Highland Baptist Produce Distribution Planned For Wednesday Has Been Canceled

June 30, 2020

A produce distribution that was planned for Wednesday at Highland Baptist Church in Molino has been canceled.

The giveaway was canceled due to unforeseen circumstances with the produce vendor. Church officials said they hope to be back with a free produce distribution next week.

If your church or other non-profit organization is holding a free food distribution in the North Escambia area, let us know in advance at news@northescambia.com.

Mosquito Fogging Tonight Between Muscogee Road And I-10 (With Detailed Maps)

June 30, 2020

Escambia County intends to fog for mosquitoes tonight in District 5.

The fogging will take place is an area generally between essentially between I-10 and Muscogee Road that is west of Highway 29 or Pine Forest Road. Click or tap the maps to enlarge.

Spray hours vary but are typically 6-9:30 p.m. To make a request for service or an area to be listed as a no spray area, call (850) 937-2188, submit an online request here or send an email to mosquitocontrol@myescambia.com.

Rural Mail Carrier Flips Vehicle While Delivering Mail On Dirt Road

June 30, 2020

A rural mail carrier flipped her vehicle while delivering mail on a dirt road midday Tuesday in the Walnut Hill area.

She lost control of her Jeep Grand Cherokee while southbound on South Pineville Road just over a mile south of Arthur Brown Road. The vehicle flipped, coming to rest upside down on the roadway. She was not injured.

Arrangements were made for the remainder of the mail in the vehicle to be delivered.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating. The Walnut Hill Station of Escambia Fire Rescue and Escambia County EMS also responded.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click toe enlarge.

Walnut Hill Man Charged For Alleged Sexual Relationship With Juvenile Girl

June 30, 2020

A Walnut Hill man is facing felony charges for an alleged sexual relationship with a juvenile female.

Joshua Edward Vihnanek, age 24 of Rockaway Creek Road, was charged with two felony counts of lewd or lascivious battery on a victim age 12-16 and one felony count of cruelty toward a child for transmission of harmful materials to a minor.

The victim told investigators that she was involved in a sexual relationship with Vihnanek between February 1 and April 25 of this year, with multiple incidents of sexual contact at locations that included his residence and car, according to an arrest report.

She said Vihnanek sent her an inappropriate photo of himself on Snapchat and asked for nude photos of her, but she did not comply, the report continues.

A search of his phone found several photographs and videos depicting the girl and “Vihnanek kissing or laying in what appeared to be a bed”,” according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office

Vihnanek’s statements to investigators were redacted from the arrest report.

He remained in the Escambia County Jail Tuesday afternoon. His bond was increased to $250,000.

Escambia And Santa Rosa Increase A Record 361 COVID-19 Cases, One New Death

June 30, 2020


Escambia County and Santa Rosa County COVID-19 cases set single day record increases on Tuesday, according to the Florida Department of Health. One new death was reported in Escambia County for a total of 45.

Escambia County cases increased by 250 to 1,952. Santa Rosa cases were up by 110 to 593.

Of the test results returned on Monday, 10.5% were positive in Escambia County and 22.4% were positive in Santa Rosa County.

Of the 45 deaths in Escambia County,  34 have been long-term care facility residents or staff. There have been nine deaths in Santa Rosa County, seven of those at the Blackwater River Correctional Facility and none in long-term care facilities.

Statewide, there were 152,434 cases including 149,781 Florida residents. There have been 14,580 hospitalizations* and 3,505 deaths. The Florida Department of Health does not have a clear standard or definition of “recovered” and does not report a number of recovered individuals.

Escambia County cases:

Total cases — 1,952 (+250 since Monday)
Pensacola — 1,420 (+162)
Cantonment — 110 (+15)
Molino— 21 (+4)
Century — 11 (+1)
Bellview — 6
McDavid — 4 (+1)
Walnut Hill — 1
Perdido Key — 1
Hospitalizations: 92*
Deaths — 45
Male — 704
Female — 906
Youngest — 0
Oldest — 105

Santa Rosa County cases:

Total cases — 593 (+110 since Monday)
Milton — 264 (+29)
Navarre — 91 (+9)
Gulf Breeze — 112 (+35)
Pace — 64 (+21)
Jay — 13 (+8)
Residents: 129
Nonresidents — 1
Hospitalizations — 29*
Deaths — 9
Male — 319
Female — 267
Youngest — 2 months
Oldest — 98
Florida cases:

Total cases — 152,434
Florida residents — 149,781
Deaths — 3,505
Hospitalizations — 14,580

*“Hospitalizations” is a count of all laboratory confirmed cases in which an inpatient hospitalization occurred at any time during the course of illness. These people may no longer be hospitalized. This number does not represent the number of COVID-19 positive persons currently hospitalized. The FDOH does not provide a count of patients currently hospitalized.

U.S. Treasury Approves RESTORE Plan For Beulah Master Plan, Century Wastewater Plant, Eleven Mile Creek Restoration And Other Projects

June 30, 2020

The U.S. Treasury Department has approved Escambia County’s plan for 11 RESTORE funding projects totaling $15.8 million.

Escambia County staff will begin submitting the individual project grant applications to the U.S. Treasury Department for final approval and release of funds.

Projects include:

Beulah Master Plan
$300,000 to develop a master plan for the Beulah area

Escambia County will procure the services of an urban/land-use planning firm to develop a master plan for approximately 30,000 acres in the Beulah community of Escambia County. The master plan will be based on the University of West Florida HAAS Center Citizen Survey, an existing conditions analysis, technical analysis, and on stakeholder engagement and community participation.

The Beulah Master Plan will establish a vision for allowing for the continued growth in the area while preserving the quality of life and sense of place enjoyed by the current residents. The final deliverable will be a master plan and/or zoning overlay district and implementation plan, dependent on the technical guidance provided by the procured consultant and concurrence provided by Escambia County Developmental Services staff.

The Beulah community has experienced extensive growth resulting from improved economic conditions and the expansion of Navy Federal Credit Union’s Beulah campus, which is expected to employ over 10,000 people by 2022. Subdivision development orders in Beulah have increased exponentially, with 7,000 residences permitted for development since 2010. Beulah does not currently have a master plan nor zoning overlay district to effectively plan or manage growth. Development of the Beulah Master Plan will balance the highest and best land uses of the subject area with the needs of the County, region, and the Beulah community in creating a plan for sustaining growth while preserving the character of the community.


Town of Century Wastewater Improvements
$500,000 to design and permit repairs to Century’s failing wastewater treatment facility

The wastewater treatment and collection system has fallen into disrepair as the town has struggled financially for the last decade to keep pace with maintenance and replacement activities.

Direct Component funds will be utilized to fund planning, design, and permitting associated with wastewater treatment and collection system improvements, including lift station, treatment plant, and piping repairs and replacements.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) has strict requirements for the proper operation and maintenance of the utility system, and Century is responsible for meeting these requirements. Funding design and permitting of wastewater treatment and collection system improvements will allow the town to work with FDEP to secure funding to implement the improvements from the State’s Revolving Loan Fund as a rural, disadvantaged community.

Eleven Mile Creek Restoration
$1,268,800 to for improvements along the creek

The Eleven Mile Creek Stream Restoration project will provide expansion of the creek’s buffers, restore natural habitat, and improve water quality in Eleven Mile Creek and Perdido Bay. Additionally, it will mitigate coastal flooding, protect valuable public infrastructure, and repair existing nonfunctional stormwater infrastructure.

Restoration and expansion of the floodplain, restoration of wetlands, reduction in invasive species, and reestablishment of riparian buffers will increase wildlife habitats as well as provide flood protection for Bristol Park, Bristol Creek, and Ashbury Hills neighborhoods and surrounding areas. With a 40 acre floodplain expansion, an estimated 160 homes will be protected from flooding.


  • Pensacola International Airport Campus Extension — $1.524 million, replaces OLF8 Master Plan on funding request
  • Perdido Bay Boat Ramp — $2.5 million for the construction of a boat ramp
  • Brownsville Community Center Renovation — $300,000 to renovate the interior and exterior, add incubator retail space
  • CRA Community Center – $500,000 for a community center in a yet to be determined CRA but likely in the Palafox CRA
  • CRA Economic Development Program -- $1.5 million to institute the complete streets program in CRAs
  • Little Sabine Bay Restoration Program – $2 million for a multi-tiered restoration effort
  • SOAR with Restore – $900,000 for an Escambia County workforce development program that will provide training in underserved communities.
  • Perdido Key Multi-Use Path — $4.5 million to fund the construction of about one mile of the east segment of path.

Pictured top: The Century Wastewater Treatment Facility, NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge. Pictured below: The Navy Federal campus in Beulah.

Pensacola Man Charged In Shots Fired Burglary In Walnut Hill

June 30, 2020

A Pensacola man was arrested following a shots fired burglary in Walnut Hill on Sunday.

Edward DeWayne Broxson, 56, was charged with burglary of a residence and criminal mischief. He was later released from the Escambia County Jail on a $3,000 bond.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office responded to a shots fired disturbance in the 8100 block of Highway 97, near Wiggins Lake Road, and received a report that the suspect wearing black shorts was walking south.

Deputies arrived in the area to find Broxson on a Highway 97 bridge, wearing black shorts. He told deputies that he had just been pistol-whipped at a nearby residence. Broxon wa detained and transported back to the residence.

The victim told deputies he saw an unidentified vehicle at his residence, next to a vacant residence that was the former home of his grandmother. The victim said when he arrived, he fired a warning shot, at which time Broxson came out of the house begging him not to shoot. The two got into a physical altercation, and Broxson was able to escape when his shirt was pulled off, an arrest report states.

“That man was in my house and had no business being there,” the victim told deputies, according to the report. Deputies found that a window on the back of the residence had been knocked out.

Broxson’s statements to law enforcement were redacted from his arrest report.

There were no injuries.

Summer Pattern: Humid, Those Afternoon Showers And Storms Scattered About

June 30, 2020

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

Tonight: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 75. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Wednesday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 94. West wind around 5 mph.

Wednesday Night: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 75. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Thursday: Showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 1pm. High near 90. Southwest wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Thursday Night: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 73. West wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Friday: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 88. Calm wind. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Friday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 73. Calm wind.

Independence Day: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 87. Calm wind becoming southwest around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Saturday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 72.

Sunday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Partly sunny, with a high near 86. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Sunday Night: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 72.

Monday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Partly sunny, with a high near 86. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Monday Night: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 73.

Tuesday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Partly sunny, with a high near 87.

DeSantis Vetoes Millions For Escambia, Santa Rosa Projects – Including The Bluffs In Cantonment, Jay Park Plan

June 30, 2020

When Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Florida’s $92.2 billion budget Monday, over $1 billion was vetoed as the state prepares to deal with budget shortfalls due to COVID-19.

Millions that had been included in the budget by the Legislature for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties were slashed, including projects in Cantonment and Jay.


The Bluffs In Cantonment

One of the cuts by DeSantis was a $750,000 transportation project for The Bluffs in Cantonment.

Announced in late 2015, The Bluffs was envisioned as the home of up to 60 new industrial and manufacturing companies and more than 15,000 jobs. The 6,000 acre master-planned development area includes about 1,700 acres of land that can be developed in an area east of Highway 29 bordered by the Escambia River to the east, Becks Lake Road near International Paper to the north, and the University of West Florida to the south.

The $750,000 would have funded an entrance for The Bluffs at the  intersection of New Chemstrand Road, Old Chemstrand Road, Emerald Coast Utilities Authority’s entrance drive, and  the Ascend Performance Materials entrance.

Other Escambia County cuts were:

  • University of West Florida Office of Economic Development and Engagement ($1.3 million)
  • Pensacola State College – Trucking Workforce Development ($500,000)
  • Southern Youth Sports Association – Pensacola Community Center Building ($300,000)
  • UWF Specialized Degrees for Firefighters ($158,000)
  • Brain Bag Early Literacy Program ($50,000)


In Santa Rosa County cuts included a master plan for the park in Jay.

Town of Jay – Bray Hendricks Park Master Plan

DeSantis cut $300,000 for the Bray Hendricks Park Master Plan in the Town of Jay.

The 39-year old park is in critical need of updated sports surfaces and support capabilities to place the park in compliance with ADA requirements. The master plan includes one competition softball field, four regulation baseball fields, three tee-ball fields, four tennis courts, a basketball court, a combination soccer/football field, a children’s splash pad, a playground, an accessory concession building, and ADA compliant bathrooms.

Other Santa Rosa County projects that were cut from the budget were:

  • Pea Ridge Connector ($750,000)
  • Milton North Santa Rosa Regional Water Reclamation Facility ($500,000)
  • Navarre Beach Pierce Saber Fire Pumper ($500,000)
  • Holley-Navarre Fire District ($500,000)
  • Santa Rosa County Santa Monica Street Paving ($100,000)

ECAT Returns To Modified Schedule; One Bus Driver Positive For COVID-19

June 30, 2020

ECAT returns to a modified schedule instead of peak hour service Tuesday.

Currently there is one bus driver that did test positive for COVID-19, but Escambia County said more bus drivers are returning to work after receiving negative results.

Hours and Service Modifications:

The modified weekday schedule matches ECAT’s “Holiday Schedule,” which runs every two hours and with the final route trips departing ECAT and downtown at 6 p.m. The same modified schedule will run on Saturdays with no service on Sundays. The following routes aretemporarily suspended until further notice:

  • Route 41, East Pensacola Heights
  • Route 59A, NAS Pensacola, Airport
  • Route 59X, NAS Pensacola, Downtown, Cordova Mall
  • UWF Regular Trolley Service

Routes 1, 2, 31, 32, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48, 50, 51, 52, 55, 57, 58, 60, and 63 will continue to operate  modified schedule service Monday – Saturday. UWF Express Trolley will also continue service Monday – Saturday. Contact ECAT at (850) 595-3228 with specific questions.

Capacity Limit 10 Passengers:

Buses will continue to be limited to transporting 10 people with staggered seating. Additional vehicles will be dispatched to ensure all passengers are picked up and complying with the 10- person limit.

Paratransit Services

Escambia County Community Transportation (ECCT) will continue to temporarily suspend all paratransit services after 7 p.m. for weekday and Saturday services.  All medical necessary trips will be honored. Sunday service is temporarily suspended. All expired eligibility will be extended for 90 days. In-person eligibility interviews will be rescheduled or completed over the phone. Call  ECCT Customer Service at (850) 595-0501 if you need assistance.

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