Pensacola, Florida
Sunday December 17th 2017

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Winners & Losers 8/31/17

Winners
Bubba Watson
The Professional golfer and co-owner of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos announced Sunday that he is donating $500,000 to the Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart as a result of winning the MetLife MatchUp, an online voting contest for the best recovery shot of the season. Watson’s shot in the opening round of The Greenbrier Classic 2017 received the most votes, earning a million dollars for charities. The other $500,000 portion of the prize will go to support junior golf.

Ollie Tyler
The mayor of Shreveport presented to her city council a plan for a $150-million development for her downtown that would include a 3,200 arena for the New Orleans Pelicans’ G-League basketball team and a training facility of the New Orleans Saints. The city of Shreveport will contribute $27.1 million from its Riverfront Development Special Revenue fund for the sports complex. The private sector will invest $139 million in retail stores, professional offices, residences and entertainment venues.

Courtney Cook
Big Brothers Big Sisters named her its Vice President of Development. Her role will include event sponsorship, donor development, and partnership cultivation. Cook holds her graduate degree in clinical social work from Florida State University. She has over 13 years in the not-for-profit community working previously at Covenant Hospice, Alzheimer’s Family Services and most recently at Baptist Hospital’s Cancer Institute where she led a successful mission of growth for the cancer support program.

Losers
Hallmark Elementary School
The city of Pensacola lost another piece of its history in August with the commencement of demolition of the elementary school built in 1928. The Escambia County School Board closed Hallmark in 2011. The school was sold two years later for $1 million to 349 LLC, which flipped it to Dallas-based homebuilder D.R. Horton for $1.65 million. The historic school will be replaced with 76 townhomes.

Triumph Gulf Coast
The three words have become magical. Say them, and any project is possible. In the past few weeks, we’ve heard Triumph Gulf Coast mentioned as a possible funding source for a marine research facility at the Port of Pensacola, a new sports arena to replace the Pensacola Bay Center, a downtown UWF campus, and recreational facilities at the hatchery. The list of possibilities grows daily. Thank goodness, Don Gaetz sits on the board and will rein in this foolishness.

Tourist Development Agencies
House Speaker Richard Corcoran wants a dozen local tourist-development councils that have broken ties with Visit Florida, including the Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Office, to outline how they spend tax dollars. Corcoran sent a letter on Aug. 25 to the councils describing the cutting ties as an “attempt to shield financial information from public scrutiny required by the transparency and accountability provisions of House Bill 1A.” He added that they were “sadly mistaken” if they thought they could “hide from transparency.”