Execution Set For Escambia County Murderer

November 25, 2014

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday signed a death warrant for an Escambia County man found guilty of committing first-degree murder and sexual battery during a home-invasion robbery in 1993 in Escambia County.

Scott signed the warrant for Johnny Shane Kormondy, 42, to die by lethal injection on January 15. The execution will be the 21st since Scott took office in January 2011, equaling the number overseen by former Gov. Jeb Bush, which is the most for any Florida governor since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

Kormondy was found guilty in 1994 in the death of Gary McAdams, a local banker who was shot in the back of the head during a home-invasion robber in the Thousand Oaks subdivision off Chemstrand Road. McAdams and his wife, who was repeatedly raped during the attack, had returned home from a Woodham High School school reunion when confronted at the front door by Kormondy and his two accomplices.

According to a release from the governor’s office accompanying the death warrant, Kormondy was the leader of the attack, recruiting the accomplices, providing transportation and casing the McAdams’ neighborhood. Kormondy’s accomplices, Curtis Buffkin and James Hazen, received life sentences. Law enforcement was able to close the case when a person to whom Kormondy confessed went to police seeking a $50,000 reward for information. Kormondy also threatened to kill witnesses who testified at his trial, including Mrs. McAdams, if he were ever released.

The robbers reportedly left the house with $20.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

Pictured below: The death warrant for Johnny Shane Kormondy signed Monday by Gov. Rick Scott.


From The Farm To The City: A Thanksgiving Bounty For The Needy (With Gallery)

November 25, 2014

About 200 students from schools in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties worked in fields near Jay Monday to harvest turnips and bag sweet potatoes that will feed hundreds of needy families later this week for Thanksgiving.

The event at the University of Florida’s West Florida Research and Education Center was part of Farm-City Week, bringing the bounty of the farm to the needy of the city.

The FFA students from Northview High School, Tate High School, Jay High School, Central School, King Middle School and Ernest Ward Middle School harvested about 1,200 bundle each of collard and turnip greens and sorted about a ton and half of donated sweet potatoes.

The greens were harvested in assembly line fashion — one student picking the greens, another bundling them with a rubber band and passed student to student to a waiting transport vehicle. Then teams of students worked to wash the greens.

Along the way, the students learned not only about teamwork, but also about the farming process.

The greens and sweet potatoes will be delivered Tuesday with the help of Tate High FFA students to about 600 families that were pre-qualified based upon need through the Waterfront Rescue Mission.

For more photos, click here.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Jay Woman Seriously Injured In Crash Trying To Avoid Deer

November 25, 2014

A Jay woman was seriously injured in a traffic crash after she tried to avoid hitting a deer.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 60-year old Catherine Steele Jones was northbound on Market Road near Highway 87, about five miles east of Jay, when she said a deer ran out in front of her 2013 Ford Edge. She ran off the roadway and struck a culvert, causing the vehicle to overturn.

Jones was transported to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola in serious condition following the 8:50 a.m. Monday crash. No charges were filed in the accident, according to FHP.

Photos: Escambia Academy Wins State Championship

November 24, 2014

The Escambia Academy Cougars from Canoe, AL, won the AISA Class AAA state championship Friday night with a 35-28 defeat of Bessemer Academy at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Troy, AL.

For a bonus photo gallery, click here.

For the game story, click here.

NorthEscambia.com photos by Ditto Gorme, click to enlarge.

Molino Fire Holds Live Burn Demonstrations (With Fire Videos)

November 23, 2014

The Molino Station of Escambia Fire Rescue held an open house and special fire safety demonstrations Saturday.

In live burn scenarios, the department demonstrated holiday and winter fire dangers in the home — from grease fires and a toaster fire in a mock kitchen to a dried-out Christmas tree in a living room setup.

In less than two minutes, a live Christmas tree that had been improperly watered became a raging inferno, filling an entire living room with fire. Click here to watch video.

A grease fire exploded into a tower of flames when water was incorrectly used on the flames. And in a second kitchen demonstration, a residential sprinkler system installed by Living Water Fire Protection of Molino quickly put out an appliance fire. Click here to watch video.

Organizers said they plan to have future live demonstrations to promote fire safety in the local community.

For more photos, click here.

Pictured top and inset: A small fire on a dry Christmas tree explodes in just minutes into a raging inferno. Pictured below: The incorrect use of water to extinguish a grease fire results in a tower of flames. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Motorcyclist Airlifted To Hospital After Crash

November 23, 2014

One person was injured in a single motorcycle accident near Bratt Saturday morning.

The accident occurred about 9:50 a.m. on North Pine Barren Road just south of Highway 168. The motorcyclist failed to properly negotiate a curve, lost control and ran off the roadway. He was airlifted by Life Flight to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola in serious condition.

The Walnut Hill Station of Escambia Fire Rescue and Atmore Ambulance responded to the call. Further details have not been released by the Florida Highway Patrol.

Northescambia.com photos, click to enlarge.