No Injuries In Highway 29 Rollover Accident

April 24, 2014

There were no injuries reported in a single vehicle rollover accident about 6:30 Thursday morning on Highway 29 near Quintette Road. The pickup truck involved came to rest on its side in the median of Highway 29. Photo byRamona Preston for, click to enlarge.

Overall Crime Down In Escambia, Across Florida

April 24, 2014

New data released Wednesday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shows overall crime down in Escambia County and Florida’s crime rate at the lowest point in decades.

Florida’s crime rate dropped 4.7 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, putting Florida at a 43-year crime low.  In Escambia County, overall crime was down 6.1 percent during the year.

Murders were up from 22 in 2012 to 26 in 2013, and motor vehicle thefts also increased in Escambia County, according to the FDLE data. All other major crime categories — forcible rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries and larcenies — saw a decrease from 2012 to 2013.

The Escambia County data includes crimes investigated not only the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, but also the Pensacola Police Department, University of West Florida Police, Florida Highway Patrol and other agencies.

Across Florida, the total number of crimes fell 3.8 percent from last year which translates into 27,380 fewer crimes in 2013.  The number of violent crimes was also down 2.4 percent.Murder is down 3.9 percent, forcible sex offenses and robbery each declined 2.8 percent and aggravated assault is down 2.1 percent.

“Today we have more good news for families. Even while Florida’s population grows, the total number of crimes continues to drop, which is a testament to our brave men and women who serve in our communities each and every day. Florida is now at a 43-year crime low. Our lower crime rate means that not only are our families and communities safer, but Florida is in a better position to create more opportunities for Floridians. This drop in crime shows everyone that Florida really is the best place to raise a family,” Gov. Rick Scott said.

Five Uninjured In Highway 29 Crash; One Driver Hurt After Wreck

April 24, 2014

Five people were uninjured in a traffic crash Wednesday night on Highway 29 near McDavid, while one person was transported to the hospital with an injury he received after the wreck.

Authorities said the driver of a Honda Accord was northbound on Highway 29 south of McDavid when he collided with a northbound Kia Sorrento with five passengers. The Honda left the roadway, struck a culvert and overturned into a wooded area.  The Kia came to rest in the median.

The Honda driver reportedly suffered only minor cuts in the crash, but reported  twisted his ankle while walking to check on the occupants of the Kia, all of which were uninjured.

The 22-year old Honda driver was transported by Escambia County EMS to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola.  The accident remains under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol. The McDavid Station of Escambia Fire Rescue also responded to the crash.

Pictured: Five people in this Kia were uninjured in a two vehicle crash south of McDavid on Highway 29 Wednesday night. Pictured below: The second vehicle in the crash,  a Honda Accord, came to rest in wooded area. photos, click to enlarge.

Flomaton Teacher Accused Of Robbing Two Elderly Women Resigns

April 24, 2014

The Alabama teacher arrested in March in an alleged purse snatching incident has resigned.

The Escambia County (AL) School Board voted during a special meeting Tuesday to accept the April 21 resignation of  Clemente Renard Brooks, Sr., a fifth grade teacher at Flomaton Elementary School.

Brooks, 52, was charged by the Poarch Creek Tribal Police with third degree robbery and first degree theft of property. He was booked into the Escambia County (AL) Detention Center in Brewton.

Butch Lee, assistant chief of the Poarch Creek Tribal Police, said after the March 20 arrest that  Wind Creek Security reported a purse snatching in the casino parking lot about 9:30 p.m. on the previous day. Two elderly females reported they were leaving the casino when they were approach from behind by a black male in the parking lot. The suspect allegedly grabbed a purse from one of the elderly women and then wrestled with the second victim but was unable to take her purse away from her. The suspect then fled on foot.

Lee said the victims were able to identify the suspect and video surveillance from the casino led to Brooks’ arrest.

Brooks surrendered himself to Poarch Creek Tribal Police on Wednesday. Lee said the victim’s purse was recovered but was missing $400.

Brooks is als former Flomaton Town Council member. He made an unsuccessful bid for Flomaton mayor in 2012, losing by 20 votes to incumbent Dewey Bondurant.

Driver Escapes Serious Injury In Highway 97 Rollover Crash

April 23, 2014

A driver escaped injury late Wednesday afternoon in a single vehicle accident on Highway 97 in Walnut Hill.

The driver was apparently southbound on Highway 97 just north of North Highway 99 about 5:15 p.m. when she lost control and overturned onto the shoulder of the road. She was out of the vehicle when first responders arrived on the scene.

The accident is under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol.  The Walnut Hill Station of Escambia Fire Rescue and Atmore Ambulance also responded to the accident. photos, click to enlarge.

Animals Saved As Boarding Kennel Burns

April 23, 2014

A pet kennel in Ensley was heavily damage by fire Tuesday night, but all of the dogs at the facility were saved.

The fire was reported about 8:15 p.m. at the Magic Touch Boarding Kennel on Chadson Street, just east of Chemstrand Road. All of the dog were evacuated from the building. Flames were showing from the building when the first crews from Escambia Fire Rescue arrived on scene. A pet bird belonging to the kennel owners did die in the blaze.

“It was a real hot fire. Nobody got hurt and I guess that’s the biggest thing, nobody got hurt,” said Cleve Godwin, kennel owner.

The exact cause of the blaze remains under investigation by the Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Pictured: Firefighters battled a blaze at the Magic Touch Boarding Kennel Tuesday night. Photos courtesy WEAR 3 for, click to enlarge.

Century Man Tased By Deputies Convicted Of Resisting Arrest, Battery

April 23, 2014

A Century man tased by Escambia County deputies late last year has been convicted on charges of battery and resisting arrest without violence.

Emanuel Rabun Bethea, 28, was sentenced by Judge Terry Terrell to one year probation. He was also ordered to complete counseling and stay away from controlled substances without a prescription, including “spice” or bath salts.

According to an arrest report, an Escambia County Sheriff’s deputy in a marked patrol vehicle was first to arrive after a disturbance call in the 7500 block of Jack Smith Road in November 23. He watched as someone attempted to flee as he approached, spinning tires in a circular driveway, accelerating and running over a tree stump. Bethea exited the vehicle and ran, fell in the gravel driveway, got up and ran again despite multiple verbal commands from the deputy to stop. When Bethea fell again, he was tackled by the deputy.

According to an arrest report, Bethea refused to place his hands behind his back as ordered, instead he tried to reach his pocket multiple times. The deputy, not knowing what Bethea was  trying to retrieve from his pocket, ordered him to stop or be tased. He refused to comply  and was tased once before the deputy managed to handcuff one hand. Bethea continued to resist and another deputy arrived on scene and assisted in handcuffing him, according to the report.

During the struggle, Bethea reported told the deputy “just shoot me” multiple times. After Bethea was taken into custody, a folding pocket knife was located next to his leg. Bethea continued to fight deputies as he was placed in a patrol vehicle, the report states.

The female victim told deputies that she and Bethea live together at the Jack Smith Road address and that they have a child together. She said Bethea refused to allow her to leave the residence, grabbed her and took her cell phone while he prevented her from using the couple’s only vehicle.

A charge of kidnapping against Bethea was dropped, according to court records.

Bethea was transported by Escambia County EMS to Sacred Heart Hospital before being booked into the Escambia County Jail.  The arresting deputy noted that Bethea was cooperative, polite and apologetic at the hospital.

Jay Pro Rodeo Is This Weekend

April 23, 2014

It’s that time of the year again as the Ram Rodeo Series rides into Jay this Friday and Saturday nights at the Ted May arena.

Get ready to see bucking bulls, clowns, barrel racing,  real life cowboys in action and much more. There will be calf and team roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, and children’s activities that include a calf scramble and other activities.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under at 8:00 both nights. All proceeds benefit youth program though the Student Government Association at Jay High School and Ted May Arena.

Ted May arena is a half mile east of the red light on Highway 4 in Jay. For more information, contact Fredrick Barrow at (850) 675-1646.

The Jay Pro Rodeo is sponsored in part by