Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday September 17th 2019


Winners & Losers 12/7/17

The University of West Florida has launched the first college virtual assistant in the state of Florida, Argie. The virtual assistant, named after UWF’s mascot, engages admitted students in two-way conversation through text messaging to support them on the path to enrollment. Developed by Boston-based edtech company AdmitHub, Argie guides students through key enrollment processes, connects them to campus counselors and acts as a 24/7 resource to answer questions about UWF, student life, campus services, financial aid, housing and more.

Golden Spoon Winners
Best of the Coast winners Global Grill, The Grand Marlin and Restaurant Iron were recognized as some of Florida’s best places to dine with Florida Trend’s 2017 Golden Spoon award. The Golden Spoon awards recognize individual achievement and distinctive contributions to the Florida restaurant scene. Jackson’s Steakhouse and McGuire’s Irish Pub were Hall of Fame winners. Union Public House was named to the Best New Restaurant list.

Bruce Beach
Brantley & Associates Real Estate Appraisal Corporation assessed the fair market value of the city-owned waterfront land at $7.7 million. The figure represents the most probable price the firm concluded the 44.6-acre property would generate from a private developer in a competitive market. Three years ago, the city council was told the land was virtually worthless because of possible contamination. Subsequent soil tests have debunked that claim.

Michael Flynn
The retired U.S. Lieutenant General, who briefly served as National Security Adviser to President Donald Trump, last week pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI, a felony, about contacts he had with the Russian government during Trump’s presidential transition. At the Republican National Convention, Flynn rallied the audience with chants of “Lock her up,” referring to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. It appears he used the incorrect pronoun.

Escambia County
Based on a Priceonomics report published this month by Forbes, Escambia County ranked as the heaviest disposer in Florida, with about 34 million pounds of toxic materials released in 2016. The study listed the 50 counties across the United States responsible for discharging the most hazardous chemicals. Escambia County ranked 11th, while no other Florida county made the list.

Simply Healthcare Plans
The managed-care plan made too much money from Florida’s health-care program that treats the poor, elderly and disabled and was required to return nearly $1.8 million to the state. It was the first time that such a plan participating in Florida’s statewide Medicaid managed-care program had to return money to the state. The Legislature in 2011 passed a law that requires most Medicaid patients to enroll in managed-care plans, and the law had measures to prevent excess profits. Simply Healthcare Plans’ pre-tax incomes exceeded the threshold.