President Obama


High school graduation rates nationwide are at an all-time high, with parts of the Florida Panhandle either holding its own or lagging behind. 

President Obama spoke last week at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C. where graduation rates jumped to the highest in the country for the 2014-2015 school year.

“Some of the changes we made were hard; and some of them were controversial,” said the President. “We expected more from our teachers and our students. But the hard work that people have put in across the country has started to pay off.”

April 24-30 is the inaugural National Reentry Week in the federal prison system, which is aimed at helping released inmates transition back into society.

President Obama made the announcement during his weekly radio address on Saturday.

“Every year, more than 600,000 people are released from prison,” said the President. “We need to ensure that they’re prepared to reenter society and become productive, contributing members of their families and communities. And, maybe even role models.”

St. Andrew Orthodox Church

President Barack Obama is blasting Republicans who oppose allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S., saying that the political posturing "needs to stop." Meanwhile, some Pensacola residents are watching developments with much concern.

Speaking in the Philippines, Obama responded to calls from GOP leaders for an immediate, temporary closure of America's borders to Syria refugees. He specifically targeted the recent statements of some Republican presidential candidates.

Photo via Flickr// thanker212 /

The backlog of needed renovations at America’s national parks is approaching $11.5 billion, including a $21 million laundry list at Gulf Islands National Seashore.

President Obama's budget proposal calls for a $433 million hike in national park spending, to three billion dollars total. That includes $243 million for the most urgent deferred upgrades, as the park system’s 2016 centennial approaches.

University of West Florida

Reaction has been mixed to President Obama's policy announcement on Cuba Wednesday.

WUWF's Bob Barrett talked about changes with Dr. Alfred Cuzan, a Professor of Political Science in the Department of Government at the University of West Florida. Dr. Cuzan was born in Cuba and moved to the US at the age of 12. He has been a US citizen since 1969.


President Obama’s announcement Wednesday that bridge replacement would be accelerated under a new transportation plan includes one local project.

Speaking in Tarrytown, New York, Obama pointed to that city’s Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project – which is ahead of schedule -- as an example. And now, the President wants to broaden the list of such projects to be placed on the fast-track.

President Obama Tuesday declared Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties a major disaster area. That makes federal funding available to affected individuals, whose property sustained damage from severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding from April 28th through Tuesday, May 6th. 

Residents and business owners sustaining losses in Escambia and Santa Rosa can begin applying for assistance today by registering online at, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses issues ranging from President Barack Obama’s proposal to toughen regulations for overtime pay to the net worth of the U.S. rebounding back to pre-recession levels.

Currently, most hourly workers must be paid time-and-a-half if they work more than 40 hours a week. Most salaried workers do not need to be paid overtime, unless they earn less than $455 a week.  But that works out to $23,660 a year, which is less than the federal poverty level for a family of four.