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Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

Dozens of adults marched like soldiers, waddled like penguins and pretended to climb invisible ladders inside the Bayview Center during a recent Saturday morning.

Why such playfulness? They were preschool caregivers, and they were wiggling for University of West Florida professors Debra Vinci and Christopher Wirth. The official name of the program is “Let’s Wiggle With 5 2 1 0: Promoting Physical Activity and Healthy Eating in Childcare Settings.”

Needing the revenue it would generate, the Santa Rosa County Commission is looking at how to sell a one-cent sales tax increase to voters.

The sales tax in Santa Rosa County is currently 6.5%. The proposed increase would bump that to 7.5%, and help pay for a wish list that’s rather daunting such as a new judicial center to replace the current facility that opened in 1927.

The Gulf Breeze City Council is expected to discuss the prospect of term limits for themselves and the Mayor this week.

The proposal is to limit Council members to eight years, a pair of four-year terms, and the Mayor to four years, a couple of two-year terms. It’s the brainchild of Mayor Pro Tempore, Joe Henderson.

Photo via Flickr// CharlieBoy808 / https://flic.kr/p/qqy1P2

Old Man Winter’s expected to stick around at least until mid-week, and many residents are seeking ways to stay a bit warmer. The key is not just staying warm – but staying warm safely.

Each winter, there are a few days where northwest Florida chills out – literally. Dave Eversole at the National Weather Service in Mobile says at- or below-freezing temperatures and wind chills will be the norm over the next few nights, after temperatures plummeted late last week.

Pensacon

Mike Ensley loves talking about Pensacon. Going into its third year, the gathering of science fiction and comic books and cosplay and pop culture in general fans continues to exceed the organizer’s expectations. This year, a new venue has been added to the event. "We've always had the Pensacola Bay Center and the Crowne Plaza Hotel. We added the Saenger Theater last year and this year we the Rex Theater.

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.

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