Blaise Gainey

Multimedia Reporter

Blaise Gainey is a Multimedia Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.

Follow Blaise Gainey on Twitter: @BlaiseGainey 

Email Blaise Gainey at blgainey@fsu.edu

Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

AR-15 style rifles were used in many recent, high profile mass shootings. The gunmen at the Vegas Harvest music festival shooting, the Sandy Hook school shooting and Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting used AR-15 style rifles. That gun has taken much of the blame for lost lives and is being targeted in gun bans across America.

House Insurance Security Property Protection Concept
Rawpixel.com / Adobe Stock

Citizens Property Insurance says the number of cases involving AOB or assignment of benefits is down. The company credits the decrease to changes made by lawmakers last session.

Cannabis farm
RYLAND ZWEIFEL / Adobe Stock

The rise of CBD has taken the state by storm. It’s being advertised on storefronts, billboards, and online, in lotions, drinks, and candies. It comes from Hemp, which was made legal in Florida with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.

Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo speaking against Attorney General Ashley Moody's attempt to block the assault weapons ban.
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

Attorney General Ashley Moody is asking the Florida Supreme Court to block a proposed assault weapons ban from going in front of voters. Moody claims the proposed constitutional amendment is misleading and deceitful. Now Democrats are pushing back.

The 2018 Florida Constitution Revision Commission. Group photo.
Constitution Revision Commission

Currently, there are four ways Florida’s constitution can be changed. One method is through the Constitution Revision Commission or CRC. The group meets every twenty years to propose changes or additions to the constitution – giving voters the final say.

The last CRC met in 2018 and caused controversy by bundling several unrelated ideas. Now some lawmakers want the group dissolved for good. 

Voting Rights and Gavel
zimmytws / Adobe Stock

An amendment allowing felons to register to vote in Florida has been in effect since January 8th, but verifying which felons are eligible has proven problematic. The State’s Restoration of Voting Rights Work Group met today to figure out how to ease the problem.

AR-15's on a wall rack.
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

A proposed assault weapons ban would prohibit all semi-automatic shotguns and rifles that are capable of holding more than 10 rounds. State economists say that would affect around 71 percent of rifles and half of shotguns. Charlie Strickland, CEO of Talon Training Group, says it’d be a big hit to his business.

Antwann Brown's mug shot
Leon County Detention Facility

Antwann Brown, the suspect who police say stabbed five people at Dyke Industries Wednesday morning, is being held with no bond. He faces five counts of attempted murder and one for aggravated assault.

 Natural Life on Pensacola st.
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

After a November raid, Tallahassee police have now returned items taken from CBD store Natural Life.

Steve Cannon / AP Photo

Attorney General Ashley Moody is challenging a proposed 2020 amendment that would legalize marijuana for adults over the age of 21.

Crime Scene
prathaan / Adobe Stock

Wednesday’s stabbing attack at Dyke Industries is adding to the violence that’s plagued the capital city this year. There've already been more shootings than last year, including four in the past five days, two of which were fatal.

A row of Tallahassee police cars
Tallahassee Police Department Facebook

Update 12:35 p.m.  Police have identified the stabbing supspect as 41-year-old Antwann Demetrius Brown. 

Police say Brown worked at Dyke Industries for about three months. After Brown clocked in for work this morning officers say he got into a dispute and was asked to leave. He clocked out at 8:20 a.m. 

Pollice allege Brown then stabbed five people with a folding knife. Officers responded to the call at 8:37 a.m.

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Five people were stabbed this morning at Dyke Industries on Maryland Court near a Tallahsasee industrial park. Police say the suspect has been taken into custody.

Cover of Reggie Garcia's book How To Leave Prison Early
Reggie Garcia

In Florida prisons, anything from cigarettes to cellphones can be contraband. But, a few things on the list might be surprising -- like books. Some 20,000 of them are banned by the Florida Department of Corrections. Tallahassee Clemency lawyer Reggie Garcia’s book “How to Leave Prison Early” is one of them.

State Economist Amy Baker(center) listening to testimony on assault weapons.
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

The state could see a $30 million drop in sales tax revenue if an amendment banning assault weapons in Florida is passed. 

Weather Map
Petrovich12 / Adobe Stock

Floridians are no strangers to hurricanes. But for nearly a decade the state saw no direct landfall from a tropical cyclone. Now after consecutive years of major hurricanes, some citizens seem to have a kneejerk reaction when a storm system nears. That, added to the intensity of recent storms, has some questioning the accuracy of storm path projections. Meanwhile, meteorologists say their technology is working better than ever.

This photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows a satellite view of Hurricane Dorian taken at 10:00 p.m. EDT, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019.
NOAA / AP

Going into last weekend Floridians looking at the cone of uncertainty for Hurricane Dorian were unsure if it’d impact Jacksonville or Pensacola. By Tuesday it was evident it would never make landfall in the state. Ryan Truchelut Chief Meteorologist at Weather Tiger explains why this is.

Wilfredo Lee / AP Photo

The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the constitutionality of a law that allows certain felons to vote but requires them to pay any fees associated with their sentence first. Critics call the new rule a poll tax. But the bill’s author argues he simply followed the language voters approved in a 2018 amendment. Now the Judge presiding over the case is questioning whether the amendment itself violates the constitution. I spoke with ACLU lawyer Julie Ebenstein to get the groups' view.

Florida Supreme Court
Nick Evans / WFSU News

The Florida Supreme Court has agreed to answer Governor Ron DeSantis’s question about whether the state can make felons pay restitution, fines, and fees before allowing them to register to vote.

Opioid painkillers layed out on a table.
irissca / Adobe Stock

In Florida, an estimated 17 people die every day from opioid abuse. To combat the issue, Attorney General Ashely Moody and Governor Ron DeSantis have created a new statewide task force. The group is charged with developing best practices for opioid abuse prevention through education, treatment, and law enforcement. Two recently appointed board members spoke about how they hope to help.

Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

Tuesday the Federal Emergency Management Agency gave more than $6 million to cities in the Florida panhandle to reimburse them for debris removal and repairing public utilities after Hurricane Michael. Congressman Neal Dunn spoke to entrepreneurs in Tallahassee about his plan to help with the recovery.

Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

Monday makes it 99 years since congress cemented the right for women to vote was amended into the U.S. Constitution. Women across the nation used the day to push for another amendment the Equal Rights Amendment to be ratified.

Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa, listens to the debate on his sponsored felon voting rights bill during session Wednesday April 24, 2019, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Steve Cannon / AP Photo

After a new law allowing some felons to regain the right to vote went into effect, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit calling the law unconstitutional. The group says the implementing bill doesn’t follow an amendment passed by voters. And argues the laws’ financial obligations create a poll tax and cut the number of eligible felons in half.

The chemistry formula of Fentanyl
Zerbor / Adobe Stock

Wednesday, the White House announced the federal government will be cracking down on international fentanyl trafficking. Fentanyl is a pain reliever used for treating severe pain, but in recent years the addictive drug has been used recreationally - causing more than 28,000 deaths in 2017. That’s more than half the deaths caused by opioids overall that year. Making it the biggest contributor to the opioid overdose.

Governor Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that Florida will be joining an electronic network to help the state’s supervisors of elections make sure people aren’t registered in more than one state. Former Leon County Supervisor of Election Ion Sancho explains how the system works.

Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa, answers questions during debate over his House Bill 7089 - Voting Rights Restoration,Tuesday April 23, 2019 in the Florida House of Representatives in Tallahassee, Fla.
Phil Sears / AP Photo

The constitutionality of a Florida 2018 amendment allowing certain felons to vote after paying back fines, fees, and restitution is now at question. That comes after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging the implementing bill.

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