Barrineau Park Music Night Planned

November 30, 2012

There will be plenty of good entertainment on stage next Friday night, December 7 in Barrineau Park — and it’s free. The monthly Barrineau Park Music Night will be held at the Barrineau Park Community Center. The featured local groups tonight are The Rowell Family Band and the Highway Home Bluegrass Band.

The singing starts at 6:30 p.m. Food and refreshments will  be available beginning at 6 p.m.

The event is a family-friendly — no alcohol is permitted on the property, and no smoking is allowed in or near the building.

For more information, call (850) 572-4433. The Barrineau Park Community Center is located on Barrineau Park School road, about three miles west of Molino.

Pictured above: The Rowell Family Band. file photo, click to enlarge.

7:15 a.m. edit corrects a typographical error on the date and confirms  the event is next Friday, December 7.

Search Continues For Pen Air Robbery Suspect (With Surveillance Video)

November 29, 2012

The search is continuing for the person that robbed the Pen Air Federal Credit Union in Century Tuesday afternoon.

Surveillance video released Friday afternoon (see video below) shows one person dressed in blue jeans and a jacket with a hood entering the credit union. He then walks to a teller window where he demanded all of the money, according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

He then fled the credit union on foot.

Anyone with information on the crime or the identity of the suspect is asked to call the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office at (850) 436-9620 or Gulf Coast Crime Stoppers at (850) 433-STOP.

For an earlier story and more details on the robbery, click here.

Road To Orlando: Chiefs Head To Liberty County For Semifinal Game

November 29, 2012

The Northview Chiefs departed Bratt Thursday afternoon for tomorrow night’s state semifinal game at Liberty County in Bristol. With a win Friday night, the Chiefs will be bound for Orlando next week for the state championship game  Submitted photos by Regina Hare and Cathy Bryars for, click to enlarge.

Marshals Capture Sex Offender On The Run For Years

November 29, 2012

The U.S. Marshals have captured a sex offender on the run from Santa Rosa County for more than five years.

Randolph Carroll Flinn, 50, was arrested in Galveston, Texas, after Marshals learning he was hiding out with an elderly woman and using the alias Ray Dyer.

“He was featured as a most wanted fugitive on our Task Force website,” stated Inspector Dominic Guadagnoli of the Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force. “We recently began coordinating with AMW (America’s Most Wanted) to profile Flinn on their program, said Guadagnoli.

Flinn was wanted by Santa Rosa on two warrants, one charging him with a probation violation in March of 2006 and the other for failure to register as a sex offender that was issued in October of 2006.

The original charge stemmed from a 2003 conviction of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor that reportedly began in 1992 and continued up until the time the warrant was issued.

When officers contacted the victim and made her aware of the arrest, she said she “…is happy and can finally rest at night,” now that he is in custody.

The Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office first requested the Task Force’s help in locating Flinn in 2007 and have been working with them following leads since then. Flinn is being held without bond in the Galveston County Jail.

Millionaire Hopefuls Pack Local Lottery Retailers; ‘Luckiest’ Store Closed

November 29, 2012

Thousands of millionaire hopefuls purchased lottery tickets in North Escambia Wednesday, many at stores near the Alabama-Florida line, as the Powerball drawing hit  $579 million.

Lottery retailers on the state line — including Davisville and Century — were especially busy Wednesday — Alabama is one of just six states in the continental United States that does not participate in the Powerball lottery.

All of the North Escambia hopefuls missed the $579 million. Lottery officials said early Thursday morning that winning tickets were sold in Arizona and Missouri.  There were Match 5 Winners with Power Play worth $2 million sold in seven states, including Florida.

Despite the multi-million dollar hype, one of the luckiest lottery stores in Florida sat closed on Highway 97 in Davisville. Cars headed south from Alabama, pulling into the parking lot of the State Line O’ Yes Lotto. Some drove from central Alabama and were unaware the business closed November 6 after owner Tommy Kroll was murdered inside during a robbery attempt.

The State Line O’ Yes Lotto, in its memorable pink building, had been one of the top lottery retailers in Florida. But Wednesday, Powerball players moved on to the Grey Goose package store across the street, or down Highway 97 a couple of miles to the Davisville BP. At the BP, parked cars lined Highway 97 and the adjacent Nokomis Road Wednesday as the lottery machines printed out ticket after ticket.

The winning numbers from the Powerball drawing Wednesday were 5, 16, 22, 23, 29 with Powerball 6.  The drawing was about $579 million, with a lump sum cash option of $360.2 million before taxes — the second largest jackpot in U.S. history.

Pictured top and inset: Hopeful millionaires crowded the Grey Goose package store Wednesday afternoon on Highway 97, just a few yards from the Alabama state line. Pictured below:  Lottery hopefuls wrapped up other businesses near the state line, including convenience stores in Davisville (below) and Century. Reader submitted photos by Ditto Gorme and Eric Hare for, click to enlarge.

Displaced Employees Of Matrix Telecom In Atmore Possibly Eligible For Benefits

November 29, 2012

Current and former employees of Matrix Telecom’s customer service department in Atmore may be eligible for benefits under the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Act of 2011, according to an announcement from the Alabama Department of Labor.

A petition filed on behalf of Matrix Telecom was certified Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Labor.  The benefits are for current of former employees who were engaged in activities related to the supply of customer service call answering services for the long distance telecommunications firm.

The U. S. Department of Labor found that the workers may have become unemployed as a result of increased imports. The petition covers periods of unemployment occurring on or after October 5, 2011 and before the termination date of November 20, 2014. Under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act of 2011, displaced workers may be eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits such as training, job search and relocation assistance, and Health Coverage Tax Credit.

If workers have exhausted their cash benefits under other state and federal unemployment compensation programs, they could be eligible for additional weekly benefits equivalent to the amount they were receiving under other programs. In order to receive Trade Readjustment Allowance  benefits, workers must be enrolled in training the later of 26 weeks after the certification date or after their last qualifying separation or a waiver of the training requirement must be granted by the state Employment Service Division of the Alabama Department of Labor.

Matrix Telecom, Inc., was also certified for Re-employment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA). Employees who are 50 years of age and older, who obtain full time employment after their separation from the affected employer, may be eligible for allowances under the RTAA program.

Surtees stated that potentially eligible individuals will be notified individually as soon as they are identified.

For additional information on the HCTC,  call toll free 866-628-HCTC (4282), or visit the IRS website at (IRS Keyword: HCTC).

Friday Last Day For Property Tax Discount

November 29, 2012

Friday  is the last day to receive a four percent discount on real estate and tangible personal property taxes, according to  Escambia County Tax Collector Janet Holley.

Payments will receive the four percent discount if:

  • mailed with a postmark of November 30;
  • left in a 24-hour drop box available at any tax collector office by midnight November 30;
  • made on by midnight November 30.

Drive thru service and 24-hour drop boxes are available at all locations.

To check the status of your taxes and pay online, visit For more information, call the tax collector’s office at (850) 438-6500, ext. 3252.

Escambia Man Arrested Days After Hitting Deputy, Pursuit

November 29, 2012

An Escambia County man was arrested Wednesday, days after a high speed pursuit in Santa Rosa County.

The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office says 25-year old Alex Barnsdale fled from deputies during the early morning hours of November 22 after he struck and injured a deputy at a traffic stop. The deputy was hit by his own driver’s door as Barnsdale drove directly at the officer and hit the door with his truck. The deputy suffered injuries and possible fractures to his leg during the incident at an apartment complex.

Other deputies pursued Barnsdale from Milton into Pace on Berryhill Road before terminating the chase as Barnsdale reach speeds over 120 mph.  Although deputies were not able to see the driver or obtain a tag on the vehicle, the apartment complex captured the incident on surveillance video. Deputies were able to obtain the video, and also find the individual that Barnsdale was going to visit that night. Further investigation revealed that Barnsdale was sending messages to that person implicating him as being involved in the pursuit. One message from Barnsdale stated that he “had a cop problem”, deputies said.

Barnsdale’s Facebook page also displayed a picture of him posing with the truck that was chased by deputies.

The U.S. Marshal’s Task Force and deputies were able to locate Barnsdale’s truck at an apartment in Escambia County early Wednesday morning and take him into custody. He was charged with high speed fleeing and eluding, aggravated battery on an officer, driving while license suspended and property damage.

Sheriff’s Office Opens Video Visitation, Training Center, Nets $50K Power Rebate

November 29, 2012

A grand opening ribbon cutting was held Wednesday for a new Escambia County Sheriff’s Video Visitation and and Training facility near the Escambia County Jail, netting a rebate of over $50,000 from Gulf Power.

The facility has 60 stations for remotely visiting inmates housed in detention areas via audio and video equipment. Inmates’ visitors will use the video equipment rather than going to the jail where visits are currently separated by glass.

The building will house the Sheriff’s Office force on force, defensive tactics, and simulator training areas, a vehicle detailing area, a media center, training and meeting rooms, and offices.

A.E. New, Jr. Inc. was awarded the  $3,919,200 project to convert an existing 31,000 square foot building on Leonard Street into the new facility.

At the ribbon cutting, Gulf Power Company presented Sheriff David Morgan with a $52,500 Earth Cents rebate check for a new geothermal heating and cooling system at the facility.

Besides the rebate, the geothermal systems will save Escambia County in energy costs for months to come. The facility is  estimated to save 40 percent on space conditioning — typically the largest energy consumer in buildings today.

The rebates – up to $500 per ton – are available for Gulf Power commercial and residential customers when they install a geothermal system at their home or business. Non-governmental customers also are eligible for a federal tax incentive.

The Video Visitation Center is located at 1190 West Leonard Street at the intersection of “H” Street and Leonard Street.

Pictured top:  Keith Swilley, marketing manager for Gulf Power, County Administrator Larry Newsom and Sheriff David Morgan cut the ribbon on the ECSO’s new Video Visitation and Training building. Pictured top inset: The facility includes 60 stations for remotely visiting inmates housed in detention areas. Pictured below:  A training area inside the facility. Courtesy photos for, click to enlarge.

Walker Named ECUA Board Chair

November 29, 2012

District 5’s Dr. Larry Walker was named chairman of the Emerald Coast Utility Authority’s board.

Also during the ECUA board’s organizational meeting Tuesday, District 1 representative Vicki Campbell was elected vice-chairman. District 2 representative  Lois Benson was re-elected to a sixth term as chairman of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee, and District 3 representative Elvin McCorvey was elected CAC vice chairman.

The board also appointed members to the CAC — Chuck Kimball, Kelley S. Thompson, Hurey Smith,  Tim Common, Ms. Louise Ritz and David Karasek.

The next meeting of the ECUA board will be Thursday, December 13 at 3 p.m.

The ECUA CAC meeting previously scheduled for Tuesday, December 4 has been canceled and rescheduled for Tuesday, January 15 at 2 p.m.

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