New restaurants, record-breaking home sales, bus driver shortages, and the ongoing dispute over Rebekah Jones’ whistleblower complaint – it’s been a busy week in Pensacola.
Here are the best stories of the week, available only to subscribers.
Rebekah Jones whistleblower’s closing letter questioned
Full text:Rebekah Jones whistleblower complaint closed, but she claims official letter changed
Democratic congressional candidate Rebecca Jones posted a copy of a letter from Florida’s Commission on Personnel Affairs this week.
Last month, the commission closed an investigation into Jones’ whistleblower complaint against the Florida Department of Health.
The commission notified her by mailing a letter stating that there were no “reasonable grounds” for Jones’ allegations of retaliation against FDOH.
Is Pensacola a mecca for tacos?8 Convincing Taco Shops
Full text:Is Pensacola a mecca for tacos?8 Convincing Taco Shops
Let’s be honest about tacos. It’s a wonder Pensacola has so many good taco places. California, New Mexico, Texas – these are the places you’d expect to find great tacos.
With a population of about 54,000, Little Pensacola in the Florida Panhandle is no mecca for tacos.
Perhaps El Asador, after twice being named one of America’s best taco places, has caught the attention of competitors looking to increase its visibility.
As they say, a rising tide lifts all ships.
Whatever the cause, one truth remains. That said, Pensacola has some really good tacos that are hidden everywhere.
Pensacola has a DUI problem.Here’s how we ranked and fixed
Full text:Pensacola is a hotspot in Florida for drunk driving accidents and fatalities. Why we stand out and how to fix it.
As more and more people flock to downtown Pensacola’s bars, restaurants and weekly events, officers with the Pensacola Police Department say downtown’s growing popularity is leading to unintended consequences.
Sergeant James Daniels, who has been with the PDD since 2007 and oversees training and certification for the police department, said drunk and disabled driving is a problem in the city, especially on weekends.
Mediterranean Dining Brings Algerian Cuisine to Pensacola City Hall
Full text:Mediterranean Table Food Truck Brings a Taste of Algeria Outside Pensacola City Hall
Pensacola food truck owner Ali Kalla didn’t speak a word of English when his family moved to the United States in 1995 from the North African country of Algeria.
Ali, his wife, and three small children found jobs by day, English classes by night, and macaroni and cheese.
“It was very strange for us,” said Ali’s son, Sami Kara.
But Ali believed in the American Dream and knew his hard work would pay off.
Today, he doubles as an emergency medical technician and owner of Mediterranean Table, a Mediterranean food truck that debuted outside Pensacola City Hall this month.
Escambia schools scramble to fill bus routes following driver escape
Full text:Schools in Escambia lose six bus drivers after minimum wage hike, leaving more than 100 empty routes
The recently enacted minimum wage hike has had a devastating effect on the transportation sector of Escambia County’s public schools.
Since the pay hike to $11 an hour on Sept. 30, six bus drivers have quit, with more than 100 driverless bus routes each day, according to Transportation Director Darlene Hart.
Some drivers, Hart said, earned about the same hourly wages working in other positions within the district, such as cafeteria and guardian roles, with far less responsibility than hauling a bus full of 77 students. He said he retired because he could.
Take a look inside the most expensive homes sold in Pensacola in 2022
Full text:Photo: Take a look inside this $5 million, 9,390-square-foot East Hills mansion
The most expensive home sold in Pensacola city limits in 2022 was purchased on Oct. 17 in East Hill for $5.175 million.
Prior to 2020, single-family homes rarely sold for more than $3 million. However, in 2020 alone, he has 10 units sold at that price. Only one single-family home in Pensacola will sell for $3 million or more in 2022, and 41 homes will sell for $1 million or more, according to Realtor.com.
Rachael Whibbs, the property’s listing agent and real estate agent for Levin Rinke Realty, said he expects high-end homes in the area to continue to sell well.
Destin-based seafood restaurant to replace Tin Cow in early 2023
Full text:Mystery Revealed: Popular Destin Restaurant Moves to Former Tin Cow Space in Palafox
Earlier this month, Realtor Michael Kahlo hinted that a family-owned restaurant would manage the space for the next 20 years, with Gulf cuisine at its core.