News

  The autumnal equinox arrived at 9:21 Central time on Thursday morning. But as we go from summer to fall, another season still has about ten more weeks to run. 

We remain in what’s considered the peak of the 2016 hurricane season in the Atlantic and Caribbean. Gerry Bell at the National Hurricane Center says moving into fall has zero effect.

“There’s really no relationship at all,” said Bell. “The peak of the hurricane season is August, September and October, so it’s a broad peak and the equinox just happens to coincide in September.”

 

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper talks about the Federal Reserve once again holding interest rates despite projections that an increase was coming in September.

 

Most observers had anticipated that the Fed would raise rates by 0.25 percent, and many were caught off guard by their decision.

 

“The Federal Open Market Committee held firm at the existing low interest rates,” Harper said. “We haven’t had an increase since December 2015.”

 

NASA

  U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is sponsoring a NASA funding bill, which requires a human to set foot on Mars. 

Nelson spoke on the Senate floor earlier this year promoting the bill which was unanimously approved by the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday, Senate bill 3346 provides the space agency $19.6 billion with a few strings attached. One of them is a commitment to a manned flight to the Red Planet. 

http://vtmae.com/

Two years after the announcement that VT Mobile Aerospace would build a plant in Pensacola, more talks on funding the project are expected this afternoon. 

Construction was announced in September, 2014, with the plant originally scheduled to begin refurbishing large aircraft this summer. But, the site, 19 acres adjacent to Pensacola International Airport, remains idle with no groundbreaking date as yet.  

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Last month, Santa Rosa County voters approved a half-cent local option sales tax for infrastructure, but rejected a half-penny tax for construction of a new courthouse in downtown Milton.

The failure of the referendum means the courthouse issue is on hold as county leaders regroup.

When the last of the August 30 Primary ballots were counted the margin of defeat for the proposed courthouse sales tax was just 819 votes.

photo via Flickr// Michael Kappel

Emergencies have been declared in a half-dozen Southeastern states, after a leak in a gasoline pipeline began to show up at the pump. 

Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia have all have relaxed restrictions on fuel transportation to stave off shortages and price spikes. 

University of West Florida

It was nearly a year ago that the location of Tristan de Luna’s 1559 Settlement was discovered. Since then, University of West Florida archaeologists have ramped up their research of the Spanish colony that was doomed by a hurricane that struck on this day, September 19, 457 years ago.

During the past year, there’s been a lot of activity at the site, including the 2016 UWF Archaeology Summer Field School.  

  Voters will go to the polls in November not only to make their choice for president, but also for the man who will represent the western Panhandle in Congress. 

Matt Gaetz and Steven Specht took different paths to their parties’ nominations. Specht had no primary opposition, and advanced to the general election. For Gaetz, it was a fight with seven other Republicans in which he collected 36 percent of the vote in the primary.

Photo via Flickr//Melanie Hayes / https://flic.kr/p/5PA9Tx

    

While the start of football season is occupying the thoughts of many these days, there’s another season beginning soon that deserves just as much attention, if not more. 

Flu season is actually year-round, but the acute period generally begins in October and runs through May of each year, give or take a month or two depending where you live.

Dr. John Lanza is Director of the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County. He and other health officials are calling for everyone over six months of age to get vaccinated.

Photo via Flickr//Conred Guatemala / https://flic.kr/p/DHgTtq

Scammers prey on people’s fears to make money: it’s what they do. So with the Zika outbreak, they’re cashing in on anxiety over the disease. The Better Business Bureau is urging everyone not to fall for them.

Tammy Ward with the BBB in Pensacola tells us how such scams work, and that they’re online for the most part.  

 

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the new Census Bureau report on the economic progress of American families released by the White House this week.

 

Among the findings in the report was the fact that household income grew at the fastest rate on record in 2015.

 

“It was a great report,” Harper said. “We’ve been tracking statistics on median household income adjusted for inflation. Economists call that real median household income.”

 

U.S. Navy

  Pilot error is cited as the cause of June’s crash of a Blue Angel aircraft near Nashville, Tennessee, in which the pilot was killed. 

The report, from the Naval Air Training Command, says Marine Corps Capt. Jeff Kuss was flying “too low and too fast” and lost control of his FA/18 Hornet as he transitioned from a climb into another maneuver. The report also says Kuss attempted to eject seconds before the crash. 

IHMC

  Over the summer I was lucky enough to volunteer with University of West Florida archeologists to assist with the ongoing effort to uncover the settlement of Don Tristan de Luna.

Luna attempted to establish a permanent Spanish colony in Pensacola in 1559, which if it had succeeded would have been the first permanent European settlement in what is now known as North America. The effort failed by 1561, mainly from the bad luck of being hit by a hurricane before the ships in the expedition had been fully unloaded.

UWF

The University of West Florida has chosen its next president. 

There was a hush over the crowd at the UWF Music Hall Thursday morning as Pat Lott, General Counsel to the President read and tallied the votes from the Board of Trustees. It was obvious that everyone in the room was doing the math. Once Lott read the 9th vote for UWF Provost Martha Saunders, the room erupted in applause. 

  Representatives from a number of law enforcement agencies Wednesday announced the results of “Operation Undertow” – an Internet sting targeting adults seeking to have sex with minors. 

Twenty-two suspects traveled to a designated residence in Pensacola to meet the children. Instead, they were greeted, rather roughly, by law enforcement officers. 

“This effort of arresting and prosecuting these individuals helps to stop future abuse,” said Pensacola Police Chief David Alexander.

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