Eunice Lucas Gunn

March 31, 2016

Eunice Lucas Gunn, 89, graduated to heaven, Tuesday, March 29, 2016.

Mrs. Gunn is preceded in death by her son Lavaughn Gunn and great grandson Tommy Hennessey.

Mrs. Gunn is survived by her husband of 68 years, Sidney W. Gunn and her four other sons: Lomax Gunn and wife Alice, Kenny Gunn and wife Susan, Michael Gunn and wife Judy and Richard Gunn; six grandchildren: Susan Hennessey, Kenny Gunn, Jr., Michael Gunn, Jr., Jennifer Yuhasz, Jeremy Gunn and Amanda Forst); nine great grandchildren (plus one on the way); and two great, great grandchildren.
Visitation will be held Friday, April 1, 2016,, 2:00-3:00 p.m. with the service following at 3:00 p.m. at Eastern Gate Memorial Funeral Home. Reverend Carlos Jackson will be officiating the service. Burial will follow at Eastern Gate memorial Gardens.

Arrangements under the direction of Eastern Gate Memorial Funeral Home, Pensacola, FL.

Partly Sunny And Windy Today, Rain For Thursday, Friday

March 30, 2016

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

Tonight: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 65. Southeast wind around 10 mph.

Thursday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Some of the storms could be severe. Cloudy, with a high near 79. Breezy, with a south wind 10 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Thursday Night: Showers and thunderstorms. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. Low around 68. South wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Friday: Showers and thunderstorms. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. High near 74. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming north in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

Friday Night: A 50 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 55. North wind 5 to 10 mph.

Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 70. North wind around 10 mph.

Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 46. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 71. North wind around 5 mph.

Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 47. North wind around 5 mph.

Monday: Sunny, with a high near 74.

Monday Night: Clear, with a low around 52.

Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 74.

Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 49.

Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 73.

Century Correctional Officer Charged With Battery On An Inmate

March 30, 2016

A correctional offir at Century Correctional Institution has been charged with allegedly striking an inmate.

The Florida Department of Corrections  Office of Inspector General (OIG)  arrested Correctional Officer Sergeant Nanette Black following an OIG criminal investigation. Black was charged with misdemeanor  battery and booked into the Escambia County Jail with bond set at $1,000.

Assistant State Attorney John Molchan said Black was accused of striking an inmate at Century Correctional Institution in an incident on January 9 that was at least partially caught on video. She was subsequently questioned by the Department of Correction’s OIG and charges were filed.

Molchan said the inmate did not suffer injuries that required medical attention.

Further details have not been released.

Editor’s note: State law prevents the release of a Department of Corrections employee’s mugshot. file photos click to enlarge.

Second Round Of Tornado Recovery Funding Available To Nonprofits

March 30, 2016

The United Way has opened the second round of tornado recovery funding . Any local nonprofit can apply for a portion of the $107,540 is that is available in the second round. The deadline to apply is April 15, and priority will be given to applications that clearly demonstrate how they will assist survivors’ long-term recovery needs.

Recovery efforts for the families impacted by the two EF3 tornados that destroyed or damaged 408 properties across Escambia County remain an on-going, top priority. Through the support of many local nonprofits, organizations and individuals, these families have begun to rebuild. Recognizing the extreme need for continued support, the United Way of Escambia County Board of Directors is accepting applications for the second round of disaster funding. In the first round of funding, United Way released $136,085.71 in funds to eight partners.

United Way’s Board of Directors will review all applications and make funding recommendations based on the information presented. Priority consideration will be given to applications that clearly demonstrate how they will assist tornado survivors in their long-term recovery from the February 15 and 23 EF-3 tornadoes. Nonprofits that received awards during the first round can apply for additional funds during each of the three rounds. Each organization that receives funding will sign a contract by which they agree to provide weekly and quarterly reports on how the funds are used to support survivors.

As of March 28, United Way had received cash donations of $243,626, all of which will be disbursed to aid recovery. $142,160 in additional pledges will be awarded once those funds are received. Additionally, United Way collected in-kind items valued at $55,446 from generous community donations. Survivors who need access to those supplies should visit the United Way “Store” located at  1301 W. Government Street in Pensacola or Healthy Start located at 501 Church Street in Century. United Way is accepting second visits from residents impacted by the tornadoes. Dial 2-1-1 for  more information.

Each of the eight funded partners from the first allocation plays an essential role in the survivor’s recovery. The assistance provided to survivors includes payments for electrical boxes, insurance/utility deposits, utility transfer fees, construction supplies, housing, prescription refills for lost medication and counseling assistance. Consequently, no duplication of systems or services is necessary. One funded organization, Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE), used $4,827 of directed funding from Gulf Power Company to reinstall electrical boxes in 10 Century homes. In addition, BRACE will use $28,571 of funding from United Way to equip volunteer teams with the building supplies they need in order to rebuild survivors’ homes.

Executive Director of BRACE, Greg Strader, says, “Were it not for the support of United Way, many of the families that survived the tornadoes would never recover. The disaster funding provided by United Way has allowed BRACE to recruit volunteer teams that specialize in recovery to restore hope and homes, as it did after United Way provided funding following the 2014 Flood.”

Any nonprofit organization wishing to apply for funding should contact United Way’s Partnership Manager, Stephanie Crandall, at or call (850)444-7140 to receive application instructions. photos, click to enlarge.

Kindergarten Registration Underway In Escambia County

March 30, 2016

Children who will be five-years old on or before September 1, 2016, are eligible to register for kindergarten for the 2016-2017 school year.  New kindergarten students enrolling in the Escambia County School District may register now at the school which serves their residential area during the regular school year.

To local your child’s school, click here. For more information, contact the School Choice Office at (850) 469-5580.

At the time of registration, parents will need:

  • Child’s birth certificate
  • Child’s social security card
  • Proof of residence, such as a recent electric bill or rent receipt (Telephone and cable bills are not acceptable)
  • Immunization Record (DH form 680)
  • Physical form (DH form 3040, or other comparable form)

Kindergarten Expos are being planned for May 14 and 21. The events will be held in the morning and will give parents and children a chance to experience a taste  kindergarten. Locations to be announced soon.

Atmore Man Facing Drug, Weapons Charges After Traffic Stop

March 30, 2016

An Atmore man has been arrested on drug and weapons charges by the Atmore Police Department.

Roy Donta James, 35, was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, altering a firearm, and possession of a concealed weapon without a permit. He was booked into the Escambia County (AL) Detention Center in Brewton.

According to Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks, Office Buddy Traweek was on routine patrol on Liberty Street when he observed a vehicle being driven erratically and running off the side of the road. Traweek initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver as James.

During the traffic stop investigation, officer reported finding drug paraphernalia, scale, a clear plastic bag containing methamphetamine, a plastic bag containing concaine, a silver .380 handgun and several syringes.

Tennessee Team Tops Northview (With Photo Gallery)

March 30, 2016

The Northview Chiefs fall to the Siegel Stars of Murfreesboro, TN, 11-0 in 6 innings in Bratt.

Tori Herrington took the loss in a valiant effort pitching six innings, allowing 11 runs, 15 hits, striking out one and walking two. The Chiefs managed only one hit on a single from Aubree Love in the bottom of the fifth.

The Chiefs Varsity team will travel to Jay Wednesday evening to face the Royals in the last district game of the regular season at 5:00.

Tuesday was Senior Night for the Chiefs as they honor seniors Hanna Ging and Laurie Purdy.

For  a photo gallery, click here. photos, click to enlarge.

Above: Senior Hanna Ging and family.

Above: Senior Laurie Purdy and family.

Former Navy NCO Sentenced For Accepting Bribes While Serving In Afghanistan

March 30, 2016

A former Navy noncommissioned officer was sentenced today to 24 months in prison for accepting approximately $25,000 in cash bribes from vendors while he served in Afghanistan.

Donald P. Bunch, 46, of Pace was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson of the Northern District of Florida, who also ordered Bunch to pay a $5,000 fine and to forfeit $25,000.  Bunch previously pleaded guilty to accepting bribes.

Bunch was responsible for replenishing food and supplies at the HA Yard and for selecting vendors from a pre-determined list to provide the necessary items, according to his plea.  In connection with his guilty plea, Bunch admitted that his predecessor had instructed him to rotate among the vendors.

According to admissions made in connection with his plea agreement, certain Afghan vendors offered money for the purpose of influencing their contracts.  Bunch admitted that he accepted a total of approximately $25,000 in bribes from the vendors and as a result, he secured on their behalf more frequent and lucrative contracts.  Bunch sent greeting cards stuffed with proceeds of the bribes to his wife and used the money to pay for the construction of a new home.

State, Gun-Rights Groups Back ‘Docs V. Glocks’ Law

March 30, 2016

Readying for oral arguments in June, attorneys for the state and Second Amendment groups are urging a full federal appeals court to uphold a 2011 Florida law that would restrict doctors from asking questions and recording information about patients’ gun ownership.

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office and the National Rifle Association filed documents Monday in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals backing the law, which has become widely known as the “docs v. glocks” law. Other Second Amendment groups, including the Unified Sportsmen of Florida, also made filings last week in support of the law.

A three-judge panel of the federal appeals court issued three rulings during the past two years that upheld the constitutionality of the law. But the full appeals court in February agreed to take up the dispute, with opponents arguing that the law violates doctors’ free-speech rights. Oral arguments are scheduled for June 21 in Atlanta.

In the brief filed Monday by four attorneys from Bondi’s office, the state contends that doctors who are plaintiffs in the case do not have legal “standing” to challenge the law. But even if the doctors have standing, Bondi’s office argued the law “passes muster under any level of First Amendment review.”

“By shielding gun-owning patients and families from discrimination, unnecessary harassment, and bad-faith, irrelevant inquiries and record-keeping, the act narrowly advances the state’s compelling interests in protecting the fundamental right to keep and bear arms from private encumbrances, safeguarding patient privacy, eliminating barriers to health care, and preventing discrimination and harassment in the provision of health care services,” the brief said. “The act represents the most modest of all professional regulations — a requirement that doctors stick to practicing medicine — and it accomplishes its compelling goals without interfering with doctors’ professional judgment or otherwise burdening more speech than necessary.”

NRA attorneys requested approval to file a friend-of-the-court brief, which was attached to the request. The brief said the law “furthers several compelling state interests intimately connected with the medical profession and public health.”

“First, the act facilitates the exercise of Second Amendment rights by protecting citizens who choose to exercise those rights from discrimination and harassment in the provision of medical care,” the NRA brief said. “Second, the act serves the state’s interest in protecting the privacy of patients’ exercise of Second Amendment rights. Third, the act serves the state’s compelling interest in reducing the likelihood that individuals will suffer discrimination and harassment in the provision of medical care. And fourth, the act serves the state’s important interest in regulating the medical profession.”

The plaintiffs in the challenge, including individual doctors and physician groups, are not required to file a brief until April 27. But in a January petition seeking the hearing before the full appeals court, the plaintiffs’ attorneys argued that the majority of the three-judge panel erred on free-speech issues. Also, the petition said the panel’s opinion posed a “a grave threat to public health and safety in Florida.”

“That some patients find inquiries about gun ownership ‘intrusive’ or believe that gun ownership is a ’sensitive’ topic does not give the state license to shut down entirely those inquiries, which are at the very heart of many doctors’ everyday conversations with patients,” the January petition said. “Indeed, the majority’s rationale could apply equally to other standard features of doctor-patient counseling and inquiry: the risks associated with smoking, certain sexual activity, drugs and alcohol. Banning this frank conversation between doctors and their patients will have devastating consequences, particularly during a public health epidemic of firearms-related injuries and deaths. Under the majority’s opinion, Florida residents will receive less information about gun safety, resulting in avoidable injuries and even deaths.”

The law, which sparked heavy debate before getting approved by the Legislature, includes a series of restrictions on doctors and other health providers. As an example, it seeks to prevent physicians from entering information about gun ownership into medical records if the physicians know the information is not “relevant” to patients’ medical care or safety or to the safety of other people.

As another example, the law says a health-care provider “shall respect a patient’s legal right to own or possess a firearm and should refrain from unnecessarily harassing a patient about firearm ownership during an examination.”

by Jim Saunders, The News Service of Florida

Poarch Creek Indians Purchase Mississippi Casino Site

March 30, 2016

The Poarch Creek Indians have purchased a site previously approved for a casino in D’Iberville, MS.

The land near I-110 is known as the Royal D’Iberville casino site is one of four sites in the city approved for a casino. A previously planned development with a 60,000 square foot casino and a 400-room hotel on the 7.6 acres never came to fruition, and the property was released from bankruptcy just days before the PCI purchase.

In the event the Poarch Creek Indians should build a casino on the property, it will not be considered part of their reservation and will subject to the same application process and taxes as any other casino, the director of the Mississippi Game Commission, Allen Godfrey, told the Sun Herald newspaper in Gulfport.

“PCI Gaming Authority monitors events throughout the Southeast that represent opportunities for our investment consideration. This particular property was brought to our attention and after evaluation we felt it represented an excellent investment opportunity that, regardless whether we pursue development now, in the future or never, that land will hold its value,” the Poarch Creek Indian Gaming Authority said in released statement. “We continue to evaluate development opportunities and the Mississippi Gulf Coast gaming market is one we may seek to enter at some future time.”

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