News

There are many challenges helping adults with autism  join the work force once they haev have aged-out of the school system.

Visit Pensacola is hoping to build upon a successful winter tourist season as the calendar moves toward spring.

However, some flak could be coming out of Tallahassee.

Visit Pensacola President Steve Hayes says one of the key has been the agency’s expansion of digital advertising and analytics that target specific demographics, which he calls “almost Big Brother-ish.”

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Immigrants across the country stayed home from school and work on Thursday to show how critical they are to the U.S. economy and way of life. Some Pensacola residents also took part in "A Day Without Immigrants."

About 50 people stood at the intersection of Palafox and Garden Streets downtown at late morning, holding signs and waving to motorists as they passed by.

“Pensacola is the first settlement in the United States,” said Organizer Grace McCaffery. “There were laborers brought here from the Yucatan, which is Mexico, at the time of that first settlement.”

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

About 100 youngsters divided into large groups, navigated an obstacle course, played pickle ball and practiced tennis swings in the gym on a recent weekday afternoon at the University of West Florida Pensacola Campus.

All of them are members of the Movement Academy, which meets for two hours from 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and caters to home-schooled students.

The Race and Reconciliation group is moving forward with its community conversations about race and racism in Pensacola. They’re beginning a new Cross-Cultural Education Series this Thursday night at the Bowden Building downtown.

Julie Patton, an instructor in the UWF Social Work Department, joined with some friends and colleagues to form the Race & Reconciliation group.

Courtesy of Pensacola News Journal

When the Pensacola Ice Flyers play on the road this weekend, a familiar face will be behind the bench.

Kevin Hasselberg was fired Monday as head coach, despite a three-game sweep at home of the Peoria Rivermen, who Pensacola beat to win the President’s Cup last season.

Re-enter Rod Aldoff.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have coached here the past three years, and our team had some good success,” said Aldoff. “It’s always nice to come back. The City of Pensacola and the Ice Flyers have treated me very well, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Sandra Averhart

The demolition of the historic John Sunday House last summer meant the loss of a piece of Pensacola’s history.

While efforts to save it were unsuccessful, the public debate helped to inform today’s generation about this once very prominent African-American.

In observance of Black History Month, WUWF reached to a group of fifth-grade students from N.B. Cook Elementary School of the Arts, who took what they learned about the man and turned it into short play for this year’s History Fair.

The 16th annual University of West Florida Women’s Studies Conference is slated for March 24 at the UWF Commons Conference Center.

This year’s conference will feature a number of student presenters as well as keynote speaker, Capt. Wendy B. Lawrence, a retired astronaut and naval aviator. Lawrence was one of the first two female helicopter pilots to make a long deployment to the Indian Ocean as part of a carrier battle group, according to her biography from the U.S. Naval Academy. In addition, Lawrence, who retired from NASA in 2006, is a veteran of four space flights.

Pensacon has become an annual tradition for thousands of people in the region in a short time. This year marks the convention’s fourth year and Pensacon Founder and CEO Mike Ensley says it continues to grow. "Ticket sales are trending upward, so that's a good sign. And we've added that fifth venue so we've got so many places downtown taking part in this now. I think it's going to be a great weekend."

Florida’s 67 school districts have one, undesirable, common thread these days: their increasing problems in staffing their classrooms, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel.

The number of Florida university students graduating with education degrees has fallen since 2006 by nearly 5,000, while public-school enrollment has grown, by nearly three million this year. One of the core issues, perhaps the largest, in recruiting and retaining teachers is the paycheck.

Author and journalist Daniel Connolly has covered immigration for more than a decade. He’ll speak at the University of West Florida Thursday about the topic in general and his recently published title, “The Book of Isaias: A Child of Hispanic Immigrants Seeks His Own America.”

Connolly wrote “The Book of Isaias” after spending three years shadowing Hispanic immigrant students at a high school in Memphis, Tennessee.

Northwest Florida projects targeted to get money from the Deepwater Horizon settlement would first require the blessings of the Governor and Legislature under a bill proposed by a house committee.

Florida is in line to receive up to $2 billion from BP’s settlement resolving Gulf Coast economic claims arising from the 2010 oil spill. The state received $400 million last year, with $107 million a year on the way from 2019-33.

A series of town hall discussions on crime and capital punishment are being hosted by the Pensacola Opera leading up to their production of “Dead Man Walking.” 

Pensacola Opera is producing the Florida premiere of the contemporary opera, “Dead Man Walking” which is based on Sr. Helen Prejean’s book of the same name. It recounts the story of her becoming spiritual director to a man on death row and how that led her into a vocation of activism. I spoke with Jerome Shannon, Executive Director and Music Director of Pensacola Opera.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Amazon.com and the University of West Florida are teaming up for a work-study partnership which, among other things, forms a pathway to employment with the online firm.

It’s the first such partnership in Florida, and UWF President Martha Saunders says it began with a phone call from an associate who works as a consultant for Amazon.

Pensacon

Beginning in 1974, Henry Winkler became a household name starring as Arthur Fonzarelli for 11 seasons on the TV show Happy Days. Now he’s getting ready to spend three days in Pensacola at Pensacon 2017.  The day it was announced that Henry Winkler was coming to Pensacon was one of the biggest ticket sales days for the event ever. The 71 year old actor, producer, and author said he does just a few conventions a year to stay in touch with his fans.  He says when fans meet him they mostly just want a hug.

Here are some highlights from the interview:

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