Jim Ash

Reporter/Producer

Jim Ash is a reporter at WFSU-FM.  A Miami native, he is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print.  He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.

Ash has worked variously as a reporter, columnist and bureau chief.  His specialties include state politics, the judicial system and the environment.  His career has included coverage of everything from the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and Hurricane Andrew to the Florida presidential recount.

Ash is a graduate of the University of Iowa where he earned a degree in English.  He spent his summers interning for newspapers, including the Austin-American Statesman in Texas.

A hiking enthusiast, Ash has explored most of the public trails in California's Big Sur.  He is an avid reader who enjoys traveling, exploring the Big Bend, and water sports.

FSU Counters Bad Ink

Jan 12, 2015
FSU

Florida State University officials say they’re pushing back against recent bashing in the national media. Top administrators are developing a strategic marketing campaign to polish the school’s image.

Board of Trustees Chairman Allan Bense said he’s ready to send fellow trustees, armed with positive talking points, on speaking tours to spread the good news.

“I think it’s time for us to tell the world about how great FSU is. We’ve taken a few shots. I get it. I understand that," Bense said.

Florida Senate

Lawmakers turned up the heat Thursday on the Public Service Commission. Senator Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican, unveiled the latest proposal to put more distance between commissioners and the powerful utilities they are supposed to regulate.

On the same day two PSC members were sworn in, Latvala told reporters he was filing a bill that would require commissioners to undergo ethics training. Gov. Rick Scott recently appointed one of the commissioners, former Panama City lawmaker Jimmy Patronis, despite the fact that Patronis has no regulatory experience.

A legislative scramble to carve up some $700 million dollars tied to Amendment 1 has begun. Months before the start of the annual session, a Senate committee on Wednesday began debating how to spend money generated by a wildly popular voter mandate to protect the environment, Jim Ash reports.

It was standing room only for the first discussion of Amendment 1 by the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee. Chairman Charlie Dean, a Republican from Inverness, says there’s no shortage of suggestions about where the money should go.                           

Governor Rick Scott’s tightly scripted inaugural ceremony began with a heavy dose of scripture on Tuesday.

Scott was serenaded by church choirs and prayed for by clergy from across the state at an early morning prayer breakfast at Florida A&M University.

Pam Olsen, pastor of the International House of Prayer of Tallahassee, urged the public to ask that Scott receive divine guidance.

Olsen has never been shy about her beliefs. She and her supporters erected a nativity scene this year at the Florida Capitol.

As a blanket of cold air moved in Monday, Tallahassee prepared for the pomp of another inaugural ceremony.

The swearing in of 62-year-old Gov. Rick Scott will make him only the second Republican to serve two terms since 1968.

Scott is expected to touch on familiar themes in his inaugural address, including increasing school funding, cutting taxes and expanding the job market.

Scott’s office released snippets of his remarks earlier in the day. He will taunt rival New York state, which recently surrendered its status as the nation’s third largest to Florida.

Florida needs 35 new judges next year to deal with a chronic backlog in the courts. That’s according to a report issued by the state supreme court. New judges are needed even though some of the workload is easing, including a 7-percent decline in felony juvenile delinquency cases.

The Legislature hasn’t funded any new trial court judges in seven years, justices say. The report recommends creating the bulk of the new judges, 32, in county courts.

Florida Bar president Greg Coleman agrees.

Florida TaxWatch

Moving state employees into riskier, but potentially more profitable retirement plans is just one way to trim the state’s $77 billion budget, Florida TaxWatch, a government watchdog group, recommended in its annual report released Thursday.

Robert Weissert, TaxWatch’s chief researcher, says lawmakers should look hard at the recommendations while they decide how to spend a $ 1 billion surplus.

“Budget surpluses do not mean that we should not spend taxpayer money wisely,” he said.

TPD Reaches Out to Youth

Dec 10, 2014

With protests continuing nationwide over the killing of suspects by law enforcement officers, the Tallahassee Police Department is reaching out to local teenagers.

Middle and high school students in Leon County and surrounding areas are being recruited for a new program that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the department, said spokesman David Northway.

“Unfortunately at times there are rules and laws that we have to enforce and that’s where the miseducation comes out and hopefully this will be an opportunity for us to reach out and touch the youth of Tallahassee.”

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