Pensacola, Florida
Wednesday December 17th 2014

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Winners & Losers 5/2/13

Winners

Pensacola Opera
National Endowment for the Arts has announced that Pensacola Opera is one of 817 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. Pensacola Opera is recommended for a $20,000 grant to support the expansion of its Artists in Residence program in 2014 to include an 11-week fall residency in addition to its regular 17-week spring residency. The program will bring six, young professional opera singers to Pensacola.

Nicholas Gupta
The Pensacola High senior is among more than 40 high school Florida seniors that have earned a 2013 National Merit Scholarship. They are part of the first group of winners awarded scholarships this year financed by businesses. Most of the awards are renewable for up to four years of college undergraduate study and provide annual stipends that range from $500 to $10,000 per year. Gupta’s scholarship was sponsored by the National Distillers Distributors Foundation.

Susan Rigby
The Escambia County District Teacher of the Year was presented the Governor’s Shine Award at a recent Florida Cabinet meeting for her commitment to improving Florida’s education system. Rigby has been teaching for 13 years and currently teaches ninth-grade mathematics at Pine Forest High School. She attributes her passion for teaching to her student’s success in the classroom.

Losers

SRIA
Sorry, the Tams aren’t Pearl Jam, Florence and the Machine or, even Willie Nelson. Listening to “Be Young, Be Foolish and Be Happy” might have been cool when Buck Lee was at Ole Miss, but they aren’t the concert band that will make the public forget the Blue Angels aren’t flying this summer. Maybe Banana Bob’s will have a reunion that weekend, too.

Florida House
Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, proposed an amendment to the House health care plan that would have accepted federal funding and provided insurance premiums to people with incomes of up to 138 percent of the poverty level. The measure would have supported more than 50,000 health care jobs in the state. The Republican-controlled House voted down the amendment.

Barack Obama
The FAA began on April 21 furloughing its 47,000 employees, including 15,000 air traffic controllers, to meet the budget cuts required under sequestration. After debating the issue for most of the week, both houses of Congress approved the legislation to give the Department of Transportation more flexibility with its budget. The president argued that the best solution to the flight delays would be to eliminate the sequester entirely, but later had to back off and concede to the FAA-only fix.