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Local News

Tuesday Afternoon Headlines

BANK ROBBERY
Two suspects are facing felony robbery charges after deputies say they held up a bank this morning.  Escambia County deputies were called to the Wells Fargo bank on Nine Mile and Chemstrand Road around 11am.  Major Andrew Hobbs says a deputy arrived on scene shortly after an alarm was triggered and after a short pursuit two people were arrested.  They are 51-year old Christopher Gene Summers of Pensacola and 47-year old Angela Christine McKinney.  Each are being held on 100-thousand dollars bond.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY MAN POINTS LASER AT DEPUTY
A Santa Rosa County man is in deep trouble after a deputy says he was blinded by a laser.  On Saturday night, a Santa Rosa County deputy was driving down a road in Jay and noticed a green laser light coming in through the back window.  The deputy turned around and the laser was flashed into the front window and blinded him.  The deputy pulled over and was able to find the man.  43-year-old Glenn Bingham of Jay is charged with a third degree felony.

MINOR SCHOOL BUS CRASH
A driver has been cited in a crash involving a school bus.  FHP says it happened at 9:20 this morning on Highway 29 just north of the intersection of Nine and One Half Mile Road.  The bus and a Crown Victoria being driven by 71-year old William Brewer of Pensacola, were traveling next to each other and the lanes shifted left in the construction zone.  But FHP says Brewer did not shift with the lanes and the right side of his car struck the left side of the bus.  Brewer was cited for failure to use designated lane.  No children were on the bus.  No injuries were reported.

SAILFISH SIGN AUCTION
You could own the old Pensacola Beach sailfish sign…if the price is right.  The iconic sign replaced recently with a new, more energy efficient version and Escambia County plans to auction off the original next Tuesday. The auction includes two sailfish signs, the starburst sign and the arrow sign and live bidding starts at 11 Tuesday morning in the Pensacola Beach Sheriff’s substation parking lot on Fort Pickens Road on Pensacola Beach. The buyer will be responsible for the winning bid, plus 7.5% sales tax, and the total must be paid by close of business next Wednesday. The winning bidder or bidders are also responsible for removing the signs within 10 days and must provide their own transportation and loading assistance. The removal of the signs will require the use of a crane and an FDOT permit will be required if the starburst sign is taken off the beach.

BROAD STREET BRIDGE REOPENS
A new bridge in Milton is open.  This morning, Santa Rosa County Public Works bridge crews opened the newly finished Broad Street Bridge to traffic in downtown Milton.  The new 50′ bridge was paid for by gas tax and replaces the old 32′ bridge.  Construction on the project took approximately two months, with pilings going as deep as 97 feet.

BUILDING IMPROVEMENTS EYED TO WITHSTAND HURRICANES
Updated building codes could be coming to statewide hurricane standards.  The Florida Building Commission has given tentative approval to additional mitigation requirements for rooftop decks, more stringent wind resistance requirements for vinyl siding, and potentially requiring “in progress” inspections when exterior wall coverings such as vinyl siding are being applied.  The Commission updated the Senate Community Affairs Committee on the proposed changes just days after the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Michael.  The Florida Building Commission considers updates to the statewide building code every three years.  A new statewide building code is expected to be finalized by December 2020.  Though it’s a statewide code, it includes different requirements for wind resistance in certain areas of the state.  South Florida has the toughest wind resistance requirements; the building code requires that buildings be able to withstand 175 mph winds.  Buildings in rural, non-coastal areas of the Panhandle are required to withstand 120 mph winds.  In coastal Pensacola, the buildings are required to withstand 150 mph winds.  No changes are being proposed to those standards.

FLORIDA CONSIDERS FORCING COLLECTION OF TAX ON ONLINE SALES
Online sellers would have to automatically collect sales tax from Floridians and submit it to the state under a bill moving in the Florida Senate. The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee unanimously approved the bill Tuesday. Republican Sen. Joe Gruters said Florida consumers are required to pay the sales tax, but rarely do so if online sellers don’t collect it.  He said the state would collect about $700 million in revenue if the bill becomes law. He added it would make Florida’s brick and mortar stores more competitive with online retailers.

SENATOR SCOTT CALLS OUT LEBRON FOR CHINA COMMENT
Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida is among those calling out LeBron James for his comments on China.  The Lakers star said yesterday that Houston GM Daryl Morey’s tweet in support of Hong Kong protesters hurt people financially, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Senator Scott tweeted it’s sad to see James joining the chorus kow-towing to Communist China and putting profits over human rights.  James also said Morey wasn’t educated about the issue, but Scott says James is clearly the one who isn’t educated on the situation. 

TROPICAL SYSTEM COULD BRING RAIN TO PARTS OF FLORIDA
A tropical system may have parts of Florida in its sights.   The trough of low pressure is currently bringing storms to the southern Yucatan peninsula, Belize and northern Guatemala.  According to the National Hurricane Center, the system has a 30-percent chance of developing as it tracks into the Bay of Campeche before turning northward in the next several days.  Forecasters say the storm could bring rain to the Florida Panhandle this weekend.

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