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Local News

Wednesday Afternoon Headlines

TESTIMONY UNDERWAY IN DREJKA TRIAL
Testimony is underway in the Clearwater Stand Your Ground case.  Michael Drejka is charged with manslaughter for the shooting death of Markeis McGlockton during a dispute over a handicapped parking spot last year at a convenience store.  During opening statements this morning, prosecutors described Drejka as a ticking time bomb itching for a fight.  Drejka claims the shooting was in self-defense after McGlockton pushed him to the ground.

CLOTHES DRYER MAY HAVE STARTED FIRE THAT DESTROYED GONZALEZ GARAGE
A clothes dryer may be to blame for a fire that destroyed a four-bay detached garage in Gonzalez Tuesday afternoon.  NorthEscambia.com reports firefighters arrived about 2:30 p.m. to find heavy fire in the structure on Golden Rod Road, near the former Escambia Charter School site.  It took about 70 minutes to bring the fire under control.  An investigation determined that the fire was accidental and possibly caused by a clothes dryer.  There were no injuries reported.

BROWNSVILLE CLEANUP
Escambia County collected and disposed of more than 27 tons of debris during the recent Brownsville South Neighborhood Cleanup. The event allowed residents to leave items at the curb to be disposed of free of charge by the county and partnering agencies. The effort on August 14th resulted in about 20 tons of yard waste, 234 tires and 740 pounds of household hazardous waste placed at curbside for pickup.

WEST FLORIDA HOSPITAL CEO
West Florida Hospital has named a new CEO. Gay Nord joins HCA Healthcare with over 24 years experience. She most recently served as Market President of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston. Nord will begin her role with the facility on September 23.

$248 MILLION SETTLEMENT REACHED WITH CHINESE DRYWALL MAKER
A proposed $248 million settlement has been reached in a decade-old federal court case over defective Chinese drywall that damaged homes and sickened residents.  The proposed settlement between affected property owners and Taishan Gypsum Co. was filed in U.S. District Court in New Orleans on Tuesday.  A committee of attorneys for the property owners in the class-action lawsuit said in a news release that thousands of homes and condominium properties were built using the defective drywall between 2005 and 2008. Most were in Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Virginia.  The drywall was alleged to have given off fumes that corroded metal in appliances and fixtures. In some cases the fumes were blamed for illnesses.  Attorneys have asked for preliminary court approval of the settlement, pending further reviews.

HOME SCHOOLERS WIN ROBOTICS AWARD
A Pensacola-based team of 24 home schooled middle and high school students gets a financial boost.  NWFL Robot Spot got a 44-hundred dollar grant from The American Legion, Department of Florida Children and Youth Fund Initiative. The group from Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa Counties was endorsed to apply for the grant by American Legion Post 382 in Navarre. The grant will finance the purchase of a router that the students will use in their machine shop. Currently the only home school team in Florida, NWFL Robot Spot took first place BEST overall in the 2018 BEST Robotics, Emerald Coast BEST competition, and went on to compete in South’s BEST Regional Championships at Auburn University.

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