News

Mayra Heitman/WUWF

Thursday, March 11

Daily COVID Update

The state added 5,065 cases and 96 deaths according to Thursday's FDOH report. Of those 96 deaths, five were from local areas: one in Escambia, three in Santa Rosa and one in Okaloosa.

  • Escambia added 24 cases and has a 2.19% positivity rate
  • Santa Rosa added 22 cases and has a 5.60% positivity rate
  • Okaloosa added 29 cases and has a 6.54% positivity rate
  • Walton added 12 cases and has a 5.29 positivity rate

Coronavirus Pandemic: One Year Later

Public Domain

A series of events and activities will take place over the next few months, as part of the 200th anniversary of Florida becoming a U.S. Territory and Escambia County becoming one of its two original counties. Organizers plan to use the occasion to share more details about this often-overlooked period in the area’s rich history.

Pexels Stock Photo

Tuesday’s Municipal Elections in Okaloosa County resulted in a new charter amendment for Destin and one new face to the Fort Walton Beach City Council. 

Forging An Unexpected Path Through The Pandemic

Mar 10, 2021

 

Jennie McKeon/WUWF Public Media

Continuing with efforts to make it harder to amend the Florida Constitution, a Senate panel Tuesday backed a controversial proposal that would require approval from two-thirds of voters for ballot measures to pass.

Currently, ballot measures can be approved with 60% of the vote. Senate Bill 1492 would make it harder to amend the Constitution, with the two-thirds threshold.

Ethics and Elections Committee Chairman Dennis Baxley says the bill would simply give voters a choice about whether they want to make it harder to amend the Constitution.

Port of Pensacola

Legislation filed in the new session would strip communities of locally controlling their ports when it comes to shipments of hazardous materials.

The House Tourism, Infrastructure & Energy Subcommittee voted 12-6 to approve a revised measure (HB 267) that would only block local regulations at municipal-run ports in Pensacola, Panama City, and St. Petersburg.

Rep. Spencer Roach (R-North Fort Myers) is the sponsor.

UWF

The University of West Florida is offering veterans an opportunity to train for a career in cybersecurity.

"We are honored to partner with the Regions foundation to make this program available at no cost to eligible veterans,” said Dr. Eman El-Sheikh, associate vice president with the UWF Center for Cybersecurity.

The program is called UWF CyberSuccess. It provides professional training, career development and industry certification to launch or advance a career in cybersecurity.

Florida Lowers Age For COVID Vaccine Eligibility To 60

Mar 8, 2021
Office of the Secretary of Defense

After focusing for more than two months on vaccinating seniors against COVID-19, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday the state will authorize giving shots to people ages 60 and older.

The change will take effect March 15 and was announced after more than 2.64 million people ages 65 and older have been vaccinated.

“As the demand has softened a little bit, as fortunately more than 50 percent of seniors in almost all of our major counties have received at least one shot, we will open it up to 60 to 64 as well,” DeSantis said during a news conference Monday at the Capitol.

When the 13 colonies rose up against Great Britain in the Revolutionary War, Florida wasn't in that group. In fact, at the time, Florida wasn’t even a single colony. Here's a look at the history of West Florida, the forgotten 14th colony.

Nikki Fried Facebook

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and state health officials are coming under deeper scrutiny amid revelations that seniors in a wealthy enclave in Key Largo received hundreds of life-saving vaccinations as early as mid-January.

“If you’re 65 and up, [I’m] not worried about your income bracket; I’m worried about your age bracket,” the governor said. “It’s the age, not the income that shows the risk. And so if they were able to go to a community that’s heavily senior, and vaccinate people, that’s very, very, good.”

Coronavirus Live Blog: Week Of March 1

Mar 7, 2021
Mayra Heitman/WUWF

Sunday, March 7

State Reports Lowest Death Increase In Months

After averaging around 130 additional deaths per day, the state reported 66 deaths in Sunday's FDOH report. No additional deaths from local areas. The state also added 4,098 infections.

Since late December, a group of volunteers have been in front of American Family Planning, Pensacola’s last standing abortion clinic, to provide support to clients and staff and act as a buffer against a growing number of anti-abortion protesters.

Lisa Ferdinando/Department of Defense

Vaccine distribution and cracking down on protests are among the issues facing Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office and the Legislature on Thursday.

As the governor travels the state boasting of Florida’s “seniors-first” policy, Democratic leaders are calling for investigations into the allocation of coveted COVID-19 vaccinations Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is asking for an FBI investigation into the issue.

“I will not stand by and let our vaccines be used as political gain, and to be auctioned to the highest bidders while so many of our Floridians are suffering.”

House Moves Forward On Violent Protest Crackdown

Mar 3, 2021
Jennie McKeon/WUWF Public Media

Republican lawmakers are pushing ahead with a controversial proposal that seeks to crack down on violent protests, make it more difficult for local governments to trim spending on law enforcement and enhance penalties related to riots and injuries to police officers.

Gov. Ron DeSantis first sketched out the law-and-order plan last year, following widespread protests throughout the country over racial inequities in policing and other aspects of American life.

University of West Florida

The University of West Florida is working to create a space for the campus community to share and discuss their experiences with race and ethnicity. The new initiative is the “My Story Griot Project.”

“We’re still going and moving, and moving well and moving strong,” said Mamie Webb Hixon, assistant professor of English and director of the UWF Writing Lab, discussing the momentum of the CASSH workgroup on Race.

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