Multiple Injuries In Crash Involving ECUA Truck Two Other Vehicles

August 3, 2021

At least four people were reportedly injured in a crash involving three vehicles on Nine Mile Road Tuesday, including an Emerald Coast Utilities Authority sanitation truck.

The crash happened at Nine Mile Road and Bell Ridge Drive in Beulah about 11:30 a.m. and also involved a pickup truck and SUV.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating and has not released further details on how the wreck occurred.

Photos courtesy Al Showers/WEAR 3 for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Cantonment Man Accused Of Molesting Underage Girl

August 3, 2021

A Cantonment man is facing felony charges for the alleged sexual abuse of an underage female.

Livonn Devon McCorvey, 19, was charged with two counts of sexual battery of a person between 12-18 by a person 18 or older.

The victim recently told investigators that McCorvey had sexually abused her since she was 12-years old, between 2016 and 2021. The victim, now a legal adult, told investigators that she waited so long to disclose the abuse because she was afraid to hurt the family, according to an arrest report.

McCorvey was released from the Escambia County Jail on a $20,000 bond.

Plans Approved For New AT&T Tower In Century; Construction Expected To Take A Few Months

August 3, 2021

The Town of Century has now signed off on the development plans for a new 305 foot tall cell tower for AT&T.

Earlier this year, the town council approved a five-year lease with options out to 40 years with Diamond Towers for an AT&T tower on a small parcel of land in the town’s Anthony Pleasant Park off West Highway 4. It’s small area tucked away essentially at the back of the park.

Diamond Towers will lease the parcel from the town at $1,000 total for one year with an optional extension for one more year at $1,000. Once a tower is constructed, Diamond’s lease will increase to $1,500 per month for at least five years, with another $500 per month due for additional cellular providers collocated on the tower. There are annual options for slight increases.

Construction on the tower is expected to begin soon, with competition in just a few months. The tower area will be fenced to prevent access by those using the park.

Monday Armed Robbery Of Pine Forest Road Dollar General Under Investigation

August 2, 2021

The search continues for a suspect in the Monday armed morning robbery of an Dollar General store on Pine Forest Road.

A white male armed with a gun walked into the Dollar General on Pine Forest just north of Highway 297A about 9:23 Monday morning and asked the clerk for $5. He fled in a yellow car with “small amount” of cash, according to Amber Southard, spokesperson for the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

No additional information was available. We will post an update if surveillance images or additional details are released.

File photo.

Staffing Issues Temporarily Close Century Work Camp; Inmates Moved To Main Prison

August 2, 2021

The Century Work Camp has been temporarily shut down due to staffing issues.

About 60 inmates have been moved from the Century CI Work Camp into the main unit at Century Correctional Institution, Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) Press Secretary Paul Walker told NorthEscambia.com.

“Staff recruitment and retention is a top agency priority,” Walker said.

Century Correctional Institution is one of several facilities across the state currently offering $1,000 hiring bonuses for newly certified correctional officers.

“Currently, a large number of FDC’s major institutions are at or below critical staffing levels. FDC is working through various measures to mitigate this staffing crisis, including the temporary suspension of some work squads. Work squads will resume when staffing levels allow them to operate while also adequately staffing the institution,” Walker said.

Some of the measures FDC is implementing to address critical staffing at institutions across the state include:

  • Transitioning correctional institutions from 12-hour shifts to 8.5-hour shifts, as recommended by national experts and strongly supported through data analysis of safety trends and attrition rates
  • Offering $1,000 hiring bonuses at institutions with 10% or more staff vacancy rate
  • Offering $1,000 hiring bonus for returning certified staff
  • Increased rate of pay to $33,500 for (noncertified) correctional officer trainees
  • Opened positions for part-time OPS Certified Correctional Officers
  • Reduced the wait time for Correctional Officer Trainees to enter the academy for certification
  • Changed the framework of correctional officer academies to allow for mid-course entry
  • Temporarily closing dorms
  • Suspended FDC-supervised work squads
  • Consolidating some work camps and annexes into main institutions

The Century Work Camp is located on Tedder Road, just west of Century Correctional Institution.

Pictured: The Florida Department of Corrections Century Work Camp. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Cantonment Man Takes The Chess Challenge To Homeless Camp Under I-110

August 2, 2021

Rafael Lopez of Cantonment loves the game of chess, and he is passionate about sharing that love.

Sunday, he set up his oversized chess board in what might seem like a very unlikely place — a homeless camp under I-110 in Pensacola.

Lopez was met by a large group of men and women that call the tent city home. It was hot, almost noon, when Lopez arrived.

“You could see the mood change instantly when we pulled up. Curiously at first, then once they knew we were there for good, many of them assisted me with putting the board together,” he said.

He supplied the pizza, doughnuts and water. And he gave away about 20 chess boards to those who wanted to play in the future.

“They asked me if I was going to come back and it’s hard for me to turn down a game of chess with anyone, so I agreed to another Sunday at the end of the month,” he said.

“The Chess Challenge” is Lopez’s charity. He said it will help the community by teaching better decisions through chess. He wants to create a “chess culture” in Escambia County and will fund a competitive tournament that will award a scholarship, cash or prizes.

“We brought a bunch of strangers at a homeless encampment together, and they were united through chess,” Lopez said.

Anyone that wants to help Lopez or participate in his next event can contact Lopez at RILopez818@gmail.com or call (850) 208-1996.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

UPDATE: Pensacola State College Reverses Course On Excused COVID-19 Absences For Unvaccinated, Rescinds Mask Mandate

August 2, 2021

Pensacola State College has rescinded a previously announced mask mandate that was set to begin Monday August 2, and the college has reversed course on not allowing excused abscesses related to COVID-19 for the unvaccinated.

The mask policy would have applied to vaccinated and unvaccinated students, faculty, employees and visitors indoors on a PSC campus.

In an email to students on Sunday (pictured below), PSC President Ed Meadows rescinded that policy, announcing instead that mask are only recommended, especially for unvaccinated persons. He also announced that only those who are vaccinated or exempted for medical reasons will be excused for any absences due to COVID-19 infections or quarantines.

Late Monday afternoon, the college announced that COVID-19 absences will may excused for any student or employee (emails below).

“COVID related absences are now being treated as all other illness related absences.  Excused absences for COVID-19 are not guaranteed and students should work with their instructors regarding the possibility of making up missed assignment,” Meadows said in an email.

Here is the full text of the email from Meadows on Sunday:

Here is the full text of emails sent to students and employees on Monday:

Reported Century Battery Victim Dies; His Brother Recently Died After Being Found Injured Outside Bar

August 1, 2021

An adult male found injured after an aggravated battery call in Century two weeks ago has died. And he’s the brother of the man that recently died after being found injured outside a Century bar.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office responded to an aggravated battery report on Hilltop Road at Alger Road at 11:18 a.m. on July 18.

“A male was found with head injuries and unresponsive,” said ECSO spokesperson Amber Southard. “We are still investigating.”

The man passed away on July 28, 10 days after he was injured.

Family members tell NorthEscambia.com  the victim was Chris Hunter — the brother of Greg Hunter, the man that died days after he was found injured outside a Century bar.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office responded to Odom’s Bar on North Century Boulevard about 10 p.m. on June 19 to find 60-year old Greg Hunter down in the parking lot. At the time, investigators said it was a homicide, and that he had been seriously beaten and left unconscious. But the Medical Examiner’s Office now says Hunter died of natural causes (click for an earlier story).

Southard said as of right now, investigators do not think the two incidents were related.

NorthEscambia.com file photo.

Power Outage, Railroad Crossing Closure And Heat Make For Miserable Saturday Along Nine Mile Road

August 1, 2021

A power outage, a railroad crossing closure and really, really hot weather made for a downright miserable afternoon Saturday for residents, businesses and motorists along Nine Mile Road.

About 12:40 p.m., a power line was reported down across Nine Mile Road near the railroad tracks east of Highway 29, between Palafox Street and Old Chemstrand Road. Unconfirmed reader reports indicated the power line was snagged by a boat being hauled on a trailer.

The railroad crossing arms were stuck in the down position during the outage. That, along with power line repairs, closed Nine Mile Road until about 4:30 p.m.

Gulf Power reported at least 1,270 customers in the area lost power.

Reader submitted photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.