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.

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.

A view from the docks in the Apalachicola Bay.
Jason Tereska / WFSU News

A special master’s ruling favoring Georgia in a water fight impacting the Apalachicola Bay is being sent to the U.S. Supreme Court. Now two of Florida’s U.S. representatives are trying to hammer out another solution that could address Apalachicola’s problems.

Lynn Hatter / WFSU News

Leon County’s Sabal Palm Elementary School is one of a handful statewide that’s been able to boost its school grade in recent years. Wednesday the school’s principal discussed before a Senate education committee how the school made the jump.

Boats rest on a dock in the Apalachicola Bay
Jason Tereska / WFSU News

A special master is recommending the U.S. Supreme Court rule against Florida in a decades-long fight over water use. The move is a big blow to the Big Bend’s Apalachicola Bay, which depends on water from the system.

Marianne Arbulu's Twitter page / Twitter

Full Story: The Jefferson County School system will be the state’s first charter district at the start of the next school year. The district's board approved the move Thursday, after state officials said any other plan is unlikely to be approved by the state board of education.

Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam
www.cdfc.org

State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says the state should complete existing projects before spending money to for water storage in Central Florida. A 60,000  acre parcel of land is the centerpiece of Senate President Joe Negron’s bid to stop polluted water from fouling rivers in his district.

Florida House of Representatives

Former Tallahassee Rep. Alan Williams has a new job: lobbyist. The firm Meenan P.A. announced his hire Monday evening.

Jackson County School District Recruiter Shirl Williams works to find new teachers for her district.
Lynn Hatter / WFSU News

Education is once again in the spotlight and so are Florida’s teachers. Local superintendents say they’re struggling to recruit even elementary school educators—a space where finding help has historically been pretty easy. Now the Florida Senate is taking a look, and after years of ratcheting up pressure on teachers, lawmakers could cut them some slack.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran says he does not support a plan to finance the construction of a water reservoir South of Lake Okeechobee. Corcoran’s comments came the same day the proposal was officially filed.

A Tallahassee physician has been convicted of murdering his wife. A jury returned a guilty verdict in the trial of Adam Frasch.

Florida Immigrant Coalition's twitter

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum says it’s wrong to make cities choose between “security and compassion” when it comes to immigration. The rising Democratic star and potential gubernatorial candidate is pushing back on a Presidential Executive order.

U.S. Department of Education Via Flikr / WFSU News

A controversial teacher bonus program could be up for changes this year. Teachers have complained the Best and Brightest program is unfair—it awards bonuses partly based on standardized test scores—disadvantaging older and minority educators.

Thomas Favre-Bulle / flickr.com/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

The Jefferson County School Board has voted to close its last elementary school at the end of the school year and merge it with the existing middle-high school. But as Lynn Hatter reports the district superintendent is pushing back.

A Senate plan for changes to the state’s public colleges and universities sailed smoothly through its first panel hearing Monday. Questions mostly centered on how schools could implement block tuition and use a four-year graduation rate as part of the state’s higher ed accountability system.

widespread damage, and at least 20 deaths.  1/22/2017
Evan S./ https://twitter.com/fsu120 / Twitter

The City of Tallahassee says power restoration efforts will continue through the night and into tomorrow. The weekend weather system that hit Tallahassee hard downed numerous electrical sub-stations, power lines and trees.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network / WFSU News

Weekend storms across Georgia and Florida caused widespread damage, including more than 20 deaths. South Georgia was hit hard, with four people killed after a tornado struck Albany. One person was killed in Lake City after a large tree fell on a home. Florida Public Radio Emergency Network Meteorologist Jeff Huffman spoke with WFSU News Director Lynn Hatter about the unusual nature of the storms.

The Florida College System

The Florida College System could be revamped if the Senate gets its way.  Senate President Joe Negron has railed for years against what he sees as mission creep: community colleges stepping into roles traditionally held by universities. And now there's a bill that would begin to cut down on that expansion.

Leon County residents are concerned about the environment, aging, mental health and criminal justice. The county legislative delegation sat through nearly four hours of testimony from local residents, and advocacy groups on their wants during the upcoming legislative session.

Denisha Merriweather appears in this promotional video asking the FEA to, "drop the suit"--a reference to its lawsuit against Florida's corporate tax scholarship program.
Save Our Scholarships

The Florida Supreme Court will not hear a challenge to the state’s corporate tax scholarship program. The move comes after months of pressure on the state’s largest teachers union to drop its lawsuit.

State education officials are fed up with the Jefferson County School districts and they’re giving the district an ultimatum: close the elementary school, hire a charter company or turn it over to an outside operator to run.

https://education.wm.edu/centers/hope/resources/highered/index.php / education.wm.edu

The future could get a little brighter for some Florida college students. There’s a growing consensus to increase awards for some of the state’s highest academic performers. Legislative and state leaders seem to be in agreement when it comes to lowering the cost of higher ed.

MGN Online

Leon County’s school board is pushing back against the state’s pre-testing program.  Board members say students are losing valuable classroom time so that the state can test its standardized exam system.

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine mulls a statewide run.
WLRN.org

The Florida Democratic party may be fractured right now, but there’s no shortage of potential gubernatorial candidates. Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine says he’s considering a statewide run.

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