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

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.

A group of four lawmakers have joined a lawsuit against the state’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.

It’s now up to the Florida Supreme court to decide whether undocumented immigrants are allowed to be lawyers in the state. Regan McCarthy reports the Florida Board of Bar Examiners is asking the Court for its opinion.

Florida Governor Rick Scott is traveling the state to promote a number of bills he’s signed that are part of his jobs and economic growth package, but Regan McCarthy reports some experts question whether the governor’s policies will help Floridians get back to work.

Senator Mike Fasano is announcing plans for run for the Florida House. Regan McCarthy reports Fasano is eyeing a Pasco County seat.

After serving in the Florida Senate for 10 years, Senator Mike Fasano, a Republican from New Port Richey, says he wants to return to the Florida House. Fasano served as a representative previously from 1994 to 2002. He says he’s looking forward to getting back to his roots.

“The Florida House of Representatives is probably, along with the Senate, as close to the people back in our districts as any other elected official if not more.”

Florida’s unemployment rate is trending down. Regan McCarthy reports it’s 9.4-percent for the month of February, the lowest rate the state has seen in three years.

Florida’s chief economist Rebecca Rust says a lot of the reason for the state’s decreasing unemployment rates can be attributed to job growth in the state.

Most of it now is due to people getting jobs because we see that the employment numbers are gaining more than the drops in the labor force when you look at it over the year.”

Florida’s Medicaid plan is wrapped up in a lawsuit alleging the state doesn’t provide adequate dental and medical care for children. Regan McCarthy reports experts say that’s because Florida’s physician reimbursement rates are so low.

With permission from their school boards, a bill passed this session would give students the option of asking to lead prayer or deliver an inspirational message during school events. But, Regan McCarthy reports the proposal  is expected to face legal challenges.

Harold Brockus worked as a Protestant minister in Pinellas County for 32 years and says he’s active in his church still today. He’s also the president of his county’s chapter of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. And he says his group is already considering filing a lawsuit against the measure.

The conservation group Audubon Florida is asking Governor Rick Scott to veto a bill that would let exotic animals live on state land. Regan McCarthy reports environmentalists warn the proposal could hurt native wildlife.

Julie Wraithmell is the Director of Wildlife conservation for the Audubon of Florida. She says a measure passed by lawmakers that would let organizations like zoos lease state lands for exotic birds and hoofed animals, like zebras, takes that land away from native species.

The Florida cabinet has approved the purchase of two lots that are next to an historic property called The Grove.  Regan McCarthy reports officials say the purchase opens up the potential of turning the property into a museum or welcome center.

State officials would pay about 580-thousand dollars for the lots. Right now, The Grove, which is adjacent to the Governor’s mansion, is only accessible by a road that runs by mansion, but Secretary of State Ken Detzner says purchasing the plots would create new avenues for accessing the property.

A Columbia County Correctional officer has died. Regan McCarthy reports the officer was allegedly stabbed to death by an inmate while on duty at the Columbia Correctional Facility.

Convicted murderer Richard Franklin is accused of killing an officer who was working on duty as a prison guard at the Columbia Correctional Institution Annex. Department of Corrections spokeswoman Jo Ellyn Rackleff says witnesses say Franklin stabbed 24-year old Sergeant Ruben Thomas in the neck with a “handmade weapon.” She says another officer, William Brewer, was also hurt in the incident.

Environmental activists say this isn’t the worst legislative session the state’s ecosystem has seen but it’s certainly not the best either. Regan McCarthy reports environmentalists are raising concerns about a number of measures headed for the governor’s desk.

So how did the environment fair this legislative session?

A number of city commissioners say Tallahassee should do what it can to settle a small-claims case that city lawyers say boils down to a locked gate. Regan McCarthy has more.

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