Pensacola, Florida
Wednesday January 16th 2019


Winners & Losers 9/3/15

Peter Nowak
The Pensacola businessman is funding “Officer Ernie,” an interactive educational tool that encourages children, ages four to eight, to pursue reading opportunities. Officer Ernie offers interactive reading lessons on a touch screen.  It will be located at the Fricker Center and the Theophalis May Neighborhood Resource Center.

City of Pensacola
Pensacola City Council approved a budget resolution to accept a $5.3 million settlement from BP stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The council allocated $2 million to replenish the city’s Natural Disaster Fund, $2.3 million toward stormwater projects, and the balance to pay legal fees associated with the agreement.

DeWayne Crocker Jr.
The young Pensacola music minister, age 19, won BET’s “Sunday Best: Race to the Stage” competition, beating out more than 15,000 other competitors in the online contest. The victory earned Crocker one of 10 spots in “Race to the Stage” preliminary competition to be held in New York City.

Gulf Coast Kid’s House
The Better Business Bureau® Foundation of Northwest Florida gave Gulf Coast Kid’s House its Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics. In 2014, Gulf Coast Kid’s House provided services to over 2,600 child victims of abuse and neglect. The trained professionals under one roof investigate, prosecute, heal, and prevent cases of child sexual and physical abuse, and severe neglect.

Cynthia O’Connell
The Secretary of the Florida Lottery announced last week her resignation, effective Oct. 1. Politico had reported O’Connell racked up nearly $30,000 in travel bills. In 2014, O’Connell took off 43 days, assigned her chief of staff in charge of the department another 24 days. Those nine weeks of vacation were roughly 20 percent of all workdays. She and her agency also have been criticized for poor financial management and a fraud investigation into recurring payouts.

Maritime Park Lease Process
The Community Maritime Park Associates Board of Directors passed leases for parcels 3, 6 and 9 that contained the 24 changes made by Mayor Ashton Hayward’s attorney – John Daniel of Beggs & Lane. The problem is there is no lessee.  Quint and Rishy Studer have withdrawn their proposals after some last-minute shenanigans by the mayor’s office.

Gun Violence
Our nation is averaging more than one mass killing incident a day this year. On Aug. 26, the day a gunman shot himself after killing two WDBJ-TV Virginia television reporters and, in a separate incident, four others were shot during a Minneapolis home invasion, the number of mass shooting incidents rose to 247 for the year, according to the Washington Post.  Aug. 26 was the 238th day of 2015. We are averaging 1.03 mass shootings a day. Ugh.