florida.

Photos: Molino Memorial Festival

May 30, 2010

The annual Molino Memorial Festival was held Saturday at CrossFaith Church. The day’s activities included arts and crafts vendors, children’s activities, plenty of food, guest speakers and live entertainment.

For more photos from the event, click here.

Pictured scenes from the Molino Memorial Festival Saturday morning. photos, click to enlarge.

Fuller, Miller To Wed

May 30, 2010

Danny and Lisa Fuller of Byrneville are pleased to announce the engagement and forthcoming marriage of their daughter, Devon Elizabeth, to Mr. William Ryan Miller, of Long Island, New York.

Devon is the granddaughter of Daniel and Betty Fuller of Pensacola and the late Emory and Ellen Wilkinson of Pensacola. Ryan is the son of William Miller and Marjorie Miller, both of Long Island, New York, and the grandson of Bob Hohenberger and Barbara Blackwelder of Westfield, North Carolina, and Maurice and Alice Blackwelder of Bardstown, Kentucky.

Devon is a graduate of Northview High School and is currently pursuing her RN Degree. Ryan is a graduate of Half Hollow Hills West High School and State University of New York Maritime where he earned a Bachelor’s of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering. Ryan is currently serving in the U. S. Navy at NAS Whiting Field, where he is in advanced helicopter flight training school.

The wedding will be held Tuesday, July 6, 2010, at the Naval Aviation Memorial Chapel aboard NAS Pensacola, and will be officiated by Rev. Tim Hawsey.

Update: Near-Drowning Victim, Age 3, Released From Hospital

May 29, 2010

[Updated] The three-year old girl that nearly drowned Thursday afternoon near Walnut Hill is expected to make a full recovery after being released from the hospital Saturday.

Family members said late Friday afternoon that the young girl remained in intensive care at Sacred Heart Hospital, but she was sitting up, playing, talking and watching cartoons.

“I praise God that she’s going to all right,” her mother said.

By Saturday afternoon, the young girl was released from the hospital.

Doctors had feared that she might have suffered some sort of brain damage as a result of not breathing for an unknown period of time, but her mother said that was not the case.

A relative performed CPR and revived the young lady after she was found floating face down, not breathing in a pool.

To read a previous story with more information, click here.

Photos: Fire, Possibly Started By Lightning, Destroys Barn, Farm Equipment

May 29, 2010

A fire, believed to have been sparked by lightning,  completely destroyed a hay barn and several pieces of farm equipment Saturday afternoon.

Authorities believe lightning struck the barn on North Pine Barren Road near Bratt about 3:15 p.m. The barn and all of the hay inside were both a total loss. Two small tractors, a hay baler and a small trailer were also destroyed in the blaze.

After the barn itself was mostly extinguished, firefighters backed off to allow a large pile of hay to burn itself out — a process that was expected to take hours.

The Walnut Hill, McDavid, Century and Molino stations of Escambia Fire Rescue, Atmore Ambulance and the Atmore Fire Department responded to the call.

For a photo gallery, click here.

Pictured top: Firefighters battled a barn fire on North Pine Barren Road Saturday afternoon. Pictured below: Firefighters backed off and let the remaining hay in the barn burn. photos, click to enlarge.

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