ECUA Returns To Recycling On Monday

June 9, 2023

ECUA returns to full recycling next week.

Operation of the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) was interrupted back in mid-April due to a “staff turnover” and downtime to hire and train employees. Since then, the MRF was able to continue to accept and process source-separated recyclables such as cardboard.

The facility was in operation this week for what ECUA is calling a “successful soft start”.

“We truly appreciate our customers’ continued use of good recycling habits, which helped to promote a successful soft-start,” ECUA Public Information Office Nathalie Bowers said.

While restaffing activities were ongoing, maintenance and construction employees took advantage of plant downtime for maintenance and certain process modifications to improve plant functionality. These included:

  • replacement of the baler’s motor
  • modifications to the design of some chute to enhance performance of robots
  • rebuilding of the metering bin, which is the first part of the plant process and serves to load recyclables onto the conveyor belt in an even and uniform way.

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Cantonment Man Accused Of Lowe’s Burglary, Riding Mower Theft

June 9, 2023

A Cantonment man is accused of burglarizing a Lowe’s store and stealing a riding lawnmower.

James Robert Harkness, 37, was charged with burglary of an unoccupied structure, grand theft, criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools.

Harkness used bolt cutters to cut a lock on a fenced-in area at Lowe’s on Fairfield Drive about 1:30 a.m. on the morning of May 26, according to an Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

Video surveillance shows a suspect pull up in a SUV with a utility trailer, lower the ramps and grab bolt cutters. The suspect on video then cuts the lock on the fence and pushes a John Deere lawn mower valued at $2,799 onto the trailer and drives away, the ECSO said.

Using a partial tag number and other instigative techniques, investigators said they were able to identify Harkness as the suspect.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Harkness was also suspected of selling a stolen John Deere riding mower.

All Charges Dropped Against NWE Little League Treasurer For ‘Jurisdiction Reasons’

June 8, 2023

Prosecutors in Florida have dropped all charges against the former treasurer of Northwest Escambia Little League in Walnut Hill.

In April, 48-year old Paula Star Pugh was charged with felony grand theft $10,000 to $20,000 and felony fraud under $20,000.

According to court documents, the Office of the State Attorney First Judicial Circuit of Florida dropped prosecution in the case for “jurisdiction reasons”.

A spokesperson for the Escambia County (FL) Sheriff’s Office, which investigated the case in Florida, told Wednesday that their investigative files and evidence are being transferred to the Atmore Police Department for possible investigation in Alabama.

The Atmore Police Department confirmed Thursday morning that they will be looking into the case.

According to the Escambia County (FL) Sheriff’s Office, Pugh was the elected treasurer/bookkeeper since 2017 for Northwest Escambia Little League with the alleged thefts taking place from July 26, 2021, until December 9, 2022.

“During this time Pugh wrote checks on NWE’s account which she cashed for personal use, completed unauthorized debit transactions for personal use, and completed numerous ATM withdrawals for personal use,” the ECSO investigator wrote in his report, adding that Pugh had no receipt or explanation for the transactions.

According to the Florida warrant affidavit, many of the allegedly fraudulent transactions included ATM withdrawals at the First National Bank and Trust in Atmore.

Florida authorities alleged the following transactions were fraudulent, according to court documents. Pugh is not currently charged with making these transactions, and she is not currently charged with any crime.

Century Felon Gets 30 Years On Cocaine Trafficking, Weapons Charges

June 8, 2023

A Century felon convicted on drugs and weapons charges has been sentenced to 30 years in state prison.

Kendrick Jamar Washington was found guilty by an Escambia County jury of trafficking in cocaine,  carrying an unlicensed concealed firearm and carrying a concealed firearm while trafficking in cocaine. The jury deliberated for about an hour.

He will be required to serve three years of the sentence day for day as a statutory minimum mandatory.

On June 24, 2022, Washington allegedly pointed “an assault rifle” at his sister and threatened to kill her, according to an arrest report. She headed to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Century Precinct to file a report.

During the investigation, deputies were alerted of an armed disturbance on Ashford Alley off Jefferson Avenue and detained Washington. A .38 Special revolver and a Del-Ton rifle were recovered from Washington, along with a .223 round in the chamber, 13 rounds in the magazine of the rifle and five rounds in his pocket, according to an arrest report.

Deputies located over 98 grams of cocaine in Washington’s right pocket and a loaded .38 caliber revolver in his left pocket, according to court documents. A total of $4,642 in currency was found on Washington’s person, deputies said.

Arson Investigation Underway After Fire At Century Mobile Home

June 7, 2023

Authorities are investigating a suspected arson Wednesday morning in Century.

Escambia County Fire Rescue responded to a reported mobile home structure fire at the end of Mays Street off Jefferson Avenue about 10:53 a.m.

The fire was quickly reported to be out with only minor damage reported.

“On the (back) side of the structure, there did appear to be multiple ignition points, leading to the suspicion of arson,” Escambia County Public Information Officer Davis Wood said. “There was no fire extension to the interior of the home.”

The Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office was called to investigate. The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office also responded.

There was no electric service yet to the mobile home, which appeared to be new and recently set up on the property. photos, click to enlarge.

Investigation Underway After Suspicious Vehicle With Bullet Holes Located In Bratt

June 7, 2023

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a suspicious vehicle with bullet holes was found abandoned by the road in Bratt Wednesday morning.

The vehicle was on the roadside next to a field on Cecils Road just off North Highway 99, near a Bratt-Davisville Water System water tower.

The ECSO said shell casings were located in the area, and it appears certain that the driver was not in the vehicle at the time it was shot.

The driver was later located and had no injuries.

The investigation is continuing.

Photos for, click to enlarge.