News

Teenagers and young adults are getting the chance to pick up some work experience and a bit of spending money this summer and fall, through a new program run by Escambia County.

About 40 kids will make up the inaugural Youth Employment Program, which is set to kick off next month. County residents between the ages of 16-20, whose family household income is at or below 200 percent of the 2017 poverty level, are eligible to apply.

Moto Electric Vehicles

Visitors to downtown Pensacola could be able to park and ride later this month, thanks to six new electric trolleys from Gulf Island National Seashore.

With the park’s ferry service in limbo the new electric trolleys, each consisting of motor and trailer units, are being loaned to the City of Pensacola. Each vehicle can hold 27 passengers.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

Another historical figure from Pensacola’s past is getting a monument downtown. "What makes great cities is art and culture" said Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward speaking to a crowd of donors and dignitaries Monday morning. They were gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony for a monument to Revolutionary War hero Bernardo de Galvez, the general who drove the British out of Pensacola during the Battle of Pensacola.

As part of getting ready for the 2018 election cycle, Escambia County’s Supervisor of Elections recently attended a meeting in San Antonio, Texas on military and overseas voting.

For several years now, David Stafford and Okaloosa County Elections Chief Paul Lux have been involved with the Overseas Voting Initiative, working with the Pentagon and the Council of State Governments.

Senate Republicans are wasting no time showing they have little use for the House bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Needing 216 votes for passage, the Republican-controlled House approved the plan 217-213, with 20 GOP defections. Among those voting “yes” was Republican Matt Gaetz – who represents the western Florida Panhandle.

EOD Warrior Foundation

Military bomb-disposal technicians who’ve been killed in the line of duty will be honored during a ceremony Saturday at Eglin Air Force.

This will be the 48th Annual EOD Memorial Ceremony, which is held every year on the first Saturday in May.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

A building project in Pensacola is using new technology and construction techniques to make the area’s first so-called Smart Home.  The project is located on a waterfront lot near the Pensacola Country Club. When completed, it will be a solar powered, single family home surrounded by mature oak trees.

The Florida House and Senate have unanimously passed legislation that ensures funds from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon/BP oil-spill settlement will remain in Northwest Florida.

Lawmakers approved HB 7077  and the Senate version SB 364, establishing the Gulf Coast Economic Corridor for eight most disproportionately affected counties.

The votes ended months of debate and guaranteed that the bulk of Florida’s $2 billion dollar share of the BP Settlement money would come to the western Panhandle.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

With less than a month before the kickoff to Hurricane Season 2017, the annual exercise to prepare for such an event was held Wednesday morning at the Escambia County Emergency Operations Center.

The “war room” was filled with representatives from various government agencies, along with other organizations charged with helping out in the event of a disaster. The man in charge? Escambia Public Safety Director Mike Weaver.

IHMC

Over many years during my career at the Pensacola News Journal my picture ran with my weekly column. So a lot of readers I did not know knew what I looked like.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

While the 2018 campaign for the U.S. Senate has not begun officially, it is clearly underway.

November 6, 2018 is still 18 months away but incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott, the presumptive Republican challenger, are already gearing up.

“Most people think that’s going to be the race; we don’t know if someone else is going to enter. But it will be a very expensive, highly competitive race,” says Susan McManus, a political scientist at the University of South Florida.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

Lionfish have long been a prodigious threat to native species in the Gulf of Mexico, taking a big bite out of the region’s vital ecosystem as well as its economy.

However, the invasive species are not just doing harm in the warm waters of the Gulf. They have also moved into the mouths of local river systems, a researcher at the University of West Florida has discovered.

“Those are big nursery grounds for juvenile (native species of fish), a lot that are economically and ecologically important here,” said Amy Brower, a graduate student in the Department of Biology.

epa.gov

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is resuming action on cleaning up a Superfund site in Pensacola. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody reports.

For 80 years, American Creosote Works operated the plant on Gimble Street treating lumber and other wood products. When it closed in 1981 after filing for bankruptcy, it left behind a legacy of chemicals in the 18-acre’s soil, ground water and surface water. The site was designated a Superfund site and targeted for cleanup by the EPA in 1983.

noaa.gov

Scattered power outages, along with downed tree branches and other debris, were left behind when a storm front moved through northwest Florida late Sunday night and early Monday morning.

A cold front came through from the west on Sunday, bringing showers and thunderstorms;  some packing heavy rain and vivid lightning. Wind gusts of 40 miles per hour were reported at Pensacola International Airport.

nps.gov

With May 1 the beginning of sea turtle nesting season in the Florida Panhandle, preparations are being made for one of the area’s most welcome summer guests.

Five species of sea turtles are found in the Gulf of Mexico, three of which are known to nest on Pensacola Beach: the loggerhead, the green turtle, and the Kemp’s Ridley. Of those, the loggerhead is most common.

350 Pensacola

Just one week after the international March for Science, the People’s Climate Movement is taking center stage with its own march.

On Saturday, residents in Northwest Florida will be adding their voices to those in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere in calling for action on climate change, to include a faster transition to clean renewable energy.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

On the morning of May First, 2014, Executive Director De De Flounlacker sat outside of Manna’s Gonzales Street headquarters with a folding table, some donuts and a pot of coffee. She said "early estimates right now are we've probably lost about 60 to 75 percent of our food." In addition to the loss of food, the buildings were unsafe and unusable. "Unfortunately", she said, "All pantry services are currently suspended."

U.S. Air Force

Uncle Sam turns out the lights on Saturday – President Trump’s 100th day in office -- if Congress doesn’t come up with a funding plan by midnight.

If that happens – as it did in 2013 – the military’s expected to take some of the hardest hits. Admiral Bill Moran, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, says the message from the Pentagon will be the same as the one the past several months -- when a shutdown became a possibility.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

In the final “Suffer the Little Children” report for Child Abuse Awareness Month, WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody looks at how Gulf Coast Kid’s House is working to bring to reality the adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

The facility on 12th Avenue in the East Hill community provides basic facts and information about child abuse and how to guard against it.

“We go into the schools and educate K-through-6; we also have numerous adult programs that we take into the community,” says Paula Doty, the Prevention Coordinator at Kid’s House.

The Pensacola Symphony closes its season this Saturday, April 29,  at 7:30 p.m.  The program includes music of Leonard Bernstein and Richard Danielpour, and will end with Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.  Music Director Peter Rubardt and UWF professor Dr. Hedi Salanki stopped by the WUWF studios to share some thoughts on the performance.

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