Pensacola, Florida
Thursday October 23rd 2014

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The Buzz 8/18/11

HATE CRIME Rev. LuTimothy May had the controversial pastor Dr. Jeremiah Wright speak in July to his congregation. Days after the unpublicized visit, May’s office at the University of West Florida was vandalized.

Using a pass key, someone broke into his UWF office and dumped sand on his desk, chair and fax machine, according to a UWF police report. The sand may have come from a cigarette bucket outside of the building where his office is located. UWF closed the case without any further investigation, labeling it “mischief/nuisance”, not a “hate crime”.

According to the UWF police report, no other UWF property was damaged, and no other offices were vandalized.

Wright is the Pastor Emeritus of Trinity United Church of Christ, where President Barack Obama and his family once worshipped. His sermons were targeted by Fox News and the Conservative Right during the 2008 presidential campaign for being “un-American”.

Wright’s Pensacola visit went without an incident, although local Republicans tried to stir up controversy among local elected officials. A few African-American “pretenders” attempted to use it to weaken support for Rev. May and his brother Lumon, who may be announcing his candidacy for county commissioner soon.

DRUG SEARCHES A BUST It sounded good at the time when Superintendent Malcolm Thomas and the Escambia County School Board funded routine drug searches at the schools using drug dogs. The final report shows that few drugs were found on campus, and the number of “hits” didn’t decrease because of the program.

During the 352 school searches, there were 28 alerts. Seven of the alerts resulted in findings of drugs; the remaining 21 alerts were for residue or odor. Prescription drugs were found twice during physical searches in conjunction with the K-9 drug searches. Only small quantities were found.

There were six alerts during the first 30 days of the 2010-2011 school year and five alerts during the last 30 days of the school year. Every high school had at least one alert, while only two middle schools had alerts.

While board member Jeff Bergosh touted the dog searches as a victory at the board’s workshop, it clearly was a waste of time and money. Less than 2 percent of the searches found drugs. The district spent about $36,000 from its general fund for the program. About two dozen off-duty canine officers from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and the Pensacola Police Department were utilized for the searches.