Bob Barrett / WUWF

Six Escambia County Sheriff’s deputies and a pair of officers with the Department of Defense were awarded the Medal of Valor Friday, for their involvement in the Dec. 6 shooting at Pensacola Naval Air Station.

Escambia County deputies honored were: Sgt. Mike Hoyland; Senior Deputy Grant Lopez, and deputies Jonathan Glass, Matthew Housam, Matthew Keebler, and Matthew Tinch. Department of Defense officers honored were Capts. Charles Hogue and Robert Johnson.

Hogue, Glass, and Tinch — who were wounded in that attack — also received Purple Hearts.

Pew Charitable Trust

School lunch standards originally promoted by former first lady Michelle Obama could be going the way of the inkwell and quill pen. And it’s not the first such attempt.

The Trump Administration has announced plans —again — to roll back the criteria on fruits and vegetables and add items such as burgers and pizza. Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue claims in a news release that local schools “know their children best."

Jennie McKeon / WUWF Public Media

The Chappie James Museum is preparing to host its annual observance of the birthday of General Daniel “Chappie” James Jr. This year marks the anniversary of the 100th birthday of the Pensacola native, who became the nation’s first African-American four-star general.  

The local celebration honoring Gen. James is set for Feb. 9.

Jennie McKeon / WUWF

Florida’s presidential primary is just around the corner – March 17 – and elections supervisors want to make sure voters have their ducks in a row.

“We’ve got pretty good registration numbers, we’re up over 215,000 registered voters; we’re getting a very high response rate to vote-by-mail. All signs point towards robust participation in this election cycle,” said David Stafford, election supervisor for Escambia County.

He also reminds those planning to vote in the primary that the deadline to register — or change party affiliation — is February 18.

Bob Barrett / WUWFNews

Passengers flying in and out of Pensacola can once again reach for the stars.

“I am here to announce that this is the Pensacola Intergalactic Airport, and we are looking for all kinds of travelers from all kinds of places,” said Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson. He spoke before a crowd of a few dozen reporters, officials and oddly dressed creatures as he made the annual announcement changing the airport from international to intergalactic.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The Iowa Caucuses will be held Monday, and for the first time, some of those caucuses will be taking place outside the state of Iowa. One of them will be held in the Pensacola area.

"I'm Jim Benda. My hometown, I live now in Clive, Iowa, which is a suburb of Des Moines," said Benda introducing himself.

City of Pensacola

The Port of Pensacola — established in 1743 — is moving into 2020 on the strength of a major revenue increase in fiscal year 2019.

The port finished at $2.41 million — compared to $1.26 million at the beginning of the fiscal year — that’s a more than 91% surge, according to port director Amy Miller – who’s not surprised in the least.

After an eight-year virtual drought in the Florida Legislature, there's a host of environmental protection bills in the 2020 session.

During his two terms, Gov. Rick Scott banned the phrases “global warming” and “climate change” from being uttered, written, or hinted at. Scott has denied this, but one state employee begged to differ.

“You could just say ‘the water’s getting hotter,’” said the unidentified employee. “We couldn’t talk about why the water’s getting hotter. At some point it was mentioned that sea level rise was to be referred to as ‘nuisance flooding.’”

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

A centennial celebration, and an update on gun violence and police training highlighted Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson’s Monday news conference.

After some preliminary remarks on other matters, the mayor honored Frances Johnson on her 100th birthday, including a chorus of “Happy Birthday” by the assemblage and members of Johnson’s family.

Robinson spoke of Frances’ and her husband’s involvement in Pensacola’s black business community, having operated a paint store for decades.


Last month the Okaloosa County Unified DUI Task Force was formed with the goal of preventing impaired driving and keeping roads safe.

The task force — made up of 11 local law enforcement agencies, including the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Highway Patrol, Fish and Wildlife Service, and police departments — is a first of its kind in the local area, said OCSO Capt. Mark Raiche.

public domain

If someone were born in 1870 and lived to be 100, they would never have experienced a presidential impeachment. Many of us are now going through our second, third if you count Richard Nixon who resigned before he was actually impeached. “The full house was clearly going to vote for (Nixon’s) impeachment.”

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Opening Doors Northwest Florida held its annual U-Count Homeless Resource Day Thursday at the Salvation Army. The event follows the yearly Point-In-Time Count of homeless individuals living in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, which at last check totaled 528. 

Most of the surveys in the 2020 count were completed with a new software application that’s getting rave reviews.

After a nine-month hiatus, Santa Rosa County’s recycling program will resume the first week of February. And officials are urging residents to “Get Back to Basics” when it comes to their recycling habits.

“Focus on recycling simple items like clean cardboard, aluminum and steel cans, and plastic bottles and jugs,” said Andrew Hill, Santa Rosa County environmental supervisor, in an email. 

The county’s recycling program was canceled by the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority April 30, 2019, siting high contamination rates and low market values on recycled material.