Most of the United States, including Florida, is now subject to the coldest and most widespread blast of arctic air so far this season. Preparations are being made-- or should be.

The Jet Stream, that upper-level river of air on which storms travel, is dropping to the south and bringing Arctic air with it.

“We’ve pretty much had a cold front that’s going through the area [Thursday], and we’re looking at a freeze across the whole area, even down to the coast,” said Don Shepherd, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mobile.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the latest manufacturing numbers, the role economic incentives play in our area and why the trade deficit isn’t decreasing any time soon.

The U.S. Department of Commerce released its October report on U.S. factory orders, and the numbers were much better than expected.

“Orders are up 2.7 percent. This is the fourth month in a row that factory orders have been up,” Harper said. “We actually got an upwardly revised number for the prior month.”


People across Northwest Florida breathed a sigh of relief last week when the first rains in recent memory swept in to ease what had become a serious drought. This week’s rains brought more comfort.

They also reminded us that no matter how powerful and sophisticated we think of ourselves as a society, we share something with past civilizations: we remain at the mercy of the weather, which of course is a function of the climate.

And there are no shortages of reminders these days, both here and elsewhere, of just how powerfully nature dictates to us.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

"When I was taking classes, autism was this little paragraph in a book. not a chapter, not a whole book, it was a little paragraph." Debbie Keremes is sitting in her crowded office at the Autism Center at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital off Bayou Boulevard in Pensacola. She is the manager of the facility as well as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. 

Bishop Gregory Parkes, who has led the Pensacola-Tallahassee Catholic Diocese since 2012, will be installed January 4 as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

Appointed by Pope Benedict the XVI, Parkes became the fifth bishop of the Pensacola-Tallahassee Catholic Diocese. He succeeded Bishop John Ricard, who retired due to health reasons. The decision by Pope Francis to place him downstate, Parkes says, was unexpected.

Michael Spooneybarger/CREO


Coffee table books are the perfect solution for hard-to-buy-for people on anyone’s holiday gift list. Why? Because titles cater to specific interests, and they are packed with history, facts, trivia, photographs, illustrations, graphics, lists and bibliographies that lead to even more sources of fun and enlightening information.  Other advantages of big books as gifts? If you pick the right title for the right person, size isn’t a problem, and books are guaranteed for year-round use.  Here are some of the stand-out choices for the 2016 shopping season.

U.S. Navy

Wednesday is the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor,  which brought the United States into World War II, and forever changed this nation and the world.

One day earlier, December 6, 1941, was a typical Saturday for many Americans.

“Much of life in the United States was proceeding as it had been; on a normal, peaceful day you had your football games, you had people enjoying the outdoors, and planning events,” said historian Hill Goodspeed at the National Museum of Naval Aviation.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

"Restoring home and hope" is the mission of World Renew personnel who returned to Escambia County last month. 

More than 150 homes in the Century area were damaged or destroyed last February, when an EF-3 tornado crashed through town with 155 mph winds.

How To Cope: Students Experience Extra Holiday Stress

Dec 6, 2016

The holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends. However, this can also be a stressful time for people, including college students. Mental health experts have some help regarding the difficulties of the holidays and how to cope with them.   

Joe Vinson

A memorial service will be held Sunday in Pensacola for activist Susan Watson, who died Friday, December 2, after a brief illness. She was 62 years old.

At the time of her death, Watson was executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama. But, her life and activism were rooted here in Northwest Florida.

Watson grew up in Pensacola, where her father, who was in the Navy, settled the family when she was 10 years old.

Pensacola State College

What do Pensacola, Boston, Anchorage, Mobile, and Oklahoma City have in common? They’re among 20 communities now added to a White House program to retrain workers for "Twenty-First Century" jobs.

President Obama in March of last year, rolled out TechHire, an initiative powered by Opportunity-at-Work, a nationwide community based movement.

Michael Spooneybarger/CREO

The Holiday shopping season is officially underway and economists are predicting an increase of 3.6 percent in spending this year. John Hartman, a research scientist with UWF’s Haas Center, said there are many factors contributing to this year’s crowded stores.

“Unemployment is low, especially in the state of Florida. We see disposable income is up; our labor force participation rate is higher than it’s been last year,” Hartman said. “Everything is looking really good, especially with Florida we’re seeing this job growth that’s been sustained for the past couple of years.”

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper looks at the latest ADP report on job growth, talks about potential tax cuts in the Trump administration and what those reductions could mean for Northwest Florida.

Harper said the report from the ADP, the nation’s largest payroll processor, which comes out two days before the federal statistics on jobs that are released on the first Friday of every month, yielded “surprisingly good” results.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

For many, Pensacola State College is the first step towards acquiring a higher education. As of Wednesday, they’re getting a six-figure boost from Pen Air Federal Credit Union.

While the $100,000 gift represents a nice, round figure, it has another significance for the school. When the next class graduates in a couple of weeks, the number of graduates will exceed 100,000 since opening in 1948 as Pensacola Junior College.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

A year ago we were introduced to Brian LeBlanc. The Pensacola resident was diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s in 2014 and he’s been sharing his story in hopes of raising awareness about the disease.

LeBlanc has been pretty busy lately, especially in November, which is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

On Saturday, November 12, LeBlanc drove himself to Seville Square in downtown Pensacola, where he and others in the community gathered for Covenant Care’s annual Walk for Alzheimer’s.