Cantonment Man Sentenced To Prison For Swindling Auto Repair Customers

December 31, 2019

A Cantonment man that owned an Escambia County automotive business has been sentenced to state prison for swindling customers.

Harley Brian Palmer, owner of Harley’s Automotive & Performance, entered a plea to racketeering, organized fraud (more than $20,000 but less than $50,000), four counts of dealing in stolen property, and six counts of grand theft (more than $300 but less than $5,000).

He was sentenced Monday to nine years in prison and ordered to pay over $20,000 in restitution. He faced a maximum sentence of 135 years.

Between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2018, Palmer committed multiple counts of theft and dealing in stolen property in a systematic and ongoing course of conduct against multiple victims. Victims took their vehicles to Harley’s Automotive with the expectation that their vehicles would be repaired. Money was exchanged but the repairs were never completed, according to State Attorney Bill Eddins.

Palmer continued to use Harley’s Automotive to take in additional vehicles without completing repairs. Ultimately, he sold several of the vehicles without the permission or consent of the vehicle owners. Several of these vehicles ended up at a recycling company and were destroyed.

Palmer’s record includes convictions for worthless checks, petit theft, burglary, possession of burglary tools and more.

Group Pushing City School System In Atmore Claims Civil Rights, Public Records Law Violations

December 31, 2019

The group pushing for the formation of a city school system in Atmore is claiming civil rights and public records law violations by the Escambia County (AL) Board of Education.

Atmore Citizens for Change (ACC) has spearheaded the drive to split Atmore’s schools away from the Escambia County (AL) Board of Education as they push for an end to a racial divide and failing schools.

Atmore Citizens for Change President Loumeek White said Monday that the group has submitted a formal complaint to the Alabama Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights “on behalf of their children, the students who attend public schools in the City of Atmore, Alabama regarding violations of their civil rights and their education in the Escambia County Public School District”.

The group is also requesting that the Alabama Department of Education “force” the Escambia County Board of Education to release “all public documents that were requested” under the Alabama Open Records Act in March 2019 after the Atmore City Council voted in favor of a feasibility student into the city school system.

In an email to State Superintendent Eric Mackey, White said that the Escambia County superintendent and “most” board members “have refused to meet with the public”, and allows only Brewton and Flomaton students access to the Escambia County Career Technical Center, a notion county officials have denied.

“Students in Atmore have been denied access to educational programs and newly built facilities,” White said.

In his email to the state, White claimed Escambia County Superintendent John Knott “has continuously tried to stop parents and stakeholders from having a voice about the detriment of the city’s school system and the lack of student achievement. In February 2019, it was reported that Knott held secret meetings with two Atmore city council members and Atmore’s mayor. The four made a deal not to vote on the city school formation.”

“We are requesting that the State of Alabama, Department of Education and the Federal Department of Justice conduct an investigation on the Escambia County Public School System, its Board, and its current central office administrative staff,” White said.

He also said the ACC will file action in circuit court to seek the public records requested if they are not otherwise received in 10 days.

In an email provided by ACC, State Superintendent Mackey told White  “it would inappropriate for me to respond to that matter” in reference to a civil rights complaint. Mackey said he will invite Knott and other parties to follow up with him “at their convenience to work any differences necessary to acquire andy publicly available information”.

During a March 2019 meeting with the Atmore City Council, White said many of the “smart kids” no longer attend school in Atmore. Instead, they travel to Northview High School in Escambia County, FL, to Escambia Academy, or schools in Flomaton (also part of the Escambia, AL, system), he said, adding it has created an obvious racial divide.

“The white kids are going to Flomaton and Northview,” he told the Atmore council and a crowd of about 75 that attended the March meeting. “You’ve got to see the separation.” According to the Alabama Department of Education at that time, 322 of the 368 students at Escambia County High School in Atmore are black or African American.

The council voted unanimously in March to begin the process to find a consultant to study the feasibility of operating a city system, with a particular look at if it would be affordable. That study has not been completed.

Pictured above and inset: Atmore Citizens for Change President Loumeek White (left) and Atmore Mayor Jim Staff discuss a city school system during an Atmore City Council meeting in March 2019. Pictured bottom: City officials, council members and audience members held hands and prayed after the March meeting. photos, click to enlarge.

Sunny And Cool Today; 30s For New Years Eve Night

December 31, 2019

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 58. Northwest wind around 5 mph.

Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 35. Northwest wind around 5 mph.

New Year’s Day: Increasing clouds, with a high near 60. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Wednesday Night: A 50 percent chance of showers after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 49. Southeast wind around 5 mph.

Thursday: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. High near 72. Southeast wind 10 to 15 mph becoming south in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Thursday Night: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Low around 58. South wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

Friday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 68. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 43. West wind 5 to 10 mph.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 57.

Saturday Night: Clear, with a low around 35.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 58.

Sunday Night: Clear, with a low around 39.

Monday: Sunny, with a high near 64.

It’s The Last Day To Save 3 Percent On Your Property Tax Bill

December 31, 2019

Today is the final day to save 3 percent on your property tax bill.

Escambia County Tax Collector Scott Lunsford said the 3 percent percent discount on payment of real estate and tangible personal property taxes ends Tuesday, December 31.

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.

All Escambia County Tax Collector offices will be closed on Wednesday, January 1 for the New Year’s holiday.

Bratt Elementary Names Students Of The Month

December 31, 2019

Bratt Elementary School has named Students of the Month for November. They are:



  • Treveil Henderson
  • Lane Stuart


  • Emory Taylor
  • Amahal Atallah
  • Genesis Williams
  • Jasiah Barnes

First Grade

  • Ajalon Spates
  • Conner Fretwell
  • KayLeigh Morris
  • Noah Vause

Second Grade

  • Addi Lowery
  • Sarah Classen
  • Ella Grace Diller
  • Jonah Carter

Third Grade

  • Eric Anthony
  • Jerrilynn Barlow
  • Abigail Brown
  • Parker Marsh
  • Jeremy Lisenby

Fourth Grade

  • Kaylee Wilson
  • Logan Diller
  • Parker Tutton
  • Mya Pettway

Fifth Grade

  • Michael Griffis
  • Hunter Griffis
  • Amara Campbell

Photo for, click to enlarge.

Three More Red Bulbs Mark 12 Total Residential Fires This Month In Escambia County

December 31, 2019

Three more red bulbs have been placed on Escambia County’s “Keep the Wreath Green” fire safety wreath, now representing a dozen residential structure fires during the month of December.

The tenth fire occurred in the 8700 block of Rebel Acres Lane on Friday, Dec. 27. Escambia County Emergency Communications received a call at 4:32 p.m. about a mobile home fire. ECFR units arrived on scene to find flames and smoke showing. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire by 4:52 p.m. Their rapid response time prevented unrepairable damage from occurring to the structure. The mobile home was vacant. The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations is investigating the cause and origin of the fire.

The eleventh fire occurred in the 5200 block of Plateau Road on Sunday, Dec. 29. Escambia County Emergency Communications received a call at 4:33 p.m. regarding a second mobile home fire. Upon arrival, ECFR units saw fire showing from the front of the structure. They had the fire under control by 5 p.m., but unfortunately, the structure appeared to be a total loss.

The twelfth fire occurred in the 8600 block of Grimsley Street on Monday, Dec. 30. Firefighters were dispatched at 6:46 a.m. Upon arrival, they saw smoke and flames showing from a single-story residential structure. Smoke alarms quickly alerted residents when the fire started, which helped them escape uninjured. Although firefighters arrived quickly, performed an aggressive fire attack and rescued a cat, the home still sustained damage. ECFR and the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations found that a clothes dryer malfunctioned and apparently caused the fire.

Pictured: A mobile home fire on Rebel Acres Lane in Beulah. photo.

Century Native Shot And Killed In Alabama Monday

December 31, 2019

A Century native was shot and killed in rural Alabama about 20 miles south of Auburn Monday.

Randolph Cannon, 63, was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds on the side of Shady Grove Lane, a lonely, rural dirt road in Hurtsboro, Alabama. His body was discovered by a family member after he left to walk his dog and did not return. His home is the only one on the road.

Russell County (AL) Sheriff Heath Taylor said Cannon likely knew the person that shot him.

Family members tell that Cannon is a native of Century and lived in Bogia for several years. He attended Century HIgh School.

The investigation into his death is continuing.

Tate Soccer Players Attend Disney College Showcase

December 31, 2019

Five Tate High School Aggie soccer players competed in the Disney College Showcase in Orlando. The event gives college coaches a chance to see prospective student athletes. Tate players attending (pictured above) were: #9 Nathan Bailey, #6 Chase Mills, #4 Logan Tyree, #00 Caleb Thompson and #23 Owen Jacobs. Photo for, click to enlarge.

Cantonment Man Charged With Threatening His Father With A Box Cutter

December 30, 2019

A Cantonment man is facing a felony charge after allegedly threatening to cut his father with a box cutter.

Chazz Logan Morris, 22, was charged with felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Morris had been kicked out of his grandmother’s house and was spending one night with his parents on Stacey Road, an arrest report states.

When the father confronted him about leaving, Morris allegedly threatened to break all of their vehicle windows. The father told him he would call the police, and Morris pulled a box cutter on him and stated, “if you call the police, they better come quick because I will cut you”, according to the report.

Morris was booked into the Escambia County Jail with bond set at $5,000.

Update: Missing Escambia County Senior Found Safe

December 30, 2019

UPDATE: Missing Escambia County Senior Found Safe

This missing senior was found safe early Monday morning.

A silver alert has been issued for an elderly missing Escambia County man.

Geronimo Somer Divina was last seen in the 6400 block of Birkhead Drive in Myrtle Grove just before 6:30 p.m. Sunday. He was driving a 2003 silver Cadillac with Florida tag #ID20AK.

He is described as a 90-year old asian male.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office at (850) 436-9630 or 911.

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