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Tampa restricts protesters for Republican National Convention to clean zones, but everyone's allowed to bring their guns (whew!). Meanwhile Florida figures out that though it can't privatize prisons, it can privatize prison health care, and former Sentinel scribe Mike Thomas lands a sweet gig with everybody's favorite schoolmarm.

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“We've agreed on most policy issues, not all,” schoolmarm Jacobs told the Sentinel. “He's able to research things, comprehend complicated issues, synthesize them down to make good decisions. And that's going to be very helpful.”

Thomas is certainly not the first rattle-fingers to make the leap from journalism to, well, marketing – hey, Josh Wilson (WFTV, Nemours), Steve Triggs (WFTV, Orange County) and Dain Weister (WFTV, Orange County Health Department)! – but he's certainly the most cantankerous and least likely to have been on Channel 9. After getting an email from Sentinel reporter Mark Schlueb that we should be expecting our $87,000 phone call from Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer any day now, we decided to reach out to Thomas for comment. Not surprisingly, he didn't want to make one (nor would he allow our vaunted premise of a fake interview, dammit).

“I very much want to fade into anonymity,”he said in an email. Don't we all!

Editor's note: Shortly before this issue went to press, OW senior writer Billy Manes' husband, Alan Jordan, passed away. All of our love, support and good thoughts are with Billy.

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