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New bus chief starts Monday in Hillsborough

Jim Beekman takes over Monday as head of Hillsborough County's school bus system.

Beekman told Gradebook on Thursday that he's reluctant to leave Orange County -- "it's a great group of people here," he said -- but he looks forward to taking the top job in Hillsborough.

He succeeds John Franklin, who resigned in the wake of dozens of employee complaints about work conditions, student behavior and the poor condition of the fleet. The district is now buying new buses -- the first one arrived on Oct. 3 -- and has multiple task forces dealing with the workforce and student behavior issues.

Close to 100,000 children ride the bus in Hillsborough.

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