Change is coming to an important economic driver in Escambia County. Port of Pensacola officials discussed the facility’s future yesterday and what kind of businesses it may attract. Port Director Amy Miller says some of those businesses will be what she describes as non-traditional. She says the port has already attracted an aquaculture business, a competitive sailing team training for the America’s Cup and the space company, Blue Origin, run by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.
GREEN BERET LAWSUIT
Rick Scott is on board with a lawyer’s attempt to help a Green Beret. Natalie Khawam is representing Sergeant Rich Stayskal, who wants to sue the Army doctors who failed to diagnose him with lung cancer two years ago. Federal law doesn’t allow him to do that, though. Senator Rick Scott announced yesterday he’ll co-sponsor a bill to change that law. Scott says the bill named after Stayskal will make sure our men and women in uniform are taken care of every step of the way.
MAN FALLS OFF ROOF AND DIES
A man has died after falling off a roof in Century. North Escambia dot com says the man in his 50’s fell from, the roof on Jackson Street just before 1 o’clock yesterday afternoon and was driven to the Century Fire Station on Tedder Road at North Century Boulevard before being transported by Escambia County EMS to the McDavid Fire Station. He was then airlifted by Lifeflight Helicopter to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, where he died. His name has not been released.
ICE MACHINES TARGETED
At least four Twice The Ice machines in Escambia County have been targeted by thieves over the past two weeks, including one on Highway 29 in Cantonment. North Escambia dot com says the location on Saufley Field Road was reported burglarized on November 2nd, followed by the location on Johnson Beach Road on Perdido Key on November 9th.
Locations on Lillian Highway and South Highway 29, were discovered burglarized yesterday.
SEX ACT IN LUNCHROOM
A 20-year old high school student has been charged with a committing a sexual act with 14-year old girl in a school lunchroom. Kenneth Tyrese Lowery of Century is charged in the case. The specific school where the incident took place has not been identified, but the arrest report lists Lowery as a student at Northview High School. Multiple students witnessed the incident between Lowery, who is also known as “Ty” and the 14-year old girl, according to an arrest report. The victim told a deputy that Lowery covered his lap with a green jacket before she performed the sexual act on him, but she stopped after about five minutes when she realized other students were watching.
MILITARY CONCERNS ABOUT SCHOOLS
The Escambia County School District is considering creating a military-school council to address the concerns of military families moving to Pensacola and is planning to add a portal to its website to provide more information for prospective students. School Board Chairwoman Patty Hightower tells the PNJ the idea for creating the portal came out a meeting with officials at NAS Pensacola about the struggles many military families face when moving to Pensacola. In October, base commander Captain Tim Kinsella said military members with orders to Pensacola try to avoid being transferred here because of the poor state of the schools around the base.
MASSAGE PARLOR PLEA
A Pensacola massage parlor operator has pleaded guilty in federal court to charges related to human trafficking at multiple massage parlors in Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania. 41-year old David Williams pleaded guilty to using interstate facilities for purposes of racketeering, transporting women for prostitution, harboring illegal aliens for commercial advantage or private financial gain and being involved in a money laundering conspiracy. U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe says more than a dozen search warrants were executed at massage parlors linked to Williams in the three states, including at one in Pensacola and another in Gulf Breeze.
Governor Ron DeSantis has proposed a $300 million, three-tier bonus program to reward teachers and principals of high-performing schools. The program would place higher emphasis on Title I schools, with bonuses up to $7,500 for teachers and $10,000 for principals of high-performing Title I schools. For non-Title I schools, teachers would receive up to $3,700 bonuses and principals up to a $5,000 bonus under the governor’s proposal. The plan still needs approval from the Legislature.
HOMELESS MAN ARRESTED
A homeless man was arrested after the Pensacola Police Department responded to witnesses saying he was trying to open a vehicle and knocking at people’s doors. PPD arrested Troy Smith after witnesses say they saw him pulling on car doors to see if they were unlocked. As officers spoke with Smith they had discovered he had two previous burglary charges. He also admitted to having a crack pipe on him while being escorted to the patrol car. Smith is being held on a $6,000 bond.