Pensacola, Florida
Monday December 22nd 2014

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The Buzz 1/3/13

Fare Thee Well
ARC Gateway Executive Director Donna Fassett passed away Dec. 27 following her battle with cancer. After 33 years serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Fassett recently penned a column for the ARC’s newsletter entitled “33 Years of Service & 33 Life Lessons And Beliefs.” Here are a few: 1. We all have dreams, 6. We all belong, 15. Laughter is good medicine, 23. There are no strangers, 31. Look for the best in everyone.

Gaetz in the Times
The New York Times recently published an article concerning the decline of the Tea Party. Florida Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) spoke to The Gray Lady about the fringe groups belief that states can nullify the Affordable Care Act: “We’re not a banana republic. It is dangerous to the foundation of the republic when we pick and choose which laws we will obey.”

Smart Stats
The Florida Department of Education released the AP exam stats for the 2011-12 academic year. Statewide, 29.6 percent of 10th-12th graders take the advanced placement exams; in Escambia the number is lower, at 18.3 percent. Overall, students performed about the same locally and regionally, with about a 45 percent pass rate. The stats are also broken down by race for a deeper snapshot.

Holiday Murder
On Christmas Eve, a group of armed men broke into a North J Street residence and beat Torrance Hackworth in front of four young children and his pregnant girlfriend. They then put him into the trunk of his girlfriend’s car and stole the vehicle. The car was located submerged in the bay off of Sanders Beach. Hackworth’s body was found in a wooded lot off North S Street. The murder—thought to be drug-related—is currently under investigation.

Rocket Launcher for a Chicken
In an effort to address concerns over gun violence, some locales offer buyback programs. The Los Angeles Police Department recently offered a one-day program: turn in a gun, get a grocery gift card, no questions asked. The event apparently netted more than 2,000 firearms, including 75 assault weapons and two anti-tank rocket launchers.