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WUWF Public Media

There are six candidates vying to become the next sheriff of Escambia County. Four of them, including the incumbent, will square off in the Republican Primary on Tuesday, August 30.

There is well over a century of law enforcement experience in the Escambia Sheriff’s race.

David Morgan has held the office for the last eight years, and has more than 30 years in the field, starting as a patrolman in the Air Force.

Gulf Power Company

Gulf Power Company is considering a rate hike request aimed at bolstering its energy infrastructure. But for now, nothing is definite.

No concrete numbers are available as yet, but it’s believed any such request would be in the $115 million to $125 million range.

“What we did, is sent a letter to the Public Service Commission, letting them know that we may seek an increase later this year. But it’s an increase that wouldn’t go into effect until the summer of 2017,” said Jeff Rogers, the utility’s External Communications Manager.

Plans to begin ferry service between downtown Pensacola, Pensacola Beach and Fort Pickens are still set for next spring, but have been pushed back a few weeks. 

Next March was the original target date to launch the two boats and the triangular routes, but Dan Brown, Superintendent of Gulf Islands National Seashore, says some of the components of the service are meeting some challenges and delays.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

It’s not Pensacola’s hottest destination, but the closed U.S. District Courthouse downtown is getting its fair share of attention from members of Florida’s congressional delegation.

One month after Sen. Marco Rubio inspected the building’s mold and water damage that led to its closing last year, Cong. Jeff Miller and U.S. Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas were escorted by Presiding Judge Casey Rodgers.

“Fortunately, the General Services Administration now seems poised to do what it should have done many years ago, and that is to repair the courthouse,” said Rodgers.

Michael Spooneybarger/CREO

Josh Green points out that artists who paint or draw trees can get away with a lot more than artists who render people.

 

“If most of the tree-like elements are there, you’re OK,” he said. “But if there is something even a few millimeters off with a body or a face, even an untrained eye will notice.” 

 

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Of the eight Republicans seeking the Congressional seat in Florida’s First District, the lone woman in the race is a ninth-generation Pensacolian. 

Rebekah Bydlak was homeschooled kindergarten through grade 12 and entered Pensacola State College at the age of 16, earning a master’s degree in political science and public administration from the University of West Florida. She currently works as a taxpayer advocate with the group The Coalition to Reduce Spending.

  The race for School Superintendent in Okaloosa County will be decided on primary day this year. Earlier this year, the Okaloosa County School District was one of only three districts in the state with an “A” grade. There are two candidates vying to lead the district for the next four years. One is current Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson, who is seeking a second term after defeating Alexis Tibbits in 2012. She says voters should judge her on her actions not her words. "In the last four years we've moved academically from number 11 to number 2 in the state.

redcross.org

  

The American Red Cross has sent a legion of volunteers and vehicles to flooded Louisiana, for what the organization calls the worst natural disaster in the U.S. since 2012’s SuperStorm Sandy.  

“All across south Louisiana, and it has presented tremendous challenges to everyone. But I’m very proud of the effort that we’re making,” said Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards after a helicopter tour of the hardest-hit areas. 

UWF Athletics

  Two weeks before their first football game, the University of West Florida Argonauts hold the first of two full scrimmages Friday evening. 

A couple of days before the live scrimmage, “live” meaning full speed with full pads, the new program held its first pre-season media day. 

 

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper talks about how unexpectedly strong housing numbers are bolstering the third-quarter GDP outlook for the U.S.

 

Housing starts rose 2.1 percent in July, far exceeding expectations. However, Harper said the bump didn’t affect all areas of the country.

 

“The Northeast dropped off very substantially,” Harper said. “But, we saw increases in the South and West.”

 

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

  It was back in April when the Downtown Improvement Board announced it would end sponsorship of the popular monthly street party and the final Gallery Night would be September 16. At the time, John Peacock, the Chairman of the DIB left the door open for someone else to take over the event saying "If the bars and restaurants for example wanted to put on a street party, there are avenues to do that."

Photo via Flickr//Steve Cornelius / https://flic.kr/p/dqv6XU

  Escambia Supervisor David Stafford says hours for six of the seven locations are nine a.m. until six p.m. The seventh, the Supervisor’s main office, closes an hour earlier.

“We looked at data, particularly from some other counties and also compared it to ours, and noted that counties that open a little bit later in the morning and stayed open a little bit later in the evening got more bang for their buck in that final hour,” said Stafford.

WUWF Public Media

There’s a crowded field of  candidates in the race for the Republican nomination for the Florida House of Representatives District 4, which covers the vast majority of Okaloosa County. They are seeking to replace incumbent Matt Gaetz, who won the seat in 2010, but is now running for Congress.

The two candidates with the most name recognition are two-term Okaloosa County Commissioner Wayne Harris, a 27 year Air Force veteran, and former Destin Mayor and businessman Mel Ponder.

Florida Senate

The committee leading the search for the next president of the University of West Florida met Tuesday to start the process of reviewing candidates and coming up with a short list of names. The informal deadline for candidates to apply was Monday, and that’s when a very high profile resume was added to the pile: former Florida Senate President Don Gaetz.

Bob Barrett talked to Senator Gaetz about why he wants to be the next president of UWF. In the interview, Gaetz said:

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

For Republican James Zumwalt, seeking the Florida District-1 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is a continuation to his service to country.

If you served in the U.S. Navy in the 1970s and early 1980s and were allowed to have a beard, you have James Zumwalt’s grandfather to thank. Admiral Elmo Zumwalt was Chief of Naval Operations from 1970 to 1974.

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