Gov. Rick Scott has named James B. Sanderlin, Margarita Romo and Harry T. and Harriette Moore to the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame.
Here’s a look at the inductees:
Sanderlin, a St. Petersburg judge who died in 1990, was the lead attorney representing six families in civil rights cases over classroom segregation, which resulted in desegregation in Hillsborough and Sarasota Counties. As the lead attorney for a group of 12 black police officers known as the “Courageous Twelve,” Sanderlin won a lawsuit to end discriminatory assignments in segregated neighborhoods.
Romo is the executive director of Farmworkers Self-Help Inc. which provides immigration assistance and other services. She fights for the rights of migrant farmworkers in Pasco and Hernando counties, advocating for improvements to Tommytown, a poor farm worker community on the north end of Dade City. Romo also established Agricultural Women Involved in New Goals.
Harry T. and Harriette Moore were both civil rights pioneers, fighting for equal pay, investigating lynchings, registering black voters. Harry Moore founded the first branch of the NAACP in Brevard County. On Christmas evening, 1951, members of the Klan exploded a bomb under their bedroom and both the Moores died.
“These champions of freedom have paved the way for equal rights among all Floridians,” Scott said in a press release. “This year’s three inductees into the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame have acted on their conviction and truly made a difference in the countless lives here in our state and around the country. We must honor their legacy by working to ensure that all Floridians have access to a great education so they can live their version of the American Dream.”
Veteran journalists retire from press corps
The capital press corps lost 80 years of experience last week after longtime journalists Lucy Morgan, of the Tampa Bay Times, and Bill Kaczor, of AP, retired. Both spent decades devoted to their craft.
On her last day at work Friday, Morgan tweeted: "It's been a "wild, fun ride, 48 years writing about Florida news."
And in her column, published Friday, she wrote an open letter to House Speaker Will Weatherford that began: Dear Will, I thought you could use a few words of advice from an old-timer who spent a lot of time in Pasco County before moving to Tallahassee in 1985, especially since I'm retiring and won't be around the Capitol to help keep you in line.
Morgan was a Tampa Bay Times reporter in Pasco County from 1968 until December 1985, when she was appointed capital bureau chief in Tallahassee. She shared the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting with Jack Reed for stories about the Pasco County Sheriff's Department.
In a memo about Morgan's second retirement to the Tampa Bay Times, editor Neil Brown wrote: "Even with an abbreviated schedule, Lucy remained a central part of the Times brand in Tallahassee and she continued to hold the powerful to account with her award-winning journalism."
Kaczor retired last week after working for the AP in Florida for 33 years. He was a former reporter for the former Playground Daily News in Fort Walton Beach and the Pensacola News Journal before coming to Tallahassee in 1975 with the Gannett News Service. He joined AP in 1980.
Kaczor was appointed as AP's Pensacola correspondent in 1984,and returned to Tallahassee in 2005, where he covered the Florida Supreme Court, hurricanes, elections and the Legislature.
"Bill has been the consummate professional for decades -- fair, fast and accurate" said Tim Nickens, editor page editor of the Tampa Bay Times. "It has always been a comfort to look in the press gallery at the state Capital and see Bill perched in the center, keeping a sharp eye on lawmakers and fast-moving legislation for all of us."
New press secretary at the Department of Health
Molly Koon Kellogg will become the new press secretary at the Florida Department of Health starting March 15th, replacing Jessica Hammonds, who left to become comunications director for Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll. Kellogg was previously communications director for the Capital Region YMCA, and she was also communications director with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.
Office of Financial Regulation has new communications director
Tiffany Vause has been named director of communications for the Florida Office of Financial Regulation. She served as press secretary for the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration from 2009 to 2010, and as a project coordinator at Florida Ready to Work from 2002 to 2009. She was previously manager of Comprehensive Breast Center at Capital Regional Medical Center, and was marketing director at Capital Regional Medical Center. Katie Norris, who has been acting spokeswoman for the Office of Financial Regulation, will continue as a public information specialist