WUWF Public Media

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper talks about the recession fears in the U.S., the volatility of world markets and a rise in the housing market.

The Federal Reserve’s acknowledgement of an economic downturn in financial markets at the end of 2015, despite a recovering jobs market is a concern for many, but there’s no reason to worry yet, according to Harper.

Photo by Steve Droter/Chesapeake Bay Program /

Fifteen projects approved by the Santa Rosa County Commission to share $4.3 million in RESTORE Act funding are now up for federal scrutiny.

Water quality enhancements, oyster bed development, and a job training program are among the projects being green-lighted. Commissioner Lane Lynchard, a member of the county’s RESTORE Council, says this is the culmination of a three-year process.

Monday kicks off a brand new month, and aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola, a return to a previously-used traffic pattern and an exercise aimed at beefing up security.

Beginning February 1st, visitor traffic will be routed to the entrance on Blue Angel Parkway. Commander and Executive Officer Shawn Dominguez says that includes all unescorted visitors going to the most popular attractions aboard base: the National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola Lighthouse, and Fort Barrancas.

United Way of Escambia County


The United Way of Escambia County is once again providing free income tax filing assistance for residents who qualify.

“Our goal is to allow the service at no cost,” said Lyndi Warner, Volunteer and Community Engagement Director for United Way of Escambia.

The Pensacola City Council is going back to the drawing board and paying for a study to figure out what to do with some valuable city land. The city has been examining the two acre parcel of land in the Hawkshaw district which is bordered by Ninth Avenue and Romana Street in Pensacola. Last Monday, the Community Redevelopment Agency held a special meeting to vote on hiring a firm called Urban Design Associates to conduct a study and get public input on what would be the best use of the land. The study will cost $25,000.

The fight against cervical cancer in the U.S. is becoming  a success story. It used to be one of the leading causes of cancer death in American women, but over the last three decades the number of cervical cancer deaths has been cut in half. Congress has even designated January as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Florida's unemployment rate continues to nudge down slightly from November to December, from 5.1% to 5% even. It’s the lowest figure in seven years, according to the Department of Economic Opportunity.

The state added nearly 22,000 jobs last month, but there remained 487,000 people out of work, about a thousand higher than the previous month. In December, Florida’s two dozen regional workforce boards reported nearly 35,000 were placed in jobs.

Susan Nelms, Director of CareerSource EscaRosa, said their job openings are across the board in almost all fields.

Santa Rosa Island Authority

After a decade on the job, Buck Lee retired earlier this month as Executive Director of the Santa Rosa Island Authority. He recently sat down with WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody to look back, and to look forward.

Did the takeovers of the Santa Rosa Island Authority’s Public Works and Public Safety Departments hasten your decision to step down?

Gary Sinise Foundation


  A new “smart home” is being built for a wounded veteran and his family in Okaloosa County courtesy of the Gary Sinise Foundation’s, R.I.S.E. Program. The innovative home will provide a renewed sense of independence for the Airman and his family. 

Photo via Flickr// Thomas Hawk /

Escambia County officials are working on ways to prevent any increase in the number of inmate deaths at the county jail and to find and alleviate the causes as much as possible.

That’s part of an overall revamping of the jail’s medical facilities.

Twenty four inmates have died while in custody since 2007: 11 since control of the lockup was shifted from the Sheriff’s Office to the County, and seven of those since last November. Director Michael Tidwell was fired in December, with Assistant County Administrator Chip Simmons taking over.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

The University of West Florida celebrated the promotion of two of its own to the rank of full professor during the first Rite of Passage lecture series of 2016.

Honored for their achievements during the event held Jan. 15 at the UWF Argonaut Athletic Club were Dr. Mohamed Khabou, professor of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Science and Engineering, and Dr. Carla Thompson, professor of research and advanced studies in the College of Education and Professional Studies.

WUWF Public Media

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses growth in leisure and hospitality as a driving factor in Pensacola’s economic growth.

In a recently published column, Harper wrote about how job growth in the leisure and hospitality sector has been steadily improving.

Harper said that job growth started at the end of the Great Recession in 2010, but was then stalled by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

Anyone who walked by Professor Thomas Asmuth’s office on the University of West Florida Pensacola Campus recently might have heard intermittent beeps and seen flashes of light as he worked on one of his projects that merges science and art.

University of West Florida

The UWF Spring Sports teams were introduced to the media Wednesday afternoon. "53 of our conference championship have come out of spring sports" said Dave Scott, Athletic Director at the University of West Florida. He was speaking at a gathering of coaches, athletes and the media to kick off the 2016 spring sports season at the university. "Spring's always been very string for us and we don't expect anything different this year. We have teams in tennis and golf that have strong national ratings this year."