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New Hillsborough County EPC head Janet Dougherty agrees to give up political activities in new job

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Last Friday night, Janet Dougherty could be seen hobnobbing with various Republican Party friends at the Hillsborough County Lincoln Day Dinner at the Pepin Center in Tampa — the annual fundraiser for the local GOP that will help the party as it tries to win local, state and the presidential race in 2016. But it’s the type of event that she will no longer be able to attend as executive director of the county’s Environmental Protection Commission, after attorneys representing herself  and…

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MaryEllen Elia critics wish her well but are glad she’s gone

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Critics of former Hillsborough County School Supt. MaryEllen Elia are congratulating her on Monday’s announcement by the New York State Board of Regents that she will become that state’s education chief beginning July 6 — but they also maintain that they’re glad she’s no longer running their local district, the 8th largest in the nation. “I wish her the best,” Board member April Griffin said on Monday night. “For the sake of the students, the families and the communities in New York.”…

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Tampa Bay Times finds a new reason to loathe April Griffin

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

In a Memorial Day weekend editorial, the Tampa Bay Times blasted Hillsborough County School Board member April Griffin for voting against an employee termination. On the surface, its editorial seemed undisputedly spot-on. Ben Hill Middle School teacher Adam Reynolds was charged by officials with hosting an all-girl pizza party in order to introduce the girls to his teen brother – Internet video sensation Carter Reynolds. Reynolds had been told by the district not to have the party, but did so anyway…

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Democrat Mike Reedy eyes getting HD 63 back into the D column

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Ever since Ed Homan was termed out of his House District 60 seat in North Tampa in 2010, it’s bounced back and forth in terms of political affiliation over the three subsequent elections — with Republican Shawn Harrison winning in the big Republican years of 2010 and 2014, and Democrat Mark Danish taking it in 2012, the same year that Barack Obama won Hillsborough County. With Hillary Clinton the presumptive nominee next year, Democrats throughout the state and certainly in Hillsborough have been…

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Hillsborough School Board to workshop recommendations from minority task force next month

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

A task force formed to study why there are severe racial disparities in discipline and graduation rates for black and Latino teen boys in Hillsborough County presented their recommendations to the School Board Tuesday afternoon. Among the recommendations include revisions to the code of conduct in the school handbook, a student bill of rights, and sustainability, said task force member Manny Rivero, executive director of the Jim Walter Partnership Center at the University of South Florida. “One of my biggest concerns is…

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Hillsborough County School Board hires Jeff Eakins at $225,000 annually

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Hillsborough County School Board approved a two-year contract for new superintendent Jeff Eakins today that will pay him $225,000 annually beginning July 1, and then must be approved by the board on an annual basis beginning in 2018. The audience at the school board meeting erupted in cheers after his contract was unanimously 7-0 by the board. The 49-year-old Eakins had been serving as the deputy superintendent prior to the board selecting him to succeed MaryEllen Elia back in March. He…

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Criticizing ‘big money’ in City Council race, April Griffin forgets who helped her last time

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

April Griffin took to Facebook last night to congratulate Democrat Guido Maniscalco for his win in Tuesday’s formerly nonpartisan race for Tampa City Council. The frequently critical three-term Hillsborough County School Board member offered a few choice words on the subject of Maniscalco’s victory over Republican Jackie Toledo. “District 6 residents win big in this race,” Griffin told her followers. “Chalk one more up for the good guys and not big money and mudslinging.” In calling out “ugly politics,” Griffin…

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