Takeaways from Tallahassee — All treats, no tricks

Blue Tally Takeaways (2)
As much as 95% of childhood sexual abuse is preventable through awareness and education, according to Lauren’s Kids.

Halloween PLANs

With spooky dangers around the corner this Halloween, Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book and her organization, Lauren’s Kids, are out with a list of safety tips for parents to ward off evil spirits.

Parents should have a “P.L.A.N.” for their kids, according to the sexual abuse prevention group. P.L.A.N. stands for permission, location, activity, and names and numbers.

“As a mom of two children, I know how exciting Halloween can be as you prepare your little ones for a fun night of trick-or-treating,” said Book, the founder and CEO of Lauren’s Kids. “But unfortunately, we know that where children go, so do people who wish to do them harm. Whether it’s your child’s first-time trick-or-treating, treating solo, or planning a night out with friends, developing a P.L.A.N. will ensure your family’s Halloween is safe, successful, and fun!”

Lauren Book might not believe in ghosts, but some ghouls are real. Image via Colin Hackley.

As much as 95% of childhood sexual abuse is preventable through awareness and education, according to Lauren’s Kids.

For “permission,” parents should require their children to ask for permission before leaving the house for trick-or-treating. For “location,” parents should know their kids’ route and any friends’ addresses they plan to stop at.

Under “activity,” have your child outline their plans, like whether they plan to go out or stay in, who is joining them and how and when they’ll get home. And as for “names and numbers,” get the deets on the adults in charge or the friends they’ll hang with.

“Remember, conversations about child sexual abuse prevention don’t have to be scary,” Book said. “By making a Halloween P.L.A.N and teaching kids to find their ‘I Mean Business Voice’ when they feel unsafe, you can rest assured your family will have a safe and fun Halloween holiday!”

Children should also know to keep themselves safe, like teaching them to be unafraid to say “stop!” or “I don’t like that!” Taking action like that can help keep a child safe when someone tries to whisk them away or get them to change their plans without telling a parent.


Coming up, the usual assortment of news, intel and observations from the week that was in Florida’s capital city by Peter Schorsch, Drew Wilson, Renzo Downey, Christine Jordan Sexton and the staff of Florida Politics.

But first …

Take 5

The “Takeaway 5” — the Top 5 stories from the week that was:

Ron DeSantis, Charlie Crist debate night — In a night filled with insults, a jeering crowd, and two candidates who found little common ground, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Democratic challenger Charlie Crist shared the stage for the first and only time of the 2022 gubernatorial campaign Monday. In the opening third of the debate, Crist directly asked DeSantis whether he would commit to four years as Governor. The Governor did not answer the question — which violated debate rules — but DeSantis hung a pregnant pause before delivering a scripted answer in his own way. “The only worn out, old donkey I’m looking to put out to pasture is Charlie Crist,” DeSantis said.

Cat Fund estimates $10B Ian loss — Estimates from the Hurricane Catastrophe Fund approved by its board of directors Wednesday show it could pay out $10 billion to companies due to the damage from Hurricane Ian, leaving it with $2.3 billion at the end of the year. Although it would be able to pay all obligations stemming from this year, it would be a significant hit to the Cat Fund, greatly reducing its ability to pay claims next year without heading to the bond markets and increasing the risk of emergency assessments on policyholders. Meanwhile, DeSantis and FEMA have struck a deal to reimburse contractors for hurricane debris removal, speeding up the cleanup process. And FEMA is also making temporary housing available in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto and Lee counties.

DeSantis, aide can be deposed in redistricting case — A Leon Circuit judge says plaintiffs in a redistricting lawsuit may depose DeSantis and Deputy Chief of Staff Alex Kelly. Circuit Judge Lee Marsh issued an order Thursday quashing efforts to protect DeSantis and Kelly from being forced to testify, possibly in videotaped depositions. Kelly drew Florida’s new congressional map, one approved by the Legislature after DeSantis vetoed the first map the Legislature passed. Notably, the Legislature’s map had been crafted by House redistricting committee staff led by staff director Leda Kelly, Alex Kelly’s wife. Marsh cited a Florida Supreme Court decision regarding Florida’s redistricting process last decade. Then, Justices determined legislative privilege did not protect elected lawmakers from testifying because the state constitution outlaws “improper legislative ‘intent’ in the congressional reapportionment process.”

Florida student test scores vault national ranking — Florida students have scored the highest nationwide ranking in state history on the nation’s first post-COVID-19 school report card, state education officials announced Monday. But considering that Florida fourth- and eighth-grade students’ scores declined in three out of four achievement measures, that’s definitely grading on a lower curve. Not one state increased student scores coming out of the pandemic, and overall, the results showed the “largest ever” drop in national math scores, according to the National Assessment of Education Progress. “We knew there would be widespread harm to our students if students were locked out,” DeSantis said. “Today’s results once again prove that we made the right decision.”

Protest ban at UF after anti-Ben Sasse rally — After students interrupted U.S. Sen. Sasse’s tour of the University of Florida, the school will begin enforcing a decades-old prohibition against indoor protests. Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska, is the only finalist for the job of University President and has drawn criticism from some at the school for his opposition to same-sex marriage. While the university supports the First Amendment right to free speech, outgoing University President Kent Fuchs said, “with this commitment comes an obligation to protect the rights of everyone in our community to speak and to hear.” The policy will be enforced next week when the school’s board of trustees meets to consider Sasse’s candidacy, and students who violate it may be subject to discipline.

Welcome news

DeSantis on Friday announced that he’s awarding $1.3 million from the state’s Job Growth Grant Fund to help make improvements in the city of Marathon in the Florida Keys.

The money will be used to widen U.S. 1, including adding a turn lane as well as paying to install nearly a mile’s worth of sewer lines as well as other improvements to help with the Marathon wastewater system. During a press conference held in Marathon, the CEO of Bass Pro Shops plans to build a “first of its kind” fishing resort in the city.

Another week in Florida, another week for infrastructure. Image via AP.

“This investment in Marathon will improve infrastructure, create jobs, and drive the state’s economy forward,” DeSantis said. “Florida is the fishing capital of the world and we are proud to be chosen by Bass Pro for their first-of-its-kind resort that will be a world-class attraction. Bass Pro’s mission of promoting sport fishing along with conservation of our natural resources makes them a natural fit for the Florida Keys.”

DEO estimates that the latest grant to Marathon could generate 500 jobs.

The state’s job growth fund is an economic development program where projects are ultimately chosen for funding by the governor after being reviewed by the Department of Economic Opportunity and Enterprise Florida. The projects are designed to meet infrastructure or workforce needs in various communities around the state, although DEO says it expects remaining money in the fund will be used to assist short-term and long-term needs in areas hit by Hurricane Ian.

DeSantis has awarded $111 million in projects from the fund since August 2021.

Pill party

Attorney General Ashley Moody wants your leftover cross tops, vics, buttons and anything else that’s languishing in your medicine cabinet.

Don’t worry, she isn’t planning to pop them. She put out the call as part of the 23rd National Drug Take Back Day, a biannual event that allows people to properly dispose of unwanted or expired prescription drugs to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.

Drugs are the one area you aren’t allowed to call “no take-backsies.” Image via Scott Powers.

Drug Take Back Day will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at free drop-off locations across Florida. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has a list of drop-off points, searchable by distance from your location.

Moody’s office said the event has taken on more importance in recent years as overdose deaths continue rising. Many overdose deaths are attributed to opioids and other prescription medications.

“National Drug Take Back Day is a great opportunity for Floridians to help us save lives. Expired and unused medications can have devastating effects if they fall into the wrong hands — fueling addictions or even causing overdose deaths,” Moody said. “I encourage all Floridians with unused medications to please participate in Drug Take Back Day and dispose of these potentially deadly substances. This small action could save a life.”

Stay safe!

Halloween is a great day to watch Nightmare on Elm Street, but if you don’t watch out, you could end up looking like a real-life Freddy Krueger.

How? Halloween decorations — and other holiday decorations — often include candles or are chock full of high-gauge wire that can’t wait to overload and throw out a spurt of sparks.

July 4th and New Year’s might come to mind as flammable holidays. But Jimmy Patronis doesn’t forget Halloween. Image via CFO’s Office.

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, who doubles as State Fire Marshal, is armed with statistics: according to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), decorations are the first thing to go up in flames in about 800 reported home fires each year. About a third of those fires are started by candles.

“Halloween is a fun and exciting time to spend with family and loved ones, but nothing is more scary than your Halloween being ruined by a fire-related accident. Keeping decorations away from open flames, buying safe costumes, and providing your kids with flashlights or glowsticks are important precautions to prevent scary situations. By following a few fire safety tips, you can ensure your loved ones have a safe and happy Halloween,” Patronis said.

Patronis’ top tips, passed along by NFPA: Swap out analog candles for battery-powered ones in your jack-o-lanterns; double check costumes, wigs and accessories to make sure they are fire-resistant; test your smoke alarms; and keep flammable Halloween fare such as dried flowers, cornstalks, and candy packaging away from open flames.

Farm bill

Hurricane Ian is costing Floridians an arm and a leg, and the damage done to the state’s agriculture industry could tack nearly $2 billion more on the bill.

That figure comes from Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, who announced this week that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services had completed its preliminary damage assessment, which considered losses to agriculture production and infrastructure.

The agricultural losses from Hurricane Ian are certainly in the billions, says Nikki Fried. Image via WTSP.

FDACS’ estimate has a low end of $1.2 billion and a high end of $1.9 billion. The figure is not set in stone, but as with other storm damage estimates, it’s more likely to go up than down.

The breakdown estimates between $417 million and $675 million in damage to the citrus industry, which was the hardest-hit sector monetarily. The animal and animal products sector followed at between $337 million and $492 million.

“While today’s assessment is a preliminary snapshot of the losses to Florida agriculture, it is a critical first step in the process of securing federal disaster aid for our hard-working producers,” Fried said.

“We will continue our close collaboration on the ground with industry partners to gain further insight into the depth and breadth of Ian’s damage. As we move ahead on the road to recovery, I look forward to working with Florida’s Congressional Delegation and our U.S. Senators on a relief package to help restore Florida’s second largest industry.

The FDACS damage assessment is available online.

Instagram of the Week

The Week in Appointments

Florida Is For Veterans — DeSantis appointed Jeffrey Cathey, Mark Harden and Warren “Rocky” McPherson to the Florida Is For Veterans Board of Directors. Cathey is the former Senior Military Affairs Executive for Bank of America and served nearly 30 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Captain. He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance and a graduate certificate in public administration from the University of South Florida and earned his master’s degree in national security policy studies from the U.S. Naval War College. Harden is the director of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and co-founded the Pensacola Veteran Support Organization Network. He served in the U.S. Navy for 30 years and retired as a Chief of Naval Operations Directed Master Chief. McPherson is the former Vice President of Military and Defense programs for Enterprise Florida. He served nearly 30 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, retiring as a Colonel. McPherson earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and his master’s degree in political science from Auburn University

Florida State College at Jacksonville District Board of Trustees — The Governor appointed Aaron Miri to the FSCJ District Board of Trustees. Miri is the Senior Vice President and Chief Digital and Information Officer for Baptist Health. In 2020, the U.S. Senate appointed him to the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee where he currently serves as a co-chairman. He earned his bachelor’s degree in management information systems from the University of Texas at Arlington and his MBA from the University of Dallas.

Hillsborough Community College District Board of Trustees — DeSantis appointed Arthur “Chip” Diehl III and reappointed Gregory Celestan and Brian Lametto to the Hillsborough Community College District Board of Trustees. Diehl is the managing director of Diehl & Associates and served nearly 30 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a Brigadier General. Diehl earned his bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy and his master’s degree from the University of Southern California. Celestan is the CEO and owner of Celestar Corporation and served nearly 20 years in the U.S. Army, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. He earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering and Russian studies from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and his master’s degree in international affairs from the University of Washington. Lametto is the corporate vice president of operations at New York Life. He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Alabama.

Byrd’s eye view

Secretary of State Cord Byrd, who was picked to succeed Laurel Lee after Lee stepped down to run for Congress, has met with all 67 local election supervisors since he took office in May.

Byrd first introduced himself to local election officials in late May where he addressed them during their annual summer conference in Miramar Beach. But since then he personally visited supervisors in their offices and toured election facilities. He made his last visit on Thursday when he traveled to nearby Liberty County.

It’s taken Cord Byrd just over five months to hit all 67 Florida counties. Image via Colin Hackley.

“I was able to see firsthand their operations and the security measures they employ to safeguard the election in accordance with state law,” Byrd said in a statement.

Byrd also added that “supervisors are ready for this election, and now is the time for you to be election ready and go vote.”

Florida’s election went smoothly in 2020, but election officials across the state have had to deal with people who remain convinced that there was widespread election fraud and that President Donald Trump should have won the state by an even larger margin than he did.

DeSantis, who rebuffed calls by some activists and local Republican groups to do a full-blown forensic audit of the election, pushed through changes to election laws the last two years that he says will make the elections more secure and transparent.

Democrats, including DeSantis’ opponent, Crist, have been highly critical of the moves, including the creation of a new elections security unit whose recent voter fraud arrests have been questioned by voting rights advocates.

The August primary election went well as well, but the turnout is expected to be higher during the November election.

Byrd also took time in the past month to make additional visits and do outreach with supervisors located in counties hit hard by Hurricane Ian. DeSants in mid-October issued an executive order so that election officials in Charlotte, Lee and Sarasota can fold polling places into so-called “super voting centers.” The order also extended early voting days and changed the rules so that people can get a mail-in ballot sent to a different address than their home address.

Order an app

The Department of Economic Opportunity will be accepting Broadband Opportunity Program grant applications to expand broadband internet services in unserved areas between Nov. 2 and Dec. 2, though the timeline will be extended for applicants in FEMA-designated counties.

And just to make sure there are no questions about the application process DEO’s Office of Broadband staff will host a two-hour rural technical assistance webinar on Tuesday in which DEO staff will be available to assist in this process and discuss how the applications are scored.

Dane Eagle is ushering in a new broadband future.

“Broadband infrastructure expansion is vital to the growth of our state’s communities and the Broadband Opportunity Program will allow unserved communities across the state to seek major investments for service expansion that will shape the future of broadband in Florida. The time to prepare applications for this program is now,” DEO Secretary Dane Eagle said.

“I strongly encourage community leaders to use these next 30 days to attend our webinars, receive technical assistance, and develop the strongest possible applications for assistance so that DEO can award funds to communities as quickly as possible.”

In June DEO published the Faster Florida Broadband Map, which identifies census blocks as unserved, underserved, served, and no fixed internet service.

In August DEO hosted workshops in Bartow, Polk, Milton, Santa Rosa and Glades counties o to receive community input on rulemaking for the implementation of the $400 million Broadband Opportunity Program.

For additional information about the Office of Broadband, or to view the Broadband Opportunity Program’s draft rule, application, and scoring criteria, visit www.FloridaJobs.org/Broadband.

Work it

There are open construction positions in 93% of Florida firms according to a survey taken by the Associated General Contractors prior to Hurricane Ian.

Post Hurricane Ian, the number of unfilled positions at those companies is expected to be even higher as the post Ian rebuilding efforts exacerbate an already tight market for skilled labor.

Enter the Florida Trade Academy. Earlier this month, it launched a pre-apprenticeship program for high-school graduates entering the workplace for the first time, professionals seeking a career alternative, and individuals interested in learning technical skills. The program was made possible by a state grant of $500,000 ushered in by Sen. Joe Gruters and Rep. Mike Beltran.

Joe Gruters and Mike Beltran are making a difference in the construction industry. Image via Colin Hackley.

FTA offers hands-on training along with classroom-based instruction. Students can experience working in the electrical, HVAC, plumbing, sheet metal, sprinkler fitting, roofing, carpentry and pipe fitting fields.

Twenty two people were accepted into the program earlier this month. They will graduate in Spring 2023.

“There is a growing shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry as many talented individuals struggle to get their foot in the door,” said Chris Pello, founder and CEO of Florida Trade Academy. “This program offers that first step solution by providing trainees with the skills and connections to find employment and transition into a registered apprenticeship.”

Florida Trade Academy is sponsored by the Associated Builders and Contractors Florida Gulf Coast Chapter, which operates the apprenticeship program across the gulf coast region. Upon completion of the nine-month program, Florida Trade Academy will help place students in jobs in their chosen field, where they can then enroll in an apprenticeship having already completed several pre-requisite courses.

“Florida Trade Academy fills an important gap in training the next generation of skilled workers,” said Steve Cona, CEO of ABC Florida Gulf Coast Chapter. “The program is structured to improve productivity, reduce turnover, and lower recruitment costs for employers. It makes the students more employable as they begin working in their trade jobs having already completed basic training programs and OSHA requirements.”

Truth about fibroids

Rep. Anika Omphroy is partnering with the Department of Health to help educate women about uterine fibroids, which affect up to 70% of white women and 80% of Black women by age 50, according to the National Institute for Health.

Omphroy is hosting the 2022 Fibroids Awareness Forum on Thursday at 4 p.m. online via Zoom and Facebook Live @REPOMPHROY.

Anika Omphroy has been a champion against uterine fibroids. Image via Colin Hackley.

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that grow on or in the uterus and cause heavy menstrual bleeding, debilitating pain, painful intercourse, miscarriages and sometimes infertility in women. About 25% to 30% of cases will cause symptoms that require treatment.

Omphrey sponsored legislation, HB 543, during the 2022 session that requires health care practitioners who diagnose women with fibroids to report certain information to the state health department.The reportable information must include the prevalence of fibroid diagnoses in Florida; the demographics of the women diagnosed with fibroids; treatments physicians and physician assistants use for women with fibroids.

The Legislature agreed to include a $1.6 million appropriation for the efforts.

Reelin’ in cash

Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund has made $50,000 available for the Florida State Parks Foundation’s Plant a Pine initiative.

The annual campaign, which repeats its circle of life every Earth Day, strives to restore native longleaf pines in Florida’s state parks. The Bass Pro Shops donation single-handedly puts the foundation halfway to its Plant a Pine fundraising goal of $100,000, which will pay for 100,000 longleaf pines.

The State Parks Foundation and Bass Pro are teaming up for longleaf pines.

“We are grateful for the continued support of the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund on state park projects,” said Tammy Gustafson, president of the Florida State Parks Foundation. “As a two-time donor to our Plant a Pine initiative, they are a much-appreciated champion for the protection and restoration of our beautiful Florida State Parks and their important biodiversity.”

Launched on Earth Day, April 22, 2020, Plant a Pine began in response to Hurricane Michael, which destroyed 500 million trees across the Panhandle in 2018. Since then, corporate and individual donors have helped to fund the success of this initiative, which provides direct and positive impacts to Florida’s ecosystem by planting endangered longleaf pines in Florida State Parks. Since the start of the program, the foundation has raised nearly $250,000 for tree planting.

“We are proud to continue our support of the Florida State Parks Foundation in their passionate pursuit to create and sustain a thriving Florida ecosystem through the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund,” said Bass Pro Shops Senior Director of Conservation Bob Ziehmer. “Together with our industry partners and more than 200 million passionate customers, we are honored to be partnering with leading conservation groups like Florida State Parks Foundation to collectively shape the future of the outdoors and all who love it for generations to come.”

Dilly dilly!

Bigtime beer distributor Lewis Bear Jr. was recently honored with a Lifetime Service Award for his years dedicated to his craft and community.

The award, passed down by the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association and the National Beer Wholesalers Association, recognizes him for his years in partnership with Anheuser-Busch and the Pensacola community. Lewis has been an A-B partner since the late ‘60s and has been giving back to his community for even longer, having been credited with “creating the culture of charity and kindness” by the Pensacola News Journal for his support and passion for the arts, culture, education, and healthcare.

Bear also served as FBWA president for nearly a decade.

Lewis Bear is being recognized for an illustrious career in and beyond the booze industry.

“‘Distributors do more,’ but few do it as well as Lewis Bear Jr.,” FBWA said. “With an incredible 34 years of service within the FBWA — nearly a decade of it as president — Lewis has been a force both inside of our organization and inside of his community.”

Lewis has served both on the board and as the chair for the University of West Florida. He has also served the Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce, Beer Industry of Florida, Anheuser Busch Advisory Board, Escambia United Way and more. He’s been a member of FBWA since its inception.

“The FBWA could exist for another hundred years, and we would not see another person like Lewis,” FBWA added. “With a unique understanding of what it really means to ‘do more,’ he’s fostered growth in economic development, in the arts, in healthcare, in education, and more.”

Our vote

With early voting underway, Equal Ground is digging deep to get Black voters to the ballot box.

On Thursday, the organization launched full-page ads to be placed in 11 of Florida’s top Black newspapers. The ads explain what they define as continued attacks on Black representation. They hope to explain to readers why it’s important now more than ever to vote.

Equal Ground hopes to boost African American turnout for the Midterms. Image via Equal Ground.

“While the possibility of losing ground on all our ancestors have fought and died for should be enough to ensure we turn out and participate in this election, the reality is there is so much more at stake,” according to one ad.

The ads name new election laws, DeSantis’ congressional maps, the anti-riot bill and the “Stop WOKE” Act as recent and “sustained” attacks against the rights of people of color.

“This election cycle we must take back our power and become the hero of our own story by using our vote to elect those who share our values and protect our interests,” the ad continues.

Equal Ground even went a step further and included a section on the page where voters can call in with any voting-related questions and quickly find their closest polling location with hours and dates.

The campaign comes on the heels of Equal Ground launching a digital campaign on the importance of state Supreme Court judicial retention races.

Rattling in unison

For a very special FAMU Homecoming weekend, we have three very special FAMU-related notes to close out this edition of Takeaways.

The Florida A&M University College of Law in Orlando recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.

With the theme of honoring a renewed legacy for the law school, the school held a gala in which it recognized six major supporters for their financial contributions to FAMU Law over the years. The honorees are John Crossman, Deveron Gibbons, Arthenia Joyner, Christopher Monts, Nizam Razack and Katie Williams.

FAMU Law is recognizing those who’ve invested in the school. Image via FAMU.

Crossman is the immediate past chair of the school’s Dean’s Advisory Council and a member of the FAMU Foundation Board of Directors. He has hosted more than 50 Meet the FAM lunches to introduce the new dean to Central Florida.

Gibbons is a 2016 FAMU Law graduate and earned a master’s from the School of Business in 2020. Through his Gibbons Family Foundation, he has underwritten several FAMU Law events and programs. He also led the effort to name Joyner to the FAMU Law Hall of Fame — its first inductee — and is now doing the same for the late U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings.

Joyner is a member of the last graduating class from the original FAMU College of Law and has since amassed a series of firsts, including as the first Black woman Senate Minority Leader. She is the longest-practicing Black woman lawyer in the history of Florida and oversees the Arthenia L. Joyner Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Monts received his degree from FAMU Law in 2006. He has consistently funded events and programs over the years, including Law Review activities and the Classic Tailgate.

Razack is a 2010 graduate of the College of Law who earned his law degree after already being board certified as a neurosurgeon. He fully funded the first Rattler for Justice Scholarship.

Williams is a retired educator in Miami-Dade County who was a friend and sorority sister of the late Rep. Gwendolyn Sawyer Cherry, the first Black woman elected to the Legislature. Williams led the initiative to name the Gwendolyn Sawyer Cherry Lecture Hall and to endow the Gwendolyn Sawyer Cherry, Esquire Scholarship.

Blockchain party

It’s homecoming season, and this year Florida A&M University is showcasing an experience their students will never forget. Concerts, food, fun, and a week-long event celebrating 135 years of excellence.

Miami-Dade County Cryptocurrency Task Force Chairman Elijah Bowdre is sponsoring several events throughout FAMU’s homecoming extravaganza.

Elijah Bowdre is paying it back to FAMU.

The events include the Housing Step Show, which was held Monday and featured fraternities and sororities from all over campus. The party heated up on Wednesday when students gathered to enjoy FAMU’s Comedy Show.

Bowdre has worked in the cryptocurrency industry for 10 years and has become an ambassador and advocate for blockchain tech, teaching others the ins and outs and helping them step into what he believes is the “new normal.”

In particular, he is known for helping people start their digital wallets, understand the impacts of blockchain technology, and how cryptocurrency can be part of a sustainable future.

On the Miami-Dade Cryptocurrency Task Force, Bowdre is helping launch the first municipal corporate entity in America to accept Cryptocurrency for taxes and employee paychecks.

Anything but meek

On Friday, Tallahassee will commemorate the late U.S. Rep. Carrie Pittman Meek by naming a street in her honor.

On Friday, South Bronough Street between FAMU Way and West Palmer Avenue will be renamed Carrie Pittman Meek Street. The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. at the corner of S. Bronough and Jakes and Patterson streets.

Tallahassee will forever have a place for Carrie Meek.

Meek grew up in the Allen Subdivision neighborhood, just steps away from FAMU.

“Carrie Pittman Meek dedicated her life to opening pathways that would help others improve their lives and communities – through her work as both an educator and stateswoman,” Mayor John Dailey said. “It is my hope that honoring her name so prominently in her former neighborhood and near FAMU’s campus will inspire the next generation of leaders.”

Meek, the granddaughter of a slave, was born in 1926. She was the youngest of 12 children. Her family owned the Pittman Boarding House, a residence for college students, and helped instill in her the importance of education in children.

Meek graduated from the original Lincoln High School on Brevard Street. She earned a degree in physical education and biology from what was then Florida A&M College for Negroes. At that time, African Americans were not allowed to attend graduate schools in Florida, so two years later, in 1948, she received a master’s degree from the University of Michigan.

Meek went on to become an educator at FAMU, Bethune-Cookman College (now Bethune-Cookman University) and Miami-Dade College. She also coached basketball at Bethune-Cookman.

Her legislative career began in 1979 at the state level, and in 1993, she was elected to the U.S. House. She was the first African American since the 1800s elected to represent Florida in Congress.

Campaign Directions

Florida GOP — Up arrow — It’s key jangling time.

Manny Diaz — Down arrow — We hear Leon County Dems ended their meeting chanting “King in the North.”

Ron DeSantis — Up arrow — He has a two-score lead in the 4th. His texting buddy, Tom Brady, well … he could use a locker room speech right about now.

Ron DeSantis — Down arrow — C’mon, he’s voter-friendly … to friendly voters, at least.

DeSantis 2024 — Down arrow — The Trump vs. DeSantis debate is going to be brutal.

Governor Debate — Down arrow — If a bear craps in the woods…

Prurient interests — Crossways arrow — The Gov can ban displays, sure, but “prurient interests” aren’t leaving the Capitol anytime soon.

Ashley Moody — Crossways arrow — Fentanyl Skittles. They’re great after you eat an apple full of razor blades.

Cat Fund — Down arrow — You think your insurance bill hurts now?

Adam Botana — Up arrow — Stop by Bay Water and say hi to the head boat washer.

Jackie Toledo — Down arrow — Most everyone always suspected she was batsh*t crazy; signing that contract with a ‘$100K lose bonus’ proves it.

Fred Piccolo — Down arrow — Never deviate from “It wasn’t me.”

Florida universities — Up arrow — Forget national rankings. They’re going global.

UF — Down arrow — We hear a “Don’t Tase Me Bro” sequel is in the works.

Florida Chamber of Commerce — Up arrow — 2030, here we come!

Sierra Club — Down arrow — All their gripes will be lost in time, like liberal tears in rain.

Tally TV stations — Up arrow — Brought to you by Corey Simon.

Archer Western-De Moya — Down arrow — Maybe Perla can get immigrants a job there.

The Independent — Down arrow — Well this drama is a bore, and I don’t want to play no more.

PinPoint Results — Up arrow — Jason Maine is the perfect fit for this growing firm.

Elijah John Bowdre — Up arrow — We’re not sold on the Web 3 stuff, but he’s helping FAMU host a killer Homecoming extravaganza.

Staff Reports


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