House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced that our Congressman Jeff Miller will remain the chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee for the 113th Congress. The Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is responsible for authorization and oversight of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the second largest department in the federal government with over 300,000 employees and a budget of over $120 billion.
The Florida Local Environmental Resources Agencies (FLERA) presented Escambia County Commissioner Grover C. Robinson, IV with its Outstanding Environmental Leadership Award during the 2012 FLERA Annual Award Luncheon. The Outstanding Environmental Leadership Award is presented to a local government elected official that has displayed outstanding leadership qualities among their peers on environmental issues.
Trauma Intervention Program of Northwest Florida
Ideaworks has named the volunteer group which helps crisis victims as the recipient of its annual “Goodworks” grant. TIP’s mission is to provide immediate on-scene support to help survivors of tragedy to deal with their pain and begin to recover. Ideaworks will provide a full year of in-depth marketing support, including strategy, public relations, graphics, interactive marketing and social media. Past grant recipients include Friends of the Public Library, Seastars Acquatics and EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless.
In 2005, the Partnership For a Healthy Community conducted an assessment of health of citizens in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. The overall health status and key health status indicators were likened to those found in some Third World countries. The 2012 Assessment shows no progress has been made since then in improving our health status. Deaths from heart disease, diabetes, strokes and chronic respiratory diseases are higher than peer counties and the state rates. Escambia County also has high rates for sexually-transmitted diseases.
High School Graduation Rates
Escambia County has the lowest graduations rates in the area, especially among its African-American students, according to the Florida Department of Education. The state’s graduation rate for white students is 79.38 percent. Escambia County is 12 percentage points below that—67.47 percent. The African-American students have a 63.67 percent graduation rate statewide, but only 50.24 percent in Escambia County. Okaloosa County has the best graduation rates of the three counties.
The 2012 Health Assessment also showed that Escambia County is more violent than its peer counties and the state rates. Aggravated assault rate is 572 per 100,000 population compared to 389 for the state. The forcible sex offenses rate is 114 in the county versus 56 statewide.