Officials: Florida fire chief is arrested on murder charge
The chief of a volunteer fire department in Florida is accused of fatally shooting a business owner because the victim owed him money, authorities said. Brian Keith Easterling, 52, was taken into custody earlier Monday at his home in Holt, Florida and is awaiting extradition from the nearby county of Okaloosa, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said. Easterling is chief of the Baker Fire District, a volunteer fire department in the Florida Panhandle.news.yahoo.com
‘The Graveyard … Is Bigger Than Anyone Thinks’: Florida Officials Say Human Bones Discovered Under City-Owned Building Likely Linked to African-American Cemetery
The Florida Department of State has confirmed that human remains found under a community building at a Pensacola park belonged to an African-American cemetery. A […]news.yahoo.com
Sheriff: Navy officer accused of fatally shooting husband
A 34-year-old chief petty officer at Naval Air Station Pensacola is accused of locking her husband in their garage and fatally shooting him as he spoke to a 911 dispatcher, officials said. Bree Kuhn of Gulf Breeze was arrested Wednesday night and charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the death of Collin James Turner, 34. “It’s just a sad case — a very sad case — of people arguing, and then, it gets to this point,” Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said during a news conference Thursday.news.yahoo.com
DeSantis defends $5,000 fines on businesses that asked for vaccine proof
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday defended his decision to start issuing $5,000 fines to businesses, schools and government agencies that require people to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination, saying he doesn’t want to create two classes of citizens.
Florida Teen charged as adult in rigged homecoming election
A Florida teen accused of rigging a homecoming queen election with her mother is being charged as an adult, prosecutors said. Emily Rose Grover was still 17 when she was arrested in March. While employed as an assistant principal at Bellview Elementary School in the same county, Carroll accessed the school district’s internal system to cast fraudulent votes for her daughter so that she would win, officials said.news.yahoo.com
Florida gets unexpected shipment of 42,000 doses of J&J vaccine
PENSACOLA, Fla. – Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state was not expected to receive any more of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine for at least two to three weeks. But on Tuesday, DeSantis announced the state got an additional 42,000 doses of the latest vaccine to be widely available. DeSantis said the doses are set to be used around the state including at a new pop-up vaccination site at Zion Hope Primitive Baptist Church in Pensacola that will administer 2,000 doses. DeSantis said the Department of Emergency Management uses the one-dose J&J shot when it is knocking on people’s doors to offer the vaccine and for homebound seniors.
Man gets 20 years in prison for fatal drug-related crash
PENSACOLA, Fla. – A Florida man has been sentenced to 20 years and three months in prison for being high on drugs when he caused a crash that killed two siblings. Black was driving on a Cantonment road, just north of Pensacola, in January 2019, when he swerved into the oncoming lane and hit another car head-on, officials said. The other vehicle's driver, Antoinette McCoy, 22, and her brother, Sean Banks, 15, were seriously injured in the crash. The sister and brother were airlifted to a Pensacola hospital, where they died, officials said. An analysis of his blood sample, taken after the crash, revealed the presence of Xanax and cannabis in his system, prosecutors said.
FBI Jacksonville arrests Pensacola man wanted in U.S. Capitol siege
Agents from the FBI office in Jacksonville on Wednesday arrested a Pensacola man accused of participating in the riot and assault on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. According to the FBI, Jesus Rivera was taken into custody by special agents from the FBI Jacksonville Pensacola Resident Agency in coordination with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. Rivera faces a long list of charges including knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; knowingly, with intent to impede government business or official functions, engaging in disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct on capitol buildings or grounds; and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol buildings. “The FBI respects the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights, but we will not tolerate those who seek to incite violence or wreak havoc on our established institutions,” said Rachel L. Rojas, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division. “We will continue to hold accountable those who were responsible the violent actions at the U.S. Capitol, and coordinate with our federal, state, and local partners to ensure safety in all North Florida communities in the future.”Anyone with information about individuals who incited or promoted violence of any kind during the siege is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit photos and video to www.fbi.gov/USCapitol.
Gov. DeSantis prioritizes early vaccines for anyone 65 or older
Ron DeSantis lowered the target age again Wednesday -- to 65. DeSantis said he said a sign-up procedure for the general public to get vaccines will be announced soon and that shots could be available as early as Monday of next week. About 4.4 million Florida residents are over the age of 65 and more than 3 million are over 70, DeSantis said. “These are probably the first members of the community who are senior citizens to be to be vaccinated, maybe anywhere in the country but certainly in Florida,” DeSantis said of the group. Last week, Florida received 179,400 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which was used for those groups.
Panhandle shorebirds thrive in aftermath of Hurricane Sally
PENSACOLA, Fla. – Hurricane Sally commanded the Gulf of Mexico to rise last month. Exposed sandy areas give species nesting space and eliminate hiding spots for beach predators like raccoons and feral cats. Altogether, she estimated that Sally impacted 10 areas she monitors for Audubon Florida – and said she hopes these transformed areas host nesting sites come spring. “We’re not seeing improvements.”One federally listed and at least four state-listed shorebird species frequent Panhandle shorelines, Stahala said. For every flattened dune that creates ideal shorebird nesting areas, it destroys another animal’s habitat.
Trump casts ballot in Florida, will hold 3 rallies; Biden focuses on Pennsylvania
Meanwhile, in Lumberton, North Carolina, his tongue firmly in cheek, Trump called Biden “an inspiring guy" for raising alarm about the pandemic. “It's always cases, cases, cases. “You know why we have cases?” Trump asked. Biden in his stop in Luzerne reminded supporters that Trump had suggested the COVID-19 mortality rate was lower outside predominantly Democratic states. "As I said before, I will shut down the virus, not the economy," Biden said in Bucks County.
Wildfires and hurricanes disrupt final weeks of 2020 census
The Census Bureau is contending with several natural disasters as wildfires and hurricanes disrupt the final weeks of the nations once-a-decade headcount. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)ORLANDO, Fla. – Already burdened by the coronavirus pandemic and a tightened deadline, the Census Bureau must now contend with several natural disasters as wildfires and hurricanes disrupt the final weeks of the nation's once-a-decade headcount. A coalition of cities and civil rights groups are suing in federal court in San Jose, seeking an extra month. “This is not usually the time of the year that the Census Bureau is doing the counting." In some places where census takers cannot go out, they are trying to reach households by phone, according to Census Bureau officials.
Tropical Storm Wilfred forms in the eastern Atlantic
The supercharged Atlantic hurricane season has produced so many named storms that scientists ran out of traditional names as Tropical Storm Wilfred developed in the eastern Atlantic. Two hours after Wilfred took shape, the National Hurricane Center moved to the Greek alphabet when Subtropical Storm Alpha formed just off the coast of Portugal. The same practice will govern storm names for the rest of hurricane season, which lasts until the end of November. The only other time the hurricane center dipped into the Greek alphabet was the deadly 2005 hurricane season, which included Hurricane Katrina's strike on New Orleans. With the dunes that provide some protection to the island gone, Thomas said people will be nervous for the rest of the storm season.
Rescuers reach people cut off by Gulf Coast hurricane
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)PENSACOLA, Fla. – Rescuers on the Gulf Coast used boats and high-water vehicles Thursday to reach people cut off by floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Sally, even as a second round of flooding took shape along rivers and creeks swollen by the storm’s heavy rains. Crews carried out at least 400 rescues in Escambia County, Florida, by such means as high-water vehicles, boats and water scooters, authorities said. Also on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said a new tropical depression formed in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. Forecasters said the depression could become a tropical storm as it moves slowly over the western Gulf during the next few days. Meanwhile, Hurricane Teddy strengthened to a powerful Category 4 storm in the Atlantic.
Earthquake rattles Florida
A 3.8 magnitude earthquake happened 11:07 am Thursday north of Pensacola just over the boarder in Alabama. The rattling was felt by 92 people who reported the impacts from near Mobile to Dothan, Alabama. Very light to light shaking was reported around Pensacola. The magnitude of this earthquake results in only very light to no damage.
Florida baseball team lists stadium on AirBnB for $1,500
Published: May 25, 2020, 7:00 am Updated: May 25, 2020, 8:33 amPENSACOLA, Fla. A Florida team is selling people the ultimate baseball experience by putting their oceanview stadium up for rent on AirBnB for $1,500 a night. The Pensacola Blue Wahoos says guests will have access to the clubhouse, a large bedroom, the batting cage and the field. And although the listing had no reviews, the stadium has been fully booked through July. The team said on a Facebook post that it was waiting to hear more on the schedule for the 2020 season from league officials before opening more dates for vacation rentals between July and October. The Minor League Baseball delayed the start of the 2020 season as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Esports find broader embrace during pandemic shutdown
competitive video games, during the first two months of the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. In Pensacola, video games have even briefly replaced some youth sports and recreation. Even when I was coming up, soccer and video games werent so mainstream online, said 27-year-old Parker McIntosh, Snap Soccers eGaming director. That interest was built largely through streaming platforms like Twitch, which allows players to watch or broadcast other people playing video games. The pandemic provided an opening for esports jump to mainstream cable and broadcast television.
F-22 on training mission crashes near Eglin Air Force Base
PENSACOLA, Fla. A F-22 fighter plane crashed during a routine training flight Friday morning and the pilot safely ejected from the aircraft, Eglin Air Force Base officials said. The jet was part of the 325th Fighter Wing at the base, which is located east of Pensacola in Florida's Panhandle. It was about 12 miles (19 kilometers) northeast of the base when it crashed, the Air Force said in news release. The pilot has been taken to the 96th Medical Group hospital on the base for evaluation and observation, the release said. First responders from 96th Test Wing are on the scene, and an investigation is continuing.
Florida man guilty; used claw hammer, knife to kill family
PENSACOLA, Fla. – A Florida man could get a death sentence after being found guilty of using a claw hammer, knife and gun to kill his mother and half-brothers. His mother, Voncile Smith, 77, and two half-brothers, John Smith, 49, and Richard Smith, 47, were found dead in their home July 31, 2015. Marlin Purifoy, another inmate who testified in hopes of reducing his own sentence, testified that Hartung confessed to the killings while behind bars. Hartung told Purifoy that he "tortured his mother by cutting her pinkie in order to get safe combinations,” Jensen said. “How can Marlin Purifoy know that?
Pressure mounts on FBI for answers on Florida naval base shooting
PENSACOLA, Fla. (Reuters) - U.S. investigators face mounting pressure on Monday to deliver answers on the motive that led a Saudi Air Force lieutenant to shoot and kill three people and wounded eight others at a U.S. Navy base in Pensacola, Florida. He questioned whether it could have been prevented by better vetting of foreign military officers who train in the United States. You have foreign military personnel coming to our base. The FBI confirmed on Sunday that Alshamrani had legally purchased somewhere in Florida the Glock 9mm pistol he used in the shooting. His fellow Saudi students were speaking directly with American investigators and were restricted to the base on order of the Saudi military, Rojas said.feeds.reuters.com
Saudi is lone suspect in Florida naval base rampage; fellow Saudis cooperating
PENSACOLA, Fla. (Reuters) - Investigators believe a Saudi Air Force lieutenant acted alone when he killed three people and wounded eight at a U.S. Navy base in Pensacola, Florida, before being fatally shot by a deputy sheriff, the FBI said on Sunday. Royal Saudi Air Force 2nd Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, airman accused of killing three people at a U.S. Navy base in Pensacola, Florida, is seen in an undated military identification card photo released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation December 7, 2019. According to U.S. regulations, it is legal for a foreigner in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa to buy a gun if certain conditions are met - including if they simply have a hunting license. Alshamrani was on the base as part of a U.S. Navy training program designed to foster links with foreign allies. His fellow Saudi students were speaking directly to American investigators and were restricted to the base on order of the Saudi military, Rojas said.feeds.reuters.com
2 Blue Angels planes touch during midair practice run
PENSACOLA, Fla. - The U.S. Navy says two Blue Angels jets touched midair during a practice run in the Florida Panhandle. Navy spokeswoman Lt. Michelle Tucker tells the Pensacola News Journal a jet made momentary contact with the underside of a second jet's outer wing Wednesday as the pilots practiced over the Naval Air Station Pensacola. The incident won't affect the team's performance in a Chicago air show over the weekend. But the two jets involved in the incident have been swapped out and won't fly in Chicago. However Tucker says the pilots of those jets will fly in the air show.
Suns shutout Blue Wahoos
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Thanks to solid outings by right-handers Austin Brice, Tyler Higgins, Ryan Chaffee and Drew Steckenrider the Jacksonville Suns shutout the Pensacola Blue Wahoos 4-0 on Saturday nights. Brice (3-2) allowed five hits, a walk and a hit batter but stranded six Blue Wahoos in the first four innings and struck out six batters in 5 2/3 innings. Pensacola (25-18) did not have a hit against the Suns bullpen in the final 3 1/3 innings. Steckenrider walked two batters – the only Blue Wahoos to reach base against Suns relievers – but struck out two others to preserve the Suns’ third shutout win this season. Blue Wahoos right-hander Barrett Astin (3-1) began by walking Suns first baseman Brady Shoemaker and hitting right fielder Moises Sierra with a pitch.
Marines, soldiers presumed dead in Florida Panhandle crash
Marines, soldiers presumed dead in Florida Panhandle crash Seven Marines and four soldiers are feared dead following an Army chopper crash near Pensacola, Florida. CBS Radio News correspondent Cami McCormick joins CBSN's Elaine Quijano and Meg Oliver with the latest details.cbsnews.com
Florida jail explosion: Inmates' families want answers
Florida jail explosion: Inmates' families want answers Officials are looking into the cause of a deadly explosion at a jail in Pensacola, Fla. Two inmates are dead, and 150 inmates and corrections officers are hurt. CBS News' Omar Villafranca reports from outside the jail.cbsnews.com
Deluge triggers widespread flooding in Florida
Deluge triggers widespread flooding in Florida In 24 hours, 24 inches of rain fell in parts of Pensacola, where flash flooding washed away roads and bridges. Florida's governor declared a state of emergency in 26 counties, and more than 300 911 callers requested evacuations. Mark Strassmann reports.cbsnews.com