Tropical Storm Arlene Update

June 29, 2011

Tropical Storm Arlene formed in the southern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday and hit Mexico  Thursday morning.

The latest information on Tropical Storm Arlene is in the graphic above, click to enlrage.

Ax Murderer That ‘Loved Every Swing’ Convicted, Sentenced To Life In Prison

June 29, 2011

An ax murderer that told deputies “I enjoyed it; I loved every friggin’ swing” will spend the rest of his life in prison.

smithnathangreg.jpgNathan Gregg Smith, 26, was convicted Wednesday of first degree premeditated murder and sentenced by Judge Paul Rasmussen to life in state prison for the May 19, 2010, murder of Brian Puckett, 34.

Puckett was found dead in a home May 19 on Hollowbrook Circle, a cul-de-sac near Hillcrest Baptist Church off Nine Mile Road. Deputies believe he died after being hit in the head with an ax.

Nathan Smith’s mother, Constance Smith, told investigators that her boyfriend Puckett was dead in the garage. Deputies found Puckett’s body sitting in a chair in the garage. “They immediately noticed a large laceration to the left side of the victim’s head, and it was apparent he was deceased,”  Deputy Robert Guy, Jr. wrote in his report. The report states deputies found an ax by the back door of the garage, about 10-15 feet from the victim.

Deputies found Nathan Smith asleep inside the residence. He told them that he had been out with his friend the previous night and had gotten home about midnight. He told deputies that Puckett and Constance Smith were arguing, but he went straight to his room and went to sleep.

The friend told deputies that he and Nathan Smith arrived at the residence about 2:30 a.m. At about 5 a.m., Nathan Smith went to the nearby friend’s house and stated that he had gotten into an altercation with Puckett and ” he thought he hurt him pretty bad”, the Sheriff’s Office report states.

The friend said he later received a phone call from a hysterical Constance Smith stating that Puckett was dead and that she thought her son, Nathan Smith, was in trouble. The friend told deputies that Constance Smith said that Puckett had been hit with an ax.

Nathan Smith, Constance Smith and Puckett all resided in the same house, according to deputies.

No Injuries In McDavid Highway 29 Crash

June 29, 2011

There were no injuries in a single vehicle wreck late this morning on Highway 29 in McDavid.

The driver of a pickup truck pulling a small trailer with a canoe lost control about 11:30 a.m. while northbound on Highway 29 near Black Road. The vehicle came to rest in a wooded area just off the highway. All occupants of the vehicle refused medical treatment.

The accident is under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol. The McDavid Station of Escambia Fire Rescue and Escambia County EMS also responded to the crash. photos, click to enlarge.

Woman Charged With Battery On Her Elderly Mom

June 29, 2011

A Flomaton woman remains behind bars, accused of battery on her 74-year old mother as they traveled a Century road.

Sunceree Covan Bledsoe, 46 of Pecan Leaf Lane, was arrested this week on an outstanding warrant for battery on a person 65 years of age or older. She is in the Escambia County Jail with bond set at $25,0000.

According to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office arrest report, Bledsoe got into an argument with her mother on June 18. As Bledsoe’s father was driving the two along Highway 4 near North Century Boulevard, Bledsoe allegedly grabbed her mother’s hair and struck her at least two times, including once with her purse against the 74-year old’s face.

The mom and dad put Bledsoe out of the vehicle along Highway 4 and then drove to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Century Precinct to report the incident. Deputies found Bledsoe walking along Highway 4 and transported her to the precinct for questioning.

The 46-year old Bledsoe told deputies that her mother tried to hit her, and she hit her mother as she tried to get her to stop. Bledsoe was placed under arrest. According to the arrest report, Bledsoe  then cut herself with small piece of glass that she had on her person as she sat in the back of the deputy’s vehicle. She was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital by ambulance for treatment.

Escambia Holds Groundbreaking On $8.8 Million Southwest Sportsplex

June 29, 2011

Escambia County held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for a new $8.8 million sports facility in southwest Escambia County.

The Southwest Sportsplex will sit on approximately 200 acres on Bauer Road and will house multiple lighted baseball, softball, soccer and football fields, an open play area, walking trails,
playground, covered pavilions and parking.

The total cost of the project — including athletic fields, pavilions, and playground — is anticipated to be $8.8 million from Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) monies.

Tax Preparer Withdraws Plan To Plead Guilty To 99 Federal Charges

June 29, 2011


tax12.jpgA former Alabama tax preparer expected to plead guilty  to a 99-count federal indictment has changed her mind and will instead go to trial.

Alice Mobley faces a long list of charges, including preparing and filing false tax returns, mortgage fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and filing false tax returns.  Mobley’s charges stem from alleged false tax returns filed from 2007 to 2009 through her business Preyear Tax and Check Cashing, LLC, located in Monroeville and its offices in Atmore and Thomasville.

In April, Mobley entered a not guilty plea to all of the charges against her. Mobley and her attorney were first scheduled to change her plea on June 23, but asked that the change of plea hearing be rescheduled for this week because “additional time is needed to finish all negotiations”. Mobley withdrew her intent to take a plea deal this week.

A trail date has not yet been set for the former tax preparer, but she is expected to be back in court by August. She faces up to 30 years in prison and a quarter million dollars in fines if convicted.

Federal agents raided Mobley’s Preyear’s Tax & Check Cashing, LLC on Ridgely Street in Atmore and other locations in March, 2010. Federal court documents show that FBI and IRS agents seized over $300,000, boxes of tax documents, computers, vehicles and even a stuffed teddy bear when they raided the businesses and Mobley’s Monroeville home.

Mobley’s scheme filed tax returns claiming some $68 million in tax refunds, largely for Earned Income Credit and other tax credits, according to the Department of Justice. Mobley would falsely claim various dependent credits, either charged her clients an extra fee for the using the false dependents or pocketing the extra funds herself.

Mobley also “split” dependents, using the identity of some children on one return to obtain Earned Income Credit, and on other returns to obtain Child Credit and Dependent Care Credit. Mobley’s firm also prepared returns which claimed business tax deductions for business which did not exist and farm tax deductions for clients who did not have farms, the DOJ said.

Mobley was also charged with mortgage fraud and wire fraud in connection with fraud in regards to applications she made for mortgages to CitiBank and Wells Fargo.

Pictured above: A federal agent enters Preyear’s Tax & Check Cashing, LLC in Atmore March 4, 2010. Pictured inset: Agents search a vehicle at the business. Pictured below: A federal agent and an Atmore Police officer talk to an employee of the business during the raid. file photos, click to enlarge.


County Completes Repairs At Cotton Lake Boat Ramp

June 29, 2011

Escambia County has recently complete repairs at the Cotton Lake Boat Ramp on the Escambia River in McDavid.

The county received several citizens’ complaints about washed out areas at the boat ramp. A drainage crew reshaped the area and poured concrete to prevent further erosion and damage.

Time Running Out To Register For Firecracker 5K

June 29, 2011

Time is running out to register for the annual Firecracker 5K to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Florida.

The event will be held Saturday, July 2 at 7:30 a.m. in downtown Pensacola. Free beverages and food are provided for all participants and tank shirts are guaranteed to the first 500 registrants. Awards are given for top runners, walkers and wheelchair racers overall and in age divisions.

To celebrate Independence Day with a bang and take part in the Firecracker 5K, register at For more informaiton, call the Ronald McDonald House at (850) 477-2273.

Photos: Summer Reading Fun At The Library (Plus List Of Other Reading Events)

June 29, 2011

Children enjoyed witty stories Tuesday from storyteller Pat Nease at the Century Branch Library as part of the library’s summer reading program.

For a gallery of submitted photos, click here.

There are two  other summer reading program this week in the North Escambia area.

The Molino Park Elementary School Library will be open Wednesday from 9 a.m. until noon for students and their parents. Students are encouraged to dress in red, white and blue to celebrate the Fourth of July a few days early. There will be guest readers along with activities related to the stories that are read. Parents and students can check out books, and students can take Accelerated Reader tests. Parents are required to stay with their children.

The summer reading program begins Thursday at the Flomaton Public Library. Programs will be held each Thursday through August 4 from 10-11 am.

Pictured above and below: Children enjoy storyteller Pat Nease at the Century Branch Library Tuesday afternoon. Submitted photos by Amanda Brown for, click to enlarge.

Gulf Power, West Florida High Honored

June 29, 2011

STEMflorida has recognized Gulf Power and West Florida High School’s Gulf Power Academy as a recipient of the 2011 Best Practices Award.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It was created in 2009 by Workforce Florida and Enterprise Florida to create a business-led statewide council to focus on strengthening the STEM skills of Florida’s students to address the increasing demand for jobs requiring strong foundations in these areas.

“We are honored to be recognized by STEMflorida,” said Jennifer Grove, Gulf Power’s Workforce Development coordinator. “The Gulf Power Academy has long been recognized nationally as one of the first to help develop future workers in the energy industry.”

The Gulf Power Academy, approaching 10 years in existence, provides students with a curriculum to learn the fundamentals of electricity, the energy industry, and about various careers in the energy industry.

The best practice award that Gulf Power and West Florida received was the Excellence Integrating Emerging Needs of a STEM-enabled Industry into Engaging Academy Education award. The honorees were recognized June 24 at the ThinkSTEM meeting in Orlando.

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