News

The return of winter weather the next few days is opening the doors to cold weather shelters across the Florida Panhandle.

Lows Friday evening are expected to drop to near freezing, and not much of a rise on Saturday night according to Dave Eversole at the National Weather Service in Mobile.

“We’re getting a really big chance in the Jet Stream pattern over the central and eastern United States,” says Eversole. “Which is allowing for surges of progressively colder air to move down into the region.”

WUWF Public Media

 

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses a recent column by Haas Center Director Zach Jenkins, which looks at affordable housing for low-income families and what factors are affecting the rise in the cost of renting versus buying.

 

Harper said the issue is something the Haas Center has been following for quite some time and that Jenkins’ piece focuses on families who rent – and the findings are discouraging.

 

Photo via Flickr// Fairfax County / https://flic.kr/p/ccG8o1

Florida Governor Rick Scott addressed the media Thursday about the state’s response to the Zika virus.  One day after declaring a health emergency in four Florida counties, including Santa Rosa County, the governor, standing next to State Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong, laid out the state’s plan to combat the virus, beginning with making sure there are enough kits available to test for active cases of the disease.

UWF

The University of West Florida Wednesday announced its second recruiting class, seven months to the day before the first-ever football game.

Beginning at six o’clock Wednesday morning, 16 high school seniors declared to Head Coach Pete Shinnick their intention to suit up for the Argonauts,

“We wanted to be able to add depth at certain positions,” said Shinnick, “While also continuing to build a roster that we feel can be competitive next year in the Gulf South Conference.”

Pace Fire Rescue District

Fire chiefs and top administrators in the Pensacola Fire Department and Pace Fire-Rescue are on paid leave in two separate investigations.

Santa Rosa County officials confirm that Pace Fire-Rescue Chief Donnie Wadkins and Sec. Pat Watkins are under investigation for an undisclosed reason or reasons. Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille confirms that the investigation has been ongoing for a period of time.

Pensacola residents appreciate their law enforcement and parks, but are less pleased with transportation and infrastructure, according to a new citywide survey.

The University of West Florida’s Haas Business Center was commissioned by the city to conduct the telephone survey during the last quarter of 2015. A similar review was done the previous year, which project leader Amy Newburn says had more components.

IHMC

One thing about being retired is that it lets you step back and evaluate the work world with an unbiased view. Or, without skin in the game, maybe it’s an unreal view.

Anyway, one advantage I see in retirement is being able to step off the fast lane that technology has put working people on. Right now it’s a young person’s game, and will remain so until technology is so advanced that even old folks can quickly and easily learn to use it.

The Pensacola Symphony moves  to the First United Methodist Church this Saturday for it's annual celebration of Mozart's birthday.  The concert, which starts at 7:30, features flutist Stephanie Riegle and harpist Katie Ott in Mozart's concerto for Flute and Harp, as well as his 34th Symphony.  Music Director Peter Rubardt and Dr. Hedi Salanki stopped by the studios to share some thoughts on the performance.

Hedi Salanki: Happy birthday, genius. Mozart’s music is so perfect it’s almost impossible to talk about it.

Bob Barrett

Baptist Health Care broke ground on a major new building project Tuesday afternoon in Pensacola. The new $6 million medical park is located on 12th Avenue in front of the Hyatt Hotel at the Pensacola Airport.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

Illustrations play a major part in the appeal of books to children to whom adults read aloud. The visual elements of picture books strike chords when they complement the text, reveal nuances of the story and reflect the world in which youngsters actually live.

For diverse scenarios, consider two new titles, “Happy in Our Skin” and “Last Stop on Market Street.”  Reading them is a personal way to celebrate Black History Month, but a good book is a good book every day of the year.

ufweather.org

In what could be described as a dress rehearsal for the spring tornado season, stormy weather is on tap for the next couple of days in the Florida Panhandle and south Alabama.

Warm air that’s raising daytime temperatures into the 70s for the next couple of days is clashing with an upper level system whose northern half, the remains of Winter Storm Kayla, is spreading blizzard conditions through the Plains and Upper Midwest.

Photo via Flickr// Scott Kidder / https://flic.kr/p/bdToj

 

The World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus a global public health emergency. Closer to home, officials are keeping their eyes open but there’s not much to see. Yet. 

Photo via Flickr// NadineOG / https://flic.kr/p/dpFYRg

There are two weeks left to register to vote in the Florida primaries on March 15th. By Florida law, the registration books have to close 29 days before an election. In this case, that’s February 16.

Escambia County Elections Supervisor David Stafford says only voters registered as Democrats or Republicans can vote in this primary. About 21% of the county’s registered voters are either No Party Affiliation, or belong to a minor party.

Courtesy of UWF Historic Trust / Voices of Pensacola

As Black History Month gets underway, the T.T. Wentworth Museum in downtown Pensacola is hosting an exhibit of remarkable photographs of African Americans living in Tallahassee in the late 19th century. 

Photo via Flickr// chapstickaddict / https://flic.kr/p/4GQuSZ

Passenger rail service could be returning to Pensacola and other Gulf Coast cities. An “inspection train” is scheduled to travel across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida next month to gauge that possibility.

Hosted by Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman, a group of elected officials, community leaders and others will have a close-up look at CSX infrastructure and get an idea of the economic, cultural and mobility advantages rail has to offer.

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