One Arrested In Fatal Weekend Shooting; One Suspect Still Wanted

October 31, 2022

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has made one arrest and is searching for another suspect in a weekend murder.

Saturday, the ECSO responded to the 1000 block of Medford Avenue where they found a male with multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported to a local hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.

The victim has been identified by family members as 22-year old Jesse Allen Geoghahan.

Lawrence Bonner, Jr., 44, was been charged with principal to first-degree premeditated murder. They are still looking for 29-year old Jacob Monroe Colville for first degree premeditated murder.

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

Cantonment Woman Identified As Victim In Fatal Fiery Crash Oct. 21 In Baldwin County

October 31, 2022

A Cantonment woman has been identified as the victim in a fiery fatal crash October 21 in Baldwin County.

Amber N. Wiggins, 35, was fatally injured when the 2015 Nissan Armada she was driving caught fire after striking a 2020 Freightliner tractor-trailer driven by Akbar Shah Nazar Mohammad, 27, of San Antonio, Texas, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said Monday.

After the initial collision, the Nissan struck the rear of a 2022 Freightliner tractor-trailer driven by Gurkirt S. Benipal, 26, of Cypress, Texas, and was then struck on the rear by the 2020 Freightliner, according to troopers.

Wiggins was pronounced deceased at the scene of the crash about 9:55 p.m. on October 21  on I-10 about two miles east of Mobile.

“As a result of the fire, Wiggins’s identity was not immediately available,” ALEA Corporal Reginal M. King said Monday.

The investigation is continuing.

Fire Rips Through Gulf Coast Seafood On Nine Mile Road

October 31, 2022

Fire ripped through Gulf Coast Seafood and the Seafood Platter Restaurant on Nine Mile Road Monday morning.

The Florida State Fire Marshal is now investigating.

The fire was reported about 9:15 a.m. at the business just west of Starbucks and Publix. Heavy smoke was reported when firefighters arrived on scene and it took about two hours to bring the fire under control.

According to Escambia County Fire Rescue, the fire apparently originated in the attic and spread through the remainder of the metal building.

The  building is a complete loss.

ECFR said the fire claimed the life a cat.

For more photos, click or tap here. photos by Kristi Barbour, click to enlarge.

Over 16,400 Ballots Cast As Early Voting Continues In Escambia County

October 31, 2022

Over 16,000 early votes had been cast in Escambia County as of Sunday.

In addition to 16,407 early votes, another 22,248 had returned a vote-by-mail ballot. That put Escambia County’s voter turnout at 17.34% with 38,855 votes cast to date in the general election.

The Genealogy Library site has been the busiest with 3,511 voters so far, followed by the Extension Office in Cantonment with 3,229 and the Southwest Library with 3,058.  There have been 1,086 ballots cast at the Molino Library and 117 at the Billy G. Ward Courthouse in Century.

A total of 10 early voting sites are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Saturday, November 5:

  • Billy G. Ward Courthouse, 7500 N Century Blvd, Century
  • Molino Community Center, 6450-A Highway 95A, Molino
  • Escambia County Extension, 3740 Stefani Road, Cantonment
  • Bellview Branch Library, 6425 Mobile Highway
  • UWF International Center, Building 71, 11000 University Parkway
  • Supervisor of Elections Office, 213 Palafox Place, Second Floor
  • Main Library, 239 Spring Street
  • Genealogy Branch Library, 5740 B, 9th Avenue
  • Southwest Branch Library, 12248 Gulf Beach Highway
  • Brownsville Community Center, 3200 W. DeSoto Street file photo, click to enlarge.

Escambia Schools Get $30K Grant For Firefighting Training Program

October 31, 2022

Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis awarded more than $2.7 million to help 28 school districts and state colleges purchase industry standard equipment for career and technical education (CTE) programs across Florida.  The awards included $30,000 for an introduction to firefighting program in Escambia County.

The funding will better equip students as they prepare for job opportunities in high demand fields, according to the Florida Department of Education.

““These investments set our students up for career success while nearly guaranteeing Florida’s most vital occupations have the talent they need,” said Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr.

CTE programs are a major component of workforce education and are responsible for preparing individuals for occupations important to Florida’s economic development. These programs are organized into 17 different career clusters and are geared toward middle school, high school, district technical school, and Florida College System students throughout the state.

The awards were authorized under the Perkins V Career and Technical Education Equipment Upgrade and Modernization program, which offers secondary and post-secondary agencies the opportunity to more fully develop academic and technical career skills among CTE students.

Today’s Halloween Weather Forecast Is Anything But Scary

October 31, 2022

Here is your official North Escambia forecast:

Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 52. Calm wind.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 78. North wind 5 to 10 mph.

Tuesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 56. North wind around 5 mph.

Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 80. North wind around 5 mph.

Wednesday Night: Clear, with a low around 54. North wind around 5 mph.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 80. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday Night: Clear, with a low around 56. East wind around 5 mph.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 81.

Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 57.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 80.

Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 59.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 81.

These Are This Week’s Road Construction Delay Areas

October 31, 2022

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:

  • Interstate 10 (I-10) Escambia County Welcome Center – The front parking lot is temporarily closed as crews work to resurface the pavement. The other parking areas remain open. Temporary sidewalk modifications are also in place while work is underway.
  • U.S. 98 Pensacola Bay Bridge Replacement Drivers will encounter alternating lane closures and lane shifts on the Pensacola Bay Bridge Sunday, Oct. 30 through Saturday, Nov. 5 from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Crews will be using lanes on the current bridge as a platform to pour concrete decks for the westbound (Gulf Breeze to Pensacola) structure.
  • Saufley Field Road (State Road (S.R.) 296), from the Naval Air Station Entrance to West of Mobile Highway (U.S. 90) – Drivers will encounter single lane closures with traffic flagging operations on Parda Road as crews remove and reconstruct a portion of the roadway. The closures will continue for the next several weeks.
  • West Cervantes Street (U.S. 90) Pedestrian Safety Improvement – Drivers may encounter intermittent daytime and nighttime single lane closures and lane shifts, between A Street and Dominguez Street. The closures will allow crews to work on the new pedestrian barrier fence and other miscellaneous final work activities. In addition, the seven new mid-block crossing signals on Cervantes Street are now in operation. Motorists are reminded to stop for the flashing yellow lights when pedestrians are using the mid-block crossings.
  • Pace Boulevard from Barrancas Avenue to Massachusetts Avenue – Drivers will encounter alternating lane closures and sidewalk closures on Pace Boulevard and side streets, between Barrancas Avenue and North Palafox Street (U.S. 29) through Wednesday, Nov. 30 from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. The work will allow crews to adjust manholes, mill and pave the roadways, and make sidewalk and curb improvements. Pedestrians will be detoured to the signalized intersections to access the sidewalks on the other side of Pace Boulevard.
  • I-10 at the Interstate 110 (I-110) Interchange – Drivers will encounter alternating lane closures on the following ramps Sunday, Oct. 30 through Thursday, Nov. 3 from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. for installation of thermoplastic pavement markings:
    • I-110 northbound ramp to I-10 eastbound.
    • I-110 northbound ramp to I-10 westbound.
    • I-110 northbound ramp to Davis Highway.
    • Davis Highway on-ramp to I-110 southbound.
    • I-10 eastbound ramp to I-110 southbound.
  • Sorrento Road Resurfacing from the Theo Baars Bridge to Bauer Road – Drivers will encounter intermittent lane closures between Innerarity Point Road and Bauer Road from 8 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 30 through Thursday, Nov. 3. The closures will allow crews to mill and pave the roadway.
  • ·         Barrancas Avenue Routine Maintenance from Manchester Street to the Bayou Chico Bridge Drivers will encounter alternating lane closures on Barrancas Avenue, between Manchester Street and the Bayou Chico Bridge, from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 30 through Sunday, Nov. 6. The closures will allow crews to work on the manholes and place thermoplastic striping on the roadway.
  • East Nine Mile Road. (U.S. 90A) from Chemstrand Road to East of Baldridge Drive – The bicycle lanes are temporarily closed to allow crews to widen the turn lanes and construct new five-foot bicycle lanes. In addition, the speed limit on this section of East Nine Mile Road has been reduced from 45 mph to 35 mph as vehicles and bicycles will now share the roadway. The closure and speed limit reduction will be in place until the project is complete next summer.
  • North Ninth Avenue (S.R. 289) Carpenters Creek Bridge Replacement – The Ninth Avenue northbound bridge over Carpenter’s Creek is open with four travel lanes, two in each direction. Drivers will continue to encounter intermittent and alternating lane closures as crews place the final layer or “friction course” of asphalt and perform final work activities.
  • Pensacola Boulevard (U.S. 29), from Brent Lane (S.R. 296) to North of I-10 – Drivers will encounter alternating lane closures Sunday, Oct. 30 through Thursday, Nov. 3 from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. as crews pave the roadway. In addition, traffic on Pensacola Boulevard, from Brent Lane to north of I-10, will be shifted back to the normal traffic alignment as the median barrier wall work has been completed.
  • Lillian Highway (S.R. 298), from North of U.S. 98 to east of Fairfield Drive (S.R. 727) and Lillian Highway at Blue Angel Parkway (S.R. 173) - Drivers may encounter intermittent lane closures on Lillian Highway, between U.S. 98 and Blue Angel Highway, for erosion control operations. Shoulder closures will be present throughout the project for erosion control installation.
  • U.S. 90 Routine Bridge Maintenance over Alabama and Gulf Coast Railroad Overpass – Motorist will encounter intermittent lane closures east of I-10 Tuesday, Nov. 1 from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. from routine maintenance.
  • U.S. 29 Routine Bridge Maintenance over Pine Barren Creek Bridge – Motorist will encounter intermittent lane closures north of S.R. 97 Wednesday, Nov. 2 from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. from routine maintenance
  • U.S. 98 Routine Bridge Maintenance over Alabama and Gulf Coast Railroad Overpass – Motorist will encounter intermittent lane closures west of S.R. 292 Thursday, Nov. 3 from 8 p.m. to 12a.m. from routine maintenance

Santa Rosa County:

  • Pensacola Bay Bridge (U.S. 98) Replacement Drivers will encounter alternating lane closures and lane shifts on the Pensacola Bay Bridge Sunday, Oct. 30 through Saturday, Nov. 5 from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Crews will be using lanes on the current bridge as a platform to pour concrete decks for the westbound (Gulf Breeze to Pensacola) structure.
  • U.S. 90 Bridge Replacement over Simpson River - Construction crews have temporarily shifted eastbound traffic to the westbound bridge over Simpson River. The shift is expected to be in place through March 2023. During this time, there will be two westbound lanes and one eastbound travel lane using the westbound bridge. Due to the traffic shift, there will not be dedicated bike lanes on the bridge. Drivers are urged to use extra caution as they will be temporarily sharing the bridge with cyclists. Drivers are also reminded that the speed limit is 35 mph through the work zone.
  • I-10 Resurfacing East of S.R. 281 (Avalon Boulevard) to East of S.R. 87 – Motorists can expect intermittent nighttime and daytime lane closures Monday, Oct. 31 through Friday, Nov. 4 for construction activities.
  • U.S. 98 Widening from Bayshore Road to Portside Drive – Motorists will encounter the following traffic impacts:
    • Median and turn-lane closures from Bayshore Road to Tiger Point Drive.
    • Intermittent lane closures and additional median closures between S.R. 281 and Bayshore Road Sunday, Oct. 30 through Friday, Nov. 4 from 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. for stormwater drainage improvements and paving operations.
    • Settlers Colony Boulevard will remain closed to complete necessary drainage improvements. Motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians will access Settlers Colony Boulevard via Venetian Way and Coronado Drive. Detour signs will be in place. Residents may experience noise, vibrations, and dust during daytime hours as part of this drainage improvement effort.
  • S.R. 4 Roadway Maintenance East of Magaha Road in Jay Motorists will encounter intermittent daytime lane closures Monday, Oct. 31 through Friday, Nov. 4 for paving operations.
  • S.R. 4 Routine Bridge Maintenance over Wilson Branch Creek Bridge – Motorist will encounter intermittent lane closures east of U.S. 29 Monday, Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. from routine maintenance.

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

Ole Miss Shuts Out LSU; Mississippi State Tops Texas A&M. And Escambia County Wins In SEC Tourney Day One

October 31, 2022

Ole Miss shut out LSU and  Mississippi State beat Texas A&M in day one of the SEC Women’s Soccer Tournament at Ashton Brosnaham Park. And the day was a big win for Escambia County.

Ole Miss 3, LSU 0

The three-time SEC Goalkeeper of the Year showed why she is the best to ever do it Sunday afternoon as Ole Miss (9-6-4) shut out LSU (9-3-7) in a match that was decided on penalty kicks. Ashley Orkus and the Rebel defense kept the Tigers off the board through regulation, two overtime periods, and three rounds of penalty kicks to advance to the quarterfinals.

For a Ole Miss, LSU photo gallery, click or tap here.

Both teams showed out defensively as there was just one shot on goal in the first half of the match. The Rebels turned up the heat in the second half, outshooting the Tigers 9-4.

Neither team could gain an advantage in the two overtime periods, taking just three shots apiece.

The Rebels now advance to the quarterfinals where they will face the SEC East Division Champion South Carolina Gamecocks on Tuesday at noon.

Mississippi State 2, Texas A&M 1 (OT)

In the first overtime match of the season for the Mississippi State soccer program (11-4-4), the Bulldogs outlasted the Texas A&M Aggies (9-6-5) to advance to the SEC Tournament Quarterfinals. Graduate transfer Jojo Ngongo’s 99th-minute header helped secure State its first conference tournament appearance past the first round.

For a Mississippi State, Texas A&M photo gallery, click or tap here.

“The fight in this group is unbelievable – they never gave up tonight,” head coach James Armstrong said. “This is a special group who continues to fight through adversity. Beyond proud of these players and staff.”

The No. 8 seeded Bulldogs will return to the pitch Tuesday, Nov. 1, for a quarterfinal match against the No. 1 seeded Alabama Crimson Tide (17-1-1, 10-0 SEC). The match will kick off at 5 p.m.

Big Win For Escambia County

Day one of the SEC Tournament opened with big crowds at Ashton Brosnaham Park off 10 Mile Road.

“We far exceeded our expectations, along with SEC expectations on the size of the crowd,” Escambia County Parks and Recreation Director Michael Rhodes told on the field between Sunday’s games. “This is the largest highest profile event we’ve ever had at Ashton Brosnaham Park….We thank the community for showing in a large way.”

“All nine games are being televised live on the SEC Network and that kind of coverage for Escambia County and Pensacola is absolutely invaluable.”

Tuesday’s Games

The tournament continues with quarterfinals on Tuesday.

South Carolina will face Ole Miss at noon; Tennessee and Georgia are at 2:30 p.m.; No. 1 Alabama plays Mississippi State at 5 p.m., and Arkansas will take on Vanderbilt at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are on sale at All-tournament passes are $25. Individual game tickets for first round, quarterfinals and semifinals are $7 for adults and $5 for students/military. Tickets for the championship game on Sunday, Nov. 6 are $10 for adults and $7 for students/military. Kids 12 and under wearing a soccer jersey get in free with a paying adult. A service fee is applied to all ticket purchases. A clear bag policy is in effect for the event.

All games will be televised on the SEC Network. photos by William Reynolds, click to enlarge.

Century Receives $8.8 Million Wastewater System Loan; Nearly $8 Million To Be Forgiven

October 31, 2022

The Town of Century has been awarded an $8.8 million loan for wastewater system upgrades, and they won’t be required to repay nearly $8 million of it.

Century will receive a $8,865,336 loan from the State Revolving Fund Program (SRF) and Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Ninety percent of the principal — $7,978,802 — will be forgiven through the SRF and the Disadvantage Small Community Grants Program. Century will be required repay just 10% or $886,534.

“This is huge for Century,” Mayor Ben Boutwell said. “This means no more band-aids for our infrastructure.”

The state fund will be used for improvement and repairs at the Century Wastewater Treatment Plant, to the sanitary sewer pumping system including several lift stations, and to the master lift station at the Century Correctional Institution.

“This will bring our wastewater infrastructure into the 21st century and last us for the next 20 or 30 years,” Boutwell said.

Pictured: The Century Wastewater Treatment Plant. file photos, click to enlarge.

Big Price Jump Likely As State Gas Holiday Expires On Tuesday

October 31, 2022

Florida gas prices are poised for an abrupt increase this week, when the state gas tax holiday expires on November 1st. The sales tax holiday called for a 25 cent discount at the pump throughout October. So it stands to reason that when the gas tax is reinstated on Tuesday, drivers will likely see about a 25 cent jump at the pump, according to AAA.

On Sunday, the state average price for gasoline averaged $3.29 per gallon.

In Escambia County, the average was $3.13 a gallon. A North Escambia low of $3.05 could be found at at least two stations on Highway 29 in Cantonment. In Escambia County, the per gallon price was as low as $2.87 at a Nine Mile Road station.

“While Halloween is traditionally a time for filling bags with candy, drivers may also want to fill their gas tank to take advantage of current prices at the pump,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Pump prices will likely rise 25 cents overnight, when the state gas tax expires on Tuesday morning.”

When the state sales tax holiday was implemented on October 1, gas prices declined a total of 22 cents within a couple of days, falling from $3.39 to $3.17 per gallon. Unfortunately for drivers, that discount was short lived. During the first week of October, OPEC announced plans to cut its oil production rate, which sparked a 17% oil price hike, raising the cost of producing gasoline. This ultimately dragged Florida gas prices back to where they were before the state’s gas tax holiday. photo, click to enlarge.

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