Man Charged With Pulling Sawed-Off Shotgun On Mother-in-law

December 30, 2010

An Atmore man is facing charges in Baldwin County after allegedly pulling a sawed-off shotgun on his mother-in-law.

According to Baldwin County Jail records, Troy Avery Barton, 46, of Main Street, Atmore,  is being held without bond on charges of possession of a sawed-off shotgun, reckless endangerment and unlawful imprisonment.

Barton allegedly went to his mother-in-law’s house where his estranged wife had been residing. In his possession, Barton allegedly had a sawed-off shotgun, zip ties, pillow cases and duct tape. He allegedly pulled the gun on his mother-in-law before another person at the house wrestled the gun away. The gun fired but there were no injuries.

According to Escambia County (Fla.) court records, Barton is a former resident of Molino.

Fire Destroys Classroom, Office Building At Cantonment Church

December 30, 2010

Fire destroyed a building at a Cantonment church early Thursday morning.

The J.E. Kyser Hall at the Pine Forest Assembly of God Church on Pine Forest road at Copper Ridge Road was a total loss. The building, located in the middle of the church campus, contained classrooms and offices. The nearby J.W. Sowell Building, which contains the church children’s and youth hall, sustained minor smoke damage.

The main church sanctuary was not involved.

The cause of the fire, which was reported just after 1 a.m., is still under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Damage is estimated at about a half million dollars.

There were no injuries reported.

The church will hold services at 10 a.m. instead of 10:30 a.m. this Sunday, and there will be no Sunday school classes.

Pictured above: One building at the Pine Forest Assembly of God Church in Cantonment was destroyed by fire early Thursday morning. Courtesy photo  for, click to enlarge.

Century Man Arrested 15 Times In A Year Found Competent To Stand Trial

December 30, 2010

Ronald Berlin Newton, the Century man arrested about 15 times in a year, has now been judged competent to stand trail on a few of the charges against him.

In October, Newton, 49, was found incompetent to stand trial on a long list of charges from multiple arrests — including aggravated stalking, battery, disorderly conduct, indecent exposure and trespassing. He was remanded into the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families for evaluation and treatment.

Now, after multiple physiological evaluations, Escambia County Circuit Judge Jan Shackleford has ruled that Newton is competent to stand trial on a March charge of criminal mischief, a May charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without the intent to kill and a June charge of aggravated stalking.

Newton will be back in court in mid-January for a plea hearing.

2010’s Best Photos: September

December 30, 2010

All this week, we are looking back at some of our favorite and most interesting photos of 2010. Today, we are featuring photos from September.

(For January and February, click here.)
(For March and April, click here.)
(For May and June, click here.)
(For July and August, click here.)

These “wedding bales” greeted drivers along Highway 97 in Walnut Hill in September The bride and groom hay bales welcomed guests to a wedding reception at Cook’s Barn.

Above and below: An unoccupied wood home in Atmore during a controlled burn giving area fire departments a training opportunity.

Joseph Daniel Flowers, 56, was charged in connection with the robbery of Scott’s Pharmacy in Molino.

Dy’shun White (#14) gains yardage for the Northview Chiefs in September behind the blocking of Kevin Vaughan (#12).

Jaran Miles heads for an Ernest Ward Middle School touchdown.

Close parking: Firefighters watch as LifeFlight prepares to take off a few yards away.

Remains Found In Storage Unit Identified

December 30, 2010

The remains of a girl found in a rental storage unit in September have been identified as Tia McShane.

On August 30, 2010, the Escambia Sheriff’s Office responded to 6101 Chicago Ave in reference to a missing person. Contact was made with William McShane, 37, who stated that his daughter was missing. McShane told deputies that he had been separated from his wife, Alicia McShane for several years.

He said that on July 27, 2010, he found out that his wife had died in June in Mobile. McShane stated he located his son in Pensacola who was in the custody of his wife’s friend and retrieved him. McShane stated that no one seemed to know the whereabouts of his daughter, 11-year old Tia McShane. William McShane stated that Tia was confined to a wheelchair and had cerebral palsy.

Friends told McShane that the mother had placed the child in foster care in Alabama due to the medical needs of the child. Attempts to locate the child by way of the Department of Children and Families, Social Security Office and the Medicare Office met with no results.

Escambia Sheriff Missing Person’s Investigator Troy Brown was assigned the case and contacted the Alabama Department of Human Resources who advised that the father would need to file a petition with DFC in Florida to legally locate his daughter. William McShane advised that he would go that route and contact the Sheriff’s Office at a later date if the search turned up nothing.

On August 27, 2010, Mr. McShane contacted the Sheriff’s Office and advised that Alabama had no record of Tia in their system. Investigator Brown and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement had contacted the Alabama Bureau of Investigation who advised that Tia had not been in any legal foster care in their state. Also, she wasn’t in any type of legal foster care in Florida.

On August 9, 2010 investigators continued interviewing witnesses and friends and discovered that Alicia McShane had possibly rented a storage unit in the immediate area. Investigators discovered a rental unit in the mothers name at 8121 Lillian Hwy. Investigators got consent to enter the storage unit and found what was believed to be human remains. The medical examiner’s office responded and confirmed the remains as human.

“With the body now positively identified as Tia McShane, the missing person’s investigation has concluded but the investigation into her death is ongoing,” said Sheriff’s spokesman Chris Welborn.

Rain Moving In For The New Year

December 30, 2010

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

  • Overnight: A 20 percent chance of rain or drizzle, mainly after midnight. Patchy fog after midnight. Otherwise, cloudy, with a low around 55. Southeast wind between 5 and 10 mph.
  • Friday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Patchy fog before 8am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 70. Southeast wind between 10 and 15 mph.
  • Friday Night: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Low around 62. South wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
  • New Year’s Day: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. High near 69. South wind between 5 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
  • Saturday Night: A 40 percent chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 49. North wind between 5 and 10 mph.
  • Sunday: A 30 percent chance of showers before noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 61. North wind between 5 and 10 mph.
  • Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 31. North wind between 5 and 10 mph.
  • Monday: Sunny, with a high near 61. Northeast wind around 5 mph.
  • Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 33. East wind around 5 mph.
  • Tuesday: A 30 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 62.
  • Tuesday Night: A 40 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 38.
  • Wednesday: A 30 percent chance of showers. Cloudy, with a high near 61.
  • Wednesday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 45.
  • Thursday: A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 64.

Year In Review North Escambia’s Biggest Stories Of 2010: September

December 30, 2010 is looking back at 2010 with our “Year in Review” series. Each day this week, we will review the biggest stories of 2010. Today, we take a look at the biggest stories of September.

(For January and February, click here.)
(For March and April, click here.)
(For May and June, click here.)
(For July and August, click here.)


The Florida High School Athletic Association’s new Rural School Division moved a step closer to reality in September, with the group’s board of directors voting to continue the classification process.

Thieves hit the Century Branch Library, taking outdoor items and even digging up rose bushes.

Former local radio personality Walter John Bowen, 68, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually abusing a child under 12.

Breast cancer awareness was the real winner in Bratt as the Northview Chiefs hosted the Flomaton Hurricanes in Dig Pink high school volleyball.

Jarrett Parker of Molino won another kart racing Alabama Maxxis Series State Title in Talladega.

Bratt, Molino Park and Jim Allen elementary schools were among 16 in Escambia County that received the Five Star School Award from the Florida Department of Education.

The Northview Chiefs destroyed the Bozeman Bucks 48-14 in Bratt Friday night to finish September at 3-0.

Several lawmakers are raised a stink over a new law that requires septic tank inspections every five years in Florida.

ECUA voted to raise water and sewer rates eight percent each of the next three years, while residential garbage customers were hit with two percent rate increase each year during the period.

Hundreds of students gathered to pray at their schools in North Escambia  during the annual See You at the Pole event.

A new Chinese restaurant for Century was announced.

The Town of Century approved a $3,337,231 for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

An State Attorney’s Office opinion said a Florida Highway Patrol officer was justified in the shooting death of a Cottage Hill man, Clifton Austin Salter, during a traffic stop in July.

David Johnson of Century was honored for 35 years of service to Escambia County EMS by the Escambia County Commission.

Charles “Randy” Oliver was approved as the new Escambia County administrator.

Joseph Daniel Flowers, 56, was charged in connection with the robbery of Scott’s Pharmacy in Molino. He allegedly wore underwear on his head during the robbery.

Someone was stealing gas from the Town of Century’s shop and then leaving it in a 55-gallon drum at the city park, apparently for anyone in the know to fill up for free. According to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, the free gas plot was discovered by Century Mayor Freddie McCall, who was hiding on nearby railroad tracks in an attempt to catch the thief red-handed.

A 39-year old Century woman, Jennifer Leigh Black, was arrested for allegedly throwing an open house party with about two dozen underage teens.

A decade of water woes ended for residents of Backwoods Road in Century as water flowed through a $1.58 million project to improve the Town of Century’s water system in the Backwoods Road, State Line Road and Highway 4A area.

The Town of Century approved the $137,386 purchase of nearly 1,000 new automated water meters to eliminate billing problems and lost revenue.

A grand opening was held in September for the new Dollar General store in Molino.

Ellis Jarel McArthur, now 19, of Bay Minette, Ala., will serve a minimum of 25 years of the 50 year sentence in state prison under the sentenced handed down by Judge Nickolas Geeker.

Dustin Ryan Burkett, a Century volunteer fireman was arrested and charged with sexually abusing an underage girl and with abandoning dogs rescued by the department. He  pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Plans were announced for a group of new industries that could eventually bring up to 500 jobs to the old Alger-Sullivan Lumber complex in Century.

School Board To Approve North Escambia School Personnel Changes

December 30, 2010

The Escambia County School Board is set to approve several North Escambia teacher and staff transfers, resignations, and rehires.

The  changes below are on the agenda for the Board’s January 4 meeting, which was rescheduled from December:

Deborah Cotton, Ransom Middle
Jennifer F. Dickens, Ransom Middle
Sue M. Loweman, Ransom Middle
Lisa K. Parker, Tate High

Leave of Absence
Sara M. Wiggins, Ernest Ward Middle

Support Personnel — Appointments
Nora H. Guy, Ransom Middle, teacher assistant
James A. Long, Jr., Tate High, teacher assistant

Robin R. Peterson, Bratt Elementary, food services

New Year’s Closures

December 30, 2010

The following will be closed in observance of the New Year’s holiday:

  • Town of Century, Town of Jay and  City of Pensacola offices will be closed Friday.
  • Escambia County Clerk of the Court and Community Corrections will be closed Friday but open Monday.
  • Escambia County Property Appraiser, Board of County Commissioners (county administration, public information, budget, human resources, facilities),  Central Office Complex (planning zoning, building inspections, engineering, code enforcement),  Extension Services,  Parks and Recreation, Public Safety and Animal Shelter will be closed Friday and Monday.
  • The Escambia County Tax Collector will be open Friday but closed on Monday.
  • Santa Rosa County offices will be closed Friday.
  • Florida state offices will be  closed Friday.
  • The West Florida Library System and the Santa Rosa County Library System will be closed Saturday.

Trash Collection

No change for ECUA resident customers.  ECUA’s Saturday commercial routes will be picked up on Friday. All other routes will remain as normal.

Low Temps Pushing Produce Prices Up

December 30, 2010

Produce prices at the supermarket may not be shooting up as high as first expected from Florida’s freezing weather.

Temperatures dropped to near freezing Wednesday morning in Florida’s citrus belt but didn’t get low enough to do substantial additional damage to an agricultural industry that took at least a $273 million hit from freezes earlier in December.

Temperatures in the central and southern part of the state were in the low 30s on Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service. The near freezing temperatures will have some negative impact on the state’s fruit, vegetable and ornamental industries but less so than then an extended period of hard freezes in early December that caused at least $115 million in direct cash losses to growers.

“It’s all anecdotal at this point but what I’m hearing is that in South Florida, especially, temperatures were not as low as predicted and that’s good news because the Dec. 7 freeze was tough,” said Barbara Wunder, spokeswoman for the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association. “There wasn’t much left to damage in some places. I heard someone the other day say, once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

A Department of Agriculture spokeswoman said the state was still assessing the latest damage. The state agency earlier released a preliminary estimate of at least $115 million in direct damage to Florida’s agricultural industry through Dec. 20, which followed the first stretch of sub-freezing temperatures. In addition, growers spent nearly $35 million in production costs and another $5 million to $10 million in efforts to protect fields and crops from the oncoming cold weather.

That doesn’t include this week’s cold weather, though, said DOACS spokeswoman Sarah Criser, who added that the figure is “preliminary and pretty conservative.”

Citrus can be damaged if exposed to temperatures below 28 degrees for at least four hours.

The $273 million figure takes into account businesses that rely on the state’s winter crops, including transportation and processing plants. The equivalent of 8,900 acres of produce was destroyed earlier this month.

Florida’s tomato and citrus crops appear to have weathered the freezes better than others. Shipments of citrus appeared relatively unchanged through December 20, state Agriculture officials noted. Tomato shipments were up from last year.

Other crops were harder hit. Florida’s cucumber crop was totally destroyed while eggplant production plummeted by 80 percent.

The freeze on Monday night of this week may further reduce the size of Florida’s 2010/11 citrus harvest, though. The U.S. Agriculture Department on Dec. 10 lowered its forecast for the state’s citrus crop to 143 million boxes, down from its October outlook of 146 million boxes. The next update for the crop will be released in the USDA’s January supply-demand report.

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