News

Photo via Flickr// John Lillis

With summer heating up, the number of senior residents needing help to stay cool and safe are going up.

Joe Maniscalco at the National Weather Service in Mobile says a current trough of low pressure over Louisiana that’s keeping temperatures around normal for this time of year will give way to an upper ridge of high pressure approaching from the Atlantic in the next few days. As the ridge builds, the central Gulf Coast will also see a rise in temperatures.

This week the Ft. Walton Beach City Council accepted a proposal from Liza Jackson Preparatory School to take over the YMCA facility which has been shut down since last year. The proposal moves the school one step closer to obtaining a long-term-lease for the facility.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the latest reports on unemployment benefits, job growth, retail sales, and mortgage rates.

According to the U.S. Labor Department, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose slightly last week, yet remained at a historically low level.

Gulf Power Company customers in the Pensacola area are getting a heads-up about a telephone scam being investigated by the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office.  

In what appears to be the latest incarnation of an ages-old scam, calls are made by someone claiming to work for Gulf Power.

“Basically, it starts off with information stating that you have an overdue bill,” says Santa Rosa Deputy Rich Aloy. “Then the threat comes, that they’re going to shut your power off immediately if you do not provide payment right away.”

Veterans and active military personnel who get in trouble with the law now have a new venue in Escambia County.  Judge Edward Nickinson, a state Circuit Court Judge in Escambia County, will be presiding over the new Veterans' Court. He likens the new court to the drug court, which has been operating in Escambia County for over 20 years. "About six or seven years ago, a judge in Buffalo, New York, Judge Russell, who is a long time drug court judge, began to see what he thought was a need for courts to deal differently with veterans, particularly veterans with combat experience".

The 2015 Atlantic Hurricane season is off to a quiet start. But, if a storm were to threaten the Florida/Alabama gulf coast, local officials are ready and want you to be as well.

For emergency management personnel, preparedness is a year-round venture. However, Brad Baker, emergency management director for Santa Rosa, says in the run up to June 1, which marks the beginning of hurricane season, there’s always a special focus on ‘hurricane’ readiness.

How to increase the availability of affordable housing in the Pensacola area was the topic of a conference Tuesday, involving a number of local organizations.

UWF economist Rick Harper led off the Affordable Housing Summit at Gulf Power Company. During his hour-long presentation, he said the definition of “affordable housing” depends on the percentage of a family’s income that’s used to keep a roof over their heads.

IHMC

The outstanding performance this past weekend by the robotics team 
from the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition certainly comes as 
no surprise to anyone who has followed the institute's work. The team 
finished second overall in the international DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) Robotics Challenge, 
and first among all teams using the Atlas robot, built by a company 
recently purchased by Google.

The Santa Rosa County Commission is beginning the search for a new administrator. A draft announcement was discussed in Monday’s committee meeting.

Hunter Walker plans to retire on December 31, after two decades as Santa Rosa’s top non-elected governmental official. He made the announcement in mid-April, timing it to allow the panel as much time as needed to make its plans.

Officials from Santa Rosa County are crafting a strategy to encourage and manage retail development.  Shannon Ogletree, the Director of Economic Development for Santa Rosa County says because the county is growing so fast,  officials want to produce guidelines so retail development is planned and not haphazard. Ogletree, along with County Commissioner Jayer Williamson and Milton City Manager Brian Watkins recently attended an international retail convention in Las Vegas to begin the process of forming a retail strategy for Santa Rosa County.

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