News

Mayra Heitman/WUWF

Thursday, January 21

Florida Surgeon General Signs Order Prioritizing Residents For Vaccine

Thursday afternoon, Florida's Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees signed an order requiring vaccine providers to ensure vaccine recipients are state residents or health care provider working with patients in Florida. Read the order here

More Than 12,000 New Cases Statewide

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

A suspect in the January 6 siege at the U.S. Capitol has made an appearance in Federal Court in Pensacola.

FBI agents and agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforement and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jesus D. Rivera, 37, of Pensacola at his home Wednesday morning, said Lawrence Keefe, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Rivera was taken into custody without incident.

Appearing Wednesday before Chief U.S. Magistrate Elizabeth Timothy, Rivera was granted pretrial release after prosecutors deemed him not to be a flight risk.

Pensacola Women's March

With COVID cases on the rise in Northwest Florida, the Pensacola chapter of Women's March Florida decided to host the 2021 event virtually bringing in speakers from across the state on Saturday, Jan. 23.

Gulf Power Company

North Escambia County is farm country, and a different type of farm is blooming. Cotton Creek Solar Energy Center is going up on 550 acres, with a second farm nearby also on the drawing board.

“We are now part of Florida Power & Light; we’re drawing on their solar progress, to install 30 million solar panels across the state by 2030,” said Gulf Power spokeswoman Kimberly Blair. “The two solar sites that we have in Escambia County are part of the ’30 by 30’ plan.”

Trump Pardons Former WellCare Executives

Jan 20, 2021
WellCare Facebook

As part of a flurry of last-minute pardons and commutations, President Donald Trump granted pardons to five former executives of WellCare Health Plans who were convicted in a case involving allegations of defrauding Florida’s Medicaid program.

Trump pardoned former WellCare CEO and President Todd Farha, former General Counsel Thaddeus Bereday, former Chief Financial Officer Paul Behrens, former Vice President William Kale and former Vice President Peter Clay.

Tracey Tapp / Democratic Party of Okaloosa County

After a contentious transition, Joe Biden will take the oath of office Wednesday as President of the United States. The Inauguration begins at 11 a.m.

Local Democratic Party leaders shared their plans for this year’s subdued celebration and their hopes for the future under Biden.

“I will probably be in my living room watching it on TV and perhaps some of the day on some Zoom calls that are going to go out,” said Lillie Eubanks, chair of the Democratic Party of Escambia County.

FDOT

Repairs continue on the new Three Mile Bridge over Pensacola Bay, which was damaged in Hurricane Sally by the storm itself, and by barges that broke loose and slammed into it.

The work is underway on the span, with one milestone reached last Wednesday, according to Ian Satter at the Florida Department of Transportation.

floridapolitics.com

The federal government is mostly to blame for what some people see as a slow distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Florida. That according to the state’s Emergency Management Director.

Appearing before the newly-minted House Pandemics and Public Emergencies Committee on Thursday, Jared Moskowitz said the feds have been dragging their feet in releasing enough supply to Florida to meet demand.

Mayra Heitman/WUWF

Sunday, Jan. 17

11,000-Plus Cases, 135 Deaths Statewide

The state added 11,093 COVID-19 cases according to Sunday's report from FDOH. An additional 135 deaths were also reported bringing the statewide total to 14,515 (including residents and non-residents). Six of those deaths were reported in Okaloosa County. Escambia, Santa Rosa and Walton reported no additional deaths. 

Local numbers:

Despite the addition of distribution sites for the COVID-19 vaccine, Florida’s crush in demand has made it difficult to land a coveted appointment.

Locally, there’s hope that a planned statewide appointment system, and more doses, will ease what’s been a frustrating process for seniors and local officials trying to get the vaccine to them.  

WUWF File photo

The federal government is mostly to blame for what some people see as a slow distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Florida, state Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz told a House panel Thursday. 

Appearing before the newly created House Pandemics and Public Emergencies Committee, Moskowitz said the federal government has been slow in releasing enough supply to Florida to meet demand. 

Pixabay

After more than two years of discussion, could the city of Pensacola be ready to put its money where its mouth is in regard to the homeless?

Mayor Grover Robinson is asking the City Council to approve spending $200,00 to pay for "homeless initiatives" such as a day-use center, which is part of a similar initiative by the city of Tallahassee and Leon County.

Alabama Lands Space Force HQ Over Florida

Jan 14, 2021
Staff Sgt. Kayla White/U.S. Air Force

U.S. Space Force’s permanent command headquarters will touch down in Alabama’s Huntsville Redstone Arsenal area rather than Florida’s Space Coast. 

University of West Florida

A private funeral service will be today for renowned Pensacola Attorney Fred Levin, who died Tuesday, at the age of 83, due to complications from COVID-19.

In 2014, Levin spoke to WUWF about his extraordinary life after the release of a biography titled, And Give Up Showbiz? Here's an excerpt from that interview. 

dopensacola.com

Florida’s coronavirus vaccination program for Floridians 65 and older at Publix supermarkets downstate, is being expanded to the western Panhandle.

The first reservations are being taken on Wednesday.

“Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Escambia – we think we got it right by prioritizing seniors first; we’re going to continue to do it and as we get more doses, we’re going to be able to do even more,” said the governor in Niceville Tuesday.

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