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

 Officials said Carmelo Quijada  died of “self inflicted injuries” Sunday.

Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Ulysses Jenkins said Quijada was being treated for depression, but was not on suicide watch.

“We received information that there was some physical ailments that caused him to act out in certain ways, but we can’t pinpoint that that was the reason why he did what he did to get in jail or that caused him to do what he did while he was in jail,”  Jenkins said.

The Florida Supreme court is considering what some call the most important foreclosure case in the country.  Regan McCarthy reports the justices are looking into whether banks should be allowed to re-file a case, if the lawsuit they originally filed used fraudulent documents. 

The Florida Supreme Court is considering whether a bank that used fraudulent documents should be allowed to dismiss a case and refile it later with different paperwork.  Regan McCarthy reports the high court is looking into a case that goes back to the robo-signing scandal that overtook Florida a few years ago.

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This week is arson prevention week in Florida and Regan McCarthy reports Tallahassee firefighters are focusing on reducing the number of fires started by children.

Nationwide more than half of arson fires are started by kids. And Tallahassee Fire Chief Cindy Dick says the majority of those fires are started by children under the age of 10. But she says in her experience, they’re usually accidental.

“I don’t believe there’s a great amount of malicious arson intent in those fires. I think they result from a lack of education and fire safety.”

The Florida Supreme Court is considering whether a group seeking a class-action lawsuit against a check-advance company should be allowed to move forward with the case. Regan McCarthy reports The company argues the individuals signed contracts waiving their rights to class-action suits.

The Florida Supreme Court is looking into a number of cases in which immigrants say they weren’t told taking a plea bargain would lead to their deportation. Regan McCarthy reports now they’re asking for their pleas to be thrown out.

Florida leaders are recognizing the state’s fallen law enforcement officers. As Regan McCarthy reports, the state has one of the highest rates  in the nation for officers killed in the line of duty last year.

The month of May is dedicated to remembering the fallen law enforcement officers across the country, but Florida Governor Rick Scott says it should also be a time to remember those who still risk their lives every day to protect Floridians.

Despite lingering questions about the constitutionality of Florida’s new voting district maps, Officials say they expect all the of the maps to stay the way they are for the 2012 election cycle.

Florida Governor Rick Scott rejected a request from the Mayor of Tampa to let the city restrict guns during the Republican National Convention in August. A law passed by the legislature last year, prohibits cities from making their own rules about where guns are and aren’t allowed—now all local ordinances have to conform to the state’s laws. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, thought the governor might grant his city leniency during the Republican Nation Convention. But Scott has denied the request.

Ever wanted to know what Florida Governor Rick Scott writes in his e-mails? Now You can. Scott’s emails and those of 11 members of his  executive office are now available online. A new website called “Project Sunburst” archives most of the emails coming and going from the governor’s office.

A Circuit Court Judge has ruled the congressional voting district map drawn by lawmakers this year will be the one used for the coming elections, despite questions raised about its constitutionality. And Regan McCarthy reports, the Federal Department of Justice has given Pre-clearance to all of the state’s new voting district maps.

Drivers are now paying less at the pump today than they did at the same time in 2011. Regan McCarthy reports the price decrease comes a month after Florida’s average gas prices were expected to hit the $4  mark.

AAA spokeswoman Jessica Brady says gas prices were expected rise throughout the spring, but a United Nations meeting with Iran, a major oil exporter that controls a major oil highway, changed the trend.

Florida’s crime rate is down by 0.8 percent for 2011, with violent crimes down by 3.7-percent and non-violent crimes up by 0.4- percent. And Tallahassee Chief of Police Dennis Jones says Tallahassee’s crime statistics closely reflect the state’s with a decrease violent crime, but an uptick in property crimes like burglary.

WFSU

Florida’s overall crime rate has hit a 41-year low. Regan McCarthy reports the state’s total number of crimes for 2011 is down by a tenth of a percent, and the number of violent crimes is down 3.7-percent.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey says Floridians are safer now than “any time in the last four  decades.” Bailey says the decrease is thanks to the state’s law enforcement officers, but he says that safety has come at a cost.

Some Florida’s elections supervisors are protesting the governor’s efforts to rank them. Regan McCarthy reports the supervisors claim it feels to them like the governor is trying to take some control of the election process.

Florida Lottery officials say they’re getting ready to roll out hundreds of new full service lottery vending machines that will offer not just scratch off tickets, but other games like PowerBall. The idea is that they’ll help increase sales and raise more money for education. But Regan McCarthy reports there are a few groups asking questions—like how much of that money will make it into the state’s classrooms.

Florida lawmakers are asking the governor to investigate whether three state supreme court justices broke the law when they filed last minute paperwork needed for them to be on the ballot this year. Regan McCarthy reports some say the justices used court employees to help them, and say that’s a violation. 

This week is Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Florida Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi say it’s a time to recognize victims and the officers who protect them. Regan McCarthy has more.

Attorney General Pam Bondi says she knows as a prosecutor the impact that a crime has a victim’s life.

Searching for a lottery ticket? Floridians will soon have more options, thanks to a measure signed Friday by Governor Rick Scott. Regan McCarthy reports the bill lets stores install vending machines that sell all kinds of lottery tickets including Powerball tickets, and others that were previously for sale only behind the counter.

The Florida Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments on the Senate’s new voting district maps. The court ruled the first maps constitutionally invalid, now Regan McCarthy reports the justices are reviewing the senate’s second try.

The attorney representing the Senate in the case, former Florida Supreme Court Justice, Raoul Cantero says the Senate addressed everything the justices asked to be done during their last review.

WFSU

Florida Governor Rick Scott is announcing a task force to look into the state’s “Stand Your Ground Law.” Regan McCarthy reports the task force is set to hold its first meeting in May. The formation of the task force comes after the shooting death of an unarmed teen back in February.

WFSU

The Environment Florida Research and Policy Center says making your homes more energy efficient is easy. If you don’t believe them all you have to do is look at one building in Tallahassee Florida that’s over 50 years old and making all of its own energy. And Regan McCarthy reports a provision in a comprehensive energy bill passed this session could help communities across the state to fund similar efforts.

More than two million Florida children are now enrolled in the state’s health insurance program for low income kids. Regan McCarthy reports the organization hit a record number of participants in March.

Florida Healthy Kids Executive Director Rich Robleto says the increased number of kids getting enrolled in the state’s Kidcare program is a good thing.

A Florida State University Alumni, academic advisor is scheduled to appear on Jeopardy Monday evening. Regan McCarthy has more.

Trevor Bryan says he’s been what he calls a “huge trivia nerd” his whole life.

“I’ve watched Jeopardy my whole life and grew up in a very competitive household.”

Bryan says to get on the show first he had to take an online test. The test is made up of 50 questions, and gives takers about 8 seconds to answer each. Bryan says that’s to beat people who might try to search for answers on the internet.

Four lawmakers have joined a lawsuit against the Florida’s nuclear cost recovery program. Regan McCarthy reports the bi-partisan group says the state’s law let’s utilities charge customers for nuclear power plants that might never get built.

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