ECUA Receives National Award For Cantonment Facility

September 21, 2014

The Emerald Coast Utilities Authority has been selected to receive a Gold Peak Performance Award, presented by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA).

The award recognizes public wastewater treatment facilities for their outstanding compliance records in the previous calendar year.

The ECUA received the Gold Peak Performance Award to honor the Central Water Reclamation Facility in Cantonment and its achievement of perfect compliance (out of 6,094 compliance points) with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit for the 2013 calendar year.

The CWRF, which provides reclaimed water daily to industrial partners Gulf Power and International Paper, is an advanced wastewater treatment facility that the ECUA has operated since its construction in late 2010.  The CWRF was built to replace the Main Street Waste Water Treatment Plant, which was damaged in 2004 by Hurricane Ivan.

“The ECUA is an outstanding utility, and a shining example of how concerted environmental management efforts can be considered and implemented.   NACWA is honored to showcase the achievements of the ECUA and our nation’s public wastewater utilities through the Peak Performance Awards Program.” said Ken Kirk, NACWA’s executive director.

Pictured top: The Central Water Reclamation Facility in Cantonment.

Gas Leak At Ernest Ward Middle During School Dance

September 20, 2014

A natural gas leak Friday night at Ernest Ward Middle School in Walnut Hill posed no threat students and parents as a school dance was coming to a close, officials said.

The smell of  gas was reported  by a school resource office outside the gym about 7:45 p.m., just as the campus was filling with parents arriving to pick up their children as a dance was ending at 8 p.m. inside the gym.

The Walnut Hill Station of Escambia Fire Rescue responded and determined the source of the smell was a  leak on the Pensacola Energy side of a gas meter along Highway 99A  near the gym. The gas service was secured by firefighters, stopping the leak.

The gas meter was recently installed to serve the newly constructed building on the campus.

Pictured top: A gas leak was reported outside the Ernest Ward Middle School gym Friday night as a dance was underway inside. Pictured inset: The source of the leak was traced to this Pensacola Energy gas meter not far from the gym. photos, click to enlarge.

Unemployment Outlook Improves Slightly In Local Area

September 20, 2014

The latest job numbers released Friday show the unemployment level decreasing in the  North Escambia area.

Escambia County’s unemployment dropped slightly from 6.8 percent in July to 6.6  percent in August.  There were 9,390 people reported unemployed  during the period. One year ago, unemployment in Escambia County was 7.2 percent.

Santa Rosa County unemployment also decreased,  from 6.3 to 6.2 percent from July to August. Santa Rosa County had a total of  4,704 persons still unemployed. The year-ago unemployment rate in Santa Rosa County was 6.6 percent.

In Escambia County, Alabama, unemployment decreased  from 9.4 percent in July to 8.8 percent in August. That represented 1,232  people unemployed in the county during the month. One year ago, the unemployment rate in Escambia County, Alabama, was 8.5 percent

Florida’s unemployment rate, which a year ago was at 7.1 percent and just below the national mark of 7.2 percent, has been mostly flat this year, wavering between 6.2 percent and 6.3 percent.  Across Florida, the lowest unemployment rates continued to come from the Florida Keys and parts of the Panhandle.

Alabama’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, at 6.9 percent in August, was down from July’s rate of 7.0 percent nd was above the year-ago rate of 6.5 percent.

The jobless numbers released by Florida and Alabama do not include persons that have given up on finding a job and are no longer reported as unemployed.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

Tate Blasts West Gadsden For Homecoming Win (With Gallery)

September 20, 2014

It was a very happy homecoming Friday night for the Tate High School Aggies as they easily beat the Panthers of West Gadsden.

Seven first half touchdowns were one after another for the Aggies as they earned a 52-3 victory.

One their first offensive possession, junior Reginald Payne scored on a 42-yard touchdown pass from Aggies quarterback Sawyer Smith.  After the Panthers were forced to punt, Josh Kea returned the pigskin for another TD. Toss in a field goal and 5-yard touchdown pass to Corey Moorer from Smith, and Tate was up 24-0 by the end of the first quarter.

After a Kea punt return, sophomore quarterback Jake Henry ended Tate’s drive with a 1-yard TD run for a 31-0 advantage.

Tate scored again with an 18-yard touchdown run from Jesse Fernandez and a 1-yard TD from LaDarius Thomas to move ahead 45-0.

A Panther fumble was recovered by Tate’s Trace Penton who broke a dozen or so tackles for another score, 52-0.  West Gadsden managed a 45-yard field goal at the end of the half, 52-3.

The running-clock second half was scoreless.

For a photo gallery, click here. (Photos by Jennifer Repine and Kristi Price for

Next Friday night, the Aggies (4-1) will be at Pine Forest (2-3) with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.


Tate’s 2014 Homecoming Queen was Carissa Carroll (pictured). First runner-up was Sarah Baxter, and second runner up was Madison Metcalf.

Female Jogger Attacked In Attempted Rape After Woman Carjacked From Gas Station, Assaulted

September 19, 2014

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a carjacking and aggravated assault suspect after a Thursday morning incident in Cantonment. And deputies now say the suspect may be responsible for an incident a short time later in which a female jogger was attacked.

At aproximately 8:15, a carjacking was reported at a gas station at Highway 29 and Muscogee Road. The victim had pumped gasoline and entered the store when an unknown black male suspect entered her unlocked vehicle and concealed himself in the backseat. The victim did not see the suspect and drove away from the store, according to information released Thursday afternoon by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspect confronted the victim once the vehicle was moving. He told her that he had a knife and to keep driving or he would “stick” her. She drove around randomly and eventually drove to a neighbor’s residence. Once there she honked the car’s horn in distress to get someone’s attention. The suspect struck her and pushed her from the vehicle.

He left in the car, heading back towards Highway 29. The victim was treated at the scene for minor injuries. Shortly afterward, the vehicle was located on Pine Street.


New information released Friday morning the Sheriff’s Office says that about 8:35 a.m. deputies received a call about the attempted sexual battery of a female jogger on Rocky Avenue.

The victim reported that as she was jogging when an unknown black male suspect grabbed her from behind and dragged her into a wooded lot. Once there he struck her in the face and attempted  to remove her clothing but the victim fought back and was able to escape. The suspect fled deeper into the wood lot while the victim contacted authorities. The victim was transported to a local hospital where she was treated for minor injuries and released.

Due to the time and location of the incident, description of the suspect and the vehicle found at the location, investigators believe this incident may be connected to the carjacking.

In both  cases, the suspect was described as a black male with short hair, a mustache and dark clothes. The Sheriff’s Office said investigators are actively working the case at this time and more information will be released as it becomes available. Anyone having information on this incident is asked to contact CrimeStoppers at (850) 433-STOP.

Girlfriend’s Facebook Selfie Helps Land Cantonment Burglar Behind Bars

September 19, 2014

A Flomaton man has been busted in connection with a Cantonment burglary after his girlfriend posted a “selfie” Facebook photo showing stolen goods in the background, according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

Colby Wayne Satterwhite, 22, was charged with armed burglary of a residence, grand theft and criminal mischief.

Residents of a home in the 300 block of Jacks Branch Road reported that their home had been burglarized sometime during a two day period in which they were gone. They returned home to find a exterior door pushed open, and missing items including $200 in cash, a large collection of collectable coins, a camera, a Mossberg shotgun in a tan case and ammunition. The total estimated value of missing items was $15,060.

Acting on a tip, the burglary victim checked the Facebook page of Satterwhite’s girlfriend and spotted what she believed to be her shotgun case in the background of one of the girlfriend’s “selfie” photographs.

There’s no word from the Sheriff’s Office if the stolen items were recovered.

Three Charged After Car Stolen In Florida, Burned in Alabama

September 18, 2014

[Updated 8 a.m.] Three people have been arrested in connection with a vehicle that was stolen in Florida early Tuesday morning and burned a short time later in Alabama.

The third suspect, Dale Lynn Carnley, was taken into custody at 7:21 a.m. Thursday after being discharged from the Monroe County Hospital in Monroeville, Ala.  He was arrested by the Monroeville Police Department after  being recognized from media reports by hospital staff. He will be transported to the Escambia County (AL)  Detention Center in Brewton.

The incident  began about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday after a female victim picked up acquaintance Dale Lynn Carnley, age 32 of Flomaton, and former live-in boyfriend Shawn Earl Barrows, age 35 of Century. She gave them a ride to her home in the 7500 block of Killam Road outside Century, where both suspects began to “drink beer and hang out”, according to an Escambia County (FL) Sheriff’s Office arrest report.

The victim told deputies that Barrows became angry and began to hit and shove her. She said she tried get away, but was stopped by Carnley who kicked her to the floor before both men continued to beat her. The victim told deputies that she managed to run out of the house to a neighbors for help, and she watched as they two men took her 2006 Pontiac G6 without permission.

The female victim was transported by Escambia County (FL) EMS to Atmore Community Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

According to Flomaton Police Chief Brian Davis, the Pontiac G6 was then driven into Alabama  to a location on Highway 31 in Flomaton, near the former Bondurant Lumber Company, It was reported to be on fire at 2:38 p.m. According to Davis,  40-year old Christopher Vanhoosen of Titi Street in Flomaton has knowledge that his friends, Barrows and Carnley, were going to burn the car.

Barrows was arrested at his Tedder Road address in Century and booked into the Escambia County (FL) Jail on charges of  grand theft of a motor vehicle and first degree battery.  The Flomaton Police Department also has charges against Barrows for the vehicle fire.

Carnley will be charged by the Flomaton Police Department for receiving stolen property first degree and criminal mischief first degree. He is also expected to face additional charges in Florida.

Vanhoosen, who police said had knowledge of that the vehicle would be burned, was charged by Flomaton Police with criminal conspiracy to commit criminal mischief first degree.

Anyone with information on Dale Lynn Carnley’s whereabouts is asked to call the Flomaton Police Department at (251) 296-5811 or their local law enforcement agency.

McDavid Man Sentenced For 2013 SWAT Standoff

September 18, 2014

A McDavid man that held the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team at bay for hours last year has been sentenced.

After finding 55-year old Gary Daniel Griffis competent to stand trail, he was sentenced by Judge Ross Goodman to 10 years probation.

Back in August 2013, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office responded to an unknown type disturbance at Griffis’ mobile home at 681 Gunner Road, off Mystic Springs Road and Highway 29 in McDavid.

A shot was reportedly fired from within the mobile home where Griffis had barricaded himself inside. Griffis refused to exit the home, and the SWAT team and negotiator were called to a staging area at the McDavid Volunteer Fire Department on Highway 29. The SWAT team departed the staging area for the mobile home on Gunner Road just after 10 p.m.

The standoff came to an end at 12:40 a.m. after teargas was fired into the mobile home with Griffis. He was taken into custody without incident.

There were no injuries and no shots fired by deputies.

Pictured top:  An Escambia County SWAT vehicle at a staging area set up in August 2013 at the McDavid Volunteer Fire Department. Pictured below: The Sheriff’s Office command center on scene with an Escambia County EMS ambulance nearby. Pictured bottom: The SWAT staging area at the McDavid VFD. exclusive photos, click to enlarge.