News

Hurricane Season 2013 Ends With Little Action

Dec 3, 2013
National Hurricane Center

The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season ended Saturday, going out for the Gulf Coast in the same manner as much of its six-month run – rather quietly.

Overall, there were 13 named storms, one more than average for the season. Andrea was the first and only one to make landfall in the U.S. Her tornadoes, heavy rain and flooding in parts of the South caused millions in damage and claimed one life.

The season’s two hurricanes -- Ingrid and Humberto – were the fewest since 1982 and well below the average of six. Neither became major hurricanes of Category-3 or higher.

Pensacola Camellia Club

Planning for the national meeting of the American Camellia Society (ACS) and its national camellia show has been top priority for the Pensacola Camellia Club (PCC) for the past year. Several hundred visitors are expected, including some international experts such as Ms. Patricia Short, the president of the International Camellia Society, who will come from London.
 

Gulf Power Company

Gulf Power has reached a settlement that will increase its base rates for the next two years.

The Florida Public Service Commission voted Tuesday and approved a settlement between Gulf Power and a mixture of business groups and government agencies that will result in a rate hike beginning in January of 2014.  The utility had proposed a rate hike of just over $74 million for next year and another 16 and change for 2015.  The settlement which was filed last Friday calls for a hike of $35 million for 2014 and an additional $20 million in 2015. 

Dozens arrested in ECSO warrant sweep

Dec 3, 2013
Escambia County Sheriff's Office

An arrest warrant sweep dubbed “Operation Smoking Gun” netted 61 arrests last month, according to Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan.

That and future such operations are aimed at whittling down the roughly 25,000 outstanding warrants the Escambia County Sheriff's Office deals with on any given day. But Morgan says that’s actually down from the 34,000 that he inherited when he took office in 2009.

United Way of Escambia County

Now that we are into December it's time to start getting ready for everyone's favorite time of the year - tax time.  The Escambia County United Way is getting ready by signing up Volunteers for its VITA program...Volunteer Income Tax Assistance.  WUWF's Bob Barrett sat down with Andrea Kreiger, the President and CEO of the Escambia County United Way to talk about what the VITA program is and who it serves.
 

World AIDS Day is commemorated each year on December 1st.  Pensacola and surrounding communities held an observance at the Hancock Pavilion at Community Maritime Park Stadium.
 

The event provided an opportunity support those suffering from HIV and AIDS.  Also, it was a time to remember those 1,224 Northwest Florida residents who have lost their lives to the disease. Many of those individuals were honored with AIDS memorial quilts that were hung from the rafters.

There were performances by the Belmont Youth Band and Ballet Pensacola.

Grant Expands Voting For Military Members

Nov 30, 2013
www.ourmissionyourvote.us / Our Mission: Your Vote Consortium

 Almost $1.9 million in federal grant money will help the Okaloosa County Elections Office to increase their ability to offer electronic ballots to overseas voters. Supervisor of Elections Paul Lux says the money will be used to bring 21 additional Florida counties into the Our Mission: Your Vote   consortium that he founded in 2010. With the original federal grant of $1.6 million in 2011, the Our Mission: Your Vote program began as a consortium of 13 Florida Counties who came together to provide access to some of the hardest to reach voters for every federal election through 2016.

Cutbacks at Naval Hospital Pensacola

Nov 29, 2013
Naval Hospital of Pensacola

Changes are in the works at Naval Hospital Pensacola, as part of a Navy-wide effort to save money.
 

NHP’s emergency room and four-bed intensive care unit are scheduled to close this summer. Hospital commander, Capt. Maureen Padden, says Navy medicine has been conducted a resource analysis the past two years – well before this year’s sequester and partial shutdown of the federal government.
 

At issue by the Naval Bureau of Medicine and Surgery is just where critical resources should be placed to best serve the beneficiary population.
 

Keep the Wreath Green

Nov 29, 2013

Beginning Sunday, Dec. 1st, Escambia County Fire Rescue and the City of Pensacola are again teaming up for the 10th annual “Keep the Wreath Green” holiday fire safety campaign.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, about 400 lives and lost and more than 16 hundred people injured in holiday fires each year. Damages total around a billion dollars.

Through “Keep the Wreath Green,” Lt. Daniel Akerman at Escambia Fire-Rescue says their goal each holiday season, is putting off as long as possible what appears to be the inevitable.

Pensacola International Airport

It’s time to hit the road  or, for some, the air  for the holiday season. The Better Business Bureau has some tips to help make the trip home or to that fall vacation less chaotic.

Danielle Rudd with the BBB’s Northwest Florida office says rule number one is: if you haven’t already booked your flight, do it now! The earlier the better, and using an online travel site could save you some money by bundling air fare, rental car and  hotel room.

As Temperatures Drop Emergency Shelters Open

Nov 27, 2013

Two weeks after the first taste of winter for northwest Florida and south Alabama, another, colder round is on tap for this week.

The same weather system that’s pushing winter storm conditions towards the northeastern U.S. is sending frigid air into the Southeast. For this area, that means the coldest temperatures of the fall on Wednesday – highs in the upper 40s during the day, then dropping into the 20s that evening. Wind chill indices will be in the 20s.

Joshua Bousel

AAA projects more than 43 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this holiday weekend.

The auto club’s prediction is down one and a half percent from Thanksgiving 2012, which was the highest travel volume in five years. But Greg Jenkins at AAASouth, in Tampa, says if this year’s numbers pan out, they would be the second-highest.
Ninety percent of travelers – just under 39 million – will do so by automobile, including 2.2 million from Florida. Just over three million travelers will take to the skies.

Manna Food Pantry

The Mayflower has landed in Pensacola as a local nonprofit looks to feed the hungry.  The Mayflower in question is actually three Mayflower moving vans.  They are set up in the parking lot of the Cordova Mall in Pensacola to collect food for Manna Food Pantries.  It's the annual Fill The Mayflower promotion to help restock Mann's larder.

Jay Bradshaw is President of Pensacola Moving and Storage and also Chairman of the Board for Manna Food Pantries.  He says that they are hoping for a wide variety of food items nutritious food items like canned meats and vegetables.

Gulf Islands National Seashore has closed the Fort Pickens Area to all incoming public use due to the winds
and high surf from the Monday night weather event, effective Tuesday, November 26 through Friday, November 29. When announcing this closure, Superintendent Dan Brown said, "With this weather and the
associated wind and high surf, low lying sections of the Fort Pickens Road have been overwashed and are
covered with water and sand.”

Port of Pensacola Names New Director

Nov 25, 2013
Pensacola News Journal

There’s a change at the top at the Port of Pensacola – one that is making history.

Amy Miller is the new Port Director – and the first woman to hold that position since the port began operating in 1743. She's also the lone female port director in Florida.
 

Mayor Ashton Hayward made the appointment, following the resignation of Clyde Mathis last week. In his letter, Mathis give no reason for stepping down.

Miller believes ports should evolve to keep up with the inevitable changes in commerce. Her priorities are jobs and revenue for the port, in that order.

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