Too Drunk To Run: Cantonment Man Charged With Attempted Stabbing

July 22, 2016

A Cantonment man too drunk to run from deputies is facing multiple felony charges after allegedly stealing a pack of cigarettes and trying to stab a man, according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

Donnie Ivory Padgett, 68, was allegedly at a house on Robinson Street when he was asked by acquaintances to leave because he began “acting crazy because he can’t handle his liquor,” an arrest report states. He then allegedly stole a pack of Newport cigarettes, pulled out a long kitchen knife and ran toward the victim in an attempt to stab him.

Responding deputies located Padgett at the intersection of Washington and Callaway streets. A deputy reported that Padgett attempted to run, but he stumbled and fell to the ground due to intoxicated state, according to the report.   Deputies found the Newports, the knife and a white rock that field tested positive for cocaine on Padgett’s person.

Padgett was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, cocaine possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.  He remained in the Escambia County Jail Friday morning with bond set at $31,000.

Inmate Labor Saves Healthy Start $1,700

July 22, 2016

The Healthy Start Program in Century saved an estimated $1,700 by using inmate labor.

The county-owned Healthy Start location on Church Street was damaged in the February 15 E-3 tornado that struck Century. The program was moved next door to another county-owned building, and now the original building has been restored.

Over the last few days. five inmates from the Century Correctional Work Camp put together several desks and chairs and placed them in the repaired building. The also moved equipment and supplies from the temporary building back to the renovated building.

Using the Florida Department of Corrections standard formula, the cost saving to Healthy Start was $1,724.

The Century Healthy Start program will hold an open house next Thursday, July 28 from 9 a.m. until noon. file photo, click to enlarge.

Century Continues Budget Setting Process

July 22, 2016

The Town of Century continued a series of budget workshops Thursday afternoon as they work toward preparing their fiscal year 2016-17 budget. The next budget workshop is scheduled for Thursday, July 28 with additional workshops to be scheduled. Pictured: (clockwise, from left) Council President Ben Boutwell; council members Sandra McMurray Jackson, Ann Brooks, Annie Savage; Clerk of Finance Kristina Wood; Town Clerk Leslie Gonzalez and accountant Robert Hudson. Century Mayor Freddie McCall was also present at the meeting. Pictured left: Hudson reviews financial documents. photo, click to enlarge.

Northview Head Football, Baseball Coach Wheatley Resigns

July 21, 2016

Northview High School head football and baseball coach Sid Wheatley has resigned to accept a coaching position in his native Mississippi.

Wheatley said he has accepted a coaching and teaching position at Kosciusko High School in Mississippi, not far from his son in Jackson and his parents in Philadelphia, MS.

“It was  the toughest decision of my coaching and teaching career,” he said, “but it came down to a chance to return home to be near my family. My parents are only getting older.”

Wheatley’s career at Northview spanned 11 years, with a 50-31 record as head football coach. But the numbers he will remember most are probably 42-21.  After losing out a couple of years at the state semi-final level, Wheatley led his Chiefs to a 42-21 Class 1A state championship victory in 2012 in Orlando.

“I would not trade that win for anything,” he said.

“I know there are many of his former players who will want to wish him well as he turns another page in his latest chapter of his life.  I know that I will miss him dearly,” Northview Principal Gayle Weaver said. “We thank Coach Wheatley for his years of service and we wish him well as he moves back home to be with family.”

Weaver said the school will advertise a single job opening that will include the head football and baseball positions. She expects the position will be filled in a matter of weeks, prior to the start of the football season.

“Northview has been a second home for me. I thank Mrs. Weaver, the teachers and staff, the community and the kids for the opportunity,” Wheatley said. “I will be Northview’s biggest fan in Mississippi.”

Pictured top: Northview Head Coach Sid Wheatley. Pictured inset: Wheatley receives of a copy of the Congressional Record where the Chiefs were honored on the floor of the U.S. House and a flag that flew over the White House in their honor after winning a Class 1A state championship in 2012. Pictured below: Wheatley leads his Chiefs to a 2016 Spring Game win over Jay. Pictured bottom: Wheatley’s 2012 state championship team. photos, click to enlarge.

No Power, A/C Late Wednesday Night For Hundreds

July 21, 2016

Hundreds of Cantonment and Cottage Hill residents spent up to about 90 minutes in the dark — and without air conditioning — Wednesday night.

Gulf Power reported 1,690 customers in the area lost power about 10:37 p.m. About half of the customers had their power restored within about an hour, while everyone was back on by about 12:10 a.m. Thursday.

The cause of the outage was reported to be “system protection equipment”.

During the outage, the Cantonment Station of Escambia Fire Rescue responded to Jim Allen Elementary School for a sprinkler system waterflow alarm. The cause of the alarm was attributed to the power failure. photo by Kristi Barbour, click to enlarge.

Family Fights Parole To Keep Murderers Behind Bars

July 20, 2016

Several North Escambia residents are hoping to help stop the parole of two Nokomis men behind bars for the 1993 murder of a woman and 12-year old girl.

Shannon Dean Barlow, 38, and Franklin Lee Barlow, Jr., 42, are both serving life sentences with the possibility of parole for the murders of Kathy Victor Hall Barlow and Angel Marie Hall.

On October 10, 1993, the Barlow brothers went out with Albert Ganoe “Rocky” Beasley, consuming alcohol and smoking marijuana. They then went to the home of Kathy Barlow in Perdido, Ala., shooting her in the head with a .410-gauge shotgun when she opened the door. According to testimony, he then went to the room of Angel Hall, 12, raped her and shot her in the face.

“The reason why Shannon and Frankie Barlow doesn’t deserve parole is because they viciously murdered my aunt and cousin. They blew my aunt’s head off with a shotgun. They raped, stabbed, strangled, and beat my cousin till her body finally died. There should be no reason in the world why they should be let out. They possess a spirit inside of them that society cannot handle,” Masha Maher of Century said.

Shannon Barlow was sentenced to three consecutive life  terms, and Franklin Barlow was sentenced to two life sentences. Both are now eligible for parole from the Limestone Correction Facility in Alabama. Beasley remains behind bars, sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

“Another five years and here we are again. It is so sad that victims have to re-live a horrible nightmare over and over again. They should not even have the right for a parole hearing. Their past speaks for itself. They did this horrible crime and pled guilty to murder. They should stay there the rest of their lives. So please pray with us for justice. Kathy and Angel, we will fight these parole hearings for the rest of our lives and theirs. They do not deserve the right to walk the streets anymore. They are a threat to us and society,” said Barlow’s sister, Janie Criswell of McDavid.

The Barlows will have a parole hearing  on August 2. Family of the victims is encouraging the public to speak out against parole for the Barlow brothers.  Personal protests can be emailed to and petitions can be faxed to (334) 353-7701. An online petition can be signed here.

Pictured: This undated photograph shows murder victims Kathy Barlow and 12-year old Angel Hall. Courtesy photo for, click to enlarge.