Escambia County

Florida Department of Transportation

Time is running out for area residents to weigh in with their suggestions for naming the new Pensacola Bay Bridge. The joint naming committee, formed by Escambia County and the City of Gulf Breeze, will be taking suggestions until the close of business this Monday, June 3.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

About six months after the departure of Jack Brown, the Escambia County Board of Commissioners have hired a new administrator. Pending contract negotiations, Janice Gilley is expected to take over as the county’s top executive this summer.

It’ll be her second go-round with the county and, yet again, she’ll be coming in at a difficult time.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

The first of what’s expected to be a long-term study of homelessness in the Pensacola area kicked off last week, bringing together civic leaders and representatives from local non-profit organizations.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Community leaders and local non-profits are scheduled to gather on April 5 for a summit on the homeless and how to enforce laws governing panhandling.

The summit is the brainchild of Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson and Escambia County Commission Chairman Lumon May. At his weekly news conference Monday, Robinson said such an event hinges on the organizations who serve the homeless.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Ten Pensacola residents are circulating petitions, which would allow voters to decide if $5 million in tax money should go to the ST Engineering expansion project.

At issue, an interlocal vote by the Pensacola City Council and Escambia County Commission approving the award.

The group Citizens against Corporate Welfare hopes to collect at least 4,055 signatures within a 60-day period to force a referendum. That’s 10 percent of Pensacola’s registered voters as required by the city charter.

Teniade Broughton

A group of Pensacola area citizens is now looking to the next phase of their effort to memorialize the lynching victims in Escambia County.

It is through the Equal Justice Initiative Community Remembrance Project that lynching victims here and across the country are being recognized. 

It’s part of a multi-faceted campaign by EJI and its director, attorney Bryan Stevenson to tell the true history of racial injustice in America.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Achieve Escambia recently released its 2018 report card and set some audacious community goals for improvement, beginning with school readiness.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

In recent years, it’s been pretty rare in Northwest Florida to have Democratic candidates squaring off in a state level primary election. But, this year, there are two running for the Florida House of Representatives District 1, which covers most of Escambia County.

The race includes political newcomer Vikki Garrett, a native of the area, who earned bachelor and masters’ degrees from the University of West Florida.

Garrett is making her first run for political office and hoping to take advantage of her decades of experience in transportation planning and engineering.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Forty years after the first vision and about five years of preparation and delays, Pensacola’s ferry system is ready to shove off on Friday. The launch ceremony was held at Fort Pickens on Wednesday.

Dan Brown, Superintendent of Gulf Islands National Seashore, served as master of ceremonies.

“Today is proof that all the stars can align and dreams can come true,” said Brown. GINS is one of the three stops the two, 145-passenger ferries – Turtle Runner and Pelican Perch – will make on their triangular 45-minute voyages for pedestrians and bicycles.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is now officially underway. The six-month season runs from June 1 to November 30.

This year, emergency managers across Florida didn’t have to wait until June to deal with a tropical event as Subtropical Storm Alberto showered much of the state with rain as it tracked toward the Pensacola area for several days before drifting eastward and making a Monday landfall in Panama City.

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Each year on February 7, there is a nationwide effort to increase HIV education, testing, community involvement, and treatment among African Americans. 

For communities like Escambia County, the annual observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day takes on added significance.

Who will be hired as Escambia County Assistant Administrator? A search committee has narrowed down the list to the five finalists.

More than 300 applications were collected for the position, which will involve helping Administrator Jack Brown across a number of departments in serving a county with a population of more than 300,000. 

“Depending upon who we select and how we bring this person on, we’ll look at particular assignments that they’ll take off of my plate,” said Brown.

The Florida House and Senate have unanimously passed legislation that ensures funds from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon/BP oil-spill settlement will remain in Northwest Florida.

Lawmakers approved HB 7077  and the Senate version SB 364, establishing the Gulf Coast Economic Corridor for eight most disproportionately affected counties.

The votes ended months of debate and guaranteed that the bulk of Florida’s $2 billion dollar share of the BP Settlement money would come to the western Panhandle.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The Florida Department of Transportation is wrapping up a series of workshops in Escambia County. The classes are designed to help small, minority-owned companies seeking to do business with FDOT.

The day-long sessions are being held on Fridays over a five-week period, ending March 3. They were available at no charge to companies already designated or wanting to be designated as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises or DBE’s.

The Race and Reconciliation group is moving forward with its community conversations about race and racism in Pensacola. They’re beginning a new Cross-Cultural Education Series this Thursday night at the Bowden Building downtown.

Julie Patton, an instructor in the UWF Social Work Department, joined with some friends and colleagues to form the Race & Reconciliation group.

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