Escambia County

Escambia Children's Trust

About two-and-a-half months after winning approval with 61% of the vote, the Escambia Children’s Trust has begun its work.

Board members used their inaugural meeting on Jan. 21 to check a few items off their long “to-do” list, ahead of the dedicated property tax levy beginning in November.

Selecting its interim leadership was one of the first official actions by the new Escambia Children’s Trust board, which was convened by its five mandated members.

Achieve Escambia

Achieve Escambia is out with its 2020 community report, titled: Achieving Equity. The 40-page report examines a set of 45 indicators impacting education, health, and a career-ready workforce, with a specific focus on racial disparities in Escambia County.

Escambia Children's Trust

A majority of voters in Escambia County have decided to establish a new Children’s Services Council to be called the “Escambia Children’s Trust." The ballot initiative also authorizes the annual levy of a half-mill property tax to fund additional programs and services aimed at improving the lives of children and families.

Courtesy Escambia Children's Trust campaign

One of the most significant local issues to be decided in the Nov. 3 General Election is a referendum asking voters to take a bold step toward improving the well-being of children in Escambia County.

Jennie McKeon/WUWF Public Meida

Update: 11 a.m. Oct. 2

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved Individual Assistance for Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton and Bay counties following the impact of Hurricane Sally.Estimates are in for both public and private property damaged by Hurricane Sally in Escambia County, with FEMA crews back in the area going through their paces.

Original story:

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Perdido Key and Innerarity Point were among the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sally in southwest Escambia County. The storm made landfall at nearby Gulf Shores, leaving property ravaged by wind and water - due to storm surge and more than 20 inches of rainfall.

Driving through the area, it’s clear that a storm has been here. Vegetation on the barrier island has turned brown from the salt water that washed over, trees are down or leaning due to the sustained wind, and there are blue tarps scattered about.

President Donald Trump has declared a major disaster exists in Escambia County from Hurricane Sally. But the declaration does not mention assistance for individuals.

The declaration provides funding for public damage —roads, bridges, public facilities, and debris removal, among others. At last check Escambia has about $183 million in such damages. The sticking point is that it does not yet include provision for individual or household assistance.


Hurricane Sally is crawling toward the northern Gulf Coast at just two miles an hour, a pace that will allow the storm to gather huge amounts of water to dump on land eventually. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a state of emergency declaration for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties on Monday, in advance of Hurricane Sally.

“We don’t necessarily anticipate hurricane-force winds in those areas at this time; but we think it’s very likely there will be tropical storm-force winds,” said DeSantis. “We do though see a potential for the storm to really slow down and stall out.”

Primary Election Live Blog

Aug 18, 2020

Aug. 18 is the Florida Primary. We'll share live election results in state and local races from Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa Counties. Polls close at 7 p.m. You can also hear live results online by tuning in to 88.1 FM.

U.S. Congress District 1

Winner will face Democratic candidate Phil Ehr in November

Matt Gaetz (Incumbent) Winner

Greg Merk

John Mills

Florida Legislature: 

State House District 1: 


Mike Hill (Incumbent)

Michelle Salzman Winner


Francine Mathis Winner

Barbara Scott-Shouse

State House District 2:

Winner to face Democrat Diane Krumel in November

Rep:  Alex Andrade (Incumbent) Winner

Chris Dosev

State House District 4:

Winner to face write-in candidate John Plante

Rep:  Sandra L. Atkinson

Jeff Hinkle

Patt Maney Winner

Jonathan Michael Tallman

Florida Memory

Plans are underway for a couple of bicentennial celebrations next year, honoring both Florida and Escambia County.

Last Friday marked the county’s 199th birthday, when what’s now Florida was ceded by Spain and became a U.S. Territory. Escambia and St. John’s were Florida's two original counties, covering the entire area within modern state boundaries.

Photo Courtesy of Achieve Escambia

The Escambia County Commission is holding a public hearing Thursday to discuss whether to move forward with a proposed referendum that would authorize a county-wide tax and governing board focused on the health and well-being of children.

The ballot measure provides for a half-mill levy that would raise nearly $8 million a year for 10 years to fund a Children’s Services Council to be known as the Escambia Children’s Trust.

Photo courtesy of Escambia County

Ten years ago, the Deepwater Horizon/BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico became one of the nation’s worst environmental disasters.  The spill started after the explosion on April 20, but it was around this time in June that the oil began to show up on Escambia County beaches.

This week, WUWF is beginning a series of reports marking the 10th anniversary of the spill.

Photo courtesy of University of West Florida

To date, Escambia County high school seniors have qualified for nearly $1.9 million in federal student aid for the current year. That’s a slight increase over last year, despite the fact that this year’s push to increase applications was interrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.

Photo courtesy of Escambia County

Pensacola Beach now has a rare, endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle nest. It marks the third nest this season on the Escambia County shoreline.The female came ashore to nest on Tuesday morning, giving some Pensacola Beach visitors an exciting - yet unusual - daytime sight.

A short video captured the nesting as beachgoers quietly watched.

Alan Levine/Flickr

Local businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic can get some help, through a new program that’s getting underway this month.

It’s the Escambia County Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant Program, and the list of participants reads like a “who’s who” of local economic development; the county, city of Pensacola, University of West Florida’s Small Business Development Center, the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, and Florida West – where Scott Luth is CEO.