Regan McCarthy

Senior Producer/Assignment Editor

Regan McCarthy is the Assignment Editor and Senior News Producer for WFSU News/ Florida Public Radio. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories. She has also worked for the London Business Matters Magazine and the Rochester Sentinel, a daily local newspaper. She is the recipient of six professional broadcast awards including first-place Best Radio Feature from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  When she isn’t tracking leading newsmakers she spends her time knitting, reading, strolling through the woods and brunching at new restaurants.  Follow Regan McCarthy on Twitter: @Regan_McCarthy

Josh O'Connor WSFWF

A wild fire burning about 4-miles southwest of Tallahassee is about 60-percent contained. Regan McCarthy reports Florida Forest Service officials are warning motorists to use caution when driving in smoky areas.

Tallahassee leaders are taking stock of what passed and what didn’t this legislative session. Reese Goad is the city’s interim manager

Capitol building at night
Erich Martin

Florida lawmakers officially wrapped up the state’s legislative session late Sunday afternoon. The session came to an end two days later than scheduled due to a hold up on budget negotiations between the House and Senate—much of which hinged on a disagreement over how to fund state hospitals. But House Speaker Richard Corcoran says the legislature has a lot to be proud of.

MGN Online

Florida Governor Rick Scott says he will sign a bill barring anyone under the age of 17 from receiving a marriage license. Lawmakers filed the measure after hearing the story of a Florida woman who was raped by her church deacon as a young girl, became pregnant and was forced to marry him at age 11. Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto (R-Fort Meyers) sponsored the measure in the House.

MGN Online

A measure to address Florida’s growing opioid crisis is nearing completion with just days left in the legislative session.

Laptops at a coffee shop
Leroy

Florida Senators are considering legislation some say could give the state’s residents more ability to create wills and work with notaries. But opponents of the measure argue it could also lead to more fraud.

Rodrigo Senna

An average of fourteen people die every day from opioid related abuse. That’s according to Stuart Republican Representative Gayle Harrell.

She’s glad to see a measure moving through the legislature that aims to curb opioid abuse. The House version ensures doctors and pharmacies use the PDMP or Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database before prescribing or dispensing an opioid. It also allows Florida to share its information across state lines to help cut down on so called doctor shopping. Rep. Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton) says another provision limits the number of pills a doctor can prescribe.

Leon County Website

Leon County Commissioners will take up a move to close a so called loophole that lets people make purchases at gun shows without having to get a background check. Commissioner Mary Ann Lindley discussed the issue at a recent Village Square Town Hall.

Erich Martin

Much has been made this session about efforts by Florida lawmakers to take power away from local governments. But a measure is scheduled for a discussion on the Senate floor Thursday that would expand local control—in this case when it comes to tobacco use.

Right now, decisions about where smoking is allowed are left up to the state. But Senator Debbie Mayfield wants local governments to decide whether people should be allowed to smoke in public parks.

Erich Martin

A measure that would expand Florida’s rules on issuing threats is moving forward. Officials are pointing to the many copycat threats made following the school shooting in Parkland as a reason for why the change is needed. 

Peeking at cards during a poker game
Michał Parzuchowski / https://unsplash.com/@mparzuchowski

Lawmakers are pushing a pair of gambling overhaul bills forward. But with just weeks left in the legislative session, leaders admit their priorities may lie elsewhere.

Erich Martin

A tax cut package moving through the House is facing pushback from animal rights activists, educators and working people. But the proposal does include more tax free holidays and a break for nursing homes adding generators.

Photo by Pablo García Saldaña on Unsplash

Florida lawmakers are once again looking for ways to help the sunshine state reclaim its title as the Hollywood of the South. 

The Daily Contributor / dailycontributor.com

Would raising the age to buy tobacco products lower the cost of healthcare in Florida? One lawmaker thinks so.

Florida lawmakers are continuing a push to get gambling legislation passed this legislative session.

Leon County Commissioners are mourning the death of Jane Sauls. The former commissioner served the public for more than 50 years.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran defended their positions in a debate Tuesday on sanctuary cities.

Erich Martin

The Executive Director of Tallahassee’s Downtown Improvement Authority will continue in her position for now. During a Monday meeting, the agency decided to postpone a decision about its embroiled leader until its next meeting.  Paige Carter-Smith has been named in a warrant in an FBI investigation.

Erich Martin

The Florida House and Senate have both passed their versions of next year’s budget. Both proposals spend about $87-billion, but the two plans remain for apart when it comes to how much of that money is put toward issues like healthcare and education.

City of Tallahassee Facebook page

Florida lawmakers are considering legislation that would create a uniform framework for bike sharing companies in the state of Florida. Tampa Republican Senator Dana Young said her bill addresses preemption and enforcement. 

Erich Martin

Take a look at the last receipt you got from a hotel stay in Florida. You’ll likely notice a number of taxes and fees. Some of that money goes toward what’s called a tourism development tax and is meant to be used for a tourism-related projects. Now state lawmakers are digging into what exactly counts as tourism related.

City of Tallahassee

Tallahassee Commissioners are a step closer to hiring a new city manager after Rick Fernandez agreed to step down from the job following a number of ethics accusations made against him. Commissioners approved a search process Wednesday. They are also moving forward with efforts to search for a new city attorney—a subject which drew extensive debate as commissioners considered widening the criteria in order to draw a larger number of applicants.

gold wedding bands
Abhlshek Jacob

Florida Senators have approved a measure closing a loophole that allows child marriage. The bill is being called historic. If the proposal passes the full legislature, the group, Human Rights Watch, says it will be the first of its kind in the country.

Erich Martin

Lawmakers in the Florida House held a first round of discussions on their gambling legislation Tuesday. The measure takes a hard line against any moves that might be seen as a gambling expansion.

Barrington Irving's Instagram

In the final part of our series on historically black colleges and universities, we take a look at the state’s Southern-most HBCU, Florida Memorial University

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