BURGLAR ENTERS PLEA
A man who burglarized a Pensacola home is pleading no contest to the charges. Roderick Lavon Sheffield was in court today to enter the plea on two counts of burglary, grand theft, introduction of contraband into a county detention facility and marijuana possession. Sheffield entered the victim’s garage on December 5th and January 6th taking several tools and other items. Sheffield will be sentenced next month and faces up to 15 years in prison.
DOLPHINS TRIPLE AMOUNT DEAD ON GULF COAST
Authorities say more than 260 dolphins have stranded across the U.S. Gulf Coast since February 1, triple the usual number. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists say it’s too early to know the cause. But they’re investigating whether lingering effects from the 2010 oil spill and salinity changes from high rivers and a Louisiana spillway opening contributed. NOAA says on its website that a number of the dolphins stranded from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle had sores consistent with freshwater exposure, but those are common in the spring. A Mississippi scientist says the spillway opening is at least partly to blame for 126 deaths across Mississippi’s coastline.
BENDER EARNS CERTIFICATION
Escambia County District Four Commissioner Robert Bender has earned a Certified County Commissioner designation. Commissioner Bender received the designation with 16 other county commissioners during an awards ceremony held at the Florida Association of Counties Annual Conference in Orange County. While the certification is not required to serve as a county commissioner, participants must complete a total of 45 hours of course work in order to graduate. The program’s coursework covers a variety of topics, such as ethics and Sunshine Law, county government roles and responsibilities, county government structure and authority, financial management, growth management, negotiation skills, economic development, and effective communication.
DESANTIS SIGNS BILLS BANNING SANCTUARY CITIES
One of the most controversial bills of this legislative session has been signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis. The bill bans any sanctuary cities in the state of Florida and forces local law enforcement to work with federal immigration agencies. Organizations oppose to the measure say it will create a larger rift between law enforcement and those here illegally because of fear, but supporters of the bill say this simply is not true. Local government agencies that do not follow the law can face judicial proceedings, and institutions within both the state university system and the Florida college system will also need to follow this law. It will go into effect in October.
WEEKEND GAS PRICES
Florida drivers are watching to see what happens with gas prices as a result of two oil tankers being attacked in the Persian Gulf this week. Prices had been fluctuating throughout the state, but there was a downward trend. And while something like this often causes pump prices to surge, experts say that may not happen this time.