The state jobless rate dropped from 5.8% in November to 5.6% last month. That matches the national unemployment figure. DEO Commissioner Jesse Panuccio says in the western Panhandle, the numbers and job growth reflect the statewide trends and then some.
In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses several recently announced economic developments in Northwest Florida.
In Pensacola, the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition announced that it’s ready to resume the planned expansion of its downtown research facility, after a near year-long delay due to the April 2014 flooding.
Florida State Senator Jeff Clemens is proposing creation of an online voter registration system, in time for the 2016 elections.
Clemens, a Democrat from Lake Worth, wants the state Division of Elections to establish a secure website, which would accept voter-registration applications beginning January 1, 2016. Senate Bill 228 is one of the top priories of the Florida Association of County Elections Supervisors.
Florida’s new Secretary of Corrections is facing questions from state lawmakers concerning confidence, inmate deaths, and complaints of abuse from officers. The main question appears to center on the agency’s ability to police itself.
Julie Jones was named to the post on January 5. Two weeks later, she met with various legislators on her game plan to restore confidence and ease concerns.
“I’m a very plain-spoken honest person, and we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing in order to get this thing fixed,” said Jones.
"It actually started off as an idea on the back of a napkin" said Doug Underhill, Escambia County Commissioner for District 2. He's talking about Cyberthon, a three day event at the National Flight Academy this weekend that will give young people experience in fighting a cyber attack. He said that bringing young people in to work with technical experts will inspire the next generation.
The life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was commemorated across the region this week, with events ranging from prayer services to parades and rallies. At an event in Fort Walton Beach, the focus was on teaching the youth of today about the work and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
The spirit of community service and togetherness was alive and well as people of all ages gathered at Ft. Walton Beach High School to honor Dr. King.
Firefighters with the Florida Forest Service’s Blackwater District had a busy Martin Luther King holiday weekend, thanks in large part to low humidity and backyard burns gone wrong.
The largest of the blazes scorched 20 acres in Okaloosa County and the cause remains under investigation. Another ten acres were burned when a debris fire escaped a yard. Joe Zwierzchowski in the Blackwater office says measures to keep home debris fires under control are basically common sense and in the form of rules and regulations.
If Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward gets his way, those paid to lobby him, the City Council and other city staff would be required to register.
Besides their names and affiliations, the registry would oblige lobbyists to disclose their clients, and the subject matters they want to influence.
Hayward announced through his digital newsletter last fall that he wanted the adoption of such an ordinance. Three months in the making, the proposal is set to go before the City Council in the next few weeks.
The University of West Florida’s new football program on Monday held its first tryout for students seeking to join the squad as walk-ons.
About 75 UWF students, most of them having played football at high schools in Florida and Alabama, turned out at the UWF Intramural Fields. They’re hoping to make a team that doesn’t begin play until September of next year. The 2015 season will be spent at practice, with players being red-shirted – that is, not losing any eligibility in the run up to West Florida’s inaugural season.
A local sports hero has become a part owner of a local sports organization. A couple of hundred fans attended the ceremony at Bayfront Stadium as Blue Wahoos Team President Bruce Baldwin and Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward introduced the newest member of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos ownership team, professional golfer and Pensacola native Bubba Watson.