Ashton Hayward

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

In a somewhat-anticipated move, an outgoing Escambia County Commissioner is seeking the Pensacola mayor’s office in 2018.

Grover Robinson announced eleven months ago that his fourth term on the Commission would be his last. While he had no concrete plans at the time, he did say that he wasn’t ready to give up on public service.

FPREN

  

Governor Rick Scott was in Pensacola Thursday morning for a briefing and to update the media on Tropical Storm Nate. "Based on current forecasts from the National Hurricane Center, we expect the storm to continue its northward track as it moves into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend" said Scott after he emerged from the briefing surrounded by local officials at the Escambia County Emergency Operations center. "The storm has the potential to become a hurricane and impact the Florida Panhandle this weekend and families must be ready."

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

After the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia over removal of a Confederate monument, efforts to remove a Confederate memorial in downtown Pensacola are gaining steam.

Pensacola’s Confederate monument is located at Lee Square on Palafox Street, downtown. It was dedicated back in 1891, more than a quarter-century (26 years) after the Civil War.

FDOT

Governor Rick Scott made a stop in Pensacola Monday morning to talk about building bridges-- literally. Scott, along with many state and local officials gathered at the north end of the 3 Mile Bridge to talk about the bridge replacement project and its impact on the area. "A 398 million dollar project. As you might expect you had a lot of people making sure this bridge was done right." 

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

Another historical figure from Pensacola’s past is getting a monument downtown. "What makes great cities is art and culture" said Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward speaking to a crowd of donors and dignitaries Monday morning. They were gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony for a monument to Revolutionary War hero Bernardo de Galvez, the general who drove the British out of Pensacola during the Battle of Pensacola.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward could face his biggest political challenge, if he decides to seek a third term next year. That’s according to a recent survey commissioned by the Independent News.

The poll of 506 most likely voters conducted by Political Matrix shows Hayward on top with just under 28 percent. Two Escambia County Commissioners,Grover Robinson are Lumon May, are second and third at 20 and 18 percent, respectively.

Laura Bogan, City of Pensacola

“BIGS with Badges” has landed in Pensacola – it’s part of a nationwide partnership between Big Brothers-Big Sisters and first responders.

The idea is to recruit first responders as mentors, which supporters contend will pay off for the kids, the mentors, and the community as a whole. Participating agencies include the Pensacola Police and Fire Departments, and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

In 2010, Addison Russell led Pace High School to the Class 5A state baseball championship. Just six years later, he helped the Chicago Cubs win the World Series for the first time in over 100 years.

The high school plans to honor Russell on November 29. On Tuesday, he was presented with the key to the city of Pensacola.

The Haas Center at the University of West Florida is conducting its third annual Pensacola Community Survey, in a partnership with the City of Pensacola.

Mayor Ashton Hayward took to Facebook to announce the project, saying the responses will help balance priorities and upgrade services.

http://vtmae.com/

Two years after the announcement that VT Mobile Aerospace would build a plant in Pensacola, more talks on funding the project are expected this afternoon. 

Construction was announced in September, 2014, with the plant originally scheduled to begin refurbishing large aircraft this summer. But, the site, 19 acres adjacent to Pensacola International Airport, remains idle with no groundbreaking date as yet.  

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Florida’s senior U.S. Senator was in Pensacola Monday morning, with a number of stops around town. 

Bill Nelson’s first stop was a tour of the federal courthouse downtown, which is closed because of health-threatening mold and water damage. In April, the Senate approved spending the $32 million needed to renovate the facility. The House followed suit, but something else has cropped up.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

  Since 1889, 14 members of the Pensacola Police Force have died in the line of duty. Wednesday morning, the city took time to remember their service.

City of Pensacola

Matt Schmitt and Joe Glover are out as Pensacola Fire Chief and Assistant Fire Chief, respectively. They were fired Tuesday by Mayor Ashton Hayward after a three-month investigation of the department.

The Mayor’s action came after reviewing the 138-page report which he says outlines a number of instances that demonstrated what it terms as “a lack of judgment, poor leadership and contempt for the city’s Human Resources Department.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

Hospital officials, community leaders and the media gathered at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola Tuesday morning for the groundbreaking of the new Children’s Hospital building. And along with a new building, the hospital will be getting a new name. Debbie Calder, the Chair of the Board of Directors for Sacred Heart Health System made that announcement towards the end of the ceremony. "On behalf of the Sacred Heart board and leadership team, I am honored to announce we will rename our facility as The Studer Family Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart."

Bob Barrett

Baptist Health Care broke ground on a major new building project Tuesday afternoon in Pensacola. The new $6 million medical park is located on 12th Avenue in front of the Hyatt Hotel at the Pensacola Airport.

Georgia Barrett / WUWF News

The debate over allowing food trucks in Pensacola may not be over, but those mobile businesses celebrated a milestone in downtown Pensacola Thursday.  

A.J. took some time out from chopping onions in the Cajun Meat Train food truck Thursday morning, getting ready for the first day of serving lunch in the parking lot of Pensacola City Hall. "[We're] feeling great and hoping it opens eyes to everyone around and we get to park in some more places around town. Hopefully something good comes out of it and I'm excited and optimistic."

Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward recently dropped by the studio, for a chat with Dave Dunwoody to look ahead at the year in Pensacola governance.

DD: Mayor, before we look ahead to 2016, let’s look back at 2015. What do you consider to be some of the accomplishments in city government?

City Of Pensacola

Eight months after first going before the Pensacola City Council, a proposed ordinance to set up a lobbyist registry is close to being resurrected.

Mayor Ashton Hayward floated the idea in October of last year, via his digital newsletter.

“Anyone that’s coming down on behalf of another individual or business that wants to lobby the council or myself, we need to recognize that [and] they need to be transparent about it,” said Hayward last January.

Lindsay Myers

  The City of Pensacola has hired the first of possibly two assistant city administrators – selecting a high-profile figure from Escambia County government.

Keith Wilkins was among five finalists for the position. He’s worked for the county for the past 15 years, as the Director of the Community and Environment Department and most recently, Natural Resources Management. Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward says he’ll be a good fit.

Lindsay Myers

The short list of candidates for the assistant administrator for the City of Pensacola is out, and has gotten shorter. Final selections appear to be on the horizon.

City spokesman Vernon Stewart declined a request by WUWF for an interview with City Administrator Eric Olson, saying in an email Wednesday that the city was “close to making a decision on this.”

Reports have said that, instead of hiring both assistants, the city would hire one at the beginning. Mayor Ashton Hayward appears to be leaning that way, but adds that nothing is in concrete just yet.

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