ECSO: Felon Caught With Loaded Shotgun At Century Apartment Complex

December 30, 2018

A Flomaton man was arrested on a felony weapons charge after a deputy spotted him at a Century apartment complex with a loaded shotgun.

Danny Lamar McCrory, 31, was booked into the Escambia County Jail on charges of operating a motor vehicle without a license and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

As Escambia County deputy was working an off duty security job at Century Woods Apartment on West Highway 4 when he observed McCrory drive into the complex. The deputy reported he immediately recognized McCrory from a traffic stop a few weeks ago. He remembered that McCrory said recently got out of prison and never had a valid driver’s license.

When the deputy approached McCrory’s vehicle, he observed a loaded camouflage shotgun sitting directly beside him between the driver’s seat and center console, according to an arrest report. Additional shotgun shells were located in the vehicle.

McCrory was convicted of felony drug possession in Alabama in 2015.

Road Construction Remains On Hold Through January 2

December 30, 2018

Lane closures associated with normal construction activities along Interstate 10 and major state roads remain suspended until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, January 2 due to holiday travel.  Photos for, click to enlarge.

Three Percent Tax Discount Ends December 31

December 30, 2018

A three percent discount on payment of real estate and tangible personal property taxes ends Monday, December 31, according to Escambia County Tax Collector Scott Lunsford.

To receive the three percent discount, payments must be:

  • made online by midnight, CST, December 31, at;
  • mailed with a December postmark;
  • left by midnight, December 31, in a 24-hour drop box available at all locations.

Taxpayers are encouraged to visit to pay online 24 hours a day. Online services allow customers to pay their taxes, search records, print receipts, renew vehicle and vessel registrations and many other services.

To check the status of your taxes, pay online or print a receipt, visit the payment center at Taxpayers are encouraged to contact the tax collector’s office by or by phone with any questions.

Tax collector offices are closed January 1 for the New Year’s holiday.

Century Awards Community Emergency Team Contract To BRACE

December 30, 2018

The Town of Century has contracted with the Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE) to help them be reading the event of a public emergency.

BRACE will implement a Citizens Corps and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program at a cost of $5,000.

The Citizen Corps mission is to harness the power of every individual through education, training, and volunteer service to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds.

The Community Emergency Response Team program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.
BRACE has previously coordinated such efforts in Century. They were the only company or individual to submit a bid proposal.

Showers Stick Around

December 30, 2018

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

Tonight: A 30 percent chance of showers, mainly before midnight. Areas of dense fog. Otherwise, cloudy, with a low around 64. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph.

Monday: A chance of showers, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after noon. Patchy fog before noon. Otherwise, cloudy, with a high near 73. South wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Monday Night: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before midnight, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after midnight. Patchy dense fog after midnight. Otherwise, cloudy, with a low around 66. South wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

New Year’s Day: A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after noon. Patchy dense fog before 9am. Otherwise, cloudy, with a high near 73. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming north in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Tuesday Night: A 40 percent chance of showers, mainly after midnight. Patchy dense fog after midnight. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 55. North wind around 5 mph.

Wednesday: A 40 percent chance of showers. Patchy dense fog before 9am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 65. Northeast wind around 5 mph becoming southeast in the afternoon.

Wednesday Night: Showers likely. Cloudy, with a low around 52. East wind around 5 mph becoming west after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Thursday: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Cloudy, with a high near 63. West wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Thursday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 43.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 57.

Friday Night: Clear, with a low around 37.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 62.

Saturday Night: Clear, with a low around 40.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 69.

Ballot Proposal Would Revamp Florida Utility Industry

December 30, 2018

A political committee has spent nearly $400,000 in recent months and submitted 33,863 valid petition signatures as it tries to get a measure on the 2020 ballot that would revamp Florida’s electric utility industry.

The proposal, backed by a committee called Citizens for Energy Choices, calls for wholesale and retail electricity markets to “be fully competitive so that electricity customers are afforded meaningful choices among a wide variety of competing electricity providers.”

It would establish a right for customers to choose electricity providers and would limit the role of investor-owned electric utilities — private companies such as Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric Co. and Gulf Power Co. — to constructing, operating and repairing transmission and distribution systems..

Citizens for Energy Choices registered with the state Division of Elections in late September and had spent $396,515 as of Nov 30, according to state records. It had raised $434,000, all of which came from the organization Coalition for Energy Choice, Inc.

Committees will need to submit hundreds of thousands of valid petition signatures to get proposed constitutional amendments on the 2020 ballot. During the 2018 elections, they needed to submit 766,200 valid signatures.

by The News Service of Florida

2018 Florida Roundup: Politics, Change And Tragedy

December 30, 2018

TALLAHASSEE — As expected in a major election year, it was out with the old and in with the new in Florida politics.

Except the new pretty much resembles the old, with Republicans this year holding the governor’s office, a state Cabinet majority and picking up a U.S. Senate seat after the November elections. Democrats came close to reversing their political fortunes. But again, they came up short — with the exception of one Cabinet seat.

The election’s aftermath will also bring a revamped Florida Supreme Court, with the newly elected Republican governor appointing three justices and creating a solid conservative majority on the state’s highest court.


With Gov. Rick Scott facing term limits after eight years, the race to replace him drew a crowded field.

The narrative was similar in both the Republican and Democratic primaries. Establishment favorites led early, only to have their paths to the nominations disrupted by lesser-known outsiders who appealed more strongly to the parties’ most-ardent voters.

For the Republicans, former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis of Ponte Vedra Beach blew by Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who was better funded and better known.

DeSantis’ momentum became inevitable with the backing of President Donald Trump, who endorsed DeSantis and personally campaigned for him.

In the Democratic primary, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, the daughter of former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, was the early leader. But she faced well-financed challenges from former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, billionaire investor Jeff Greene and Winter Park businessman Chris King.

Yet, in the end, it was then-Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum who won despite lacking the financial backing of his opponents and facing questions about an ongoing FBI investigation into his city. His charismatic, unapologetically progressive message resonated with Democratic primary voters.

The general election campaign became, as predicted, a “base election” between DeSantis and Gillum. DeSantis appealed to his conservative supporters, including holding rallies with Trump. Gillum played to his progressive base, seeking to energize younger voters, women and urban voters, while raising the prospect of electing Florida’s first African-American governor.

DeSantis prevailed in the narrowest general election for governor in the state’s history, beating Gillum by fewer than 33,000 votes out of the more than 8.2 million votes cast.

The results were confirmed in a recount, and DeSantis will take office on Jan. 8.


Another incredibly tight election ended the political career of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat who has served more than 40 years in Washington, on the state Cabinet and as a state legislator.

Scott prevailed by 10,033 voters — a 0.12 percent margin — over Nelson, who was seeking re-election to a fourth term in the U.S. Senate.

Like his two costly, narrow wins for governor in 2010 and 2014, Scott was helped, in part, by his wealth, contributing more than $64 million of his own money to the race.

His victory means that Florida will be represented by two Republican senators in the U.S. Senate for the first time since the Reconstruction era. Scott will join U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who won re-election to a second term in 2016.


Although they get less attention than the governor, Florida’s three Cabinet members play an important role in the state executive branch. And this year, all three seats were up for election.

Republican Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, who was originally appointed to his office by Scott, beat former state Sen. Jeremy Ring to stay on the Cabinet.

Former Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Ashley Moody, a Republican, beat Democratic state Rep. Sean Shaw to succeed term-limited Attorney General Pam Bondi.

And in the closest statewide race in 2018, Fort Lauderdale attorney Nikki Fried beat Republican state Rep. Matt Caldwell by 6,753 votes to succeed Putnam as agriculture commissioner.

Fried’s victory carried even more significance because of Nelson’s loss in the Senate race. It will leave her as the only elected Democrat holding a statewide office when she joins the Cabinet on Jan. 8.


Scott repeatedly asserted his right to appoint new Supreme Court justices to replace three justices who are retiring because they have reached a mandatory retirement age.

But the Supreme Court made it clear that DeSantis, as the new governor, has the sole authority to appoint replacements for justices Barbara Pariente, R. Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince, who all leave the court on Jan. 8.

The Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission has advanced 11 nominees, who all have conservative credentials, to replace the three retiring justices. None of the nominees is an African-American, meaning the court will be without a black justice for the first time in 36 years when Quince retires.

The court will have a conservative majority, as Pariente, Lewis and Quince have been part of a liberal bloc. And the judicial shift may be long lasting, as voters in November approved a constitutional amendment that allows judges and justices to serve until the age of 75, up from the prior mandatory retirement age of 70.


Florida voters embraced 11 state constitutional amendments in November, including the restoration of rights for felons who have served their sentences and a ban on greyhound racing.

The only ballot measure that — somewhat surprisingly — failed would have provided a larger homestead property-tax exemption for residents.

The endorsement of the constitutional changes was a win for the Constitution Revision Commission, a panel that only meets every 20 years and has the power to put proposed amendments directly on the ballot. Seven of the commission’s proposals passed, with the only setback being a ballot measure that was rejected by the courts.


The massacre of 17 students and staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland dominated the first half of the year. The Feb. 14 shooting came in the middle of the legislative session, forcing lawmakers to act quickly on the crisis.

The Republican-dominated Legislature and Republican governor embraced some new gun-control restrictions, including increasing the minimum age to buy firearms to 21; placing a prohibition on “bump stocks,” which enable semiautomatic weapons to be used as automatic weapons; and imposing a three-day waiting period for the purchases of rifles and other long guns. The increase in the minimum age to buy firearms drew a lawsuit from the National Rifle Association.

The legislation also included $400 million in funding to improve school security and to beef up mental health services.

The impact of the high school shooting is still being felt as lawmakers and the new governor await a set of recommendations from a special commission that probed the Broward County tragedy. It will remain a major issue in the 2019 legislative session, which begins in March.


For the third year in a row, Florida felt the impact of the annual hurricane season.

In 2016, Hurricane Hermine, a Category 1 storm, struck near Tallahassee, while the more-powerful Hurricane Matthew ran along Florida’s East Coast bringing flooding and storm damage.

In 2017, Hurricane Irma impacted most of the state from the Keys to the Florida-Georgia border.

In 2018, Hurricane Michael, a powerful Category 4 storm, caused billions of dollars in damage in parts of the Panhandle, after making landfall Oct. 10 east of Panama City.

The region, which has a large number of rural, low-income communities, may take some time to recover. And the hurricane-recovery efforts will be another issue for lawmakers in the coming year.

STORY OF THE YEAR: A former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland is accused of carrying out an armed assault at the school on Feb. 14, leaving 17 students and staff members dead.

QUOTE OF THE YEAR: “Well, things worked out a little differently than Grace and I had hoped. But let me say, I by no measure feel defeated.” — U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, reflecting on his election loss that ended his lengthy political career.

Harold Stewart

December 30, 2018

Harold Stewart, age 67 of Chipley, went home to be with the Lord on December 30, 2018 at Washington Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.

Harold was born on September 19, 1951 in Pensacola, Florida to Elbert Stewart Sr. and Zena Hadley Stewart. He worked for International Paper Mill as a Warehouse Heavy Equipment Operator and was a church member of Farm Hill Baptist Church in Cantonment, Florida.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his loving wife, Ginny Stewart of Chipley, Florida; three sons: Joe Stewart of Chipley, Florida, Elbert Stewart of Panama City, Florida, Canniff Stewart and wife Jamie of Chipley, Florida; one daughter: April Stewart of Grand Ridge, Florida; brother: Elbert Stewart of Bay Minette, Alabama; sister: Gay Buck of  Perdido, Alabama; grandchildren: Hayden Stewart and Hadley Stewart.

Funeral service will be held 2P.M. Friday, January 4, 2018 at Obert Funeral Home in Chipley, Florida with Rev. Tom Birka officiating. Interment will follow in Piney Grove Free Will Baptist Church Cemetery. Obert Funeral Home of Chipley, Florida directing.

The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at Obert Funeral Home.

Century Man Arrested For Flomaton Vehicle Theft; Vehicle Recovered In Century

December 29, 2018

A Century man has been arrested in connection with a gas station vehicle theft Thursday night in Flomaton.

Friday night, the Escambia County (FL) Sheriff’s Office arrested 25-year old Michael Alexander Dubose in Century. He is being held without bond in the Escambia County Jail in Pensacola awaiting extradition back to Alabama on a felony charge of theft of property first degree.

The vehicle was recovered behind a church at 8300 Alger Road in Century and returned to the owner.

“He was arrested in Florida and confessed to location and actions of his crime,” Flomaton Police Capt. Chance Thompson told late Friday night.

Dubose is accused of the theft of a 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe Thursday night from the Texaco gas station on Sidney Manning Boulevard at Highway 31 in Flomaton. Dubose allegedly was riding a bicycle just before he took the SUV. The bicycle was recovered by Flomaton Police.

A similar incident occurred in Century in late November when a bicyclist stole a vehicle from a residential neighborhood. [Read more ...] There’s been no word from authorities if the two incidents are related.

Pictured top: Flomaton vehicle theft suspect Michael Dubose was taken into custody Friday night in Century. Pictured below: The stolen vehicle was recovered behind a Century church. Also pictured: Dubose on video surveillance at a Flomaton gas station, and the recovered bicycle. Photos for, click to enlarge.

Gas Prices Fall Below $2 In Escambia County

December 29, 2018

The plunge at the pump continues this week, and now gas prices are poised to have their lowest start to the New Year since January 1, 2016.

In Escambia County, prices have now fallen below $2 per gallon at several stations, including $1.97 Friday in Cantonment. The current average price in Escambia County remained at $2.16.

Drivers are finding gas prices below $2 a gallon at about 7 percent of gas stations in Florida. Since mid-October, the state average has plummeted a total of 62 cents. Thursday’s average price of $2.18 per gallon is the lowest daily average price since July 2017.

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