City of Pensacola

Jamille Ellingson

Beginning Tuesday cohabitating unmarried adults, gay and straight, will be able to register as domestic partners with the City of Pensacola.

Ordinance number 41-13 was approved in December, setting up a Domestic Partnership Registry, or DPR, and providing registered domestic partners with various rights and benefits. Sponsored by Councilman Larry B. Johnson, the DPR will also be open to those who live outside the Pensacola city limits.

ST Aerospace

Governor Rick Scott’s proposed budget for next fiscal year includes $325 million for aviation improvements, as part of a $9 billion investment in strategic transportation improvements throughout the state.

The announcement was made at Tuesday’s Florida Airports Council Meeting in Tallahassee, as part of Gov. Scott’s “It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget.” Pensacola International Airport is in line for $14 million. Director Greg Donovan says the money is earmarked for expansion projects – including attempts to lure ST Aerospace.

University of West Florida

On this week's Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses two economic development projects being pursued by the City of Pensacola. One plan calls for the expansion of ST Aerospace to Pensacola International Airport. Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward and the city have a memorandum of understanding with the aviation maintenance company, which currently operates in Mobile.

Crime Drops in Pensacola

Jan 22, 2014
Pensacola Police Department

Crime in Pensacola was down 14% across the board in 2013, compared to the previous year. That’s according to the Pensacola Police Department’s Uniform Crime Report.

The numbers are based on the 2012 population for the City of Pensacola, which was given at 52,340. Inside the overall numbers for violent and non-violent crime, there were 319 residential burglaries reported within city limits in 2013 compared with 525 the previous year. Police Chief Chip Simmons says that’s a 39% reduction.

City Sued Over Restaurant Leases

Jan 15, 2014
Great Southern Restaurant Group

Unable to reach a settlement over leases for the city-owned Pitt’s Slip property, two businessmen are taking the City of Pensacola to court.

Seville Harbour Incorporated – owned by Ray Russenberger – holds the master lease for the property on which Collier Merrill’s Fish House Restaurant and Atlas Oyster Bar are located as Great Southern Restaurant Group. The city claimed that the eateries owed more than five million dollars in payments dating back to the year 2000 when the lease was first signed.

2013 In Review: Pensacola vs. Fish House

Jan 2, 2014
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.

UWF Historic Trust

  On this Christmas, WUWF is digging into the archives to revisit a 2006 conversation with historian and story-teller John Appleyard about what the Christmas holiday was like in the Pensacola area around the turn of the 20th century. 

About 100 years ago, Pensacola was a bustling, prosperous city with a diverse population of about 25,000 people. Appleyard says the different customs of the city’s residents became amalgamated in the overall celebration. 

City of Pensacola

There was a major shakeup in the Ashton Hayward administration in July, when two high-ranking officials were ousted over what was considered to be the mishandling of public records.

City Administrator Bill Reynolds and Press Secretary Derek Cosson were named in a report by Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille, regarding public records requests that were not filled in a timely manner – if at all.

Lease Claim Rescinded (UPDATED)

Dec 10, 2013

The City of Pensacola Tuesday rescinded its claim to back royalties and interest, from two restaurants that are on city-leased property downtown.

City officials backed off their claims that Collier Merrill and his firm, Great Southern Restaurants owed more than five million dollars in default lease payments over the past 13 years involving the Fish House and Atlas Oyster Bar.

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