Kate Payne

Multimedia Reporter

As a Tallahassee native, Kate Payne grew up listening to WFSU. She loves being part of a station that had such an impact on her. Kate is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts. With a background in documentary and narrative filmmaking, Kate has a broad range of multimedia experience. When she’s not working, you can find her rock climbing, cooking or hanging out with her cat.

Al Jacquet via facebook

The Florida House has overwhelmingly approved a ban against sanctuary policies. President Trump’s disparaging comments about Haiti, El Salvador and African countries fueled an already contentious debate on the bill. Trump reportedly referred to the areas as "s***hole countries."

A shrimp boat heads out into the Apalachicola Bay.
Jason Tereska / WFSU News

After years of conflict, the U.S. Supreme Court is taking up the case over Florida and Georgia’s water disputes. Somewhat surprisingly, the justices seem sympathetic to Florida’s problems, and that has some of the state’s advocates feeling optimistic.

Kate Payne

After Florida’s Republican leaders laid out their plans Tuesday, the state’s liberal-leaning advocates and lawmakers outlined their priorities in what one activist called "the people's State of the State". In Florida’s Republican-led state capitol, Democrats’ priorities often don’t get very far. This year the state’s liberal-leaning activists are trying to block efforts the House of Representatives could pass as early as this week. 

Kate Payne via WFSU

The U.S. Supreme Court appears sympathetic to Florida’s complaints in a decades-long water dispute with Georgia. The court heard oral arguments in the case Monday.

jvoves/ flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jvoves/

Florida’s Speaker of the House is promising to pass a bill restricting sanctuary policies in the first week of this year’s legislative session. That’s despite arguments that the plan is unconstitutional. 

Dan Dickinson via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/remydwd/42389747/

The City of Tallahassee is opening up a temporary cold night shelter this week as temperatures drop below freezing. But even with the extra space, some people in need of stable housing won’t make it inside. 

Kate Payne

Tallahassee’s airport is returning to normal after unseasonable snow grounded seven flights on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Emma Langdon Roche via the New York Public Library / http://abolition.nypl.org/images/us_slave_trade/4/38

More than fifty years after her death, a new work by Zora Neale Hurston will hit the presses. Barracoon is her account of the last known survivor of America’s Transatlantic slave trade. The Florida anthropologist and author is known for her celebration of black life and culture in the rural South. This latest manuscript will reinforce that legacy.

Charlotte90T via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/charlotte90t/

Florida lawmakers are once again trying to reform the state’s food stamp program, which has more than doubled since the Recession. But unlike in previous years, the Republican-led effort could be making some in roads with Democrats. 

Bill Nelson via facebook

Florida’s U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is slamming the Republican tax bill. Both houses of Congress passed the measure Wednesday on largely party line votes. Nelson says the package benefits corporations more than working people. 

Sustainable Tallahassee

There’s a new Apalachicola Riverkeeper. Volunteer and fundraiser Georgia Ackerman is taking over for the group’s long-serving leader Dan Tonsmeire. The transition comes as the state is preparing for a Supreme Court case about the future of the river.

Florida Memory / https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/114159

Local preservationists are working to survey a historically black neighborhood that’s feeling pressure from developers. The project could help residents protect the area from new construction.

Florida Supreme Court
Nick Evans

The Florida Supreme Court has tossed out a case challenging the governor's right to make last minute appointments. The justices say it’s too soon to review because the appointments haven't been made yet. Without a clear ruling, some are worried about a potential constitutional crisis. 

MGN Online

The political battle around Obamacare doesn’t seem to be factoring into Floridians' decisions to sign up. Florida leads the nation in Obamacare enrollment. And the state’s residents are once again signing up for the program at a record rate. That’s despite Republicans’ efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

Josh O'Connor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwssoutheast/

Florida’s top agriculture official wants more funding to fight wildfires. Firefighters worked hard to control this year’s burns, before heavy rainfall cut the season short. But winter weather conditions could fuel more fires in 2018. 

Adam Putnam via flickr / Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Florida’s projected orange crop is continuing to dwindle. The forecasted yield is down 80% from the record high of 244 million boxes 20 years ago. 

Ariel Dovas via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/eviloars/3596825553/in/photolist-6tQEVF-8URbcY-nBP92L-hX8nFM-dzZqZv-4ZJ2ky-oXmHrv-4X6aGF-8kErNQ-4X6aKt-dzZtdB-dL1No5-3RYGw5-8vMptT-4dAphj-8mqsHQ-RTzbX-5gJJMN-8iq3hr-en86kn-9DU4qw-8zjrD7-aE62qi-aCEBWy-3cDrcM-5ahWGB-HeukUX-Z9zp

First responders run towards crashes, emergencies and catastrophes, not away from them. And for some, their experiences are leading to post traumatic stress disorder. But in Florida, first responders who develop PTSD on the job don’t get compensated, unless they have a physical injury as well. Now there are efforts at the statehouse to change that. A note to listeners, the following story includes frank discussion of death and suicide.

Citrus greening (Huanglongbing) is reeking havoc on Florida's citrus industry.
A. Barra via Wikimedia commons

A cold snap is bringing freezing temperatures to Florida this weekend. But one citrus scientist says the state’s embattled growers shouldn’t see much damage. 

Monroe County Board of County Commissioners via facebook

The 2017 Hurricane season is officially over. But lawmakers are still debating how to pick up the pieces.

Monticello-Jefferson County / https://monticellojeffersonfl.com/

Alfred “Mac” McNeill will serve as the interim sheriff of Jefferson County. The appointment follows the death this week of Sheriff David Hobbs.

Stuart Rankin via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/24354425@N03/14576820330/

55,000 agriculture-related jobs are in danger in the wake of Hurricane Irma, according to a recent University of Florida analysis. Economist and study author Alan Hodges says the storms’ impacts to Florida’s growers are unprecedented. Because the state's second largest industry depends on so many other suppliers and distributors, and fuels so many local economies, Hodges says the ripple effects are not limited to growers alone. 

Florida Supreme Court

The Florida Supreme Court is blocking a request that a justice recuse herself from a high profile case. A day after the League of Women Voters countered accusations that Justice Barbara Pariente was politicking from the bench, the state's highest court has agreed: there's no there there.

kitty meets goat via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kittymeetsgoat/

Housing officials are worried local governments are under-utilizing money that could fund affordable rentals. The state’s demand for rental units hasn’t slowed since before the Great Recession. But according to state housing officials, most local governments aren’t using available public money to build affordable rentals. 

The Florida Sheriff's Association

Jefferson County residents are mourning the death of Sheriff David Hobbs. David Hobbs died Monday after leading the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office since 2004. County Commissioner Betsy Barfield says the sheriff's death surprised many in the small North Florida community. 

City of Jacksonville via facebook

The impacts of hurricanes on people are well documented, and can scar communities for years. But the ecological effects of storms aren’t as obvious.