Bob Barrett / WUWF News

Quint Studer has the idea last year: offer two prizes totaling $50,000 to people who could come up with the best plans to help children in Escambia County be kindergarten ready. Studer says he's had good luck over the years asking other people for ideas. "So the thought is why not ask the community what ideas they have? If I ask them what ideas they have they'll realize there's an issue with kindergarten readiness."


In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the aftermath of the Brexit vote and the first-quarter revision of the GDP. Also, Northwest Florida’s economy is booming with Fourth of July on the horizon.

If you’re in the UK, the economic temperature is cooling, Harper said.

Bay County

When the dust settled after qualifying closed on Friday, June 24, a number of candidates won their races unopposed. Leading the way is Republican Bay County Commissioner George Gainer, who’s now set to take over the new State Senate District 2 seat.

With incumbent Don Gaetz unable to seek reelection due to term limits, the stage was set for a battle over the newly reapportioned District 2 seat between Gainer and Gaetz’ son, Matt Gaetz.

U.S. Navy

  Almost a month after the fatal crash of their number-6 jet, the Blue Angels are gearing up to restart their 2016 performance schedule.

Practice resumed this week in the skies above NAS Pensacola in preparation for the National Cherry Festival Air Show this weekend in Traverse City, Michigan. Lt. Ryan Chamberlain, who files the Number-5 jet, calls it “rebuilding the demo.”

John-Mark Kuznietsov /

  Nearly 43 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more for their Independence Day revelry, according to AAA.

If the auto club’s projection pans out, the period between Thursday, June 30 and Monday, July 4 will see 500,000 more travelers than last year. Eighty-four percent will travel by automobile, and will continue to benefit from continued low gas prices, the lowest in 11 years, and other positive economic factors.



  So far as I can tell, younger generations that grew up with the Internet seem to accept ubiquitous marketing as part of life. Tell them that the real point of all those free apps on their phone is about tracking their habits and selling the information to marketers, and they look at you with an expression that says, OK, and …?

It’s just how their world is put together.

photo via Flickr// Letizia Barbi /

  Americans will celebrate the nation’s 240th birthday with two holiday staples: cookouts and fireworks. Caution is urged around both.

Dorothy Lee with the Escambia County Extension Service says keeping a safe holiday begins with some basics at the cookout.

“Make sure that your hands are clean; all utensils are clean, cooking surfaces are clean,” says Lee. “Bacteria multiplies rapidly at room temperature.”


A researcher from the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition in Pensacola is set to join a NASA project set under the sea. Dr. Dawn Kernagis is one of six crew members to join NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations. That’s right, it’s project NEEMO. "It's a project that NASA runs every summer, it's been running since 2001. This will be the twenty first mission that they've run, so some years they've run multiple missions.

Dave Dunwoody

Of the nine candidates seeking to replace Jeff Miller in Congress, there’s a lone Democrat trying to be heard in the wilderness.

Thirty-three year old Steven Specht is a native of Marianna, an Air Force veteran, a soon-to-be-attorney and married father of one. And he wants to represent Florida’s U.S House District-1.

Google Maps

  If you’re thinking about purchasing a home in Escambia and the City of Pensacola, Uncle Sam may be able to help out if the home is in certain areas.

Administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) the HOME program provides five-year loans. For the City of Pensacola, it comes under the umbrella of the Housing Division. Program Manager Tracy Pickens says they have about $260,000 in HOME funding.

  A new homeless shelter and service center for single women in the western Panhandle is set to open in the next 60 days or so.

Women with Clear Vision’s facility is located at 2316 N. Pace Blvd. Its focus is on homelessness awareness. For co-founder, Pastor Ingar Flagg, this is personal. She’s drawing upon her own personal experience of being jailed for bad checks, and of being homeless.

Blue Angels Return To Scheduled Shows

Jun 27, 2016
U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels will return to its 2016 demonstration schedule July 2-4 in Traverse City, Michigan, Commander, Naval Air Forces announced.

The Blue Angels temporarily stood down, canceling three weekend shows following a crash on June 2 during a practice in Smyrna, Tennessee, in which Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss was killed.

The Team will fly a modified five jet demonstration in Traverse City, along with Fat Albert, the Blue Angels C-130.

Google Maps

  Stock markets are plunging amid Britain's vote to leave the European Union. The shock waves in the U.S. are being felt on both Wall Street and Main Street.

Brexit won approval by a 52-48% margin on Thursday. “Unexpected” is how UWF economist Rick Harper put it, during his weekly economic report.

“The polling was dead wrong,” said Harper. “As late as Thursday there had been as much as an 85% probability placed by markets, on the likelihood of [the UK] remaining in the European Union.”

Santa Rosa County

   Jayer Williamson has resigned from the Santa Rosa County Board of Commissioners, effective immediately. The move, announced Thursday, was necessary to move ahead with his plans to run for State House of Representatives District 3, but came a bit earlier than anticipated.

Also, it leaves the county commission with just four members, pending the election or appointment of a replacement by Gov. Rick Scott.

Michael Spooneybarger/CREO

Ramel Price plays violin in the University of West Florida Runge String Orchestra, and he practices for four hours every day.

“I love the violin because I think that more than any other instrument it has the power to move people,” Price said. “I love the tone, the sound.”