News

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Amazon.com and the University of West Florida are teaming up for a work-study partnership which, among other things, forms a pathway to employment with the online firm.

It’s the first such partnership in Florida, and UWF President Martha Saunders says it began with a phone call from an associate who works as a consultant for Amazon.

Pensacon

Beginning in 1974, Henry Winkler became a household name starring as Arthur Fonzarelli for 11 seasons on the TV show Happy Days. Now he’s getting ready to spend three days in Pensacola at Pensacon 2017.  The day it was announced that Henry Winkler was coming to Pensacon was one of the biggest ticket sales days for the event ever. The 71 year old actor, producer, and author said he does just a few conventions a year to stay in touch with his fans.  He says when fans meet him they mostly just want a hug.

Here are some highlights from the interview:

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper looks at the Florida Legislature’s attempt to eliminate Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida.

A battle is brewing in Tallahassee as state lawmakers look to dismantle both Visit Florida, which supports tourism efforts in the state, and Enterprise Florida, which offers economic incentives to businesses in Florida. In a hearing this week, the committee responsible voted in a split decision to move forward with a bill to eliminate much of the state’s economic incentives.
 

Courtesy of Matt Gaetz

One of the many executive orders from President Trump places a hiring freeze on federal workers. How could this impact civilian employees at military bases in Northwest Florida?

Matt Gaetz: "We’re talking about people who provide security services, who work in child centers, who do maintenance and yard work all around our military installations. I’m currently working with the Department of Defense to try to get a waiver for northwest Florida, so that civil servants who are working at or on our military bases would be exempt from this freeze."

Screengrab from YouTube: Secretary of Education Nominee Betsy DeVos Opening Statement (C-SPAN)

Betsy DeVos’ confirmation as U.S. Education Secretary is drawing praise from supporters and derision from opponents. Meanwhile, a couple of local school superintendents are watching what could happen next.

Vice President Mike Pence broke the 50-50 deadlock in the Senate on Tuesday to confirm DeVos. Two Republicans voted with Democrats against confirmation. Florida’s U.S. Senators split along party lines. Republican Marco Rubio voted for DeVos, Democrat Bill Nelson voted against.

A celebration of feminism comes to Pensacola this weekend to benefit a local rape crisis center.  The event is called FemFest 2017, and it takes place over three nights is three different locations. Kirstin Norris is one of the organizers. "FemFest is a celebration of feminism here in Pensacola. And our beneficiary is Lakeview Center's Rape Crisis and Trauma Recovery Program."

Escambia Co. Sheriff's Office

The manhunt for two suspects in four slayings in Florida and Alabama ended Tuesday afternoon at a motel in West Point, Georgia.

Troup County, Georgia, Sheriff James Woodruff told reporters that officers from several agencies surrounded the motel when a tip came in Tuesday afternoon that the pair were in one of the rooms. 

“The suspects were held up in the West Point Motel,” said Woodruff. “Mary Rice, she is in custody, and William Boyette we believe has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

The outcome of the siege, says Woodruff, was welcomed.

Escambia Co. Sheriff's Office

Billy Boyette and Mary Rice remain at-large. They’re the targets of several local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in connection with three slayings in Florida and Alabama.

Speaking to the media Tuesday morning, Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson minced no words in addressing the suspects.

“I’m speaking directly to Billy Boyette, or anyone who can get him a message,” said Johnson. “Mr. Boyette: there are two places you can end up – prison, or a cemetery. The choice is yours.”

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is held annually on Feb. 7.  The theme for 2017 is “I am my Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, African Americans are the racial/ethnic group most affected by HIV in the United States. That’s also the case in Florida and Escambia County.

Escambia Co. Sheriff's Office

Forty-four-year-old Billy Boyette is suspected of shooting a woman during a home invasion Monday morning in the Beulah community. Twenty-eight-year-old Kayla Crocker is undergoing treatment at a local hospital; her two-year-old son was not hurt.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan says Crocker was in critical condition, with no other information to be released.

Since the year 2000, there have been a number of policies and regulations enacted on the state and federal level to help children with autism. But eventually, those children grow up. Everything changes when a child with autism becomes an adult.

In the back of a large building at the ARC Gateway campus in Pensacola there is a large industrial paper shredder next to a large room filled with tables and people sorting paper. One of those people is Nikiya Houston, who says her job is pretty simple "To sort paper and to shred paper." 

northescambia.com

Billy Boyette, the prime suspect in three slayings in Alabama and Florida, is now believed to have been involved in a home invasion in Beulah, where a resident was shot.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan says they got the call about 6:30 Monday morning from the victim’s mother.

“Our victim’s name is Kayla Crocker; she is currently in one of the local hospitals,” said Morgan. “She did sustain a gunshot wound.”

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

An art exhibit called “STEAM2017” opened Feb. 2 and will continue through March 11 at The Art Gallery, also known as TAG, on the Pensacola Campus of the University of West Florida.
 
The exhibit is the centerpiece of a program that is also called STEAM2017. It’s a five-week presentation of lectures, workshops and talks with artists and scientists. Activities explore how art can be added to the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math to examine issues related to water and the preservation of a clean environment.

studeri.org

Last week, Pensacola businessman Quint Studer and his wife Rishy donated a quarter of a million dollars to a pair of local projects. Studer spoke recently about how they choose to give, and what’s coming up.

The Studers donated $100,000 for expansion of the Infusion Center at the Baptist Cancer Institute.

“Just like when we gave the money for the YMCA, or the money for the Pensacola Pledge,” said Studer. “You want to give dollar amounts that truly are significant enough to make something very different."

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

Pensacola State College has taken home a prestigious national award for its student tutoring program. The Community College Futures Assembly awarded Pensacola State its 2017 National Bellwether Award for Instructional Programs and Services. At an announcement meeting at the college on Thursday, PSC President Dr. Ed Meadows talked about the awards.

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