Leon County

Florida Memory

Leon County officials and the Haitian community are rushing to aid the victims of this weekend’s bus crash in Wakulla.

Tallahassee’s troubled 911 call center is preparing for a long-awaited software update that could keep first responders safer.


Leon County Commissioners talked over the preliminary budget Tuesday for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Leon County School District is hiring more than 200 new teachers to replace this year’s retirees. WFSU News visited a county-wide job fair Thursday.

Can Mustafa Ozdemir via Flickr

Leon County officials say about 75-percent of the inhumane animal care citations issued are never paid. Now the county is adding teeth to the rules to help insure collection. But Commissioner Mary Anne Lindley says she’d like to see another option for those who simply can’t pay.

FloridaCharts.com / Florida Department of Health, Division of Public Health Statistics & Performance Management

Tallahassee is one of the most educated cities in the country. That’s according to the site, WalletHub. And the national association of counties recently named Leon as one of the best when it comes to management. But  when it comes to health, the city and county fall far down the list.

Leon County Government

Agency contracts will get a closer look during Leon County’s upcoming budget workshop Tuesday. Commissioners want to be efficient without unnecessarily duplicating services.

Voters cast their ballots.
Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Tallahassee’s political landscape is changing. It’s an election year, and for the first time in decades, nearly every constitutional office in Leon County is up for grabs. More than $2 million has already flowed into local races and that’s making for a banner cycle when it comes to fundraising.

Jill Chen via Flickr

 Update 4/12/16: The Leon County Commission has approved the new ordinance unanimously.


Original story: Leon County officials are scheduled to discuss a plan Tuesday that officially approves dog friendly outdoor dining spaces.

LHatter / WFSU News

Feelings of betrayal, hurt, anger and outrage were on display Thursday as residents of Woodville protested a transition center housing sex offenders and predators. The issue has been building in recent days, and Thursday the operators of the center--a local church--announced they would shutter the facility after a cease-and-desist order from the county. But Woodville residents still have bitter feelings.

Leon County Lawmakers To Meet With Constituents

Sep 21, 2015

The Leon County Legislative Delegation is meeting Monday evening to discuss the upcoming 2016 session. The meeting serves as an opportunity for constituents to voice their concerns and shape lawmakers’ priorities. Democratic Representative Alan Williams said he’s looking forward to hearing from the community.


Tallahassee Community College (TCC) and Valdosta State University (VSU) are partnering to simplify student transition between the two schools.

The agreements will allow TCC students with an Associate’s degree and the required grade point average to gain admission to VSU and pay in-state tuition. VSU’s Joe Weaver says the programs are a part of his school’s effort to bring non-traditional students into the Georgia university system.


Leon County is encouraging residents to get their hands dirty and grow their own food. The seed  cache at Leon County libraries is a budding addition for residents who want to learn their way around soil and trowels.  

It’s nearly eight p.m., and the program room of Leroy Collins Public Library is packed. It’s hard to miss brown envelopes with seeds swinging from the ceiling and large green buckets filled with soil on tables. In front of the room, Trevor Hylton shares tips with the mostly first-time farmers.   

Florida Farm Bureau

The Leon County Commission has amended the county Land Development Code to ban new gas stations in the Rural Zoning District. The move comes after a push from the Keep It Rural Coalition. 

Along with the decision to limit new gas station projects in rural zones, county officials are considering another look at what kind of commercial land use is appropriate. Wayne Tedder is the  Leon County director of planning, land management and community enhancement. 

Heather Paul

Tallahassee is facing a lawsuit over the way it collects funds to pay for the area’s fire protection services. The city and county are considering a plan to change that collection policy during two public hearings scheduled for this week, but the lawyers bringing the case argue the city’s tenants would still deserve a reimbursement.

Right now, the city collects a fire services protection fee though citizens’ utility bills. But Miami Attorney Matthew Lines calls that fee an unconstitutional tax.

unveiling of great tree challenge
Donald DeBevoise / WFSU News

A community-wide initiative to document Leon County’s oldest and most historically significant trees is underway. This is the first government-backed effort to record Leon’s trees.

A picture of a gas station
stratman / Flickr Creative Commons

Commercial development in rural Leon County is being limited. Commissioners approved changes to the county’s land codes Tuesday night. But some groups want even more restrictions on development.

The Commission’s vote caps the number of gas stations allowed at 27. That’s a decrease from the 200 previously allowed under the old plan.

The decision came as part of a push to prevent what some call extensive commercialization in Leon’s most rural areas.

Florida's primary is August 26th.
Nick Evans

Tuesday is Florida’s primary election and as citizens head to the polls, candidates are making their last push to convince voters they’re the one for the job.  Here, candidates on the Leon County ballot make their final pitch to voters.

MGN Online

Residents have until Saturday to vote early ahead of the August 26th primary election. And, depending on the area, it could end at different times.

For example, in Bay County, early voting will end at 7 p.m. Meanwhile, Leon and Wakulla counties' will end at 6 in the evening.

To participate in the primary, voters must have registered to vote on or before July 28th.

sample ballot
Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

This month’s Leon County election may be a primary, but several races on the ballot will be decided without going on to the general election in November. Voters of any political affiliation can choose the winners of four seats on Aug. 26.

In one universal contest, voters will get to determine who represents Florida House District 9: incumbent Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda (D-Tallahassee) or challenger Arnitta Grice-Walker. Although both are Democrats, all registered voters who live in the district can choose the winner because they are the only qualified candidates.

Jdan57 via Flickr

Leon County’s football program has been certified as a Heads Up football program.  The safety program includes concussion education for players. 

USA Football created the Heads Up Program in 2012 to reduce injuries on the field by educating coaches and players. With Pop Warner’s nationwide adoption of the program, approximately 40 percent of the youth football programs in the U.S. are now operating under these safety standards.

Local agencies say pregnancy health is vital to reducing infant mortality
Susan Collins via Flickr

The Florida Department of Health released data Wednesday on infant mortality rates in Leon County.  A sharp decline in deaths among black children is the highlight, but officials say it’s difficult to draw conclusions from a single year. 

After jumping to a rate of 9.3 per thousand in 2012, this new information shows infant deaths dropped all way to 5.3 per thousand in 2013.  Sandy Glazer with the Capital Area Healthy Start Coalition says this shows their efforts are succeeding.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

Tallahassee residents in the Buck Lake area will have a fire station closer to home next year. The Tallahassee Fire Department broke ground today on its 16th station as Leon County’s population continues growing.

Fire fighters say the new station should help them achieve their goal of a 5-minute response time anywhere in the county.

Tallahassee Fire Department spokesman Mike Bellamy says when a child at Buck Lake Elementary had a recent emergency, it took paramedics 10 minutes to arrive.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

The Leon County Commission is about to hold its annual discussion of how the legislative session could affect the local community. County- and state-level officials are slated to take questions Tuesday morning.

The meeting is hosted by Leon County Commissioner Bryan Desloge for the third year. Residents are invited to talk about how the recently concluded legislative session could bring changes to the region.

All local legislative delegates, local elected officials and school employees were invited to attend.

The lot where the performing arts center would have been built
Donald DeBevoise

Tallahassee won’t be getting a stand-alone performing arts center any time soon. The Leon County Commission has decided to use tax dollars originally earmarked for building arts centers in other ways. It’s the latest in a series of struggles facing large arts venues in Tallahassee.