Reggie Dogan

Reggie Dogan Project Manager

Education

‘Stop Bullying: Speak Up’ rally

The best way to handle bullying is to confront it. Read full story

Government

Dollars for defense

More than a quarter of a million dollars has been awarded to Escambia County to diversify the economy and to enhance military missions at Pensacola Naval Air Station and protect it from encroachment. Read full story

Voices

Engaging parents in education

The Studer Institute wants to improve the quality of life for people in Pensacola. Read full story

Education

Teachers warming up to Common Core

The mission of Common Core was simple: to set educational standards in every state so that everyone is working toward the same goals and measured by the same standards. Read full story

Government

Pay homage to firefighters

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Education

Student learning workshops comes to UWF

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Voices

Thanks, Big Read

Woodrow Wilson said he would never read a book if it were possible for him to talk half an hour with the man who wrote it. Read full story

Community

Talking with Tim

In a simple but compelling narrative, Tim O’Brien illuminates the complexity of a war that is fought not only on the battlefield but also in the mind, body and soul of combat warriors. Read full story

News

The Big Read Comes to Pensacola

Flack Logan served on the USS Forrestal and flew combat missions in Vietnam. Read full story

News

Medicinal marijuana debate comes to Pensacola

One of Florida’s hottest political debates is coming to Pensacola. The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida’s Medical Marijuana Education forum will take place at the West Florida Regional Library, 239 N. Spring St., Thursday, Oct. 2, at 6 p.m. The forum is to provide a better understanding of epilepsy and medical marijuana, and the potential treatment option the Amendment 2 ballot measure would provide. Other discussions are planned in Jacksonville, Gainesville, Miami and Broward. Florida voters in November will get decide on whether marijuana should be legalized for medicinal purposes. The Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, or Amendment 2, will be on the Nov. 4 ballot as an initiated constitutional amendment. State law requires 60 percent of voters to approve constitutional amendments. If approved, the measure would legalize medical marijuana, guaranteeing its use medically is not a criminal offense under state law. Approval also means licensed doctors can legally issue marijuana to patients diagnosed with a “debilitating medical condition.” Speakers in Pensacola will include Dr. J. Ben Renfroe, a neurologist, Dr. Joseph Rosado, a primary care physician, Quintina Collin, a patient’s family member, and state Rep. Matt Gaetz, who sponsored Charlotte’s Web law. A representative with United For Care and one with Vote 2 also are on the panel. Mollye Barrows of the Studer Institute is the moderator. Amendment 2 supporters say the measure will help people with debilitating medical conditions, Opponents argue the amendment is a first step toward legalizing marijuana in Florida. Gov. Rick Scott signed a law this year allowing use of “Charlotte’s Web,” a cannabis-based oil with no intoxicating properties, to treat childhood epilepsy and some other conditions. Rep. Gaetz supports Charlotte’s Web but opposed the amendment that allows for the much wider use of medical marijuana. “As a limited government conservative, I don’t want the government standing between parents and the care they need for their children, Gaetz said in an interview with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Advocates for the amendment say it’s a step in the right direction but will only benefit a small group of people. The main group against the amendment, the Drug Free Florida Committee, has been running campaigns, including Internet ads, which say, “Amendment 2 Creates 1,800 Pot Shops All Over Florida.” The Florida Sheriffs Association has aligned itself with the committee in opposition of the amendment. Newly filed finance reports show groups on both sides of the issue have spent nearly $1.9 million in mid-September on advertising-related costs, according to the News Service of Florida. The Drug Free Florida Committee reported spending a total of $1,788,447 from Sept. 13-19, with $1,779,645 of that going to Jamestown Associates LLC for what was described as “media placement.” A committee spokeswoman said earlier this month that amendment opponents planned to spend $1.6 million on television ads, slated to start running in October. A pro-amendment group known as People United for Medical Marijuana reported spending a total of $133,754 from Sept. 13-19, with $114,500 of that going to the Weston-based firm Impact Politics for advertising. For more information, call (305) 670-4949, or email kegozi@efof.org. This article originally appeared on Progress+Promise. Read full story

Education

Escambia Charter School aims to make a bigger difference

Escambia Charter School is shooting for the stars again. The tiny Escambia county school last year shared the spotlight with celebrities and entertainers as a recipient of the Make A Difference Day award. This year the school wants to be an All-Star among the shining stars. With the goal of helping others and high hopes of being honored again, students are hard at work collecting food and clothing and raising money for a good cause. Through serving the community on Make A Difference Day on Oct. 25, the school aims to make history. The charter school for at-risk students entered the annual do-good contest in the All-Star category, which is reserved for previous Make A Difference Day winners. “We got such a good response from the kids last year that we wanted to expand our efforts to include a cross-section of the community,” said Principal Jerome Chisolm. Civic and community groups enlisted to help this year include the Civitans, Manna Food Bank, Waterfront Mission, Nemours Clinic and A Will & Way. Last year, the school donated its $10,000 award to A Will & Way, a women’s prison ministry in Pensacola. This year more than 40 students, along with parents, guardians and volunteers are collecting donations to distribute 5,000 pounds of food and canned goods in Century on Oct. 25. Additional food will go to the Manna Food Bank and Waterfront Mission. On the same day, students and volunteers will prepare breakfast to feed the hungry and homeless at Waterfront Mission. Later in the afternoon, they will prepare dinner for residents at the Ronald McDonald House. They also will clean up yards for senior citizens and deliver clothes to Waterfront Mission and Favor House, a shelter for battered women and children. Make A Difference Day is the nation’s largest day of service, bringing together millions of Americans to volunteer in their local neighborhoods and communities. It was started in 1992 by Gannett Co. Inc.’s USA WEEKEND Magazine, along with partners, Newman’s Own Inc. and Points of Light. Escambia Charter School last year was selected from thousands of nationwide volunteer initiatives that took place during the 2013 Make A Difference Day. It was the only organization in Florida to receive a Make A Difference Award. “The students get real world exposure and get a firsthand look at what doing good can do for them,” Chisolm said. “We want to continue to capitalize on our slogan: ‘Enter to learn; depart to serve.’ “ If you want to help the students help others, contact Jerome Chisolm at 937-0500, or email jchisolm@echarter.org. Drop off donations at Escambia Charter School, 391 90 & 9 Ranch Road, Cantonment, FL 32533. This article originally appeared on Progress+Promise. Read full story

Education

Meet the new crop of Take Stock scholars

More than two dozen young people have an opportunity to improve their lives by attending college. Take Stock in Children announced its 26 recipients of the Florida Prepaid College Tuition Scholarship on Sept. 16 at New World Landing. The Escambia County Public Schools Foundation introduced the students to a gathering of nearly 300 family members, mentors, and community and civic leaders in attendance at the scholarship dinner. The new recipients bring to 118 the total number of students in the scholarship program in Escambia County. The students now are in grades seven through 12 and will receive college scholarships after graduation from high school, as long as they maintain program standards. To stay in good standing, students must agree to make good grades and regularly attend school; to be good citizens; to stay out of trouble and away from drugs; and to meet weekly with a volunteer mentor. Take Stock in Children is a statewide, nonprofit organization that provides scholarships and mentors to deserving students selected through a need-based application process. Public school officials select them at the end of the students’ sixth-grade year. Twenty-one of the new students this year are seventh-graders and five more were selected from previous years’ alternate lists. Currently, 75 high school graduates are pursuing their college education using Take Stock scholarships, and 45 already have graduated since the program’s inception in Escambia County in 2006. Many of the students are the first in their families to attend college. Money each scholarship is donated locally and a dollar-for-dollar match is received from Florida Prepaid College Foundation when scholarships are purchased. Sponsors for the Sept. 16 dinner included A Bodacious Family of Shops, AppRiver and the Escambia County Public Schools Foundation. Through Take Stock in Children, you can make a difference in the life of a young person. Whether it is donating money towards a scholarship or volunteering your time as a mentor, you can help give the greatest gift of all — an education. For more information, contact Sally Lee, director of Escambia County’s Take Stock in Children, at 469-5458, or email slee@escambia.k12.fl.us. The new students, their school and their mentor include: Read full story