Winners & Losers 11/21/19
Joseph T. Spaniola
Dr. Spaniola, UWF professor and director of music theory and jazz studies, received the 2018- 2019 American Prize in Composition third-place honors in the Instrumental Chamber Music–Larger Ensemble Category for his composition DREAM, a Euphonium and String Quartet. The American Prize celebrates American Excellence in the Arts. DREAM is included on Spaniola’s recently released album ESCAPADE: Music for Large and Small Ensembles.
Hollinger Award Recipients
The Baptist Health Care Foundation announced the 2019 Hollinger Award recipients for outstanding service contributions to Baptist Health Care—Volunteer of the Year, Edna Moore; Women’s Board Volunteer, Monica Sherman; Health Care Professional, Tammie Stefanko; Human Services Professional of the Year, Edna Williams; Physician of the Year, Michael Dolister, M.D.; and Lifetime Achievement, W. Luther Taylor. The award is named in memory of longtime supporters of Baptist Health Care Pick and Alberta Hollinger. The couple worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for those served by Baptist.
Rat Pack Reunion
The Council on Aging of West Florida event raised over $200,000, making it among the most successful in the nonprofit’s history. More than 350 individuals attended the black-tie gala that roasted and toasted four community leaders—Ashton Hayward, Michael Murdoch, Michael Riesberg and Brenda Vigodsky. The monies raised go directly to the programs and services provided by Council on Aging of West Florida, such as Meals on Wheels, adult day care, respite, in-home services, companionship and more.
Jurors found the longtime friend and campaign advisor of President Donald Trump guilty on seven counts, including five counts of lying to Congress, one count of witness tampering and one count of obstruction. Stone had pled not guilty and vowed he would be “vindicated” at trial. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 6, 2020. Stone faces up to 50 years in prison according to the statutory maximum, but the actual sentence is likely going to be much lower.
Farm Service Agency
The U.S. Justice Department charged 29 people in the Florida Panhandle, including a federal official, after an investigation into “widespread public corruption” over misused federal farm money. According to the indictment, a county-level director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency, Duane Edward Crawson, led “a broad-based conspiracy” that allegedly defrauded taxpayers of more than $373,000 intended for drought-stricken farmers.
State Ballot Order
Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker struck down a state law that requires candidates who are in the same party as the governor to be listed first on the ballot. Judge Walker ruled the law unconstitutional because it “imposes a discriminatory burden on plaintiffs’ voting rights, which is not of the same magnitude as entirely denying plaintiffs the franchise but is not negligible either.” He added the Constitution does not allow “a state to put its thumb on the scale and award an electoral advantage to the party in power.”