Public Tips Lead To Suspect’s Arrest For Attacking, Robbing Elderly Man

January 27, 2015

Thanks to tips from the public, John Lee Avery Hill, 29, is behind bars for attacking and robbing an elderly man.

Hill is charged with battery, burglary and robbery for the incident November 24 in the lobby of a hotel on Plantation Road when he allegedly asked an 81-year old man for money. After the man gave him $5, deputies say Hill followed him, jumped on him and tried to take his wallet.  Hill was unsuccessful in taking the wallet, but did take an additional $2 from the victim before fleeing on foot.

Hill is being held in the Escambia County Jail with bond set at $255,000.

Pictured below: A surveillance video frame grab provided by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office that was published in a previous story.

Tate High Wrestling Team Brings Home Gator Brawl Medals

January 27, 2015

The Tate High School Wrestling Team recently traveled to Weewahitcka High School for the Annual Gator Brawl.  The team placed third overall and brought home eight medals.

Medal winners were:

  • Tanner Wood, 3rd place, 120 pound weight class
  • Alex Porter, 1st place, 113 pound weight class
  • Heath Hernden, 3rd place, 170 pound weight class
  • Matthew Blalock, 4th place, 106 pound weight class
  • Scott Houston, 4th place, 126 pound weight class
  • Daniel Pigg, 4th place, 138 pound weight class
  • Gavin McAnally, 4th place, 220 pound weight class
  • Jacob Nelson, 3rd place, 160 pound weight class

Pictured: (bottom, L-R) Tanner Wood, Alex Porter, Matthew Blalock, Scott Houston, Jacob Nelson,  (back, L-R) Coach Reggie Allen, Caleb Campbell, Nathan Gainey, Jacob Neales, Gavin McAnally, Heath Hernden, Daniel Pigg, Dale Smith and Assistant Coach Jeremy Nott. Submitted photo for, ckick to enlage.

Scott Visits Pensacola To Push STEM Education Funding In New Budget

January 27, 2015

Gov. Rick Scott visited the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition  in Pensacola Monday to highlight proposed STEM education funding in his 2015-2016 “Keep Florida Working” budget.

Scott has announced $1 million in in proposed funding to partner with high-tech companies in Florida to create a paid summer residency program for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teachers to bring new industry trends in STEM fields back to Florida’s K-12 classrooms. In addition to the summer residency program, Governor Scott’s 2015-2016 “Keep Florida Working” Budget also proposes $30 million for a new workforce training initiative focused on STEM occupations and $5 million to incentivize $10,000 STEM degrees at state colleges.

“We want Florida to be the global leader for jobs, and we must have a skilled workforce to reach that goal. By investing in science, technology, engineering and math education, we are ensuring our students are prepared for the jobs of the 21st century.  Our teachers are essential to preparing our students and helping them realize better educational outcomes, and that is why it is so important that we invest in educating our teachers so they can bring innovative ideas to the classroom.  We know that the workers and leaders of tomorrow are in our classrooms today and we will continue to make important investments to help our students succeed in the classroom and beyond,” Scott said.

There are 16 Florida companies that have already confirmed their participation in the STEM Residency Program, including the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition and Gulf Power Company.

Pictured: Gov. Rick Scott discusses STEM education funding Monday morning at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition in Pensacola. Courtesy photo for, click to enlarge.

No Injuries In School Bus Wreck

January 26, 2015

There were no injuries in Monday morning accident involving a pickup and a school bus on Archer Road in Cantonment. The driver of a Ford F150 pickup apparently rear-ended an Escambia County School District bus on Archer Road between Highway 29 and Tate Road. There were no students on the bus at the time of the crash. photos by Kristi Price, click to enlarge.

Students To Move Into New Ernest Ward Middle School Next Monday (With Photo Gallery)

January 26, 2015

Students are expected to move into the new Ernest Ward Middle School in Walnut Hill one week from today.

Many of the school’s teachers spend a portion of their weekend setting up their new classroom, which contain all new furniture and new technology that includes triple smart boards with “smart pens” that can be used by students from their desks.

All of the items such as computers and furniture, with the exception of library shelving, will be brand new. The school includes new to Ernest Ward technology such as a closed circuit television systems with a complete TV studio, closed circuit video monitoring, electronic security and access controls, and more.

The $20 million facility is not quite complete; there’s still minor work to be done throughout the building, and the school’s agricultural classroom and band room won’t be completed for several more weeks.

If all goes as planned, students will report to their homerooms in the old EWMS building on Monday, February 2. They will escorted grade by grade into the new facility where they will get the grand tour. There will be changes to student drop-off and pick-up areas as well on February 2. Those changes and complete move-in details will be published on

About a week later the move into the new building, demolition on the old Ernest Ward will begin. That demolition and new parking lots are due to be completed by the end of July.

OPEN HOUSE: An open house and tours for the public will be held on Monday, February 16 from noon until 4 p.m., following by a student registration even from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.

For more photos, click here. photos, click to enlarge


Wreck Outside Atmore Claims Lives Of Teenage Couple

January 26, 2015

A single vehicle accident Saturday night about seven miles outside Atmore has claimed the life of a teenage couple.

The accident occurred on Highway 31 in Baldwin County, AL, about 10 a.m. when a 2013 Nissan Maxima with four passengers left the roadway and struck a utility sign and a utlity pole. According to Alabama State Troopers, 17-year old Allison B. McKinley of Frisco City, AL, was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced deceased a short time later at North Baldwin Infirmary in Bay Minette, AL. Her boyfriend, 16-year old Matthew H. Hinote of Monroeville, was transported to USA Hospital in Mobile where he was pronounced deceased at 4:34 a.m. Sunday.

The driver of the Nissan, 24-year-old Justin J. Jordan of Monroeville, was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola. A third passenger was also hospitalized after the crash.

The accident remains under investigation by the Alabama State Troopers. According to troopers, there were no seat belts in use at the time of the crash.

Domestic Dispute Ends With Four People Attacked, Injured By Dog

January 26, 2015

Four people were bit during a dog attack in Santa Rosa County over the weekend. Three of the injured were taken to area hospital, including one that was airlifted by LifeFlight.

According to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office, a domestic argument was taking place inside a residence on American Farms Road. Deputies said the dog became irate due to the yelling at the home. As a resident attempted to put the dog outside, the dog bit the first victim. A short time later, a resident let the dog back into the home and again bit a resident. The dog was again placed outside. A short time later, a resident let the dog back into the home, and the dog once again began biting residents. At this point, witnesses told deputies that the dog was cornered and stabbed. The dog died on scene.

Further information on the condition of the bite victima was not available.

Info Fair Planned For Parents Of Special Needs Children

January 26, 2015

An information fair for parents and guardians of children with special needs will be held Tuesday, January 27 from 5-7 p.m. at Escambia Westgate School.

The information fair will provide families the opportunity to obtain information from multiple agencies and organizations in one location, provide time for families to visit with agencies and organizations, and increase of services available in the Escambia County area and across the state. Representatives will be available to answer questions and provide information vital to coordinating care and services for children with disabilities.

For more details, contact Escambia Westgate at (850) 494-5700. Escambia Westgate is located at 10050 Ashton Brosnaham Road.

Portion Of Stefani Road To Close For Bridge Replacement

January 26, 2015

Work is schedule to begin this week to replace an existing bridge over an unnamed branch on Stefani Road in Cantonment.

The $919,509 project includes replacing the existing bridge, repaving the approaches, new guardrail, minor drainage improvements, sodding, and placement of new pavement markings.

Stefani Road will be closed to traffic during construction. Motorists may utilize Green Hills Road, Pine Forest Road and West Nine One-Half Mile Road as an alternate route, according to the Florida Department of Transportation. The project is scheduled to be complete summer 2015.

All planned activities are weather dependent and may be re-scheduled in the event of inclement weather

Fire At The Drowsy Poet Coffee Company

January 26, 2015

Escambia Fire Rescue responded to The Drowsy Poet Coffee Company on Brent Lane Sunday night. When firefighters arrived on scene, they found smoke in the building and that a piece of equipment had caugh fire. The fire was extinguished in under five minutes. No injuries were reported.  Reader submitted photo by Josh Tatum for, click to enlarge.

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