Teen Stabbed In Barth, Airlifted To Hospital
A teenager was airlifted to a Pensacola hospital after being stabbed in the Barth community north of Molino Wednesday night.
The 16-year old male was reportedly stabbed twice — including once in the chest area — about 7:15 p.m. in the area of Barth Lane and Barth Road. He was transported by ambulance to the Molino [...]
Trial Postponed For Molino Woman Claiming Self Defense In Husband’s Fatal Shooting
Trial been postponed for a Molino woman accused of murdering her husband last year.
Rebecca A. Rogers, 43, appeared before Judge Linda Nobles Wednesday in Escambia County Circuit Court. Nobles, at the request of both her defense attorney and prosecutors, reset Roger’s jury trial. Jury selection is now set to begin in late June.
Rogers allegedly shot [...]
Century To Get Sneak Peek At New Economic Development Plan
After months of work and input from residents, businesses and economic professionals, Century will get a sneak peek at their Economic Development Strategic Plan.
The Haas Center, , the research and consulting arm of the University of West Florida, updated on the town council on their work over the past six months during a special [...]
Century Man Gets Five Years For Indecent Exposure To Nursing Home Residents
A Century man was sentenced to five years in state prison Tuesday for exposing himself in front of nursing home residents in Century.
Daryl Lamar Brown, 46, was found guilty by an Escambia County jury of two counts of lewd and lascivious exposure in the presence of an elderly or disabled person and two additional [...]
Walmart To Hire 100 For Atmore Summer Opening
Walmart is looking to hire about 100 people for their new store slated to open this summer in Atmore.
A temporary hiring center is now open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 101 North Main Street. Interested applicants may also apply online at http://careers.walmart.com.
Through Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, the company [...]
Long Abandoned Jay Livestock Market Could See New Life
The long abandoned Jay Livestock Market could have a future purpose, but exactly what that purpose might be remains to be seen. The livestock market, located on Commerce Street and Coleman Avenue, open in Jay in 1940 and closed around the end of the century.
The West Florida Regional Planning Council held a community meeting Tuesday [...]
Century Couple Sentenced In Connection With Financial Exploitation Of Elderly Woman
A Century husband and wife have been sentenced on charges related the financial exploitation of an elderly woman.
Lashonda Marsha Johnson, 42, pleaded no contest to felony exploitation of an elderly person. Judge E.P. Nickinson withheld adjudication and sentenced Johnson to 18 months probation, ordered her to stay away from alcohol and controlled substances and ordered [...]
Lightning Sparks Molino House Fire, One Injured
One person was injured and a home was destroyed by fire Monday night near Molino after a lightning struck an outdoor propane tank.
The fire was reported just before 8 p.m. in the 6900 block of Highway 99 near Blackberry Lane. A resident of the home reported lighting struck a their propane tank and their house [...]
Organ Donor Month: Father Describes His Darkest Hour
By Ensign Joshua Faulkner
Registered Nurse, Naval Hospital Pensacola
April is Donor Awareness Month and the following is my account of how a donor forever changed my family.
The minutes seemed like hours as my mind and body were finally succumbing to all that was happening. The reality that my son was closer to death [...]
Contractor Paves Remainder Of Bratt Road, Repairs Crumbling Pavement
A contractor has paved the remainder of Bratt Road and has made good on a warranty promise to repave sections of the road that were surfaced back in December and later began to crumble.
The first part of the project in December included dirt road paving and drainage improvements on Bratt Road from [...]
Two Charged With Stealing Lottery Tickets From Northern Santa Rosa Business
Two people have been charged in connection with the theft of thousands of dollars worth of scratch off lottery tickets from a convenience store last month in the northern Santa Rosa County community of Berrydale.
Investigators said Kristeena M. Bare,25, and Frank Lee Johnson, 37, busted a window of the Berrydale Quick Mart on North Highway [...]
Developer Plans New Dollar General For Cantonment
Plans for a new Dollar General store in are in the works for Cantonment.
Teramore Development, LLC, of Thomasville, GA, is planning the 9,026 square foot store for a 1.03 acre lot on Woodland Street at Highway 29 — adjacent to the Cantonment Fire Station.
According plans filed with Escambia County, the new store would not have [...]
Woman Escapes Injury In Train Vs. Car Crash Near Molino
A Pensacola woman narrowly escaped injury early this morning when her car was struck by a train near Molino.
The accident happened about 5:20 a.m. at a railroad crossing on Brickyard Road, south of Barth Road. The roadway makes a 90-degree turn before crossing the tracks, and Mercedes Byrd of Pensacola said in the dark and [...]
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ECSO ‘Clean Sweep’ Today In The Milestone Area
The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and the 9 1/2 Mile Road Neighborhood watch will conduct an “Operation Clean Sweep” beginning at 8:00 this morning in the Milestone community. The event begins at the Milestone Baptist Church at 3800 Pine Forest Road. Volunteers are welcome. The focus of “Operation Clean Sweep” is to work with neighborhood watch groups, residents, churches and business owners to control and prevent the damaging effects of crime. The Operation Task Force works closely with Escambia County Animal Control, Environmental Law Enforcement, the military, Escambia County Roads and Bridges, and Neighborhood Watch groups to clean up neighborhoods and educate citizens on preventive measures that could be implemented to minimize crime. A traffic roadblock will be conducted and the mounted unit will be on hand to assist. Pictured: An Operation Clean Sweep was conducted in the Cottage Hill area in January. NorthEscambia.com file photos, click to enlarge. Read More →
Amazon To Start Collecting Sales Tax In Florida
Internet giant Amazon.com will start to collect sales taxes on purchases made by Floridians starting May 1. For Floridians who are supposed to pay the taxes but haven’t, the annService’sof Amazon’s entry into the state’s brick-and-mortar retail landscape could mean about $80 million a year in sales taxes, according to one business lobbying group. Ty Rogers, a spokesman for the Seattle-based retailer, responded simply in an email on Wednesday that “Amazon will be required to collect sales tax in Florida beginning on May 1.” The announcement isn’t unexpected as the company is building a pair of massive “fulfillment” centers along the Interstate 4 corridor. John Fleming, a spokesman for the Florida Retail Federation, said the announcement is probably a sign that Amazon will soon trigger a collection requirement by starting to hire for the year-end holidays, which for retailers begins in September. “They’re going to have to have employees ready by then,” Fleming said. The Tampa Bay Times reported Wednesday that Amazon intends to open its new 1.1 million-square-foot warehouse in southeastern Hillsborough County by the end of the year. The company also is upping its hiring projections for the facility from 1,100 to about 2,500, including seasonal hires, according to the Times. The Amazon announcement won’t end the drive by some groups to eliminate an exemption that has allowed out-of-state online retailers including Amazon, eBay and Overstock to avoid collecting the taxes. The Florida Department of Revenue requires online companies to begin collecting sales taxes once a company has a physical presence in the state. That has allowed many out-of-state online retailers, including Amazon, to avoid adding the taxes to online purchases. Floridians are supposed to pay the taxes themselves when they buy from online retailers, but few do. The Florida Retail Federation, which estimates the state will collect $80 million a year from Amazon sales, has been pushing for years to get Florida to impose what the group calls “e-Fairness” tax laws and Congress to approve what is known as the Marketplace Fairness Act. Fleming said the current focus leans toward Congress taking action, as the federal act would give states the authority to require online and catalog retailers —- regardless of where they are —- to collect sales taxes at the time of transactions. Besides, state lawmakers, reluctant to impose new taxes, haven’t shown much interest in e-Fairness efforts despite the lobbying efforts of Florida-based business and retail groups. Eight bills on the issue died during the 2013 state legislative session, including one that would have offset the additional revenue collected by lowering other taxes. This year there has been less interest in Tallahassee for e-Fairness. State economist Amy Baker said an estimated impact of Amazon’s tax collections on Florida’s revenue could be ready this summer. The company was not included in a March forecast by the state Revenue Estimating Committee. “We discussed it, but felt there was still too much uncertainty — particularly in regard to timing — to make the inclusion at that time,” Baker said in an email. by Jim Turner, The News Service of Florida Read More →
Man Sentenced For Sexual Misconduct At Juvenile Girls Facility
Ernest Lerenza Parker was sentenced Wednesday by Santa Rosa Circuit Judge John Simon to 25 years in prison followed by 10 years of sex offender probation. Parker was convicted by a Santa Rosa County Jury on March 7 of three counts of sexual misconduct. Parker was employed as a medical technician at the Milton Girls Juvenile Residential Facility from March 2012 until December 2012. During the time of his employment, the 53-year old Milton man engaged in various sexual acts with several of the girls who were committed to the facility. These crimes were reported to law enforcement during an investigation of physical abuse that had occurred at the juvenile facility. The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office and Department of Juvenile Justice conducted an extensive investigation which resulted in Parker’s arrest. Parker admitted to investigators that he had touched several of the juveniles in a sexual manner. During the trial the girls testified that Parker had touched them inappropriately, engaging in sexual acts with some of them. The Milton juvenile facility was closed on December 24, 2012. Read More →
Coalition Pushes For Open Government, Ethics Reforms
A coalition of groups called Wednesday for lawmakers to approve bills that would overhaul open-records and ethics laws before the legislative session ends in little more than two weeks. The organizations — including the First Amendment Foundation, Common Cause Florida, Integrity Florida, the Citizens Awareness Foundation and The Tea Party Network —said the House should pass a counterpart (HB 1151) to a measure approved by the Senate (SB 1648) strengthening the state’s open-government rules. The bill would create laws mirroring several court decisions, including one barring officials from demanding that citizens put requests for records in writing. Also, the bill would require open-government training for government employees. It comes as the Legislature is on pace to boost the total number of exemptions from open-records laws to almost 1,100, said Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation. “It’s a concern for us that the Legislature is very willing to create all of these exceptions to the constitutional right of access, but drags its heels on any attempt to improve our open-government laws,” Petersen said Wednesday at a press conference. The coalition also pressed lawmakers to approve a handful of ethics bills, including one measure (SB 846) that would bar local elected officials from working as legislative lobbyists in the future — though they would be able to represent their agencies at the Capitol. The bill also would require independent special districts to set up lobbyist-registration systems. by The News Service of Florida (Disclosure: The News Service of Florida is a member of the First Amendment Foundation.) Read More →
Coaches Name Robinson To All-State First Team
The Florida Association of Basketball Coaches has named Northview’s Neino Robinson to the 2013-2014 Boys Class 1A All-State first team. Robinson, a senior, was the only public school player from Escambia County named to any of the associations’ all-state teams in an classification. Players were selected based on in-person evaluations, a review of all-area teams selected by media from around the state, and recognition from the Florida Association of Basketball Coaches. The Florida Association of Basketball Coaches includes coaches from the high school, junior college and four-year college levels. Pictured: North view’s Neino Robinson (#1) takes a shot for the Northvew Chief during the reglar season. Read More →
Wahoos Fall 5-0 To Montgomery
On a crisp night at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (7-6) dropped game three of the five-game series with the Montgomery Biscuits, 5-0. The Biscuits (7-6) were powered by a 5th inning grand slam from left fielder Jeff Malm, which appeared to put the game out of reach. RHP Robert Stephenson (1-1) struggled in his second start of the season. He logged 4.1 innings and gave up 5 R/ER. Stephenson walked seven Biscuit batters and gave up a grand slam to Malm in the fifth, which ended up being his final batter of the evening. Reliever Daniel Renken had his longest outing of the season in relief of Stephenson. Renken pitched 2.2 innings and gave up no runs, three walks and struck out two. Wahoos pitchers combined to match a team record with 11 walks in the game. Right fielder Juan Duran extended his hitting streak to eight games with a 1-for-4 performance at the plate. Left fielder Donald Lutz remained hot going 1-for-4 with a double. Shortstop Devin Lohman had his second multi-hit game of the season; Lohman went 2-for-4 with two singles for the Wahoos. RHP Jared Mortensen (2-0) gave up no runs in his third start of the season; Mortensen pitched 5.0 innings and gave up just four hits while striking out five Wahoo batters. RHP Jake Thompson pitched three scoreless innings in relief for the Biscuits. Thompson gave up just one hit and struck out four in his longest outing of the season. Thursday marks the fourth game of the series and first pitch is scheduled for 6:30. RHP Jon Moscot (0-0, 0.90) is set to start for the Wahoos and he will be opposed by Michael Colla (0-1, 6.52). by Tommy Thrall Pictured: The Pensacola Blue Wahoos lose 5-0 to the Montgomery Biscuits Wednesday night in Pensacola. Photos by Michael Spooneybarger/ Pensacola Blue Wahoos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge. Read More →
Tate, Jay To Play For District Championships After Wednesday Wins
The Tate Lady Aggies and the Jay Lady Royals will be in action tonight in their district softball championship games. The top-seeded Tate Lady Aggies beat Fort Walton Beach Wednesday night 12-1 in five. The win earned the Lady Aggies a chance to play Thursday night for the District 1-7A championship against the third seed Navarre Raiders, 7 p.m. at Tate High School. The Raiders upset number two Niceville Wednesday 2-1. The Jay Royals beat Baker Wednesday night to advance to the championship game of the District 3-1A softball tournament. Jay will host Chipley at 7:00 Thursday night for the district championship after Chipley beat Holmes County. Read More →
FWC Sets Recreational Red Snapper Season To Begin May 24
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) set the Gulf recreational red snapper season in state waters Wednesday. The season will be a total of 52 days in 2014 and will start the Saturday before Memorial Day (May 24 this year) and remain open through July 14, closing July 15. Starting the season the Saturday before Memorial Day will provide recreational red snapper fishing through an important holiday weekend, helping attract more visitors and bringing economic benefits to our coastal communities, FWC said. The federal season is currently projected to be 11 days long, starting June 1 and remaining open through June 11. This season is subject to change depending on projections by NOAA Fisheries for when the recreational red snapper quota may be caught. Florida state waters in the Gulf are from shore to 9 nautical miles. Federal waters extend from where state waters end, out to about 200 nautical miles. The daily bag limit will remain two per person in state and federal waters. Read More →
Escambia Woman Dies In Highway 98 Crash
An Escambia County woman died in a two vehicle traffic crash Wednesday morning. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 89-year old Christene Wyatt Gileland was westbound on Highway 98 at South 61st Avenue in a 1996 Ford Escort, as a 2000 Mitsubishi Galant driven by 54-year old Anna Mare Rue was southbound on 61st Avenue and approaching Highway 98 in the left turn lane. The vehicles collided, with both coming to rest in the intersection. Gileland was pronounced deceased following the crash, while Rue received minor injuries. Charges are pending the completion of a traffic homicide investigation, according to FHP. Read More →
Jury Recommends Death For Joshua Douglas
An Escambia County jury voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend the death sentence for 32-year old Joshua Wayne Douglas. Douglas was convicted last week of the brutal rape and murder of a woman whose body was found in wooded area off Nine Mile Road. The body of 25-year old Jamie Broxson was found near a Gulf Power substation not far from Broxson’s home in November 2010. Douglas was tied to the murder by DNA evidence. One additional hearing will be held May 23 for the purpose of presenting any further evidence for the court to consider before imposing sentence. Read More →
Tate Band Students Named To State Nine Star Honor Band
Five Tate High School band students have been named to the Nine Star Honor Band for the state of Florida. The Nine Star Honor Band is sponsored by the Florida Bandmaster’s Association for the second year. It is for rising 10th grade students who have shown great musical aptitude and ability, and come from the highest quality band programs in Florida. The Tate students selected were: Mallory Parker, Madison Philley, Madison Rondeau, Katlin Sainata and Danae Smith. They will travel to Alamonte Springs on July 9 and 10 to perform with other sophomores from around the state. Their clinician will be Dan Wooten, director of bands at Niceville High School and former member and assistant director of the Tate High School Showband of the South. Pictured: Nine Star Honor Band members from Tate High School are (L-R) Mallory Parker, Madison Philley, Madison Rondeau, Danae Smith and Kaitlin Sainata. Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge. Read More →
Northview, Freeport Out Of District 3-1A Softball Tourney
The Northview Lady Chiefs and Freeport were knocked out of the District 3-1A Softball Tournament at Jay. In game one Tuesday afternoon, Holmes County defeated the Northview Lady Chiefs 3-0. In game two, the Baker Lady Gators defeated Freeport 11-4. Kyndall Hall and Danielle Steadham were both 1-3 at bat for Northview. Mallory Ryan pitched a complete seven innings for the Lady Chiefs, allow three hits and striking out seven. Wednesday, Chipley will play Holmes County, and at 7 p.m. the Jay Lady Royals will take on Baker. Winners will advance to the championship game at 7 p.m. Thursday in Jay. Read More →
Abortion Parental Notice Case Divides Appeals Court
The girl was 17 years old, a good student, headed toward college — and pregnant. But her attempt to get an abortion without her parents finding out led to an appeals court issuing sharply divided opinions last week about how a key part of the state’s parental-notification law should be applied. Florida voters in 2004 approved a constitutional amendment that requires parents to be notified before their minor daughters can have abortions. But that amendment and subsequent laws created a process for minors to go to court to prevent the notification. The process, known as a judicial bypass or waiver, was at the crux of the case involving a teen, identified in court documents as Jane Doe 13-A, seeking to have an abortion without her parents being told. A Leon County circuit judge ruled against the girl’s request, but a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal reversed that ruling in a 2-1 decision. Appeals-court Judge T. Kent Wetherell, in an opinion released Friday, wrote that the girl was a high-school senior who earned A and B grades in advanced classes and had been accepted to colleges. He wrote that she feared she would be kicked out of the house by her deeply religious parents if they found out she was pregnant and planned to have an abortion. “(As) a practical matter, the denial of a judicial waiver in this case would leave appellant (the minor) with two options: carry an unwanted pregnancy to term or notify her parents of her intent to have an abortion,” wrote Wetherell, who was part of a majority with Judge L. Clayton Roberts. “It is clear from appellant’s testimony that either of these options would irreparably harm the parent-child relationship and would disrupt, if not destroy, appellant’s plans for her future. On the other hand, if the petition is granted, the parent-child relationship may not be harmed at all because appellant’s parents may never find out about the pregnancy or the abortion and appellant will be able to attend college and make a better life for herself than she likely would have had otherwise.” But appeals-court Judge Scott Makar wrote a 33-page dissent that said the appeals court should give deference to the lower-court ruling that would have led to the girl’s parents being notified. He also indicated that the case was the first time an appeals court had fully explored changes that lawmakers approved in 2011 to the judicial bypass law. Those changes included new legal standards that gave greater deference to the decisions made by circuit judges. “The purpose of the Parental Notice of Abortion Act is to safeguard the constitutional rights of parents in the care and upbringing of their children by requiring their notification — not consent — before an abortion can be performed on their daughter while concurrently providing exceptions where the minor is clearly and conclusively shown to be sufficiently mature or that parental notification would not be in her best interest,” Makar wrote. “It is a balance of interests, but one presumptively struck in favor of parental notification.” The issue of parental notification had long been controversial before voters approved the 2004 constitutional amendment. In most cases, courts rule in favor of minors who seek to use the judicial-bypass process. A footnote in Makar’s dissent said that 95 percent or more of minors’ petitions were approved from 2006 to 2011 and that the rate fell to 89 percent in 2012, after the legislative changes. Though Friday’s opinions do not fully explain the chain of events in the case of Jane Doe 13-A, it appears that they were issued about five months after the case went to court. Makar’s dissent said the girl sought the judicial waiver Nov. 5 and that a circuit judge ruled against her three days later. The next week, the girl filed an appeal, and a three-judge “emergency panel” was assigned to the case. By law, the panel had to make a decision within seven days. While the opinions do not detail what happened after that point, the case caused sharp disagreements that went beyond the three-judge panel. Other documents released Friday show that a proposal for the full, 15-member appeals court to hear the broader issues in the case was defeated in a 9-6 vote. “At stake here is not the minor child Doe’s right to choose to terminate her pregnancy,” wrote Judge Ronald Swanson, who wanted the full court to consider the issues. “All would undoubtedly agree the abortion most probably has taken place and Doe was able to make that choice without requirement that her parents be informed of the decision. At this point, what is at stake is one of the foundational principles of judicial restraint: that an appellate court will not substitute its view of the facts for that of the trial court when the trial court enjoys the vantage point of observing the demeanor and credibility of the witnesses.” But in the case of Jane Doe 13-A, Wetherell and Roberts took issue with the conclusions reached by the circuit court, such as whether the girl was mature enough to make the abortion decision. Wetherell wrote that appeals courts are not required to “rubber-stamp” the lower court decisions.” by Jim Saunders, The News Service of Florida Read More →
Ho-Hum Legislative Session Not Just About Governor’s Race
Tax breaks are in. Gambling? No dice. Lower tuition is OK, but alimony is a no-no. Blame the GOP-dominated Legislature’s attempt to give Gov. Rick Scott a helping hand for what people are calling one of the most boring sessions in recent history. But, while they are doing all they can to keep the governor in office, Republicans also have their eyes on a bigger prize — the presidential race two years from now. “Absolutely it’s important. We want the governor re-elected but it’s clearly important for 2016. No question,” said Sen. John Thrasher, a St. Augustine Republican and former head of the Republican Party of Florida who is also chairman of Scott’s re-election effort. Lawmakers recently put the kibosh on gambling legislation that was sure to split the Republican faithful. And, after Scott vetoed a similar effort last year, they opted to not even consider a prickly overhaul of the alimony system, putting the issue on hold for at least another year. But they are angling to land on the incumbent Republican’s desk a cornucopia of items that appeal to Hispanics, gun owners, drivers, families footing the bill for university educations and anyone disgusted by revelations that sexual offenders let loose by the state preyed again on children. The Legislature quickly passed a package of measures aimed at cracking down on child molesters, even after critics complained that the legislation fails to fully address the problem. And lawmakers swiftly handed Scott one of his top priorities, a nearly $400 million rollback of vehicle registration fees increased during economic tough times in 2009, when Charlie Crist — Scott’s leading Democratic opponent — was governor. With the May 2 end of the session fast approaching, the House and Senate are now wrangling over how to parcel out the remaining $100 million of the $500 million in election-year tax and fee cuts Scott made a top priority. No election year on GOP turf would be complete without some National Rifle Association-backed legislation to pump up base voters. So Florida lawmakers are approving a suite of bills aimed at firing up gun owners. One measure would let gun owners who don’t have concealed-carry training pack heat during states of emergency. A “warning shot” proposal awaiting Scott’s signature would let people show guns and fire warning shots in self-defense. Another gift to Scott — lower tuition for university students — is wrapped in a bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition, a priority of House Speaker Will Weatherford. The House has already passed the bill, and Senate sponsor Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, says he has the votes for Senate approval once it makes it to the floor. The measure is viewed as an olive branch to Hispanic voters whom Scott alienated in his first bid for governor when he campaigned on bringing an Arizona-style immigration law to Florida. Scott further angered Hispanics when he vetoed a nearly universally-supported measure that would have let children of undocumented immigrants get temporary driver’s licenses. “I think we’ve got a nice smooth session going on and that always helps. Everyone’s working together, the House, the Senate, the governor. I think it’s as much harmony here as I’ve seen during any session and that obviously should help him,” Latvala said. Keeping the governor’s mansion, as well as the Florida House and Senate, in GOP hands is part of a longer-term strategy. Florida, a critical swing state, helped President Obama get into the White House and stay there in the past two elections. A Republican governor would help turn that around, Thrasher said. “It makes a difference,” he said. “We’ve lost the last two elections in Florida. We need to win the next one in order to elect a Republican president.” Thrasher said the 2016 election doesn’t put more pressure on Republicans to re-elect Scott, who remains unpopular, but “it clearly gives us some incentives to do that.” Getting Scott re-elected could also help the GOP maintain a stronghold on legislative and congressional seats in 2016, especially in the state House, where about a dozen seats could now be up for grabs after new maps were drawn in 2012. “It’s not just about the presidential. It’s about legislative. It’s about congressional. Anytime you have the governor in the mansion, that changes the dynamic for that party,” said lobbyist Nick Iarossi. “Where the Republicans have drastically outraised Democrats for the past decade, that could turn on a dime if Charlie Crist wins the governor’s mansion. That’s why everyone’s being cautious.” But House Minority Leader Perry Thurston said Republicans are ignoring issues such as an expansion of Medicaid to lay the groundwork for the presidential race. “For sure it’s positioning for 2016. They want it to appear that there are no problems here in Tallahassee, that everything’s moving along smoothly and they’ve got this $1.3 billion in surplus to try to camouflage to that effect. But there are a number of issues we’re not addressing. We need to address the issue of health care, which we believe is a crisis in this state. We need to fully vet the issue with DCF. They’re talking about new investigators but they’re not addressing the issue of the services. If you have more investigators, clearly there are going to be more cases and they’re going to need to place more children. They’re not addressing those placements and the services,” Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, said. “The governor’s race clearly is being done to set up how Florida will be a Republican governor-led state at the time of the (2016) election.” But Steve Schale, a Democratic consultant who led Obama’s 2008 campaign effort in Florida and is advising Crist, said that it’s wrong-headed of Republicans to pin their presidential hopes on the governor’s race. “I think it’s a very myopic view of the Tallahassee-centric world which doesn’t exist in the five blocks outside of Adams Street,” Schale said. Obama won the Sunshine State twice with a Republican governor at the helm, Schale pointed out. And, Schale said, presidential elections are now so expensive and require such a large organization that, although a governor can help his or her party’s fund-raising efforts, state parties are relied on less and less to aid candidates. “In a previous era you would have had to depend on party apparatus …because nobody could raise a billion dollars. But in this new world we live in, you don’t need a political apparatus in a presidential election. You don’t need it at all,” he said. Obama won Florida by 3 percentage points in 2008, “arguably at the point at which our party was most inept,” Schale said. “It may be materially important for some political leaders and some political consultants but it’s not in terms of the outcome of the election,” he said. by Dara Kim, The News Service of Florida Read More →
Rep. Clay Ingram: Session Break
submitted by Rep. Clay Ingram It’s great to be home this week for a much needed break from Session. We’ve accomplished a great deal of work so far for hard working Floridians. Last week the House passed HB 697, a bill I sponsored that expands the list of Schedule 1 synthetic drugs. This bill will now go to the Senate for their approval. I will continue to work with Attorney General Pam Bondi on keeping these dangerous drugs away from our children. Last week the House passed bills expanding educational choice in Florida and also forbidding the collection of certain personal student data that would have violated student privacy rights. The House also passed a bill that would create new penalties for people who harm an unborn baby while committing a crime. These common sense, conservative measures will make Florida an even better place to live. The Legislature will be off this week as we celebrate Passover and Easter with our families. I look forward to this time to see family and friends before heading back to finish the final two weeks of Session. Read More →
Ashcraft, Bratt Road Intersection To Close
The intersection of Ashcraft Road at Bratt Road will be closed beginning Wednesday at 6 p.m., through Thursday at 4:30 p.m. due to a crossover pipe replacement. The intersection is located at the southeast corner of the Travis Nelson Park, just south of Highway 4. NorthEscambia.com photo by Bethany Reynolds, click to enlarge. Read More →
Man Sentenced To 330 Years For Child Sex Abuse
A Santa Rosa County man was sentenced to 330 year is prison Tuesday for the sexual abuse of three young girls. Circuit Judge John L. Miller handed down the 330 year sentence to Donzell Kevin Nuckles after his February conviction on 10 counts of sexual battery upon a child by a person in familial or custodial authority and two counts of lewd or lascivious molestation for crimes he committed against the girls when he and his family lived in Pace. Between February 2011 and October 2012, Nuckles, 40, committed various sexual offenses against his three victims, who ranged in age from 12 to 17 years old at the time the crimes were committed. The abuse was reported to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office in November 2012 and was investigated by Dectective Larry Tynes. All three victims testified during the trial about the abuse they suffered. As a result of the sexual abuse, one of the girls became pregnant and gave birth to the defendant’s child. DNA evidence introduced at trial revealed that Nuckles was the father of that child. Read More →
Wahoos Beat Biscuits 7-4
On a chilly night at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium, the Wahoos defeated the Biscuits 7-4 in the second game of the series. The Wahoos (7-5) used a four-run inning in the third to break the game open. The Biscuits (6-6) mounted a comeback scoring three runs in the eighth inning, but eventually fell short. RHP Daniel Corcino (1-2) started the contest for the Wahoos and went 6.0 innings, giving up just one R/ER and two hits. Corcino worked out of a first-inning bases loaded jam and gave up just one hit in his final 5.0 innings of work, at one point retiring 13 of 14 batters he faced. RHP Drew Hayes walked two, but shut down the Biscuits in the ninth on the way to earning his third save of the year. The Wahoos exploded offensively; their four-run third inning was a season-high for runs scored in an inning. First baseman Steve Selsky led the way with a 3-for-5 game with two runs scored and an RBI. Bryan Anderson, Juan Silverio, Devin Lohman and Juan Duran all drove in runs Tuesday night for the Wahoos. Center fielder Bryson Smith had his second multi-hit game of the season going 3-for-5 with three singles. RHP Dylan Floro (0-1) was chased from the mound after 4.1 innings; Floro gave up 11 hits and 7 R/ER while walking two and striking out four. LHP Braulio Lara had a successful night giving up no runs in 2.2 innings of work while striking out four. Third baseman Richie Shaffer went 2-for-5 on the night with a triple and an RBI, but just missed out on a game-tying three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning. Designated hitter Curt Casali went 1-for-1 with a double and four walks. The Wahoos scored at least five runs so use the promo code Wahoos and receive 50% off your entire order Wednesday at PapaJohns.com. The Wahoos will send RHP Robert Stephenson (1-0, 3.86) to the mound for the third game of the series on Wednesday where he’ll be opposed by RHP Jared Mortensen (1-0, 4.26). by Tommy Thrall Pictured: The Pensacola Blue Wahoos beat the Montgomery Biscuits 7-4 at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium Tuesday. Photos by Michael Spooneybarger/ Pensacola Blue Wahoos for NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge. by Tommy Thrall Read More →
Woman Sentenced To 24 Years In Prison For Toddler Drowning Death
An Escambia County woman was sentenced Monday to 24 years in prison in connection with the drowning death of her toddler in a neighbor’s small pond. Jennifer Lynn Eiland, 32, was convicted last month by an Escambia County jury of negligent manslaughter and three counts of child neglect after her 14-month old, Alana Mae Eiland, was found unresponsive in her neighbor’s landscaping pond in August 2013 in the 10600 block of Betmark Road, just off 10 Mile Road. The neighbor was alerted to the child by one of the child’s siblings. First responders attempted rescue efforts, but Alana Mae was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at a local hospital. Neighbor Larry Kruger made the discovery in his front yard after one of Eiland’s children knocked on his door. The little girl’s body was under a small bridge the crosses the pond, which is less than two feet deep. Investigators found “unsanitary living conditions” in the Betmark Road home where Eiland and her children were living at the time of the drowning, according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. The child’s father, a Merchant Marine, returned home from being at sea following the incident. Eiland has had prior abuse allegations in Alabama. According to investigators, the children,whose ages range from three to eight,had been placed in foster care and were only returned to the care of their mother in the recent months before the drowning. Pictured top and bottom: Larry Kruger (bottom photo) discovered the lifeless body of a nieghbor’s 14-month old girl in his landscaping pond in August 2013. File photos by Joe Douglass WEAR 3 for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge. Read More →
Name Released In Monday Fatal Shooting
The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of the victim in a fatal shooting in the Mayfair area of Escambia County Monday afternoon. The victim was identified as 23-year old Dequarius Frederick Durrant. He was found deceased inside a car that had crashed into a home in the 100 block Emerald Avenue about 2:30 p.m. “The incident appears to have been drug related,” the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. Investigators said “person of interest” was questioned and released Monday night. The investigation into the incident is continuing. Pictured: The scene on Emerald Avenue in Mayfair Monday afternoon following a fatal shooting. Photos by Jenise Fernandez, WEAR, for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge. Read More →
First Amendment Group Seeks Veto Of ‘Warning Shot’ Bill
The First Amendment Foundation on Monday asked Gov. Rick Scott to veto what has become known as the “warning shot” bill because of a provision that would allow records to be expunged. The bill (HB 89), which has passed the House and Senate, has drawn widespread attention because it would allow people to show guns or fire warning shots in self-defense if they feel threatened. The bill also would allow criminal records to be expunged if people are found to have acted legally in self-defense and prosecutors do not pursue charges. Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation, wrote to Scott that the bill “has grave implications for public oversight of our judicial and criminal justice systems” and is contrary to the public interest. “The expunction provision … not only limits public oversight, but potentially could serve as a tool for obscuring law enforcement and prosecutorial misconduct, while also hindering the development of court precedence essential to understanding how and when the proposed use of force law applies,” Petersen wrote. But during debates on bill, lawmakers such as Sen. Charlie Dean, R-Inverness, defended the provision. “If you’re innocent, that automatically should expunge your name, and you shouldn’t have to defend your name the rest of your life,” Dean said before the Senate approved the bill April 3. by the News Service of Florida (Disclosure: The News Service of Florida is a member of the First Amendment Foundation.) Read More →
Wahoos Drop First Of Series 3-1 To Montgomery Biscuits
The Montgomery Biscuits took the first game of the series 3-1 over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in a rain-shortened contest. The Wahoos (6-5) had the tying run at the plate with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning when the game was forced into a rain delay. The rain persisted and came down even harder during the hour and twenty minute delay. Montgomery (6-5) scored two runs in the top of the first, which would prove to be all the Biscuits needed. RHP Carlos Contreras (1-1) struggled to find his command early in the contest and gave up 3 R/ER in five innings of work while striking out five Biscuit batters. RHP Tim Adleman made his first appearance of the year for the Wahoos after being called up on April 12th; Adleman pitched 1.0 innings and gave up no runs or hits. The Wahoos struggled at the plate and only mustered three hits through 5.1 innings. Left fielder Donald Lutz went 1-for-3 with a triple and an RBI. Lutz was stranded on third base when the game was called in the bottom of the sixth. Juan Duran went 1-for-2 with a double and a strikeout. RHP Victor Mateo (1-2) pitched the entire game for the Biscuits going 5.1 innings, giving up 1 R/ER and striking out four batters. Left fielder Taylor Motter went 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI. First baseman Cameron Seitzer had an RBI on his 1-for3 night. The Blue Wahoos return to the field on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. to take on the Biscuits. The Wahoos will send RHP Daniel Corcino (0-2, 2.57) to the mound while the Biscuits will counter with RHP Dylan Floro (0-0, 7.71). by Tommy Thrall Pictured: The Pensacola Blue Wahoos take on the Montgomery Biscuits. Photos by Michael Spooneybarger/ Pensacola Blue Wahoos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge. Read More →
Storms Cause Power Outages, Flooding
A line of storms created flooding, power outages and sparked a fire that destroyed a Molino home Monday night in the North Escambia area. Gulf Power reported as many as about 700 North Escambia customers without power following the worst of the storms, including 246 customers in the dark in the Tate Road area. Escambia River Electric Cooperative reported a large, weather related outage of customers served by their Jay and Bratt substations. The intersection of Highway 29 and Highway 97 was completely underwater and closed, according to the Florida Highway Patrol, for a short period of time. At least two vehicles were disabled by rising flood waters. Lightning sparked a house fire near Molino that injured on person. Read more… Pictured top: cars partially submerged in the parking lot of Ensley Walmart on Pensacola Boulevard Monday night. Reader submitted photos, click to enlarge. Read More →
Traffic Crash Claims The Life Of A Woman And Her Baby
A single vehicle crash Saturday night claimed the life of a young woman and her baby. Schintai Eberhart, 18, of Pensacola was ejected from the front passenger seat of a 2006 Lexus during a wreck on Brent Lane. She died at a local hospital after undergoing an emergency C-section, and her baby died soon after birth, according to Pensacola Police Officer Jason Browning. Browning said the crash occurred around 7:45 p.m. Saturday. Lindsey Eberhart was driving the vehicle westbound on Brent Lane from Ninth Avenue when she lost control and the vehicle hit a curb near Evergreen Road. It then struck a power pole and flipped a couple times before stopping on its left side. The power pole broke from the impact. Lindsey Eberhart was taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The left rear passenger – Deven Heflin, 12, of Pensacola – was also hospitalized with minor injuries. Deven is the brother of Lindsey and Schintai Eberhart, police said. The right rear passenger was Tristan Horne, 18, of Pensacola. He received a minor hand injury, Browning said. Charges are pending the outcome of the investigation; seatbelt usage on all occupants has not yet been determined. Read More →
Wesley Graduates From Basic Training
Army Pfc. Garbell S. Wesley has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises. Wesley is the daughter of Bertha Floyd and granddaughter of Annette Wesley, both of Century. She is a 2009 graduate of Northview High School. Read More →
Log-A-Load Bass Tourney Results, Over $13K Awarded
Over $13,000 in prize money was awarded Saturday in the 18th Annual Charity Log A Load for Kids Bass Tournament held at Live Oak Landing in Stockton, Ala. Winners were as follows: Keith Deese & Jim Smith – 11.69 pounds; $3,000 Bryan Ward & Zach Lawshe – 11.63 pounds; $2,000 Morgan Grainger & Randy Speights – 11.46 pounds; $1,000 Sterling Johnson & Tim Taylor – 11.39 pounds; $950 Mark Ross & James Roete – 10.40 pounds; $900 Darrell Bryan & Gavin Webb – 10.32 pounds; $850 Logan Marston & Keith Marston – 10.32 pounds; $800 Eddie Knowles & Wayne McDade – 9.73 pounds; $750 Tommy Parker & Steve Williamson – 9.37 pounds; $700 John Bailey & Jeremy Baltzell – 9.36 pounds; $650 Matt Carpenter & Carl Rowell – 9.27 pounds; $500 John Taylor & Kim Taylor – 9.11 pounds; $400 Matt Lemon & Mike Swoboda – 9.10 pounds; $300 David Foshee & Larry Foshee – 9.00 pounds; $200 Robbie Stanley & Jacob Hollingsworth – 8.93 pounds; $100 The tournament and events raise funds for Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital. Log-A-Load is sponsored by the Florida Forestry Association and the Florida Loggers Council. Read More →
Jay Girls Track Takes District 1-1A Crown; Boys Finish Fourth
The Jay High School girls track team won the District 1-1A championship, while the Jay boys finished in fourth place. Top Jay finishers were: Girls High Jump – Kolby Copeland, 4th; Jessica Thornton, 5th, Kourtney Smith, 8th. Boys High Jump – Aurhur Fraley, 5th; Jacob Madden, 6th. Girls Long Jump – Carissa Mulford, 4th; Kayla Flowers, 6th; Kourtney Smith, 7th. Boys Long Jump – Roger Mishoe, 4th. Girls Triple Jump – Kourtney Smith, 2nd; Carissa Mulford, 4rd; Kayla Flowers, 4th; Carsen Arrant, 6th. Girls Discus Throw – Brianna Hawthorne 5th; Jenna Thornton, 6th. Boys Discus Throw – Tucker Harrington, 2nd; Cody Hitt, 4th; Colby Diamond 6th. Girls Shot Put- Brianna Hawthorne, 6th; Jennifer Lowery 8th. Boys Shot Put – Tucker Harrington, 2nd; Colby Diamond, 4th; Jarred Hunt, 8th. Girls 100 Meter Dash – Amber Cross, 3rd; Kayla Flowers, 5th. Girls 200 Meter Dash — Amber Cross, 3rd; Autumn Ates, 5th. Boys 200 Meter Dash — Braden Cross, 2nd. Girls 400 Meter Dash - Kristen Pike, 2nd; Savannah Brown, 4th. Girls 100 Meter Hurdles – Carissa Mulford, 3rd; Jorja Agrait, 5th; Kelly Hoover, 6th; Alyssa Chavis, 8th. Boys 100 Meter Hurdles – Mason Bridges, 3rd. Girls 300 Meter Hurdles – Jorja Agrait, 3rd; Carissa Mulford, 5th; Kelly Hoover, 7th; Alyssa Chavis, 8th. Boys 300 Meter Hurdles — Roger Mishoe, 1st; Mason Bridges, 5th. Girls 4 x 100 Meter Relay — Jay High School, 4th. Boys 4 x 100 Meter Relay – Jay High School, 2nd. Girls 4 x 400 – Ana-Grace Smith, Savanna Brown, Jenna Thornton, Jessica Thornton – 1st. Boys 4 x 400 – Austin Gibson, Roger Mishoe, Brandon Poley, Braden Cross – 4th. Girls 4 x 800 -Ana-Grace Smith, Savanna Brown, Jenna Thornton,, Jorja Agrait – 1st. Girls 800 Meter - Jessica Thornton, 1st; Ana-Grace Smith, 3rd; Jenna Thornton, 4th. Boys 800 Meter – Cody Wolfe, 3rd; Casey Zylstra, 7th. Girls 1600 Meter – Jessica Thornton, 2nd. Girls 3200 Meter – Carsen Arrant 5th; Kendra Weekes, 8th. Boys 3200 Meter – Micah Kemp, 3rd For complete event results, click here. Pictured: The Jay High School Lady Royals track team. Submitted photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge. Read More →
Wahoos Finish Road Swing With 7-5 Over Huntsville
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos defeated the Huntsville Stars 7-5 in the final game of the five-game series. The Wahoos (6-4) won their final game in Huntsville before the Stars move on to Biloxi next season. Huntsville (7-3) lost their second straight to the Wahoos after winning seven games in a row. The Wahoos exploded offensively, hitting four home runs against the Stars. RHP Michael Lorenzen (2-0) started his second game of the season for the Wahoos and earned the win, pitching 6.2 innings. Lorenzen gave up 2 R/ER and struck out four while only allowing four hits. The Wahoos appeared to have run away with the game, leading the Stars 7-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth. RHP Sean Black gave up three runs and only recorded one out in the ninth before manager Delino DeShields called upon lefty Fabian Williamson. Williamson earned the save and recorded a strikeout in his 0.2 innings of work. Left fielder Donald Lutz led the Wahoos’ offensive attack with two home runs and three RBI; Lutz went 3-for-4 in the game. Center fielder Yorman Rodriguez and third baseman Juan Silverio hit their first home runs of the season. Second baseman Rey Navarro continued his hot streak, going 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored. RHP Tyler Cravy (1-1) pitched 5.0 innings and gave up 5 R/ER to the Wahoos. Cravy struck out three and walked two while allowing three home runs. RHP Eric Marzec pitched 2.0 innings in relief and gave up just one run while striking out two Wahoo batters. First baseman Nick Ramirez went 1-for-4 and hit a home run. Center fielder Mitch Haniger hit a home run for the third straight game; Haniger went 1-for-4 in the contest. Since the Wahoos won and scored at least five runs, all online orders from Papa John’s will be 50% off on Monday. The Blue Wahoos return to Pensacola Bayfront Stadium on Monday for a five-game home stand against the Montgomery Biscuits. The Biscuits are the first South Division opponent of the season for Pensacola. RHP Carlos Contreras (1-0) will get the nod for the Wahoos. The Biscuits are scheduled to send RHP Victor Mateo (0-2) to the mound. by Joey Truncale Read More →
Barrineau Park 4-H Club Members Place In Santa Rosa Fair Livestock Show
The Barrineau Park 4-H Club is celebrating 100 years as the oldest continuous 4-H club in Florida and is also celebrating several wins at the recent Santa Rosa County Fair Livestock Show. In the Hog Event, they swept the weight categories: Light Weight — Trinity Tisler Middle Weight – Zac Comeau Light Heavy Weight — Dillon Conti Heavy Weight — Willow Foxworth Grand Champion – Dillon Conti Reserve Grand Champion — Zac Comeau In the Steer and Heifer competitions, Willow Foxworth, Patra Miller, Eva Miller, Emily Boutwell and Tyler Simmons all placed in each of their categories. At the Goat Show, Dillon and Jessica Conti both represented Intermediates and Joshua McLamb won first place in Senior Showmanship. Pictured: Members of the Barrineau Park 4-H Club took part in the Santa Rosa County Fair Livestock Show. Submitted photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge. Read More →
Jay, UWF Hold Relay For Life Events (With Photo Gallery)
Hundreds of people took part in Relay for Life events this weekend in Jay and and at the University of West Florida. At the Jay Relay for Life, there were 14 teams registered to take part in the eight hour event. At last count, the event had raised $21,197.87 for cancer research, but a final total won’t be available until next week. For a photo gallery from the event, click here. The UWF Relay For Life was held on the University of West Florida Campus from 7 p.m. Friday until 7 a.m. Saturday. There were 45 teams and 411 participants registered for the event. The top teams as last count were the Textbook Brokers, Phi Sigma Sigma and Alpha Gamma Delta. A Luminaria ceremony was held at both events as participants remembered friends and loved ones that have lost the battle against cancer and honored those currently fighting cancer. Other upcoming area Relay for Life events include the Relay for Life of Greater Escambia at Tate High School with 37 registered teams beginning at 7 p.m. on April 25, and the Relay for Life of Escambia-Atmore at Tom Byrne Park. beginning at 6 p.m. on April 25. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge. Read More →
Molino’s Southern Mill And Supply To Close
The owners of Southern Mill and Supply in Molino announced Saturday that the business will close at the end of this month. Formerly known as Dixie Feed Mill, the business had served the Molino area for numerous years. The decision to close the store came after the death of manager Lester Lambright in late January. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your loyalty to our business and for your friendship. My year at Southern Mill, though incredibly challenging, has been one of the greatest learning experiences of my life. I thank you for all your support and the patience you have shown me as I have tried to continue on Mr. Lester’s legacy here at Southern Mill. May God bless you all in your future endeavors,” Joseph T. Witherspoon wrote in announcing the closure. The final day of business for Southern Mill and Supply, located on Highway 97 north of Molino Park Elementary School, will be April 30. NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge. Read More →