Police Still Looking For Murder Victim’s Body In North Escambia Area; Asking Residents To Check Cameras

September 25, 2021

Police are still asking North Escambia area residents to check their cameras for any clues that might help them find the body a Pensacola woman they say was murdered.

They are especially asking residents to check their trail or game cameras for images from September 11.

Giles Curt Jones, 38, was charged with first degree murder for the death of 40-year old Latonya Antionette Baxter. She was reported missing by her daughter on September 12, the day after his vehicle was confirmed to be in Century.

A picture of an obviously deceased Baxter was found on Jones’ phone, according to Pensacola Police. The photo was taken at 1:54 on Saturday, September 11. About noon that day, Jones’ gray 2009 Nissan Maxima with Florida tag #45BAFU was captured on camera northbound on Highway 29 in Century. The vehicle headed back south on Highway 29 through Century about 3 p.m.

Acting on a tip, Pensacola Police, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and KlaasKIDS search an area along Highway 168 east of Pine Barren Road in Bratt last Monday and Tuesday, but no sign of Jones’ body was found.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Pensacola Police Department at (850) 435-1901 or Crime Stoppers at (850) 433-STOP.

For additional details about the murder and photos from Monday, click or tap here.

For a photo gallery from Tuesday’s search, click or tap here.

Man Enters Plea, To Be Sentenced For Murdering A Former Molino Fire Chief

September 24, 2021

An Escambia County man will be sentenced in late October for the murder of a former Molino fire chief.

Jared Cordel Clakley, 31, entered a plea of no contest to a charge of second degree murder with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon for the shooting death of Gary Diamond.

Diamond was shot and killed outside his Molino Road home shortly after 3:30 a.m. on December 26, 2020.

Three witnesses told deputies that Clakley fired four or five shots at Diamond before fleeing in his vehicle. Deputies found the vehicle wrecked near Highway 95A and Molino Road, but Clakley had fled. A K-9 unit was deployed to track him down. He was later located at a family member’s home near Holsberry Place.

Pictured: The scene of the murder in the 400 block of Molino Road early in the morning on December 26, 2020. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

COVID-19 Exposed Students No Longer Required To Quarantine Under New Policy

September 24, 2021

A new COVID-19 quarantine policy is now in effect in Escambia County schools, keeping with a recent state directive that allows exposed students to never miss class.

Under the new rule, parents and guardians will be able to make the choice for their child in the Escambia County School District.

Students who are exposed to a COVID-19 positive case and who are asymptomatic, will no longer be required to quarantine. In this situation, if a parent wishes to send their asymptomatic child to school, no other action is necessary on the part of the parent or guardian, according to the district.

However, parents will still have the right to quarantine their asymptomatic students that have been exposed to a positive COVID-19 case for up to seven days from the date of the exposure. The parent or guardian must notify the school district of their decision for accurate attendance reporting.

“This new directive has altered District, as well as parental, protocols,” Superintendent Tim Smith said. “This ever-evolving situation will continue to be a work in progress. We ask that our parents and the community continue to work with District personnel as we navigate these new directives.”

Symptomatic students or students who have been deemed COVID-19 positive may return to school after:

  • receiving a negative COVID-19 test result and remaining asymptomatic OR
  • waiting 10 days since symptoms began or positive test result and have had no fever for 24 hours OR
  • receiving written permission from a medical doctor licensed under chapter 458, an osteopathic physician licensed under chapter 459 or an advanced registered nurse practitioner licensed under chapter 464.

The District will continue to keep records of contact tracing, adhere to enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols, and encourage social distancing, where feasible.

T-Mobile Awards $50,000 Hometown Grant For Downtown Atmore Project

September 24, 2021

Atmore is one of 25 small towns awarded a “Hometown Grant” from T-Mobile.

Atmore will use the $50,000 to provide an internet technology lab as well as computer furnishings which will be located in the former Atmore Hardware store on Main Street.

The downtown hardware store and adjacent Strand Theatre are under renovation. The hardware store will become a flexible community space, while the theatre will be restored to its early 1920s glory.

The T-Mobile Hometown Grants are being awarded across the county “to jumpstart vital community development projects to re-energize these towns and build upon what makes them unique,” according to the carrier.

“These incredible projects spark innovation, ingenuity and hard work that have always been the hallmark of our nation’s small towns,” said Jon Freier, executive vice president of Consumer Group at T-Mobile. “From beautifying historic Main Streets to building all-new retail spaces, pop-ups and parks … this is part of our commitment to rural America, and we can’t wait to see all these creative plans come to life.”

Courtesy photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Gary Diamond Of Molino Honored Posthumously As Florida’s Career Firefighter Of The Year

September 23, 2021

A firefighter from Molino was posthumously honored as Florida’s Career Firefighter of the Year in a ceremony this week in the Senate Chamber of the Florida Capitol.

Gary Diamond’s wife Cindy accepted the honor on his behalf from Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis.

Diamond was murdered at his Molino home on December 26, 2020.

“Gary was known as influence on others with the experience and passion to build a strong fire service community,” Patronis said, “dedicating his time to train younger generations of firefighters.”

Diamond joined the Ensley Volunteer Fire Department in 1982 before transferring to the Molino Volunteer Firefighter. He worked his way through the ranks to assistant chief of the Molino Volunteer Fire Department in 1987 and went on to serve as Molino chief from November 1992 to September 1993. He left Escambia in County 2006 to pursue his career calling as a firefighter and EMT at Navarre Beach where he retired as a captain to return home to take care of a family member. At the time of his death, he was volunteering as a fleet transport driver for Escambia Fire Rescue, moving fire apparatus around the county as needed.

“Gary suffered a tragic death in December 2020 doing what he has been know to do his entire career, which was selflessly protecting others at the expense of his own life,” stated a proclamation signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody, CFO and Fire Marshal Patronis, and Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried.

Diamond was among several members of Florida’s firefighting community honored for their outstanding accomplishments in the fire service industry recognized during the 2021 Fire Service Awards. Each individual or facility was nominated and selected by various fire service organizations across Florida.

Pictured above: Late firefighter Gary Diamond (left). His wife Cindy (right) accepted the Florida’s Career Firefighter of the Year honors on behalf of her late husband this week in the Florida Senate Chamber.

Fallen Escambia Fire Chief Dwain Bradshaw Among 18 Added To Florida Memorial

September 23, 2021

Taps played this week in the Florida Capitol Courtyard as 18 fallen firefighters were honored for answering their final call and making the ultimate sacrifice.

One of the 18 names now inscribed on the Florida Fallen Firefighter Memorial is Escambia County Fire Rescue District Chief Dwain S. Bradshaw.

Bradshaw, 41, lost his life early on the morning November 2019 in the line of duty on scene of a fatal crash on the Muscogee Bridge. He was a volunteer district chief at the Bellview Station of Escambia Fire Rescue, volunteer assistant district chief for the Beulah Station of Escambia Fire Rescue, and lived a life of public service.

Bradshaw was also a Department of Defense firefighter at Naval Air Station Pensacola, an U.S. Army veteran, a member of the Mississippi Air National Guard and a former police officer in Bay Minette.

Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis hosted a ‘Ringing of the Bell’ ceremony to honor Florida’s fallen firefighters. He was joined by Governor Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody, and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.

“With each ring, we mark the ending of a final call for the brave souls honored on these walls, the ones who lost their lives bravely and with honor. This year, as we reflect on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 and the tragic condo collapse in Surfside, it further emphasizes for everyone the tremendous sacrifices our first responders give to keep our communities safe. God bless these fallen heroes and their families,” Patronis said.

“We honor Florida’s firefighters who answered the call for service but did not come home. They dedicated their life to their communities and paid the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.