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Friday April 25th 2014

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Winners & Losers 5/9/13

Winners
Lorenzo Aguilar
The 2013 IN Rising Star and Team Anytime Fitness-Downtown Pensacola raised the most contributions for the Relay for Life in Gulf Breeze. The team raised $11, 386 as a team and Aguilar brought in the most funds raised individually for the entire event at $4,244.

Emily Simon
The kindergarten teacher at West Navarre Primary School has been named the Santa Rosa Rookie of the Year 2013. She was selected from a field of 32 educators with three or less years of teaching experience who were honored at this event. The Gulf Breeze Area Chamber of Commerce Sara Caudell Scholarship was matched by a donation left by the late Mrs. Jo Nutt, in memory of her deceased children, to award Simon with a $1,000 scholarship.

West Florida Literary Federation
Florida Humanities Council has awarded Pensacola’s West Florida Literary Federation a $15,000 grant to bring noted scholar-poet-performer Kwame Dawes to Pensacola for “Art in Motion: From the Gallery to the Theatre.” An Emmy winner and prize-winning poet, Dawes is currently the Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska, where he is a Chancellor’s Professor of English. He will perform in Pensacola on Oct. 24.

Losers
Jeb Bush
The former Florida governor and his Foundation for Florida’s Future fought hard for the “parent trigger” bill, only to see the Florida Senate kill it with a 20-20 vote. Bush and other pro-charter groups wanted the bill because it would have allowed parents to vote to close failing schools or convert them to charter schools. Bush was no match for the soccer moms and PTAs across the state.

NRA
The National Rifle Association kicked off its annual convention in Houston with a speech from its incoming president James Porter in which he declared the organization was in “culture war” with those wanting to pass gun control legislation.
Really?

School Drug Searches
Drug expulsions are up at the Escambia County Public School District. None of the drugs were found because of the drug dogs employed by the district. The school board voted in 2010 to purchase daily drug dog services for county schools as part of its new comprehensive drug awareness plan. The board spends $37,000 to pay 24 off-duty canine officers from the Pensacola Police Department and Escambia County Sheriff’s Office to conduct the searches throughout the year. Three years later, the searches aren’t having an impact.