News

FL Department of Economic Opportunity

Florida’s unemployment rate remains at five percent even -- unchanged from January to February. But the numbers appear to be at loggerheads when it comes to actual jobs.

The jobless figure remains constant, despite the loss of five thousand jobs last month – which may be an indication that Florida’s economic recovery is losing some steam. At the Department of Economic Opportunity, Director Cissy Proctor says they’re looking at the big picture.

Military veterans and their families will be the focus of an event being held this Saturday at the UWF Conference Center.

The Greater Pensacola Veteran and Family Symposium & Expo will be a day-long affair, featuring speakers and more than 40 veteran service organizations. It’s is the first such event to be presented by the Veterans Coalition of Northwest Florida.

Courtesy of Ron Finley

It’s officially spring and that means you might have thought about starting your garden. Or maybe you’ve never grown anything. Either way the University of West Florida invites you to meet Ron Finley, the activist “Gangsta Gardener,” when he is in town this week for a series of lectures and panels.

“Basically I’m going to talk about life and community and people and food and health and love, and you know, and air, how it all goes together. And beauty, and design and growing your own food and being a gangsta for mother nature,” he said.

senate.gov

Supporters of LGBT rights are applauding the first federal hate crime conviction involving the murder of a transgender woman in the final days of the Obama administration. But they’re also concerned about the future of such prosecutions under Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

As a U.S. Senator, Jeff Sessions called a federal hate crime law passed in 2009 “overly broad,” and said there was no need to add protections for gay and transgender people.

IHMC

I was at an outdoor music party at a house way up in the woods of Santa Rosa County recently when I ran into an old friend. We sat down in the backyard with a couple of cigars and caught up. He said something that resonated with me, especially since over the last few years I have come to accept the inevitable: I’m getting older.

Courtesy of Aisha Fukushima

As part of Women’s History Month observance, the University of West Florida is hosting internationally renowned speaker, singer and rap activist Aisha Fukushima. The performance lecture will take place this Wednesday evening at 6:00 in the University Commons Conference Center.

Earlier in the day, Fukushima stopped by the WUWF studios.

Her greeting was in multiple languages, including Arabic and French.

Dave Dunwoody: "You had your first “Open Gaetz Day” last month in Santa Rosa County, and the next – for Escambia County – is set for next month."

Council on Aging

Meals on Wheels, a program that feeds about two and a half million older citizens nationwide, faces a funding cut in President Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018.

Almost 130,000 meals are delivered to 500 residents in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties each year, through the Council on Aging of West Florida, an independent, 501(c) (3) not-for-profit, where John Clark is President and CEO.

Florida Public Archaeology Network

The Florida Public Archaeology Network is celebrating Archaeology Month in Florida, with a focus on the prehistoric Mississippian Period.

The observance also includes an exhibit on the impact of sea level rise and the local launch of a new volunteer monitoring program to track changes to at-risk sites in the state.

This year, Florida Archaeology Month, which continues throughout March, wraps up a series on prehistoric periods from Paleoindian to Archaic and Woodland.

Ciclovia means 'bikeway' is Spanish and 'bike path' in Portuguese. It also means a lot of people will be out biking and walking and skating through a five miles of road in downtown Pensacola Saturday. Sally Rosendalh is one of the co-founders of Pensacola Open Streets, the people bringing Ciclovia to Pensacola.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward could face his biggest political challenge, if he decides to seek a third term next year. That’s according to a recent survey commissioned by the Independent News.

The poll of 506 most likely voters conducted by Political Matrix shows Hayward on top with just under 28 percent. Two Escambia County Commissioners,Grover Robinson are Lumon May, are second and third at 20 and 18 percent, respectively.

Lindsay Myers

Brian LeBlanc of Pensacola was first diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s in 2014, when he was just 54 years old. When WUWF last checked in, LeBlanc shared the fear and anxiety he felt in the past month, when he temporarily lost his ability to speak. Now, we have more of Sandra Averhart’s recent conversation with LeBlanc and UWF Biology professor Dr. Rodney Guttmann, focusing on the medical aspect of the incident and how it relates to Alzheimer’s.

Gulf Power Company goes before the Florida Public Service Commission in Tallahassee on Monday, seeking a $107 million increase in base rates.

If the PSC approves the hike, residential customers would pay an extra 10%, or about $14 per month. Average power bills would go from $144-$158.

“It’s never a good time to ask for an increase in prices, but it’s one of those things that we need to continue to invest in the long-term reliability of our energy infrastructure,” said Gulf Power spokesman Rick De La Haya.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

With Spring Break now underway for high school and college students across the country, area beaches are seeing an influx of visitors. But, it’s not all sun and fun.

A large group of "alternative spring breakers" recently visited the region to help Pensacola Habitat for Humanity complete a number of beautification projects in the city’s Westside Garden District.

sacred-heart.org

Sacred Heart Health System and University of Florida Health formally announce a new kidney transplant program in Northwest Florida – just over a month after the first such procedure was performed here.

Forty-seven-year-old Renwick Avant received a kidney on February 2, more than seven years after being diagnosed with end-stage renal disease, and four years after beginning dialysis treatments.

“I started dialysis January 15, 2013; I remember the day,” said Avant. “Three days a week, I was on the dialysis machine for three hours and 45 minutes each time.”

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