Bill Eddins

One year ago, as the western Panhandle was dealing with torrential rain and flooding, a ruptured gas line dropped another disaster into Escambia County’s lap.

One of the principals in the slayings of Byrd and Melanie Billings will remain in prison. Leonard Gonzalez Sr.s motion for early parole went before the Florida Commission on Offender Review on Wednesday.

On a 3-0 vote, the Commission decided that the 62-year-old Gonzalez will continue to serve his 17 and a half year sentence. State Attorney Bill Eddins, one of the chief prosecutors in Gonzalez’ case, says the Department of Corrections had requested the early release.

Escambia County Jail

An Okaloosa County couple working as paramedics are charged with sex offenses against a juvenile, along with a pair of Escambia County deputies, and are now in the Escambia County Jail pending a bond hearing.

Leah and Douglas Manning were extradited from Fremont County, Colorado and brought back to Pensacola Saturday. They were arrested Thursday afternoon at a campground near Florence, Colorado, south of Denver,  after two weeks at-large.

Photo via Twitter// @weartv

Beginning Tuesday, an Escambia County grand jury will review evidence from the April 30 explosion at the County Jail’s Central Booking and Detention Facility.

Two inmates were killed and 184 other inmates and staff were injured in the blast, which came as the facility was flooded from torrential rainfall. The subsequent investigation by the state Fire Marshal’s Office turned up no real surprises, that the explosion was the result of a natural gas leak in the basement.

After months of preparation, the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce is ready to launch a separate agency for economic development. Among other things, it gets the Chamber out from under Florida’s Sunshine Law.

Chamber President Jerry Maygarden proposed the separation last year and on Monday, the chamber’s Board of Directors approved it during a special meeting. The Pensacola-Escambia County Promotion and Economic Development Commission is an independent 501(c) entity, much like the tourism promoter Visit Pensacola.

Chamber Moves Away From Sunshine Law

Nov 20, 2013
Greater Pensacola Chamber

Changes are in the works at the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, involving the Chamber’s fundraising arm. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody reports Foundation Incorporated is being moved away from Florida’s Sunshine Law.

Chamber CEO Jerry Maygarden made the announcement at Monday’s board meeting. He says when the Chamber decided to embrace the Sunshine and Public Records laws last summer, it had a serious impact on fundraising.