Century Man Charged With Attempted Homicide For Shooting Into Vehicle

October 9, 2015

A Century man is behind bars on attempted homicide charges after for allegedly opening fire into a vehicle Wednesday night in Century.

Akino Jama Jackson, 23, was charged with two counts of attempted homicide, shooting into an occupied vehicle and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He remains in the Escambia County Jail without bond.

A female driver, identified as Amanda Conner pulled into the Whataburger parking lot on North Century Boulevard with multiple bullet holes in her Dodge Charger.  A male passenger who been shot,  later identified as Roosevelt Dixon, fled the from the scene before authorities arrived. Dixon eventually made his way to West Florida Hospital for treatment; the female driver was not injured.

Deputies said the shooting occurred on Pond Street and stemmed from an argument between Dixon and Jackson over Conner.

The vehicle in the restaurant parking lot had numerous bullet holes visible in the trunk and in the rear passenger door area.

The back driver’s side passenger window and the rear window of the vehicle were blown mostly out of the vehicle. Trajectory rods place by a crime scene investigator seemed to indicate that the shots were fired from behind the Dodge Charger.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the multi-agency Gun Response Team in the investigation.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Century Man Sentenced For Fatal Backwoods Road Shooting

October 9, 2015

A Century man is headed to state prison for a January 31 shooting death on Backwoods Road in Century.

Jaran Britt Myles, 21, was pleaded no contest and was sentenced Thursday to six years in prison to be followed by six years probation on a charge of manslaughter with a firearm in the death of a 20-year old Jonathan Ray Wilson.

One witness told deputies that “Run Run”, later identified as Myles, pulled out a gun and asked him if he was scared of it before taking the magazine out of the weapon and pointing it him. Myles then pulled the trigger of the gun, without the magazine, but it “dry fired”, he said.

The witness said Myles then pointed the gun to Wilson’s head after loading the magazine back into the gun. Wilson then adjusted the height of the gun to his head, “correcting the placement of the gun pointed at him,” an arrest report states.  The witness said when Wilson let go of the gun, Myles pulled the trigger and shot Wilson in the head.

NorthEscambia.com file photos, click to enlarge.

No Honor: Thieves Caught On Camera Stealing From Local Farmer

October 9, 2015

Two thieves apparently had no honor when it came to stealing deer corn being sold on the honor system by  a Walnut Hill farmer.

About 6:30 Tuesday morning, the two men stopped at the farmer’s roadside bin on South Highway 99. They can be seen on surveillance video checking an honor box for cash and then loading up two bags of deer corn without making payment.

Both suspects are described as white males. One walked with a slight limp and appeared to be wearing some type of identification around his neck, similar to an employee badge. They were in an extended cab pickup with a camper shell. Both the camper shell and truck appeared to be red or maroon in color. The passenger rear-view mirror on the truck showed obvious damage.

Anyone with information on the theft is asked to call the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office at (850) 436-9620.

The complete surveillance video is at the bottom of this page.

Images for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

If you do not see the video above, it is because your home, work or school firewall is blocking YouTube videos.

State To Test For Carcinogen Levels At Century Sheriff’s Precinct

October 8, 2015

An upcoming environmental site assessment will determine if benzine, a known human carcinogen, exists in dangerous levels at the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office substation in Century.

In 1992, two 6,000 gallon underground storage tanks were removed from the property. At the time of the removal, an assessment revealed a concentration of benzene greater than the state’s target cleanup criteria. The property was entered into a program that would allow the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to conduct cleanup. As part of that program, the property was given a ranking score with cleanup priority is basked on ranking position.

The Sheriff’s Office Century Precinct score is a “26″, with the DEP currently working to cleanup properties with an assessment score of “30″ or higher.  The FDEP is reassessing properties with low scores. If the score remains the same or reduces, the department will have the option of removing the property from the cleanup program list.

The Escambia County Commission is set to approve an agreement allowed FDEP to access the property for the assessment.

The single public building on the property, known also as the Billy G. Ward Courthouse, houses both the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and the Escambia County Clerk of the Courts.

NorthEscambia.com file photo, click to enlarge.

Escambia School Superintendent Candidate Arrested For Fraud, Identity Theft

October 8, 2015

An investigation by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and the Tallahassee Police Department resulted in recent identity theft charges against Gerald Howard Washington of Escambia County. Washington pre-filed in September to run for Escambia County School District superintendent in 2016.

Washington, 19, was charged with one count of criminal use of personal identification information (20 or more), a first degree felony, and one count of organized communications fraud, a first-degree misdemeanor, after stealing personal information from multiple job seekers in Tallahassee.

The investigation showed that Washington posted online advertisements claiming to be hiring for 1,100 positions in Tallahassee. He traveled by Greyhound Bus from Pensacola to Tallahassee, set up a temporary office, and personally met with many job seekers who believed he was a valid employer with actual job openings.

The job seekers provided personal information, including social security numbers and bank information, for the application. They also provided urine samples and a $25 fee. The individuals were told they were hired and given a start date, but the jobs did not exist.

“Mr. Washington used the hope of would-be job seekers against them. His victims were Tallahassee citizens seeking to better themselves and their families. Those who seek to commit fraud in Tallahassee will be investigated and prosecuted for their actions,” Tallahassee Police Department Chief Michael DeLeo said.

Town Of Century Tables Action On $20,000 Website, Marketing Plan

October 7, 2015

The Town of Century has tabled action on a $20,000 website and marketing plan to clarify funding sources and any need to bid the contract.

Century’s current website was developed by an area marketing firm in 2012 for $5,950, part of a $11,450 package that also included a five year comprehensive marketing strategy.

In 2013, the town was awarded a $25,000 technical assistance grant from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to develop an economic development strategic plan. After hearing proposals from four contenders, the town contracted with the Haas Center (the research and consulting arm of the University of West Florida) to develop the plan at no cost to the town.

The Haas Center’s detailed plan and recommendations included a new website for the town, with suggestions from the Haas Center in late 2014 that the website be created by a volunteer or perhaps UWF marketing interns.

Monday night, Dr. Felicia Morgan from the UWF Marketing Department and Johnathan “Jet” Tisdale of the Pace company White Paper Marketing presented a marketing plan with a one year contract at $1,650 per month cost for a website, an email subscription drive, website and a database management and other marketing resources. Any additional costs, such as advertising purchases, would add to the bottom line.

After questions arose about whether the cost would be the sole responsibility of the town, or if any grants or other funding sources existed, the council tabled any action on accepting the proposal. A question was also raised if the the town should accept bids on the marketing plan.

The council plans to readdress the marking plan costs at their next regular meeting on October 19.

Pictured top: Dr. Felicia Morgan from the UWF Marketing Department and Johnathan “Jet” Tisdale of the Pace company White Paper Marketing address the Century Town Council. NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.

Grand Opening Held For New Ernest Ward Middle School

October 7, 2015

An official grand opening and ribbon cutting was held Tuesday for the newly rebuilt Ernest Ward Middle School in Walnut Hill.

The modern $20 million facility, funded by the half-cent sales tax,  replaced a a campus that was among the oldest in the district.

“Many Ernest Ward students before you have already established that you should study hard, working to prepare yourself for the next big thing that is going to happen in your life,” School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas told the student body and invited guests. “To help you do that, the school district has presented you with a brand new, state of the art middle school.”

“Everybody deserves the opportunity to go to new once in their life,” District 5 school board member Bill Slayton said.  “You are in a great facility.”

Architect Mike Marshall told the nearly 500 Ernest Ward students to make good use of the building. He challenged the students to always do their best, and work to get their photo on NorthEscambia.com for a positive accomplishment.

Tiffany Bates from of the office of Congressman Jeff Miller presented a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol in honor of the school’s grand opening.

Students moved into the Ernest Ward back in January so classes continue while the old school was demolished.

The oldest buildings at Ernest Ward, including the main classroom wing, were constructed in 1945 to replace a campus ravaged by fire in 1943. That old school had been constructed to replace an Ernest Ward School that first opened in a log cabin in 1896.

Ernest Ward graduate Billy Ward, who later served as a longtime probate judge in Escambia County, was a special guest at Tuesday’s ribbon cutting. He is the nephew of the Ernest Ward for which the school was named.

Ward remembers the day in 1943 that smoke billowed toward the sky from what was then the campus of Ernest Ward on Arthur Brown Road, near the site of the modern day grain elevator. “I rode my bicycle as hard as I could to get over there and see what happened,” he said. “It just burnt to the ground.”

Classes for the remainder of 1943 and 1944 were held in the school gym, located across Arthur Brown Road and untouched by the fire.

“They divided the gym up and we finished school there,” Ward explained, “before they open the new school here (on Highway 97) in 1945. It was nice back then.”

“But this is something else now,” Ward said Tuesday of the new facility. “It has everything the students need.”

For more photos, click here.

Pictured top and upper inset: The grand opening ribbon cutting at Ernest Ward Middle School in Walnut Hill on Tuesday. Pictured bottom inset: Ernest Ward graduate and former probate judge Billy Ward. Pictured below: Ernest Ward students, many wearing pink fore breast cancer awareness, listen to the grand opening ceremony. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

ECUA Responds To Shut Down Of Recycling Plant

October 7, 2015

ECUA is responding after the temporary shut down of a Montgomery facility that processes the company’s recyclables.

ECUA received an email notice this past weekend from the CEO of IREP indicating the temporary closure of the IREP recycling plant, due to a contractual disagreement between IREP and the City of Montgomery, its anchor customer.

“At this time, we have found a home for approximately 30% of recyclables collected, and we continue to seek other processing facilities for the balance of our recyclables,” ECUA Executive Director Steve Sorrell said.  “Additionally, we are exploring the possible use of temporary equipment to perform basic sorting and processing of materials ourselves.  As a last resort, recyclables that cannot be processed are being hauled to the Perdido Landfill.”

The construction of ECUA’S new recycling facility, scheduled for May 2016 to coincide with the termination of its contract with the IREP facility, is being expedited.  The equipment for this facility has already been purchased and will be transported to Pensacola from Oregon by 67 semi trucks.  ECUA hopes have that facility in operation by the first quarter of 2016.

“This is a short-term concern we will resolve as quickly as possible, and we urge our customers to continue recycling.  ECUA is as committed as ever to the continued viability of our recycling program, and consider this a temporary setback in operations,” ECUA said in a prepared statement.

Click here for an earlier story.