News

University of West Florida

The University of West Florida on Friday announced a $1 million gift from one of its own.

Marketing and Economics professor Bob Kimball is giving the money to establish the Bill and Ellie Kimball Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship Award in memory of his parents.

“Bob Kimball has, over the course of his lifetime at UWF, given two million dollars,” said Brendan Kelly, UWF Foundation President. “Investing all of that in scholarships for students. And today, we get to add to that.”

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper looks at a recent uptick of economic development in the local area and a new solar project for local military facilities.

Two new upscale hotels, an Aloft and an Element, both Starwood brands, are planned downtown between 9th Avenue and Salamanca Street.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

January is usually the midway point of the flu season in Florida. The state Department of Health reports that levels of the disease remained elevated overall for a second consecutive week.

Mild influenza activity was reported in 51 counties, including Escambia and Santa Rosa, during the week of January 1-7, the latest available figures. Ten counties reported moderate influenza activity, and six reported no activity.

 Entrepreneurs can take their business ideas from inception to commercialization by participating in the Innovation Awards contest, one of the most lucrative business plan competitions in Florida. Tech and knowledge-based companies that have a promising product or service that can create local jobs can compete for cash prizes ranging from $5,000 to $100,000.

 

City of Pensacola

If you’ve made plans to ride the new ferry service between downtown Pensacola, Pensacola Beach and Fort Pickens, you have a bit of a wait ahead of you – until next year.  

Scheduled to begin this May, the project is now delayed in favor of beginning a new search for an operator. That emerged from a meeting last week among the National Park Service, Escambia County and the City of Pensacola.

IHMC

Time seems to be a big thing these days. Perhaps because for so many baby boomers, there’s a palpable sense that it’s running out.

I like the concept that there is no tomorrow and no yesterday. The only thing you have is right now. No, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t schedule that dentist appointment for tomorrow. But it will be today when it actually occurs, if you see what I’m saying.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

The pesticide DDT has been found in sediment samples from the Escambia River and its adjacent wetlands, a post-doctoral research associate at the University of West Florida has discovered.

Dr. Geoffrey Marchal, who was hired in April to begin the research, is now testing those sediment samples to see how readily available the pollutant is to the many diverse species that inhabit the bay.

“That’s the big concern,” Marchal said. “If the DDT in the sediment is bioavailable and can go through the food chain, then we have an issue.”

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

Pensacola International Airport is going intergalactic again in honor of Pensacon 2017. City Administrator Eric Olson read a proclamation from Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward Tuesday morning making this the third year the airport has been renamed in honor of Pensacon.  He says the community has gone all in with the event, which continues to grow in its fourth year. "Before you know it it's going to be whether you go north, south, east or west you're going to be running into some form or another of Pensacon."

NASA

Former astronaut Gene Cernan – the last man to set foot on the moon – died over the weekend at the age of 82 from ongoing heath issues.

Gene Cernan was the commander of Apollo 17 – the final lunar mission -- in December 1972. He and Jack Schmitt were the last men on the moon – Cernan the absolute last when Schmitt re-entered lunar module “Challenger” before him.

Once Donald Trump was elected president, Republicans in Congress realized their chance to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act had finally arrived. The repeal process has already started. And while there is no replacement in sight for the foreseeable future the ACA’s healthcare exchange is still up and running and enrolling record numbers for health insurance in 2017. 

northescambia.com

Escambia County Administrator Jack Brown says the county faces a number of challenges in 2017 -- some holdovers from previous years, and others specific to this year.

One of the new challenges comes from Tallahassee for local governments seeking money for infrastructure projects. New House rules mandate that such projects be more tightly vetted. 

pensacolamardigras.com

Mardi Gras-Pensacola style kicked off January 6 and runs through Fat Tuesday, February 28. The merriment also provides help to local residents in need.

Behind the masks, the costumes, the beads and the floats that make Mardi Gras the biggest party of the year, there are also the charities and other organizations who benefit. Pensacola Mardi Gras President Danny Zimmern has overseen the event’s growth.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper looks at the recent rise in unemployment numbers and what they mean in the long term, why job openings have risen and what Obamacare’s repeal could mean for Florida’s economy.

Weekly applications for unemployment benefits rose by 10,000 last week. But looking at historical data, the numbers are nothing to worry about, Harper said.

Courtesy of Gulf Power

Traditionally the Saturday of the long Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend is set aside for community service. There are several opportunities to serve along the gulf coast.

UWF is facilitating a day of service with Ronald McDonald House, St. Vincent de Paul, Keep Pensacola Beautiful, and Waterfront Rescue Mission. Students and the community can sign up for a morning shift, an afternoon shift, or both. Visit HERE.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

People who want to see examples of what kinds of artwork students in the art department create can attend the new “Points of Departure” exhibit. It’s in The Art Gallery in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts.

“The objective of the exhibit is to showcase the challenges and successes introductory level art students encounter in drawing, ceramics, painting, digital arts and graphic design,” said Nick Croghan, director of The Art Gallery, also known as TAG.

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