Escambia County

Taylor County

Escambia County officials are gearing up for battle, over part of the insurance on the Central Booking Facility, which was damaged by an explosion one year ago this week.

The facility was rocked by a gas explosion related to massive flooding last April 30th. Two inmates were killed, and another 184 inmates and staff were injured. The cost of replacing both Booking and the older County Jail building is placed, for now, at $180 million.

Escambia County Administrator Jack Brown inherited the jail issue when he took over in June.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

April is "SAAM" -- Sexual Assault Awareness Month,  and a host of Pensacola-area officials drove that home on Thursday in downtown Pensacola.

They gathered in front of the fountain at the marina near Plaza de Luna. The water dyed teal green – the color of sexual assault awareness. Patrick Nichols from NAS Pensacola read the proclamation, prior to signing.

“Every year, too many women and too many men are sexually assaulted and abused,” read Nichols. “This is an affront to our basic decency and humanity, and it must end.”

Photo via Flickr// sean dreilinger / https://flic.kr/p/sZSme

Escambia County is partnering with a number of local firms in launching a new notification system, aimed at alerting residents to developing emergencies.

“Basically, it’s an automated notification system, that can communicate with citizens on many different levels,” said John Dosh, Escambia County’s Emergency Management Chief. “Whether it be cellphone, home phone, work phone. It can email, it can text. It’s a subscription to provide this service.”

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

It was a day filled with bouquets and cake and history as marriage equality came to Florida on Tuesday.  In Pensacola, the Rev Dr. Jim Merritt began a full day of same sex weddings at the Holy Cross Metropolitan Community Church.

Josh Morton

Residents of Wedgewood and surrounding communities are getting action this week in response to their concerns about pollution from nearby construction and debris pits. Specifically, the Rolling Hills Construction and Demolition Debris Disposal Facility is now the focus of a hearing to revoke its state permit.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection opened a four-day Administrative Hearing on Tuesday at the Old Escambia County Courthouse.

  An Escambia County Grand Jury Thursday returned a “no true bill” after seven weeks of investigating last spring’s explosion at the County Jail’s Central Booking Facility.

A “no true bill” means the panel did not find probable cause to move forward with criminal charges in relation to the April 30 blast caused by a natural gas leak on the day after floodwaters hit the facility. Two inmates died, and 184 other inmates and staff were injured.

    Early voting is getting underway across the region for the November 4th General Election. Voters in Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Escambia Counties can cast ballots beginning Monday and continuing through Saturday, November 1st. 

For the General Election, each of the counties is exceeding the eight-day minimum by providing a total of 13 early voting days, with a combined 14 polling locations that will be open for 10 hours each day in Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties; nine hours daily in Escambia.

SRIA

  

The Santa Rosa Island Authority has agreed to hire a community planner to prepare for a future where its primary source of funding could soon disappear.

Centers for Disease Control

An 8-year old boy who lives in Escambia County is the first confirmed case in the area of an unusual respiratory illness.  And he's probably not the only case. The illness is caused by the Enterovirus, which is one of the many strains of virus that cause the common cold.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper reviews where the region is ‘10 years on from Hurricane Ivan.’ The devastating storm struck the Florida-Alabama gulf coast, coming ashore at Gulf Shores, Alabama on September 16, 2004.

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