Pensacola, Florida
Saturday October 25th 2014

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Winners & Losers 1/2/14

Winners

Ashton Hayward
The Pensacola mayor may have pulled a rabbit of his hat with an additional $2 million from Enterprise Florida’s Quick Action Closing Fund that he can apply to the ST Aerospace incentive package. Our sources in Tallahassee tell us it doesn’t exist, but if Hayward gets it and does a public bond issue, like his administrator and PIO have told the daily newspaper, then Escambia County won’t have to loan the city any money for the airport project. As Interim County Administrator George Touart said before Christmas, it’s a “win-win” solution.

Florida Institute For Human & Machine Cognition
The institute has announced its plans to expand its downtown Pensacola headquarters by adding a three-story, 30,000-square-foot addition. IHMC will be able to consolidate its operations that are currently spread over four separate sites. Kudos should be given to the Escambia County Commission for loaning IHMC a $12 million for the expansion.

Partnership for a Healthy Community
The non-profit was one of 12 groups nationwide chosen to receive the guidance of a “community coach” from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program at the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.  The service is provided through the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care.

Losers

Malcolm Thomas
In the days after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn., Escambia County Superintendent Malcolm Thomas told the daily newspaper, “We’re going to do everything, every day to keep our children safe.” In January 2013, Thomas created the Escambia County’s Security Task Force to make our schools safer. He barred parents and media from attending the group’s meetings. For months, we thought that the group was working to make the schools more secure.
Last week we learned that the school district had only recently started its assessment of the security at its schools. Furthermore, those assessments will take four to six months. Unbelievable.

BP
The British energy giant BP has dealt a blow in its attempt to reduce its settlement payments relating to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Federal Judge Carl Barbier ruled that BP has to adhere to the earlier interpretation of the settlement over the spill that tentatively suggests higher payouts for damages. Of course, BP plans to appeal Barbier’s ruling, which will stall claim checks.

Schquita Alaysha Warren
Everyone has butt-dialed at one time or another. Warren made the national news when she was busted on prostitution charges after she accidentally dialed an Escambia County Sheriff’s investigator and solicited him for sex, by cellphone, according to her arrest report.