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

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.

Convicted Murderer David Allen Gore died by lethal injection Thursday after 28 years on death row. Regan McCarthy reports Gore is responsible for the murder of six women.

David Alan Gore was pronounced dead at 6:19 p.m. Thursday. Department of Corrections Spokeswoman Anne Howard says Gore requested fried chicken, French fries, butter pecan ice cream and a soft drink for his last meal. And she says he spent some time with his mother and ex-wife.

The credit rating agency Fitch has reaffirmed the Florida’s triple-A credit rating, but Regan McCarthy reports, the agency also kept the state’s credit outlook as negative.

A report released by a division of the non-profit, The Pew Charitable Trust, looks into how well states track the effects of the incentives they offer to businesses. Regan McCarthy reports Florida ranks in the bottom 26.

According to a Pew Center Survey, Florida is lagging behind other states when it comes to checking into how well its business incentives, like tax breaks, are working. Research Director Robert Zahradnik says every state has at least one tax incentive program, but in tight times, it’s important for each state to know how well their program is working.

The man who says he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self defense is now in custody. Regan McCarthy reports George Zimmerman turned himself in after officials issued a warrant for his arrest Wednesday.

Angela Corey, the Special Prosecutor in the case announced during a press conference Wednesday evening that she’s charging Zimmerman with second degree murder. Corey says her goal is to use the facts to get “justice” for the “victim” in the case.

The City of Tallahassee is partnering with groups like the Leon County Health Department and Whole child Leon to promote a program called 95210. Regan McCarthy reports the program is aimed at encouraging healthy lifestyle choices.

Courtney Atkins, the executive director of Whole Child Leon. says the numbers 95210 stand for nine hours of sleep each night, five servings of fruits and vegetables, two hours or less of leisure screen time, one hour of physical activity and zero sugary beverages and tobacco. Atkins says following that plan can lead to better health.

David Alan Gore is scheduled to die by lethal injection Thursday. Gore is convicted for the murder of six women. But Regan McCarthy reports six Bishops from the Florida Catholic Conference are asking Florida Governor Rick Scott to stay the execution.

Mike McCarron, the executive director of the Florida Catholic Conference, says his organization believes in the sanctity of life and doesn’t think using the death penalty is the right choice for the people of the state.

An anti-abortion group is asking Floridians to approve amendment six when they see it on the ballot this year. Regan McCarthy reports the proposed amendment would prohibit tax payer dollars from being used to fund abortions except in certain cases like rape. It would also pave the way for lawmakers to pass legislation that requires parents to give their consent before their minor child undergoes an abortion.

The Florida Democratic Party and the Fair Districts Coalition are joining the fight against the Senate’s voting district maps. Regan McCarthy reports the maps are headed to the state Supreme Court for a second review after the justices found the chamber’s first maps unconstitutional.

Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith says he doesn’t think the Senate’s second set of voting district maps follow the guidelines in the constitution any more closely than the first.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has vetoed a measure that would have let the state lease its land to facilities, like zoos, to breed exotic animals. Regan McCarthy reports the governor says the state already has that option without passing a law.

Pages