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Archive for January 11th, 2012

On the heels of the death of 19-year-old Logan Matthew Kushner in a Clearwater park Jan. 8, the Center for Public Safety Innovation (CPSI) and the Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training (MCTFT) program at St. Petersburg College’s Allstate Center have released an hour-long training video called “Designer Drugs: The New Frontier.”

The video looks at the new and emerging synthetic and designer drug threat, who is most at risk and what can be done to prevent it. Some experts in Bangor, Maine, for instance, say this is the worst drug epidemic they have ever seen.

These drugs are often sold as incense or bath salts and are marked ‘not for human consumption,’ and they are anything but harmless. Some of the chemicals are illegal, but the makers of these substances often change the ingredients slightly to skirt the laws. Kids are experimenting with them and the adults in their lives don’t always know what they are.

The video was shared with all Pinellas County high schools this week and includes information on:

  • What are designer drugs
  • What can happen to people who take them
  • The strategies coalitions can use to prevent their use
  • What law enforcement should know when approaching someone who may be using designer drugs

Content providers include:

Gary Boggs, Special Agent and Executive Assistant in the Office of Diversion Control for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. A former Orange County Sheriff’s deputy, Boggs has worked for the DEA since 1985.

Aaron Byzak has been president of North Coastal Prevention Coalition (NCPC) in Vista, Calif., since 2008. Byzak also is the director of Government and Community Affairs for the University of California San Diego Health Sciences. In this role, he handles all legislative and community relations activities on behalf of UC San Diego Health System, the UCSD School of Medicine and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences at UCSD.

Dr. Mark Ryan is the Director of the Louisiana Poison Center, where he assists in the medical management of poisoned or overdosed patients and provides poison prevention and awareness education to help reduce the incidence of accidental poisonings.

He also is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport.

The Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training (MCTFT) program provides unique, tuition-free, courses covering all aspects of counterdrug law enforcement and training support for community anti-drug coalitions. The MCTFT is a division of the Center for Public Safety Innovation.

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The Tampa Bay Times covered the revival of SPC’s student newspaper with this Q&A; the first semester that students spent in the new Veterinary Technology building; and the nuclear energy forum at the Seminole Campus.


WFTS ABC Action News also covered the nuclear energy forum.


WUSF previewed the upcoming Floridiana Festival & Highwaymen Artist Show and Jazz Festival.


Tampa Bay Newspapers Weekly covered the upcoming performance of the Vogues at the Palladium; the opening of the newly renovated Side Door Cabaret at the Palladium; the SPC ethics team reaching nationals; and the 10th anniversary of the Leepa-Rattner Museum.


The Weekly Challenger previewed the upcoming Dr. MLK Breakfast sponsored in part by SPC.

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Kim Hartman
Kim Hartman

Kim Hartman joined the college as the dean for the College of Education on Jan. 3.

“I’d heard really good things about the school,” Hartman said. “I knew that there was a strong education program. Since I had enjoyed the leadership roles and administrative roles of being a department chair, I decided that I’d like to move into a dean’s position.”

Hartman served as the Chair and Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Mississippi since 2007. She previously served as an Associate Professor and Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, as well as an Assistant Professor at Gardner-Webb University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. For eight years, she taught at public middle schools in North Carolina.

“At Ole Miss, we wanted to prepare the top teachers, prepare very strong teachers,” she said, having similar goals for SPC. “Now I’m looking forward to working with our very strong faculty and staff here; they are very adept in their fields.”

She received a doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis on teacher education and middle grades education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1996. She also received a Master of Science in Educational Research, Evaluation and Testing from Florida State University in 1992, and a Bachelor of Science in Intermediate Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1981.

Her research has focused on teacher education and urban education, including alternative routes to licensure, low wealth schools, and middle school education.

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The Urban Youth Violence Conference will be at the Allstate Center on Friday, March 2 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Kathleen Heide, a licensed psychotherapist, Professor of Criminology at the University of South Florida, and author, is the keynote speaker. Heide, who studies violence in children, has evaluated hundreds of troubled youths and has testified in court many times. She has received six awards for teaching excellence and has served as a member of more than 10 community and state boards of directors, councils, or task forces, including two consecutive gubernatorial appointments to the Florida Sentencing Commission.

Other speakers will include: 

  • Irene Sullivan, Judge (Retired), Pinellas County
  • Anthony Holloway, Chief, Clearwater Police Department
  • Dwight Stewart, Gang Specialist, Texas School of Safety
  • LaTasha Atkins, Victim Advocate, New Orleans District Attorney’s Office
  • Susan St. John, Pinellas County Assistant State Attorney
  • Gregory Robinson, Captain, Lakeland Police Department
  • Rechi Butler, Reformed Drug Dealer, Tampa, Florida
  • Michale Baute, Investigator, Florida Department of Law Enforcement
  • Daryl Daniels, Director, Derrick Brooks Charities

Registration can be completed online. A $125 conference fee is required.

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The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art celebrates its 10th year anniversary on Sunday, Jan. 22 with an event from 1 to 5 p.m. that is open to the public and will include:

  • Docent tours of the newly installed galleries
  • Art activities for children
  • Free refreshments and birthday cake
  • Musical entertainment
  • 2 p.m. book signing and talk with photographer Herb Snitzer, author of Glorious Days and nights: A Jazz Memoir
  • 3 p.m. special performance of Bettina Bedwell Rattner: Our Modern World by actress Nan Colton

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