Party Held For Cantonment Teen Missing For 15 Years

July 31, 2016

Danielle Bell of Cantonment and her family would have celebrated her 29th birthday last Thursday. Instead, family members joined friends and the community in a birthday party Saturday evening to mark the upcoming 15th anniversary of her disappearance.

The KlaasKIDS Foundation and Danielle’s family reaffirmed their commitment to continue the search for the missing teen during the part at the Harvester Homes Community Park on Belmont Avenue in Cantonment. A birthday cake with the words “Your life is not forgotten” was served.

“The disappearance of a 14-year old girl from  our community that has continued to go unsolved for 15 years should be a clear call for action and answers from every parent in our area,” said Brad Dennis, director of Search Operations for Klaaskids.

A new Facebook page has been launched by the KlaasKIDS Foundation which will serve to post  information about Danielle Bell and her case leading to the 15th anniversary of her disappearance. Click here for that page.

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After leaving the Harvesters Home Park on September 28, 2001, Danielle was last seen at a party in the 500 block of Cedar Tree Lane, between Highway 29 and Highway 95A in Cantonment.

Witnesses told authorities that Bell left a party with a man that was in his mid-twenties at the time. Escambia County deputies later questioned that man and searched his home, but he was never charged in connection with the case.

During the summer of 2007, Alfredo Gomez Sanchez, Jr. was charged with providing law enforcement with false information about his whereabouts at the time Bell disappeared. He was not implicated in her disappearance.

In October 2010, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit served a search warrant at the home.

As part of that search warrant, a septic tank behind the residence was pumped out, and dogs from Escambia County Search and Rescue were also used to search the area.  Investigators said nothing was found, and they would not say what new information might have led to the search.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Danielle has a scar on her right forearm and blue eyes. She had brown hair at the time of her disappearance. Danielle, whose nickname was “Dani”, was a member of the Tate Aggies cheerleading squad. The popular teen enjoyed dancing and drawing.

Anyone with information about Bell is asked to call the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit at (850) 436-9580 or Crime Stoppers at (850) 433-STOP.

Pictured top photos: A birthday party for missing teen Danielle Bell Saturday evening in Cantonment. Courtesy WEAR 3 for Pictured bottom inset: Investigators pumped and searched a septic tank at this home on Cedar Tree Lane in Cantonment in October 2010 in the case of missing teen Danielle Arion Bell. Pictured below: A search and rescue K-9 team was also on site. Pictured bottom: A septic tank company employee prepares to pump a septic tank at the home. file photos, click to enlarge.

FDOT: Weekly Traffic Alerts

July 31, 2016

Drivers will encounter traffic disruptions on the following state roads in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties as crews perform construction and maintenance activities.

Escambia County:

  • Nine Mile Road – Lane restrictions east of Guidy Lane as crews construct a new eastbound, right and westbound, left turn lane for the shopping center  through Thursday, Aug. 4.  Lane closures will be in effect from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • I-10/U.S. 29 Interchange – The U.S. 29 north to I-10 westbound ramp will be closed from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3 and Thursday, Aug. 4 as crews perform bridge work. Traffic will be detoured north to make a U-turn at Broad Street to access I-10 westbound. In addition, the right lane of I-10 westbound near U.S. 29 will be closed during this time as crews perform maintenance activities.
  • Airport Road Resurfacing- Intermittent lane restrictions from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. as crews perform paving operations between U.S. 29 and County Road 95A (North Palafox Street).
  • Perry Avenue - Lane restriction at the intersection of E. Gonzales Street from 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4 to 6 a.m., Friday, Aug. 5 as crews perform underground utility work.
  • Texar Drive Pedestrian Overpass– Access to the pedestrian bridge is closed for approximately one month.  Eastbound ECAT bus stops located at the pedestrian bridge will be temporarily relocated during construction to just west of N Miller Street.

Santa Rosa County:

  • I-10 WideningAlternating lane closures, between the Escambia Bay Bridge and S.R. 281 (Avalon Boulevard/Exit 22), Thursday, Aug. 4 from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. as crews continue widening work. In addition, there will be alternating lane closures on Avalon Boulevard near the I-10 interchange for bridge work.
  • S.R. 87 and S.R. 89 from S.R. 4 to the Alabama line – Intermittent and alternating lane closures and slow moving operations from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. continuing as crews perform striping operations.
  • U.S. 98 – Crews will perform striping operations and install raised pavement markers (RPMs) from the Pensacola Bay Bridge to Central Parkway (approximately nine miles) from 8 p.m. Sunday, July 31 to 5 a.m. Monday, Aug.1.  Motorists may encounter minor traffic delays.

All activities are weather dependent and may be delayed or re-scheduled in the event of inclement weather. Drivers are reminded to use caution, especially at night, when traveling in a work zone and to watch for construction workers and equipment entering and exiting the roadway.

July Ends Hot With Scattered Showers

July 31, 2016

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

Sunday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 93. West wind around 5 mph becoming south in the afternoon.

Sunday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 75. Southwest wind around 5 mph.

Monday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 92. Calm wind becoming southwest around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Monday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 75. South wind around 5 mph.

Tuesday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 92. West wind around 5 mph.

Tuesday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 75. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Wednesday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 93. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph.

Wednesday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 75.

Thursday: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 93.

Thursday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 75.

Friday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 91.

Friday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 75.

Saturday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 93.

One Winning $487 Million Powerball Ticket Sold In New Hampshire

July 31, 2016

One winning ticket was sold in New Hampshire for Saturday night’s $487 million Powerball drawing, the fifth largest in the game’s history.

The winning numbers drawn Saturday night were 11, 17, 21, 23, and 32. The Powerball was 5.

Prior to Saturday night, there had not been a Powerball winner since May 7 when a New Jersey family won a $429.6 drawing.

The current estimated jackpot for the next Powerball drawing Wednesday night is $40 million, or a lump sum cash payment of $28.1 million.

Powerball tickets are sold in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Deputies, FHP Seize $113,000 Worth Of Pot In Traffic Stop

July 31, 2016

The Florida Highway Patrol and deputies from the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office teamed up in a big marijuana bust last week.

The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office said their Traffic Unit and the FHP worked together on a traffic stop on I-10 that recovered 113 pounds marijuana with a street value of $113,000 plus several guns.

Additional details, including the names of suspects that were arrested, have not yet been released.

Courtesy photos for, click to enlarge.

Molino Utilities To Upgrade Water Main On Portion Of Highway 95A

July 31, 2016

Molino Utilities is set to replace and upgrade just over a mile and a half of water main along Highway 95A.

Bids are currently being accepted for the project that will include the installation of 8,340 linear feet of 8-inch water main from Meharg Road to Casey Lane. The project will also include fire hydrant installations and connections to existing portions of the water system.

Bids on the project are set to be opened on Thursday morning.

Last December, Molino Utilities received a $165,000 grant from the Northwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board to replace aging and undersized water lines with upgraded water mains and structures.

The funding was awarded as part of a competitive grant program to help local governments and non-profit utilities address local water supply challenges and meet regional water supply protection and management needs.

Florida Gov’t Weekly Roundup: Parties Are Over; Real Politics Begin Now

July 31, 2016

The intramural infighting is finally over. For some, the close of the Democratic National Convention this week, following on the heels of the Republican Party’s spectacle, marks the true advent of the presidential campaign season, where, once again, Florida will be front-and-center in the race for the White House.

Appearing onstage Thursday night, Democrat Hillary Clinton made history as the country’s first female presidential nominee. No wonder, then, that the convention was situated in the City of Brotherly Love, just steps away from the home of flag-sewer Betsy Ross and amidst a cornucopia of monuments demarcating the birth of a nation united against tyranny. the Democrats’ love-fest wasn’t all sunshine and roses. Clinton wrapped up the political pageantry Thursday with an hour-long speech calling for unity, days after her party’s chief was forced out over leaked emails that came as no surprise to Clinton’s onetime opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

And, juxtaposed against the Philadelphia fanfare, Florida Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson faced increasing pressure to step away from a U.S. Senate primary after his ex-wife accused him of years of domestic abuse.

Without doubt the concatenation of events involving U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who stepped down as Democratic National Committee chairwoman over the weekend, and Grayson may have pricked a pin in the Democratic party bubble.

But the Dems’ overarching theme, a call-to-arms to defeat GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump that was punctuated throughout the four-day event, reflected a sentiment perhaps best expressed by Philadelphia icon Benjamin Franklin, who might be forgiven for the Old World phrasing.

“We must hang together, gentlemen … else, we shall most assuredly hang separately,” Franklin, the inventor, philosopher and statesman said.


After two fractious weeks in Cleveland and Philadelphia, the final night of the Democratic convention Thursday strove for unity that has eluded both parties, calling on preachers, immigrants and others to vouch for Clinton and to level withering criticism at Trump.

It was a calculated attempt to try to capitalize on one of the most unusual election seasons in recent American history, one overwhelmed by the bombastic personality of Trump, a real-estate mogul who upended the Republican establishment.

Accepting the Democratic nomination Thursday, Clinton spoke for nearly an hour, reminding the audience of her accomplishments in a political career that has spanned a quarter-century as first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state. Clinton conceded that some voters still feel like they don’t know her.

She laced policy prescriptions with personal anecdotes and criticisms of Trump. At the same time, she tried to cast herself as a candidate of unity in a divided America.

“I will be a president for Democrats, Republicans, independents; for the struggling, the striving, the successful; for all those who vote for me and for those who don’t — for all Americans,” she said.

Doubts about Trump were also on display in some of Thursday evening’s most theatrical moments. Through the final day of the convention, Clinton’s campaign tried to balance promoting a progressive message that would appeal to Sanders’ supporters with inching onto Republican turf left open by the unconventional campaign of Trump.

Retired generals and Republicans, including a former official in the administration of President Ronald Reagan, a conservative icon, hammered away at Trump’s proposals and called for the country to unite around Clinton. That amplified a speech Wednesday night by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has spent parts of his life as a Republican, Democrat and independent.

Democrats clearly hoped that message would contrast with the Republican National Convention, which featured vivid displays of a rift within the party and a hard-edged take on Clinton.

But for all the efforts to promote the idea of unity in Philadelphia, delegates to the convention didn’t deny that there were still divisions in the party — at least in the hours before Clinton’s speech. A small number of Sanders delegates were still wary of the nominee, supporters of both candidates said.

Protests and chants by Sanders supporters were audible almost from the beginning of the convention and continued through Clinton’s speech, though it wasn’t clear how many of the attempted interruptions Thursday night came from dissatisfied Sanders voters.

Some Sanders delegates staged a walkout Tuesday to demonstrate their unhappiness with Clinton’s nomination and the primary process that led to it.

“There’s still bitterness, and people have not come to the table,” said Florida state Sen. Audrey Gibson, a Jacksonville Democrat who supported Clinton. “I think it’s a small minority. … It’s not going to keep Hillary from winning the election.”


Four years after the 2012 party convention marked a highlight of Wasserman Schultz’s career, this year’s gathering proved to be a low point, with the Florida congresswoman stepping down as party chairwoman, getting booed in front of her home-state delegation and being pushed off the convention stage entirely.

Wasserman Schultz, a former state legislator from Weston, was tripped up after leaked internal party emails raised questions about her impartiality in the presidential primary between Clinton and Sanders. The emails are believed to have been obtained by Russian hackers.

At a breakfast meeting of the Florida delegation on Monday, some Sanders supporters shouted “Shame on you!” at Wasserman Schultz, while her supporters chanted her first name. The congresswoman tried to put a brave face on the intense interest surrounding her decision to resign as party chair, reportedly under pressure.

“I can see there’s a little bit of interest in my being here,” she said. “I appreciate that interest. And a little bit of interest from the press. But that really shows you that Florida is the most significant battleground state that will make sure that Hillary Clinton is elected president of the United States.”

Supporters of Sanders, who had been a political independent before deciding to seek the Democratic presidential nomination, believed even before the emails were released that Wasserman Schultz was unfairly supporting Clinton.

“I was shocked that Congresswoman Schultz showed up,” said Miguel Valdez, a delegate for Sanders from Florida’s 5th Congressional District. “I had thought that she would have thought better of it, but she did not.”

After the raucous appearance at the Florida breakfast, Wasserman Schultz backed off plans to gavel the convention into order Monday, apparently in an attempt to avoid a repeat of the scene. Wasserman Schultz is facing what could be a tough primary in her congressional re-election race.

In the immediate aftermath of Wasserman Schultz’s resignation as party chairwoman, Florida delegates and officials assessed the fallout.

Former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham said the loss of a party chair would not affect Florida’s profile given the state’s outsized role in presidential elections.

“I think that Florida is so important as the biggest swing state in the country … that I don’t think it will ever be characterized as anything other than a superstate for American politics,” Graham said.


While thousands of Democrats rallied in Philadelphia during the party convention, Grayson — in a heated U.S. Senate primary battle against fellow Florida Congressman Patrick Murphy — was fending off domestic-abuse allegations by his ex-wife.

A Politico story about the allegations appeared to rock Grayson’s campaign, leading, for example, to two progressive groups withdrawing their endorsements of Grayson, a longtime favorite of liberals. Democracy for America and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee said in a joint release the decision was a first for both groups.

Grayson’s ex-wife, Lolita, provided Politico two decades of records to help craft a narrative alleging domestic abuse. Alan Grayson’s attorney, Mark NeJame, told WFME in Orlando that the allegations, released “on the eve of an election” were “politically motivated.”

After the allegations emerged, Grayson drew more attention because of a videotaped run-in with a Politico reporter following a Politico-hosted event Tuesday in Philadelphia.

The reporter, Edward-Isaac Dovere, had tried to stop Grayson in an attempt to get a comment on the ex-wife’s allegations.

In one video, Grayson — as he attempted to exit the event — told the reporter, “You’re getting in my way, my friend. You’re assaulting a member of Congress.”

As a number of reporters taped the encounter, Grayson threatened to hand video to Capitol police.

When asked if he was going to accuse a reporter of assault for asking a question, Grayson responded: “No, not for asking me questions, but for getting in my face and being a fool and pushing me as I am trying to leave this event.”

Grayson spokesman David Damron later released a statement contending the reporter had been advised to contact the congressman’s staff for comment.

Dovere responded in a tweet late Tuesday that “Grayson is lying: he never told me to contact staff. I have the tape!”

STORY OF THE WEEK: Democrat Hillary Clinton became the first woman in U.S. history to receive the presidential nomination of a major political party.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Let me ask you: Have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. … You have sacrificed nothing and no one.” — Khizr Khan, a father of a soldier who died in Iraq, blasting GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump for the Republican’s proposed temporary ban on immigration by Muslims like Khan.

by Dara Kam, The News Service of Florida

Back To School Shopping? Print A Supply List

July 31, 2016

School starts Wednesday, August 10 in Escambia County. This year, there is a single countywide list for all elementary schools and a single list for all middle schools.

For the Escambia County Elementary School Supply List, click here.
For Escambia County Middle School Supply List, click here.

(High schools typically do not have a general supply list. Students are advised of their supply needs in each class.)

Wahoos Fall To The Montgomery Biscuits

July 31, 2016

The Montgomery Biscuits came back from a three-run deficit in the seventh inning to beat the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, 4-3, Saturday at Riverwalk Stadium.

Montgomery overcame Pensacola in its last at bat in the bottom of the ninth when right fielder Justin Williams led off with a double to center field.  He then came around to score the winning run when DH Granden Goetzman bunted back to Pensacola reliever Abel De Los Santos, who threw the ball away.

The victory in the final game of the five-game series allowed Montgomery to capture the series, 3-2. The Biscuits improved 21-14 in the second half to lead the Southern League North Divison. Pensacola, dropped to 17-18 and starts a five-game series at 4 p.m. Sunday against the Mississippi Braves.

Pensacola could have won the game but had two runners thrown at home plate.

In the ninth inning, Blue Wahoos DH Eric Jagielo singled on a ground ball to center field and Brandon Dixon replaced him as a pinch runner. Pensacola catcher Chad Wallach bunted Dixon to second. Then, Pensacola center fielder Jeff Gelalich hit a line drive single to center field to Montgomery’s Braxton Lee who threw Dixon out trying to score the go-ahead run.

Again in the fourth inning, Pensacola third baseman Taylor Sparks struck out but reached first on a wild pitch and then stole his first base of the season to move to second. Blue Wahoos shortstop Zach Vincej then hit a line drive single to left field to Montgomery’s Cade Gotta, who came up throwing to Biscuits catcher Jake DePew to get Sparks out at home to end the inning.

Pensacola had gone ahead when it scored three runs in the seventh inning. The Blue Wahoos loaded the bases with two out in the inning when second baseman Alex Blandino stepped to the plate and delivered a line drive single to left field to drive in Vincej and first baseman Ray Chang for two runs. Pensacola scored another run when Wallach scored on a passed ball to make the score, 3-0.

But Montgomery came right back in the bottom of the seventh. The Biscuits’ Lee came to the plate with the bases loaded and hit a ground ball to Vincej, who got the force out at second base allowing Williams to score to pull the Biscuits within, 3-1. Montgomery’s Gotta then doubled in DH Granden Goetzman and Lee to knot the game at 3-3.

All three runs were charged to Pensacola reliever Evan Mitchell, who pitched 0.2 innings.

Montgomery’s comeback victory spoiled the start by Barrett Astin. Making his seventh spot start of the season, Astin pitched a season-high six shutout innings, allowing two hits, walking two and striking out eight.

Pensacola was led at the plate by Vincej, who went 2-3 with a walk and a run scored. He is now hitting a season best .359 in the month of July. Meanwhile, Blandino went 1-4 and drove in two runs to increase his RBIs to 27 this season.

Broxson, Hill Pump Big Bucks Into Local Senate Race

July 30, 2016

State Rep. Doug Broxson, R-Gulf Breeze, has loaned $50,000 to his campaign as he tangles with Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola Beach, for a Northwest Florida Senate seat, a newly filed finance report shows.

Broxson and Hill are running in the Aug. 30 Republican primary in Senate District 1, which became open when Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, decided to run for Congress.

Neither candidate raised much money during the latest reporting period, which ran from July 9 to July 22. But Broxson put $50,000 of his own money into the campaign — matching an amount that Hill loaned to his campaign earlier in the month, according to finance reports.

In all, Broxson had raised $287,921 and made the $50,000 loan as of July 22. He had spent $198,706.

Hill, meanwhile, had raised an overall total of $113,072 and made the $50,000 loan. He had spent $130,298, according to the reports.

The winner of the Republican primary is virtually guaranteed to win the seat because the only other candidates are write-ins.

Senate District 1 includes Escambia, Santa Rosa and part of Okaloosa counties.

by The News Service of Florida

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