In this week’s Gulf Stories Moment, Dr. Amy Mitchell-Cook, associate professor and chair of the Department of History at the University of West Florida, discusses the historical significance of the timber industry on the Gulf Coast.

From banning the death penalty to legalizing marijuana, the panel charged with overhauling Florida’s constitution is now out with about five dozen proposals.

The 37-member Constitution Revision Commission had just before midnight last Tuesday – the bewitching hour on Halloween -- to submit their proposals. As of Monday (12/6), 91 are listed on the website

Mike Papantonio is out with a new novel. Law and Vengeance (SelectBooks, Inc.) is his second legal thriller and seventh book overall.

To tell the fictional story, the renowned trial attorney at the Levin Papantonio law firm has to look no further than his own case files.

Law and Vengeance is based on a real case that actually I handled here in this law firm, just as the first book, Law and Disorder, was also based on actual cases that our law firm handled,” Papantonio said.


With black bear sightings on the rise in Santa Rosa County, local officials are asking the state for help. One official is taking the lead after a close encounter.

County Commissioner Bob Cole’s wife recently discovered an unwanted visitor to their home in Milton.

“We keep the dog and cat foot in trash cans inside the garage,” Cole said. “That particular day, my wife had the garage door open; she later that day found the trash can turned over and the dog food gone. We had seen a bear several weeks prior to that in the woods next to the garage.”

Photo-Choreography comes to the stage of the Saenger Theatre this Saturday in a unique collaboration with the Pensacola Symphony.  The concert, which starts at 7:30 p.m., will feature the premiere performance of “Pensacola: Then and Now,” a collection of historic and present-day images that will be projected in coordination with the PSO’s performance.  Music Director Peter Rubardt and Photo-Choreographer Nicholas Bardonnay stopped by the WUWF studios to talk about the performance.  

Entrepreneurs, techies and idea people will converge on downtown Pensacola this month as Start-Up Weekend returns to the city. This will be the fifth start-up weekend event in Pensacola, the last one happened in 2015. Kelly Reeser is the Director of Entrepreneurial Development with Florida West Economic Development Alliance and the director of Co-Lab Pensacola, a business incubator space in downtown Pensacola. She has been involved with every start-up weekend in town.

Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival

The 2017 Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival gets underway this weekend at Seville Square in Historic Pensacola. One of the highlights of the annual event is the Invited International Artist.

This year’s special guest artist is Yume Matsuo.

Matsuo is from Wakayma, Japan, which is a sister state of Florida. She left the prefecture only briefly to go to college in Osaka and she lived in Ireland for a year and a half.

Four months after creation, an $85 million state fund for economic development lies dormant, while more than 160 requests totaling over a half-billion dollars await.

The “Florida Job Growth Grant Fund" was created during a special legislative session as a compromise between Gov. Rick Scott and House leaders. At issue was the House’s desire to scrap Enterprise Florida and other economic development programs.

Michael Spooneybarger/CREO

In Washington, the House’s 216-212 passage of a four trillion dollar Republican budget last week appears to pave the way to begin tax reform.

Florida’s 1st District Representative voted with the minority.

“Right now we’ve got $20 trillion in debt; in the next ten years we’re going to $30 trillion in debt unless we cut spending,” said Cong. Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach). He’s one of 20 Republicans who joined Democrats in opposing the Senate Amendment to House Con Resolution 71.

Gaetz voted in favor of the original House measure, before its trip to the Senate.


As construction rolls on at the VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering aviation plant in Pensacola, company officials and local leaders provided an update on the project on Friday at Pensacola State College.

Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward was the M.C. at groundbreaking ceremonies near Pensacola International Airport one year ago.

“Today marks an important milestone for a project that we first started talking about close to five years ago,” Hayward said at the groundbreaking. On Friday at PSC, he spoke of the plant’s role in helping create and bolster a business environment.

Although votes to repeal and replace "Obamacare” have come and gone, the Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land, and open enrollment begins on Wednesday, November 1. 

 In this week's Gulf Stories Moment, Dr. Scott Keller, professor of marketing, supply chain logistics and economics at the University of West Florida, discusses some of the problems associated with the congestion of ports.

Representatives from the Department of Homeland Security were joined by local officials, for a cybersecurity roundtable and career information expo Wednesday at the University of West Florida.

Government, business, and academic leaders from around the Pensacola area got the latest on fighting battles in cyberspace, which can affect everyone whose lives, part or all of it, are on a computer or mobile device.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum brought his gubernatorial campaign to Pensacola recently. 

Gillum, 38, is seeking the Democratic nomination to succeed Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is termed out in 2018. He says serving three years as mayor and 12 on the Tallahassee City Commission has given him a front-row seat at what’s been happening at the Capitol.

In this week's Gulf Stories Moment, Dr. Scott Keller, professor of marketing, supply chain logistics and economics at the University of West Florida, discusses how important location is to the success of a port. 

Sacred Heart health

A new study from the American Cancer Society shows that deaths from breast cancer have declined 39 percent since 1989. But the news is better for some groups than others. The study was published in the journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, and that top line number of a 39 percent drop in breast cancer deaths is getting most of the attention. And advances in screening for breast cancer are getting a lot of the credit. 

U.S. Air Force

Resolutions are being introduced in both houses of the Florida Legislature, aimed at keeping the eastern Gulf of Mexico open for military training.

At issue is a long-time moratorium against oil drilling in that part of the Gulf. State Sen. Doug Broxson (R-Gulf Breeze) is the sponsor of Senate Resolution 550. He says there’s pressure from big oil to open up the area.

Flu season is getting underway and health officials at all levels are sending out the word for people to get their vaccinations.

During the first week of the 2017-18 season – October 1-7 -- influenza activity remained at low levels across Florida. But it’s expected to increase heading into the fall and winter months.

“We usually say beginning at the end of September through the end of April,” says Dr. John Lanza, Director of the Florida Department of Health-Escambia County.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Elections officials in both Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties plan workshops next week, for those interested in running for office in 2018.

These workshops are useful because many who seek public office have not done so before, and for political veterans it’s a refresher course.

“We have a lot of people that come into our office; obviously, they’re curious about what offices are up for election and what it means to be a candidate,” said Tappie Villane, Elections Supervisor in Santa Rosa County.


We recently traveled to Vietnam, and to say life is different there is an understatement. Even as you run into McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC along the way, as American culture continues its regrettable conquest of the world.