BOMB THREAT AT SSA
Pensacola Police responded to a bomb threat at a downtown government building this afternoon. Officer Mike Wood says around 3:30pm, Social Security officials notified police they received a bomb threat through the mail. An initial sweep of the building turned up nothing. A bomb sniffing dog was later sent in.
GULF POWER APPROVAL
Your Gulf Power bill will be going up to pay for hurricane recovery. Gulf Power was granted approval this morning to implement an $8 per 1,000 kilowatt hour “storm charge” on residential customers to recoup costs for its Hurricane Michael response. The Florida Public Service Commission unanimously approved the storm charge at a meeting in Tallahassee this morning. The new charge will go into effect in July and continue for five years.
FRAUDULENT STIPENDS FOR COACHES
The State Attorney’s Office is investigating the Santa Rosa County School District after a complaint was received about possibly fraudulent stipends paid to sports coaches. The PNJ says Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille confirmed the investigation, but could not go into more detail as authorities are still investigating the complaint. Marcille says the school district is “fully cooperating” with the investigation, and at this time it’s not clear if the matter involves any irregularities or if they may be criminal or administrative. He says the investigation could take several more weeks, at which time authorities will release more information. Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick declined to comment on the investigation and has directed all school district staff to do the same.
Take the bull by the horns…literally. The Escambia County Sheriff’s office will be auctioning off a bull found wandering along Chemstrand Road recently. ECSO Chief Deputy Chip Simmons says it is definitely a case of “buyer beware” as it comes with a warning the black steer is aggressive and will charge at you so it will need adequate fencing. ECSO is responsible for auctioning the bull because under state law, the sheriff is also the county’s Chief Livestock Officer. You can bid on the animal Thursday morning at the ECSO substation in Molino.
BARRY TOWN HALL
Residents living in Escambia County District 5 have the chance to discuss issues and concerns with their Commissioner this evening. Commissioner Steven Barry is holding a town hall at the Langley Bell 4-H Center on Stefani Road beginning at 5:30.
Governor Ron DeSantis now says election files in two Florida counties were hacked by Russia in the 2016 election. Previously it was believed only one county’s election information had been accessed. In an announcement today, DeSantis also said no votes were manipulated, and election results were not altered in any way. The FBI is not allowing DeSantis to disclose which two counties were affected by the computer breach.
DESANTIS TOUTS TOP HIGHER ED RANKING
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday touted Florida’s higher-education system after it was named best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, citing relatively low amounts of debt when students graduate and a “worthwhile education” they receive. For the third year in a row, Florida held the number-one spot in the U.S. News ranking for higher education. The ranking was based, in part, on low tuition costs and a large share of students who complete two-year degree programs within three years. Three Florida schools were ranked by U.S. News in the top 100 national universities. The University of Florida was ranked in a tie for No. 35; the University of Miami was ranked in a tie for No. 53; and Florida State University was ranked in a tie for No. 70.