Bluff Springs Accidental Drowning Victim Identified

March 31, 2020

A 21-year man that drowned in North Escambia Monday evening has been identified.

Tyler Foley and his girlfriend were reportedly on small boat on a gravel lake in a remote area of the Escambia River Wildlife Management Area off Bluff Springs Road near the Escambia River, according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Tuesday afternoon that they were on a 10-foot johnboat when both individuals entered the water. Foley was unable to swim and did not resurface.

Foley’s body was recovered Monday night by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office recovered Foley’s body from the lake. The investigation is continuing.

Escambia Fire Rescue and Escambia County EMS also responded.

Pictured: A gravel lake on Bluff Springs Road. file photo.

COVID-19 Cases Climb In Escambia, Santa Rosa

March 31, 2020

THIS STORY IS OUTDATED. See the front page of for the latest information.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Escambia County has increased to 88, up seven since last night, and the number of cases in Santa Rosa County at 39, up three since last night.

There are now 58 cases from Pensacola, 15 from Cantonment, five from Bellview and one from Perdido Key. Seven are non-residents. The cases range in age from 2 to 94, and two are in the hospital.

Of the Santa Rosa County cases, seven  are in the hospital and two have died. Thirteen are from Navarre, 10 from Milton, nine Santa Rosa and two from Pace.

There are 5,704 total cases in Florida, 5,489 are residents. There are 715 hospitalized and 71 deaths.

Gulf Power Plans To Lower Bills About 40% In May For One-Time Pandemic Relief

March 31, 2020

Gulf Power has announced its plan to significantly lower bills for customers amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Subject to Florida Public Service Commission approval, beginning May 1, Gulf Power plans to issue a one-time decrease of approximately 40% for the typical residential customer bill as a result of lower fuel costs.

“At Gulf Power, we understand how critical it is – particularly at a time like now – for you to have the reliable service that you count on, each and every day. We also understand that, at this moment, savings on your bill can be especially valuable,” said Gulf Power President Marlene Santos. “While traditionally these types of savings are spread out, we know that many people in our communities are struggling right now and every penny counts. We want to do what we can to keep as much money as possible in our customers’ pockets, and we believe this is the best way to provide customers with much-needed money as we all navigate through this difficult and unsettling time together.”

In Florida, fuel savings are typically refunded to customers over the remainder of the year to provide level, predictable bills. However, given the emergent and significant financial challenges facing many customers due to COVID-19, Gulf Power will instead seek to give customers the total annual savings in their May bill. Business customers will also see a significant one-time decrease in May, depending on usage and rate class.

The Florida Public Service Commission must approve the plan.

COVID By The Numbers: How Many Tested Positive And Negative At Sacred Heart; Escambia County Cases

March 31, 2020

Here is a look at COVID-19 by the numbers in Escambia County.

There are the latest numbers from testing conducted by Ascension Sacred Heart as of late Monday afternoon:

  • 2,276: Total number of tests.
  • 1,879: Number of test results returned.
  • 99: The number of  positive results.
  • 5.3: The percentage of tests that were positive.
  • 1,780: The number of negative tests.
  • 62: The number of positives from Escambia County.
  • 22: The number of positives from Santa Rosa County.
  • 5: The number of positives from Okaloosa County.
  • 1: The number of positives from Walton County.
  • 2: The number of positives from other Florida locations.
  • 1:  The number of positives from Louisiana.
  • 6: The number of positives from Alabama.

Key numbers for Escambia County:

  • 81: The number of positive cases in Escambia County.
  • 76: Number of residents with COVID-19.
  • 5: The number of non-residents.
  • 2-94: Age range of positive cases in Escambia.
  • 43: The number of men.
  • 34: The number of women.
  • 2: Number of people in the hospital
  • 787: The number of tests reported by the state
  • 705: The number of negatives reported by the state
  • 653: Number of negatives that were residents.
  • 1: Number awaiting testing, per the state.

Florida Department of Health data key takeaways statewide as of Monday night:

  • 5,704: Total number of positive cases.
  • 5,489: Total number of cases in Florida residents
  • 714: Number of cases hospitalized
  • 71: The number dead.

Becoming Mostly Sunny Today, Lows In The 40s Tonight

March 31, 2020

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

This Afternoon: A slick chance of a shower. Becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 83. Breezy, with a west wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.

Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 48. North wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 72. North wind 5 to 10 mph.

Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 48. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 77. East wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the morning.

Thursday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 56. Calm wind.

Friday: Partly sunny, with a high near 80. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph.

Friday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 58. Calm wind.

Saturday: A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 80. Calm wind becoming southeast around 5 mph in the morning.

Saturday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 62.

Sunday: A 40 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 78.

Sunday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 65.

Monday: A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 80.

Need A Little Time To Pay Your Property Taxes? There’s A Payment Plan Available In Escambia County.

March 31, 2020

Escambia County Tax Collector Scott Lunsford is reminding taxpayers there is help for those who may need to make partial payment on their 2019 real estate and tangible property taxes.

If a property owner decides to make partial payments, the following information applies:

  • Property owner must submit an application (found on the back of the tax bill and on our website) with initial partial payment.
  • A $10 processing fee is deducted from each partial payment per statute.
  • Partial payments are accepted for current year taxes only.
  • No discount allowed for partial payments.
  • Partial payments will not be accepted after April 15, and any remaining balance as of April 16 is delinquent and subject to all applicable penalties and fees.

COVID-19 UPDATE: While tax collector lobbies and their call center are closed, a payment center is available at all times at Customers are encouraged to pay online by eCheck where there is never an extra fee or by mail. At this time, drive-thru lanes are available for pick up of completed transactions only.

Deputy Cleared In December Officer-Involved Shooting Off Chemstrand Road

March 31, 2020

The State Attorney’s Office has cleared an Escambia County deputy that shot a suspect that opened fire on deputies last December on Limerick Lane off Chemstrand Road.

The suspect, Daniel Jeremy Hux, is charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement office and remains in the Escambia County Jail without bond as he awaits trial.

At about 1:30 p.m. on December 11, 2019, suspect Hux called 911 and requested to be taken to the hospital, stated that he was contemplating suicide, and that he was standing outside under a pine tree.

Deputy Douglas Shoemaker was dispatched to the address on Limerick Lane for a welfare check. He did not see anyone outside, knocked on the front door and went to a side carport door. At 2:16 p.m. he canceled Escambia County EMS.

Shoemaker was joined  by Sgt. Melissa Lee. They again checked the doors of the residence, and Shoemaker returned to the carport and knocked on the side door again. He saw a figure moving to the door through frosted glass. When the door opened, he saw the muzzle of a firearm pointed toward him, and the person holding it opened fire. Shoemaker said he was hit by the first round in the chest and immediately ran and secured cover. The deputy then returned fire at Hux until he saw him “go down”.

Shoemaker suffered gunshot wounds to his chest, right side and right middle knuckle, and he was grazed on the forehead.

The sergeant heard the gunshots and saw an arm with a handgun sticking out of the door. Hux began to shoot in her direction, forcing her to seek cover at her vehicle. Lee indicated she did not fire because she could not see a clear target.

Deputy Shoemaker was shot four times and Hux was struck twice. Both were transported to the hospital and both survived.

Hux’s wife told investigators that Hux had become increasingly paranoid and delusional over several months. She said he called her the morning of the shooting and told her, “he loved her, and everything would be OK”. photos.

Santa Rosa County Delivering Meals Along School Bus Routes

March 31, 2020

The Santa Rosa School District is feeding kids during COVID-19 school closure and will continue as long as schools are not open. They are using pick up locations, and school buses are delivering meals in select locations.

The meals for any child 18 and under. The program is administered through the federal USDA Summer Food Service Program, which is for schools with student populations that are 50% or more eligible for free and reduced meals.

The program fed 3,816 children last Friday. Each child will receive two meals daily, breakfast and lunch, except on Friday when they will be given enough for both meals through the weekend.


Schools 9:30 am to 11:00 am

• Milton HS…Bus ramp on Raymond Hobbs Lane
• Pea Ridge Elem …Parent pick up lane
• East Milton Elem …Bus ramp in front of school
• Jay Elem …in front of high school
• Berryhill Elem…parent pick up lane
• Holley Navarre Primary…Parent pick up
• TR. Jackson Parent pick up area
• Central School- parent pick up
• Bagdad Elementary- bus ramp area
• Benny Russell Elementary- Parent pick up

Single Stop Bus delivery 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

• Santa Villa Park
• Bell Ridge Apts.
• Floridatown Park
• Blackwater Baptist Church
• Santa Gertrudas – south of I-10
• Permenter – American Farms – north of I-10

Bus delivery 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
• Christian Life Church – Avalon Blvd

Select bus routes from the following schools 11:00 am – 12:30 pm.

• Milton High School
• Pea Ridge Elementary School
• East Milton Elementary School
• Jay Elementary School
• Berryhill Elementary School
• Benny Russell Elementary School
• Bagdad Elementary School
• Central School
• Holley Navarre Primary School

Santa Rosa County hopes to expand the program with additional fixed locations and bus routes.

Photos for, click to enlarge.

Greg Marcille Withdraws From State Attorney Race For Health Reasons

March 31, 2020

Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille is withdrawing for the race for First Judicial Circuit state attorney for health reasons.

“As the result of health concerns that developed after I pre-qualified to run for State Attorney for the First Judicial Circuit, it is necessary that I withdraw from that race. I appreciate the help and support that I have received during this campaign,” he said Monday.

Marchille, who was endorsed by State Attorney Bill Eddins, said that all financial contributions he has received will be returned. Eddins is not seeking reelection.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people who have assisted me in this endeavor,” said Marcille, a 34-year veteran of the office.

Assistant State Attorney Ginger Bowden Madden is currently the only other announced candidate in the race. She currently supervises assistant prosecutors serving in Okalossa County and juvenile courts.

Florida Students To Remain Out Of School Through At Least May 1

March 30, 2020

All public school students in Florida will now remain out of school through at least Friday, May 1, the Florida Department of Education announced Monday.

“The main objective is to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 to our community, while also delivering the district’s Instructional Continuity Plan to students and parents during this time of social distancing,” Escambia County Superintendent Malcolm Thomas said.

The Escambia County School district has targeted Wednesday, April 1 as the official first day of virtual instruction for all students. Teachers and school staff began calling students and parents on Monday, and will continue their calls on Tuesday, with complete details on how they will handle online instruction. If parents do not received a call by Wednesday, they should contact their child’s school to make sure they have a correct phone number for the student.

For more information, see this story published on Sunday.

Hours of operation for the district from March 30, 2020, through May 1, 2020, will be 8 a.m. to 3  p.m., Monday through Friday. Employees will continue to follow their work schedule as already defined by their immediate supervisor.

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