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  1. Pinellas to start using public safety radio system

    The Gradebook

    The Pinellas County School District has signed onto the county's public safety radio system. The School Board voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of using the radio system. The cost will be based on usage, but (by contract) can't exceed $100,000 this year.  …

  2. Florida education news: Testing, accountability, school grades and more

    The Gradebook

    TESTING: Florida education commissioner Pam Stewart launches a review of standardized testing. NCLB WAIVER: The U.S. Department of Education gives in on Florida's plans for using English-language learners' test scores for accountability. More from the Miami Herald. …

  3. How Melissa Lyttle made the picture that ran with Floridian's latest Dispatches


    John Woodrow Cox in the December magazine: …

  4. Photo dispatches from primary day

    The Buzz

    Jesse Einstein, of Miami, does some last minute campaigning for Bill Richardson while Sara Smith, of New London, New Hampshire, campaigns for Barack Obama in front of Whipple Memorial Town Hall in New London.  Stay tuned for more dispatches from the New Hampshire primary.  …

  5. Everybody's read the latest Dispatches from John Woodrow Cox and Melissa Lyttle?


    From the February Floridian in yesterday's Times: …

  6. The latest Dispatches: Burn survivor's words are the balm that soothe


    Set for Floridian in Sunday's Times from award-winner John Woodrow Cox: TAMPA — "Joe Versaggi," he said, lightly bumping fists with the young man in the hospital bed. "Burn survivor." …

  7. Gov. Scott dispatches DJJ chief to meet Capitol protesters

    The Buzz

    Gov. Rick Scott met Monday with his juvenile justice secretary, Wansley Walters, and directed her to meet with a group of student protesters who occupy part of the state Capitol for a sixth straight day in opposition to Florida's self-defense law. …

  8. Obama dispatches big guns to Florida

    The Buzz

    The Atlantic reports, and Obama campaign officials confirm, that the campaign's top two field generals are in Florida, "a sign of its confidence that the state, with 27 electoral votes, is tilting toward the Democratic candidate." …

  9. Dispatches from the frontline of the annexation wars: Kenneth City vs. Lealman, part II

    Bay Buzz

    The last time Lealman Fire District officials got into a snit about Kenneth City’s annexations, it cancelled the longstanding contract to deliver fire service to the town. Rather than backing down and promising to never again annex into Lealman, the Town Council turned to Pinellas Park for fire service. Lealman lost a contract worth more than $200,000 a year in that battle and Kenneth City got a fire truck located in its old fire station. …

  10. Ice, Ice, Cannon: Dispatches from the Sine Die dance floor

    The Buzz

    It's been a long 60 days. You really can't blame lawmakers for cutting loose, be it raising the roof or dancing the "Dougie," when they get the chance. …

  11. The cabana boy at Clearwater Beach and the passage of time


    The latest Dispatches from Ernie Pyle finalist John Woodrow Cox and Melissa Lyttle. Set for the April Floridian in the Times this coming Sunday.

  12. The Death of Shock and the Life of James Brown

    The Feed

    I'm on vacation this week, so I wasn't planning on much blogging. But my last act in the office last week was to exchange emails with military blogger (or milblogger) Michael Yon, and his responses spoke volumes. …

  13. Gov. Crist signs school prayer bill into law

    The Gradebook

    Amid the Gulf oil spill, Florida Republican Party scandal and a host of other more eye-catching news, perhaps you missed the news that Gov. Crist signed into law HB 31, which prevents school districts from stopping teachers who wish to pray in school. …

  14. Pinellas school police don't have computer-aided dispatch system

    The Gradebook

    Unlike most police agencies and school districts, the Pinellas County School District doesn't have a computer-aided dispatch system to track police activity in its schools. …

  15. Pinellas beefing up school police dispatcher job

    The Gradebook

    Pinellas County Schools is tweaking the job description for its police dispatcher — a key figure when a school's in the middle of an emergency situation. …

  16. Sansom case is dispatched in minutes

    The Buzz

    The Florida House Select Committee on Standards of Official Conduct met Monday morning. …

  17. The stage is set for a clash between St. Petersburg and Pinellas County over EMS

    Bay Buzz

    ST. PETERSBURG --The Pinellas County Legislative Delegation recommended late last month that the County Commission should hold off on changes to the emergency medical services system until an accountant has a chance to vet two proposals. One of those plans would change the funding and staffing paid from a countywide property tax. The other would eliminate the private, for-profit company that contracts with the county to provide ambulance service in favor of having firefighter/paramedics taking patients to the hospital. …

  18. Split EMS advisory group says Pinellas County should continue priority dispatch roll out

    Bay Buzz

    LARGO -- The question of funding is only one of several battles being waged over Pinellas County's emergency medical services system. …

  19. A hundred bucks is way too much for a day at Disney World


    USA Today: Disney's Magic Kingdom has raised prices for the second time in eight months, bringing the cost of single-day admission to the Orlando theme park to $99 for adults and children ages 10 and older.

  20. The Times' John Woodrow Cox was a finalist for Scripps Howard's Ernie Pyle Award for Human Interest Storytelling


    The other finalist was former Times man and current Los Angeles Times star Chris Goffard. The winner was Andrea Elliott of the New York Times. Big boy stuff. Here are the five stories that were in John's portfolio: Cast off, she finds peace: …

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