Tabitha Tedder Sentenced To Prison In Century Family Child Neglect, Sexual Battery Case

January 31, 2023

Another member of a Century family has been sentenced to eight years in prison after several children that had been sexually abused were found living in squalor in two campers.

Last week, Tabitha Ann Tedder was sentenced to four years concurrently on three counts of child neglect without great bodily harm, and four additional years on a felony charge of failure to report child abuse. An additional charge of tampering in a felony first degree proceeding was dismissed.

Tabitha Tedder’s husband Norman Tracy Tedder was found incompetent to stand trial and ordered to Lakeview for competency training. He is due back in court in April.

In October, Michael Tracy Tedder was sentenced to 30 years in state prison for child sexual battery and designated as a lifetime sexual offender after he pleaded to multiple counts of sexual battery by a person in familian authority and lewd and lascivious exhibition in the presence of a minor.

Michael Tracy Tedder’s wife Elizabeth Mae Dennis was previously convicted of two counts of child neglect and sentenced to 19.5 months in state prison, with credit for 116 days served, to be followed by 18 months probation.

Some readers may find the following details disturbing. Reader discretion is advised.

On October 20, 2021, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office responded to a local elementary school after a victim disclosed sexual abuse to a school counselor. The victim disclosed at school that she had been raped by Tedder. She stated that it hurt, and about the time she healed, he would do it again. The abuse occurred between January 1, 2020, and October 20, 2021.

During the course of the investigation, it was determined that Michael Tracy Tedder had sexually abused additional victims between January 1, 2020, and October 20, 2021. He was the only family member charged with a sexual offense.

“This defendant preyed on children that should have been able to trust him,” Carrie Gilmer, prosecuting attorney, said.

When the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office went to Tedder’s home to investigate the sexual battery allegations, deputies found Tedder and three others living in squalor with six children in two campers.

One camper was “extremely dirty”, with “raw sewage coming from the back side of the camper and flowing underneath the camper causing an unbearable foul odor”, and “hundreds of roaches”, according to an arrest report. The roaches were in the food cabinet, running over the food, on the stove, on the sink and on the counter.

A deputy further described the camper as having roaches inside the shower and toilet area, pots with old food in them on the kitchen counter, a sink filled with dirty dishes and a refrigerator he called “extremely nasty”. There was one full size bed, a let-down bed with roaches crawling on it, and a baby crib in the camper. Two cats and two dogs were inside, and there were power cords running through the camper and by the kitchen sink, the report states.

“The camper had a foul odor inside and out that was unbearable,” the deputy wrote in his report.

The other camper, described as being “extremely small,” was also roach infested, dirty and piled full of clothes and other items making it impossible to enter, the report states.

According to the ECSO, there was no electrical service on the property; the campers were powered by numerous electrical cords strung together to a nearby home. Some of the cords had bare wires in places and junctions exposed to the weather.

“The parents smelled as if they had not bathed in several days,” a deputy wrote in his report.

The Department of Children and Families removed the children.

Hurricane Sally Repairs Begin Under Highway 196 Bridge

January 31, 2023

Hurricane Sally damage repairs are now underway on the Highway 196 bridge over Penasula Creek, just north of the Jacks Branch Road intersection.

The $129,647 project funded by FEMA will repair damage by placing about 138 tons of bedding stone and riprap at each abutment beneath the bridge near Barrineau Park. Nine trees will also be removed.

Only temporary lane closures are allowed for delivery of materials and equipment.

Contractor DEK Marine Services is set to substantially complete the project by March 11 with a final completion no later than April 10. photos, click to enlarge.

DeSantis Proposes $162 Million For Six Laning I-10, Diverging Diamond At Nine Mile Exit

January 31, 2023

Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the Moving Florida Forward initiative to expedite transportation projects over the next four years.

The initiative includes $162 million to widen I-10 to six lanes from the eastbound weigh station to Nine Mile. Road. It would also reconstruct the interchange at Nine Mile Road as a diverging diamond.

If passed by the legislature, the proposal would invest $4 billion of general revenue, redirect an average of $131 million annually to the State Transportation Work Program, and leverage additional funding over the next four years for a total of $7 billion to strengthen Florida’s transportation infrastructure to accommodate the growing number of people that rely on Florida’s roadways.

What is a diverging diamond interchange?

According to the Federal Highway Administration, a diverging diamond interchange is a simple design innovation that improves safety and mobility, often at a much lower cost, compared to conventional interchange designs. The key to what makes a DDI work so well is how left turns are handled.

The DDI resembles a conventional diamond interchange, which is the most common form in the United States. Drivers make right turns at a DDI just as they would at a regular diamond interchange.

The crossover intersections are what make DDIs different, and they are very intuitive for the driver. The crossovers gently transition – or diverge – traffic from the right side of the road to the left side of the road and then back again. Because traffic is on the left hand side between the crossovers, all left turns occur without having to cross opposing traffic. The road geometry, signs, and pavement markings all work together to make this very simple. In cities where DDIs have been built, drivers say they don’t even notice the crossover intersections. according to the Federal Highway Administration.

Florida Lawmaker Proposes Bill To Allow Concealed Carry Without A Permit

January 31, 2023

Monday, Florida House Speaker Paul Renner unveiled legislation that would allow residents to carry a concealed weapon without a license.

Dubbed “Constitutional Carry’, the bill would allow Floridians who are currently qualified to obtain and maintain a CWL to carry a concealed handgun or weapon without a license.

“Floridians shouldn’t need a government permission slip to exercise their constitutional rights,” said Renner. “House Bill 543 will ensure Florida will remain a beacon of freedom. Florida was the pioneer in the modern carry movement in America and this historic legislation continues our proud tradition.”

A person carrying concealed without a license will still be required to obey existing laws prohibiting carrying in such places as schools, athletic events, and correctional facilities. The bill does not affect laws relating to the purchase of a firearm and will not allow anyone prohibited from possessing a firearm to carry concealed.

Local Rep. Michelle Salzman is a co-sponsor of the bill.

Florida would become the 26th state, including Alabama, to allow citizens to carry weapons without a permit.

Reminder: Wednesday Is An Early Release Day For Escambia Schools

January 31, 2023

Wednesday, February 1, is an early release day for public schools in Escambia County.

All schools will serve breakfast and lunch to students on the early release day. Regular modes of student transportation will be provided.

There is one other early release day this school year scheduled for the lsat day of school on May 23.

Early release days provide teachers and staff  regular opportunities for professional development.

For additional information, contact your child’s school.

Fog For Tuesday Overnight

January 31, 2023

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

Tuesday Night: Patchy fog before midnight. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 57. North wind around 5 mph.

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 69. North wind around 5 mph.

Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 59. Northeast wind around 5 mph becoming southeast after midnight.

Thursday: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 76. Breezy, with a southeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming southwest 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Thursday Night: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm before midnight, then showers likely. Low around 47. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph becoming north after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Friday: A 40 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 55. North wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 36. North wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 61.

Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 43.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 64.

Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 41.

Monday: Sunny, with a high near 64.

Melanie Johnson Is Kingsfield Elementary School Teacher Of The Year

January 31, 2023

Melanie Johnson was named Kingsfield Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year.

Johnson has taught for 29 years and is currently a third grade teacher. is continuing to spotlight Teachers of the Year from the North Escambia area during January.

Photo for, click to enlarge.

Atmore Man Charged With Child Sexual Abuse

January 31, 2023

An Atmore man is charged with sexually abusing a child.

Vonsha Mondez Jones, 28, was charged with sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years old, sodomy first degree, and sexual abuse first degree.

The Atmore Police Department was contacted about the abuse case after the Alabama Department of Human Resources.

“The case worker was investigating a complaint from a child that had recently disclosed memories of sexual abuse and no lived in the Atmore area,” Atmore Police Department Sgt. Darrell McMann said.

The abuse began when the child was under age 12 and occurred over a three-year period, according to police.

Jones was booked into the Escambia County (AL) Detention Center.

Gloria York Ledkins

January 31, 2023

Mrs. Gloria York Ledkins, age 85, passed away, Sunday, January 29, 2023, in Atmore, AL. She was a lifelong resident of Atmore, AL.  She was a member of Presley Street Baptist church for many years.

Mrs. Ledkins loved spending time with her family. She loved to read and watch TV especially “Gone with The Wind”. She enjoys putting together puzzles and loves to sew.

Mrs. Ledkins is preceded in death by her parents, Robert Eugene (Mae Blanche Stringfellow) York, husband, Ronald Ledkins, two brothers, Harold York, Claude York, and one sister, Doris Haynie.

She is survived by her one brother, Ronald “Ronnie” (Phyllis) York, of The Rock, GA; two sisters, Betty (James) Amerson, of Bratt, FL; Peggy Mauldin, of Bratt, FL; numerous nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

Graveside service will be held Thursday, February 2, 2023 at 2:00 PM at Godwin Cemetery with Rev. Ted Bridges officiating.

Burial will follow at Godwin Cemetery.

Visitation will be held Thursday, February 2, 2023 from 12:30 PM until 1:30 PM at Petty-Eastside Chapel Funeral Home, LLC.

South Highway 99 Resurfacing Underway From Walnut Hill To Bay Springs

January 30, 2023

An Escambia County resurfacing project is underway on South Highway 99 from Walnut Hill to Bay Springs.

About eight miles of the roadway is being resurfaced between Highway 97 and Highway 97A.

Drivers can expect lane closures during paving operations.

Pictured: South Highway 99 between Highway 97 and Tungoil Road as seen late in the afternoon on Saturday, January 28 . photos, click to enlarge.

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