University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses economic developments in Europe, with analysis of the economic crisis in Greece.

“We’re on the verge of seeing a Greek exit from the European Monetary System,” Harper said as the Greek government was holding an emergency meeting to discuss making another bid for financial help from the European Union.

Complete Florida dot com

  A program headquartered at the University of West Florida is trying to help veterans complete their college degrees.  Complete Florida is a statewide initiative sponsored by the Florida legislature to recruit and retain the state's 2.2 million adults with some college and no degree.

   Implemented through a partnership of eleven public and private higher education institutions across the state, the program helps people who have some college credit complete the work needed for their degrees. 

Bay Area Food Bank

Bay Area Food Bank in Milton is experiencing incredible growth, and that’s leading to the need for a larger facility.

It’s something akin to getting too big for one’s britches: in this case, the “britches” is a building that was completed only in 2009.

“The goal is that the facility would be able to distribute about four million pounds of food,” said External Relations Manager Colleen McMahon. “In 2014 we distributed 9.5 million pounds of food.”

Baptist Medical Group

Two non-profit hospitals in Pensacola will be major beneficiaries in the Florida Legislature’s plan to fill a $1.2 billion hole in the federal Low Income Pool program.

The $400 million in state money taking up part of the slack is aimed at attracting other federal funds for two purposes: to offset the federal LIP decrease, and raise Medicaid payments for all hospitals in the state.

Pensacola Airport

Two years after the city placed the food concessions at Pensacola International Airport up for bids, the ribbon was cut Tuesday morning for the restaurants that make up OHM Concessions in both the pre- and post-security areas.

Based in St. Ann, Missouri, OHM operates Pensacola Beach House bar and restaurant; Einstein Bros. Bagels, Freshens, and Chick-Fil-A at the airport.

The Telling Project is coming to Pensacola in November. For the project, the Florida Humanities Council is seeking active duty military, veterans, and their family members who would like to share their stories. The deadline to apply is this Friday, July 10.

Pertussis – a.k.a whooping cough – is on the rise in Escambia County, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Pertussis is an endemic – or common -- disease in the United States, with frequent outbreaks and peaks every 3-5 years. In 2012, 48,000 cases were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But many cases are not diagnosed and therefore not reported. DOH-Escambia reports four confirmed cases this year – including two in the same household.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the importance of the Fourth of July holiday weekend to local beach tourism and his latest viewpoint on wage growth.

First, visitors and locals alike will be celebrating Independence Day across the gulf coast this weekend.

According to Harper, the forward looking indicators are very strong.

“We’re seeing low gas prices, lowest they’ve been really in about five years,” he said. “We’re also seeing job growth.”

Many Americans will celebrate the nation’s 239th birthday this weekend with two holiday staples: cookouts and fireworks. Officials are urging everyone to use caution around both.

Dorothy Lee with the Escambia County Extension Service says keeping it safe at that summer cookout begins with the basics.

“Making sure that your hands are clean, all utensils are clean, cooking surfaces are clean,” said Lee. “Bacteria multiplies rapidly at room temperature, and most food-borne illness-causing bacteria cannot grow at temperatures below 40 degrees, or above 140 degrees.”

Danielle Freeman

Americans will be celebrating the nation’s 239th birthday this weekend; many will be headed to the beach. The Okaloosa Beach Safety Unit shared some tips on how to enjoy the sun, sand and surf in a safe way.