Pensacola, Florida
Friday October 31st 2014

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Winners & Losers 7/3/14

Winners & Losers is not quite as old as the Inweekly, formerly known as “The Independent News,” “The Independent Sun,” “The Independent Florida Sun,” “Florida Sun,” and “Pensacola Independent News.” The column first appeared in the Oct. 5, 2000 issue with only two entries. Since then, the editorial column has become one of the key components of the Inweekly news empire. Therefore, the Winners & Losers staff asked for the week off to watch the World Cup and buy firecrackers. On a cocktail napkin they left this all-Winners 15th Anniversary edition of their award-winning column. Enjoy!

Patty Hightower
Escambia County School Board member and president of the Florida School Boards Association has earned the distinction of Advanced Boardsmanship Certification. This award recognizes school board members who demonstrate exemplary leadership traits through proactive work at the local and regional, state or national levels. Hightower is only one of seven school board members in the state to have earned this honor.

Matt Gaetz
The Florida Chamber of Commerce announced House Speaker Will Weatherford as their 2014 Most Valuable Legislator and honored Rep. Matt Gaetz (R- Shalimar) with its 2014 Distinguished Advocates awards. Gaetz was honored for championing issues in the chamber’s never-ending war against trial lawyers.

Alistar McKenzie
The U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals revived a 2011 lawsuit alleging city officials violated the First Amendment when they evicted Occupy Pensacola from Pensacola City Hall grounds. McKenzie, an IN Rising Star, has represented the protest group since it formed three years ago. The appeals court let stand Judge Roger Vinson’s ruling on McKenzie’s enforcement argument, but overturned his decision to dismiss the remaining claims sending those back to be heard in the lower court.

REBUILD Northwest Florida
FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate came to Pensacola to recognize the 10,000th home mitigation project completed by REBUILD Northwest Florida. The milestone capped over seven years of efforts by REBUILD to apply FEMA grants to the fortification of single-family homes in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

Covenant Hospice
The 6th Annual Life’s a Dance raised approximately $70,000 for Covenant Hospice and its unfunded and non-reimbursed programs. The event, presented by Fred Astaire Dance Studio Pensacola owners Dawn Westberry and Victor Luna, was held on Friday, June 20, at the Saenger Theatre.

Gulf Coast Kid’s House
The non-profit organization that serves child victims of abuse in Escambia County is celebrating its 10th anniversary with an announcement that it plans to expand. Gulf Coast Kid’s House’s expansion will help increase the number of children helped and the scope of services offered.