UPDATE: ECSO Seeks Suspect In Gas Station Shooting

August 30, 2022

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is searching for the suspect in a shooting at a gas station midday Tuesday.

The suspect has now been identified as 21-year old Shannon Wheat, Jr. According to jail records, he has a previous known address in Atmore.

The shooting occurred about 11:45 a.m. at the Beacon store on Mobile Highway near New Warrington Road. The victim was shot several times and transported to an area hospital. An update on his condition was not available.

Investigators released a surveillance image of Wheat and said he may be driving a silver Ford Mustang with front-end damage.

Deputies said the suspect is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or the ECSO at (850) 436-9620.

Two Charged With Stealing John Deere Tractor From Molino; One Allegedly Also Took His Jailed Dad’s Truck

August 30, 2022

Two people are accused of stealing a John Deere tractor from Molino, and one of the suspects is also charged with stealing a Ford truck along and over $1,300 worth of property from his jailed father.

Cody Edward Comalander, age 22 of Century, and 41-year old Levy Bryan Dixon of Cantonment were each charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, unarmed burglary of a dwelling, grand theft and felony criminal mischief.

Sunday, Escambia County Sheriff’s Office deputies located a stolen John Deere 3032E compact tractor and an 18-foot trailer on Frank Ard Road. The ignition on the tractor was missing and the ignition wires were exposed. The property owner said a man known to him only as “Cody” that lived in Century brought the tractor and trailer to the property.

The Sheriff’s Office located the owner of the equipment on Straughn Road in Molino. He had last seen the tractor and trailer about three weeks ago stored under a carport and was unaware that they were missing until he was contacted by deputies.

Comalander and Dixon were located in bed inside an RV at the Frank Ard Road property. Comalander was booked into the Escambia County Jail on Sunday.

According to an ECSO report, Dixon passed out Sunday afternoon while sitting on a bench outside the booking area at the jail. He was given five doses of Narcan and transported to a local hospital for evaluation. Dixon was booked into the jail Monday night.

A witness told deputies that Comalander and Dixon had been using the tractor to help neighbors and fix the road. The tractor and trailer were returned to the owner, who reported they had about $1,400 in damage.

Comalander also had an outstanding warrant for grand theft of motor vehicle, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance, grand theft and petit theft.

In May, he allegedly stole his father’s 1993 Ford truck , $1,360 worth of the father’s property, and $60 from his father’s girlfriend while they were both jailed. The theft was not reported until August 19 after the duo had been released from jail.

Comalander (pictured left) remained in the Escambia County Jail Tuesday morning with bond set at $26,000, while Dixon (pictured right) was jailed on a $20,000 bond.

Escambia County Awarded $2.7 Million For Nine Electric Buses

August 30, 2022

A court settlement with Volkswagen will provide Escambia County with a $2.7 million grant for nine electric public transportation buses.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection awarded a total of $68 million for 227 electric buses in 13 counties statewide.

“This funding will help lower emissions while also bringing our transit bus fleets to more modern standards,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said. “This is a win-win for air quality and advancing the state’s efforts to bolster growing electric vehicle usage.”

In October 2016, Volkswagen settled with the U.S. government resolving claims that it violated the Clean Air Act by selling diesel vehicles that violated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s mobile source emission standards.

In February 2022, Florida DEP announced its Electric Transit Bus Grant program supporting the purchasing of electric transit buses to replace eligible diesel transit buses in an effort to improve Florida’s air quality.

Public transit agencies that are participating in this program must purchase two electric transit buses for each bus replaced under the DEP plan. An eligible public transit agency that does not meet this eligibility requirement may still participate but will be subject to a prorated portion of the award, according to the state.

Escambia (AL) Healthcare CEO Resigns, Later Arrested Twice At Local Hospital

August 30, 2022

A man that recently resigned as CEO of the Escambia County (AL) Health Care Authority (ECHCA) was later arrested twice on the campus of one of the Authority’s hospitals.

About 9:40 p.m. Friday, the Brewton Police Department responded to an “unwanted person on the campus” of D.W. McMillan Hospital.

Jeffrey Quentin Booth, 59, was arrested for public intoxication, booked into the Escambia County (AL) Detention Center and released on his own recognizance. He was also officially trespass warned from the hospital, according to Brewton Police Sgt. Tyler Aaron.

According to jail records, he was released at 10:16 a.m. on Saturday and was booked back into the jail just over an hour and a half later.

Brewton Police responded about 11 a.m. Saturday to D.W. McMillan Hospital where Booth was back on the property, according to Aaron. He was charged with criminal trespassing and was released again from jail Saturday night.

Booth was named CEO of the ECHCA in 2019 and had reportedly resigned from his position last week.

ECHCA governs D.W. McMillan and Atmore Community hospitals, D.W. McMillan EMS, and other clinics and healthcare systems in Escambia County, Alabama.

High In The 90s Today, Just Scattered Afternoon Rain

August 30, 2022

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

Tuesday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 92. North wind around 5 mph.

Tuesday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 10pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 74. North wind around 5 mph.

Wednesday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 92. Heat index values as high as 105. North wind around 5 mph.

Wednesday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1am. Partly cloudy, with a low around 71. Calm wind.

Thursday: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 90. North wind around 5 mph becoming southeast in the afternoon.

Thursday Night: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 72. Calm wind.

Friday: Showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 1pm. High near 84. Southeast wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Friday Night: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly before 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 72. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Saturday: Showers and thunderstorms. High near 84. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Saturday Night: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 72.

Sunday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Partly sunny, with a high near 85. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Sunday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 72.

Labor Day: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Partly sunny, with a high near 86. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Saturday Is National Pet Rock Day. Decorate Your Own At The Century Library.

August 30, 2022

Saturday is National Pet Rock Day, and you can celebrate at the Century Branch Library.

Stop by the Century library at 10 a.m. Saturday and decorate your very own pet rock. All materials will be provided by the library.

FDOH Escambia Offers Free HIV Rapid Testing This Thursday

August 30, 2022

The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (FDOH-Escambia) offers free HIV rapid testing at the After-Hours Clinic, held on the first Thursday of each month. The next After-Hours Clinic is September 1, at FDOH-Escambia’s 1295 West Fairfield Drive location.

Free HIV rapid testing is also available each Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at FDOH-Escambia.

The testing is open to the public, with no appointment needed.

  • What: Free HIV Rapid Testing After-Hours Clinic
  • Who: Open to the public, no appointment needed
  • When: Thursday, September 1 between 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.*
  • Where: FDOH-Escambia, 1295 W Fairfield Dr, Pensacola, FL
  • How: The rapid HIV test gives highly accurate results in as little as 15 minutes. All testing is confidential and conducted in a private clinic setting.

Jonathan Derek Perry

August 30, 2022

Jonathan Derek Perry, age 48, of Mobile, AL passed away on August 24, 2022. He wasborn on May 22, 1974 in Pensacola, FL to John McGhee and Carol Perry. He found enjoyment as a professional residential painter. He also loved to draw in his spare time. He is preceded in death by his sister, Lecie Jo McGhee and his brother, William Craig Barnhill, Jr.

He is survived by his mother, Carol Perry Barnhill of Mobile, AL and his father, Johnnie McGhee of Canoe, AL; his sisters: Amy C. Spate and Jennifer H. Barnhill; his brothers: Zachary McGhee and Jake McGhee; his aunts: Jennifer Perry, Betty Peacock, Angela DeVilbiss along with many nieces and nephews.

Graveside services will be held Thursday, September 1, 2022 at 11:30 a.m. at New Home Cemetery in Poarch, AL with Pastor Glenn Barnhill officiating. Interment will follow at New Home Cemetery.

By The Numbers: Escambia Voter Turnout Last Week Was 29%

August 30, 2022

Voter turnout in last Tuesday’s Primary Election was 29.06%.

There were 220,918 voters registered, and the Escambia County Supervisor of Elections Office reported counting 64,189 ballots.

More people voted early (13,292) or by mail (20,244) than voted in-person on election day (30,691).

The 2022 General Election is November 8. The deadline to register is October 11.

Motorcyclist Killed Near Pensacola Fairgrounds

August 29, 2022

An Escambia County motorcyclist was killed in a crash Monday morning near the fairgrounds.

The Florida Highway Patrol said a SUV driven by a 27-year old Pensacola woman was stopped on Godwin Lane at Mobile Highway as a motorcycle was approaching. The 27-year old woman failed to yield the right of way as she pulled away from a stop sign, causing the motorcycle to crash into her SUV.

The 46-year old motorcyclist from Pensacola was pronounced deceased following the crash.

The FHP investigation is continuing.

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