State News

A tree knocked down a powerline during the storm
Robbie Gaffney

More than 150,000 people are without power in the Florida panhandle after Hurricane Michael. Officials say recovery efforts are expected to extend well into November.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Democratic Senator Bill Nelson says fears that Panama City’s Tyndall Air Force base might shut down are “unfounded” after Hurricane Michael brought destruction to its hangars.

Analysts are estimating that Hurricane Michael has caused billions of dollars of damage and will create a substantial loss for insurers, but the industry is expected to cope — once again avoiding the kind of meltdown that Florida saw in the 1990s, after Hurricane Andrew.

Hurricane Michael Forces Nursing Home, Hospital Evacuations

Oct 12, 2018

More than 30 health-care facilities had to be evacuated as Hurricane Michael damaged buildings and knocked out electricity in the Panhandle, state emergency management officials said Friday.

Updated at 4:55 a.m. ET

Tropical Storm Michael rampaged through South Carolina, North Carolina and finally southeastern Virginia on Thursday, before heading for the Atlantic Ocean.

Cali Beauty, on Apalachee Parkway in Tallahassee, is one of many that has boarded up its windows in advance of Hurricane Michael. (10/10/18)
LHatter / WFSU News

Calling the situation "unprecedented" the National Weather Service upgraded Hurricane Michael to a Category 4 early Wednesday morning. It has maximum sustained winds of 140 mph.

Potential trajectory of Hurricane Michael shows a potential Wednesday landfall as a Category 3 Hurricane.
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network / FPRN

Hurricane Michael is expected to strike the Panahandle and Big Bend region Wednesday as a Category 3 storm. Panama City, Apalachicola and Tallahassee could feel the brundt of the storm's damage. Evacuation notices, school closures and emergency shelter location is below. 

Courtesy National Hurricane Center

North Florida and the Big Bend is expected to start feeling the impact of Hurricane Michael today, with the brunt of the storm expected Wednesday. Michael is presently a Category 2 storm and is expected to strengthen into a Category 3 when it comes ashore somewhere in the region.

Tropical Storm Michael's trajectory as of 5 p.m. via the National Hurricane Center.
The National Hurricane Center / @NWSTallahassee

Governor Rick Scott has issued a state of emergency for 26 counties in the Big Bend and Florida Panhandle ahead of Tropical Storm Michael. The storm is expected to become a hurricane by the time it makes landfall Wednesday and could become a Category 2 storm, with winds exceeding 100 mph. 

Potential trajectory of Hurricane Michael shows a potential Wednesday landfall as a Category 3 Hurricane.
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network / FPRN

Update 5:13 p.m.:  The City of Tallahassee will open additional sandbag locations Monday, Oct. 8. Withrop Park and Messer Park are presently open. The additional sites are:

  • Tekesta Park, at Tekesta Drive and Deer Lake Road in Killearn Lakes (County)
  • Apalachee Regional Park (Landfill), 7550 Apalachee Parkway (County)
  • J. Lee Vause, 6024 Old Bainbridge Road (County)
  • At the intersection of Oak Ridge at Ranchero roads (County)

County locations will be staffed, and all residents will need to bring their own shovel. Sand, bags and ties will be available for public use. Residents are asked to take no more than 20 bags (25 at City sites) so as to allow others to prepare. Staff will monitor the sites to replenish as needed.

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Original Story: Floridians from the Emerald Coast to the Nature Coast are urged to review their hurricane plan and be prepared to act on it within a couple of days. Tropical Storm Michael formed over the western Caribbean Sunday morning, and the National Hurricane Center says it could become a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico by Wednesday.

Courtesy Ron DeSantis Campaign

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis has released his plan for Florida’s economy. The former congressman bills himself as an enemy of taxes, as state Democrats attack him for his economic record in Washington.

The Florida Channel

Fundraising began this week for a state-sanctioned scholarship program that helps victims of bullying and other mistreatment at school.

The Hope Scholarship program for K – 12 students is part of a sweeping education law passed by the Florida Legislature last March and signed by Governor Rick Scott.

When the legislative session opened in January, House Speaker Richard Corcoran gave an impassioned speech about education.

Jimmy Patronis
Florida CFO Archives

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer is cracking down on cell phone spoofing. Scams continue despite new laws aiming to stop them.

Emerson George / Courtesy Ron DeSantis For Governor

Republican candidate for Governor Ron DeSantis picked up an endorsement from Florida’s largest police union. 

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

A group of activists opposing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation is sounding off. The group visited the Tallahassee office of Republican Senator Marco Rubio Tuesday.

The League of Women Voters of Florida argues a vote for Amendment 5 will hurt the state’s ability to pay for services like public schools.  The proposal requires a super-majority to vote in favor of raising taxes and fees.

Gov. Rick Scott, undated.
WFSUNews

Equality Florida wants protection from discrimination for LGBT state workers. The organization’s executive director, Nadine Smith, claims Governor Rick Scott said he would consider an executive order protecting such workers following the Pulse night club shooting. But she says that never happened.

Patronis ring
Jeremy Ring / Jimmy Patronis

As Election Day gets closer, key races for positions like Florida’s Senate, Governor and Agriculture Commissioner are closely watched. Yet the race for the state’s Chief Financial Officer appears to be flying under the radar.

a white and black dog inside cage
Fredrik Öhlander / Unsplash

A new law will take effect Monday, seeking to make sure Florida animal shelters return pets to their owners following a storm. It also seeks to crack down on animal abusers.

Marsy's Law for Florida

Voters will decide whether to place victims’ rights in the Florida Constitution this November.

Advocates say it’s necessary to give victims a voice in the criminal justice process. But opponents argue these rights already exist under Florida law. 

A lionfish.
Naomi Tamar / Unsplash

A record-setting nearly 30,000 lionfish were removed from Florida waters during the 2018 Lionfish Challenge. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced the winners of its annual challenge Thursday. The fish came from waters off eight Florida counties including Bay and Franklin.

City of Tallahassee

Democrat Andrew Gillum has a nine point lead in the race for Florida’s governorship, according to a new Quinnipiac poll.

a black and white photo with a boy with his head in his hands
Pixabay / Pexels

Florida’s foster kid population is growing at an alarming rate. That’s part of what will be discussed during an upcoming webinar.

A bee pollinating a flower.
Jason Leung / Unsplash

A new law goes into effect October 1st which will create stricter penalties for stealing beehives, that’s good news for Florida farmers experiencing decreased profits and honey bee die-offs.

Mote Marine
Conor Goulding / Mote Marine Laboratory

Governor Rick Scott says Florida is putting an additional $2.2 million  toward combating red tide. The funding will go to Mote Marine Laboratory to develop new technology.

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