Monthly Archives آگوست 2020

COVID-19 in Escambia and Santa Rosa: 44 new cases, no additional deaths reported Monday

A total of 44 new positive COVID-19 cases were reported Monday in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, according to the latest report from the Florida Department of Health.

Escambia County added 32 new cases to reach a cumulative total of 11,183 cases since the start of the pandemic, while Santa Rosa County recorded another 12 cases for a total of 4,671.

No new deaths associated with the coronavirus were reported in either county Monday.

To date, Escambia County has reported a cumulative 198 deaths due to COVID-19 (186 state residents and 12 non-Florida residents), and Santa Rosa County has recorded 55.

Of all deaths in both counties, 99 are connected to long-term care centers, including 89 in Escambia County and 10 in Santa Rosa Cou...

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ECSO: Suspect in Friday ‘gun battle’ was schizophrenic, didn’t want to go back to jail

The Pensacola man accused of engaging Escambia County Sheriff’s Office deputies last week in a “running gun battle” has schizophrenia, believes “everyone is out to get him” and had previously told his mother he wasn’t going back to jail, according to an arrest report.

Tyler Brooks, 30, was taken into custody Friday after firing a rifle at three ECSO deputies and fleeing into a large wooded area near Saufley Pines Road and Matthews Junction.

The officer-involved shooting: ECSO: Suspect in ‘running gun battle’ with deputies apprehended after manhunt

No deputies were injured in the exchange...

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Pensacola city facilities, community centers could reopen in October

Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson is eyeing the beginning of October as the time to reopoen city facilities like community centers that have been closed since a spike of COVID-19 cases in July.

Robinson said during his weekly press conference Monday that he will be meeting with local hospital officials on Sept. 14 to evaluate the current caseload of COVID-19 patients and use that as a decision to reopen community centers and other city facilities that have been closed for the last two months.

Robinson said barring a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the goal would be to open city facilities back up to the public by October.

“It is all sort of dependent upon what the numbers say, ...

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Rewrite the record books: Santa Rosa County man lands state’s biggest flathead catfish

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) fisheries biologists certified a new state record flathead catfish weighing 69.9 pounds, measuring 48.5 inches long, with a girth of 38.25 inches, caught by angler Lavon Nowling from Santa Rosa County.

Nowling caught his flathead catfish on rod and reel using live bait in the Yellow River.

More (2019 Record): Local man catches record catfish in Yellow River

“I’ve caught some good ones before this fish, but none of them were more than 54 pounds,” Nowling said. “I’ve been fishing since I was old enough to hold a pole and have been fishing on Yellow River as long as I can remember.”

Nowling brought his catch to the FWC’s Blackwater Hatchery near Holt, where biologi...

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Tracking storm weather: Tropical conditions for Monday, Aug. 31

The National Hurricane Center is tracking four tropical waves, including one in the Caribbean and another northeast of Florida.

Here’s the latest update from the NHC as of Monday, Aug. 31: 

What are their chances of forming?

Disturbance 1: This tropical wave has a 70 percent chance of development over the next 48 hours and an 80 percent chance over the next five days, according to the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

The National Hurricane Center said a tropical depression is likely to form during the next couple of days.

More: Nana and Omar are up next with two tropical systems expected to form this week, neither threatens Florida

More: Laura stands with biggest names in hurricane history...

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Tall ship Niña docking in downtown Pensacola in September

It’s been 15 months since a tall ship last docked in Pensacola, but that streak will come to an end Sept. 11. 

Tall ship Niña, a replica of the historic caravel and an authentic floating museum, will dock at Palafox Pier and open for tours between Sept. 11-15.

“When you’re walking on board, you’re walking on board of the most historically accurate replica of a caravel that’s ever been built,” said Capt. Stephen Sanger of Sanger Ships LLC, which is operating the Niña tour this fall. “There wasn’t even electricity used during its construction.” 

The five-day docking will include guided group tours with a maximum of 10 people per tour. Admission is $5 for anyone age 5 and over...

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Sal de Mar poolside Pensacola Beach restaurant opening at the Hilton

Forty-ounce margaritas, overstuffed milkshakes, homages to the Spanish settlement at Pensacola, and sweet, sweet tacos are about to come together under one pergola. 

If it sounds like Sal de Mar — the new outdoor restaurant at the Hilton Pensacola Beach hotel — has a lot going on, that’s because it does. Separated from the Gulf of Mexico by just a few hundred feet of sand, Sal de Mar has all the personality you would expect from a Pensacola Beach poolside restaurant. 

“Sal de Mar means ‘sea salt’ in Spanish,” said Omar Torres, executive chef and hotel director of food and beverage, on Friday. “And we gave it a Spanish and sort of  Mediterranean look to it...

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Here are eight traffic initiatives planned for Pensacola Beach this off season

Escambia County is planning eight traffic initiatives on Pensacola Beach during the off season.

With the exception of a $1.8 million access road that has been planned for years, most of the projects do not include new construction. Rather, they are meant to reconfigure traffic to improve safety and flow, as well as increase parking.

Commissioner Robert Bender, who represents the beach and will propose the projects to the Escambia County Commission for approval, said the other seven projects will likely total under $500,000. The projects are much smaller than the massive overhauls of the traffic infrastructure that have been studied in the past.

Most recently, a $9...

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Gulf Coast faces long recovery, will need help after Hurricane Laura’s wrath | Guestview

opinion

It will likely take days to get a clear picture of the devastation Hurricane Laura wrought as it swept over the coast of eastern Texas and Louisiana and headed north into Arkansas. But the images gathered by news organizations and shared across social media are heartbreaking, showing homes and other buildings ripped to shreds by hurricane winds and tornadoes or swamped by storm-surge water and flash flooding.

Laura, which was a strong Category 4 storm when it made landfall, was so powerful it forced the Mississippi River to flow backwards. Its damage will be extensive...

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Pensacola saxophonist legend inducted into jazz hall of fame

Pensacola’s Joe Occhipinti is this year’s Gulf Coast Ethnic & Heritage Jazz Festival Hall of Fame inductee. But don’t congratulate the saxophonist on the honor.

Instead, support the events surrounding jazz in the area, Occhipinti requests. There is a big chance that Occhipinti will be there, too, as he always has been.

The Gulf Coast Ethnic & Heritage Jazz Festival, based out of Mobile, is a non-profit with a mission to further the preservation and growth of jazz music for future generations, according to its website. Choosing Occhipinti as an inductee is apropos for both the organization and the musician.

“Those of us in Pensacola can recount all the contributions Joe has quietly made over these many ...

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