Lynn Hatter

News Director

Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has been a member of the WFSU news team since 2007 focusing on education and health care. She's an an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiatives.  When she’s not working, Lynn spends her time watching sci-fi and action movies, writing her own books, going on long walks through the woods, traveling and exploring antique stores. Follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter: @HatterLynn.

Damaged buildings like this one dot the coastline and west of Tallahassee.
Courtesy of Florida State University / WFSU News

Florida State University’s Panama City Campus is closed indefinitely. The school sustained heavy water and infrastructure damage due to Hurricane Michael. The university announced the closure Friday after school officials took a helicopter over Thursday to get their first look at the site following the storm.

A boat washed ashore following Hurricane Michael. 10/12/2018
Charley and Briney King

Despite mandatory evacuation orders along Florida’s Panhandle many people chose to stay behind and ride out the storm. Among them: Charley and Briney King in Panama City. They spoke on WFSU’s Perspectives show Friday.

The Trans Am, popularized by actor Burt Reynolds in "Smokey and the Bandit" has been sold to two Tallahassee brothers who restore and build new models.
Todd and Scott Warmack / WFSU-TV

A local car restoration company is being showcased on the Discovery Channel. The show “Trans Am” premiers tonight at 10. 

The League of Women Voters of Florida argues a vote for Amendment 5 will hurt the state’s ability to pay for services like public schools.  The proposal requires a super-majority to vote in favor of raising taxes and fees.

The Texas-based company Cholla Petroleum is seeking permission from Florida's environmental agency to drill six exploratory wells in Calhoun County.
Cholla Petroleum

Of the nine oil and gas exploration permits pending with the state, six are in North Florida. And even though they’ve not been approved yet, environmentalists are wary.

Florida Supreme Court
Nick Evans / WFSU News

The League of Women Voters of Florida is suing Governor Rick Scott over the appointment of new state supreme court justices. 

Denise Williams is facing three charges of felony insurance fraud relating to the murder of her ex-husband.
Leon County Sheriff's Department

Denise Williams will not be getting out of jail any time soon. Florida’s First District Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court’s decision to not grant Williams bail as she awaits trial over the death of her ex-husband Mike Williams. 

Workers and volunteers help sort and stock a Tallahassee food bank.
Margie Menzel / WFSU News

The number of Floridians living in poverty has fallen since the Great Recession. But it’s still higher than the national average. The federal government has released two reports showing about 14 percent of Floridians had incomes below the poverty line. 

The seven-member Florida Supreme  Court poses for a photo in the courtroom.
Florida Supreme Court / Florida Supreme Court

Governor Rick Scott’s decision to start the process of appointing new Florida Supreme Court justices has ignited a looming constitutional crisis.  At the center of the issue: who—the outgoing or incoming governor—has the ability to make those appointments.

The Center of Tallahassee is advertising leasing space on its website.
Center of Tallahassee

The Centre of Tallahassee is transitioning from a mall to a business complex. The building is starting to empty out to make room for new state offices. Several small stores are closing, have closed or are in the process of relocating.

Andrew Gillum, his wife R. Jai welcome Chris King and wife Kristen via Facebook Live.
Andrew Gillum Campaign / facebook

Orlando businessman Chris King is joining Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum on the campaign trail. Gillum announced King as his Lieutenant Governor pick Thursday on Facebook live. 

David Solz, former Gilchrist Principal, has been moved to the district office and faces an ethics reprimand after self-reporting a relationship with a married teacher at his school.
Leon County Schools

The former principal of Gilcrist Elementary School has been reassigned to district headquarters following an investigation into a relationship he had with a teacher at the school. 

Former TPD Officer Vincent Crump 3/7/2018
Leon County Jail

A former Tallahassee Police officer accused of sexually assaulting a motorist during a traffic stop could be heading back to court. A mistrial was declared in Vincent Crump’s trial, after a juror failed to show up to the second day of  deliberations. 

The firm ChangeResearch, describes itself as a service for "forward-thinking" candidates. It conducted internal survey's for Andrew Gillum's campaign.
ChangeResearch.com

A little-known polling firm based in California accurately called Florida’s democratic gubernatorial primary for Andrew Gillum. And it’s the firm the Gillum campaign relied on for its internal tracking. 

Former TPD Officer Vincent Crump 3/7/2018
Leon County Jail

The fate of a former Tallahassee police officer accused of sexual battery is now in the hands of jurors.  Vincent Crump is accused of raping a woman during a February traffic stop.

Two Leon County School Board races are heading to the general election ballot while one incumbent has managed to squeak out a win.  

Jeremy Matlow, owner of Gaines Street Pies, is trying to win a seat on the Tallahassee City Commission.
Lynn Hatter / WFSU News

Two Tallahassee City Commission seats remain up for grabs as the top two vote getters in both head toward the general election in November. 

The home of Kim Ross and Brian Lee is a total loss after a Sunday night fire re-ignited early Monday morning.
Tallahassee Fire Department / TFD

The Tallahassee Fire Department has launched an internal review after a house fire it put out later re-started. The residence is the home of two local environmentalists.

Gwen Graham speaks with reporters outside the Leon County Courthouse Thursday. Graham is on the last leg of her campaign ahead of the Tuesday primary. (8/23/2018)
L Hatter / WFSU News

Gubernatorial candidates are making their final pitches to voters ahead of Tuesday’s primary. Democrat Gwen Graham returned to Tallahassee Thursday to vote and rally her supporters amid polls showing Graham and Phil Levine tied as front-runners to win the Democratic Gubernatorial primary.

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office is appealing a circuit court judge’s decision to remove an education amendment from the November ballot. 

In a letter to Florida election officials federal agencies say they’ve not seen any evidence of new or ongoing compromises to Florida’s election system infrastructure.

Florida Supreme Court
Nick Evans / WFSU News

A long-running lawsuit over whether the state is properly funding its public schools is now before the Florida Supreme Court.  Oral arguments have been scheduled for November 8th.

Collier Co. School Board and Constitution Revision Commission Member Erika Donalds promotes Amendment Eight during a 4th of July parade in Naples. Donalds is the architect of the multi-tiered proposal.
Erika Donalds / facebook

Florida is among a minority of states that only allow school districts to approve new charter schools. A proposal once slated on the November ballot seeks to change that. But the fate of amendment eight is unclear after a Leon County Circuit judge ruled its ballot summary is vague and misleading. Now the crafter of the plan is pushing back, arguing her referendum has been mischaracterized by opponents of school choice.

WLRN.org

Florida’s top leadership offices are up for grabs this year and one of the largest jobs is overseeing the state’s multi-billion dollar agriculture and consumer services industries. There are seven candidates vying to succeed Adam Putnam as Agriculture Commissioner. Five of them recently appeared before several South Florida editorial boards to make their cases to voters. 

A decision on the fate of an education amendment to Florida’s constitution could arrive as soon as Monday.

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