Disaster Program Signups Underway For Livestock Producers

April 24, 2014

Signups are underway in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties for three Farm Service Agency (FSA) Disaster Assistance programs: the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), Livestock Indemnity Program (UP),  and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP).

LFP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers that have suffered grazing losses due to drought or fire on publicly managed land. An eligible livestock producer must own, cash lease, or be a contract grower of eligible livestock during the 60 calendar days before the beginning date of the qualifying drought or fire in a county that is rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor as D2, D3, or D4.

UP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers that have suffered livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather. Eligible livestock includes beef cattle, dairy cattle, bison, poultry, sheep, swine, horses, and other livestock as determined by the Secretary.

ELAP provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish that have losses due to disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture.

For more information, contact the Escambia/Santa Rosa Farm Service Agency at 6277 Dogwood Drive in Milton, or call (850) 623-2441 Ext. 2, or toll free (800) 243-9912 Option 05.

Flomaton Teacher Accused Of Robbing Two Elderly Women Resigns

April 24, 2014

The Alabama teacher arrested in March in an alleged purse snatching incident has resigned.

The Escambia County (AL) School Board voted during a special meeting Tuesday to accept the April 21 resignation of  Clemente Renard Brooks, Sr., a fifth grade teacher at Flomaton Elementary School.

Brooks, 52, was charged by the Poarch Creek Tribal Police with third degree robbery and first degree theft of property. He was booked into the Escambia County (AL) Detention Center in Brewton.

Butch Lee, assistant chief of the Poarch Creek Tribal Police, said after the March 20 arrest that  Wind Creek Security reported a purse snatching in the casino parking lot about 9:30 p.m. on the previous day. Two elderly females reported they were leaving the casino when they were approach from behind by a black male in the parking lot. The suspect allegedly grabbed a purse from one of the elderly women and then wrestled with the second victim but was unable to take her purse away from her. The suspect then fled on foot.

Lee said the victims were able to identify the suspect and video surveillance from the casino led to Brooks’ arrest.

Brooks surrendered himself to Poarch Creek Tribal Police on Wednesday. Lee said the victim’s purse was recovered but was missing $400.

Brooks is als former Flomaton Town Council member. He made an unsuccessful bid for Flomaton mayor in 2012, losing by 20 votes to incumbent Dewey Bondurant.

Wahoos Lose Series Final To The Suns

April 24, 2014

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos fell 7-6 in the final game of the series against the Jacksonville Suns. The Wahoos (8-12) have now lost four out of their last five games. The Suns (10-10) are back to .500 for the first time since the second game of the season.

RHP Michael Lorenzen pitched 5.0 innings and gave up 2 R/1ER while striking out five in the game. RHP Daniel Renken came on in relief of Lorenzen and gave up three runs on four hits in 1.0 innings. RHP Tim Adleman (0-1) was saddled with the loss when he gave up an 8th inning home run to Rich Poythress.

Rey Navarro went 2-for-5 with two RBI and hit his league leading fifth home run of the season. Travis Mattair continued his hot streak and went 2-for-4 with three RBI. Mattair hit his second home run in as many days and added a double to his ledger. Yorman Rodriguez extended his hit-streak to eight games and went 2-for-5. The Wahoos scored at least five runs so use the promo code Wahoos and receive 50% off your entire order Wednesday at PapaJohns.com

Suns’ RHP Jose Urena gave up 6 R/ER on nine hits in 5.0 innings of work. Urena struck out four batters and walked none in his fourth start of the season. RHP James Nygren pitched well for the Suns and kept them in the game giving up no runs in 2.0 innings pitched. RHP Nick Wittgren (1-0) pitched 2.0 innings in relief and earned his first win of the season.

The Suns came all the way back from down 6-1 and took the lead in the eight inning on the Poythress solo home run. Third baseman Alex Berg had a good day for the Suns with 2 RBI and two hits. Austin Nola went 2-for-4 with two RBI on the day.

The Wahoos return home on Thursday to take on the Mississippi Braves in the first game of a five game set. RHP Carlos Contreras (1-1, 3.75) heads to the bump for the Wahoos and he will be opposed by David Bromberg (0-2, 2.70).

by Joey Truncale

Driver Escapes Serious Injury In Highway 97 Rollover Crash

April 23, 2014

A driver escaped injury late Wednesday afternoon in a single vehicle accident on Highway 97 in Walnut Hill.

The driver was apparently southbound on Highway 97 just north of North Highway 99 about 5:15 p.m. when she lost control and overturned onto the shoulder of the road. She was out of the vehicle when first responders arrived on the scene.

The accident is under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol.  The Walnut Hill Station of Escambia Fire Rescue and Atmore Ambulance also responded to the accident.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Animals Saved As Boarding Kennel Burns

April 23, 2014

A pet kennel in Ensley was heavily damage by fire Tuesday night, but all of the dogs at the facility were saved.

The fire was reported about 8:15 p.m. at the Magic Touch Boarding Kennel on Chadson Street, just east of Chemstrand Road. All of the dog were evacuated from the building. Flames were showing from the building when the first crews from Escambia Fire Rescue arrived on scene. A pet bird belonging to the kennel owners did die in the blaze.

“It was a real hot fire. Nobody got hurt and I guess that’s the biggest thing, nobody got hurt,” said Cleve Godwin, kennel owner.

The exact cause of the blaze remains under investigation by the Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Pictured: Firefighters battled a blaze at the Magic Touch Boarding Kennel Tuesday night. Photos courtesy WEAR 3 for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Two Arrested In Escambia Homicide; Deputies Seek Four For Questioning

April 23, 2014

Two people have been arrested in an April 14 murder, and Escambia County deputies are searching for as many seven other people for questioning.

Taris Donice Tolliver, 21 has been charged with felony murder, and Jim Edward Williams, 22, has been charged with first degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Dequarius Frederick Durant. He was shot and killed in the 100 block of Emerald Avenue in what was described as a drug deal gone wrong. Durant tried to drive away as gunfire began, but he suffered multiple gunshot wounds before crashing into a house.

“We are working with other state and federal agencies on promising leads which we believe will lead to the arrest of others,” the Escambia County Sheriff’s office said in a news release.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said the following individuals are wanted for questioning only in the homicide:

  • Pierrie Arthur James Blankenship10/2/1990
  • Clarence Joseph Martin 4/5/1992
  • Reginald Lee Booker III 6/9/1990
  • Javon Galloway 3/12/1992

Three other individuals previously wanted for questioning have been located, the Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday afternoon.

Florida Lawmakers Take Aim At Insurers Over Guns

April 23, 2014

With supporters pointing to Second Amendment rights, the Florida House on Tuesday gave final approval to a bill that seeks to prevent insurers from denying coverage or increasing rates based on customers owning guns or ammunition.

But critics questioned the need for the bill, saying there is little evidence insurers take into account gun ownership.

“I don’t see any kind of quote-unquote discrimination going on in the marketplace,” said Rep. Kevin Rader, a Delray Beach Democrat who also described the bill as a “waste of time.”

But bill sponsor Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, said Floridians have a constitutional right to bear arms, and even one case of insurers taking action because of gun ownership is “too much.”

“How much discrimination based on the exercise of a constitutional right is tolerable?” Gaetz asked.

House members voted 74-44, along party lines, to approve the bill (SB 424). The Senate also passed the National Rifle Association-backed bill last month, meaning the measure is ready to go to Gov. Rick Scott.

The bill would apply to property and automobile insurers and add language to part of state law that deals with “unfair discrimination” As an example, the bill would seek to block insurers from refusing to issue policies because of customers’ lawful ownership or possession of firearms. Similarly, it would bar them from charging “unfairly discriminatory” rates based on gun ownership or possession.

But much of the debate Tuesday focused on whether problems exist with insurers considering customers’ gun ownership. Rader and Rep. Richard Stark, D-Weston, said they are longtime insurance agents and have not seen insurers asking about firearms.

But Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, questioned why they were arguing so heavily against the bill if that is the case.

“This is just a good, sound statement for freedom that we’re going to stand behind your constitutional rights,” Baxley said

by Jim Saunders, The News Service of Florida

Century Man Tased By Deputies Convicted Of Resisting Arrest, Battery

April 23, 2014

A Century man tased by Escambia County deputies late last year has been convicted on charges of battery and resisting arrest without violence.

Emanuel Rabun Bethea, 28, was sentenced by Judge Terry Terrell to one year probation. He was also ordered to complete counseling and stay away from controlled substances without a prescription, including “spice” or bath salts.

According to an arrest report, an Escambia County Sheriff’s deputy in a marked patrol vehicle was first to arrive after a disturbance call in the 7500 block of Jack Smith Road in November 23. He watched as someone attempted to flee as he approached, spinning tires in a circular driveway, accelerating and running over a tree stump. Bethea exited the vehicle and ran, fell in the gravel driveway, got up and ran again despite multiple verbal commands from the deputy to stop. When Bethea fell again, he was tackled by the deputy.

According to an arrest report, Bethea refused to place his hands behind his back as ordered, instead he tried to reach his pocket multiple times. The deputy, not knowing what Bethea was  trying to retrieve from his pocket, ordered him to stop or be tased. He refused to comply  and was tased once before the deputy managed to handcuff one hand. Bethea continued to resist and another deputy arrived on scene and assisted in handcuffing him, according to the report.

During the struggle, Bethea reported told the deputy “just shoot me” multiple times. After Bethea was taken into custody, a folding pocket knife was located next to his leg. Bethea continued to fight deputies as he was placed in a patrol vehicle, the report states.

The female victim told deputies that she and Bethea live together at the Jack Smith Road address and that they have a child together. She said Bethea refused to allow her to leave the residence, grabbed her and took her cell phone while he prevented her from using the couple’s only vehicle.

A charge of kidnapping against Bethea was dropped, according to court records.

Bethea was transported by Escambia County EMS to Sacred Heart Hospital before being booked into the Escambia County Jail.  The arresting deputy noted that Bethea was cooperative, polite and apologetic at the hospital.

Chiefs Advance To District Championship Game

April 23, 2014

The Northview Chiefs are headed to the District 3-1A championship game Thursday night. The Chiefs beat Holmes County 6-3 Tuesday night to advance to the finals at Chipley.

The varsity Chiefs finished the regular season at 15-5, 7-3 in the district.

Chipley shut out the Jay Royals Tuesday night, 4-0.

NorthEscambia.com photos by Ramona Preston, click to enlarge.

Goodyear Blimp Spotted Over North Escambia

April 23, 2014

The Goodyear Blimp was spotted over the North Escambia area Tuesday. Numerous people reported seeing the blimp in the area of I-10 north to Muscogee Road. The blimp was on the way to Mobile for an overnight stop.  Pictured top: The Goodyear Blimp over International Paper in Cantonment (by Josh Black). Pictured inset: The Goodyear Blimp over Muscogee Road (by Mona Baker)Reader submitted photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

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