ASHTON HAYWARD The Mayor of Pensacola scored big with his announcement of the demolition of the dilapidated Blount Junior High School, which has been closed since 1982. Fulfilling a campaign promise to crack down on blight and improve neighborhoods, Hayward joined Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan in announcing an agreement between the owners of the old Blount school building on East Gregory Street and the city, which will purchase the school using federal grant dollars and demolish for residential housing.
MITT ROMNEY The Aug. 18-22 Sachs/Mason-Dixon poll has President Barack Obama trailing Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, 51 percent to 43 percent. Romney has a seven-point lead over Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has been in the race a little over two weeks, among likely Republican primary voters in Florida—28 percent to 21 percent. Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann is a distant third, with only 13 percent.
MARYANN USTICK The Destin City Council has selected Maryann Ustick, former City of Pensacola assistant city manager and current acting city manager in North Las Vegas, to be Destin’s new city manager. From 1999 to 2003, Ustick was the Assistant City Manager of Development—a job very similar to Mayor Hayward’s proposed Chief of Economic Opportunities and Sustainability.
SANTA ROSA COUNTY The Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners has been served with two subpoenas for a Federal Grand Jury. The subpoenas concern the proposed new courthouse, land purchases, emergency services contracts and travel to Honduras and Washington, D.C. The Santa Rosa County Good Ol’ Boys might have a problem or two.
PINE FOREST HIGH SCHOOL State Senator Don Gaetz talks about the importance of encouraging all seniors to attend college—two- and four-year colleges. Pine Forest had a 10 percent drop from 2009 in seniors taking the ACT, a college entrance exam. All other Escambia County high schools either maintained or improved their 2009 percentage of seniors taking the exam.
BP The oil giant had to deal with sheens of oil observed in the vicinity of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion. The Macondo well was permanently killed by sealing the well and annulus with cement on Sept. 19, 2010. BP told the media that a standard visual wellhead inspection proved there is no release of oil from the well. However, it doesn’t mean the oil isn’t seeping from a fracture in the reservoir.