JACK GRAY The retired pastor of St. Anne’s Catholic Church was honored recently as Chaplain of the Day in the Florida Senate. Gray’s selection as Senate chaplain was sponsored by Senator Don Gaetz (R-Niceville). Gaetz cited Father Gray’s long service to the community, including his advocacy for the elderly through the West Florida Council on Aging. Father Gray opened the Senate session with prayer on faithfulness, remained on the floor during consideration of legislation and met privately with senators later in the day.
SUSAN J. MCKINNON The Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services at the University of West Florida is getting rave reviews from her boss, UWF President Dr. Judy Bense. Enrollment numbers are up for the summer and fall sessions at the university. McKinnon comes to Pensacola from the University of Central Florida, where she was Director of Undergraduate Admissions. UCF is the nation’s second-largest university, with an enrollment of over 56,000 students.
PENSACOLA CATHOLIC HIGH The school has won two national awards, which acknowledge the school’s innovations in teaching and learning. CHS is one of the 12 national recipients of the 2011 Catholic Schools for Tomorrow Award from Today’s Catholic Teacher for its iPod Pals Project, which connects its students with three different schools. The school has also been named an Apple Distinguished School for the second consecutive year, one of only 33 such schools in the nation.
ALABAMA LOVER An Alabama man was beaten and robbed of $300, an ATM card and his driver’s license Thursday after a local prostitute he’d developed feelings for set him up. The “date” started at the Cutty Sark Bar, which should have tipped off the Summerdale man that wedding bells might not be the prostitute’s motive.
COAST GUARD The new report from the Coast Guard on its response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster reveals that Coast Guard officials concealed from the public from the very beginning of the oil response that the well’s worst-case discharge amount was 100,000 barrels per day. BP calculated the figure before drilling the well, but the Coast Guard instead only reported 5,000 barrels a day, “apparently to avoid an adverse public reaction.”
SANTA ROSA SCHOOL DISTRICT Legal fees continue to mound as the school district deals with the lawsuits caused by former Pace High principal Frank Lay over school prayer. The school district has $705,415 in legal bills as of April 8, according to district records. Had former Superintendent Johnny Rogers and prior school boards reined Lay in years ago, the cash-strapped school system wouldn’t be dealing with this mess.
BUBBAS ON PATROL The Escambia County Commission is considering letting its 14 code enforcement officers carry concealed weapons. The last time they were armed, the results were disastrous, with the county having to face several lawsuits over abuse of police powers.