Ashton Hayward

Bob Barrett

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. Pensacola Chief of Police Chip Simmons stood in the shade outside Police Headquarters Wednesday morning addressing dozens of citizens, dignitaries and fellow officers and asked they would be willing to sacrifice for their fellow man. "You are looking at a wall with the names of men that did just that. They put their lives on the line for their community...for all of us. And it cost them dearly."

Carol Myers//Dave Dunwoody

One year ago more than 20 inches of rain inundated the Pensacola area, washing out the vast majority of Piedmont Road near Roger Scott Tennis Center. Mayor Ashton Hayward returned to Piedmont Wednesday, as part of his "Recovery Tour.”

Hayward called Piedmont Road “Ground Zero” among the damage the storm inflicted on the area. The road was washed out from Tronjo Drive to Hallmark Drive by the heavy rain, and water escaping from a broken retention pond.

Construction of a $50 million DeepFlex plant at the Port of Pensacola has been on hold for about the past four weeks. The halt is being blamed in part on a global drop in oil prices.

Other reasons given by the city and by Houston-based DeepFlex include vendors being slow about making their payments, and a current restructuring of the firm’s debt and capital funding. There was a different tune sung just eight and a half months ago, when Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward kicked off the ceremony near the Port’s Commendencia Slip, in stifling heat and an invasion of gnats.

The numbers are in and it’s official: Pensacon has quickly turned into a multi-million dollar piece of the local economy.

In a conversation a few weeks before the event, Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward said whenever 30,000 people descend on your city it's pretty powerful. Now that the weekend has passed and the economic impact of the convention has been tallied, officials are seeing just how powerful Pensacon has become in only two years.  

Pensacon 2015 Takes Off This Weekend

Feb 25, 2015

After months of planning, Pensacon 2015 is ready to go this weekend.

"We just want to take over Pensacola" said Mike Ensley, the Founder and Chairman of Pensacon. Although he’s thinking big, Mike Ensley is surprisingly calm. This is the second year of the three day convention for fans of science fiction, comic books, video games, costuming or cosplaying, tv, movies, books and anything else where imagination and fun are the most important elements. "Everybody's flights are booked, people's hotel rooms are booked, they're excited to be here".

Pensacola Police Department

Over the next few months, Pensacola police officers will be outfitted with body cameras as part of their basic gear.

Fifty-five color cameras and software were purchased last fall, using $95,000 from the Law Enforcement Trust Fund, money which is raised from seizures and forfeitures.

“More technology that’s better, it’s going to keep our citizens safe, the public safe and keep our officers safe,” said Mayor Ashton Hayward. “And I think it’s being proactive, and not reactive.”

Pensacola Intergalactic Airport

Pensacon 2015 is four weeks away and the City of Pensacola is already getting into the spirit.  Thursday morning at Pensacola International Airport, Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward stood at a podium alongside Councilman at Large Charles Bare, Pensacon Chairman Mike Ensley, as well as Darth Vader, and issued a proclamation that officially changed the name of Pensacola International Airport to Pensacola Intergalactic Airport.

Office of the Mayor

If Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward gets his way, those paid to lobby him, the City Council and other city staff would be required to register.

Besides their names and affiliations, the registry would oblige lobbyists to disclose their clients, and the subject matters they want to influence.

Hayward announced through his digital newsletter last fall that he wanted the adoption of such an ordinance. Three months in the making, the proposal is set to go before the City Council in the next few weeks. 

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

A local sports hero has become a part owner of a local sports organization.  A couple of hundred fans attended the ceremony at Bayfront Stadium as Blue Wahoos Team President Bruce Baldwin and Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward introduced the newest member of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos ownership team, professional golfer and Pensacola native Bubba Watson.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

In 2014, a federal investigation began in August involving road contracts with the City of Pensacola dating back to 2011, along with related expenses paid on behalf of Mayor Ashton Hayward and others. A federal grand jury was seated in Tallahassee.

One subpoena released by the Mayor’s Office requested numerous records connected to the "Main Street Rehabilitation Project” between the city and Jerry Pate Design. Those included bids, bid sheets, selection of contractor documents, all emails referring to the bids and copies of all payments to the contractor.