News

Twenty-one residents and three businesses in the North Hill area of Pensacola are suing Emerald Coast Utilities Authority, over plans to build sewage storage tanks on North Palafox Street property.

Plaintiff attorney Erick Mead says the lawsuit carries three basic courses of action – first, a motion for a temporary injunction, possibly as soon as mid-April.

30 Million Words Initiative

  A leader in the field of early childhood education and development will be speaking in Pensacola this week

Plans to improve the Pensacola landing of the new Bay Bridge will be on display Tuesday evening.

The meeting at New World Landing downtown will introduce the project, go over the design process and gather public input. And, according to Ian Satter at the Florida Department of Transportation, clear up any confusion.

“This meeting is for the U.S. [Highway] 98 at Bayfront Parkway at 17th Avenue intersection,” Satter says. “It has nothing to do with the Pensacola Bay Bridge project. This is a completely separate study that we’re conducting.”

With the recent attacks in Brussels, ISIS has once again come to the forefront of people’s minds of terrorist groups operating worldwide.

Emerging only two years ago, the movement has made an impression, but not everyone is sure who ISIS is and what their objectives are.

Fans can enjoy more than 20 regional and local acts during the coming Jazz Pensacola event, a free, three-day celebration in downtown’s historic Seville Square.

“JazzFest delivers a roster of the best talent from around the region,” said Roger Villines, president of Jazz Pensacola.

Florida’s unemployment rate took another dive, from 5.1% in January to 4.9% last month, according to the Department of Economic Opportunity.

Similar drops were seen in the western Panhandle.

That 4.9 figure translates to 484,000 jobless Floridians, out of a 9.8 million member labor force. It also equals the national figure and it’s at an eight-year low.

DEO Director Cissy Proctor says the lone sector with job loss over the past year is information. But, Proctor says there was a bit of a comeback in that area from January to February.

Two weeks after Cong. Jeff Miller announced he would not seek a ninth term in the House, there are now five candidates for the seat: four Republicans and one Democrat.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Fort Walton Beach, represents the 4th District in the Florida House. While qualifying for the August 30 primary isn’t until the week of June 20, Gaetz said last week that he would make a quick decision on entering that race, which he did this week.

In this week’s economic report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the Federal Reserve holding fast on interest rates, how the Consumer Price Index is standing, an increase in housing starts and what the renewal of the Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption means for our community.

The Federal Reserve held interest rates recently and Harper expects this to be the pattern for the rest of this year.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

Dr. Joseph Spaniola has spent 37 years composing and arranging music. For the last nine years he has drawn on these skills to teach students in the music department at the University of West Florida. His classes range from music theory to the history of rock ’n’ roll.

“Preparing the professional musicians of tomorrow,” is the way Spaniola describes his teaching life, and he thinks instilling a sense of inquisitiveness and  the determination to stay focused are his main duties as director of music theory and jazz studies.   

Beginning August 1, all tobacco and related products will be prohibited on the University of West Florida campus.

UWF will join about 1,100 campuses nationwide, including 26 across Florida,  in going tobacco and smoke-free. Patsy Barrington in the Exercise Science and Community Health Department says work on the policy began a couple of years ago.

“The reason it came about is because a campus-wide policy did not exist,” said Barrington. “There were policies in certain areas on campus. The Commons had a policy, but nothing that addressed campus-wide.”

If it’s tax season, then it’s also time for scammers to pose as employees of the Internal Revenue Service. The Better Business Bureau has some tips on fighting back.

Tax-related scams cost victims more than $23 million per year, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.  Reports have reached TIGTA of almost 900,000 scam contacts over the past two and a half years. Just this year, the IRS has seen a 400% increase in phishing schemes.

UWF Athletics

Spring drills opened Tuesday morning for UWF football, five and a half months away from the Argonauts’ first-ever game.

Ninety-two players assembled in the early morning with temperatures in the 40s, to begin the first of 15 practices leading up to the Blue-White spring game on April 16.

It’s a bit different from last spring, when nine players were eligible to practice on the intramural field in shorts and T-shirts. This year, the drills are on the brand-new artificial turf facility in full uniform.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

There are no common defining moments or traits that determine when gender identity becomes set for human beings, but there is evidence that the understanding of where individuals fit starts at birth.

How people develop their gender identity was the topic of biologist and gender studies scholar Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling’s keynote presentation to cap the University of West Florida’s 15th Annual Women’s Studies Conference Monday evening.

350 Pensacola

Members of the environmental activism group 350 Pensacola are planning to travel to New Orleans on Wednesday. The trip will coincide with the federal sale of leases to more than 42 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for new oil and gas development.

“This Wednesday, March 23 is certainly one of the most important days ever in the modern history of the Gulf of Mexico,” said Christian Wagley, program chairperson for 350 Pensacola.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

Two performances into the 2016 season, the Blue Angels returned to Pensacola Monday, to celebrate the squadron’s 70th birthday.

The crowd gathered in the atrium at the Naval Aviation Museum welcoming the Blues, their wives, and their children back to Pensacola. There followed proclamations from the City of Pensacola, Escambia County, and base commander Capt. Keith Hoskins – himself a former Blue Angel.

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