News

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

It began as the annual hurricane drill by Gulf Power Company Wednesday morning. But participants were thrown a curveball that a major league pitcher would have been proud of.

The original scenario: Hurricane Irma-2, a Category-3 storm, is bearing down on the Gulf Coast.

“When we got into the briefing room, we found out that the hurricane had made a [sic] easterly turn and was going out into the Atlantic,” said Gulf Power spokesman Jeff Rogers. “However, at four a.m. this morning, as part of the drill, we had a cyberattack. And so everyone had to shift gears.”

Michael Spooneybarger/ Division of Research and Strategic Innovation

Derek Brauneis had little automotive experience before he helped design and build the first off-road race car that will represent the University of West Florida at an international competition held in Pittsburg, Kansas, May 17-20.

“As far as working on cars, I haven’t done anything other than change my oil, inflate my tires,” said Brauneis, who just graduated from UWF with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Second grade students from four Escambia County elementary schools were invited to the University of West Florida Aquatic Center recently to get a lesson in basic water safety skills.

What they learned could potentially save their life or someone else’s.

In this week’s Gulf Stories Moment, Dr. Alex Janosik, assistant professor from the Department of Biology at the University of West Florida, discusses using DNA metabarcoding to identify fish communities in the Gulf of Mexico.

National Hurricane Center

The 2018 hurricane season could be getting a two-week head start. Forecasters are watching a system in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.

Among those keeping tabs is Don Shephard, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mobile. He describes it as a non-tropical, weak area over the Gulf.

Epilepsy Foundation of Florida

A big crowd is expected to put in some miles and raise some money this Saturday during the annual Walk for Epilepsy. The event will support the local chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida. The foundation sponsors fund raising walks all over the state, and the local event will be held this Saturday, May 19 at Community Maritime Park in Pensacola. Cecily Chundrlek, an advancement and development specialist with the local chapter of the foundation says the money raised locally helps fund some medical help for their clients.

Western Gate Chapter, FTA

Two centuries after Andrew Jackson’s march into northwest Florida, a local historical group plans to re-trace his steps next weekend.

Jackson’s march through the Panhandle in May of 1818, near the end of the First Seminole War, is now the 17-mile Andrew Jackson Red Ground Trail in the Blackwater River State Forest.

“There had been numerous skirmishes that were along the border of Alabama, Georgia and Florida between Indians and the settlers,” said Helen Wigersma, who chairs the Western Gate Chapter of the Florida Trail Association.

Michael Spooneybarger/ Division of Research and Strategic Innovation

 With 2018 midterms looming, Escambia County Supervisor of Elections David Stafford said his office has invested considerable time and resources to make sure they are prepared to thwart possible cyberattacks. 

Those efforts include working with the University of West Florida Center for Cybersecurity.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Organizations across the United States are banding together this week to increase awareness of jobs and career development programs that enhance local economic impact. Florida West is among them.

This is National Economic Development Week, with the spotlight on just what such agencies do in their community or region. It’s the third annual observance, which was begun by the International Economic Development Council -- the largest professional membership organization for economic developers.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless is no more. The agency has gotten a makeover, with a new name and a slightly new mission.

It’s now called Opening Doors Northwest Florida.

“The new name embodies being more open, not only for those that are homeless, making access to our organization more readily accessible,” said John Johnson, executive director. It also represents a focus on doing a better job serving the agency’s entire coverage area in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

ECUA, City Of Pensacola Talk Recycling Deal

May 9, 2018
Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Almost two months after its vendor contract expired, the City of Pensacola is working on a new deal for the handling of its recyclables.

Tarpon Paper of Loxley, Alabama stopped accepting loads from Pensacola last September, and the contract expired in March. While residents continued to sort their trash and recyclables, it turns out both have been going to the same place.

“The materials are going to the landfill but I think as everyone knows, the global market is significantly depressed; and so we’re feeling the impact here,” said City Administrator Eric Olson.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

General Bernardo de Gálvez returned to Pensacola Tuesday morning as the Pensacola Heritage Foundation unveiled a statue of the Revolutionary War hero. Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward and a crowd of a couple of hundred people watched and cheered as the statue on the corner of Palafox and Wright Streets was unveiled.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Ground was broken Monday for the Bayview Resource Center at Bayview Park. Once the work begins, completion is expected to be in about a year and a half. 

Covering 19,000 sq. ft., the facility will replace the old community center, which was damaged by a sewage backup in 2014 and demolished a year later, in the same footprint.

In this week’s Gulf Stories Moment, Dr. Della Scott-Ireton, associate director of the Florida Public Archaeology Network, discusses the history of the battleship USS Massachusetts, which was scuttled and is an artificial reef and popular diving spot in Pensacola.

Larry Amado Photography / Latino Media Gulf Coast, Inc.

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that is observed annually across the U.S.  Locally, there are a number of events to mark the occasion, including Cinco de Mayo Festivals this weekend in Pensacola and Destin.

The festivals are being organized by Grace Resendez McCaffery, publisher of La Costa Latina Newspaper and founder of the Hispanic Resource Center.  In Pensacola, it’s McCaffery’s third such event for Cinco de Mayo, and it’s filling a gap locally in terms of a true celebration of Mexican heritage and culture.

noaa.gov

It’s May and that means officials in Florida are gearing up for hurricane season. That includes Wednesday morning’s annual exercise in Escambia County.

Packing Category-4 winds of up to 150 miles an hour, Hurricane Coleman is a mirror image of 2004’s Hurricane Ivan in a statewide tabletop scenario. And, according to that scenario, Coleman has inflicted major damage on Escambia County.

In this week’s Gulf Stories Moment, Michael Thomin, museum manager and research associate for the Florida Public Archaeology Network, discusses pirate shipwrecks. 

 

noaa.gov

Several key offshore drilling safety regulations established by the Obama administration after the 2010 BP oil spill are being targeted for roll back by the Trump administration. That’s drawing fire from Florida’s senior U.S. Senator.

The rollback announcement came Friday, a week after the eighth anniversary of the explosion which killed 11 workers. More than 210 million gallons of oil poured into the Gulf of Mexico for nearly three months, killing massive amounts of wildlife. Speaking on the Senate Floor, Bill Nelson said the damage was both environmental and economic.

Michael Spooneybarger/ Division of Research and Strategic Innovation

Lexie Grammer described a Belgian saison like the one she brewed as “refreshing, bubbly and effervescent.”

A panel of judges apparently agreed on Wednesday, deeming the ale made by the biomedical sciences major at the University of West Florida, as the best in a tasting competition of craft beers created by students in The Art and Science of Brewing honors seminar course, which is offered by UWF’s Kugelman Honors Program.

UWF

A librarian at the University of West Florida is trying to help students find media sources they can trust. In an atmosphere where accusations of fake news are being thrown around by everyone, including the President of the United States, it appears we really trust the news sources we choose for ourselves. "We trust everything we see and read. We trust every tweet. We trust every Facebook post. We believe it with all of our hearts. We trust every GIF, everything that's on Reddit.

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