MALCOLM THOMAS The Escambia County Superintendent of Schools has apparently seen the light and is sounding like he may take Lincoln Park Elementary off death row and not close the school that serves primarily African-American families. The school district has had its student population continually shrink over the past decade. It has been easier to close schools like Lincoln Park than for the administration to improve them. Thomas will announce his final decision on the school soon.
MICHAEL BRANT DEMARIA The Pensacola psychologist, author, speaker and recording artist has received his third and fourth Grammy nominations. His third album, “Gaia,” was DeMaria’s third album to top the New Age Chart. It then went on to be nominated for four Zone Music Awards in February 2011 and then went on to win Best World Music Album of 2010 and garnered the top honor of Album of the Year across all categories. DeMaria composed the music for “Gaia” during the Gulf Oil Spill and a portion of proceeds go to support wildlife recovery.
PENSACOLA SPORTS The University of West Florida and the Pensacola Sports Association hosted the 2011 NCAA Division II Soccer Championships this past week. Our area was mentioned in sports sections around the nation. While in Pensacola for the NCAA Championships, the student-athletes volunteered their time at the Manna Food Bank.
BOB COLE It’s never good when the FBI and IRS come knocking on the doors of your home and business. The Santa Rosa County Commissioner appears to be caught up in a federal grand jury investigation of the privately-run Blackwater state prison and other county land deals. Sources are saying that the raid on his home and business are just the beginning of what could be more raids and arrests that could include current and former county commissioners.
MEGAN PRATT The Pensacola city councilperson and chair of the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency had to sit through two hours of her peers questioning her actions in regard to her hiring of outside counsel without their approval and the drafting of an alternative interlocal agreement with Mayor Ashton Hayward without any board votes on what should be included in the draft. In the end, the board absolved her “sins,” but fired the attorney and rejected even discussing the draft.
HERMAN CAIN The Republican presidential hopeful suspended his campaign on Saturday, Dec. 3. Cain, who appeared the favorite of Florida Republicans, spent much of November defending himself against sexual harassment claims. His businessman’s approach to issues and lack of elective experience appealed to voters weary of career politicians, and he wasn’t Mormon, which appears to be the chief complaint against front-runner Mitt Romney.