Sascha Cordner

All Things Considered Host/Reporter

Sascha Cordner worked at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both TV and radio, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications.  She has received several  Florida Associated Press Broadcasters Awards with one of her award-winning stories titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink."  Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU.  Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

There’s a shake up in the state’s newest agency. As Sascha Cordner reports, Doug Darling, the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity’s executive director, announced he’s stepping down.

Darling says his last day on the job is Tuesday.

In his resignation letter to Governor Rick Scott, Darling said he originally planned to stay through the Legislative Session, but he can’t due to personal reasons.

A 2007 Florida Senate report concluded that too many doctors are refusing emergency room on-call duty, due to increased exposure to lawsuits and higher medical malpractice insurance costs. So, as Sascha Cordner reports, one Florida lawmaker is hoping to alleviate those concerns by granting emergency room doctors immunity from medical malpractice lawsuits.

A bill that several lawmakers say would end tuition discrimination in Florida could help one young man fulfill his goal. As Sascha Cordner reports, the bill’s sponsors are using that young man as an example to show that all residents, regardless of their background, should have the right to pay in-state tuition.

18-year-old Renato Lherisson, the son of undocumented immigrants, is a native of Miami.

Some lawmakers are raising concerns about the Department of Corrections closure of prisons, two facilities in particular. As Sascha Cordner reports, while some argued about the closing of a women’s faith-based prison, others wonder if the department is taking into account the impact of shutting down prisons in small communities. 

A massive prison privatization effort is causing quite a stir among Florida lawmakers. That’s due to a move by Senate President Mike Haridopolos to vet a pair of prison privatization bills through two committees that are not prison-related. As Sascha Cordner reports, the bills now move on to one last committee stop, despite objection from some who feel the process is a sham.

By early June, 11 Florida correctional facilities are expected to close, but one county is not taking that sitting down. As Sascha Cordner reports, the Jefferson County Commission declared an economic emergency Thursday night, and hired two lobbyists to fight the prison closure in their area.

To privatize or not to privatize, that’s the question up for discussion in the Florida Legislature this week.  And it will continue in the coming weeks. The Senate has already filed a couple of bills, and as Sascha Cordner reports, a House Budget committee is now looking into the feasibility of the massive prison privatization effort.

About 25-hundred Floridians die from secondhand smoke each year, and a bill to further cut down on that is moving forward in the Florida Legislature. As Sascha Cordner reports, one Florida lawmaker is trying give local governments more room to further ban outdoor smoking on their properties, but some lawmakers worry about the unintended consequences of the proposal.

Republican Senator Alan Hays of Umatilla says if cities and counties want to ban smoking in AND around their buildings, they ought to have that right:

A massive effort to privatize about 30 South Florida correctional facilities is making its way through the Florida Legislature again. As Sascha Cordner reports, a Senate panel agreed Wednesday to move a pair of bills forward that would privatize the prisons AND change the way the privatization plan needs to be vetted.

Last year, the controversial issue of prison privatization caused quite a raucous in the Florida Legislature, especially the Senate.

Governor Rick Scott has chosen Florida’s new elections chief. As Sascha Cordner reports, Scott tapped Tallahassee insider Ken Detzner to replace retiring Secretary of State Kurt Browning.

Scott says he has every bit of confidence in Ken Detzner, a man who’s already had a short stint as a former Secretary of State under former Governor Jeb Bush.

There’s a bill that would increase the penalties for people involved in high speed car chases with police, that result in serious bodily injury or death of another. As Sascha Cordner reports, one lawmaker says it’s necessary because in the case of a Hernando County deputy who was killed last year during a high speed chase, the man responsible could get sentenced to a minimum of three years in prison.

“The impact was so severe that he was killed almost instantly. And, after, you’re kind of in shock, we were together almost 18 years and we have two amazing kids.”

 

There’s a Florida law that’s setup to clamp down on health care fraud. But, it’s causing one woman to put her dream to be a nurse on hold. As Sascha Cordner reports, one lawmaker has filed a new bill that if passed, could give the woman a second chance at her dream.

It began as a comprehensive law to fight health care fraud. But, Democratic Senator Arthenia Joyner of Tampa says that legislation passed two years ago has unintended consequences. That’s why she filed a bill to help those who want to become licensed health care professionals, but have a felony record.

In a budget saving effort, 11 correctional facilities in Florida are expected to close. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, while some say the move is unavoidable, others say it will hurt hundreds of correctional officers who will lose their jobs and the communities that depend on them.

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Ken Tucker says Governor Rick Scott tasked him with finding a way to reduce the overall cost of the state’s corrections’ budget.

A Florida Senator thought his bill to save the lives of stray animals as well as taxpayer dollars would sail right through its first committee stop. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, it drew angry opposition from animal lovers.

Republican State Senator Mike Bennett of Bradenton insists he’s an animal lover too.

Florida’s Secretary of State who’s been vigorously defending the state’s controversial new election law officially resigning Wednesday. As Sascha Cordner reports, this is actually Kurt Browning’s second time leaving the post. He originally left the position when serving under Governor Charlie Crist.

Following a meeting with Governor Rick Scott, Browning confirmed he was stepping down as Florida’s elections chief. Browning was adamant that Scott did not force his resignation and says he told the Governor he wanted to leave to be with his family in Pasco County.

Lawmakers are trying to fix a loophole in the state’s current gun law. For instance, though someone can’t carry a gun into a government meeting, they can carry a gun into the building where that meeting is held. But, now as Sascha Cordner reports, there’s a new bill that would change all that.

Under Florida’s current gun law, cities and counties within the state must repeal their local gun ordinance laws or face a penalty of about $5,000.

It’s the first day of the 2012 Legislative Session, and Florida residents from all across the state voiced their outrage at how the Governor and the Republican-led Legislature are doing so far at the old Capitol Tuesday. As Sascha Cordner reports, many different organizations rallied together to “Awake the State” and touch on areas that they believe the current Government is lacking.

 

The Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence joined with several state officials in Panama City Thursday for the launch of a new family safety initiative. As Sascha Cordner reports, the aim is to reduce domestic violence and child abuse in several North Florida counties.

It’s called the “Northwest Florida Regional Domestic Violence and Child Welfare Initiative.” And, Leisa Wiseman with the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence says it’s a collaborative effort that will help to prevent domestic violence and protect children in Bay, Gulf, and Calhoun Counties.

 

 Big Bend area residents should try to keep warm at least for the next day or two, especially with Tuesday night being the coldest night of the winter season so far. As Sascha Cordner reports, though Wednesday won't be as cold, it will still be chilly.

New Year's Day marked the winter season's first hard freeze, and the temperature gradually got worse on Tuesday with lows in the mid-20s. But, Tallahassee Meteorologist Don Van Dyke with the National Weather Service says Wednesday should be a bit better as well as for the rest of the week:

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