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.

Kate Payne

Florida’s coastlines and cavern systems are dotted with historic sites, from World War II era shipwrecks, to Spanish galleons, to remnants of thousand year old civilizations. But there aren’t enough archaeologists to keep up with the underwater preservation. Now the state is training amateur scuba divers to pick up some of the slack.

Kimley Horn / http://www.crtpa.org/files/125489997.pdf

The Five Points intersection in Midtown Tallahassee is a source of congestion and confusion for drivers. Now a local transit board is working on improving the block where 7th Avenue, Thomasville and Meridian Roads meet.

Capital Region Transportation Planning Agency / http://www.crtpa.org/files/125489996.pdf

City of Tallahassee officials are urging residents to stay involved in plans to redesign Southside streets. Local government agencies are studying possible improvements for Orange Avenue, Lake Bradford and Springhill Roads, and they want residents to know the plans are still in the conceptual stages.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection / https://www.flsenate.gov/PublishedContent/Committees/2016-2018/AEN/MeetingRecords/MeetingPacket_3946.pdf

Florida’s beaches are in constant need of restoration, to truck in sand that the sea washes away. In the wake of Hurricane Irma, miles of critically eroded beaches are in even more danger. Now a powerful lawmaker is once again trying to get funding to replenish the shorelines.

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

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is predicting this year’s Florida citrus crop will be the smallest since the 1940s. The state is slated to produce 54 million boxes, down from nearly 300 million in the 2000s.

Federal Highway Administration / http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/byways/photos/75957

Every session, Florida lawmakers fight over funding for a river, storm water system or sewage plant in their district. But an environmentalist wants to change that process.

Ulrich Joho via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/30963112@N02/4084144518/

A Florida lawmaker is calling on the state to overhaul regulations for nursing homes. The push comes after 14 patients died from overheating due to a power outage at an assisted living facility.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

Florida lawmakers are heading back to the state capitol Monday. They’ll discuss some of the issues expected to dominate the 2018 legislative session.

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

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, shutting down the island’s roads and power systems, leaving many isolated and in the dark. Now thousands are evacuating the U.S. territory for the mainland. Many may settle in Florida’s purple counties ahead of the 2018 elections.

Leon Trees / http://leontrees.org/explore/

The City of Tallahassee is suspending construction at the Welaunee development because of permit violations. The company behind the Canopy development on Welaunee Boulevard cleared a 700 foot stretch of woods and enlarged a stormwater pond without proper permits. 

Jonathan Kos-Read via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathankosread/

One Florida lawmaker believes workers who evacuate because of an emergency don’t deserve to lose their jobs. A new bill would give the state’s employees more protections.

Bryan Jones via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/bwjones/

A member of the state Constitution Revision Commission wants to open up Florida’s primary elections, at least somewhat. The proposal would close the state’s loophole for write-in candidates.

U.S. Army / https://www.army.mil

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio wants the military to take charge of Puerto Rico’s hurricane response. He says the storm’s effects are hamstringing the island’s supply chain.

redjar via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/redjar/

Floridians can file petitions to amend the constitution, but not to rewrite state statutes. A legal expert wants politicos to consider changing that.

Kelsey L. Adams via U.S. Navy / U.S. Navy

Hurricane Irma forced hundreds of thousands of Floridians from their homes, including residents at military bases. Key West and Jacksonville saw some of the worst effects of the storm, and are also home to major military installations. But now the bases are returning to normal.

Master Sgt Jerry Morrison via Department of Defense / https://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter

Some of Florida’s military supporters are lining up behind the state’s land acquisition program. Unlikely allies are joining forces to defend Florida Forever.

Kate Payne via WFSU

Florida leads the nation in pedestrian fatalities. And some think infrastructure is to blame. Now the state Department of Transportation is transforming the way it designs streets. Tallahassee’s South Monroe Street could be one of the first to incorporate the new changes.

Historic Capitol
Tom Flanigan / WFSU News

A Florida lawmaker is once again trying to reform the state’s community redevelopment agencies. The taxpayer-funded programs would have to meet stricter reporting and ethics requirements.

tablexxnx via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/tablexxnx/

Carbon monoxide poisoning from generators has reportedly killed five Floridians in the wake of Irma. Here are some ways to prevent exposure to the potentially deadly gas.

Gulf Specimen Marine Lab via facebook

Hurricane Irma very nearly put a beloved Panhandle landmark out of business. But instead of closing their doors after 54 years, Panacea’s Gulf Specimen Marine Lab is up and running.

NOAA via twitter

Florida’s capital dodged the most destructive impacts of Irma, allowing now city and county operations to begin returning to normal.

Waffle House via facebook / Waffle House

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, many Floridians are turning to Waffle House, as one of the few places to get a cup of coffee or a cell phone charge. But as the state begins rebuilding, the restaurant is taking on an even greater significance.

City of Tallahassee via Twitter / https://twitter.com/COTNews

Across Florida, more than 64% of households are without power after Irma churned through the state. Here's an update on the efforts to restore utilities in the Big Bend.

Jessica Palombo via WJCT / WJCT

Jacksonville is seeing record-breaking flooding as storm surge pushes the St. Johns River over its banks. One person feeling the effects from Irma is Jessica Palombo, news director at member station WJCT.

Bjoertvedt via Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. House has approved a $15.25 billion hurricane relief package. The bill now heads to the President’s desk. The federal relief bill will provide initial emergency funding as the country recovers from Hurricane Harvey and braces for Hurricane Irma. 

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