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.

Tallahassee's Community Redevelopment Agency has approved the sale of the Bloxham Building and old jail near Cascades Park.  The move is part of a redevelopment effort in the area, and could become the new home of a mixed use development project.

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Artist renderings of what a possible mixed use housing development in Frenchtown would look like.
City of Tallahassee

Tallahassee Commissioners are postponing the sale of a parcel of land in Frenchtown. Residents protested the sale of the land to a student-housing developer, saying it jeopardizes the historic nature of the area.

Three charter school companies expressed interest. Two fit the criteria. Only one submitted an application. This week the Jefferson County School District became Florida’s first charter school district. The move got a round of support from the state board of education Wednesday.

Florida Department of Education

The Florida Department of Education says it’s investigating whether some school districts are inflating their graduation rates.  Leon and Gadsden County Schools use a company called EdMentum, also known as EdOptions. Hamilton, Dixie and Levy County Schools use a company called Smart Horizons. Others use Giant Campus. Such programs are at the center of the state's probe.

The Jefferson County School District will be back before the state board of education Wednesday. It may have found a charter school operator to take over its struggling school system, and is a step closer to becoming Florida's first charter district.

The Florida House is promising big cut to higher education funding. And it also has another idea for changes that should be made to the system.  The chamber unveiled its answer to one of Senate President Joe Negron’s top priorities this week.

North Florida Congressman Neil Dunn hosted a nearly four hour town hall meeting in Panama City this weekend. Dominating the conversation: Dunn’s view on Congress’ plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 

North Florida Congressman Neal Dunn will host a town hall this weekend in Panama City   Last month Dunn clashed with a small group of local residents who wanted to speak to him during a stop in Tallahassee.

Healthcarelist.com

A Florida Senate Panel has voted down a plan to allow recovery care centers in Florida. The facilities provide nursing care for people recently discharged from hospitals or those in need of post-operative care.

Bonnie Brown / Flickr.com

The price tag for Florida’s class size amendment is now at $34 billion. The state has spent that much since the measure was put into the Florida constitution by voters back in 2002. Since that time, its caused headaches for schools and districts which undergo the tricky task of trying to meet the standard. Now  state lawmakers are trying again to grant districts a little more wiggle room when it comes to class sizes.

sunshine.com

For the past several years, Florida’s public colleges and universities have sought to shield high-level position searches from the state’s sunshine law. The measure has repeatedly been swatted down, but its effort is back again.

Mayor Andrew Gillum
Nick Evans

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has only been running for governor for about a week, but he’s already facing a controversy about his use of a political email system. Now Gillum says he will comply with an investigation.

The FL Supreme Court took up arguments in this week in a high profile death penalty case.
Nick Evans

Florida lawmakers have approved a fix to the state’s death penalty sentencing system that if approved by Governor Scott, will require unanimous jury recommendations.

Sen. Joe Negron (R-Stuart) speaks to members of the Florida Board of Governors Tuesday, 6/21/16
Florida Channel

The Florida Senate has approved wide-ranging changes to the state’s higher education system. It’s a top priority of Senate President Joe Negron. But that doesn’t mean it’s a priority for the House.

Sen. Bill Montford,D-Tallahassee, is flanked by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, and local school district officials as he unveils a testing overhaul bill (3/8/17).
The Florida Channel

Tallahassee Democrat Bill Montford is out with a plan to revamp the state’s testing system. A bipartisan group of lawmakers from the Senate and House flanked Montford Wednesday in the Capitol as he unveiled his plan.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools

There’s renewed interest in requiring public school districts to share a portion of their locally generated school maintenance funds with charter schools. It’s an argument that’s been around for years and some lawmakers are worried about what that means for the state’s traditional schools.

Senate President Pro Tempore Anitere Flores
Anitere Flores via Facebook / https://www.facebook.com/anitere/?ref=page_internal

Dozens of gun measures are likely dead this year in the legislature. A key Republican Senator says she won’t support measures like campus carry or guns in school zones.

Florida Lottery

House Speaker Richard Corcoran has prevailed in his lawsuit against the Florida lottery. A judge sided with the House over whether the agency violated state laws in awarding a contract.

Tallahassee Memorial Hospital is a private hospital, but serves as the region's safety net system.
Tallahassee Memorial Hospital / TMH

Florida lawmakers are starting to put the pieces of the state’s healthcare puzzle together and the picture could involve changes for hospitals, nursing homes, hospice centers and other long-term care facilities.

peoriapublicradio.org

Florida lawmakers are pushing an education agenda that includes big changes to higher education and k-12 schools. Recess could become mandatory, tuition less expensive and Bright Futures expanded under proposals in the House and Senate.

Republican members of Florida’s Congressional Delegations have found themselves confronting angry constituents at recent town hall meetings. The move is part of a backlash from Democrats over the Presidential election. But how long will that anger last?

MarthaAnn Ackroyd loves the novel "A Land Remembered" and says it's worthwhile to protect Florida's undeveloped land.
Lynn Hatter / WFSU News

Florida’s cattle industry is nearly 500 years old. It’s part of what has made Florida the state it is today. Once a decade ranchers hop on their horses to reenact the long drives that allowed Floridians to export their main commodity: cattle. Lynn Hatter continues her reporting on what that drive, and the reunion rides, mean to the people who attend.

Former Tallahassee Representative Michelle Rehwinkel-Vasilinda has joined the Republican Party of Florida.

Lynn Hatter / WFSU News

Florida is known for its beaches, and the state and Mickey Mouse are often viewed as one and the same. But before there was Disney World, or South Beach, Florida was known for something else. It’s sprawling farms, citrus groves and ranches. Today, agriculture remains one of the state’s main economic drivers. And once a decade a group of gather to honor the state’s earliest commodity: cattle.

Dayton Cramer
The Florida Bar

A now-former Florida State University lawyer and a clerk for the House of Representatives have been arrested for crimes of solicitation related to juveniles. The back-to-back arrests come just days apart.

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