Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday March 19th 2019


Winners & Losers 5/24/18

Cate Merrill
The Autism Pensacola board of directors unanimously approved the selection of the Pensacola native to serve as its next president and chief executive officer. Merrill, who received her master’s degree in communication disorders, has worked as a speech and language pathologist in a variety of settings. She begins May 29, following the retirement of Susan Byram, the organization’s founding CEO. Byram will continue to serve as an executive consultant through July 2018.

Paws on Palafox
Pensacola Humane Society’s signature dog walk, Paws on Palafox, returned to Plaza de Luna last month and was the most lucrative since the event’s inception in 2013, raising more than double of the previous years. The proceeds went directly towards its Barbara Grice Memorial Low-Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic, which performs approximately 5,000 surgeries per year. Over 800 animal lovers and their four-legged friends walked, danced, pranced and strutted throughout the streets of downtown Pensacola this year.

Geonna Tatum and Parker Kotlarz
GPS Hospitality, one of the nation’s largest Burger King franchisees, recently announced its awarding of 187 Burger King McLamore Foundation scholarships to students in 10 states this graduation season. Tatum, of Escambia High, and Kotlarz, of Pensacola Catholic, were selected from Escambia County. Funded solely through local restaurants’ guest donations, students named Burger King Scholars receive $1,000 scholarships and join more than 3,400 other recipients throughout North America that were awarded a collective $3.7 million in 2018.

Steven Kunkemoeller
One of the men involved in a scheme to defraud Florida charter schools out of nearly $1 million in public education funding last week was sentenced by Judge Thomas Dannheisser to more than 55.5 months in prison to be followed by 10 years of probation. Kunkemoeller was convicted in March of racketeering and organized fraud for using a shell company to order school supplies and triple the price before reselling them to Newpoint charter schools across the state, splitting the proceeds with alleged co-conspirator Marcus May. Inweekly first broke the story of problems with the Newpoint-run charter schools in Escambia County in the spring of 2015.

Wild Greg’s Saloon
The downtown Pensacola bar has had one of the worst months a drinking establishment can experience. A manager and a bouncer were arrested and face battery charges for an incident at about midnight on May 4 when one patron was allegedly kicked in the face. The same bouncer was arrested again on May 14 in connection with an alleged February assault that was so severe that the victim was coughing up blood, and then the bouncer allegedly took another victim into an elevator to attack him. On May 19, Wild Greg’s Saloon owner and manager were arrested on charges of destroying or tampering with evidence associated with the February incident. Both men were also charged with resisting an officer without violence.