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 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative.  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.

Gov. Rick Scott, Senate President Joe Negron, House Speaker Richard Corcoran
State of Florida, Florida Senate, Florida House of Representatives

Florida lawmakers really only have one job they’re required to complete each year, and it’s not to make laws; it’s to pass a budget. But  the recent shooting at a South Florida high school and its resulting debate over gun control, has pushed the budgetary task to the back-burner, and could throw the legislature into overtime.

TPD Chief Mike DeLeo speaking to reporters after the probable cause affidavit in the Dan Markel case was unsealed.
LHatter / WFSUNews

The Tallahassee Police Department has fired one of its officers after receiving a report he sexually assaulted a motorist during a traffic stop. TPD says the victim identified the officer as Vincent Crump. 

Since the Valentine's Day Shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl, nearly 100 copycat threats have been logged.
WGCU News

There have been nearly 100 threats leveled against schools in the wake of the Valentine's Day shooting at a South Florida High School. Many of those who issued the threats are teens and students themselves. Some have claimed they were just, "joking." Law enforcement officials say they take all threats seriously and many student have been arrested for them, some, are facing felony charges. But whether those charges will stick is another matter, and state prosecutors say there's no law on the books that bans threats against schools. The ones that are in place for general threats of violence, are in need of updates. Second Judicial Circuit State Attorney Jack Campbell says it comes down one question: Was the threat implicit, or explicit?

Gov. Rick Scott, Broward Superintendent Rob Runcie and Broward Sheriff Scott Israel discuss Parkland school shooting.
PBS NewsHour screenshot

Florida lawmakers say they’re working to come up with legislation aimed at curbing school shootings like the one last week in South Florida. Students from across the state are joining those from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to lobby lawmakers for tougher gun laws. But they’re confronting the often confusing reality of legislative politics.

A key Florida Senate committee has stripped language from an omnibus education bill that threatened the survival of the state’s teachers unions. Critics of the plan say it’s unfair that only teachers were targeted.

The parents of a Florida State University fraternity pledge who died in November are suing the fraternity and members they say caused his death.

 Students are evacuated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday, after a gunman opened fire and killed 17 people.
Mike Stocker / / South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP

In the wake of the deaths of 17 people from a shooting at a Broward High School, people are once again focusing on school safety. Administrators and elected officials alike are pushing for more funding to shore up infrastructure, but some are beginning to wonder if that’s enough.

Office of Gov. Rick Scott

Governor Rick Scott is calling on the FBI Director to resign after the agency didn’t take action on information received about the 19-year-old who killed 17 people at a South Florida High School.

Leon County Schools

In the wake of the deadly shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglass High School in Broward County, Leon school officials are trying to reassure worried parents.

Senator Benacquisto (R-Fort Myers) in her new video.
Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto YouTube

After being delayed twice a proposal restricting physician prescribing powers for opioids is once again moving in the senate. It’s part of a wide-ranging proposal to address overdose deaths, which have jumped in Florida and across the nation in recent years.

Supporters and opponents of offshore drilling have one thing in common: neither believe Florida is off the table in the federal government’s proposed 5-year offshore leasing plan.

Opponents to the proposed 5-year drilling plan show up at the BOEM's public hearing in Tallahassee, 2/8/18
Jennifer Rubiello / Environment Florida

A decision to exempt Florida from a federal plan opening more waters to oil and gas exploration is not final.  Supporters and opponents were out Thursday for the federal government’s first and only public Florida hearing on its proposed five-year plan.

The Florida legislature is again considering banning fracking—the process of extracting oil and natural gas underground. Lawmakers have tussled over the issue in recent years, but proposal sponsor Dana Young says the process is too dangerous to allow in Florida.

City Commissioner Scott Maddox.
LHatter / Scott Maddox

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum says he’s hoping for speedy conclusion to the ongoing FBI probe into public corruption in the city government. The statement comes after the Tallahassee Democrat first reported a search warrant was issued for city commissioner Scott Maddox’s iphone accounts.

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Mayor Andrew Gillum
Nick Evans

Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum and Richard Corcoran continue to spar over immigration policies and in the latest—the Tallahassee Democratic mayor has challenged the Republican state house speaker to a debate.

Some 47,000 Florida students are being bullied or have been in some sort of violent situation—be it school fights, or harassment. And a priority of House Speaker Richard Corcoran is getting those kids some help.  A proposal allowing those kids to transfer to other public and private schools is making its way through the legislature but critics say it’s not a solution to the problem.

FAMU Board of Trustee Chairman Kelvin Lawson (left) sits with Interim FAMU President Larry Robinson (right) for the Florida Board of Governors confirmation hearing. 11/3/16
Florida Channel

Florida’s public university governing board has put its stamp of approval on Florida A&M University’s newest president. Larry Robinson was able to drop “interim” from his title in late November when the school’s trustees decided to name him to helm the school permanently.

peoriapublicradio.org

The Florida House and Senate are already clashing over education—higher ed in particular. The House is planning deep cuts for the state’s public colleges and universities while the Senate is looking to increase funding for both systems.

Florida A&M University's Lee Hall
famunews.com

When it comes to picking the perfect college, there’s the question of what to look for? Is it programs? Campus clubs? Atmosphere? Or is it just a raw feeling? As part of the HBCU Profiles Series, we take a look at Florida A&M University—and how some say, it called them home.

Audubon Florida's Celese dePalma talks about plans to build a water reservoir South of Lake Okeechobee.
Audubon Florida

The State of Florida is forging ahead with a plan to build a water reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee.  WFSU's Lynn Hatter talked about it with Audubon Florida’s Celeste DiPalma about a new report that lays out options for steering more water to the places that need it and less to the places that don’t.

State House Speaker Richard Corcoran wants the Department of Homeland Security to investigate two Florida mayors for supporting sanctuary city policies. It’s the latest in Corcoran’s push for attention on the issue.

The Florida College System

Florida’s public community and state colleges could become their own system, and move from under the authority of the state board of education. But with that newfound independence would come strict caps on the number of students that can enroll in bachelor’s degree programs at those schools, and make it harder for community and state colleges to establish such programs.

Nine students are facing felony hazing charges in the death of a Florida State University fraternity pledge.

jostens.com

One of the first major pieces of legislation is moving forward—an effort to expand both merit and need-based financial aid programs and revamp the way students pay tuition at universities. The measure has bipartisan support despite concerns about part of the plan pushing the schools to get kids out within four years.

peoriapublicradio.org

For the past several years the Florida House and Senate have battled over how to pay for public schools. Now the House is drawing a red line over what it will and won’t do when it comes to deciding how to appropriate those funds.

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