BISHOP JOHN RICARD Pope Benedict XVI has granted retirement to the Most Reverend John H. Ricard, SSJ, Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee. The retirement is effective immediately. In addition to serving as the shepherd for the diocese’s nearly 65,000 Catholics, Ricard served in national and international roles within the Catholic Church. He traveled on frequent peacebuilding missions abroad, notably to Bosnia, North Korea and Africa, as the president and later a board member of Catholic Relief Services from 1995 to 2002. Ricard will become the Bishop Emeritus of Pensacola-Tallahassee, and will reside at St. Joseph Seminary in Washington, DC.
PSC ACADEMIC TEAM Pensacola State College students Anne Benaue, Wesley Greene, Maria Zilda Beltrao Hyatt, Steven Jones and Maribeth Soyka have made the 2011 Phi Theta Kappa All-Florida Academic Team. This year’s team includes 108 students that represent Florida’s state and community colleges, and one independent university. Students are chosen based on exceptional academic achievement, leadership and community service.
DESK TO ROAD PROGRAM This program and the Tactical Anti-crime Unit have resulted in an overall decline in crime in Escambia County. Crimes against persons in February 2011 declined 41 percent from 166 crimes in February 2010 to 97 crimes in February 2011. The Desk to Road program requires officers assigned to administrative positions at the Sheriff’s Office to dedicate time during their workweek to patrolling the community and supplementing the patrol section.
NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO Last week wasn’t a good one for NPR. Its CEO Vivian Schiller and chief fundraiser Ron Schiller resigned over the controversy surrounding a video that was released showing Ron Schiller criticizing Republicans as “anti-intellectual” and calling the Tea Party “racist.” He thought he was meeting with two men pretending to be from a fictional group called the “Muslim Action Education Center.” NPR turned down a $5 million donation from the actors.
STEPHEN C. JONES The Petty Officer may be discharged from the US Navy after he fell asleep in another sailor’s bed while watching “The Vampire Diaries.” Jones, who hails from Pensacola, claimed that the relationship between the two sailors was platonic, stating that he simply fell asleep in fellow sailor Brian McGee’s bed while watching the show. Every weird news story has either a Pensacola or a Germany connection.
MARY ANNE CARTER Gov. Rick Scott’s chief policy advisor didn’t want to pay for the kidney transplant of Gladys Scott to her sister Jamie. The two had their life prison sentences suspended in January by fellow Republican, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, on the condition that the transplant was done within one year of their release. Though many praised Barbour for his act, Carter claimed he did it to avoid the cost of paying for the dialysis care for Jamie, who had moved to Pensacola to live with her family.