ECSO: Man That Died After Being Found Injured Outside Century Bar Was Not Murdered

July 31, 2021

Authorities now say the man that died days after he was found badly injured outside a Century bar was not murdered as originally thought.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office responded to Odom’s Bar on North Century Boulevard about 10 p.m. on June 19 to find 60-year old Greg Hunter down in the parking lot. At the time, investigators believed he had been seriously beaten and left unconscious.

But the Medical Examiner’s Office now says Hunter died of natural causes, Amber Southard, ECSO spokesperson, told Friday afternoon. She said the death remains under investigation and further details have not been released.

The ECSO said after the incident that Hunter was seen involved in a “shoving match” in the parking lot, but he did not appear injured. The witnesses went inside the bar, and when they went back outside, they found Hunter unconscious and bleeding, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

A family member told that Hunter remained in a coma and never regained consciousness before he passed away. photos, click to enlarge.

Excessive Heat Continues

July 31, 2021

An excessive heat warning continues in effect for Saturday for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.  Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

Tonight: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 10pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 76. Southwest wind around 5 mph.

Sunday: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 92. Heat index values as high as 106. West wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Sunday Night: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 74. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Monday: Showers and thunderstorms. High near 88. Southwest wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

Monday Night: Showers and thunderstorms. Low around 71. West wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Tuesday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Partly sunny, with a high near 87. North wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Tuesday Night: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 71. Calm wind.

Wednesday: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 89. North wind around 5 mph.

Wednesday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 70.

Thursday: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 89.

Thursday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 71.

Friday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Partly sunny, with a high near 88. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

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

Saturday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Partly sunny, with a high near 88.

DeSantis Issues Order Forbidding School Mask Mandates

July 31, 2021

Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued an executive order that forbids school districts in the state from mandating masks this year.

He said parents must decide for themselves if their own children should wear masks in the classes this school year.

“It has harmed students,” DeSantis said of mandates. “Shouldn’t this be something parents decide?”

The order went into effect immediately It authorized Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran to “pursue all legal means available to ensure school districts adhere to Florida law, including but not limited to withholding state funds from noncompliant school board violating any rules or agency action” taken at the Governor’s direction.

DeSantis said many students were harmed without direct face-to-face interactions in classrooms.

“It’s something that a lot of parents have been frustrated about, that a lot of students have been frustrated about,” DeSantis said. “I’ve had a lot of kids come up to me saying we don’t want to wear the masks going forward.”

“The federal government has no right to tell parents that in order for their kids to attend school in person, they must be forced to wear a mask all day, every day,” said DeSantis. “Many Florida schoolchildren have suffered under forced masking policies, and it is prudent to protect the ability of parents to make decisions regarding the wearing of masks by their children.”

Read the complete executive order by clicking or tapping here.

Florida’s Back To School Sales Tax Holiday

July 31, 2021

Florida’s 10-day back to school sales tax holiday began Saturday and continues through August 9.

During the sales tax holiday period, qualifying items will be exempt from tax, including certain school supplies selling for $15 or less per item; clothing, footwear, and certain accessories selling for $60 or less per item; and the first $1,000 of the sales price of personal computers and certain computer-related accessories purchased for noncommercial home or personal use.

For complete details from the Florida Department of Revenue, click or tap here.

Escambia Man Gets 25 Years For Child Pornography Possession, Child Molestation

July 31, 2021

An Escambia County man has been sentenced to 25 year in state prison and lifetime sex offender probation for possessing child pornography.

John Henry Wright was also designated a sexual predator by Circuit Judge Jan Shackelford. Wright entered a plea to 15 counts of possession of certain images of child pornography and one count of lewd or lascivious molestation of a victim under age 12.

On December 2, 2020, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CyberTipline about child pornography being shared on social media from Wright’s home. At the time, he was under investigation by the ECSO for lewd or lascivious molestation of a minor child.

“The defendant’s sentence will serve to help protect the citizens of Escambia County and the entire state of Florida,” prosecutor Carrie Gilmer said.

Escambia Reports 1,627 New COVID-19 Cases In Last Week; Hospitalizations Increase

July 31, 2021

There were 1,627 new COVID-19 cases reported Escambia County over the last week by the Florida Department of Health. That’s compared to 757 new positives reported in the week prior.

Baptist, Ascension Sacred Heart and West Florida hospitals reported a combined 160 COVID-19 hospitalizations as of Friday.

Since July 1, Baptist Health Care has treated a total of 129 patients who have been hospitalized for COVID-19. Of those, 109 reported upon admission that they were unvaccinated, which means that they have not received a COVID-19 vaccine or have received only one dose of a two-dose series. Ascension and West Florida have not released similar details.

“The vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective in preventing infection or minimizing the severity of illness should a rare breakthrough infection occur. Baptist Health Care encourages everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community,” the hospital said in a news release.

Here is the latest data:

Escambia County cases:

Total cases: 36,240 (+1,627)
Positivity Rate Last Week: 26%

Santa Rosa County cases:

Total cases: 20,209  (+772)
Positivity Rate Last Week: 27.6%

Statewide cases:

Florida resident cases: 2,590,699 (+110,477)
Case positivity rate: 18.1%
Deaths: 39,079 (+108)

FDOH has moved from daily to weekly reports and removed the COVID-19 dashboard. The state is now releasing a weekly report with local data limited only to number of cases and positivity rate; the number of deaths by county or cases by local cities and communities has been removed.

Donald “Don” Ray Stuckey

July 31, 2021

Donald “Don” Ray Stuckey resident of Pensacola, FL passed away on Thursday, July 29, 2021 at the age of 66. He worked for the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department and retired in 2013. He had a great love for his family, hunting and attending church. He is preceded in death by his father, Marvin Stuckey and his brother, John Marvin Stuckey.

He is survived by his mother, Sybil Stuckey; sons, Donnie Stuckey and Jonathan Stuckey; grandchildren, Connor, Cole, Alexa and Kaylie; brothers, Michael Wayne and Joe Villeneuve.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, August 2, 2021 at Faith Chapel Funeral Home North with Pastor Cooley and Pastor Mike Mashburn officiating. Burial will follow at Clopton Cemetery, Pensacola, FL.

The family will receive friends at 10:00 AM prior to services.

Mobile’s McClung Named Escambia (AL) School Superintendent

July 31, 2021

Michele M. McClung has been named the new superintendent of the Escambia County (AL) School System.

The board selected McClung over Gary Glass, a Monroe County (AL) principal, on a 4-3 vote. The board then took another unanimous vote that they would consider their vote for McClung as unanimous.

McClung is currently the Mobile County Public School’s director of teaching, learning and assessment. She has served in that role since 2018 and is responsible for overseeing curriculum, creating quarterly assessments, and preparing students for mandated state assessments. She also oversees planning, budgeting, conducting and keeping records of professional development for over 4,000 teachers, as well as administrators and staff.

She is a 30-year educator and a Leadership Mobile Class of 2020 graduate and was previously the principal at Dawes Intermediate School from 2009-18, which opened under her leadership and earned a National Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School of Excellence award. She is a frequent presenter at national conferences and a trainer, consultant or committee member for a variety of educational organizations.

She is expected to take over as Escambia County (AL) superintendent in late August after an employment contract is negotiated. McClung replaces retiring Superintendent John Knott.

Robert “Bob” Rueb

July 31, 2021

Robert “Bob” Rueb passed away July 23, 2021, in Pensacola, FL.  He was born January 6, 1933, in New York, and spent his childhood in Orange, New Jersey.  He joined the Air Force at the age of 17 and spent most of his Air Force career as a member of The Air Force Band of the West, playing the saxophone for 21 years.  He had the distinction of playing for President Kennedy. Bob had a 37 year career with the Postal Service.

Bob is preceded in death by his mother, Helen O’Donnell Rueb; father, Henry Ferdinand Rueb and wife, Faye L. Rueb.

Bob is survived by his daughter, Laura Rueb Paige; son, Robert D. Rueb; son, Randall D. Rueb; many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Visitation will be Sunday, August 1, 2021, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM, at Faith Chapel Funeral Home North. Mass of Christian Burial will be Monday, August 2, 2021, at St. Jude Thaddeus Church, at 12:00 PM. Reverend Father George Thekku will be Celebrant. Interment will be at Barrancas National Cemetery, NAS, Pensacola, FL.

Pallbearers will be Dan Paige, Robert Rueb, Randall Rueb, Don Shepherd, Luke Gandy and Claudio Moreira.  Honorary pallbearers will be Jimmy Pooser, Mark Ard and Stony Brock.

Century Chamber Asks Town for $25K; Council President Questions If Chamber Is Even Worthwhile

July 30, 2021

The Century Town Council began budget talks Thursday evening, receiving a funding request from the local chamber of commerce that prompted the council president to question if they are even worthwhile.

The Century Area Chamber of Commerce asked the town to budget $25,000 for three maintenance projects at the chamber building, which is owned by the town. The chamber requested $8,000 for metal roof repairs, $6,000 to replace existing gutters with “commercial style/grade” gutters, and $11,000 to replace the existing HVAC system and add an air filtration system.

But Council President Luis Gomez responded by questioning the value of the chamber to the town.

“I’ve been on this council almost five years, and the chamber has never actually done anything for the town of Century or contributed anything to the town of Century,” he said.

“You know the chamber is supposed to recruit business to the area. I don’t know of one,” Gomez continued, saying that if the chamber has attended a meeting during his tenures, it was for “some side show”.

“If we were to approve any of these things, we would have to do it for ourselves. We’ve got to go out and get bids, not just take that,” councilman James Smith said, referring to the chamber’s written estimates for work on the town-owned building.

The council took no formal actions Thursday on any budget items. They will hold at least two more budget workshops before presenting a final budget in early September

Pictured: Century Town Council President Luis Gomez (left) listens as council member Sandra McMurray-Jackson discusses the upcoming town budget Thursday evening. photo, click to enlarge.

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