Pensacola, Florida
Monday October 20th 2014

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Winners & Losers 6/19/14

Winners

Okaloosa County Veterans’ Court
The court recently held a special ceremony in recognition of veterans who have completed their treatment goals and terms of their plea agreements with the Okaloosa County Veterans’ Court and its partners. This program, which held its first session August 2010, is a unique hybrid drug court program that addresses veterans experiencing mental health, substance use, or co-occurring diagnosis, which are a result of trauma, post traumatic stress disorder, military sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury or other trauma tied to their military service.

Covenant Hospice
The non-profit was recently presented the American Heart Association’s Fit-Friendly Worksite Gold Achievement Award. The award is presented to a workplace that has been recognized by the American Heart Association for meeting criteria for employee wellness. The award recognizes companies that demonstrate progressive leadership by making the health and wellness of their employees a priority.

Madison Pacheco
The Pensacola High School senior shot a 3-over-par 75 at the Dancing Rabbit Golf Club in Philadelphia, Miss. to earn the opportunity to compete against the top junior female golfers in the world. She will play next month in the U.S. Girls Junior Golf Championship. Pacheco finished this past school year third in the girls’ 2A state tournament. She has been the PNJ Female Golfer of the Year for three consecutive years.

Loser

Malcolm Thomas
The month of June has not been kind to the Escambia County superintendent of schools. The FCAT results were lukewarm. The national media is blasting the district for the censorship of a novel at Washington High, and a bus driver is caught on video slapping a nine-year-old, special needs student. This is also the summer Thomas wants the voters to extend the local option tax for schools. The timing could not be worse.

Solid Waste Management
The Escambia County department that grants permits for construction and debris landfills failed to point out to the county commissioners that the permits require such facilities to not be visible from adjacent properties, have dust suppression systems and not have any fumes drift into surrounding neighborhoods. The residents of the Wedgewood and Longleaf neighborhoods would have liked to have known this, too.

BP
The U.S. Supreme Court refused on June 9 to halt BP’s payments of claims stemming from 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. In a one-sentence order issued, the justices said they wouldn’t put an emergency hold on lower court rulings that require the oil company to begin making the payments, part of a $9.2 billion agreement. The court will announce later this year whether it will hear the oil giant’s appeal.