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.

Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission via flickr

Florida’s wildlife management agency is announcing a record number of green sea turtle nests this year. That's in spite of impacts from Hurricane Irma.

Rontel Batie via facebook / https://www.facebook.com/rontel.batie

Two young Democrats are challenging North Florida Congressman Al Lawson for his District 5 seat, which covers portions of the eastern Panhandle from Tallahassee to Jacksonville.

https://twitter.com/adamputnam
Adam Putnam via flickr / Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Automation. Development. Citrus Greening. Florida’s agriculture industry is hurting, and Hurricane Irma is only the most recent blow. During this year's legislative session, lawmakers will be considering how to support the industry, which is second only to tourism.

Kate Payne via WFSU

Southside Tallahassee residents are still worried about a proposal to build a new road through their neighborhoods. If city and county officials approve it, the street would be part of the Airport Gateway plan. A recent public meeting on the issue drew dozens of residents.

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

Florida lawmakers want to stop their colleagues from spending money meant for affordable housing on other projects. The move comes after Hurricane Irma battered and destroyed Floridians’ homes.

Frenchtown Redevelopment Partners / https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3734191-Frenchtown-Redevelopment-Partners-May-2017-Booklet.html

Developers are getting more time to draft a plan to rebuild a block in the heart of downtown Tallahassee. 

Kate Payne via WFSU

Florida lawmakers and Governor Scott are $50 million apart when it comes to funding the state’s signature land buying program. But whether it’s 50 million or 100 million, the state has backed out of such proposals before, zeroing out funding for Florida Forever three years in a row. Meanwhile millions of acres of land could be at risk of development.

Monroe County Board of County Commissioners via facebook

For years Floridians have been facing a growing need for affordable housing. This year’s hurricanes are making the situation worse.

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

At a time when the FBI is scrutinizing Tallahassee’s community redevelopment agency, state lawmakers want to reform the groups across Florida. The FBI is currently looking into any wrongdoing stemming from development deals by Tallahassee’s CRA. But the capital city’s agency is not the only one suspected of misusing public money meant to combat blight and slums. 

Kate Payne via WFSU

Florida lawmakers are advancing a plan to allocate $100 million a year to the land buying program Florida Forever. Last year the legislature zeroed out its funding.

The State of Florida via myflorida.com / http://www.floridacapitol.myflorida.com/

Leon County’s lawmakers are meeting Monday to hear from voters ahead of the 2018 legislative session. Senator Bill Montford and Representatives Ramon Alexander, Loranne Ausley and Halsey Beshears are expected to be there. 

Katie Buttons via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=33246792%40N04&view_all=1&text=girl

The U.S. State Department considers child marriage a human rights abuse. Still, the practice continues not just in faraway places, but in the state of Florida. A coalition is walking the halls of the state capitol to change that.

Suwannee Hulaween and Silver Wrapper

The small Panhandle town of Live Oak is bracing for an influx of tens of thousands of people. Live Oak, population 6,900, is the host of the annual Suwannee Hulaween music festival. The weekend-long event is known for its psychedelic electronic music and art installations. 20,000 attendees flock to the woods outside of town, where the festival’s synthesizers echo across the Suwannee River. 

Kate Payne via WFSU

City and county officials are butting heads over how to respond to violent crime in Leon County. The area has seen a spate of killings recently, and it’s not clear how local governments will respond.

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.

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