Local News

Friday Morning Headlines: Mark Jacobs


Two people were hurt when three vehicles, including two dump trucks, collided on Highway 29 Thursday afternoon. One dump truck rear-ended another on southbound Highway 29 at Old Chemstrand Road, and a third smaller truck was also involved. One person was transported by Escambia County EMS and a second person was reportedly taken to the hospital by private vehicle. One other person was not injured.


The Pensacola Bay Bridge did not suffer any additional damage due to Hurricane Zeta. Prior to the storm, FDOT personnel and bridge contractors were preparing for the anticipated storm surge, rainfall and wind impacts for northwest Florida. Tuesday morning, the bridge repair team relocated and moored equipment in secure locations away from the Pensacola Bay Bridge. Crews are currently mobilizing equipment back to the bridge to continue demolition and repair efforts.

Firefighters were called to a Perdido Key condo tower on Thursday after smoke began billowing from its upper floors. Escambia County Fire Rescue crews were dispatched just before 2 o’clock to the Perdido Skye Condos and observed smoke coming from the the seventh floor. The fire was out a few minutes later and no one was hurt. There are currently no tenants in the building because of repairs from Hurricane Sally storm damage.  Authorities believe the fire began on the building’s fifth floor in a faulty air conditioning unit.


With days to go before the election, Florida has 10 million dollars designated for election security, COVID-19 protection at the polls and a surge in mailed ballots left unspent. Part of the money is $3.5 million that Secretary of State Laurel Lee requested from lawmakers for the state’s 67 county supervisors of elections to shore up their systems. The counties didn’t ask for the money. Also left sitting on the table is $6 million in CARES Act funds that 19 counties decided not to take advantage of, which could be used to make polling places safer for voters and hire extra people to count mail-in ballots.


A local lawmaker is holding a town hall meeting later today for Gulf Breeze and Pensacola Beach businesses hurt by Hurricane Sally and the loss of the Pensacola Bay Bridge.  Representative Alex Andrade is hosting the session, which begins at 5 this afternoon at the Hilton Pensacola Beach. Representatives from the Florida Department of Transportation, Gulf Breeze Mayor Cherry Fitch, Escambia County Commissioner Robert Bender and Andrade will be at the meeting to provide the latest information on repairs and to answer questions.


This record breaking hurricane season continues with another area to watch in the Caribbean this weekend. The area of disturbed weather will move into the warm waters of the Caribbean, and there is an 80 percent change it will become a tropical depression by early next week.  If it becomes a tropical storm, it would be the record-setting 28th named storm of the season and be called Eta.


Florida reported 4,198 new COVID-19 cases Thursday for a total of 794,624. The department of health also reports 77 new coronavirus deaths, bringing the death toll to 16,852.

ESCAMBIA: 13,517 (+72), 269 deaths
SANTA ROSA: 5,941 (+23), 87 deaths  


Finding economic information for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties should be simple with the help of a new online dashboard. The Haas Center at UWF has developed an online market indicators dashboard that provides easy, quick and simple navigation for a look at county-by-county statistics. The dashboard includes tabs for tourism rates, real estate transactions, employment/unemployment rates and sales and tax collections in Northwest Florida and South Alabama counties.

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