Tree Falls On Vehicle, Power Lines

August 31, 2017

A tree fell on a vehicle and power lines Thursday morning on Happy Valley Trail off Johnson Avenue during thunderstorm winds. There were no injuries reported.  Photos for, click to enlarge.

One Injured In I-10 Crash

August 31, 2017

One person was injured in a single vehicle crash on I-10 westbound at the 3 mile marker just before daybreak Thursday morning. The driver was transported to an area hospital for treatment. The Florida Highway Patrol, Beulah Station of Escambia Fire Rescue and Escambia County EMS responded to the crash. Reader submitted photo for, click to enlarge.

FDOC: Inmate That Murdered His Mother Assaults Century Correctional Officer

August 31, 2017

An inmate that murdered his mother assaulted a correctional officer at Century Correctional Institution, according to information released Wednesday by the Florida Department of Corrections.

Inmate David Hankins assaulted the officer at approximately 10:15 a.m. on August 25.  Hankins became combative and head-butted the officer in the face., according to FDOC. Staff responded appropriately, and the inmate was subdued.

Medical staff examined the officer and noted injuries. Inmate Hankins will receive a disciplinary report for this assault.

According to FDOC records, Hankins is serving a 25 year sentence out of Lee County for second degree murder murder. When Hankins was 15-year old, he stabbed his own 40-year old mother, stuffed her in a closet when she began grunting and left her there to die, according to 2009 media reports.

Escambia Mosquito Borne Illness Alert Issued After West Nile Case Confirmed

August 31, 2017

This year’s first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) has been confirmed in Escambia County, prompting the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (FDOH-Escambia) to issue a mosquito-borne illness advisory .

Mosquitoes are known carriers of WNV and other disease-causing viruses. Escambia County Mosquito Control Division and FDOH-Escambia continue surveillance and prevention efforts, but want to ensure residents and visitors are aware and take proper precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

According to CDC, most people (70-80 percent) infected with WNV show no symptoms at all. About one in five people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Most people with this type of illness recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.

Less than one percent of people who are infected develop a serious neurologic illness, such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues). Older adults and persons with weakened immune systems and/or other chronic illnesses are at the greatest risk for severe illness.

To protect yourself from mosquitoes, the health department recommends that practice of  “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 and cover doors and windows.

  • 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. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective.
  • 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.
  • When using repellent on children, apply to your hands first and then rub on their arms and legs.
  • Place screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios. Always repair broken screens.

Photos Capture Possible Tornado Near Molino

August 31, 2017 photos taken about 4:30 Wednesday afternoon of what looks like a tornado approaching Highway 29 and Highway 97 in Molino. A tornado warning was in effect at the time for a radar-indicated tornado in the exact area. There was no touchdown and no damage reported. photos, click to enlarge.

FWC Law Enforcement Report: Man Was Keeping An Alligator In His House

August 31, 2017

The Florida FWC Division of Law Enforcement reported the following activity during the weekly period ending August 17 in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.


Officer Manning responded to a call to assist the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. An individual who was arrested for child endangerment also had an alligator in his possession. The individual had constructed a special room in his home for the alligator to live. While interviewing the subject at the jail, he admitted catching the alligator and keeping it as a pet. Officer Manning seized the alligator and charged the subject with three criminal violations.

Officers Roberson, Hoomes and Pettey worked a detail on Pensacola Beach checking fishermen. One subject was seen with two redfish and was issued a citation for over the daily bag limit of redfish. Officer Pettey located another individual who was in possession of 18 Spanish mackerel. The subject was issued a citation for over the bag limit of Spanish mackerel.

Officer Pettey followed up on a deer case he made earlier this month. After meeting with the state attorney’s office, warrants were obtained for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and willful waste of wildlife. The case involved an individual who poached a deer then left it on his front porch where it spoiled in the heat for approximately 16 hours.

Officers Roberson and Mullins received a call of an oversized redfish at the Bob Sikes fishing pier. The officers arrived and located a subject who had a redfish which was measured at 37 inches, 10 inches over the maximum legal length for redfish. The subject was issued a citation for possession of oversized redfish. The fish was seized as evidence.


Officer J. Rockwell received a call from FWC Dispatch advising that two girls had not returned from a short tubing trip on Cold Water Creek. Officers Lugg and Land also responded to the call. In a joint effort with Santa Rosa County deputies and Santa Rosa Fire Rescue, they located the girls and returned them to their mother.

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. photo.

Rain Clears Out

August 31, 2017

Here is your official forecast:

Tonight: Isolated showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 73. South wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Friday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 86. Southwest wind around 5 mph.

Friday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 70. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Saturday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 87. Calm wind becoming northwest around 5 mph.

Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 69. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Sunday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 89. Calm wind becoming northeast around 5 mph.

Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 70. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Labor Day: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 87. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Monday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 71. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Tuesday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 85.

Tuesday Night: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Cloudy, with a low around 70.

Wednesday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Cloudy, with a high near 80.

Wednesday Night: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 65.

Thursday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 80.

Nine Mile Road Armed Robbery Suspect Sentenced

August 31, 2017

The man who acted as a lookout in a Nine Mile Road convenience store robbery is headed to prison.

Joseph Donald Reynolds was sentenced by Circuit Judge Edward P. Nickinson to 20 years in state prison. On May 26, 2017, Joseph Reynolds pleaded no contest to the charges of robbery with a deadly weapon and battery upon a jail visitor or other detainee.

On June 15, 2016, Reynolds and co-defendant Ryan Cheney, entered the Raceway Gas Station on Nine Mile Road. While Reynolds acted as a lookout, Cheney pointed the firearm at the clerk and demanded money and cigarettes. Cheney discharged the firearm into the floor towards the clerk. Both defendants fled the scene in the getaway vehicle waiting outside driven by co-defendant, Hunter Lafoe. All three defendants were apprehended a few days later.
Cheney was convicted of armed robbery with a firearm with discharge in May 2017. Cheney was sentenced to life in state prison. Since there is no parole in Florida, Cheney will serve the remainder of his life in prison.
Hunter Lafoe pled no contest to the charge of principal to robbery with a deadly weapon in May 2017. He will be sentenced on September 8, 2017, at 1:30 p.m. He faces up to 10 years in state prison.

Editor’s note: At time of story publication, Reynolds’ mugshot was available from the Escambia County Jail.

Driver Suffers Minor Injuries In Highway 97 Accident

August 31, 2017

One person received minor injuries in a single vehicle accident on Highway 97 Wednesday afternoon in Walnut Hill.  The driver of a pickup lost control just north of the Walnut Hill Fire Station, ran off the roadway struck a fire hydrant base and a small tree before coming to a stop just before hitting a power pole. The driver was transported to an area hospital by Escambia County EMS. The Walnut Hill Station of Escambia Fire Rescue and the Florida Highway Patrol also responded to the crash. photos, click to enlarge.

Attorney General Warns of Disaster-Relief Charity Scams After Harvey

August 31, 2017

As Texas continues to feel the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, Attorney General Pam Bondi is asking Floridians who want to help to use caution when donating. Scammers will often use natural disasters to prey on the good intentions of others, but there are steps consumers can take to protect against charity-related scams.

“As Floridians, we know all too well the destruction a massive hurricane can cause and how vital charitable donations are in helping communities recover—but before you give, please take steps to ensure your donation will be used to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey, not a scammer exploiting the goodwill of Floridians,” said Attorney General Bondi.

Anyone wishing to donate can follow these tips to make sure gifts are used to help victims and Texas communities recover from Harvey:

  • Be proactive and donate to a reputable charity, rather than wait to be solicited;
  • When giving, consider donating to an established disaster-relief charity, such as;
  • Research a charity by using Charity Navigator and by contacting the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to determine whether the charity is registered to solicit donations in Florida;
  • Avoid solicitors using high-pressure tactics or hesitant to provide more information about a charitable organization;
  • If donating online at a fundraising site, be sure to confirm the identity of the recipient and be careful when providing any personal contact information; and
  • Contact the Attorney General’s Office at (866) 9-NO-SCAM or call the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance at (703) 276-0100 to determine if there are any complaints against a charity.

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