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Takeaways From Tallahassee – New Sheriff In Town (Video)

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New sheriff in town

Logan Lewkow is leaving one of the top PR agencies to take over as communications director at the Florida Sheriffs Association.

Congratulations to Logan Lewkow on his move to the Florida Sheriffs Association.

Lewkow has been working at the Moore Agency since 2017, handling the needs of the firm’s many clients, including the Sheriff’s Association.

The Moore Agency has grown in stature during his time at the firm. Last year, O’Dwyer’s PR News placed the Tallahassee-based firm in the No. 1 spot for Public Affairs firms, Agriculture firms and Healthcare firms operating in the Sunshine State. The firm was also ranked as a top-200 agency by PRovoke Media.

Faith Based Events

The job has provided him with experience in all aspects of communications, from grassroots engagement and media relations to digital strategy and crisis communications.

“It has been an honor and an incredible opportunity to learn from the leaders of Florida’s top public affairs and public relations agency. I am forever grateful to everyone at the Moore Agency, especially Karen Moore, who always took time and a genuine approach to ensure that the growth and development of my skills were optimized and created a family-first environment,” he said.

“With that experience, I have been able to represent the Florida Sheriffs Association over the past four years, and it has been a true passion for me personally and professionally. The opportunity to become FSA’s Director of Communications is a dream that is now a reality.”

“I am looking forward to working with Steve CaseyMatt DunaganSarrah Glassner, the entire FSA team, the sheriffs throughout Florida, and our incredible partners like the Moore Agency in a deeper way to humanize the badge and continuing to highlight the great work our sheriffs are doing nationally. Florida is a positive role model for the entire nation when it comes to law enforcement and public safety, and I am pumped to continue telling the story why.”

Lewkow holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Florida State University and an MBA from Mississippi State University. Before joining the Moore Agency, he spent nearly eight years working as the sales director for LobbyTools.

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Coming up, the usual assortment of tidbits, leftovers and not-ready-for-prime-time moments by Peter Schorsch, Drew Wilson, Renzo Downey, Jason Delgado, Haley Brown and the staff of Florida Politics.

Take 5

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

Education, Health departments approve mask-optional rules — The Department of Education and Department of Health on Friday issued rules stemming from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order targeting school mask requirements. DOE’s rule would allow parents whose children face “COVID-19 harassment,” including mask mandates, to apply for vouchers to transfer schools. That piggybacks off DOH’s order that schools let parents opt their children out of wearing masks. “At times, it may appear to be in conflict with what’s best for other groups, but we focus on what’s best for the kids and the students and the system for which we’re responsible,” said Board of Education Chair Tom Grady. Meanwhile, DeSantis’ order drew a challenge from parents of children with disabilities, who argue it forces children with cognitive disabilities to risk their health for a proper education.

Record COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida — Florida saw three consecutive days of record-breaking hospitalizations for COVID-19 as the delta variant continues to surge. As many as 13,427 hospital beds were filled with COVID-19 patients, according to federal data updated Friday. Some hospitals have announced plans to limit elective surgeries as several hospitals approach capacity. Pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations are also rising, with 174 suspected or confirmed hospitalizations, 157 of which are confirmed. The number of vaccinated people is also increasing, although there have been more breakthrough cases than some officials, like DeSantis expected.

Feds approve Seminole Compact — Federal regulators approved the Gaming Compact between Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The notice of approval from the U.S. Department of Interior for Indian Affairs paves the way for the decadeslong deal to bring in a guaranteed $2.5 billion over the first five years. However, No Casinos and others are expected to sue the state, charging that it violates the constitutional amendment that Florida voters approved in 2018. IGRA and Secretary Deb Haaland had 45 days to act. But that deadline lapsed Thursday with no action from her department, allowing the Compact to take effect.

“Governor Who” and Biden spar over COVID-19 — After President Joe Biden told DeSantis and other Republicans to “get out of the way” of local governments trying to combat the virus on Tuesday, DeSantis responded Wednesday by telling the President that he was “standing in your way” and “I don’t want to hear a blip about COVID-19 from you.” The next day, Biden feigned ignorance when asked about DeSantis’ response, asking “Governor who?” in response. But DeSantis saw fit to remind Biden who he was. “I’m the Governor who answers to the people of Florida, not to bureaucrats in Washington,” DeSantis said in part of his canned response.

Fried wades into pandemic response battle — Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is stepping up after what she views as an absence of leadership from the Governor’s Office. After launching her own televised pandemic addresses last week, this week, she accused the Governor’s Office of delaying COVID-19 data and asked the federal government to provide financial relief for school districts impacted by DeSantis’ executive order. “You know, I am running for Governor of the state of Florida, but I never expected to start the job now,” Fried quipped on MSNBC’s “Katy Tur Reports.” However, federal dollars, as Fried requested, requires legislative approval or the Governor’s emergency approval.

Night Out

Attorney General Ashley Moody is highlighting recent efforts to increase ahead of this week’s annual Night Out Against Crime.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, Florida’s crime rate is down for the 50th consecutive year. But it flagged a rising number of homicides in major cities across the country.

“Protecting Floridians is my top priority,” Moody said. “It’s a mission I have dedicated my entire career to advancing — first as a federal prosecutor, then as a judge, and now as Florida’s Attorney General.

Moody said her office had improved existing crime-fighting programs and invented ways to strengthen relationships between law enforcement and their communities.

These include a statewide anonymous tip line, a service program to help young crime victims, Thin Line Tribute to recognize law enforcement officers’ courage, and Back the Blue to forge stronger relationships between officers and the communities they serve.

Additionally, the Attorney General’s Office oversees the Division of Victim’s Services that administers the Victims of Crime Act assistance grant and additional specialized funds. Injured crime victims may be eligible for financial assistance for medical care, lost income, mental health services, funeral and other out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the injury.

“All of these programs work toward our mission of reducing crime, improving public safety and building a Stronger, Safer Florida,” Moody said.

To learn more about the National Night Out, click on the image below:

Back-to-schoolers beware

Scammers could be targeting back-to-school shoppers, warns Moody.

As students prepare to head back to the classroom, student scams could become more prevalent. In a news release, Moody’s office warned of fraudulent school supply ads on social media and increased scam emails and phone calls offering student loan forgiveness plans.

Moody released a written statement urging parents to report scams.

“As a mother, I know firsthand that sending your kids back to school is an exciting, yet stressful event. It takes a lot of planning and shopping to make sure your student has the supplies they need to succeed in the classroom. Scammers may try to exploit the back-to-school shopping rush through fraudulent ads on social media or through direct email solicitations. Don’t fall for their tricks and report any suspicious activity to my office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com,” read Moody’s written statement.

Moody’s office offered tips to parents to avoid scams during the back-to-school season:

— Use a credit card when shopping online rather than a debit card;

— Before providing sensitive information online, make sure the website is secure by checking for a padlock symbol by the URL or the HTTPS;

— Ask a “trusted loan servicer” about the legitimacy of student-loan forgiveness plan offers;

— Know that legitimate companies will never solicit personal or sensitive information over the phone, by email or by text.

Florida’s Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday ends Monday. The holiday allows consumers to be exempt from sales tax when purchasing qualifying back-to-school supplies.

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