Pensacola, Florida
Thursday October 17th 2019


Winners & Losers 9/19/19

Friends of the Escambia County Animal Shelter
Florida Animal Friends awarded a $25,000 grant to Friends of the Escambia County Animal Shelter for the Spay Neuter Initiative Pensacola, or SNIP. This grant will enable SNIP to provide high-quality, low-cost and accessible spay and neuter services to low-income families residing in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. These services will be provided for $25 per pet until funds from the grant run out.

McArthur Elementary School
The school and its PTA have been recognized by National PTA as a School of Excellence.
The program supports partnerships between PTAs and schools to enrich the educational experience and overall well-being for all students. Schools and their PTAs must team up and enroll in this eight-step, year-long program. At McArthur, they deployed a baseline survey, set objectives, followed a “Roadmap to Excellence” and conducted a second survey as parts of their action plan for school improvement. Their final plan incorporated the PTA’s National Standards for Family-School Partnerships.

Dixon School of Arts and Sciences
Cox Communications employees have awarded a total of $10,000 in grants to local schools through Cox Charities Innovation in Education Grants. The program provides employee-funded grants of up to $2,500 for classroom programs and curriculum that encourage and promote students’ ingenuity and imagination. Last spring, schools were invited to submit applications for funding. Dixon received funding for their Dixon School Garden, which is used by the culinary arts program to teach biology, math and chemistry.

Purdue Pharma
The maker of the painkiller OxyContin filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in New York as part of its framework for settling litigation with multiple states and governments. After bankruptcy filings are complete, the company estimates it will provide more than $10 billion in funding to address the opioid crisis, which will include settlements with 24 state attorneys general, officials from five US territories and the multi-district litigation, according to a statement released by the company. Meanwhile, CNN reported that the New York attorney general’s office is trying to determine how much money the Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma, have and reportedly found millions of dollars in wire transfers involving Mortimer D.A. Sackler, a former Purdue board member.

Unlimited School Board Terms
Rep. Anthony Sabatini filed a proposed constitutional amendment (HR 157) that would impose eight-year term limits on school board members. If the proposal passes the House and Senate, it will go on the November 2020 ballot because imposing term limits would require amending the state Constitution. Had the issue been passed by voters in 2018, Escambia County School Board members Bill Slayton (three terms) and Patti Hightower (four terms) would have had to step down next year.

Wilbur Ross
The Commerce Secretary strong-armed NOAA into supporting President Donald Trump’s insistence that Alabama was in Hurricane Dorian’s path. According to media reports,
Ross threatened acting NOAA Administrator Neil Jacobs and his staff with termination unless they corrected statements made by its Birmingham office that the storm wouldn’t impact Alabama.