Man Charged With Assaulting Corrections Officer In Century Prison Parking Lot

June 29, 2018

A Century man has been charged with the assaulting a corrections officer in the parking lot of Century Correctional Institution with a tree branch.

William Edward Macks, 59, is facing one felony count of a aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

According to an Escambia County Sheriff’s Office arrest report, Macks approached the female corrections officer as she arrived at Century CI. She stated that Mack aggressively walked toward her vehicle causing her to stop because she feared she was about to hit him with her vehicle.

Macks then began to swing a large branch towards the corrections officer, causing her to believe that he was going to hit her through her vehicle window, according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. After ordering Macks to go away, he walked away to the other side of the street while cursing her.

The incident was witnessed by several other corrections officers, according to the report.

Macks’ listed address is directly across the street from a Century CI facility on Tedder Road.

He remained in the Escambia County Jail Friday morning with bond set at $5,000.

Appeals Court Overturns Century Man’s Indecent Exposure Conviction

June 29, 2018

The First District Court of Appeal has reversed the conviction of a Century man accused of exposing himself in front of local nursing home residents.

The appeals court reversed the conviction of Daryl Lamar Brown because a court-ordered competency evaluation was not completed. A new defense attorney took over Brown’s case before trial, but was unaware of the court order and was under the impression that Brown was competent to stand trial due to two previous evaluations. His interactions with Brown also led him to believe he was competent to stand trial.

Brown filed a post-conviction motion claiming his trial counsel was ineffective, and the trial court denied the motion. But the appeals court found it was in error to deny relief based upon the lawyer’s personal interactions and previous evaluations when a new competency evaluation had been ordered.

Brown was found guilty by an Escambia County jury of two counts of lewd and lascivious exposure in the presence of an elderly or disabled person and two additional misdemeanor counts of indecent exposure. In 2014, he was sentenced to five years in prison by Circuit Court Judge Ross Goodman.

The charges were filed after the defendant was observed by several residents of the Century Care Center committing lewd and indecent acts in the early morning hours outside the center.

The case has remanded to the lower court for further proceedings.

At Least One Injured In Three Vehicle Wreck In Beulah

June 29, 2018

One person was transported to an area hospital by Escambia County EMS following a three vehicle wreck in Beulah Thursday night. Their injuries were not considered life-threatening. The accident at Beulah Road and Frank Reeder Road remains under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol. photos by Kristi Barbour, click to enlarge.

Escambia Middle, High School Report Cards Are In The Mail

June 29, 2018

Middle and high school report cards in Escambia County are now ready and are being mailed today.

School districts did not receive final end of course exam scores from the state until this week. Final grade calculations for many courses could not be completed until the end of course exam scores were received from the state.

Escambia Sheriff’s Office Announces Awards, Promotions

June 29, 2018

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has presented quarterly awards and recognized recent promotions.

Jamie Nicole Dittmer to Administrative Assistant
Mark Harper to Evidence Technician
Stephanie Schmidt to Crime Scene Tech Trainee
Deputy 1st Class M. Scruggs to Sergeant

Life Saving Awards:
Deputy 1st Class B. Minor (two awards), Sgt. R. Pollock, Deputy 1st Class S. Shelley, Deputy G. McMullen, Deputy B. Godfrey, Deputy D. Voght, Deputy S. Housam, Deputy J. Ates, Sgt. A. Kilgen, Sgt. G. NeSmith, and Senior Deputy J. Mann.

Civilian Service Medal: Myron Bose

Law Enforcement Employee Of the Quarter: Nancy Digman

Law Enforcement Officer of the Quarter: Senior Deputy J.Holcombe

International Paper Community Grant Application Deadline Is July 1

June 29, 2018

International Paper Pensacola Mill will award $85,000 in grants in 2018. The deadline for all 2018 grant applications is Sunday, July 1.

International Paper Pensacola Mill  awards grants through the IP Foundation, which makes sustainable investments to address critical needs in the communities where International Paper employees live and work. Grants support projects or programs focused on signature causes.

Signature causes are:

  • Education – Priority given to literacy programs from birth through third grade.
  • Hunger – Community programs that provide access to food for those in need or provide solutions to alleviate hunger.
  • Health and Wellness – Programs that promote basic health and human needs.
  • Disaster Relief – Programs that reduce suffering or saves lives as a result of a natural disaster.

For more information about the IP Foundation and/or to apply online, interested applicants should visit

Pictured: IP 2017 grant recipients.  File photo.

Showers And Thunderstorms Likely

June 29, 2018

Here is your official North Escambia area Friday forecast:

Friday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 93. Heat index values as high as 105. Calm wind becoming north around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Friday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 75. Calm wind.

Saturday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Partly sunny, with a high near 92. Heat index values as high as 105. Calm wind becoming northwest around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Saturday Night: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 75. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Sunday: Showers and thunderstorms. High near 90. Calm wind. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Sunday Night: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 74. Calm wind.

Monday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 88. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Monday Night: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 75. East wind around 5 mph.

Tuesday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 88.

Tuesday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 74.

Independence Day: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 91.

Wednesday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 75.

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

Pictured: A shelf cloud in Cantonment Thursday evening. photo by Kristi Barbour, click to enlarge.

Pensacola Blue Wahoos Double Up On The M-Braves 10-5

June 29, 2018

The Blue Wahoos had to fend off an hour rain delay and several Mississippi comeback attempts but ultimately won Thursday’s series opener by a 10-5 final.

The Wahoos struck early with a pair of runs in the first two innings of the game. Shed Long unloaded an opposite field two-run shot off Bryse Wilson to make it 2-0. After Mississippi tied it up with two runs of their own, the Wahoos took the lead again after Taylor Sparks tripled home Aristides Aquino and then Chris Okey singled home Sparks.

Daniel Wright cruised through the first four innings of the game allowing one hit and two runs (zero earned runs). In the bottom of the fourth, the rains came down and the tarp was put on the field. After a 1:18 delay, play was resumed with both starting pitchers lifted from the game.

Robinson Leyer (W, 4-2) took the mound for the Wahoos. The Southern League All-Star struggled over his two innings by allowing three runs including a two-run go-ahead home run to Luis Marte in the sixth. However, Pensacola responded with three runs in the bottom of the sixth to regain the lead. After back-to-back singles to open the inning, Sparks delivered an RBI single to tie the game at 5-5. Okay followed with another RBI single before Brian O’Grady’s pinch-hit single made it 7-5.

In the end, there was simply no slowing down Pensacola’s offense. For the third time this week, the Wahoos scored at least 10 runs and tonight the club finished with 14 hits. Every Wahoo in the starting lineup-with the exception of the starting pitcher-recorded at least one base hit. With the lead safely intact, Jesus Reyes and Rafael De Paula closed out the final three innings in scoreless fashion to preserve the 10-5 final score.

The series continues tomorrow night when RHP Wyatt Strahan (5-7, 6.75) toes the rubber for the hosts against RHP Bruce Zimmerman, who will be making his Double-A debut.

New Florida Budget Year Brings Boost In Spending

June 29, 2018

Florida’s new $88.7 billion budget will take effect Sunday, but that doesn’t tell the whole story about spending on education, health care, transportation and other state programs in the new fiscal year.

Projected spending in 2018-2019 is greater than the budget bottom line because lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott approved 16 bills during the 2018 legislative session that included additional funding totaling nearly $610 million.

The $89.3 billion in spending is $4.36 billion higher than the 2017-2018 budget year that ends Saturday, representing more than a 5 percent increase. It is more than $20 billion higher than the $69 billion 2011-2012 spending plan, which was the first under Scott, who leaves office in January because of term limits.

The state’s largest expenditures in 2018-2019 will be on human services, which include Medicaid and other health-care programs, accounting for 43.3 percent of the spending. Education will be the second largest component at 28.5 percent.

Among the bills was legislation (SB 4) making permanent an expansion of the Bright Futures scholarship program, including covering 75 percent of the tuition and fees in the new academic year for students who are “medallion scholars.” The $123.5 million in spending will also let those students use their scholarships for summer classes in 2019.

An additional $53.6 million will be spent on dealing with Florida’s ongoing opioid crisis through another bill (HB 21).

The largest spending outside the main budget is $400 million for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act (SB 7026), which passed after the Feb. 14 mass shooting that killed 17 people at the Broward County school.

The legislation includes $69 million for mental-health programs in school districts, a $97 million increase to hire more school resource officers, a $98 million grant program for improving school security and $67 million for an initiative that would allow school personnel to be trained as armed “guardians” on school campuses.

The increased safety spending is reflected in a $485 million increase in the funding formula for the 67 school districts in 2018-2019. But since much of the $101.50 increase in per-student funding is earmarked for the safety programs, the school districts will only see a statewide average increase of 47 cents in the “base student allocation,” the primary source for general operations.

State employees will not receive a general pay raise in the new budget, which was approved by lawmakers in March. But there will be targeted increases.

The seven state Supreme Court justices will see their annual pay rise to $220,600, a 24 percent increase.

State law enforcement officers could get a raise up to 10 percent if they have 10 or more years of experience. Department of Juvenile Justice probation and detention officers will get a 10 percent increase.

State firefighters will get a $2,500 annual pay raise, while there will be adjustment up to $4,000 a year for assistant state attorneys and public defenders if they have worked more than three years in their offices.

In health care, the new budget has nearly a $900 million increase to account for additional costs in Medicaid, the state-federal health program for poor and disabled people. There is $128.5 million increase in Medicaid payments to nursing homes.

Nursing home patients will benefit from a $16.9 million increase in their “personal needs allowance,” which will increase by $25 a month to $130. It will allow them to pay for personal services and items like hair styling and clothes.

In the environmental arena, in addition to $101 million for the Florida Forever land-acquisition program, there is $64 million for an Everglades-area reservoir project, $50 million for natural springs restoration, $50 million for repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee and $50 million for beach-management grants to local governments.

The new budget has a $9.9 billion “work program” for the Department of Transportation, including $3.9 billion for the construction of highways and bridges and $1.3 billion for resurfacing and maintenance.

More than $454 million is slated to be spent on education construction and maintenance projects in the new academic year. That includes $50 million for maintenance at public schools and $145 million for charter schools.

The budget includes $3.25 billion in reserve funding, including $1 billion in unspent general revenue, $1.48 billion in a budget-stabilization fund and $770 million in the Chiles endowment, which is funded by a settlement with tobacco companies.

by Lloyd Dunkelberger,  The News Service of Florida

Patrick Arthur Robinson

June 29, 2018

Patrick Arthur Robinson, age 68, passed away June 23, 2018.

Patrick is preceded in death by his father, Lucian Roosevelt Robinson; mother, Flossie Mae Clark Robinson; brothers, Edward Robinson, James “Jimmy” Robinson, and Larry Robinson; sisters, Barbara Robinson Dansby and Becky Robinson Medows.

Patrick is survived by his life partner, Jackie Annette Lambert; sons, Patrick Ray Robinson and Adam Casey Robinson; daughters, Meagan Robinson Southern, and Emily Robinson Stronko; 11 grandchildren; sisters, Sarah Robinson Mathis, Marsha Robinson Wesson, Charlotte Robinson Donaldson, and Nan Robinson Harvey; brothers, Dick Robinson and Michael Robinson.

Pallbearers will be Kelly Smith, Joseph Mathis, Israel Robinson, Chance Robinson, David Holmquist and Damon Dansby.

Visitation will be Saturday, June 30, 2018, from 1-2 p.m.  at Faith Chapel Funeral Home, 100 Beverly Parkway, Pensacola. Funeral services will follow at 2 p.m. Brother Wesley Smith will be officiating. Interment will be at Union Hill Cemetery.

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