New Gas Tax
10:29 am
Fri January 3, 2014

New Gas Tax Begins in Escambia County

ECAT gets a $4 million boost, thanks to a new gas tax starting New Year's Day

As of New Year's Day, gasoline is four cents per gallon more expensive in Escambia County, thanks to a new tax aimed at funding public transit.

Passed 4-1 by the Escambia County Commission in late 2012, the levy is expected to raise about $4 million  annually for Escambia County Area Transit, or E-CAT. That proceeds will go into a dedicated account, and replace money from the general fund.

The levy applies to gasoline only; diesel fuel is exempt.

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Economics with Rick Harper
7:34 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Stronger Economy Expected In 2014

Credit University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the outlook for 2014. Harper expects this year to be a little bit better than 2013. “The main reason for that is that we’ll see less of a drag coming from the federal sector. The slow down in federal spending last year probably subtracted 1.5 percentage points from GDP (Growth Domestic Product) growth. We could have been up almost 4 percent," Harper says.

According to Harper, the shrinkage in government spending should be less in 2014, with some of the hardest hits already with Sequestration.

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Health & Technology
1:19 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Recent Study Shows Link Between Light And Mood

The Elbow Room gets decorated for Christmas but its signature hue is always red.
Credit The Elbow Room

A study from Ohio State University that was published in the Journal of Neuroscience in August 2013 has shown that the blue-white light of electronic devices can have a negative impact on mood. Red-orange wavelength lighting may reduce those effects. The abstract is available here:

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Record Number Of Turtle Nests For Pensacola Beach
1:04 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

2013 In Review: Sea Turtle Nesting On Pensacola Beach

Baby sea turtles excavated from their nest in the sand
Katya Ivanov WUWF Public Media

In August 2013, Pensacola Beach had twenty sea turtle nests on its beach this season, its highest recorded number. It hosted 19 nests twice, in 1997 and in 2012. The Park has 40 turtle nests this year, which Nicholas says is a little above-average. Turtles continue to nest, so these numbers may increase. Mark Nicholas is District Biologist at Gulf Islands National Seashore.

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City Leases
12:49 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

2013 In Review: Pensacola vs. Fish House

Credit Great Southern Restaurant Group

Pensacola businessmen Ray Russenberger and Collier Merrill met with city officials in early December, on allegations they owed past-due sales royalties and interest on revenues from the Fish House and Atlas Oyster Bar restaurants.

At issue was the ownership of the building, not of the restaurants themselves, on a tract of city land called “Pitt Slip Marina.” Russenberger leased the property in 1987, then granted a sublease in 2000 to Collier Merrill and his partners – who formed Great Southern Restaurant Group.

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