Design Firm To Present New OLF-8 Hybrid Concept At Tuesday Town Hall

February 28, 2021

The design firm that is working to create an master plan for the OLF-8 site in Beulah will hold a virtual town hall on Tuesday to present their latest mixed use concept.

On February 18, DPZ CoDesign presented the new plan to the Escambia County Commission with a combination of commerce, residential and amenities (click or tap image to enlarge). The “Adjusted Hybrid Plan” allocates 271 acres to commerce and industrial; 61 acres to residential including duplexes, townhomes and multifamily; 47 acres to a mixed-use center such as residential over retail and office over retail; and 45 acres to trails and public amenities such as a post office, school, day care and community garden.

DPZ will present the plan and allow residents a chance to ask questions or provide feedback due the virtual town call on Tuesday, March 2 at 6 p.m. Interested participants are invited to register online.

The Escambia County Commission and DPZ have been at odds over project design and behind the scenes emails. DPZ previously presented four concepts that included high density residential use, along with commerce, amenities and green space. Commissioner Jeff Bergosh, who represents the Beulah area, has pushed for much more commerce on the property.

“We are optimistic this new compromise plan will have the political support to move forward into the next phase of the project,” said Marina Khoury, of DPZ CoDesign. “We value continued public engagement and community input.”

Bergosh said he is still skeptical about DPZ after more emails have come to light between DPZ and others including Navy Federal and the “Beulah Coalition,” some of which were disparaging toward the commission. Commissioners have received dumps of external emails from DPZ, but he company wants to charge the county, their client, $189 per hour to fulfill a commission request for internal emails.

The county commission will discuss OLF-8 again at their next meeting on March 11.

Walnut Hill Ruritan Holds 46th Annual Auction (With Photo Gallery)

February 28, 2021

The Walnut Hill Ruritan Club held their 46th annual auction Saturday in Walnut Hill with crowds bidding on farm equipment and hundreds of other items.

All proceeds from the auction benefit the Walnut Hill Ruritan Club’s community service projects in the Walnut Hill area. The auction is held each year on the last Saturday of February.

The auction included not only farm equipment, but also household items like tools and small equipment, lawn and garden items, antiques and more.

For a photo gallery, click here.

Pictured: Hundreds attended the annual Walnut Hill Ruritan Club farm equipment auction Saturday in Walnut Hill. photos, click to enlarge.

Pedestrian Struck And Killed In Front Of 5 Flags Speedway

February 28, 2021

A pedestrian was struck and killed on Pine Forest Road Saturday night in front of 5 Flags Speedway.

The Florida Highway Patrol said a 31-year old man from Kunkletown, Pennsylvania was walking northbound near the white line by the shoulder of Pine Forest Road. He was struck by a pickup truck driven by a 70-year old Fountain, Florida, man that was traveling south in the outside lane of the roadway. The pedestrian was pronounced deceased at the scene of the 6:10 p.m. crash. The pickup truck driver was not injured.

The Florida Highway Patrol is continuing their investigation.

File photo.

Here’s Where To Expect Road Work Delays This Week

February 28, 2021

Drivers will encounter traffic disruptions on the following state roads in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties as crews perform construction and maintenance activities.

Escambia County:

  • U.S. 98 (Pensacola Bay Bridge) Replacement – The intersection of North 17th Avenue and Bayfront Parkway will remain closed until spring 2021 as construction continues for the new 17th Avenue interchange. The Visitor’s Center remains accessible from 17th Avenue. In addition, the ramp from 17th Avenue to East Gregory Street remains open. Eastbound drivers on Bayfront Parkway should use North 14th Avenue and Cervantes Street (U.S. 90) as a
  • detour route.
  • U.S. 29 Widening from Interstate 10 (I-10) to Nine Mile Road (U.S. 90) – Motorists can expect intermittent lane closures and shifts, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. on U.S. 29, between I-10 and Nine and Half Mile Road, and on Nine Mile Road at the U.S. 29 overpass.
  • North Ninth Avenue (S.R. 289) Carpenters Creek Bridge Replacement- Both northbound travel lanes of North Ninth Avenue (S.R. 289) will be closed approaching the Carpenters Creek Bridge Monday, March 1 through Friday, March 5 as crews work on the drainage system in the vicinity of the bridge.
  • W. Cervantes Street Underground Utility Operations- Drivers may encounter lane closures from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday, March 1 through Friday, March 5.
  • East Nine Mile Road (U.S. 90) Safety Project from North Palafox Street to Chemstrand Road – Motorists will encounter intermittent right turn lane closures beginning Monday, March 1.
  • I-10 Bridge Repair and Rehabilitation over Perdido River Bridge – Motorists will encounter intermittent nighttime lane closures beginning at 8 p.m. Monday, March 1 through Friday, March 5 as crews set barrier wall and perform operations associated with the bridge repair project.
  • I-10 Escambia County Welcome Center Water Main Repair – Wednesday, March 3 water services at the Escambia County Welcome Center will be temporarily shut down for approximately four to six hours as crews make repairs. Portable toilets and message boards will be on site.

Santa Rosa County:

  • U.S. 98 Widening from Bayshore Road to Portside Drive- Early construction activities including utility relocations, clearing, excavation, and drainage improvements have begun. Clearing and excavating of areas for the stormwater ponds are currently underway. There will be no traffic impacts associated with the construction of the ponds, but nearby residents and businesses may experience some noise. Access to residences and businesses will be maintained. Major roadway construction activities are anticipated to begin summer 2021.
  • Pensacola Bay Bridge Replacement – A partial reopening of the bridge is planned for late March.
  • U.S. 98 Utility Operations from Palmetto Lake Road to Whispering Pines Boulevard – Motorists will encounter an eastbound lane closure from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, March 1 through Thursday, March 4 as Gulf Power performs utility operations.
  • U.S. 98 Tree Trimming from Gulf Breeze to the beginning of National Seashore and to the beginning of Bob Sikes Bridge – Motorists will encounter intermittent east and westbound lane closures from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, March 1 through Friday, March 26 as crews trim trees over the roadways and in medians. Operations will begin on the east end working westward toward Gulf Breeze.
  • U.S. 90 Turn Lane Construction West of Bell Lane in Pace– Motorists will encounter intermittent lane closures from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Friday, March 5 as crews construct an east and westbound turn lane for the New Discount Tire Store.
  • S.R. 89 North, S.R. 87 North and S.R. 89 Bypass Roadway Maintenance Operations- Drivers may encounter intermittent lane restrictions until Sunday, April 25 as crews perform roadway maintenance activities along the corridors. Off duty law enforcement will be on-site to assist with traffic control.

All activities are weather dependent and may be delayed or rescheduled in the event of inclement weather.

COVID-19 Vaccines Offered At Winn Dixie Cantonment, Nine Mile Road

February 28, 2021

Two Escambia County Winn Dixie stores will now offer the COVID-19 vaccine.

The stores are at 1550 South Highway 29 in Cantonment and 312 East Nine Mile Road in Pensacola.

Qualified individuals are encouraged to visit to schedule appointment and for timely updates including vaccine availability details and participating store locations.

File photo.

Town Of Jay To Begin Paving Project This Week

February 28, 2021

The Town of Jay will begin a paving project this week.

Beginning Monday, March 1, Panhandle Grading and Paving will resurface the following streets:

North Commerce Street
Arthur Avenue
Pine Street
South Cherry Street
Magnolia Street
Oak Street
Rosetta Lane
North Cherry Street
Booker Lane
Edeker Circle

There may be some traffic delays along these streets as the company completes the paving project. All activities are weather dependent and may be delayed or rescheduled in the event of inclement weather.

The town has applied for a grant to pave the remainder of streets in the town. Town officials are hopeful that will happen by late summer.

Escambia County COVID-19 Case Count Increases By 73, One New Death

February 28, 2021


One new COVID-19 death and 73 new cases were reported Saturday in Escambia County by the Florida Department of Health.

Here is the latest data:

Escambia County cases:

Total cases: 33,629 (+73)
Non-Florida residents: 3,480
Recovered: 30,836*
Total deaths: 629 (+1)
Long-term care facility deaths: 266
Current hospitalizations: 87 (-10)
Number of tests reported last day: 1,212
Percent positive reported last day:  5.0%
Percent positive reported last week: 6.2%

Escambia County cases by location*:

Pensacola: 25,056 (+53)
Cantonment: 3,036 (+8)
Century: 1,142
—-including 774 Century prison inmates
Molino: 475
McDavid: 199 (+1)
Bellview: 56
Walnut Hill: 51
Perdido Key: 21
Gonzalez: 12

Santa Rosa County cases:

Total cases: 17,058 (+38)
Non-Florida residents: 213
Total deaths: 262 (+5)
Long-term care facility deaths: 78 (+1)
Cumulative Hospitalizations: 788*
Number of tests reported last day: 538
Percent positive reported last day: 6.8%

Santa Rosa County cases by location*:

Milton: 8,157 (+12)
Navarre: 3,492 (+10)
Gulf Breeze: 3,185 (+11)
Pace: 1,355 (+5)
Jay: 525
Bagdad: 31

Florida cases:

Total cases: 1,903,682
Florida residents: 1,868,769
Deaths: 30,734
Hospitalizations: 79,242*

*“Hospitalizations” in the statewide and Santa Rosa County totals is a count of all laboratory confirmed cases in which an inpatient hospitalization occurred at any time during the course of illness. Most of these people are longer be hospitalized. The FDOH does not provide a count of patients currently hospitalized. The Escambia County number is current data compiled each day from the local hospitals.

**On cases by location, the city is based upon zip code and is not always received as part of the initial notification. There may be a delay in reporting locations, and locations will not total the daily case increase as a result.

***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 is reporting an approximate recovery number defined as the total cases prior to last month, minus deaths. In other words, anyone that tested positive more than a month ago is presumed to have recovered by Escambia County.

**Data Sources: Florida Department of Health, Escambia County, City of Pensacola, local hospitals.

Dense Fog Advisory Overnight; Good Chance Of Rain For Monday And Tuesday

February 28, 2021

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

Tonight: A 20 percent chance of showers. Patchy dense fog after 9pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 66. South wind 5 to 10 mph.

Monday: A chance of showers, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after noon. Areas of dense fog before 9am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 78. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming north in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Monday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 53. Northeast wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Tuesday: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. High near 60. East wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%.

Tuesday Night: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm before midnight, then a chance of showers between midnight and 3am. Low around 47. East wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 59. North wind around 10 mph.

Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 42. North wind 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 66. North wind 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 42.

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 64.

Friday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 44.

Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 63.

ECSO Seeks Suspect In String Of Beulah Car Burglaries

February 27, 2021

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a suspect in several car burglaries Friday morning in Beulah.

The unlocked vehicles were burglarized in the 9400 block of Lutoo Lane, just south of Nine Mile Road at the Beulah Fire Station. A black 2017 Hyundai Sonata with Florida tag NGWU37 was also stolen.

The ECSO has identified the suspect as Chance Gardner. Gardner also has outstanding warrants for grand theft and vehicle burglaries.

Anyone with information on Gardner’s whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (850) 433-STOP or the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office at (850) 436-9620.

65-Year Man Killed After Trying To Cross Davis Highway

February 27, 2021

A 65-year old Escambia County Man was killed Friday night when he attempted to walk across North Davis Highway.

It happened about 7 p.m. as a 40-year old Pensacola man was traveling southbound near Ladd Drive when his SUV struck the pedestrian. The pedestrian was transported to Sacred Heart hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

The Florida Highway Patrol no longer releases the names of traffic crash victims.

Next Page »