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northescambia.com

Escambia County Administrator Jack Brown says the county faces a number of challenges in 2017 -- some holdovers from previous years, and others specific to this year.

One of the new challenges comes from Tallahassee for local governments seeking money for infrastructure projects. New House rules mandate that such projects be more tightly vetted. 

pensacolamardigras.com

Mardi Gras-Pensacola style kicked off January 6 and runs through Fat Tuesday, February 28. The merriment also provides help to local residents in need.

Behind the masks, the costumes, the beads and the floats that make Mardi Gras the biggest party of the year, there are also the charities and other organizations who benefit. Pensacola Mardi Gras President Danny Zimmern has overseen the event’s growth.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper looks at the recent rise in unemployment numbers and what they mean in the long term, why job openings have risen and what Obamacare’s repeal could mean for Florida’s economy.

Weekly applications for unemployment benefits rose by 10,000 last week. But looking at historical data, the numbers are nothing to worry about, Harper said.

Courtesy of Gulf Power

Traditionally the Saturday of the long Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend is set aside for community service. There are several opportunities to serve along the gulf coast.

UWF is facilitating a day of service with Ronald McDonald House, St. Vincent de Paul, Keep Pensacola Beautiful, and Waterfront Rescue Mission. Students and the community can sign up for a morning shift, an afternoon shift, or both. Visit HERE.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

People who want to see examples of what kinds of artwork students in the art department create can attend the new “Points of Departure” exhibit. It’s in The Art Gallery in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts.

“The objective of the exhibit is to showcase the challenges and successes introductory level art students encounter in drawing, ceramics, painting, digital arts and graphic design,” said Nick Croghan, director of The Art Gallery, also known as TAG.

Sandra Averhart

Florida’s constitutional amendment expanding the scope of medical marijuana in the state took effect last week. Lawmakers now have six months to come up new rules for governing the industry.

In the meantime, local governments across Northwest Florida are taking a variety of approaches as to the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries and many are considering temporary moratoriums.

House.gov

 We begin a new, twice-a-month feature on WUWF with U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz. Dave Dunwoody sat down with the newly-minted Congressman to speak about the first days of the 115th Congress.

On being a freshman lawmaker in Washington:

Luzena Adams

One of the country’s top female comics is coming to Pensacola later this month. Kathleen Madigan got started working open mic nights back in the early 90s and by 1996 had been voted “Funniest Female Stand-Up Comic" at the American Comedy Awards. In her 25 year career she has appeared on TV shows and specials, toured the world, and honed her gold game with her friend, fellow comedian Lewis Black. She’s currently touring in support of her new Netflix special called “Bothering Jesus”.  

IHMC

The more I think about the impact of how the online world is changing us and how we live, the fewer answers I have. The one thing I seem to have finally learned is that no one can stay ahead of the curve, because no one can figure out where it is going.

The Pensacola Symphony returns to the stage of the Saenger Theatre this Saturday, January 14th, at 7:30pm.  Pianist Jon Nakamatsu will join the orchestra for the annual “Beethoven and Blue Jeans” concert.   Music Director Peter Rubardt and UWF professor Dr. Hedi Salanki stopped by the WUWF studios to share some thoughts on the performance.

HS: This music is so healthy, so happy! No wonder it is one of the most popular classical pieces.

mediatrackers.org

When the Florida Legislature kicks off the 2017 session on March 7, a full plate will greet them at the Statehouse.

Hall of Fame baseball manager Casey Stengel once said: “Never make predictions, especially about the future.”

But, here we go anyway.

Courtesy of EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless.

The EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless is gearing up for their annual "point in time" survey to take place on January 25 in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

ECOH Marketing Director Serene Keiek and Housing Director Dianna Moore recently stopped by WUWF to talk with Sandra Averhart about the purpose and importance of the homeless count. Also, they’re seeking volunteers to help conduct the survey and to assist with their U-Count Homeless Resource Day event to follow.

Below is a transcript of their conversation.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

About 200,000 people are expected to march in Washington D.C. the day after Inauguration Day to protest the incoming Trump administration. A group of women from northwest Florida will be with them. 

Kelly Parsons had planned on going to Washington DC this month long before this march was announced. "I had purchased a ticket to go to the inauguration. I wanted to be there to one day tell my kids [that] I was present when the first woman was sworn into office."

watchdog.org

Florida’s Supreme Court, according to some observers, may have provided a glimpse into the future of the state's death penalty statute. 

The justices giveth, and the justices taketh away. The court voted 5-2 Wednesday to forbid the state from imposing the death penalty in pending prosecutions, only to withdraw the order a few hours later. In the opinion, the court wrote that the entire death penalty law was unconstitutional, but the withdrawal came because of “human error.”

 

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper looks at Florida’s 2017 economic outlook.

A recent University of Florida consumer survey found that a majority of people in the state are feeling very positive about their economic future.

“The overall index was up almost seven points to a value of 97. That’s a pretty strong increase,” Harper said. “The components that make up the index uniformly increased – from people’s perception of their possibility of financial health in the future and their perception of today’s financial health.”

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