Fire Damages Jacks Branch Road Home

March 30, 2018

Fire damaged a home in Cantonment late Thursday afternoon.

The fire in the 200 block of Jacks Branch Road was reported about 5:20 p.m. The fire appeared to be concentrated in the attic of the 2,300 square foot wood frame home. The resident of the home reportedly escaped without injury.

Information on the exact cause of the fire was not immediately available.

The Cantonment, Molino, Beulah, Bellview, Brent and Ensley Stations of Escambia Fire Rescue and Escambia County EMS were all dispatched to the blaze.

The firefighting effort temporarily closed Jacks Branch Road.

Top: Fire damaged this home in Cantonment. File photo. Pictured below: Firefighters spent about an hour and 40 minutes on the call. photos, click to enlarge.

Florida Supreme Court Rejects Santa Rosa County Death Row Appeal

March 30, 2018

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday rejected appeals by two Death Row inmates who were convicted of murdering women in the 1990s in Santa Rosa and Hillsborough counties.

One of the appeals was filed by Norman Grim, who was sentenced to death in the 1998 murder of Cynthia Campbell, whose body was found by a fisherman floating off the Pensacola Bay Bridge, according to a brief by Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office.

victim, who was wrapped in a sheet, a shower curtain and masking tape, had been beaten in the face and suffered multiple stab wounds to the chest.

The other appeal was filed by Samuel Smithers, who was convicted in the 1996 murders of Cristy Cowan and Denise Roach. The bodies of the women were found in a Hillsborough County pond, with a 2002 Supreme Court summary of the case saying both women had been strangled and suffered other injuries, including “chop” wounds to Cowan’s head.

The appeals dealt with issues related to a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in an Escambia County case known as Hurst v. Florida and a subsequent Florida Supreme Court decision.

The 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling found Florida’s death-penalty sentencing system was unconstitutional because it gave too much authority to judges, instead of juries. The subsequent Florida Supreme Court ruling said juries must unanimously agree on critical findings before judges can impose death sentences and must unanimously recommend the death penalty.

Juries unanimously recommended death sentences for Grim and Smithers.

But the appeals decided Thursday involved questions about the other findings needed to sentence defendants to death.

Chief Justice Jorge Labarga and justices R. Fred Lewis, Alan Lawson, Charles Canady and Ricky Polston agreed to reject both appeals. Justice Barbara Pariente supported rejecting the appeal in the Smithers case but dissented in the Grim case. Justice Peggy Quince dissented in both cases.

by The News Service of Florida

Man Fleeing From Deputies Crashes Into Delivery Truck

March 30, 2018

A driver running from deputies crashed into a Coca-Cola truck Thursday afternoon before committing a home invasion, according to authorities.

The Florida Highway Patrol said 37-year Bryant Lee Williams of Pensacola was actively fleeing from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office eastbound on Johnson Avenue when ran a stop sign at Cody Lane and crashed his Nissan Altima into a Freightliner delivery truck driven by 40-year old Michael McCall of Pensacola. McCall suffered minor injuries and was transported to West Florida Hospital.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said had deputies were called to assist the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conduct a traffic stop on Williams but he refused to stop. A spokesman for the ECSO said they had called off the pursuit prior to the crash.

After he crashed into the Coca-Colatruck, deputies said Williams dropped a large amount of narcotics in the road as he ran away. After that, deputies said he committed a nearby home invasion before being apprehended.

Williams is facing narcotics, fleeing and eluding and home invasion charges, plus unspecified charges from the ATF. He was booked into the Escambia County Jail with bond set at $317,000.

Top photo courtesy Allie Norton, WEAR 3, for, click to enlarge.

Good Friday, Easter Closures

March 30, 2018

The following local government closures are planned for Good Friday and Easter.


  • Escambia County Board of County Commissioners- All departments, including:
    • West Florida Public Libraries (All locations)
  • Escambia County Property Appraiser
  • Escambia County Tax Collector
  • Escambia County Area Transit administrative offices
  • Escambia County Supervisor of Elections office
  • Escambia County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, all offices

Escambia County Exceptions:

  • The Perdido Landfill will be open for normal business hours, but administrative offices will be closed.
  • ECAT buses and trolleys will run on a modified schedule (details)


  • All offices will be closed.


The ECUA Customer Service office will be closed on Friday, March 30, in observance of Good Friday.   However, all other ECUA business offices will be open and residential and commercial sanitation collections for ECUA customers in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties will be unaffected by the holiday and will be carried out as usual.


All West Florida Library locations will be closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday for Good Friday and Easter. Regular hours will resume on Monday, April 2.


In observance of the Good Friday holiday, City of Pensacola administrative offices will be closed on Friday, March 30. Emergency services such as Police and Fire will remain open to ensure public safety and health. All regular operations will resume on Monday, April 2.

The City’s sanitation services will be unaffected by the holiday. Garbage, recycling, and yard trash routes will proceed with the normal schedule this week.

All community centers will also be closed on Friday. The Roger Scott Tennis Center and Osceola Golf Course will remain open.

Tate Shuts Out Coral Park In Sarasota Classic

March 30, 2018

The Tate Aggies beat Coral Park 9-0 Thursday in the Sarasota Classic to go 2-2 during the week’s tournament play.

The Aggies score one in the first before coming alive in the third with eight runs on their way to an error-free game.

Trey Lafleur threw a complete game with one hit, no runs, two walks and 13 strikeouts.

Ryan Greene, Reid Halfacre, Raymond Lafleur, Mason Land and  Jesse Sherrill had RBI’s for Tate.

One Injured In Cantonment Crash

March 29, 2018

One person was injured in two vehicle accident Thursday morning on East Kingsfield Road at Tate Road in Cantonment.

The crash involving a Honda Odyssey minivan and a GMC work truck occurred about 7:40 a.m. One person was transported by Escambia County EMS to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The cause of the crash is under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol.

The Ensley Station of Escambia Fire Rescue also responded. photos by Kristi Barbour, click to enlarge.

Escambia Deputies Arrest Attempted Homicide Suspect

March 29, 2018

An Escambia County man has been arrested for  an attempted murder last week.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said Kevin Antonio Jordan was charged with attempted homicide, use or display of a firearm during a felony, deadly missiles, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and robbery with a firearm.

The incident occurred in the 3100 block of North Pace Boulevard.

Jordan remains in the Escambia County Jail with bond set at $1.3 million.

Natural Gas Transfer Station Under Construction In Cantonment

March 29, 2018

A natural gas transfer station is under construction in Cantonment.

The facility is located at 1647 South Highway 95A, a 0.37 acre parcel located between the former Sonic and Waffle House that front on Highway 29. Officially known as the Peninsula Pipeline Custody Transfer Site, the project will include two natural gas pipeline access areas. The property will be fenced and gated, according to documents filed with Escambia County.

According to Barry Kennedy, gas operations director for Florida Public Utilities, the pipeline operator, a single natural gas pipeline will be split into two lines on the property. The above-ground piping will allow access for “pigs” — devices that are placed inside the pipeline for inspection or cleaning purposes.

Florida Public Utilities is constructing the pipeline along a 42-mile route  through North Escambia from Century to Nine Mile Road. The pipeline continues south from Century along Highway 29 right of way from Century to the Highway 95 transfer station. From there, an eight-inch line will follow Old Chemstrand Road to Ascend, while another eight-inch line will continue south  to West Roberts Road to Pine Forest Road to West Nine Mile Road where the project will connect to an existing gas system.

Pictured above and below: A natural gas transfer station under construction on Highway 95A in Cantonment. Pictured inset: A door to allow for “pig” access to the pipeline. photos, click to enlarge.

Storms Possible Into The Evening

March 29, 2018

Strong to severe storms are possible across the area this this afternoon. The main threats are strong, gusty winds, but a few tornadoes are possible.

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:
This Afternoon: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. High near 78. South wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

Tonight: Showers and thunderstorms before 1am, then a slight chance of showers. Patchy fog between 1am and 4am. Low around 56. South wind 5 to 10 mph becoming northwest after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 73. North wind 5 to 10 mph.

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

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 75. Northeast wind around 5 mph becoming southeast in the afternoon.

Saturday Night: Clear, with a low around 49. Calm wind.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 78. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 54. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 78. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the morning.

Monday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 60.

Tuesday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 80.

Tuesday Night: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 61.

Wednesday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 76.

Atmore Winn Dixie Closing; Ramey’s To Acquire Assets And Move Into Building

March 29, 2018

The Winn Dixie store in Atmore will close in the coming weeks, and Ramey’s Marketplace will move into the building.

“Ramey’s has entered into an agreement to purchase the fixtures and non-perishable inventory of the Winn Dixie located on Church Street in Atmore.  While a specific date has not been set, it is expected the sale will be finalized on or about the end of April,” Ramey’s CEO Herbert E. Ramey, Jr. told

Once the sale iss complete, Ramey’s will close their  Lindberg Avenue location and move into the Winn Dixie building on Church Street.

“We expect the new store to have approximately 50 full and part time employees and will provide Ramey’s a great opportunity to offer the residents of Atmore and surrounding areas an enjoyable and rewarding grocery shopping experience,” Ramey said.

Ramey’s opened their Atmore store in October 2013, having purchased Bella Foods. The privately held Ramey’s company operates 22 stores — six in Alabama, one in Louisiana and the remainder in Mississippi.

Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of Winn Dixie, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just two week ago. The company simultaneously announced the closure of 94 “under performing” stores, but the Atmore Winn Dixie was not on the list, and the Cantonment and Pensacola stores were also spared. The Atmore Winn Dixie, known decades ago as a “Kwik Chek” has been open for about 60 years. photo.

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