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.

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

The people and businesses that depend on the Apalachicola Bay just got a break from the U.S. Supreme Court—keeping a long running lawsuit over water use alive.

A wildfire in Franklin County burns more than 800 acres.
Franklin County Sheriffs Office / facebook

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says a prescribed burn is the cause of a fire in Eastpoint that has destroyed more than 800 acres and burned more than 30 homes. 

Recent polling shows there are four constitutional amendments poised for approval on Florida’s November ballot. Three of those deal exclusively with the issue of taxation. But there’s ongoing concern that determining tax policy through constitutional referendum isn’t in the public’s best interest.

Former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown in 2015.
Facebook

One of Florida’s main labor unions is throwing its support to former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown: endorsing his Congressional bid. 

Florida’s Ethics Commission says former Tallahassee city manager Rick Fernandez misused his position to get a catering discount from a local restaurant and obtain football tickets from a lobbyist. 

Tallahassee resident Darryl Jones files for Leon County School Board. He's challenging incumbent Maggie Lewis-Butler.
Darryl Jones

The longest-serving member of the Leon County School Board is facing a challenge from well-known political insider. Leon County’s Darryl Jones is jumping into the race.

Former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown in 2015.
Facebook

Former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown is looking to unseat incumbent Congressman and former state senator Al Lawson in August’s Democratic Primary. Both men are trying to distance themselves from each other, but they’re both walking a tightrope between being bipartisan and being perceived as “Democrats In Name ONLY” or DINO’s.

Florida’s embattled medical marijuana office continues wading through rulemaking—two years after Florida voters approved the system. But the industry is moving faster than regulators ability to govern it, leading to problems.

The commission charged with improving school safety is looking into the effectiveness of school resource officers—a school’s main line of defense that critics say failed students at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School amid a Valentine’s Day shooting. Seventeen students died, more than a dozen others were injured.

Joshua Ness / Unsplash

The Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce continues examining whether consolidating city and county services would be a good fit for the area. But it’s efforts have drawn pushback from some local officials—city mayor Andrew Gillum and county commissioner Bill Proctor most notably. But what’s the big deal?

Instagram

The Leon County school district is calling a video circulating on social media of a Chiles High School student, “disgusting” and condemning the post.

Governor Claude Kirk standing with his mother on inauguration day: Tallahassee, Florida (January 3, 1967)
FloridaMemory.com / Florida Department of State

Teachers in several states have gone on strike in recent months, protesting for better pay and working conditions. But that’s not the case in Florida, and likely will never be. Still, once upon a time, Florida led the first teacher strike in the United States. 

Mark Hillary / flickr.com

 

A spokeswoman for Calhoun-Liberty Hospital says its stakeholders will be watching how an embezzlement case against the former CEO plays out. 

The Happy Motoring Bar hosts the Tallahassee Soccer Club's new drive to bring soccer to the city 5/3/18
LHatter / WFSU News

Boosted by local enthusiasts, the Tallahassee Soccer Club held it’s unveiling on a bright, Wednesday afternoon at Happy Motoring.

Car tag for the Florida Police Benevolent Association
FLHSMV.org / Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

Florida’s largest police union is throwing its support to Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Gwen Graham and Republican contender Adam Putnam. The former Congresswoman and the state Agriculture commissioner are among the slate of statewide office endorsements. 

View of downtown Tallahassee
Leon County Tourism/Visit Tallahassee

Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor is accusing the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce of trying to make a power grab by pushing the consolidation of city and county government. 

peoriapublicradio.org

The Florida Supreme Court will take up a long running lawsuit over public school funding. The lawsuit began in 2009 and has made its way through the courts, spanned two governors, multiple education commissioners, and three house and senate leaders.

The 2018 Florida Constitution Revision Commission. Group photo.
Constitution Revision Commission

Florida voters will pick a slate of new state leaders, local legislative representatives, city and county officials  and toward the end, if they make it-- a dozen or so requests to change the state constitution.  Yet some of those requests are likely to give voters pause upon a close read: do they want to ban indoor vaping while simultaneously banning offshore drilling?  Many of the amendments are grouped together and observers worry the result will end up confusing voters. 

View of downtown Tallahassee
Leon County Tourism/Visit Tallahassee

The Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce is undeterred in its quest to explore consolidating city and county services.  Despite high-level opposition the Chamber has moved ahead with a study committee.

U.S. Rep Al Lawson meets DeMarcus Williams of the Federation of Southern Cooperative Farmers following the Farmers Roundtable (3/24/18).
Stephanie Lambert / Office of Congressman Al Lawson

North Florida Congressman Al Lawson is among the 20 people on the House Agriculture Committee voting “no” on a federal farm bill that would impose work requirements on food stamps. 

Rep. Matt Caldwell, R-Lehigh Acres, debates on the House floor May. 5 2017.
Florida House of Representatives

Florida voters will be asked in November whether to automatically restore voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences. This comes as the state clemency board has been ordered to revise its process for restoring rights. Now some state candidates are weighing in.

A house under construction
Nick Ares / flickr.com

Rezoning a section of land in Northeast Leon County is on hold after commissioners received documents hours before a planned vote.

A house under construction
Nick Ares / flickr.com

A potential zoning change pending before the Leon County Commission has got Northeast residents angry. Leon County like much of Florida is experiencing a housing boom, and much of that new development is occurring in the Northeast. But area residents are expressing concern about the high density communities coming online in areas that were previously green spaces.


The latest report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows Florida’s progress in several key indicators is starting to stall when it comes to improving the lives of children. While Florida has made progress in areas like educational outcomes it continues to rank near the bottom of states on other points. Now a leading children’s advocacy organization is calling for changes.

Dustin Daniels speaks in the Tallahassee City Commission Chamber (undated)
Dustin Daniels / facebook.com

The race for Tallahassee Mayor is seeing a growing list of potential candidates and another may soon be jumping in. Dustin Daniels, chief of staff to Mayor Andrew Gillum, has released a video suggesting he too may be eyeing the seat.

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