Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday September 17th 2019


Winners & Losers 8/22/19

Blue Wahoos
Pensacola’s professional baseball team continues to show it’s a class act. Earlier this month, Blue Wahoos president Jonathan Griffith named Wade Vadakin as the team’s new batboy for the 2020 season and presented him a Blue Wahoos jersey at Mobile’s Hank Aaron Stadium. Vadakin, age 40, was born with congenital brain stem damage and visual impairment and has been battling cancer. He has been “Director of On-Field Operations” for the Mobile BayBears for years but faced losing his connection to baseball when the team relocates to Huntsville next year. Great hire, Blue Wahoos.

Dona and Milton Usry
Pensacola State College received a $100,000 donation from the Usrys to establish the Dona and Milton Usry Endowed Accounting Scholarship for full- or part-time Pensacola State students majoring in the field of accounting with a 2.5 or higher grade point average. Recipients must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien. Scholarship funds can be used for tuition, fees, books and other supplies. Preference will be given to students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field.

Melissa Keener
The Pensacola Allstate agent convinced more than 27 Allstate teammates to volunteer for a backpack drive. Her group project was a success, with nearly 250 backpacks collected. It also allowed Keener and her fellow Allstate agents to earn a $20,000 Allstate Foundation grant for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Northwest Florida. Since its inception in 1952, The Allstate Foundation has contributed over $449 million to support community nonprofits.

Jeff Miller
The Washington D.C. watchdog Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint with the Department of Justice that alleged the former Florida congressman violated a one-year ban on aiding foreign entities after leaving the House by working as an agent of the Qatar government in 2017. When he left office, Miller registered under the federal Foreign Agents Registration Act and indicated in the filing he would be only lobbying members of the Executive Branch. CLC claimed Miller wasn’t allowed to advise a foreign entity at all in 2017.

Milton High School Administrators
Two months ago, the State Attorney’s office issued a report that found the Milton High School administration had allowed coaches and volunteers in its athletic programs to be paid stipends for sports for which they did little work, if any. School Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick transferred MHS Athletic Director Murry Rutledge to the Exceptional Student Services Department and handed out unpaid suspensions to Principal Tim Short and Assistant Principal Benjamin West.

Theron Toole
Last week, Rear Adm. Tina Davidson removed Capt. Toole from his post as commander of the Navy Medicine Operational Training Center in Pensacola, a position that he had held for nearly 14 months. Bureau of Medicine and Surgery spokeswoman Angela Steadman told the media that Davidson expressed a “loss of confidence” in Toole’s ability to command the center. Toole is pending reassignment to Rear Adm. Davidson’s staff at Navy Medicine Education, Training and Logistics Command.