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.    

The residents of District 5 in Pensacola will have a new representative on the City Council after Election Day. Teniade Broughton and Ron Helms are running to replace John Jerralds, who was appointed following the death of incumbent Gerald Wingate.

  

Jennifer Brahier wants Pensacola’s District 1 to be safer to walk or ride a bicycle. She also wants the city’s decisions to be more transparent by having town hall meetings in the district that is north of Pensacola International Airport between North Ninth Avenue and Spanish Trail Road.

Jennie McKeon/WUWF Public Media

The Pensacola City Council on Tuesday could vote to remove the Confederate monument. The monument, which rests on Lee Square in Pensacola, was erected in 1891, 26 years after the end of the Civil War.

The monument features three Confederate leaders: Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy who died in 1890; Stephen Mallory, secretary of the Confederate Navy who lived in Pensacola after the war; and Edward Aynesworth Perry, a relatively unknown Confederate general and governor of Florida in the 1880s. Perry was the driving force behind the monument's creation.

Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services

A private company with permission to conduct a controlled burn this week in Santa Rosa County could be hit with a hefty price tag for letting the fire get out of control.

At 9 p.m. Wednesday, the Monday fire, named the Five Mile Swamp fire, had consumed 2,000 acres of land in central Santa Rosa County, destroyed a dozen homes and damaged several other structures.

Jennie McKeon, WUWF Public Media

Effective Wednesday, it’s back to normal at Navarre Beach, as long as people keep their distance from one another.

At a special meeting Tuesday morning, Santa Rosa County commissioners voted to repeal the restrictions that had been in place to combat COVID-19. The beach had been closed since March 20 in a statewide attempt to reduce the spread of the deadly coronavirus. 

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.