The list of candidates to be the next Escambia County School superintendent is down to 10. The Superintendent Search Citizens Advisory Committee whittled the list from the original 27 names at a meeting last night. Only one of the two local candidates remains on list. Keith Leonard is the current assistant superintendent of Human Resource Services. The other local candidate, Claudia Williams, did not make the cut. She worked for the Escambia County School District for about 32 years and is currently a guidance counselor at Judy Andrews/Success Academy.
The 52nd COVID-19 death and 144 new positive cases were reported in Escambia County Thursday. The death was an 85-year old man at a long-term care facility. The total number of cases in Escambia County increased to 3,332 and Santa Rosa cases were up by 40 to 1,033 with 10 deaths. There were 137 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Escambia County. Of test results returned on Wednesday, 17.4% were positive in Escambia County and 17.9% were positive in Santa Rosa County. Statewide, there were 232,718 cases and 4,009 deaths. The death toll rose by 120, the largest single-day increase since the pandemic began.
ESCAMBIA JAIL COVID
At least 90 Escambia County inmates housed at three different locations have tested positive for COVID-19. 132 inmates have been tested at the Escambia County jail for COVID-19 and there are 71 positive cases, 12 negative cases and 49 pending results. There are 18 Escambia County inmates housed at the Walton County Jail who also tested positive for COVID-19. On Thursday, the first positive case was reported at the road prison, which is now official named the Escambia County Work Annex. The county has suspended road crew operations that provide services throughout the county.
A heat advisory is in effect for today. Heat index values are expected to be 107 to 111 across the area. The hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat illnesses to occur, according to the National Weather Service.
TWO PEDESTRIANS KILLED
Two pedestrians died in separate accidents in two days in Escambia County. The first happened Wednesday evening when a 63-year old woman hit by a car while walking across Miller Street near Park Street. Then early Thursday morning a man was hit by two cars while crossing Beverly Parkway.
SANTA ROSA TRASH PICKUP
Higher rates and fewer pickups are in store for residents in Santa Rosa County, after commissioners agreed last night to a deal with Waste Pro that will make it the sole waste hauler for the entire county, except for Gulf Breeze and Milton. The 5-year deal means the company will invest $15 million in new equipment and begin to service the north and south ends of the county.
Several residents of the Bayfront Apartments complex are without a home following a fire at the complex Thursday afternoon. There were no reported injuries due to the fire, which was reported shortly before noon. City of Pensacola spokeswoman Kaycee Lagarde says the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The newly created Pensacola Police Advisory Committee had it’s first meeting on Thursday as the panel begins figuring out what role they will play in shaping police policy. The 12 members of the committee largely listened as they were briefed on the requirements of Florida’s Sunshine Law, public records and exactly what they’ll be doing as they look at policing in the city of Pensacola. In his opening comments, Mayor Grover Robinson told the committee he believes the Pensacola Police Department is a “top notch” organization compared to any other police force within a 300-mile radius, but that doesn’t mean improvements can’t be made.
TURTLE NEST DISTURBED
Humans appear to have intentionally disturbed a loggerhead sea turtle nest that was found Wednesday morning on the west end of Navarre Beach. The PNJ reports Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Patrol team members found the nest just before dawn Wednesday, not long after the nest was laid late Tuesday night. Jim Holmes is a member of the patrol team, and says it appears people had watched the sea turtle lay its eggs and then proceeded to dig in the nest.
SANTA ROSA TEACHERS CLEARED
Four out of five Pace High School teachers placed on leave during an unspecificed investigation have been allowed to return to work. Santa Rosa County Schools Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick tells Channel 3 the investigation came back with no findings or validity to allegations made against Scott Denny, Timothy Dillashaw, Stephanie Jernigan-Watson and Valerie Wright. Wyrosdick says the case of Lisa Dillashaw remains under investigation. While Wyrosdick did not specify what the allegations were, Lisa Dillashaw was facing backlash surrounding a post she made on Facebook about her views on the Black Lives Matter movement and race relations.
NEXT MAYOR’S NEIGHBORHOOD CLEANUP
The next Mayor’s Neighborhood Cleanup for Pensacola will be on Saturday, July 25th in the Eastgate Parker Creek and Palisade areas. This event allows City of Pensacola Sanitation customers in the cleanup area to leave eligible items at the curb for pickup. City of Pensacola Sanitation Services will pick up the items free of charge. Sanitation customers in the cleanup area must place items curbside by 7 a.m. on the day of the cleanup.