Pensacola, Florida
Wednesday November 26th 2014

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Winners & Losers 5/1/14

Winners
Think Beyond & 350 Pensacola
The non-profit organization took on making bikes a part of downtown. They started Bikes at Work last fall to create a bicycle-sharing program for the employees of downtown Pensacola businesses. In March, the group leaders and 350 Pensacola hosted Funky Bike Fest in the city’s Belmont Devilliers neighborhood to promote Pensacola becoming a more bike-friendly community. On April 24, the city of Pensacola unveiled its colorful bike racks along Palafox Street. Congrats to Think Beyond and 350 Pensacola!

Cate Merrill
The wife of Collier Merrill chaired the 11th annual Autism Pensacola fundraiser, Connecting the Pieces. The fundraiser, held at the Sanders Beach Community Center on the evening of April 24, was a smashing success. All money raised from the Connecting the Pieces gala goes directly to support the programs of Autism Pensacola, which addresses the needs of local children and their families living with autism.

Elizabeth Jones
The engineering senior at the University of West Florida is the school’s first former armed forces member to win a national scholarship from Student Veterans of America. Jones, a Marine Corps corporal who received an honorable medical discharge, was awarded the $5,000 scholarship through the group’s Wounded Veteran Scholarship program.

Losers
Ashton Hayward
To get out his message of “positivity” and optimism, Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward and Communications Director Tamara Fountain wanted to spend more than $20,000 on a series of televised segments on the various city departments that would be aired in the months leading to the city primaries in August. The public cried “foul,” and Hayward dropped out of the show blaming unnamed political opponents for his decision.

West Florida Recycling
Last year, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection said the conditions at its plant were unacceptable. Then in March the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. On Monday, West Florida Recycling temporarily closed the facility supposedly because of onsite flooding. Some plant employees told WEAR TV that they had been paid for two weeks of work. This is spiraling in the wrong direction.

Charlie Crist
A new poll by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research shows Governor Rick Scott and Democratic challenger Charlie Crist in a dead heat— knotted at 42 percent apiece—with more than 10 percent of voters undecided. Scott leads in the North Florida and Southwest Florida regions and Central Florida. Crist does well in Tampa Bay, his home region, and leads Scott by 21 points in Southeast Florida. The stage is set for a brutal showdown.