Two Injured In Molino Wreck

July 31, 2013

Two people were injured in a wreck Wednesday afternoon on Highway 29 at Molino Road.

Both of the injured, including a 12-year old, were transported by ambulance to a Pensacola hospital. Their injuries were not considered life threatening.

The accident block a portion of Highway 29 southbound for a brief period.  The 12:47 p.m. accident is under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol. Further information, including names, has not been released.

Escambia County EMS and the Molino and Cantonment stations of Escambia Fire Rescue also responded to the crash.

Local Residents Sentenced On Federal Meth Related Charges

July 31, 2013

Seven defendants arrested back in April on methamphetamine and pseudoephedrine related conspiracy charges have been sentenced in federal court, while five additional defendants will be sentenced within the next month. All either previously pleaded guilty or were convicted.

A federal judge convicted 29-year old Jared L. Hester of Pensacola on charges involving a conspiracy to possess and distribute pseudoephedrine, knowing it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine.  Prosecutors said Hester was involved in the conspiracy to possess and distribute large amounts of pseudoephedrine in order to manufacture methamphetamine from January 1, 2011, until his arrest in April 2013.

The jury heard from other members of the conspiracy and was shown pharmacy records displaying dozens of pseudoephedrine purchases by Hester during the conspiracy. Many of these purchases overlapped with his co-defendants’ purchases. In all, the conspirators purchased between 350 and 400 boxes of pseudoephedrine, so that it could be manufactured into methamphetamine. All of Hester’s seven co-defendants pled guilty to the charges.

Hester will be sentenced in August.

The following additional defendants have been sentenced:

  • Stephanie Ann Gunderson, 26, Cantonment — Four months in federal prison, home detention for  24 months, supervised release for three years. She will be allowed  to remain free until she surrenders on or before August 12.
  • Shawn Michael King, 34, Cantonment –  Federal prison for 51 months, three years supervised released.
  • Joseph David Peterson, 33, Cantonment –  Federal prison for 168 months, three years supervised released.
  • Hunter Grant Myrick, 23, Cantonment  –  Federal prison for 20 months, three years supervised released.
  • James E. Atiabi, 35, Pensacola, — Federal prison for 162 months, three years supervised released.
  • John Wyatt Casey, 33, Pensacola  — Federal prison for 115 months, three years supervised released.
  • Shannon Lee Hurd, 29, Pensacola  –  Federal prison for 70 months, three years supervised released

In addition to Hester, four additional defendants will be sentenced in August or September:

  • Gregory A. Militello, 42, Cantonment
  • Kirby Brian Smith, 50, Molino
  • Joshua Paul Militello, 30, Pensacola
  • Nicole Danielle Jones, 32, Pensacola

Federal prosecutors say suspects were all were involved in a conspiracy to possess and distribute large amounts of pseudoephedrine in order to manufacture methamphetamine from January 1, 2011, until their arrests.

The indictments resulted from an investigation by agents of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, and the State Attorney’s Office.

Each defendant faces or faced up to 20 years imprisonment and fines up to $250,000.

Molino Class: Raising Urban And Backyard Poultry

July 31, 2013

The Escambia County Extension will host a class on raising poultry focused on both the urban and backyard farmer. Classes will be held on Monday, August 5, at the Molino Community Complex, 6450 Highway 95-A, and Wednesday, August 7, at the Downtown Library, 200 W. Gregory Street. Both programs begin at 6 p.m.

This class will provide information on breed selection, housing, nutrition and daily care for new and current poultry owners.

Contact Fran Lainhart, Escambia County Extension, (850) 475-5230 to reserve a seat. Space is limited to 40 participants.

One Killed, One Injured In Warrington Shooting

July 31, 2013

One man is dead and another hospitalized after a shooting Tuesday night in Escambia County.

The shooting happened just before 6 p.m. at The Pines at Warrington apartments on Navy Boulevard. When deputies arrived at the scene, they discovered two male victims who had been shot. One of the victims, identified as 17-year-old Ledarrious Ramone Washington, was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The second victim, whose name has not been released, was transported to a local hospital, and his condition is unknown at this time

Further information has not been released by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

Pictured: The scene following a shooting Tuesday night at The Pine at Warrington apartments on Navy Boulevard. Photos courtesy WEAR 3 for, click to enlarge.

Insurance Boss: Individual, Small Group Rates To Go Up

July 31, 2013

With the bulk of the federal Affordable Care Act taking effect Jan. 1, Florida insurance regulators say rate filings indicate premiums could increase 30 to 40 percent in the individual health market and 5 to 20 percent in the small-group market.

Wences Troncoso, a deputy insurance commissioner, made a presentation Tuesday about the federal law, better known as “Obamacare,” to the state Health Insurance Advisory Board.

Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty also used those estimates in an earlier interview with The Palm Beach Post. But the estimates do not take into account factors such as tax subsidies that many people could receive to help offset premium costs.

The potential rate impacts of the federal law have long been a point of debate, with Republican opponents and many businesspeople arguing that premiums will soar.

Pensacola Posse Wins World Series 14U Fastpitch Softball Tourney

July 31, 2013

The Pensacola Posse won the recent USSSA 2013 World Series 14U Fastpitch Softball Tournament in Gulf Shores. Team members are: (bottom, L-R) Kaili Okahashi, Pace; Paige Palmer, Cantonment; Savannah Rowell, Cantonment; Mallory Miller, Cantonment; Meagan Jones, Cantonment; (top row) Bryce Miller, Pace;  Hadley Starratt, Cantonment; Destiny Herring, Jay; Samantha Kummer, Pace;  Morgan Bolen, Cantonment; Kristin Quina, Cantonment; (back row) coaches Randy Miller, Sean Starratt, Pete Kummer, and John Quina. Submitted photo for, click to enlarge.

Escambia Investigators Seek Info On Home Invasion

July 31, 2013

Escambia Sheriff’s Investigators are seeking  information about a home invasion which occurred Monday the 1800 block of Border Street in Pensacola.

According to the 70-year old victim, she was inside of her home with the front door open when an intruder armed with a gun entered her residence. The suspected demanded money, but when the victim stated that she had no money he placed the gun to her head and demanded her debit card and PIN number.

The suspect then tied the victim with cable cords before fleeing the residence. The victim managed to escape and go to a neighbor’s home where she called for help.

The suspect is described as a black male in his 20’s, about 6-feet tall with a regular build. At the time of the incident he was wearing a white shirt. dark pants, a white handkerchief around his face, an unknown type cap and sunglasses. The suspect possibly has gold teeth.

The suspect vehicle is described as a newer model silver four-door type vehicle, possibly a Pontiac Grand Prix, with dark tinted windows.

Approximately 20 minutes prior to the incident another male had approached the victim and asked to borrow money. It is believed that the two individuals may have been working together.

The other suspect is described as a six-foot tall  black male in his 40’s who was driving an older gray pickup truck, possibly an 80’s model. Anyone with any information about the crime is asked to call Gulf Coast Crime Stoppers at (850) 433-STOP or the Escambia Sheriff’s Office at (850) 436-9620.

Ollie Gene Freeman

July 31, 2013

Ollie Gene Freeman, 70, of Walnut Hill, passed away Monday, July 29, 2013, in Pensacola. He was a truck driver, born in Escambia County (Fla.) on August, 25, 1942, to the late General Andrew and Elma Elaine Williams Freeman.

Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Inez Spence Freeman of Walnut Hill; two sons, Michael Gene Freeman of Mississippi and Matthew Freeman of Pensacola; one daughter, Melissa Freeman (Barry) Ross of Poarch; three brothers, Gerald Freeman of Atmore, Gordon (Zena) Freeman and Terry Freeman both of Walnut Hill; eight grandchildren, Elliot, Troy, Adam, Allison, Amber, Christopher, Bradley, and Jansen.

Services will be held Thursday, August 01, 2013, at 2 p.m. from Atmore Memorial Chapel with Rev. Bennie Stokes and Rev. Ray Hudson officiating.

Interment will follow in Dry Springs Cemetery.

Active pallbearers will be Andy Freeman, Clint Freeman, Darrel Spence, Kevin Spence, Bryan Spence, and James Spence.

Honorary pallbearers will be Jeff Hare, Joseph Hare, and Mickey Adams.

Johnson-Quimby Funeral Home, Inc in charge of all arrangements. Atmore, Al

Vehicle Stops Inside House Following Traffic Crash

July 31, 2013

An Escambia County man was charged after hitting a house during a traffic crash Tuesday evening in Pensacola.

The Florida Highway Patrol said 33-year old Chad Bingham was northbound on North Ninth Avenue in a 2002 Mitsubishi Montero when he struck a 2008 Mazda stopped for traffic at the intersection of East Olive Road.

Bingham’s Mitsubishi then traveled across East Olive Road, over a curb, hit a county road sign, traveled though a wooden fence, struck a second wooden fence and hit the house at 8105 Banberry Road. The vehicle came to rest completely within the house.

Bingham received minor injuries and was cited with careless driving. The driver of the Mazda, 18-year old Brian Belser of Pensacola, was not injured.  The occupants of the home escaped without injury.

Reader submitted photos for, click to enlarge.

BayBears Down Wahoos

July 31, 2013

The Mobile BayBears snapped an extended scoreless streak early, and held on late for a 3-2 win over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos on Tuesday night in front of the 22nd capacity crowd of the season at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.

Mobile, having not scored in either of the first two games, fell behind early on a Mike Costanzo double in the last of the first inning that gave Pensacola a 1-0 lead. Unlike the last couple nights, though, the BayBears offense provided some support, tying the game in the top of the second on an RBI groundout from Rossmel Perez.

An inning later, Dustin Martin reached on a two-out infield single that scored Justin Greene, giving Mobile a 2-1 lead. The hits kept coming against Pensacola starter Tim Crabbe in the fourth inning when Ryan Court blasted his first Double-A homer giving the BayBears a two-run advantage.

Crabbe (4-8) finished off a quality start with six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and three walks. It was Crabbe’s second straight quality outing and ninth of the season.

Mobile starter Bo Schultz, who retired 11 in a row at one point and 14 of 15 hitters from the second through sixth innings, quieted the Wahoos offensively. That changed in the seventh as Travis Mattair led off the frame with a solo homer to bring Pensacola back to within two. The blast was Mattair’s franchise-record 12th of the season, but first since June 28.

Mattair had an opportunity to plate the tying and go-ahead runs in the eighth inning, but grounded out with two on against Mobile closer Jake Barrett. Pensacola brought the winning run to the plate in the ninth inning against Barrett, but Devin Lohman struck out looking to end the game.

Schultz (4-2) picked up the win for the BayBears by allowing two runs on six hits in seven innings. Barrett picked up his sixth save of the year with 1.1 scoreless frames.

The two teams will tangle in game four of the series on Wednesday night at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium. Josh Smith (8-8, 3.86) gets the call for Pensacola opposite Mobile’s Mark Serrano (4-0, 2.18) with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m.

story by Kevin Burke

Next Page »