No Serious Injuries In Highway 97, Highway 4 Crash

May 16, 2021

There were no series in a crash Saturday afternoon at the intersection of Highway 97 and Highway in Davisville.

One person reportedly went to the hospital in a private vehicle.

The Florida Highway Patrol investigated. Escambia County and the Walnut Hill Station of Escambia Fire Rescue also responded.

Submitted photos for, click to enlarge.

Blue Wahoos Fall In Extra Innings To Birmingham

May 16, 2021

The Blue Wahoos recreated a Saturday night experience devoid a year ago.

Absolute perfect weather. Overflow crowd. Festive mood. Post-game fireworks.

All this checklist lacked was a win.

After the Blue Wahoos carried a 3-0 lead into the seventh inning, the Birmingham Barons rallied to tie the game in the eighth inning, then scored six runs in the 10th for a 9-3 victory.

The crowd at Blue Wahoos Stadium filled both ends of the stands, the party decks and the grass berm behind the outfield.

The night also included Blue Wahoos president Jonathan Griffith getting his COVID-19 vaccine on top of the visitors’ dugout during the seventh inning stretch.

And he led the crowd in “Take Me Out To the Ballgame” while doing it, as part of a free vaccination opportunity provided by the Department of Health in Escambia County.

The Blue Wahoos will conclude their first homestand of 2021 with an afternoon game (4:05 p.m.) against the Barons.

The night began well on the field. Blue Wahoos starting pitcher Will Stewart was outstanding, pitching six scoreless innings and leaving with a 3-0 lead.

After retiring the Barons in order in the first inning, Stewart pitched with runners on base in the next five innings without allowing a run.

In throwing 85 pitches, he gave up only four hits, two walks and struck out three strikeouts. He made big pitches to end innings in the second, fifth and sixth.

It was a turnaround performance from his first start last week at Mississippi. That night he gave up seven hits and five earned runs in five innings.

Unfortunately for him, it became a no-decision.

The Blue Wahoos had a 3-0 lead in the seventh. Centerfielder Peyton Burdick led off the first inning with a walk, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on two groundouts.

In the sixth, Jerar Encarnacion tripled to score JJ Bleday and Nick Fortes followed with an RBI single.

But with two outs and two runners on in the seventh inning, the Barons’ Xavier Fernandez hit a fly ball off reliever Brien McKenna that seemed to cross up two Blue Wahoos outfielders.

Center fielder Peyton Burdick’s diving attempt had the ball pop out of his glove, scoring two runs.

In the eighth, second reliever Tyler Stevens gave up a bases-loaded walk on a 3-2 pitch to tie the game.

After the Blue Wahoos were retired in the ninth, the Barons exploded for six runs in the 10th inning to blow open the game.

Weekly Traffic Trouble Spots

May 16, 2021

Drivers will encounter traffic disruptions on the following state roads in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties this week as crews perform construction and maintenance activities.

Escambia County:

  • U.S. 98 Pensacola Bay Bridge Replacement - The intersection of North 17th Avenue and Bayfront Parkway will remain closed until spring 2021 as construction continues for the new 17th Avenue interchange. The Visitor’s Center and adjacent boat launch remain accessible from 17th Avenue. Also, the ramp from 17th Avenue to East Gregory Street remains open. Eastbound drivers on Bayfront Parkway should use North 14th Avenue and Cervantes Street (U.S. 90) as a detour route.
  • North Ninth Avenue (State Road (S.R.) 289) Carpenters Creek Bridge Replacement- All travel lanes are temporarily shifted to the northbound side of the bridge as crews work to replace the southbound portion of the structure.
    • Drivers will encounter brief, intermittent lane closures to allow crews to mobilize materials and equipment. The brief, intermittent lane closures and traffic configuration will continue through the end of the year. Traffic flaggers will be on-site to safely direct drivers through the construction zone.
    • Pile driving work is also slated to begin next week. Crews will be driving piles during the daytime hours. Nearby residents and commercial property owners may experience noise and vibration.
  • ·         I-10 Bridge Repair and Rehabilitation over Perdido River Bridge – Motorists will encounter intermittent nighttime lane closures the week of Monday, May 17 as crews perform paving operations.
  • ·         U.S. 29 from South of Muscogee Road (County Road (C.R.) 184) to Atmore Hwy (S.R. 97) – Motorists will encounter intermittent northbound and southbound lane closures between Morris Avenue and north of Cantonment and north of S.R. 97 in Molino 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, May 17 through Friday, May 21, as crews perform paving operations.
  • West Cervantes Pedestrian Safety Improvement Project –The following will take place the week of Monday, May 17.
    • The speed limit between Dominguez Street and A Street will be permanently reduced from 35 mph to 30 mph.
    • Drivers will encounter inside lane closures between Dominguez Street and Kirk Street as crews perform median improvement work. One lane in each direction will be always maintained. The median work and lane closures will progress eastward on Cervantes Street until the end of the year.
  • U.S. 29 Widening from Interstate 10 (I-10) to Nine Mile Road (U.S. 90) – Motorists can expect intermittent lane closures and shifts, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. the week of Sunday, May 16 on U.S. 29, between I-10 and Nine and Half Mile Road, and on Nine Mile Road at the U.S. 29 Overpass. Traffic impacts will include:
    • The U.S. 29 median crossover at Hope Drive will be temporarily closed as crews construct the new median configuration at this location.  The temporary closure is expected to last two weeks.  Once reopened, Hope Drive will be right turn only at U.S. 29, while U.S. 29 northbound drivers will continue to have left turn access to Hope Drive via a median turn lane.
    • This week, motorists can expect nighttime intermittent lane closures and shifts, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., on U.S. 29, between I-10 and Nine and Half Mile Road, and on Nine Mile Road at the U.S. 29 Overpass.
  • Nine Mile Road (U.S. 90) Widening from Pine Forest (S.R. 297) to U.S. 29 – Drivers will experience intermittent lane closures at the Nine Mile Road and Fowler Road intersection 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday, May 17 as crews to preform paving operations.
  • S.R. 292 (Sorrento Road) Intersection Improvements at the Innerarity Point (C.R. 292A)– Motorists should expect intermittent lane closures 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. as crews to restripe and install temporary asphalt in preparation for installing low profile barrier wall the week of Sunday, May 23.
  • S.R. 291 (Davis Highway) at Village Oaks Shopping Center Underground Utility Maintenance – Motorists will encounter lane closures near Village Oaks Shopping Center 8 p.m. Monday, May 17 to 5 a.m. Tuesday, May 18 as crews perform underground utility work.
  • U.S. 98 at the North Palafox Street Intersection Underground Utility Maintenance – Motorists will encounter lane closures on U.S. 98 (Chase Street/Garden Street) the week of Monday, May 17 as crews perform routine underground utility maintenance operations at the following locations:
    • U.S. 98 (Chase Street) at the North Palafox Street Intersection, 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Tuesday, May 18 through Wednesday, May 19.
    • U.S. 98 (W. Garden Street) between Palafox Place and South Baylen Street, 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 18 to 5 a.m. Wednesday, May 19.
    • U.S. 98 (E. Garden Street) at the North Tarragona Street intersection, 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 19 to 5 a.m. Thursday, May 20.
    • U.S. 98 (E. Garden Street) at the Brue Street intersection 8 p.m. Thursday, May 20 to 5 a.m. Friday, May 21.
  • U.S. 90 (Caroline Street) Underground Utility Maintenance at Mary Street – Motorists will encounter lane closures at the Mary Street intersection 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 18 to 5 a.m. Wednesday, May 19 as crews place fiber underground.

Santa Rosa County:

  • Pensacola Bay Bridge Replacement- The  bridge remains closed.
  • U.S. 98 Widening from Bayshore Road to Portside Drive- Early construction activities have begun to prepare for the widening and improvements of the 4.25-mile section. These activities include utility relocations, clearing, excavation, and drainage improvements. As part of the upgraded drainage system, the project includes the construction of five stormwater ponds. Clearing and excavating of areas for the stormwater ponds are currently underway. There are no traffic impacts associated with the construction of the ponds, but nearby residents and businesses may experience some noise. Access to residences and businesses will be maintained.

Missing, Endangered Juvenile Safely Located

May 15, 2021

UPDATE: The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said late Saturday night that this missing juvenile has been safely located.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a missing and endangered juvenile last seen in Walnut Hill late Saturday afternoon.

Skyla Renae Boutwell, 15, was last seen in the area of South Highway 99 and Beasley Road, about two miles south of Highway 97, about 5:45 p.m.

She is 5-feet, 6-inches tall, 114 pounds with blond hair and green eyes. She was last seen wearing white shorts, white tennis shoes, and a maroon t-shirt.

Deputies said she was a white male in a 2007 orange  Chevrolet HHR with Florida tag NXVF35, possibly headed to the Pensacola area.

Anyone with information is asked call the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office at (850) 436-9620.

‘Animal’ Beats 71-Year Old Woman With Wooden Club, Sheriff Simmons Says

May 15, 2021

A man Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons called an “animal” is charged with attempted murder after beating a 71-year old woman with a wooden club.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the Circle K on the 2700-block of Gulf Beach Highway in reference to an unconscious woman who had been hit with a bat.

“What the surveillance video showed was shocking. You can see 30-year-old Michael Coggeshall enter into the store, take his backpack off and aimlessly walk around. A short time later, the 71-year old victim enters the building and walks up the service counter, minding her own business. The suspect grabs a wooden club from his backpack, walks up behind the victim and viciously attacks her, hitting her in the head with the club,” the ECSO said in a statement.

“I hope this is not a sign of the time,” Sheriff Chip Simmons said. “Watching this animal pace around behind the victim, contemplating his action is chilling. If you are not angered by this kind of behavior, I question your humanity. Rarely if ever in my law enforcement career I have I seen something so random and something so down right evil. I was disgusted watching the video of the event unfold. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim. We are charging him with attempted murder because that is the most we can charge him with at this time. I hope justice finds Michael Coggeshall and judges him accordingly.”

Deputy Jerimiah Meeks and Investigator Joshua Timo worked the case. Timo was in the area of the Circle K looking for Coggeshall when he spotted him on a bicycle and tried to make an apprehension. The suspect fled and was later apprehended by Deputy Matt Watkins’ K — 9 Bady. Coggeshell was bitten by the K-9 and treated at a local hospital before being to the Escambia County Jail.

The 71-year old woman remains hospitalized.

ECUA Repairs Pipe After Several Million Gallons Of Sewage Leaks; Health Advisory Remains in Effect

May 15, 2021

The Emerald Coast Utilities Authority said Friday night that repairs had been completed to a pipe after several million gallons of sewage leaked, but a health advisor remained in effect.

A 30-inch diameter pipe at the Emerald Coast Utility Authority Bayou Marcus Water Reclamation Facility ruptured Thursday night. Some 20 hours later, the pipe had been replaced and was back in service. About 7:45 p.m. Friday, ECUA said the overflow had ceased and the plant had resume normal operation.

Friday afternoon, the Florida Department of Health issued a health advisory for Perdido Bay south of the Bayou Marcus Creek. The health department advised any water-related activities due to the potential for high bacteria levels.”

The ruptured line runs between the beginning of the plant process and the biological treatment basins.

“Sewage at this point in the process has undergone primary screening and de-gritting. ECUA personnel responded immediately and worked through the night to take the line out of service and redirect the flow,” ECUA spokesperson Nathalie Bowers said. “The full scope of the repair work and the volume of the overflow are still being determined, but the damaged pipe is already being exposed and evaluated.”

The pipe is below the water table, which complicated the repair process, Bowers said.

The facility is located west of the North Blue Angel Parkway and Muldoon Road intersection (maps below).

DeSantis Appoints Three To Northwest Florida Water Management District

May 15, 2021

Gov. Ron DeSantis has appointed Jerome “Jerry” Pate of Pensacola, Anna Upton of Tallahassee and John Alter of Malone to the Northwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board.

The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

Jerome “Jerry” Pate
Pate is the owner of Jerry Pate Turf and Irrigation and Jerry Pate Design. He is a former professional golfer with 15 professional wins including the 1976 U.S. Open and the 1982 Players Championship. He was also a member of the winning 1981 United States Ryder Cup Team. Pate currently serves as Vice Chair of the Northwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board and on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Foundation Board of Directors. He earned his bachelor’s degree in administrative science from the University of Alabama.

Anna Upton
Upton is a Managing Member of Anna H. Upton, P.L. and serves as General Counsel to The Everglades Foundation. She has been named a Super Lawyers Rising Star in the areas of business litigation, civil litigation defense, employment and labor law and environmental litigation. A recipient of the Girl Scout Gold Award, she earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Wake Forest University and her juris doctor from Stetson University College of Law.

John Alter
Alter manages a family-run tree farm and is a retired Naval Aviator, earning an honorable discharge from the United States Navy at the rank of Captain. He has previously served on the Northwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board and is also a member of the Florida Forestry Association, Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and the Optimist Club of Northeast Jackson County. Alter earned his bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and his master’s degree in political science from Villanova University.

Wahoos Beat Birmingham

May 15, 2021

As a later-round draft pick from Illinois State in 2019, pitcher Jeff Lindgren knew he had to prove himself quickly.

A performance like the one he delivered Friday night for the Blue Wahoos certainly helps.

Making his first professional start, Lindgren, 24, a Champagne, Illinois native, produced the longest outing by a Blue Wahoos starter, so far this season, tossing a 2-hitter in seven innings to lead Pensacola’s 3-2 win against the Birmingham Barons.

Lindgren did this in front of the first sellout crowd (5,038) of the opening homestand.

“It’s always playing with a chip on your shoulder,” said Lindgren, chosen in the 24th round by the Miami Marlins as a college senior and signed for a few thousand dollars. “When you have that kind of motivation it helps get to  where you want to be in my situation right now.”

On the first night since a mask ban was lifted for fans at Blue Wahoos Stadium, Lindgren got through a rough first inning then found a groove that let him breeze through innings.

He threw 86 pitches, striking out seven and not allowing a walk. He worked five innings and allowed four runs in his first Double-A start a week ago at Mississippi.

“I just continued to follow the game plan that (pitching coach Tim Norton) and (catcher Rick Fortes) put together before the game,” said Lindgren, who made all his prior appearances in relief, including his 2019 rookie season in Jupiter. “It really was working for me in the first game and things just got away from me. I settled back in and ran (Friday).”

When he exited after the seventh, he saw many in the crowd standing.

“It was awesome,” Lindgren said. “Especially after taking so much time off (not playing last year). I didn’t really realize the crowd until the end but my team had my back all day.”

Lindgren got the run support he needed when Demetrius Sims jumped on a first pitch to deliver a 2-run, 2-out single in the sixth inning.

That lead was saved by Anthony Maldonado, who pitched two scoreless, hitless innings. to record his third save.

Lindgren overcame a rocky opening inning. He plunked consecutive batters with one out, then yielded a bloop, 2-run single to Barons’ catcher Carlos Perez.

From this point, Lindgren was sensational.

He retired 16 batters in a row, before Ti’Quan Forbes reached on a two-base throwing error in the seventh inning to move into scoring position. But Lindgren ended the inning by getting Craig Dedlow to fly out to left on the first pitch.

Birmingham starter Konnor Pilkington was equally effective. After the Blue Wahoos got a run back in the first inning on Fortes’ 2-out single, Pilkington retired the next 12 batters he faced.

Nick Lovullo broke the string with a one-out single. It was one of just four hits the Blue Wahoos had in the game. But they made the most of them.

The Blue Wahoos (6-4) evened the series at 2-2 heading into Saturday’s fifth game against the Barons (7-3).

FWC: Wild Hog Hunting Opportunities Await On Wildlife Management Areas

May 15, 2021

During spring and summer, the FWC offers public hunting opportunities for wild hog at 26 wildlife management areas across the state.

A hunting license isn’t needed to hunt wild hogs at a WMA, however, a management area permit is required. And many do not have a quote permit for spring and summer while hog hunting

For information on WMA wild hog hunting opportunities — including at the Escambia River, and Blackwater WMAs, click or tap here.

Woman Charged In Cantonment Shooting Death Appears In Video Court

May 14, 2021

A woman charged in the murder of her daughter’s boyfriend appeared in video court Thursday.

Prosecutors said Dawn Lucille Sluder conspired to have 35-year old Danny Blackmon, Jr. killed.

It was set to be a bond hearing before Judge Jan Shackelford, but Sluder’s attorney and prosecutors agreed to postpone the hearing. A new date has not been set.

Sluder and her co-defendant Jonathan Taylor Hobbs remain in jail without bond.

Hobbs was indicted on one count of first degree premeditated murder with a firearm, and Sluder was indicted on one count of first degree premeditated murder.

Danny Blackmon, Jr., 35, was shot and killed as his 19-year old girlfriend, who is Sluder’s daughter, watched in horror, according to Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons.

On February 1, investigators found Blackmon deceased with numerous gunshot wounds, including two on his upper torso, one in his neck and at least two in his head. After Blackmon fell to the ground, Hobbs reportedly leaned over his body and fired at least two more rounds before running away. Blackmon’s girlfriend witnessed the entire incident and attempted to perform CPR until she beaten and pulled away by her hair by Dawn Sluder, an arrest report states.

Sluder was apprehended at a convenience store on Muscogee Road near Jacks Branch Road. There was extensive damage to her SUV (pictured below) consistent with having collided with the Ford F-150 as stated by the witness. Hobbs walked up to a resident on Country Hills Road and asked to use the phone. The resident called 911, and deputies responded to take Hobbs into custody without further incident. photos, click to enlarge.

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