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.

NOAA / http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at1+shtml/154010.shtml?tswind120#contents

Update 9/9/17 5:00 p.m.: A voluntary evacuation notice has been issued for all of Leon County. Local officials say to expect 3-5 days without power. The region is likely to experience 18 hours worth of tropical storm force winds beginning Sunday evening into Monday.

Kate Payne

Observant and lucky Floridians may have spotted grapevines growing wild in the parks and backyards of the Panhandle. WFSU brings us this report on wild muscadines. We teamed up with the Miccosukee Root Cellar to look at what they are, how to find them, and what to do with them.

college library/ flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/collegelibrary/

All Leon County Schools will remain open this week. Based on the projected path of Hurricane Irma, county officials say there is less chance of severe weather affecting the district Friday. 

Historic Capitol
Tom Flanigan / WFSU News

The Florida Legislature is cancelling upcoming committee meetings ahead of Hurricane Irma. Lawmakers’ preparations for the 2018 session will have to wait.

Shannon Behnken via WFLA News Channel 8 / https://twitter.com/WFLAShannon?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Floridians are flocking to stores to stock up ahead of Hurricane Irma. Some locations are struggling to keep supplies on the shelves.

havanaflorida.com

The Panhandle town of Havana recently won a Florida Main Street designation from the Department of State. Now the community is re-envisioning the future of its downtown.

fotogake via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/gake/5891830312/

This year Florida lawmakers changed the way the state building codes are updated. There are concerns the new law could weaken the integrity of Florida homes, in order to cut construction costs. In the wake of Harvey, those concerns are taking on a new significance.

OneBlood / OneBlood

The state’s blood donation centers are sending resources to Texas hospitals affected by Harvey, now a tropical depression. OneBlood is asking Florida residents to give now.

Tammy Lampson

Thousands reacted this week to a photo of residents sitting waist-deep in floodwaters at an assisted living facility in Dickinson, Texas. The town did not issue a mandatory evacuation order ahead of Tropical Storm Harvey. The photo, and Texas officials' decisions to not evacuate, could have ramifications for emergency plans for Florida’s elderly residents.

Kate Payne

United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited Leon County Tuesday, making stops at Holy Comforter Episcopal School and the Florida State University Research School. DeVos used the trip to champion school choice and individual liberties.

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

If one Florida lawmaker gets his way, legislators will once again be debating sanctuary cities. Republican Representative Larry Metz of Groveland is filing legislation he hopes will ensure local law enforcement are cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

Joe Brusky via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/40969298@N05/13301353274/

Whether they know it or not, Florida taxpayers are funding certain statewide political campaigns. Supporters say the practice promotes diversity at the ballot box. But now the speaker of the house is taking aim at the system. Here's a look at who is actually benefiting from public financing.

Thomas Hawk via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/

Florida’s Speaker of the House wants to the state to stop funding political campaigns with taxpayer money. But an election law expert says public financing is vital to diversifying the ballot.

Jing via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/novemberjing/

An Okaloosa County man is suing a North Florida hospital over what he calls unreasonable hospital bills. The case comes after North Okaloosa Medical Center charged George Washington MacNeil $41,000 for post-car crash CT scans.

Florida Memory / https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/35306

From rivers to railroads to highways, the destiny of many Florida cities is tied to local infrastructure. Small neighborhoods and whole towns can live and die by the construction of interstate exits. But public historians say there are ways to balance public access and preservation.

FWC's Flickr account / FWC's Flickr account

A state lawmaker is once again trying to expand protections for Florida’s black bears. The bill sponsor says the plan should benefit conservationists and hunters. 

Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC. / https://infopost.spectraenergy.com/InfoPost/STTHome.asp?Pipe=STT

A little over a month after the Sabal Trail Pipeline went online, Central Florida residents are reporting foul-smelling leaks. Despite the sulfur-like scent, the structure is not emitting natural gas. But neighbors and naturalists are still concerned about the impacts.

Hamza Butt via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/149902454@N08/35417680152/

Florida State University graduate assistants are negotiating for more generous benefits. The effort comes after the administration cut healthcare coverage for the children and spouses of grad assistants. 

Kate Payne via WFSU

The private board in charge of handing out funds from the BP oil spill is developing its application process. But sparsely populated Gulf Coast counties are worried they could lose out on some of the settlement money.

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

Florida’s campaign to restore voting rights to felons is gathering national media attention, and national financing. Now activists are trying to focus that energy to get the proposed constitutional amendment on the 2018 ballot. WFSU reports on the grassroots campaign to gather 1 million signatures before the end of the year.

Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC. / https://infopost.spectraenergy.com/InfoPost/STTHome.asp?Pipe=STT

Residents near a stretch of the Sabal Trail Pipeline in Central Florida are reporting the sulfur-like smell of a gas leak. But the company behind the utility says the emissions are from an odorant leak, not from natural gas.

Florida Highway Patrol & Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles / https://www.flhsmv.gov/florida-highway-patrol/troop-boundaries-information/troop-h/

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles says they are not running a ticket quota system. The statement comes after an officer told his troopers they’re not issuing enough speeding citations.

NOAA / http://www.noaa.gov/media-release/early-season-storms-one-indicator-of-active-atlantic-hurricane-season-ahead

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a more active hurricane season than initially expected. The announcement comes as Florida prepares for the peak months of the season – August through October.

Allan Bergman via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/centseize/14617660493/

One in five women report having experienced rape, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Florida State University doctoral candidate Wayne Rivera says that means many people know a sexual assault survivor, whether they realize it not.

"The way I'm defining it at least, which includes friends and partners. Most people tend to know a victim. Maybe they disclose to them or not. But most people will tend to know a victim or survivor," Rivera said.

The Oz Blog / http://blog.doctoroz.com/oz-experts/myths-lies-and-hysterectomy

Florida has confirmed its first sexually-transmitted case of the Zika virus of this year. That comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are changing their recommendations for testing pregnant women for the disease. The new guidance means more patients may go without screening.

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