The Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners selected Adrian Lowndes of the Information Technology/GIS Department as its employee of the year for 2016. He has the honor of being the very first recipient of this award. Lowndes has written more than 30 custom in-house software apps for the county’s various departments, saving taxpayers more than $2 million in software expenditures and maintenance costs.
To support music education and to celebrate local educators who excel, the Blues Angel Music Foundation announced the awarding of its inaugural Music Educator of the Year prize to Jonathan Clark. Clark is a team leader and strings instructor at several schools in the Escambia County School District. He is the founder of the Fifth Grade Strings Program that teaches more than 400 students per week. He is also the director of the Emerald Coast Honors Orchestra, a performance-based string orchestra comprised of local students.
UWF Historic Trust
The University of West Florida Historic Trust has joined “Museums for All,” a signature access program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Association of Children’s Museums. “Museums for All” enables up to four people, with a presentation of an Electronic Benefits Transfer card and a valid form of identification, to visit all Historic Pensacola museums and the Pensacola Museum of Art at no charge.
When Pensacola Police arrested a student for possession of a handgun on the campus of Booker T. Washington High School, Superintendent Thomas and the school administration tried to keep the news away from the parents, teachers, and students. Parents received only a robocall for the school’s principal saying the student had been arrested for possession of an “illegal item.” The lack of transparency fed rumors and misinformation that made the situation worse. Other school districts send out emails, hold meetings with the faculty and even have assemblies to dispel rumors but not Escambia County.
Several weeks ago, a tall wooden pole was erected on Baylen Street, one block north of The M.C. Blanchard Judicial Building. According to the City of Pensacola’s public information officer, Vernon Stewart, the city’s engineering department approved AT&T installing the pole. Currently, city officials are working with the carrier to have the pole relocated. Oops.
Escambia County Staff
County staff released a draft of the traffic study regarding the possible closure of Rawson Lane to Pensacola Christian College before making the report available to the public on the county’s website. The County admitted the report was released to the college prior to posting it online for the public before the Feb. 7 workshop. County Commissioner Lumon May said that PCC getting the study earlier than everyone else “disappointed” him.