Local News

Tuesday Headline Update

ROBINSON WANTS PUBLIC INPUT BEFORE VOTING

Pensacola’s mayor is calling for a change he says will make the city more transparent.  Mayor Grover Robinson announced yesterday he wants all meetings to require public input before a vote is held.  His announcement comes a week after a board voted to demolish three downtown buildings without hearing from residents who wanted to speak on the issue.  Robinson will present his idea to the city council tomorrow.

BUS DRIVER CITED FOR CARELESS DRIVING

A school bus driver is being blamed for a collision in Escambia County. It happened yesterday morning on West 10 Mile Road.  FHP says 69-year-old Joe Wesson stopped his bus at the railroad tracks near Highway 29, but when he moved forward, he rear-ended a minivan.  Neither Wesson nor the 12 students on the bus were hurt, but Wesson was cited for careless driving.

SOLAR FARM IN THE WORKS FOR NORTH ESCAMBIA

A solar farm large enough to power over 14,000 homes is in the planning stages for northern Escambia County.  North Escambia dot com says Florida Renewable Partners, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy, is seeking permits to construct a 74.5 megawatt facility known currently as the “Escambia County Solar Energy Center” on 541 acres in McDavid. By comparison, Gulf Power’s largest solar field at Saufley Field is 50 megawatts, enough to power almost 7,400 homes. Gulf Power is not involved in the proposed McDavid project, but NextEra is currently in the process of purchasing Gulf Power as part of a nearly 6-point-5 billion dollar deal.

JUVENILE ARRESTS UP IN ESCAMBIA COUNTY

Juvenile arrests are declining overall in Florida but overall juvenile arrests were on the upswing in Escambia County.  Figures released Monday by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice show statewide juvenile felony arrests dropped 10 percent over the last fiscal year and overall juvenile arrests declined eight percent in the same time frame.  In Escambia County, juvenile felony offenses dropped 10 percent with 485 arrests, while overall juvenile arrests increased by five percent to

1,875 since last year.

SCOTT SPENDING FOR SENATE RACE

Governor Rick Scott paid dearly for the U-S Senate seat he will assume next month.  Figures show Scott spent more than 63-million dollars of his own money to defeat democratic incumbent Bill Nelson.  The amount setting a self-funding record for a congressional campaign. By unseating Nelson, Scott also bucked a trend. The vast majority of congressional candidates who dig deep into their own pockets to finance their campaigns lose.

MILTON FAMILY HOPING TO WIN ABC CHRISTMAS LIGHT FIGHT

For one Milton family, they take their holiday lighting very seriously. What started off as a hobby has become a more than $100,000 production. Every year, the Sowell family turns their farm into a winter wonderland with more than a million lights, zip-lining elves, snow, and exotic animals.  Recently, the family competed on ‘The Great Christmas Light Fight’ television show on ABC. On each episode of the show, four families are hand-picked from across the country. They all compete for the title and $50,000.  The Sowell’s display has already been judged, but their episode won’t air until next season.  The attraction is open from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. every night. It runs until Dec. 27.

BURGER KING CLOSED DUE TO SEWAGE BACK UP

Health inspectors closed an area Burger King restuarant after seeing employees walking through sewage and wastewater covering the kitchen floor.  Santa Rosa’s Press Gazette reports the Burger King on Highway 90 in Milton near Stewart St. was closed Friday after inspectors noted wastewater and sewage was backing up through floor drains and also coming out of a three-compartment sink.  The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation also noted two repeated basic

violations- a hole in the wall next to the walk-in cooler and a 15-second delay before water would come out of the bathroom faucets. Inspectors returned Saturday and all but the faucet issue was corrected.

MAILED BALLOTS NOT COUNTED

Florida officials say thousands of mailed ballots were not counted because they were delivered too late to state election offices. The Department of State last week informed a federal judge that 6,670 ballots were mailed ahead of the November 6th election but were not counted because they were not received by Election Day. The tally prepared by state officials includes totals from 65 of Florida’s 67 counties.  Under Florida law, ballots mailed inside the United States must reach election offices by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Overseas ballots are counted if they are received up to 10 days after the election.

EGLIN F-35s DEACTIVATED

The Navy is deactivating its F-35C squadron at Eglin Air Force Base as the Navy consolidates operations.  The Grim Reapers of Strike Fighter Squadron 101, will move all 15 of its aircraft to California’s Naval Air Station Lemoore in July.  The Navy says it’s part of consolidating all Joint Strike Fighter operations and training.  The shift to California should see the Grim Reapers’ 29 officers and 239 enlisted personnel replace their patches with those of the "Rough Raiders" of Strike Fighter Squadron 125, Lemoore’s F-35C replacement squadron.

TEDDER MURDER TRIAL OPENS

A jury has been seated in the trial of Desiree Tedder.  She’s charged in the death of Dru Mims who went missing in March of 2017 and whose body was found three months later in Tedder’s grandmother’s backyard. Opening statements are set to begin Wednesday and the trial could wrap up Thursday.  If convicted, Tedder faces a possibility of life in prison.

JURY SELECTION ENDS IN ‘STAND YOUR GROUND’ TRIAL

The trial for James Greenwood gets underway as well.  Greenwood is being charged with first-degree pre-meditated murder in the 2014 death of his estranged stepfather Al Jones.  Greenwood has claimed self-defense, but prosecutors says Greenwood used a Go Pro-like camera to film the shooting and was wearing a bulletproof vest as he waited for Jones to come in to his home.  Greenwood’s jury has been selected and the trial is scheduled to get underway at 8:30am.

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