News

Geoff Livingston/Flickr

After watching the pro-Trump extremists storm the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, with little to no resistance from police, local activists are calling out the double standards between that mob and the Black Lives Matter protestors who were often met with tear gas and arrests. 

FDOT

Damage caused by runaway barges during Hurricane Sally – and what to do about it – will be discussed at a pair of forums this weekend.

About 30 construction barges owned by Skanska USA broke loose from the new Three Mile Bridge site during the storm, not only damaging the bridge but also private property when 22 of them washed ashore or struck other vessels.

Creative Commons

As supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in an effort to block congressional certification of the 2020 election on Wednesday, Republican leaders in Florida released legislation aimed at cracking down on violent protests. 

GOP House and Senate leaders rolled out an anti-riot proposal that would create a host of new crimes, crack down on protests and make it difficult for local government officials to trim spending on law enforcement.

Ascension Sacred Heart

Older residents in Escambia County lined up at Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola on Wednesday, to get their first COVID-19 vaccination in the two-shot Moderna protocol.

On a sunny, chilly day the line formed outside the church’s activities center. It was appointment-only, and they filled out the paperwork as they waited and inched forward towards the basketball courts that housed the check-in, the vaccinations and the check-out.

The event also played host to a number of state officials, including Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Flickr

The checks and direct deposits are going out for the new, $600 COVID relief payments, with more possible from the new Biden administration. And that means scammers are not too far behind.

“It doesn’t take long for something to come out in the public that scammer’s going to take advantage of it and try to get money out of somebody who is just trying to get by,” said Tammy Ward at the Better Business Bureau in Pensacola.

Courtesy Kaitie Meyer, Navarre Press

Santa Rosa County began administering COVID-19 vaccines to eligible residents Tuesday morning at the county health department. Additionally, on Wednesday, Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital plans to conduct two mass vaccination clinics, including one in Milton.

In Santa Rosa, the COVID-19 vaccine is coming at a crucial time.

“Our positivity rate is 29.2% and that’s significant. The state rate is 12.2%, so you can see we’re trending well above the state,” said Sandra Park-O’Hara, director of the Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa.

Office of the Secretary of Defense

In his first virtual news conference of 2021, Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinin disclosed his bout with COVID-19 during the holidays. Meantime, statewide vaccine distribution in Florida is beginning to ramp up.

Robinson announced that he was exposed to the coronavirus four days before Christmas by his son, who unknowingly brought it with him from law school.

Dave Dunwoody/WUWF Public Media

The 2020 election cycle saw an exodus of officeholders deciding to step down, rather than seek another term. Among them is Bill Eddins, the State Attorney for the 1st Judicial Circuit that covers Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton Counties.

Eddins, who’s 74, began his 48-year legal career as an assistant state attorney in Milton; three years later he began a 25-year stint as a defense attorney before returning to the prosecutorial side for two reasons.

Mayra Heitman/WUWF

Sunday, Jan. 3

Over 10,000 Cases Added

The state added 10,603 cases according to Sunday's FDOH report. An additional 100 deaths were also reported, six of which occurred locally. Four in Escambia and two in Walton, no deaths reported in Okaloosa or Santa Rosa counties. 

Local numbers:

January Skies Of The Gulf Coast

Dec 30, 2020
Ed Magown/EAAA

The full moon, the long night moon, is on Dec. 28.  The Earth is closest to the Sun at perihelion on Jan. 2.  Our orbit is so circular that this slight variation does not have a major impact on our season — our 23.5-degree tilt is much more important. The last quarter moon is Jan. 6.  The crescent in the dawn is above Venus on the morning of Jan. 11.  The moon is new on Jan. 12.  The waxing crescent lies to the upper left of Mercury and Jupiter in early twilight on Jan. 14.  The first quarter moon is on Jan.

WUWF Public Media

The year 2020 is almost coming to an end. The year was packed — with a pandemic, an active hurricane season, civil unrest, Confederate monuments and beaches closing and reopening. As we look toward 2021, here's a look back at the stories that resonated in 2020. 

Escambia County Sheriff's Office

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan is wrapping up his third and final term in office. 

David Morgan was elected to head the ECSO in 2008, after defeating incumbent Ron McNesby in the Republican primary and Democrat Larry Scapecchi in the general election. There’s no term limit for sheriffs in Florida, but Morgan feels that for him, it’s time to leave after a dozen years.

Pensacola Ice Flyers

  

After a nine-month hiatus, it’s back to the ice for the Pensacola Ice Flyers and four other Southern Professional Hockey League clubs, who are playing a truncated season with fewer teams and fewer games thanks to the coronavirus.

The geographically southernmost teams – Pensacola, the Birmingham Bulls, Huntsville Havoc, Knoxville Ice Bears, and the Macon Mayhem – are playing a 42-game season. Ice Flyers head coach Rod Aldoff says with only one other minor league in operation, the ECHL, there’s been a bumper crop of talent to recruit.

National Parks Service

After 45 years with the National Park Service —the last 10 as superintendent of Gulf Islands National Seashore — Dan Brown is retiring next month.

“I’m not one of those folks who plans to die at my desk or die on the job; I have other things in life, my wife and I both, that we want to pursue when we’re not putting in 40-50 hours a week at work,” said Brown.”

One of the items on Brown’s “honey-do” list is a trip abroad.

In this Gulf Stories Moment, Margo Stringfield, archeologist and faculty research associate at UWF, tells us about post emancipation African American cemeteries in our region.

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