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Pensacola wrap-up: week ending Oct. 29

October 29, 2016

Return of Trader Jon’s
In July, Inweekly broke the story that the UWF Historic Trust was converting the second floor of the T.T. Wentworth Museum to be a replica the iconic Trader Jon’s. On Friday, the exhibit opened. The second floor has the front door of the bar and features memorabilia from the Trader Jon collection, including model airplanes that once hung from the ceiling, flight suits and signed photos of celebrities. Other highlights of the exhibit include a replica bar, as well as a miniaturized re-creation of the bar’s Blue Angels Museum room and video recordings of the legend himself, Martin “Trader Jon” Weissman, telling his story.

Governor Breaks Ground on VT MAE
Governor Rick Scott joined state, county and city officials to break ground on the long-awaited aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility for VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering (VT MAE) at Pensacola International Airport. The 173,000-square-foot facility will cost $46 million and will sit on approximately 19 acres of property at the airport. The construction will last approximately 16 months, with the facility opening for operation in early 2018. VT MAE is expected to create 400 new jobs. Read more.

Fifth Murder Inside Pensacola City Limits Recorded
A PPD homicide investigation on Tuesday signaled the fifth murder since June 30 and the seventh for the year. The City’s 2016 homicide rate is on pace to be the highest since 1993, when the city had 10 murders. The ten-month total for 2016 has already tied the 2012 total that earned the city the moniker as one of the most dangerous small cities in the nation. Read more.

Innovation Coast Gets New Leader
The Board of Directors of Innovation Coast has announced Tiffany Sullivan is the nonprofit organization’s new executive director. Sullivan will tap into her background as an attorney and community leader to guide her new role. Read more.

DCF Coming Under Scrutiny
For fiscal year 2015-16, the First Circuit, which includes Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton counties, had the fifth highest child abuse victims per capita of the 15 Florida Circuits – 14.31 per 1,000 children, according to DCF reports. The state ratio is 9.92 per thousand. Among counties, Walton County has the fourth highest ratio – 23.23; Okaloosa County is ranked 11th highest – 18.46. Escambia’s ratio is 13.02; Santa Rosa 8.73. August and September of 2016 was the highest two-month period for the initial and additional reports of child abuse in the First Circuit in the past two years – 1,865, an 11.6 percent increase over the August-September 2015. Read more.

Jean Wallace Honored
The Florida Scenic Highways Program (FSHP) honored Jean Wallace, Scenic Highway Foundation Vice President, with the Gary Balogh Inspiring Excellence Award. This is the highest honor they can bestow and recognizes the significant and lasting impact Jean has made on Pensacola Scenic Bluffs Highway and the State program. Read more.

Downtown Panhandling & Loitering
The Downtown Improvement Board has asked Mayor Ashton Hayward and the Pensacola City Council to address “a significant alarming rate of increase in the loitering and panhandling activity occurring in the Downtown District.” The DIB made five recommendations and awaits the mayor’s response.

Pelican Drop Resurrection
Buck Mitchell of Seville Quarter hopes to pull together a coalition to keep the Pelican Drop a part of the downtown Pensacola’s New Year’s Eve celebration. Stay tuned.

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