Molino Motorcyclist Charged With Fleeing From Deputy At Speeds Over 100 MPH

June 30, 2021

A motorcyclist is charged with allegedly fleeing from a deputy in Cantonment at over 100 mph.

Tyler Austin Driver, age 22 of Molino, was charged with felony fleeing an officer.

An Escambia County Sheriff’s Office deputy watched Driver, wearing a bright red shirt, traveling westbound at a high speed on Plaza Road North in Cantonment on a white Kawasaki motorcycle. The deputy then observed  Driver run a stop sign and head westbound on Santa Rosa Road at speeds in excess of 100 mph, according to an arrest report.

The deputy activated his emergency lights and siren and attempted unsuccessfully to catch up with the motorcycle. Driver allegedly accelerated to over 100 miles per hour after turning onto Jacks Branch Road from Muscogee Road.

The deputy went to the area of the 1400 block of River Annex Road where he found the motorcycle and Driver, who was still wearing the same red shirt.

Driver was released from the Escambia County Jail on a $3,000 bond. He also received a traffic citation for running a stop sign.

Summer Toy Giveaway Set For Walnut Hill; Parents Must Register Now

June 30, 2021

A summer toy giveaway will be held in mid-July in Walnut Hill, but parents must register now.

The Toys for Tots event will be held Saturday, July 17 from 10 a.m. until noon at the Walnut Hill Community Center at 7850 Highway 97. It for children ages 2-17. Children must be present and accompanied by a parent.

Parents must register in advance by calling Chandra Fountain at (850) 501-8217 by July 2.

Good Chance Of Showers And Thunderstorms By Afternoon

June 30, 2021

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

Wednesday: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 88. Northeast wind around 5 mph becoming southeast in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Wednesday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 70. Southeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Thursday: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 86. East wind 5 to 10 mph becoming south in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Thursday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 10pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 72. South wind around 5 mph.

Friday: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 87. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Friday Night: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 72. Southwest wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Saturday: Showers and thunderstorms. High near 82. Southwest wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Saturday Night: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 70. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Independence Day: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Partly sunny, with a high near 82. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Sunday Night: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 70.

Monday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Partly sunny, with a high near 83. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Monday Night: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 70.

Tuesday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 83.

ECUA Sanitation, Water And Sewer Rate Increases Proposed; D5 Rep Says He Won’t Raise Rates ‘Willy-Nilly’

June 30, 2021

The Emerald Coast Utilities Authority is proposing a rate increase for water, sewer and sanitation rates.

The proposed increase for sanitation services is 9.5%, which would be about $2.33 for garbage and included recycling service.The proposed water and sewer rate increase is 2.5%, which would amount to about 76-cents on a residential customer using 6,000 gallons of water each month.

During a District 5 town hall meeting Monday night, ECUA District 5 board member Kevin Stephens faced tough questioning from citizens who stated he said he campaigned on a promise of no rate increases.

But Stephens said he stated during the campaign that he would raise rates only as a last option after first looking for ways to cut expenditures.

“I’m going to look at all the information; I’m going to look at the budget,” he said. “I’m going to find out where we can cut costs. We are going to look at our house first. Where can we cut things where it comes to waste when it comes to inefficiencies, redundancies, overlap, that sort of thing. When it comes to, like I said, spending. That’s our big thing.

“If I’ve done the best I can do when it comes to cutting spending looking at budget restructuring our debt load — keep in mind there’s about a $150 million DEP consent order that we’re putting money back into the kitty to pay for. If I can’t find the money through cutbacks, then absolutely, I would vote for one (a rate increase). But not willy-nilly, and not knowing where the money’s going to go to.”

Stephens said he continually gets complaints about missed pick ups, and that can be attributed a driver and laborer shortage. He said the sanitation rate increase would go toward salary increases for those employees and to bolster recruiting efforts.

“We have agreed that, that increase, if approved, would be targeted to employee pay. Not maybe, not general fund, but targeted. In fact, it was specifically designated for employee raises,” the District 5 representative said.

“I can tell you definitively if we don’t … at $14.50 an hour to start out with, our biggest competitor to retain our employees, our drivers, the ones that come to pick up our garbage right now, is the private sector and the city (of Pensacola). If the city gets wind of us proposing raising our employees’ pay, they instantly send out a proposal to one-up us.” He said the City of Pensacola currently charges 11% higher rates than ECUA.

Pictured: ECUA District 5 representative Kevin Stephens speaks during a District 5 town hall meeting Monday evening at the Molino Community Center. photo, click to enlarge.

District 5 Quintette Neighborhood Cleanup Scheduled for July 7

June 30, 2021

Residents of Quintette will have the opportunity to dispose of yard debris and other items free of charge Wednesday, July 7 during a District 5 neighborhood cleanup.

Only residents in the designated cleanup area are able to participate in the neighborhood cleanup (click map above to enlarge). Items left at the curb outside of the cleanup area will not be collected.

During neighborhood cleanups, Escambia County departments team up to bring services to residents in an effort to keep local neighborhoods clean and safe. Participating is easy: Residents in the cleanup area simply leave eligible items at the curb to be disposed of free of charge by Escambia County and partnering agencies.

All debris must be at the curb directly in front of a residence by 7 a.m. on the day of the cleanup. Tires and paint cans should be separate from all other debris. Do not place piles under low-hanging lines or near poles, fences or mailboxes.

Items eligible for removal include:

Household appliances and electronics

  • Household junk and debris
  • Bicycles and toys
  • Old furniture and mattresses
  • Barbecue grills
  • Household hazardous waste (old paint, motor oil, chemicals, batteries)
  • Tires (limit 10 per household)

Items NOT eligible for removal include:

  • Building materials (concrete, bricks, blocks, roofing, drywall or lumber)
  • Explosives or ammunition
  • Auto parts
  • Dirt or sod
  • Vehicles or vessels
  • 55-gallon drums of fluids

The neighborhood cleanup initiative involves an aggressive clean-up effort, targeting different neighborhoods throughout the county, with crew members and volunteers picking up a variety of debris and waste, including electronics, furniture and household items.

Cantonment Improvement Committee Continues Weekly Food Giveaways

June 30, 2021

When the pandemic forced schools to close last year, it left many families in need of help to feed their children who had relied on school breakfast and lunch.

The Cantonment Improvement Committee (CIC) stepped up and is continuing to hold weekly food giveaways.

The CIC food distributions begin at 3:30 p.m. every Tuesday at Carver Park and continue while supplies last for anyone in need of food. Participants are asked to line up on Webb Street facing north, and the food is loaded into vehicles. The takes place rain or shine.

Pictured: Volunteers from Ascend Performance Materials helped with a Cantonment Improvement Committee food giveaway Tuesday at Carver Park. Photos for, click to enlarge.

Donut Strike For Manna Collects Enough Food For 34,074 Meals

June 30, 2021

The final count is in from the “Donut Strike” for Manna Food Panties. First responders were on strike against doughnuts for three days last week worked toward a goal of 30,000 meals for Manna.

The Donut Strike collected 20,233 pounds of healthy food and $21,582.05. That’s 11,358 people fed for an entire day and 34,074 meals, according to Manna.

For more photos from Friday with Escambia Fire Rescue at the Cantonment Winn Dixie and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office at the Beulah Publix, click here.

Participating agencies were Escambia County Fire Rescue, Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, Gulf Breeze Fire Rescue, Gulf Breeze Police Department, Midway Fire District, Pace Fire Rescue District, Pensacola Fire Department, and Pensacola Police Department.

Pictured: Donut Strike for Manna at Winn Dixie in Cantonment and the Beulah Publix on Friday. photos by Kristi Barbour and ECSO, click to enlarge.

Kimble Nikita Davis

June 30, 2021

Mr. Kimble Nikita Davis, age 58, passed away on Saturday, June 26, 2021 in Atmore, AL.

Mr. Davis was a lifelong resident of Atmore, AL. He loved plants and gardening. He always had a “Green Thumb”. He adored all his nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Mr. Sam Davis and Mrs. Frances (Davis) Hayles.

He is survived by his sister, Gaye King of Atmore, AL;  step – father, Edison Hayles of Atmore, AL; two nephews, Jonathon Taylor, Justin Taylor, one great niece, Shelby- Marie Taylor, three great nephews, Jonathon Taylor Jr; Henry Taylor and Will Taylor, many other relatives and friends.

Graveside services will be held Thursday, July 1, 2021 at 2:00 PM at the Enon Baptist Church Cemetery. With Chaplain Gabe Holloway officiating.

Burial will follow at Enon Baptist Church Cemetery.

Blue Wahoos Get Series Opening Victory Over Biloxi

June 30, 2021

Along with command of his arsenal of pitches, the Blue Wahoos’ Max Meyer has shown another important quality in his rookie professional season.

He’s twice followed a rough outing with a brilliant one.

Meyer matched his season-high length, working six shutout innings and getting enough run support for the the Blue Wahoos to hold off the Biloxi Shuckers in the ninth inning for a 5-3 win Tuesday at Blue Wahoos Stadium.

Credit his brother’s weekend wedding, too. It followed Meyer’s disappointment in allowing four runs a week ago at Birmingham, leading to the Barons’ comeback win that night.

“I took a couple days off from throwing and I feel like I was just getting loose back out there again,” said Meyer, smiling, afterward, as he continued his progression as one of the Miami Marlins’ top prospects.

“As the game went on, I felt I got a little sharper,” Meyer said. “I think my (velocity) went up a little bit and knocked all that rust of off.”

In two starts against Birmingham, Meyer has giving up a combined nine runs and 13 hits. Against everyone else in the league, he’s given up one run. That’s one run in seven games.

“Being able to bounce back after giving up runs that I obviously hate to do…. just kinda dial it in more and be a little more focused,” said Meyer, explaining his approach. “Birmingham has got me twice now and the next start I usually lock it in a little bit better. I guess it is fun to do.”

It was fun to watch among a crowd of 4,409 as the quick-working Meyer breezed through six innings, allowing four hits, just one walk with six strikeouts. He twice gave up leadoff singles in the third and fifth and responded with quality pitches.

The win began a six-game, Fourth of July week homestand for the Blue Wahoos (29-20) in a festive way. The Shuckers (15-33) have now lost eight straight games.

The Blue Wahoos are sending another heralded prospect, Edward Cabrera, on the mound Wednesday for the first of four post-game fireworks nights, followed by Jake Eder on Thursday. It’s a trio that is among the top of minor league baseball with earned run averages and overall performance.

“It’s really fun to watch these guys (Cabrera, Eder),” said Meyer, the No. 3 overall selection by the Marlins a year ago out of the University of Minnesota.

“Us three kinda rolling out back to back to back,” he said. “We kind a feed off each other and we all have pretty good stuff so you are able to see how to throw to the teams we are facing. And really, good guys, too.”

As they’ve done all season, the Blue Wahoos’ offense made the most of each hit. Five hits, five runs.

Demetrius Sims started with a solo home run in the second into the right field berm. In the fifth, after Peyton Burdick and J.J. Bleday walked, Jerar Encarnacion just missed a three-run homer to straightaway center.

But catcher Nick Fortes hit a one-out single to score both runners.

In the ninth inning, Burdick followed a bases-loaded, none out situation by delivering a two-run double to continue his Double-A South lead in RBI.

Blue Wahoos closer Colton Hock gained his 11th save by making one big pitch – striking out Alexander Palms with the bases loaded in the eighth on a perfect curveball.

But Hock then struggled in the ninth, giving up a single, double, another batter reaching on an error, then a two-run double before ending the game on two flyouts.

by Bill Vilona, Blue Wahoos Senior Writer

Wilmer Padgett Jr.

June 30, 2021

Wilmer Padgett Jr. was born November 1, 1952 to the union of Wilmer and Mary Padgett.  As a child JR was an avid baseball player.  JR’s favorite position was back catcher.  He would often be seen in his catching stance inside and outside instead of sitting in a chair.  He continued squatting in this manner until he was no longer able to crouch.

JR was preceded in death by his parents, Wilmer Sr. and Mary Padgett; sister’s, Mary Lee Padgett and Mary Ann Rudolph.

He is survived by his children, Ty (Melissa) Padgett of Cantonment; children, Kuan (Lashonda) White and Sonameukia (David) Banks all of Cantonment, grandkids, Mykamia Padgett, Tiakanimi Padgett, Rena Banks and David Banks Jr.   siblings; Catherine (Keith) Valrie of Loxely, AL, Eddie Padgett and Karl Padgett both of Daphne, AL, Annette (Troy) Campbell of Mobile, AL and Sarah (Calvin) Johnson of Fairhope, AL; As well as a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 PM on Friday, July 9, 2021 at Faith Chapel Funeral Home North.  Robert Gross to give Eulogy.  Burial will follow in Williams Cemetery.

Family will receive friends from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM prior to services.

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