FDLE Arrests Escambia Man On Child Porn Charges

August 1, 2015

An Escambia County man was been arrested on child pornography charges by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Fredrick Lamar Collins Jr, 30 was charged with five counts of obscene material, possession of photographs depicting child sexual conduct.  FDLE agents, along with Escambia County Sheriff’s Office deputies, executed a search warrant at 6501 Highway 98, Apt. 506 on Thursday.

The investigation began in May after agents determined that a computer located at Collins’ residence was sharing files containing child pornography on the internet. Multiple files containing child pornography were located on a personal computer belonging to him, according to FDLE.

He was booked into the Escambia County Jail with bond set at $75,000. The investigation will be prosecuted by the Office of the State Attorney.

Deputies Investigating Lloyd Street Death

August 1, 2015

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a woman was found dead inside a car.

The woman’s body was found in the 4000 block of Lloyd Street. Investigators said the cause of death is unknown at this time.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has not released further details as they continue their investigation.

Confederate Monument Vandalized

August 1, 2015

Police are investigating after Pensacola’s Confederate monument in Lee Square was damaged by graffiti  The words “Confed Lives Don’t Matter” were spray painted on the structure.

Lee Square is located at 602 North Palafox St., between the north- and southbound lanes of Palafox Street. Damage to the statute was estimated at around $1,000.

“We are investigating this as possible felony criminal mischief because of the extent of damage,” said Chief David Alexander III.

Anyone having information on the incident is asked to contact the Pensacola Police Department at (850) 435-1900 or Crime Stoppers at  (850) 433-STOP.

Photo courtesy NewsRadio 1620 for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Wahoos Even Series With Win Over Chattanooga

August 1, 2015

Cody Reed (W, 1-0) was stellar in his organizational debut Friday night at AT&T Field in Chattanooga, leading the Blue Wahoos to a 4-1 win to even the series. Reed earned the win while matching his season-high with seven strong innings allowing just a first-inning run. He walked only one and struck out six.

The Lookouts took advantage of a leadoff double in the first inning by Shannon Wilkerson to take a 1-0 lead. The game stayed that way until Pensacola rallied in the seventh. With Juan Duran at second after a one-out double, Seth Mejias-Brean ripped a groundball right between the legs of the first baseman D.J. Hicks. Duran scored on the error to tie the game and snap Pensacola’s scoreless streak at 15 innings. Mejias-Brean scored the go-ahead run when Sean Buckley singled him home later in the inning.

The Wahoos added to their lead with a couple more runs in the eighth. Duran came through again with a two-run single scoring Ryan Wright and Jesse Winker to make it a 4-1 game. Duran led the offense with a 3-for-4 night including the two RBI and a run scored.

The bullpen finished strong for the Blue Wahoos. Kevin Shackelford pitched a scoreless eighth inning in his third outing since returning from the disabled list. Zack Weiss picked up his 13th save by striking out the side in order in the ninth.

Chattanooga’s Greg Peavey (6-3) took the loss after allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits over 6.1 innings.

Pensacola will look for their third series win of the second half tomorrow night. RHP Barrett Astin (2-2, 3.96) is expected to be activated prior to the game going up against LHP David Hurlbut (7-4, 3.77). First pitch is set for 6:15 CT from AT&T Field in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The Blue Wahoos are on a 10-day road trip against the Chattanooga Lookouts and Jacksonville Suns.

Deputies Investigate Overnight Shooting

July 31, 2015

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an early morning shooting.

About 1:15 a.m., deputies responded to a Shell gas station at Old Corry Field Road and Navy Boulevard for a reported shooting victim.

The victim, described by authorities only as a 34-year old black male, told deputies that he was shot during a drug transaction at the Moreno Court apartments on Old Corry Field Road.

He was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. There were no arrests reported.

Free School Supplies Available Saturday In Century

July 31, 2015

Free school supplies will be available to those in need this Saturday in Century.

The supplies will be distributed in memory of Dedria Robinson, who was killed in 2005  in an automobile accident at age 11. Organizers of the “Dedria’s Gift” program said the school supplies are available to children from Escambia County in both Florida and Alabama.

The giveaway begins at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Nadine McCaw Park (Roadside Park) on North Century Boulevard and continues until the school supplies are gone.

Blood Centers Announce Merger

July 31, 2015

OneBlood, Inc. which includes the local area blood bank, is merging effective July 31 with The Blood Alliance, Inc.

The newly formed organization will distribute more than one million blood products annually, serve over 210 hospitals throughout most of Florida, parts of Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina and employ more than 2,400 people.

“The landscape of the blood industry is rapidly changing and it demands that we continue to evolve and diversify to meet the needs of our hospital partners and their patients,” said Don Doddridge, President and Chief Executive Officer of OneBlood. “We are confident that the merger will have a positive impact in further defining the new template for the future of our industry and ensuring our communities have a progressive, forward-thinking local blood center that is here to serve for years to come,” said Doddridge.

More stringent transfusion protocols, health care reform and advances in medical science are all helping shape a new era of blood banking.

“Bringing the two organizations together is the right thing to do for our communities,” said Dr. Marsha Bertholf, Medical Director of The Blood Alliance. “We can no longer rely on the business models of the past to take us where we need to go in the future.  Hospitals want larger scale blood centers to serve their multiple locations and the merger will allow us to accommodate their needs and still keep the hometown connection,” said Bertholf.

In addition to mitigating cost to hospitals and patients, the merger is expected to bring additional operational efficiencies and further stabilize the blood supply, especially in times of natural disasters such as hurricanes and enhance donor outreach initiatives.

OneBlood CEO, Don Doddridge, who began his blood banking career in Jacksonville, will lead the newly merged organization and an 11 member board of directors will provide oversight, governance and guidance.

Integration of the two organizations will begin immediately.  In addition, The Blood Alliance will undergo a rebranding phase in the coming months and transition to the OneBlood brand.

OneBlood is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) community asset responsible for providing safe, available and affordable blood to more than 200 hospital partners and their patients throughout most of Florida and into parts of southern Georgia and Alabama.

OneBlood was established on January 27, 2012 when three of Florida’s independent, not-for-profit blood centers merged, including the Northwest Florida Blood Center. Together, OneBlood brings more than 100 years of lifesaving experience to the community. OneBlood distributes nearly one million blood products annually, employs more than 2,000 people, operates more than 70 donor centers and deploys nearly 200 of its signature Big Red Buses throughout its service area for blood drives.  T

Pictured: The OneBlood “Big Red Bus” at the Walnut Hill Volunteer Fire Department. NorthEscambia.com file photo, click to enlarge.

Wahoos Fall In Pitcher’s Duel

July 31, 2015

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos (18-15, 43-57) were stymied at the plate in a 3-0 loss to the Chattanooga Lookouts (13-18, 56-43) Thursday night at AT&T Field.

Wahoos starter Josh Smith (5-4) earned the loss despite a solid effort at the mound, throwing all eight innings and allowing three runs on eight hits.

The game would be won by Chattanooga’s Jason Wheeler (2-2), who threw 8.0 shutout innings while only allowing three hits. J.T. Chargois would relieve him in the ninth to earn his eighth save of the season.

Yovan Gonzalez, a player known more for his behind-the-plate prowess than his offensive ability, led Pensacola at the dish. He went 2-3 and was the only Wahoo with multiple hits on the evening.

The Wahoos threatened in the top of the third as Juan Perez and Yovan Gonzalez opened the frame with a pair of singles. However, Wheeler retired three straight batters to keep avoid damage.

The Lookouts got the scoring started in the bottom of the third as Aderlin Mejia was brought to the plate on a sacrifice fly from Heiker Meneses. They added another run on a solo blast over the right field wall from Max Kepler to make it 2-0.

The Wahoos would load the bases with three consecutive two-out singles from Gonzalez, Amaral and Zach Vincej, but they were unable to capitalize as a grounder ended the frame. Before those hits, Wheeler had retired 17 straight Wahoo batters.

Chattanooga added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth with another solo home run for Kepler, this time on a line drive for his sixth of the season. Smith had retired 10 straight before the homer.

In the ninth, the Wahoos put two men on with a Marquez Smith walk and a Sean Buckley single, but the Wahoos came up empty once again.

The scoreless effort marked the first time that the Wahoos had been shut out since a 1-0 defeat in Mississippi on June 26th.

Seth Mejias-Brean did not reach base for the Wahoos, bringing an end to a streak of 23 consecutive road games.

The Blue Wahoos are on a 10-day road trip against the Chattanooga Lookouts and Jacksonville Suns

Century Suffers Water Meter Woes After Company Goes Bankrupt

July 30, 2015

The Town of Century has been forced back to manually reading water meters, abandoning the automated reading capability of nearly 1,000 meters.

In 2010, Century purchased 941 water meters and associated software and equipment from Datamatic, Ltd. for $137,386. Company officials said the town was provided with $140,000 in discounts because a previously installed system sold by the company did not work as promised.

In a meeting with town officials, the company touted the accuracy of the new system, which they said would result in the town recouping most of the purchase price in additional billings due to increased meter efficiency.

Datamatic has now filed for bankruptcy, according to Mayor Freddie McCall, leaving Century with an automated meter system that does not work properly, and leaving Century without 40 meters that were at the company for repair.

McCall said that by returning to manually readings on the meters mistakes in the automated system have been eliminated, actually resulting in an increased profit for the water system.

Republicans Prepare To Run In The Panhandle

July 30, 2015

Niceville Republican Armand Izzo opened a campaign account last week to run for a House seat that will be vacated next year by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, according to the state Division of Elections website. Izzo joins Crestview Republican Wayne Harris in running in Okaloosa County’s House District 4. Gaetz is running in 2016 to try to succeed his father, Niceville Republican Don Gaetz, in a Senate seat. Also, earlier this month, Pensacola Republican Jantzen Craine opened a campaign account to try to succeed Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, in 2018 in Senate District 2, which includes Escambia, Santa Rosa and part of Okaloosa counties. Craine is the only candidate with an open campaign account for the race.

by The News Service of Florida

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