State News

A number of pill bottles
Florida Department of Health's Take Control Website

With a new opioid law in effect, Florida health officials are educating the public on some of the new changes through a new campaign.

A photo of wetlands, which will be the site of a future mall in Miami
Wilfredo Lee / AP Photo

Billionaire gubernatorial candidate Jeff Greene is taking aim at one of his competitors over what he calls a “MegaMall” development planned in South Florida. Gwen Graham was quick in firing back.

A child buckling their seatbelt
rawpixel.com / Pexels

August is Child Safety Awareness Month, and Florida officials are reminding motorists to always buckle up their kids.

Courtesy Ryan Torrens Campaign

Ryan Torrens is a candidate for Florida Attorney General running in the primary against Democratic Representative Sean Shaw. Recently, Shaw filed a lawsuit alleging Torrens didn’t properly qualify as a candidate, and violated campaign finance law. Torrens has come to his own defense by releasing a public rebuttal, and has filed a motion to dismiss the case. It is set to be heard on August 22, just six days before the primary election.

Torrens recently sat down with WFSU’s Ryan Dailey to give his side of the story.

Kaleigh Wright

The research group Integrity Florida is raising concern about what it sees as a lack of diversity in President Donald Trump’s judicial nominations. 

Back to school supplies, like pencils, pens, and notebooks
TicketToDream.org

Florida’s child welfare agency is partnering with other groups to hold its first ever “Back to School Supply Drive” for foster care kids.

CFO's Press Office

Florida’s pool and spa related deaths rose from 2016 to 2017. 

The "Liberator," an example of the 3D-printable gun.
Defense Distributed website

Blueprints on how to make a functional 3D printed gun at home are now available online. But, Florida’s U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is among several Democrats calling on President Trump to step in.

Ryan Dailey / WFSUNews

A petition signed by 5,500 Floridians has been delivered to Gov. Rick Scott’s office, asking for tight regulation of Legislature-funded crisis pregnancy centers. Nonprofit advocacy group Progress Florida is behind the effort, and says it has identified about 190 of what they call “fake clinics.” Progress Florida says the centers steer women away from birth control and abortion.

Volunteer Florida

Volunteer Florida is allocating scholarships to educational organizations to help students in Florida’s rural communities.

WFSU

Environmental advocates want the lawsuit over Amendment 1 conservation spending to skip straight to Florida’s Supreme Court.  

Leon Evans, a former inmate, counts himself as a success of Transition House, a reentry program to help inmates have an easier time to transition back into society.
Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Some blame the state legislature for not fully funding Florida’s corrections budget. Prison officials say that led to them making some hard choices. Among those choices: cutting funding to programs helpful to inmates trying to transition back into society—as we hear in the last installment of Sascha Cordner’s two-part series.

Ryan Dailey / WFSUNews

A coalition of representatives from political, religious, academic and nonprofit groups is trying to reignite the conversation surrounding legislation protecting recipients of DACA. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum recently hosted a forum discussion in tandem with lobbying firm FWD. us. Its intention is to bring advocates together in a push for what they say is an “urgency” for Congressional action. What they want, in their words, is a “long-term legislative solution for Dreamers.”

Ted Hutchinson is organizing director for FWD.us in Florida. He joins Ryan Dailey to explain why he feels legislation is in limbo, and what’s next.

File photo

A big splash in the Democratic primary race for Attorney General has come in the form of a lawsuit. Candidate Sean Shaw is suing his opponent Ryan Torrens, in an effort to get him off the ballot.

Pexels

Mosquito populations on the East Coast are 2 to 3 times larger than normal, according to an estimate by The National Pest Management Association. 

Tim Donovan / FWC

When wildlife experts need help balancing an ecosystem, they sometimes call on snakes. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently released 20 eastern indigo snakes into the wild.

Register-To-Vote-Florida.gov
RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov

After numerous complaints last week, Florida’s election agency says the glitches on its online voter registration website are fixed. But, if anyone sees any other issues going forward, they’re urged to report them immediately.

Screenshot taken from Youtube

The democratic frontrunner for Florida Attorney General is calling for an end to the state’s “stand your ground” law following a Pinellas County shooting.

Electric car charging
Mike's Photos / Pexels

Florida is leading the way in new energy alternatives, but also lagging behind on some major efficiency standards.   

Poll workers in training at the Leon County Supervisor of Elections office, 2016.
Tori Whitley / WFSU News

Election watchers are trying to avoid a repeat of 2016—when Russian hackers tried to gain access to networks across the county. They didn’t get in—but it’s a cloud that continues to hover over the mid-term cycle. 

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones meets with inmates at the Wakulla Correctional Institution, March 8, 2016.
Florida Department of Corrections facebook

The state budget officially went into effect earlier this month. That includes Florida’s prison budget, which led to prison officials cutting funding to programs helpful to inmates trying to transition back into society. While some blame the Florida legislature, others want to stop playing the blame game and move forward. In the first installment of her series, WFSU's Sascha Cordner digs into what led up to this point.

Courtesy UWF

Florida’s Department of State has asked the one of the state’s universities for help in safeguarding the 2018 elections. Dr. Eman El-Sheikh directs University of West Florida’s Center for Cybersecurity. She has been essential in developing a curriculum that’s used to train Supervisors of Elections and their staffs. El Sheikh recently spoke with WFSU’s Ryan Dailey to talk about what went into developing that training, and what election cyber-threats look like in 2018.

sunpass.com

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) began upgrading its Sunpass toll system on June 1st. Since then, Sunpass users have been racking up charges but not getting the bill.

The Maryland-based company Conduent State & Local Solutions was scheduled to finish work on the system by June 11th. Yet more than a month later, it still isn’t fully operational.

Cannabis leaves and leaf
Drew Taylor / Unsplash

Florida lawmakers continue to be frustrated with the state Department of Health over its slow implementation of medical marijuana rules. 

Car reaches hot temperatures
AnnMarie Welser / wfsu news

25 children have died after being left in a hot car so far this year. Two of those death occurred in Florida. The Florida Department of Children and Families is trying to combat this issue.

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