Thursday, January 21, 2016

Cabinet meeting continues: Atwater fondly remembers grandmother's switch.

Jeff Atwater, Florida's Chief Financial Officer,
fondly remembered his grandmother's switch
during today's Cabinet meeting.
Jeff Atwater, who serves as Florida's Chief Financial Officer, fondly remembered his grandmother's switch during today's meeting of the State Cabinet.

It was an odd moment in a meeting that will soon include a presentation from the University of South Florida (USF) on its project at Dozier School for Boys in Marianna. Among the allegations made against the school are charges by former students that they were "beaten" in a structure called the White House.

In a different discussion, Atwater mentioned that his grandmother kept a "Kentucky" switch on her front porch to assure good behavior and good grades.

The Cabinet meeting is still underway at this time (11:47 a.m. Central) and is several agenda items away from USF's presention.

-- Earlier posts on today's Cabinet meeting--

Attorney General Pamela Jo "Pam" Bondi yelled out "Yayyyy!" for students of the University of South Florida (USF) as the Florida Cabinet convened in Tallahassee this morning.

Representatives from the university are expected to present their final report on archaeological/anthropological work at the Dozier School for Boys cemetery later this morning.

Please click here to read a summary of that report or to read the full 168-page document.

Former County Judge Woodrow "Woody" Hatcher is in Tallahassee to respond to USF's presentation, but has already been told that he will only be allowed to speak for 2 minutes. That is less time than Bondi was given to show off a 40-pound dog available for adoption. It is also less time than the number of minutes late that the meeting was called to order.

USF President Judy Genshaft and Florida's other university presidents have been address the Cabinet about Governor Rick Scott's "Ready, Set, Work" challenge. When she mentioned that some USF students were present, the attorney general broke into a loud cheer of "Yayyyy!" and then mentioned Dr. Erin Kimmerle and what Bondi called her "ground-breaking" work. Kimmerle has directed the USF project at Dozier School for Boys.

Genshaft answered a direct question from Governor Scott about what study programs her university might have closed. Apparently, even as USF has spent more than $600,000 in state and federal taxpayer funds on the Dozier project, it has closed more than 50 of its study programs. Among these was a program that prepared students for jobs in industry.

The discussion with the various university presidents is still underway after more than 2 hours.

I'll post another update at 11:00 a.m. Central/12 Noon Eastern or shortly after unless something significant takes place before then.

Until then, please click here to read yesterday's story on USF's final report or to read the report itself.



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