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Florida’s top leadership offices are up for grabs this year and one of the largest jobs is overseeing the state’s multi-billion dollar agriculture and consumer services industries. There are seven candidates vying to succeed Adam Putnam as Agriculture Commissioner. Five of them recently appeared before several South Florida editorial boards to make their cases to voters. 

A decision on the fate of an education amendment to Florida’s constitution could arrive as soon as Monday.

Courtesy Holland & Knight Law

A lawsuit in Florida’s Supreme Court filed by a former justice seeks to get most of the Constitution Revision Commission’s proposed amendments off the ballot before November. Harry Lee Anstead retired as chief justice in 2009. Anstead takes issue with six amendments and their combining proposed changes, claiming it will leave voters unable to cast votes on individual ideas.

Martha Barnett is an attorney who served on the last CRC in 1998. She served on its Style and Drafting Committee, which determines how amendments are combined and presented on the ballot. Barnett recently spoke with WFSU’s Ryan Dailey about her experience on the Commission, and gave her take on the most recent amendments.

A police chief stands at a podium
Lynn Hatter / WFSUNews

A Tallahassee Police officer has been fired for violating two department policies. A report on the investigation deatils the incident, which saw Officer Damien Pearson fire six shots at a fleeing vehicle.

Collier Co. School Board and Constitution Revision Commission Member Erika Donalds promotes Amendment Eight during a 4th of July parade in Naples. Donalds is the architect of the multi-tiered proposal.
Erika Donalds / facebook

The League of Women Voters of Florida is hoping to persuade a Leon County Circuit judge today to strip a constitutional amendment proposal off the November ballot. The amendment in question is number eight, which combines several issues into one proposal like term limits for local school board, mandating civics be taught. But  the part the league takes issue with the section that deals with approving new charter schools.

Gina Jordan/WFSU

The Consolidated Dispatch Agency (CDA) is on an uphill climb as it works to overcome a series of tragic errors and fill vacant positions.

The agency ran into trouble soon after it was created in 2013. It endured some high profile technical problems that were blamed, in part, for the shooting death of Leon County deputy Chris Smith as he responded to a house fire.

The CDA was also blamed for bumbled responses in the Betton Hills murder of a Florida State University law professor and a shooting at FSU’s Strozier Library.

Now, a new interim director is at the helm. Steve Harrelson has soent nearly 30 years with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. He’s also the CDA’s fourth director in five years. He says his priorities include fully staffing the dispatch floor – where 500,000 calls are answered annually - and boosting morale.

Indian Association of Tallahassee

With its universities and the information technology demands of state government, Tallahassee has a surprisingly large Indian connection. The India Association of Tallahassee is inviting the community to a celebration of Indian culture this Saturday, Aug. 18.

A doctor is sharing health information with their patient
rawpixel.com / Unsplash

Bay County health officials are inviting the public to a meeting Thursday to discuss ways to better identify and address area residents’ health needs.

An alligator
Karen Parker / FWC Flickr

The statewide recreational hunting of Florida’s alligators began Wednesday.

With Florida's 2018 general election just weeks away the race for U.S. Senate election officials are growing concerned about the potential for hacking. The issue is now playing a role in the U.S. Senate race, as Governor Rick Scott and Senator Bill Nelson spar over whether the state's  systems are secure.

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From NPR News

Demonstrators gathered at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill campus Monday night achieved a decades-long goal for those opposed to public displays of Confederate statues: They toppled "Silent Sam," a monument dedicated to fallen Civil War-era soldiers.

A crowd of about 250 students, faculty and local residents carrying banners condemning white supremacy stormed the bronze sculpture, and using ropes, they brought it crashing down from its century-old pedestal. It was the culmination of a protest that began earlier in the evening, on the eve of the first day of classes.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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