pensacola

Sandra Averhart

  Bubba Watson has officially cut the ribbon for his new downtown Pensacola candy and ice cream shop, which began operating earlier this month.  Bubba’s Sweet Spot is Watson’s latest investment in the community he calls home. 

University of West Florida

It’s been about six months since University of West Florida archaeologists revealed the discovery of Tristan de Luna’s 1559 settlement on Pensacola Bay.

Earlier this week, property owners in the settlement area were updated on their findings and briefed on the next phase of their research.

Work at the site of the Luna settlement, also known as Santa Maria de Ochuse, is continuing as part of a 10-week terrestrial field school that began May 23 and will continue through July 29.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the 10th anniversary of the reefing of the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany and its subsequent economic impact, as well as a rise in applications for unemployment benefits nationally. 

The USS Oriskany was sunk in May 2006, about 20 miles off the coast of Northwest Florida, creating the largest man-made artificial reef in the world.

Harper said the Oriskany has been “a great innovation for our coastal tourism economy and also a great opportunity for research.”

Pensacola Pelican Drop Facebook page

  The 8th annual Pelican Drop is set to begin at 3pm on New Year's Eve in downtown Pensacola. There have been some changes made to this year’s event. "We've moved the Pelican to (the intersection of) Garden and Palafox. It's a much bigger area". That’s Danny Zimmern from Pensacola Mardi Gras. They’re the company that produces the Pelican Drop for the Downtown Improvement Board.  He says the new location allows for a bigger stage and more area for people to stand and watch the bird fall.

Southern Rail Commission

    

The Southern Rail Commission (SRC) will hold its next meeting in the Mobile, AL on Friday (Dec. 4). The panel will discuss the status of their efforts to restore passenger rail service to the Gulf Coast that could include stops in Atmore, Crestview, and Pensacola. 

It’s been about 10 years since Amtrak’s Sunset Limited line was operational in the Gulf States, running from New Orleans, Louisiana eastward to Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. But, that all changed after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Sandra Averhart

Despite Sunday’s rainy weather, there was a huge turnout for Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, who held a book signing event at the Books-A-Million store in Pensacola.

Carson’s appearance at Books-a-Million is part of a national tour to promote his latest book, "A MORE PERFECT UNION What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties."

The book signing event comes on the heels of his recent surge in the polls, where he ranks at or near the top, along with GOP rival Donald Trump.

Sacred Heart Hospital

Officials at Sacred Heart Health System are in the midst of observing their past, while also looking to the future. On Monday, they announced plans for a major expansion of pediatric health care in the region to include construction of a new children’s hospital.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

The Florida Department of Transportation has begun looking at ideas for changes on a major downtown Pensacola roadway. Ian Satter, a spokesman for the Florida department of Transportation says the department is studying ways to increase safety and mobility on Bayfront Parkway. "There are a lot of options out there that we presented to the public".

194 years ago Friday, the United States flag was hoisted over the new territory of Florida. One of the ceremonies was in what’s now downtown Pensacola.

Spain had re-acquired west Florida after defeating the British at the Battle of Pensacola in 1781, beginning what’s called the “Final Spanish Period.”

Pensacola historian John Appleyard says the area had been overseen by a series of governors, and the Spanish had become increasingly uncomfortable when the United States entered into the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, effectively boxing in Spanish interests.

Sandra Averhart

Renowned southern writer Harper Lee is being celebrated this week, with the release of her new book Go Set a Watchman. Barnes & Noble stores in Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach got things going on Monday - the eve of today’s release - with Read-A-Thons featuring Lee’s classic novel To Kill A Mockingbird.

Although it’s still over 6 months away, Pensacon 2016 has been making news recently. WUWF’s Bob Barrett spoke to Pensacon Chairman and co-Founder Mike Ensley for an update on the third edition of the fan convention.

Highlights:

Sandra Averhart

Local author Georgia McCorvey Smith has written several publications on Pensacola's African American history. Now, the retired teacher is unveiling a new book titled Elizabeth Finds Freedom for Christmas that weaves local history into a fictional story aimed at middle school students.

The central characters in the book are Elizabeth and her mother, who are slaves of Master James.

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.  

After a long delay caused by last April's flood The Institute for Human and Machine Cognition in Pensacola is set to finally begin a major expansion of its downtown campus.

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.

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