Nick Evans

Reporter/Producer

Nick Evans came to Tallahassee to pursue a masters in communications at Florida State University.  He graduated in 2014, but not before picking up an internship at WFSU.  While he worked on his degree Nick moved from intern, to part-timer, to full-time reporter.  Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years.  He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan.  When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.

EcoEagles

Students from Florida’s Embry-Riddle University have designed a hybrid car that consumes energy as efficiently as a gas-powered car getting 100 miles per gallon.  This is based on an EPA formula comparing the energy used to charge the batteries with a gallon of gas – 33.7 kilowatt hours equals one gallon.

Danielle Spraggs

A bill making it easier for local homeless coalitions to receive state funding passed another hurdle Thursday.   

Services for the homeless at the local level are managed by what are known as “continuums of care.”  An important source of funding for these agencies comes in the form of so-called Challenge Grants, which require a continuum of care to match the funds they receive from the state. 

Nick Evans

In a controversial ruling last year, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down core provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.  But some Florida lawmakers are working to put those protections back in place at the state level.

Under the Voting Rights Act, jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination were subject to federal review before making changes to their voting laws.  But the Supreme Court said the law did not reflect current conditions and American society is far different today than it was when Congress passed the act. 

Sarah Sosiak

Florida sales tax holidays have become popular tools encouraging consumer spending on items like school supplies.  But the omnibus tax holiday bill that passed the House Thursday is leaving some lawmakers wanting more.

Besides back-to-school shopping, Rep. Ritch Workman’s (R-Melbourne) bill includes temporary exemptions for energy-efficient appliances, hurricane preparedness supplies, and gym memberships. It also offers a permanent exemption for child car seats and bicycle helmets.

Nick Evans

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed four sex offender bills into law Tuesday during a public ceremony at the Capitol.  The event brought together a number of Republican lawmakers to show off the first bills passed by the Legislature.

Flanked by lawmakers, sheriffs and victims’ advocates, Scott said the package of bills will make the state safer.

e-Magine Art

Florida pharmacies are pushing a bill to increase the amount of support staff a registered pharmacist can legally oversee, but deciding where to draw that line is presenting challenges in the statehouse.

Rep. Mike La Rosa (R-St.Cloud) has proposed the bill allowing registered pharmacists to oversee up to six technicians.  The current limit is three. 

The change has drawn support from large pharmacy companies, but resistance from industry groups. So La Rosa has authored an amendment suggesting the Florida Board of Pharmacy hold discretion over any staff increases.

Nick Evans

Lobbying is often done with food, but seldom on this scale:

Six thousand key limes.

Two hundred pounds of graham crackers.

And 55 gallons of sweetened condensed milk.

It’s a modern take on an old adage – the organizers behind Florida Keys Day are hoping the fastest way to a lawmaker’s heart is through their stomach. The event has been a hit at the capitol for years now, but Chef David Sloan says this year’s pie makes it unique.

Susan Collins

Federal law bans discrimination based on pregnancy, but Florida law is less clear.  But the state Senate appears set to grant civil rights protection to pregnant Floridians.

Three Florida district court cases have wrangled with pregnancy discrimination.  In two, the courts found Florida law provides protection.  But in the most recent case, the court said pregnancy is not protected because it is not explicitly referenced in state statute.  Senator Geraldine Thompson (D-Orlando) says her bill puts the matter to rest by adding pregnancy to the list of protections.

Nick Evans

The NFL brings new players into the league each year through a seven round draft.  But before the draft, scouts, coaches, and other staff members get a couple of chances to meet and evaluate prospective players. Pro Day is one of the last of these events on the way to the draft, and Florida State Coach Jimbo Fisher says it offers a unique opportunity for the players.

State of Florida

    

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