Friday, February 23, 2018
News Roundup

Panhandle civil rights leader to be honored

PENSACOLA — Longtime Florida civil rights fighter H.K. Matthews is set to receive an honor previously given to Nelson Mandela and Coretta Scott King.

The Pensacola News Journal reported Saturday that the 86-year-old Matthews will be honored with the "Gandhi, King, Ikeda Community Builders Award" for his lifetime of work to advance civil rights by Atlanta's Morehouse College on Aug. 16 in a special ceremony at the Mattie Kelly Fine and Performing Arts Center in Niceville.

Matthews was a leader in the civil rights movement in the Panhandle in the 1960s and 1970s.

He led sit-in protests at segregated Pensacola lunch counters and led efforts to remove the "Rebel" mascot from the local high school.

Matthews marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Ala., in 1965.

"When the call came out from Dr. King to come to Selma and join the march, I just dropped my little mop bucket and went," Matthews told the newspaper. "If I had known what I would have faced when I got there, I would have stayed here. It was bad. Horrible."

Matthews also led protests against the Escambia County Sheriff's Office in the mid-1970s after a black motorist was shot and killed by a deputy.

On Feb. 24, 1975, Matthews was arrested for unlawful assembly and felony extortion. Matthews was sentenced to five years of imprisonment, but received clemency after serving 63 days. He was eventually pardoned.

In all, he has been arrested 35 times for non-violent protest.

"We are indebted to you for your stalwart and dedicated leadership for non-violence and human rights," Lawrence Carter, founder of the Morehouse Interfaith Institute for Global Ethics and Reconciliation, wrote in a letter to Matthews.

Matthews said it is gratifying to know he made a difference.

"I was driven by seeing the injustices that prevailed during that time," said Matthews, who grew up in Snow Hill, Ala. "I was tired of seeing how my grandmother was treated. I was tired of the injustice. I was tired of no justice."

Matthews continues his work today from the pulpit where he preachers in Brewton, Ala.

Comments
Winter Olympics: Alina Zagitova wins figure skating gold, Russia’s first of Games

Winter Olympics: Alina Zagitova wins figure skating gold, Russia’s first of Games

GANGNEUNG, South Korea  — The Russians finally have a gold medal at the  Olympics, thanks to a 15-year-old who beat the fellow teen who inspired her to become a figure skater.Alina Zagitova won one of the Games' spotlight events Frida...
Updated: 3 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Feb. 22

Thursday’s scoreboardSoftballBoca Ciega 4, Pinellas Park 2Admiral Farragut 7, Northside Christian 1Boys tennisOsceola 7, Dixie Hollins 0Clearwater Central Cath. 4, Jesuit 3Girls tennisOsceola 7, Dixie Hollins 0Boys basketballClass 3A, region semifina...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Deputy ‘never went in’ during Parkland school shooting. There were other failures, too

Deputy ‘never went in’ during Parkland school shooting. There were other failures, too

Eight days after mass shooter Nikolas Cruz murdered 17 people inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Broward’s top cop on Thursday revealed a stunning series of failures by the sheriff’s department.A school campus cop heard the gunfire, rushed ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
A case for wild flamingos calling Florida their home

A case for wild flamingos calling Florida their home

In 2015, Conchy the flamingo showed up at Florida’s Naval Air Station Key West, and he wouldn’t leave. Normally, managers on the grounds lethally remove feathered troublemakers — it can be very dangerous with birds flying around million-dollar fighte...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Updated: 7 hours ago
Florida man yells ‘murderers!’ as he’s executed for slaying

Florida man yells ‘murderers!’ as he’s executed for slaying

Associated PressSTARKE — An inmate convicted of raping and killing a college student decades ago screamed and yelled "murderers!" three times, thrashing on a gurney as he was being put to death Thursday. The governor’s office said Eric Scott Branch, ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
After Parkland, another plea for rumor control: ‘This is not a joke’ (w/video)

After Parkland, another plea for rumor control: ‘This is not a joke’ (w/video)

ST. PETERSBURG — The mayor and the police chief came to Northeast High on Thursday to warn students about the dangers of circulating rumors of school safety threats on social media.While they were there, one of those unfounded rumors popped up on Fac...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Administrator Haley Loeun fired from CareerSource jobs centers

Administrator Haley Loeun fired from CareerSource jobs centers

Haley Loeun, a top aide to the embattled leader of the Pinellas and Hillsborough jobs boards, was fired Thursday from her $130,000-a-year position as business services director.Loeun came under criticism after the Tampa Bay Times reported that employ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
V.M. Ybor: That’s not cigar smoke you’re smelling

V.M. Ybor: That’s not cigar smoke you’re smelling

TAMPA — Across Interstate 4 from Ybor City’s nightlife, another part of the historic neighborhood has an odor less nostalgic — and much less pleasant — than cigar smoke and roasting coffee beans.V.M. Ybor, named after the Spaniard who founded the cit...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Mattis expected to back allowing transgender troops to stay in the military

Mattis expected to back allowing transgender troops to stay in the military

WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is expected to propose to President Donald Trump that transgender members of the U.S. military be allowed to continue serving despite the president’s call last summer for a ban on all transgender service, acc...
Updated: 10 hours ago