Barry: New Industry With Up To 200 Jobs Likely Headed To Central Commerce Park In Cantonment

June 29, 2021

A new industry bringing up to 200 new jobs in their first year of operation may be coming to the Central Commerce Park in Cantonment.

Escambia County Commissioner Steven Barry told Monday afternoon that he believes he will present a letter of intent from the company to the full commission for a vote on July 8.

Barry same the company is looking at about 75 acres in the Central Commerce Park for a facility that will bring 150 to 200 jobs their first year in operation. He expects the private capital investment  by the company will be about $20 million.

He said the project will involve no out of pocket money from the county.

“It’s really good news. It’s the first company we’ve been able to bring forward for this commerce park since I’ve been in office,” said Barry, who is now in his third term.

He declined to name the company or the type of industry due to economic development privacy exemptions, but he did say it will be a company that is new to Escambia County.

Pictured: Escambia County District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry discusses a potential new industry during a town hall meeting Monday evening at the Molino Community Center. photo, click to enlarge.

Convicted Sex Offender Captured Early Tuesday Morning Near State Line

June 29, 2021

A convicted sex offender was captures early Tuesday morning near the Alabama/Florida state line after several hours on the run.

Authorities from Alabama and Florida were involved in a search Monday night into Tuesday morning west of Flomaton for 36-year old Jedd Jackson Grimes who was wanted on outstanding warrants for a probation violation and a felony sex offender violation.

Grimes was capture just before 1:30 a.m. in the 3000 block of Old Atmore Road, just north of the state line. He was located on the roof of an abandoned shed in a wooded area, according to Escambia County (AL) Sheriff Heath Jackson. Grimes surrendered to Jackson shortly after he arrived on scene.

A search Monday night for Grimes was concentrated in the area of Old Atmore Road between Tom Shivers Road and Red Maple Drive, along both sides of the Alabama/Florida state line. The Escambia County (AL) Sheriff’s Office, Flomaton Police Department, Escambia County (FL) Sheriff’s Office, Alabama Department of Corrections, Alabama State Troopers, and Alabama Drug Task Force were involved, including K-9 teams.

According to the Alabama Sex Offender Registry, Grimes was convicted in 2016 of sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years old. He was released from prison on March 28, 2019, and his last reported address was 1036 North Canoe Road, Atmore.

Pictured: Wanted sex offender Jedd Jackson Grimes (center) was captured shortly before 1:30 a.m. Tuesday in a wooded area off Old Atmore. Pictured left is Escambia County (Alabama) Sheriff Heath Jackson, and picture right is an unnamed member of an Alabama Department of Corrections dog team. Photo for, click to enlarge.

Escambia EMS Increasing Pay, Manpower; Considering Medical Director Partnership With University Of Florida

June 29, 2021

Escambia County EMS is considering a new direction in medication direction training partnership with the University of Florida.

“When we go with the University of Florida…this will give us another level,” Escambia County Interim Emergency Manager Eric Gilmore said, stressing that the county’s paramedics and EMTs are already trained and certified. “Another degree of training, of certification that will allow us to actually build upon what we have now and make the system even better.”

There will be three medical directors for Escambia EMS, two of which live in the area.

Gilmore expects to present the University of Florida contract to the Escambia County Commission for a vote on July 8.

“Contracting with UF affords us the opportunity to bring in all types of training now. We can actually get a baseline training for our EMS personnel, identify the gaps, fill those gaps and build upon advanced stuff,” he said. “So the opportunities that we are bringing to the county are trying to make this system a much better system.”

In 2003, Escambia County EMS was named Florida’s Provider of the Year.

“There’s no reason we can’t get that again,” Gilmore said during a District 5 town hall meeting at the Molino Community Center. He said new EMS Manager David Torsell, who has been on the job since June 1, has set a goal to once again be the best in Florida.

“Since he’s been here three and a half weeks, he’s brought accountability back to the system that has been long needed,” Gilmore said. “We’ve got crews back on the road like they are supposed to be, answering calls.”

Gilmore said the starting pay has increased to $19.19 per hour for paramedics, which he believes will lead to an influx of paramedics coming into Escambia County. He said that’s competitive with other EMS systems to the east and west of Escambia County. Some of those pay more, he said, but don’t offer benefits.

“We are getting manpower coming back to the county. We are hoping to staff more ambulances down the road,” he said. The county is aiming for about 20 ambulances on the road in the daytime hours and 15 at night.

“That will get us where we need to be. Right now we are trying to do 15 in the daytime, and we’re getting 12-15. And we are trying to get 10 right now at night, and we’re getting around seven to eight, sometimes six, and we have to call in extra manpower for mandatory (hours). We are trying to fix those gaps.”

The low manpower, and the low number of ambulances on the road, sometimes mean parts of North Escambia are without an EMS unit in the area.

“I live up here too; my family lives up here. I’ve been here all my life, and I am dedicated to make this happen so that nobody has any issues with the EMS system or the fire system,” said Gilmore, who is a resident of Bratt. “I’ve been doing the county stuff for 25 years as district fire chief for McDavid, and this is near and dear to my heart. I want to make sure we get it right for you guys, for your family, for my family.”

Pictured: Escambia County Interim Emergency Manager Eric Gilmore speaks during a District 5 town hall meeting Monday evening at the Molino Community Center. photos, click to enlarge.

Bratt Family To Appear Tonight On National TV Show ‘Survivalists’

June 29, 2021

A Bratt family will appear Tuesday night on a national TV reality show call “Survivalists” on the BYUtv network.

Parents Jacob and Sheena Carach along with their children — 18-year old Naudia, 17-year old Zach and 13-year old Tyler — spent a week at the end of November and December filming the episode in Moab, Utah, in hopes of winning $10,000. Survivalists is a BYUtv original series that features families participating in a three-day survival course in an effort to reconnect, unplug, and strengthen their family bonds while competing to win the cash.

Back in early November, Sheena heard about an opportunity for families to apply to compete on the show through a social media post and asked her family if they would be interested in her applying. Being a family that enjoys the outdoors and is always up for a challenge and new adventure, they all thought it sounded like an amazing and fun opportunity. Never thinking they would actually be selected, she applied and much to her surprise, they were contacted and asked to go through the interview process, ultimately being selected.

As Florida natives, the Carach family is used to high temperatures and flat ground. They are no strangers to camping, hiking and extreme outdoor activities, however, they say that what they faced in Moab was no walk in the park.

“The challenges for me were very hard physically, but the disconnection from the rest of the world was amazing,” said Zach Carach.

The views were breathtaking, the -10 degree temperatures while sleeping in a tent were harsh and the experience was definitely one of a lifetime”, says Sheena Carach.

The family says they were pushed to overcome fears and were at times pushed almost to their breaking points, but at the end of the day they put their frustrations to the side and worked together as a team to conquer each day.

“It was truly the most rewarding experience we have ever had. We are a close family but were able to strengthen our bond even further,” says Naudia Carach. “This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see and do something amazing as a family, it was really fun and I am very glad we had the chance to be a part of it, even though I am scared of heights and one of the challenges involved heights,” said Tyler Carach.

Tyler is also known at the “Donut Boy”, irst gained notoriety after being featured on in 2016 as a superhero that’s on a mission to thank law enforcement officers personally with doughnuts. That quest led him to share donuts in person with officers from all 50 states.

Survivalists is hosted by Colin O’Brady, a professional endurance athlete who is currently climbing Mt. Everest. He is a motivational speaker and an author, and works with kids to encourage positive thinking to help them overcome obstacles and the negative self-talk so many in that generation are struggling with. It is produced by Mark Koops (“The Biggest Loser” and “Masterchef”). This is the second season of “Survivalists” and includes 10 episodes released each Tuesday.

The Carach family appears on Survivalists episode 9, airing June 29th at 8 p.m. (CDT) on BYUtv and for free on (It can also be watched on DirecTV channel 374, AT&T U-Verse 567, HD 1567, and Dish Network 374). Viewers can download the BYUtv app for free on any smartphone or capable smart TV.

Photos for, click to enlarge.

Teen Shot During Cantonment Car Theft Facing Charges; Homeowner Won’t Be Charged

June 29, 2021

A 15-year old shot by a homeowner while allegedly stealing a car from a Cantonment neighborhood early Sunday is now facing several charges, while the homeowner will not face any charges.

A’kobie Gregory Fountain was charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle and burglary of a vehicle in connection with the incident in the 2500 block of Southern Oaks Drive.

The owner of the vehicle told Escambia County Sheriff’s Office deputies he was alerted by his video surveillance system about the theft. The victim armed himself with a firearm and ran toward his vehicle with Fountain inside. The victim pointed his gun and demanded Fountain exit the ca.

Fountain got out of the vehicle and tackled the victim to the ground, according to investigators. The victim then fired his weapon several times at Fountain, but was unsure at the time if he struck the suspect. Fountain ran from the scene.

ECSO deputies arrived at the home and began searching for Fountain. Lt. Stephen Hall heard screaming from a wooded area and located Fountain, who was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Deputies also located two stolen guns taken from previous car burglaries.

Fountain was taken to a hospital and treated for gunshot wounds to his legs and abdomen. Once he was released from the hospital he was arrested.

“We encourage people to lock their doors, but just because a car is left unlocked does not give anyone the right to take it. A criminal broke into his car. A criminal stole his car. A criminal physically attacked him. A criminal got shot. We have no intention of charging the homeowner,” said Escambia County Sheriff Chip W. Simmons.

The ECSO is still looking for two other suspects in this incident. Anyone with information about their identities or locations is to call Crime Stoppers at (850) 433-STOP or the ECSO at (850) 436-9620.

Typical Scattered Afternoon Thunderstorms For Tuesday (And Maybe A Great Rainbow)

June 29, 2021

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

his Afternoon: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Otherwise partly sunny, with a high near 88. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Tonight: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1am. Partly cloudy, with a low around 71. Southeast wind around 5 mph becoming northeast after midnight.

Wednesday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Partly sunny, with a high near 86. East 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. Partly cloudy, with a low around 69. East wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Thursday: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 87. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Thursday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1am. Partly cloudy, with a low around 71. 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 60%.

Friday Night: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 71. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Saturday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 83. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Saturday Night: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 69. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Independence Day: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Partly sunny, with a high near 84. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

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

Monday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 85.

Pictured: A rainbow over Gibson Road in Molino Monday afternoon. Photo by Linda Huber for, click to enlarge.

10,000 Pound Food Giveaway In Cantonment Today, Another Food Giveaway In Century Too

June 29, 2021

A 10,000 pound food giveaway will be held Tuesday afternoon in Cantonment, and a food giveaway will also be held in Century.

In Cantonment, the Cantonment Improvement Committee will hold a 10,000 pound food distribution beginning at 3:30 p.m. at Carver Park, 208 Webb Street. Line up on Webb Street facing north; food will be loaded into vehicles. Identification is required.

In Century, a food giveaway will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Century Business Center (old Carver Middle School) at 400 Pond Street. The event is open to the anyone.

Pictured: The Jennie V. Dortch Foundation, Vincent Dortch Ministries and Century Mayor Ben Boutwell held a food and merchandise giveaway earlier than expected Monday afternoon. Another giveaway of food items will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Photos for, click to enlarge.

Deputy County Attorney Leaving For Job As Pensacola City Attorney

June 29, 2021

Escambia County Deputy County Attorney Charles Peppler is leaving the county to become the city attorney for Pensacola.

Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson announced Monday that Peppler is taking the position being vacated by Susan Woolf as she becomes the University of West Florida’s general counsel in August. Peppler’s first day with the city will be sometime in September.

“I’m very excited. I think he’ll do an incredible job as city attorney, and I think he would fit right in,” Robinson said.

“I appreciate the confidence you placed in me to be the city attorney,” Peppler said during a Monday press conference with Robinson. “We’re really looking forward to working with you mayor, and the city council and with the people of the city of Pensacola to provide them the best legal services and legal advice possible>”

Mallory Kenneth “Bud” Waters

June 29, 2021

Mallory Kenneth “Bud” Waters, beloved husband, father and paw-paw passed away peacefully on June 27, 2021 at the age of 83.

Bud was born on July 8, 1937, in Pensacola, Florida to Velma Marie Waters and Francis Eugene Waters. Bud grew up in the community of Brownsville as a “Brownsville Boy,” and graduated from Pensacola High School in 1957. That same year, he began working at Southern Bell Telephone company and met the love of his life, Eleanor “Faye” Davis, who he married on June 23, 1959. Bud worked at Southern Bell Telephone Company for the next 39 years until his retirement in August of 1996. During his 39-year tenure at Southern Bell (and then Bell South) he would connect the people of Pensacola via phone and work all over the city, taking in everything Pensacola had to offer.
Bud personified the “old” city of Pensacola and was a true southerner. He loved to play baseball in his younger years, mullet-fish, and tend to his gardens, which he did all his life. He also loved watching Alabama football with his grandchildren. Although what he loved most, besides his family, was raising and showing chickens, specifically Black Rosecomb Bantams. He was renowned for his Black Rosecombs, travelling all over the country and winning countless poultry shows. He also acted as a judge on multiple occasions. He was a lifetime member of both the American Bantam Association and the American Poultry Association and was a longtime exhibitor/judge in the poultry show at the Pensacola Interstate Fair.

Bud is preceded in death by his parents, Velma and Francis Waters along with nine siblings. He is survived by one sister, Joyce Waters Pierce; his devoted wife of 62 years, Faye Waters; daughter, Dina Place (Stephen); daughter, Wendy “Kym” Fuqua (Talmadge); son, Kenneth Waters (Annette); six grandchildren, Ryan Brown (Krissey), Dylan Brown, Derek Waters (Lauren), Audie Waters (Kayla), Mallory Davis (Chris), Casey Fuqua (Jenna) and eight great-grandchildren.

Bud never met a stranger or judged a soul. No matter how long it had been, right when he saw you, you were in for a “well, hello there!” like no time had gone by. He never forgot a face or the specific nickname that he had given you, as there were many. There are some people that the world cannot handle because they are larger than life. And as the great John Wayne, someone Bud admired, once said about himself, “I am the stuff men are made of.” So was Bud. He will be missed forever and longer.

Visitation will be held at 10:00 AM until the funeral service begins at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, June 30, 2021, at Pensacola Memorial Gardens on Pine Forest Road in Pensacola, Florida.

Active Pallbearers will be Derek Waters, Audie Waters, Casey Fuqua, Christopher “Chrissy” Davis, Wendell South and Kirk Waters.

Finally, the family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at Ascension Sacred Heart for the wonderful, around-the-clock care provided to Bud.

Farm Hill Utilities, Town Of Century Both Cancel Boil Water Notices

June 28, 2021

Monday, both the Town of Century and Farm Hill Utilities canceled unrelated boil water notices after satisfactory bacteriological sampling.

Farm Hill Utilities issued a boil water notice following a water main break last Thursday. The boil water notice has been rescinded for the west end of River Annex Road, the intersection of Beulah Road and Muscogee Road and all of Beulah Road including the side roads.

Town of Century Utilities issued a boil water notice after a truck broke a fire hydrant at the Food Giant Friday night.  The notice has been rescinded for Backwoods Road, Shady Lane, Stateline Road, Bass Road, Benauer Road and Green Street.

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