News

Destin Fishing Rodeo

Before Destin was a beach vacation mecca, it was a small fishing village.

In June 1948, a group of businessmen started the Destin Fishing Rodeo in hopes of bringing tourists to the area. And it worked.

This year marks 70 years of the Destin Fishing Rodeo, a month-long event that brings thousands of anglers to the fishing docks to get their catches weighed in hopes of making it on the leaderboard.

Santa Rosa Economic Development

Santa Rosa County is offering more than $5 million in incentives, in hopes of luring a wholesale food distributor.

The blueprint for “Project Runner” would allow the firm to build on about 50 acres at Northwest Florida Industrial Park. The land is worth two and a half million dollars, with a ten-year property tax exemption totaling about the same. The county would also match $240,000 in state funds.

Liam James Doyle/NPR

 

The Senate Judiciary Committee is voting on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination at 1:30 p.m. today. A full Senate vote on the nomination is expected as early next week. Watch the proceeding live.

Liam James Doyle/NPR

 

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and the woman who has accused him of sexually assaulting her in high school, Christine Blasey Ford, are testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Watch the proceeding live. 

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Achieve Escambia recently released its 2018 report card and set some audacious community goals for improvement, beginning with school readiness.

Jennie McKeon, WUWF Public Media / WUWF

The Santa Rosa County Animal Shelter has one of the highest euthanasia rates in the state of Florida.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, says resident Brandi Winkleman.

Winkleman is the founder of A Hope for Santa Rosa County, a nonprofit geared toward lowering the euthanasia rate at the shelter. Her ultimate goal is to open a low-cost spay and neuter clinic in the county.

“We’re dumping them at the shelter thinking ‘Oh they’ll be fine. They’ll get adopted out,’” she said. “We can make different choices. We’re better than this.”

Watch Live: Trump Address to UNGA

Sep 25, 2018
Chelsea Beck/NPR

President Trump is addressing the United Nations General Assembly. Watch his remarks live.

Jennie McKeon, WUWF Public Media

Dozens gathered in Plaza Ferdinand Thursday evening to remember the deaths of two African American men, who were hanged by mob in that same public square.

There are eight known lychings that occurred in Escambia County between 1875 and 1910, according to historians. A group of local citizens are working with the Equal Justice Initiative to properly memorialize the men. At Thursday’s ceremony, citizens and family members collected soil from the sites to start a historically accurate documentation of the deaths.

The Florida League of Women Voters is taking time during the month of September to advocate for the importance of public schools and the need for adequate funding to support them. As part of this effort, the Pensacola Bay Area chapter is hosting a screening and discussion of the documentary Backpack Full of Cash.

“Our children have a backpack full of cash and the schools should vie for the privilege of having that backpack turned over to them,” says one of the participants in the documentary in the film’s trailer.

Scott Richard | Flickr

The Northwest Florida State College Gay-Straight Alliance is holding its inaugural Gay Ball this Saturday, an event that is centered around love, acceptance — and fun.

Claudia Lebrun, president of the NWFSC Gay-Straight Alliance, said she was inspired by the annual celebration ball held by Gay Grassroots Northwest Florida each June during their Pensacola Pride week. So, she decided to host a similar event in Niceville.

“I want this to be a day where you can express yourself and be proud of who you are,” Lebrun said. “Don’t be afraid of your differences.”

Teniade Broughton

  

With the opening of the new National Memorial for Peace & Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, the Equal Justice Initiative has put a national spotlight on lynchings in America. Locally, a group of citizens has been working with EJI to memorialize the lynching victims in Escambia County. A ceremony honoring them will be held Thursday afternoon.

Animal Allies Florida

If you’re looking to make a forever home for a new furry best friend, you could find them this weekend at the Pensacola Interstate Fairgrounds.

More than 20 animal rescue and other organizations will have a menagerie of adoptable critters at the “Fall in Love” Mega Adoption event on Saturday from 10 am to 4 p.m. Organizer Sharyn Berg — the director of Animal Allies — says the goal is to get at least 100 animals adopted on that day.

Live Well Northwest Florida

A survey of the overall health of people in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties has been released. It’s called the Community Health Needs Assessment, and it’s conducted every three years by the Live Well Partnership for a Healthy Community and a team of local partners. "The purpose of (the study) is to really look at how healthy our community is, what's making us sick, what's causing us to die early," said Nora Bailey, the executive director of the Live Well Partnership.

Spring Run Media

A new art gallery opened in South Walton this summer — but you’ll need to be SCUBA certified to visit it in person.

The Underwater Museum of Art is the brainchild of the Cultural Arts Alliance (CAA) and the South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) featuring seven unique, artificial reefs designed by artists. The reefs were deployed in late June and are ready for viewing.

Library of Congress

There are 49 designated National Heritage Areas scattered across the U.S.

And Northwest Florida could be No. 50. 

A National Heritage Area (NHA) is a place where historic, cultural, and natural resources combine to form cohesive, nationally important landscapes, according to the National Park Service.  Designating an NHA is not an easy process. It takes years of research, feasibility studies, public input — not to mention an act of Congress.

Sacred Heart Pediatrics

Families, caregivers, charities and research groups across the United States observe September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Escambia Co. School District

Gov. Rick Scott’s call for the release of $58 million to beef up school safety appears to be falling on the deaf ears of one incoming legislative leader.

Meanwhile, some school districts are feeling the crunch.

“It leaves us where we were at the end of legislative session; we’re going to be about $300,000 to $400,000 short from what was allocated to take the armed security through the school year,” said Escambia County Superintendent Malcolm Thomas.

Tonia Shatzel

Walton County Commissioners are no closer to a customary use ordinance, but they do have dozens of public comments.

Before Saturday’s anticipated public hearing to restore public access on Walton County beaches began, the county’s attorney Sidney Noyes announced that owners of 13 different parcels of property — mostly condominium units — did not receive notice through certified mail, which is required under House Bill 631. 

"We thought we had a mechanism to capture all of these condominium units and unfortunately these 13 slipped through," Noyes said.

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