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Editorial By: Kelly Woodard

Each year when Mardi Gras rolls around, every lady from here to New Orleans gets to relive her high school formal days by dressing up from head to toe in true over the top fashion. This week was no exception for me as I prepared to once again attend the Cordova Mall Ball.
Never one to pass up an opportunity to buy a gorgeous dress and shop for accessories without getting put in the dog house by my husband, Mardi Gras is always one of my favorite times of the year. I live for the sparkles, the jewelry, and of course, the masquerade masks. Ready to score another win in the couples fashion department, I set out on the search for the perfect gown. Little did I know that this year, I was in “big” trouble.
As a lover of online shopping, I decided to start my quest there. To my astonishment, I found a dress on sale, in the perfect color, and in my size (or so I thought), that would be delivered just in time for the Ball. I ordered it, then spent my time making sure that my accessories and hair style were perfect. I even set out on a quest to find the perfect tux accessories for my husband. Everything was falling into place perfectly.
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The State of the Bubble Address
Making Sense by Michael Reagan

I didn't watch the State of the Union address Tuesday night.
Instead I sat with my lovely wife, had a glass of wine and played with the dogs.
But let me guess how it went.
President Obama stood in front of Congress and declared the state of the union is strong — except for a whole bunch of new government freebies and new federal laws he wants to see enacted to make it even stronger.
To pander to his liberal Democrat base, he promised his usual wish list of unrealistic ideas that not three Republicans in the House and Senate will support.
He called for Congress to mandate paid sick leave for workers.
He promised to close the gender gap on wages.
He called for a hike in the national minimum wage.
He didn't promise to make everyone in the middle class a millionaire. But he said he was going to ask Congress to pass this year's special treat -- "a bold new plan" for Congress to make community college free for anyone who wants it.
The president is supposed to be so brilliant. So why does he continue to believe that community college — or ObamaCare, or food stamps, or subsidized loans, or quality day care, or anything else the federal government gives us — is free?
It's cynical politics, pure and simple. He knows nothing is free. He knows someone is paying for those federal goodies — and that someone is the hardworking American taxpayer.
I'm sure the State of Union was same bad TV show I saw last year and the four years before that.
It was all about class warfare, about the rich taking from the poor, about $320 billion in more taxes.
I'm really, really tired of hearing the same stuff all the time.
I understand he didn't even mention the words "al-Qaeda." Guess what's going on in Yemen right now didn't come up on his radar screen.
I'm so tired of this president. He is so overdone. He's so partisan.
He's so cocksure that he has saved the economy with his gigantic deficits and he'll save the middle class with his latest giveaways.
He's the president but he still runs around the country like he's still campaigning for something. On Wednesday he flew into Idaho, one of the reddest of the red states, to push his awful State of the Union themes.
Does he ever stop talking? Every time you turn on the TV, he's talking, talking, talking.
It's like, "O my God, will you please just shut up. Please. Shut up. For two days."
Mr. President, I'll be so glad when your next two years are over.
I'm really tired of seeing your face, hearing your voice and being bombarded by your "progressive" New Deal ideas — which always give more money and power to Washington when what we need is less.
Mr. President, when will you ever stop thinking up new laws that Congress will not pass? We need fewer laws, not more.
I'm for passing just one new law in 2015 — a law setting up a part-time Congress.
They spend too much time in DC. They think because they're there everyday they have to keep passing more laws.
And every time they pass one, it hurts everyone's personal economy, the national economy and the world economy.
Mr. President, you say the state of union is looking good. But that's because you and your media friends are living in a bubble of fantasy.
The reality, according to a recent NBC poll, is that nearly 60 percent of the country believes were on the wrong track.
Copyright ©2014 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of "The New Reagan Revolution" (St. Martin's Press). He is the founder of the email service reagan.com and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at www.reagan.com and www.michaelereagan.com. Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com. Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.
Get Informed and Get Involved At the Newly Elected Officials Meet and Greet
By: Kelly Woodard

Get involved in your community by getting to know your newly elected officials at a special Meet and Greet, this Tuesday, January 27
th from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at The Fish House, located at 600 S. Barracks Street in downtown Pensacola.
Attendees will have the opportunity to mix and mingle with all newly elected Pensacola officials while getting informed on upcoming issues facing our city. Guest will have the opportunity to address concerns and opinions at a Q & A session while enjoying complimentary hors d'oeuvres. A cash bar will also be available.
Presented in partnership with Pensacola Young Professional and Seville Rotary, this event will help Pensacola residents from every neighborhood get informed and get involved to make our community strong and united.
The event is free to attend.
For more information, please contact Maegan Leonard at mleonard@pensacolachamber.com or 850-438-4081 x232.
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Hometown Hero and Masters Champ Bubba Watson Becomes Partial Blue Wahoos Owner
By: Kelly Woodard

Two time Masters Champion and Pensacola native, Bubba Watson, has become the newest part owner of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Blue Wahoos President, Bruce Baldwin, made the announcement on Monday just before Watson took two swings at home plate; one with his signature driver and one with a Wahoos bat.
Watson said of his involvement with the Pensacola based Reds' Double-A team, “Ever since I went to my first Blue Wahoos game I have been a big fan of the team. There's something special about pulling for the hometown team. It's great that Quint and his wife were willing to let me be a part of it.”
Quint Studer, Blue Wahoos majority owner, said of the merger in a press release, “Over the years many have been touched by Bubba beyond golf. His work to make life better for others is what attracted Rishy (my wife) and I to him. Rishy, Bubba and I all view the Wahoos as an investment in improving the quality of life for people.”
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Things Get Spicy At the Flora-Bama “Super” Bowl Chili Cook-Off
By: Kelly Woodard

Few things go together like winter weather, the Super Bowl, and chili. Hearty foodies can get their fill at the 21
st Annual Flora-Bama “Super” Bowl Chili Cook-Off this Saturday, January 31st from 10 am to 3 pm.
Some of the best chili recipes from all over the south will be cooking up slow thanks to the spirited teams that will be competing for the title. Teams of three will have a chance to showcase their one-of-a kind concoctions in categories like Best Overall Chili, People’s Choice, and Best Dressed.
Cooking begins at 10 am. All teams must provide a minimum 2 gallons of chili, and teams are to supply all cooking utensils, pots, burners, and ingredients. All teams must be willing to eat your own chili, and all participants must be at least 21 years of age to participate. No outside alcoholic beverages will be allowed, however they will be available for purchase throughout the day.
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Tax Issues May Cause Cuts In Escambia County Volunteer Firefighter Roster
By: Kelly Woodard

The Escambia County’s volunteer firefighter roster may be getting a little shorter thanks to a recent IRS audit that revealed the county owes $79,000 in back taxes on stipends that were paid to volunteer firefighters.
Currently, the system in place allows Escambia County volunteer firefighters a stipend between $300 and $550, depending on rank. During the 2012 tax year, volunteer firefighters were given both a W-2 and 1099. Escambia County public information manager, Kathleen Dough-Castro, said, “According the information we received from the IRS, volunteer firefighters cannot be both W-2 and 1099 employees.”
The Escambia County Board of County Commissioners resolved last week that all remaining volunteer firefighters will continue to receive a stipend, but that stipend will be taxed. In addition, the decision was made that any employees for the Board of County Commissioners will not be eligible to volunteer in Escambia County as a firefighter in hopes of eliminating any tax overlap or county paid overtime.
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Celebrate Tradition and Beauty With Gala of the Royal Horses At the Pensacola Bay Center
By: Kelly Woodard

Get the royal treatment as riding Master Rene Gasser, creator and producer for “Gala of The Royal Horses”, will be bringing his world-renowned equestrian tour to the Pensacola Bay Center for two shows on Wednesday, January, 28
th at 7:30 pm.
The Royal horses of Europe are some of the most celebrated in history, favored for centuries by royalty, equestrian riders and bullfighters and this performance will celebrate the tradition, athleticism and grace of these revered creatures. Following in the family footsteps of seven generations, Gasser has recreated a show for this tour only previously seen at the famous riding schools in Vienna and Spain.
“The unique qualities of the Royal Horses single them out from all other breeds in the Equine world. Their physical beauty & grace, coupled with exceptional courage and nobility make them an object of admiration and a source of inspiration for horse lovers everywhere,” says Gasser.
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