Tom Ninestine

Managing Editor

Tom Ninestine is the managing editor at WUWF. He began August 1, 2019. Tom is a native of Geneva, New York, and a 1983 graduate of King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where he studied journalism and political science. During a 29-year career in newspapers he worked for the Finger Lakes Times in his hometown; The Daily Item in Sunbury, Pennsylvania; and the Pensacola News Journal from 1998-2016.

Before joining WUWF, he was a substitute teacher for three years in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, where his wife, Amy Momberger, manages the Barnes & Noble bookstore.    

Tom Ninestine / WUWF

The federal emergency funding being considered in Congress on Thursday could give help to workers and business owners in Northwest Florida struggling through  COVID-19.

Jennie McKeon / WUWF

Santa Rosa County officials on Friday closed Navarre Beach in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19. In addition, the county ordered all restaurants to sell food by takeout or delivery. 

It was a reversal of an announcement Thursday afternoon that the beach would remain open.

Santa Rosa County School District

The Santa Rosa County School District next week will begin feeding students at several locations. The students were to return to school Monday, following this week’s spring break. However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis has ordered schools to be closed until April 15 and that students should be educated remotely.

Santa Rosa County

The beaches of Santa Rosa County remain open. County officials said the beaches will remain open as long as the public follows the guidelines of social distancing. That means groups no larger than 10 people can congregate.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon in Milton, Dan Schebler, county administrator said the decision to keep the beaches open will be reassessed daily. Deputies with the Sheriff’s Office will monitor the situation to make sure beachgoers keep apart a healthy distance.

Sandra Averhart/WUWF

Escambia County School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas on Wednesday afternoon laid out a districtwide plan to educate the county’s 40,000 students starting April 1.

At a news conference at the district’s Hall Center, Thomas said the plan coincides with Gov. Ron DeSantis’s order that students remain out of school until April 15.

On March 30, district employees, except transportation employees, will return to regular work locations, Thomas said. They will not be allowed to congregate in groups of 10 or more. Teachers will begin training on how to teach their students remotely.