Donald DeBevoise

Intern

Donald DeBevoise is originally from Winter Park, Florida and now studies English and economics at Florida State University. He is a member of the Society for Collegiate Journalists at FSU. Donald also writes for a student-based magazine called The Last Word. He aspires to enter the journalism field upon graduating. In his spare time he enjoys reading, writing, hiking and jogging.

Florida Senate

State Senator John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine) fielded questions Monday from students and staff during an on campus interview for  Florida State University’s  top job.  Thrasher  is one of four finalists vying to be FSU's next president.

During Monday’s forum questions centered around how Thrasher would push FSU into the nation’s top 25 public universities. The senator's answer? Fundraising.

Cascades Park
VISIT FLORIDA Editor / Flickr

The Tallahassee City Commission approved a plan Wednesday to expand downtown district boundaries. Some hope to see economic growth as a result.

In a meeting Wednesday commissioners approved without discussion a call for Tallahassee’s downtown district boundaries to be redefined. The current boundaries were formed in 1971 when the Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority, or TDIA, was created to reverse an exodus of businesses and residents.  

airplane
Shai Barzilay via Flickr

Construction on Tallahassee Regional Airport’s longest runway hit a bump when debris from an old landfill resurfaced. The city is spending more than $500,000 to remove the garbage.

The City Commission approved the money last week. Part of the airport was built on an old landfill. When planning the runway project, officials had believed the construction area did not overlap with the buried landfill. But Director of Aviation Chris Curry says the construction company found garbage.

This is the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test logo.
Florida Department of Education

Schools in Leon County are resuming online FCAT testing this week after students encountered log-in issues Tuesday. State Education Commissioner Pam Stewart says testing company Pearson is to blame.

Some of the students unable to complete their tests Tuesday resumed testing Wednesday with no reported difficulties. Leon County Schools spokesman Chris Petley says not all students in the district were affected by the mishap.

A group of Florida university students are calling on Senate President Don Gaetz to allow a vote on a bill giving children of undocumented immigrants in-state tuition. Students for a Democratic Society members traveled from across the state to rally in front of Gaetz’s office Monday morning.

Florida State University student Andrew Arachikavitz says his group still has hope the bill can get to the floor. That’s despite the bill’s being removed from its final committee agenda.

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.

Donald DeBevoise

Florida A&M University announced Wednesday the hiring of NFL Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow Sr. as the university’s next athletic director. Winslow believes he has the qualifications to revive FAMU’s athletic department.

FAMU President Elmira Mangum was among university officials announcing Winslow's appointment.

A corned beef sandwich from Carnegie Deli in New York
ooitschristina via Flickr

A food festival aimed at raising cultural awareness of the Jewish community is steadily gaining popularity in the Tallahassee area. It’s the 5th year Temple Israel has shared Jewish food, art, music and culture with the North Florida community and this year’s festival features vast amounts of traditional Jewish food--from Temple Israel’s famous corned beef sandwiches,  to their black-and-white cookies.

Lawmakers help to serve the Paella
Donald DeBevoise

Miami-Dade County officials kicked off their annual lobbying effort at the Capitol Wednesday in the traditional way: sharing a giant pot of paella. It’s a traditionally Latin-American rice dish mixed with an assortment of spices, chicken and seafood, and it drew a large crowd to the Capitol courtyard.

Joe Corradino, a Miami resident who came to Tallahassee for the day, compared the dish to the city itself.

“I mean to say you see the paella, you throw a bunch of things in the pot and you cook all that’s in there, just like Miami,” Corradino said.

Susan MacManus.
University of South Florida

One of Florida’s most active political scientists was the guest speaker at the Capital Tiger Bay Club’s luncheon today.  Her analysis of this year’s political scene probably won’t comfort either of the major parties.

University of South Florida professor Susan MacManus addressed a crowd of lawmakers, lobbyists and community leaders on Florida’s present and future political atmosphere. MacManus says Floridians who don’t consider themselves Democrats or Republicans will play a key role in the upcoming gubernatorial race.

The Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Facility.
John S. Quarterman via Flickr

A wastewater treatment facility in Valdosta, Ga., continues to leaks sewage into surrounding swamps and rivers. Valdosta officials say they hope to seal off the latest discharge – the second in about a month -- with the installation of a bypass.

City of Valdosta spokeswoman Sementha Matthews says the spill in early March was due to grease buildup in pipes, but the latest one was caused by a collapsed sewer line. She says the bypass was installed as a temporary measure.

Fringehog / Flickr Creative Commons

Discussion of a Senate bill aiming to abolish all red light cameras in Florida was postponed Wednesday after several amendments  failed to pass the Transportation Committee.

The bill is similar to Rep. Frank Artiles’ (Rep-Miami) House bill, which has been the subject of controversy since its filing in early January. After failing to abolish red light cameras in a bill in last year’s session, Artiles added amendments to cut fines for red light runners caught on camera and establish alternate methods of preventing red light running.

www.myfloridahouse.gov

Florida lawmakers are looking to add licensure requirements for a group of clinical psychologists known as behavioral analysts.  

A House bill, passed through the Health Quality Subcommittee Monday morning, would create a board within the Department of Health dedicated to overseeing behavioral analysts. They’re currently certified through a private institution called the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

Bill sponsor Rep. Pat Rooney (Republican - Palm Beach Gardens) says it would further ensure practitioners’ qualifications.

Florida A&M University

A new 24-hour news network targeting a national African-American audience is coming to Tallahassee after partnering with Florida A&M University

A signing ceremony Friday morning at FAMU marks the beginning of an 11-year partnership between the school and the Black Television News Channel. It will be housed in FAMU’s School of Journalism and Graphic Design. Though many minority networks struggle for revenue, BTNC co-founder Robert Brillante maintains his channel has a significant advantage.

Wally Gobetz

Florida public schools may soon be required to teach about the 9/11 terrorist attacks as part of their curriculum.

A bill filed in the House and Senate would make Florida teachers instruct students on the attacks and their impacts.

At a House committee meeting Wednesday, Hialeah Rep. Manny Diaz (R-Hialeah) said the bill would educate students about the actual event, but otherwise it’s up to the teachers.

“It has to be included. I think that leaving it up to the professionals in the classroom [and] how they teach it is what the intention is here.”

Greyhounds racing
Rainer Hungershausen

Lawmakers from around the state gathered Wednesday to urge members of the House and Senate to pass greyhound protection laws in this year’s legislative session.

According to a report from GREY2K USA, a greyhound protection agency, and the ASPCA, there were 74 documented racing dog deaths in Florida in the last eight months of 2013. 

Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Coral Springs), who’s filed a house bill calling for the decoupling of gambling and racing industries, spoke out against Florida’s dog racing industry.

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