Pensacola, Florida
Sunday September 14th 2014

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Winners & Losers 4/25/13

Winners
Veterans Memorial Park Steering Committee
Chaired by Jack Brown, the committee has formed a new foundation, Veterans Memorial Park Foundation of Pensacola, Inc., to manage and oversee the park that has several monuments to honor our veterans, including Wall South. A 13-member board will lead the foundation. The steering committee, which includes Brown, Butch Hansen, Dave Glassman, Joe Glover, Michael Swinehart and Charlie Switzer, will appoint the first board.

Rachel Andrews
The Pensacola State College student has been named a 2013 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation sponsors the Academic Team program by recognizing 50 gold, 50 silver and 50 bronze scholars nationally. Andrews graduates in May and plans to earn a bachelor’s degree at Florida State University with a double major in biochemistry and pre-med biology. Her long-term goal is to be an infectious disease doctor. Andrews is president of Pensacola State’s Phi Theta Kappa Chapter and is active in PTK community service projects.

From Blue to Better
The Gulf Coast Kid’s House and several other local children and family centered organizations have decorated bridges in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties with blue bows in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month and to raise awareness about the problem plaguing our area. Last year, Escambia County had 4,300 cases reported.

Losers
Fred Gunther
The Community Maritime Park Associates board member tried for the Pensacola Political Trifecta and came up short. Gunther stopped the YMCA from leasing Parcel 8 at the maritime park, questioned Beck Properties from leasing Parcel 1 at a committee meeting and then presented his own proposal for the same parcel. He claims that he did nothing wrong, but the public believes otherwise, based on comments we’ve received. The Pensacola Political Circus continues.

Lt. Col. James Wilkerson
The man was convicted of aggravated sexual assault against a civilian contractor at Aviano Air Base in Italy. As his punishment, Wilkerson was dismissed from the Air Force and sentenced to one year in jail. Lt. Gen Craig Franklin then overturned the conviction and freed his fellow pilot, reinstating him back into the Air Force. Now Wilkerson is being reassigned to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz., where many of Wilkerson’s victim’s family resides. Another bizarre episode in how the military deals with sexual assault.

West, Texas
Twelve people were killed, approximately 200 people injured and several blocks of the town were leveled on April 17 when the West Fertilizer Plant exploded. Unfortunately, it didn’t get the full attention that the tragedy deserved because it happened two days after the Boston Marathon bombings.