Two Injured In Nine Mile, I-10 Crash

September 29, 2016

Two people were injured in a two vehicle crash Wednesday night on Nine Mile Road at I-10.

The two injured persons were transported to area hospital by Escambia County EMS following the crash about 8:40 p.m.

One driver was observed being taken into custody by the Florida Highway Patrol. It was not know what, if any charges, were filed against the individual.

Further detail have not yet been released  by the FHP. photos by Kristi Barbour, click to enlarge.

FWC Law Enforcement Report

September 29, 2016

The Florida FWC Division of Law Enforcement reported the following activity during the weekly period ending September 22 in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.


Officers Cushing, Manning and Trueblood were patrolling the waters of the Gulf of Mexico aboard the FINCAT with assistance from Officer Tolbert and his Aviation Unit. One of the vessels that Officers Manning and Trueblood inspected in federal waters was in possession of 16 red snapper. Red snapper is currently closed for harvest in federal waters. The operator of the vessel stated that he thought state waters were closed and federal waters were open. Officer Trueblood issued a citation to the operator for the violation.

Lieutenant Hahr was patrolling the Perdido River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) when he observed a vehicle parked at a closed gate late at night. The area is closed at night. When he spoke to the couple in the vehicle, the woman’s suspicious actions prompted a closer look. After a glance into the woman’s purse, paraphernalia used for drug use was observed. Heroin and prescription pills were located in the purse along with a needle and crushed pills mixed with water. The woman admitted to shooting up the day before and was arrested for possession of controlled substances and drug paraphernalia.


No reported submitted from Santa Rosa County.

This report represents some events the FWC handled over the past week; however, it does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement. Information provided by FWC.

Court: Student’s Tweets About Shooting Up School Are Not A Crime

September 29, 2016

Sarasota County high-school student’s statement on Twitter that he “can’t WAIT to shoot up my school” does not constitute a criminal threat under Florida law, an appeals court ruled Wednesday.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal overturned a juvenile-delinquency ruling involving “J.A.W.,” the student who sent the tweets in 2014. But in a rare step, the court also suggested that the Legislature might want to look at updating the state’s law against violent threats — originally approved in 1913 — to account for the growth of social media.

“With this popularity comes the unfortunate but inevitable problem that social media posts, like any other form of communication, can be used to make threats of violence,” Judge Nelly Khouzam wrote for the court. “But many threats made on social media will fall outside the narrow language of (the law), which was originally written with pen-and-paper letters in mind.”

The law was updated in 2010 to account for electronic communications, but because it requires the threat to be sent to the person threatened or a family member of that person, the court ruled that it doesn’t always apply to posts on social media.

J.A.W., who is not identified by name in the ruling because he was a juvenile, sent out several tweets that suggested he would open fire at his school. In one post, he wrote: “night f[***]ing sucked can’t wait to shoot up my school soon,” according to the court. He also tweeted out “it’s time,” accompanied by a picture of a gun being slipped into a backpack.

Meanwhile, there was at least one tweet that indicated he might be joking, as J.A.W. later said he was. “My mom and dad think I’m serious about shooting up my school I’m dying,” he wrote. He later apologized on Twitter “to anyone who took me seriously” and said he didn’t even own a weapon.

J.A.W. claimed the tweets were, in the court’s words, part of a joke with a “group of friends who often joked about being unfairly stereotyped as potentially violent based on their interest in video games and rock music.”

The student’s tweets were found by GeoCop, a company formed to scour social media for threats of school violence. The company notified law enforcement, which then told officials at Sarasota High School about the threat. As the school planned to let students out and officers went to the campus, J.A.W. was arrested at his home.

But the tweets don’t fall under part of the law that punishes anyone who “sends or procures the sending of” a written threat, Khouzam wrote, brushing aside the state’s argument that J.A.W. procured the actions of those who brought the threat to the school’s attention.

“There was no evidence that any of J.A.W.’s Twitter followers were students or staff at the school or members of their families,” Khouzam wrote. “By the time it was received by the school, the threat was several steps removed from its original context.”

Courts have worked for several years to adapt state law to the ever-changing world of social media. In a 2013 case, the 1st District Court of Appeal found that a threat on Facebook violated the law. But Khouzam said that case was different because one of the defendant’s Facebook friends was a mutual relative of one of the people threatened in the post.

Khouzam’s opinion, joined by Judges Darryl Casanueva and Matthew Lucas, also suggested that lawmakers consider amending the law to cover social media threats that are public and can move around the internet quickly.

“In this context, a threat of violence made publicly on social media is likely to reach its target and cause fear of bodily harm just like a traditional letter might,” she wrote. “The facts of the instant case exemplify this phenomenon.”

by Brandon Larrabee, The News Service of Florida

Northview To Hold Fish Fry Benefit For Byars

September 29, 2016

Northview High School will hold a benefit Fish Fry Lunch on Monday, October 10 for Kay Byars, cancer patient and wife of Northview teacher and FFA sponsor Perry Byars.

Plates will include two fish fillets, cole slaw, baked beans hush puppies and a dessert for $7. The Northview High School cafeteria will be open from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. for pick up. Delivery is available for orders of 15 plates or more.

Orders should be placed by October 3. To order, call Vicki Godwin at (850) 327-6681, ext. 222.

Click here for more information and an order form. For additional information, contact the school at  (850) 327-6681 and speak to Teresa Johnson, ext. 225, Joyce unn, ext. 229, Sheila Holland, ext. 221, Gerry Pippins, ext. 228, or Gayle Weaver, ext. 227.

New Sign Proclaims Century Blackcat Pride At Anthony Pleasant Park

September 29, 2016

The Century Blackcats youth football league has a new press box sign at Anthony Pleasant Park. The sign, painted and donated by Tabitha Schoonover, reads “Century, Home of the Blackcats” — similar to a sign that greeted visitors at the old Century High School. Submitted photos for, click to enlarge.

U.S. Senate Approves Zika Funding As Cases Increase

September 29, 2016

With Zika cases climbing to 921 in Florida, the U.S. Senate on Wednesday advanced a federal spending bill that includes $1.1 billion in funding to combat the mosquito-borne disease.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who along with fellow Florida Sen. Bill Nelson supported the bill, said the measure contains $15 million to directly help states, like Florida, with cases of locally transmitted Zika and has $60 million that could help Puerto Rico.

“This anti-Zika package rightfully prioritizes Americans in Florida and Puerto Rico, and I’m encouraged my calls for action have been answered and that real assistance from the federal government is finally on its way,” Rubio said. Nelson called the Senate vote “a small victory” in the effort to block the disease, which can cause severe birth defects.

“The emergency spending approved today will help increase local mosquito-control efforts to contain the spread of the virus and allow federal researchers to continue their search for a vaccine,” Nelson said.

The emergency spending still needed approval from the U.S. House.

On Wednesday, the Florida Department of Health announced six new locally transmitted Zika cases in the state, including four in Miami-Dade County and one each involving residents of Broward and Palm Beach counties. That brought Florida’s total to 115 cases in which the disease was transmitted locally by mosquitoes.

Florida also had eight new travel-related Zika cases, for a total of 700 travel-related cases. In such cases, people have been infected elsewhere and brought the virus into the state. Health officials also said there are 92 cases involving pregnant women, 13 cases involving non-Florida residents and one “undetermined” case, all of which are classified separately from the travel-related and locally transmitted cases.

There have been two travel-related cases of Zika reported in Escambia County.

Hundreds Of Students Gather To Pray At The Pole

September 29, 2016

Hundreds of students gathered to pray at their schools  across the area Wednesday morning during the annual See You at the Pole event.

Students gathered as school began to pray in the non-denominational event. See You at the Pole is a student-initiated, student organized, and student-led event. Students prayed for their school, friends, teachers, government and the nation.

For a photo gallery from Northview High, West Florida High, Ernest Ward Middle and Molino Park Elementary, click here.

Pictured: See You at the Pole this morning at Molino Park Elementary School (Dayna St Cyr photos), Northview High School and Ernest Ward Middle School. photos, click to enlarge.

Teen Jailed For Murdering His Brother

September 28, 2016

A disagreement between two brothers escalated into violence Wednesday morning and ended with one of them being murdered and the other arrested.

Denzel Dywan Williams, 15, of 715 North H St., Pensacola, has been charged with second-degree murder.

His brother – Malik Kewsie Williams, 19, of the same address – died after he was stabbed twice, said Sgt. Stephen Bauer.

Police were dispatched to the residence around 12:20 p.m. after receiving a phone call regarding an armed disturbance at the residence.

Officers determined the brothers got into a verbal disagreement that escalated into a physical confrontation. While they were fighting, Denzel, who had been holding a knife, stabbed his brother.

Denzel Williams was taken into custody at the scene; Malik Williams died a short time later at a local hospital.

Man Shot By His Mother In Walnut Hill

September 28, 2016

An adult male was shot by his mother at her home near Walnut Hill Tuesday night.

Joseph Clay Howard, 39, was shot in the abdomen at a home in the 5900 block of West Highway 4, just west of Greenland Road. He was airlifted by LifeFlight helicopter to a Pensacola hospital in critical condition.

The female was in fear for her life and was defending herself in the domestic violence related shooting, according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

Escambia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Andrew Hobbs said the investigation is ongoing into the shooting incident, and the ECSO is working with the State Attorney’s Office to determine what charges, if any, might be filed against Howard in the incident. No charges have been filed against the mother.

The mother remained on scene following the shooting.

Pictured top: A shooting victim is loaded into a waiting ambulance in the 5900 block of West Highway 4 Tuesday night. Pictured top below: The victim is transferred to LifeFlight. Pictured bottom: Additional photos from the shooting scene. photos, click to enlarge.

Health Alert: Second Escambia County West Nile Case Confirmed

September 28, 2016

The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (FDOH-Escambia) has issued a mosquito-borne illness alert after this year’s second human case of West Nile virus was confirmed in an Escambia County resident.

The Escambia County Mosquito Control Division and FDOH-Escambia continue surveillance and prevention efforts. However, there is heightened concern that other Escambia County residents and visitors may become ill from being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Mosquitoes are known carriers of WNV, and other disease-causing viruses. To protect yourself from mosquitoes and the diseases that they carry, you should Drain and Cover.

Drain standing water.

·         Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.

·         Discard old tires, bottles, pots, broken appliances and other items not being used.

·         Empty and clean birdbaths and pets’ water bowls at least twice a week.

·         Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that do not accumulate water.

·         Maintain swimming pools in good condition and chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.

Cover skin with clothing or repellent;

·         Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves when mosquitoes are most prevalent.

·         Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.

·         Always use repellents according to the label. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered repellents with 10-30 percent DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection.

·         Re-apply mosquito repellent as often as needed to prevent mosquito landings and bites.

·         Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.

·         Adults should apply repellent first to their own hands and then transfer it to the child’s skin and clothing. Avoid applying repellents to the hands of children.

Cover doors and windows.

·         Place screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.

·         Repair broken screens.

·         Keep unscreened windows and doors closed.

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