Geoff Livingston/Flickr

In 2010, Grover Robinson was serving his year as chairman of the Escambia County Commission, and representing the district containing Pensacola Beach. On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon exploded off Louisiana, killing 11 and sending crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

“I don’t think anybody in our part of the world really focused on it too much,” said Robinson. “We thought, ‘Hey, there’s something out there that’s not going to be that big of a deal and they’re going to get it taken care of.”

Huntington Ingalls Industries

In an effort to curb the coronavirus pandemic, all large gatherings have been canceled for the foreseeable future. That has meant smaller graduation ceremonies or none at all, no concerts, plays, or college or professional sports events.

For the future USS Tripoli, it means the scrapping of plans for a grand commissioning ceremony that had been scheduled in Pensacola later this month.

City of Pensacola

More citizen input for the police department and monitoring coronavirus – two of the main items on Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson’s plate during his weekly news conference on Monday.

The mayor pointed to recent upticks in the number of cases and testing percentages. But he adds they’re still under the April and May figures.

Mayra Heitman/WUWF

Sunday, June 14

Three-Day Spike Puts Cases At 73,552 
Test results for more than 39,800 individuals were reported to DOH as of midnight, on Friday, June 12. Today, as reported at 11 a.m., there are:

·       2,581 new positive COVID-19 cases (1,885 Florida residents and 17 non-Florida residents)

·       48 Florida resident deaths related to COVID-19

The percent of those testing positive for COVID-19 overall is 5 percent. On June 11, 6.2 percent of new cases** tested positive. 

Governor Ron DeSantis


Gov. Ron DeSantis is out with a plan to reopen Florida’s public schools at full capacity this fall, regardless of the status of the coronavirus pandemic.

Developed by the Re-Open Florida Task Force in conjunction with the Florida Department of Health and the CDC, the plan provides a "road map" to support health and safety measures -- despite the continued rise in the number of COVID-19 patients statewide. But those cases, he contends, are not indicative of any clinical consequence.

Pensacola Mask Sewers

After 11 weeks and a little over 30,000 masks, the Pensacola Mask Sewers group is slowing down. 

“As the state started opening up, the requests for masks was tapering off,” said Jess Patton, who created the group and its synonymous Facebook group of nearly 2,800 members. “We were making about 5,000 masks week after week before things started to slow down.”

City of Pensacola

COVID-19’s impact on municipalities was the topic of a virtual congressional briefing on the need for direct federal assistance to America’s cities, towns and villages. And Pensacola had a voice in the proceeding.

Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson and the other panelists illustrated the urgent need for Uncle Sam’s help in stabilizing local government operations, keeping workers on the job, facilitating the reopening of America and in turn, jump-starting the national economic recovery.

Photo courtesy of University of West Florida

The University of West Florida community has responded to a call for songs of impact, to inspire support and lift the spirits of their fellow Argonauts amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, the public is invited to participate in the campus competition by voting on the music, then donating to a UWF cause or initiative. 

Visit the "Songs of Impact" web page for details and links to the sumissions.

Pensacola-Tallahassee Diocese

After a nearly two-month hiatus, Sunday and weekday services with a congregation present resumed early last month in the Pensacola-Tallahassee Catholic Diocese, with protective measures in place against the coronavirus.

Masses have been celebrated online throughout the diocese since March. Reopening its 57 brick and mortar parishes, said Bishop William Wack, was a team decision.

Mayra Heitman/WUWF

Sunday, May 31

UWF test site closed

The UWF COVID-19 Test Site will be closed until further notice. The site was run primarily by the National Guard, which has been activated by the governor, according to a news release. WUWF will notify the public when the site reopens.

State reports 4 more deaths

There are 56,163 Florida cases with 2,451 deaths related to COVID-19.

Florida Division of Emergency Management

And we're off!

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has officially begun and families are again being advised to prepare in the event of a storm. However, things this year are just a bit different.

“We are switching gears and telling everybody that we don’t know (what the situation will be) with the COVID, so you probably ought to plan for seven days.”

Outreach Navarre

Since 2015, Outreach Navarre has been feeding nearly 500 students on a weekly basis through its weekend food program. But when schools shut down in March, they had to find a new way to serve the community. 

The weekend program works with the six Navarre schools to identify students who may be food-insecure and send them home with two breakfasts, two lunches, two snacks and a juice box. The nonprofit also delivers almost 7,000 snacks to teachers who then distribute them to kids who are hungry. 

Mayra Heitman/WUWF

Sunday, May 24

Latest from Florida DOH

Food Giveaway in Navarre 

Saturday, May 23

Escambia to open drive-thru testing site

Jennie McKeon/WUWF Public Meida

The Shark Gym owners, Suzy and Cozmo Digiano, remember the exact moment gyms were closed in Florida.

“March 20, 1:40 p.m.,” said Suzy.

It was a harsh reality for the small business which opened in 2018. Until gyms reopened statewide on May 18, the Digianos were trying to stay positive while handling an “influx of cancellations.” 

“We held our breaths for a little while,” said Suzy. “We knew people were being affected (by the pandemic). We just leaned further into our faith.” 

Sam's Fun City

A Pensacola landmark is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, but will running with a new set of rules when it reopens this month.  

“I bought 50 acres on the corner of W Street and Highway 29, and the park now sits on about 25 of those (acres),” said Richard Sanfilippo, the owner of Sam’s Fun City in Pensacola.