News

Florida Department of Transportation / http://www.pensacolabaybridge.com/documents/2015-09/2015-09-pensacola-bay-bridge-industry-forum.pdf

Florida’s Department of Transportation is mulling over the possible release of proposed plans for a new Pensacola Bay Bridge ahead of schedule

For now, the release of the five competing plans for the $460 million project is set for July 18 at FDOT’s Chipley office. Scoring of the plans is set for announcement July 7 in Milton. Neither date is sitting well with Gulf Breeze Mayor Matt Dannheisser, who says they reflect a lack of public input.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the most recent unemployment benefits claim numbers, a sluggish jobs report, the chances for a recession and the second annual Community Summit being held this week in Pensacola.  

The U.S. Department of Labor said that jobless claims fell about 4,000 from last week, showing that employers appear to be holding onto workers despite a sluggish economy.

northescambia.com

Thursday was a day of honor and reflection in memory of Marine Corps Capt. Jeff Kuss -- who died when his Blue Angel number-6 jet crashed near Nashville, Tennessee last week.

A private memorial service for the 32-year-old Kuss was held aboard NAS Pensacola on Thursday morning. On Thursday evening, Veterans Memorial Park was filled for a public candlelight vigil sponsored by the City of Pensacola.

Gay Grassroots of NWFL

Pensacola’s LGBT community will kick off the fifth annual Pensacola PRIDE event on Saturday at Seville Square in downtown Pensacola.

Pensacola PRIDE founder Doug Landreth says the theme for this year’s celebration is “Know the Past, Celebrate the Present, Create the Future" – focusing on the “history, courage, diversity and value” of the area’s LGBT community.

StringFest, a week-long music camp for middle- high-school and college students who play stringed instruments, culminates with a free concert Saturday, June 11, at the University of West Florida.

“We are trying to figure out how different age groups work together,” Leonid Yanovskiy said. “It’s very beneficial. We learn from each other and create some beautiful music.”

University of West Florida

It’s been about six months since University of West Florida archaeologists revealed the discovery of Tristan de Luna’s 1559 settlement on Pensacola Bay.

Earlier this week, property owners in the settlement area were updated on their findings and briefed on the next phase of their research.

Work at the site of the Luna settlement, also known as Santa Maria de Ochuse, is continuing as part of a 10-week terrestrial field school that began May 23 and will continue through July 29.

Libertarian Party of Florida

What promises to be a nasty presidential campaign between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump could enable the nation’s third-largest political party to make some gains in 2016.

For Pete Blome of Niceville, who chairs the Libertarian Party chapter in northwest Florida, his involvement began after he retired from the Air Force.

Delegates to the national Libertarian Party met in Orlando last month to nominate the presidential ticket and set their platform.

Gary Johnson – a former Republican governor of New Mexico – is making his second bid for the White House as a Libertarian. In a campaign video shown at the convention, he espouses the bedrock of the movement.

“I think that people need to be able to make their own choices in their own lives,” said Johnson in the video. “The rewards will be a hundred-fold. You will never regret it.”

IHMC

 

Over many years as a newspaper reporter and editor, I developed a pretty good eye for evaluating what was or was not reasonable. To mix metaphors here, you could say I got good at giving things the sniff test.

This proved really valuable during the years when I edited letters to the editor at the Pensacola News Journal. I quickly learned that facts mean different things to different people. Or, as Mark Twain put it, “It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.”

 

Five new cases of the Zika virus have been reported in Florida, bringing the total to 171 statewide, including one in Escambia County. Thirty-eight of the Florida cases involve pregnant women. 

The Escambia County case – who’s not being identified -- joins one in Santa Rosa earlier this year – the latter having long since made a full recovery. The other new cases are in Hillsborough, Osceola, Palm Beach and Seminole Counties. All are travel-related.

 

  

  Pensacola Habitat for Humanity is hosting its 2nd Annual Community Summit this week. The event is being presented in partnership with NeighborWorks America and Gulf Power Company. It opens on Thursday, June 9 at 1 p.m. at Gulf Power headquarters downtown, 1 Energy Place.

Habitat’s Executive Director Tim Evans stopped by the WUWF studios to talk about this follow up to their inaugural Affordable Housing Summit held in 2015.

This year, organizers opted to broaden the scope of discussion and fittingly are calling this year’s event a community summit. 

Jonathaon Beebe-Franqui

The numbers are in and by all counts, the Memorial Day beach cleanup program on Santa Rosa Island conducted by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community was a resounding success.

It’s a tall order to clean up after an estimated 75,000 people around the clock over a three-day period. But PSouth Operation Beach Clean organizer Dwayne Beebe-Franqui says everything was “fantastic.”

USN

    

Flags are at half-staff in and around Pensacola, as the city joins in the mourning for the first Blue Angel pilot to die in a crash in nine years. 

Marine Captain Jeff Kuss died Thursday when his Number-6 FA-18 Hornet crashed just after takeoff during an afternoon practice session from the Smyrna, Tennessee airport near Nashville.

The other five pilots landed safely, and returned to NAS Pensacola Friday afternoon. Meanwhile, the Great Tennessee Air Show will go on as scheduled on Saturday and Sunday.

USN

Update: 

The Associated Press says the Blue Angels pilot who died Thursday when his jet crashed near Nashville, Tennessee was Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss from Colorado.

A U.S. official, who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity, identified Capt. Kuss as the pilot who was killed in the crash. Kuss reportedly joined the Blue Angels in 2014, and had over 1,400 flight hours. 

The Navy’s flight demonstration team was practicing for the Great Tennessee Air Show, set for this weekend.

  In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses what Memorial Day tourism numbers are telling us about the 2016 tourist season. He also talks about the potential threat the Zika virus poses to Florida tourism, and he discusses new grants that could benefit the Gulf of Mexico’s ecosystem.

 

The Memorial Day holiday signaled the beginning of the 2016 tourist season, and it looks like the area is off to a good start.

 

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