BROWNSVILLE MIDDLE, THE SEQUEL Diversity Program Advisors (DPA), a for-profit corporation formed by George Hawthorne, has signed a sales contract for the closed Brownsville Middle School. DPA is buying the property for $1 million in “as is” condition. The company paid $10,000 in escrow when it signed the agreement. Scoggins III will make 4.5 percent commission, $45,000, at closing. There is no investigation period. The School District will retain cell tower easement and revenues. The School Board has 60 days to accept the contract.
Hawthorne didn’t have the $1 million when he signed the contract, but plans to bring in equity partners who will either contribute money or guarantee a bridge loan. What is the bridge loan for? DPA plans to sell 10 acres of the school property to Habitat for Humanity.
The remaining property, which Hawthorne estimates he can renovate for $200,000, will become a one-stop service center for social services to the community and will be the headquarters for his P.A.T.H (Providing Avenues To Hope) program. Hawthorne has spoken to several agencies about participating but has no firm commitments that they will lease space from him.
The Escambia School District dropped last November all negotiations with Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, who want to renovate the school into a community center. Despite claims by Hawthorne to the contrary, the church is not part of this new facility.
WHY SUE MPDP? The question for some around town is: Why sue Maritime Park Development Partners when they have no money? IN asked Community Maritime Park Associates attorney Ed Fleming. He said that CMPA has several MPDP invoices in the “pipeline” to be paid and the lawsuit gives CMPA the basis to withhold those payments and apply them to the $1.5 million being sought in the suit.
“All totaled, from all sources, if completely successful, the CMPA would stand to gain $1,483,092 that could be returned to the project to pay for additional amenities,” said Ed Spears, executive director of CMPA. “This amount is strictly in funds that are ‘in the pipeline’ currently under the control of the CMPA, and not in funds that we would have to get back from MPDP.”
POWER BROKER AES Human Resources owner Donald Moore has been a heavy campaign contributor to local and state officials, giving $3,500 to Commissioner Wilson Robertson, $2,500 each to Rep. Dave Murzin and Commissioner Kevin White, and $2,000 to Sheriff Ron McNesby. He made the contributions to them and others, totaling $26,300, through various companies he controls, such as AES, Gulf Coast Specialties, W Street Holdings, MBR of Northwest Florida and J&D Enterprises.
The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is investigating AES, a payroll processing company, for its worthless checks. Clients have received notices that state payroll taxes haven’t been paid. The state attorney’s office is also reviewing an unrelated complaint against Moore.
There have been news reports that Moore has been making good on some of the checks. According to its website, AES is no longer accepting payroll for processing.
From the website: “Unfortunately, Regions bank closed all of our accounts including our account that held prefunded payrolls. This action has affected a small number of our clients. Regions Bank will not currently give us an accounting of their actions.”
NEW HIGH: BATH SALTS Now that synthetic pot, like Spice, has been taken off the market (Independent News, “Legal High On The Way Out,” Dec. 16, 2010), the new high is synthetic cocaine that is being marketed as bath salts or plant feeder.
It can be snorted, smoked or injected and mimics drugs like Ecstasy, Cocaine or PCP. The DEA reports it gives users euphoria and extreme energy, but they’ll also appear agitated, suffer from hallucinations, or worse. It is priced under $50 and is sold in convenience stores, smoke shops, gas stations and online under brand names like Cloud 9, Ivory Wave, Ocean, Charge +, White Lightening, Scarface, Hurricane Charlie, Red Dove and White Dove. The label says “not for human consumption.”
Like Spice, it doesn’t show up in drug tests.
Earlier this month, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal used his emergency executive powers to ban six compounds commonly used in the manufacture of bath salts. In Panama City, the sheriff has asked retailers to not sell the product.