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Saturday April 19th 2014

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Winners & Losers 11/07/13

Winners

Pat Young
The president of The Arc Gateway has been sworn in as president of The Arc of Florida. Pat’s focus will be to bring state attention to the needs of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, especially in the Panhandle where budget cuts have been felt more deeply. She will lobby for increasing state funding for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and the misuse of restraints and seclusion rooms.

Daisy Robinson
The Escambia County school bus driver has been hailed as a hero for rescuing a 3-year-old whom she spotted wandering across railroad tracks on East Kingsfield Road and State Road 95 in the Gonzalez area. Robinson, who was taking a bus of students to Ransom Middle School, stopped the bus and took the child to a nearby Circle K and called the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

Halloween at The Y
Every year, the YMCA brings together businesses, community groups, and volunteers of all ages to host a unique trick or treat event for special needs kids at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Last week, more than 300 of these special kids dressed up, enjoyed costumes and treats, and danced to crowd favorites—proving that those with different abilities are much more like their typical peers than they are different.

Losers

Escambia County Animal Shelter
Two more unwanted deaths occurred last month at the county facility. In one incident, the euthanasia occurred when a dog owner changed her mind the same day she turned custody of her aggressive pit bull over to the shelter. However, when she called the shelter, the dog had already been put down. The following day, another dog was killed after the shelter employees were unable to contact the pet owner via phone.

Escambia County Waters
A second case of the flesh-eating bacteria Vibrio vulnificus has been confirmed in Escambia County, bringing the total number of cases reported in Florida to 37. This bacterium normally lives in warm, brackish seawater. People with open wounds can be exposed through direct contact with seawater and can cause disease in those who eat raw shellfish.  Brevard and Hillsborough are the only counties with more cases, four each.

Preterm Births
Florida again earned a “D” on the 2013 March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card. The state’s preterm birth rate peaked 2005 through 2008 at 13.8 percent of all live births. The 2012 preliminary preterm birth rate jumped to 13.7 percent. Escambia County’s preterm birth rate for 2010-2012 was a whopping 16.6 percent, the fourth highest in Florida.