Lynn Hatter

News Director

Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has been a member of the WFSU news team since 2007 focusing on education and health care. She's an an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiatives.  When she’s not working, Lynn spends her time watching sci-fi and action movies, writing her own books, going on long walks through the woods, traveling and exploring antique stores. Follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter: @HatterLynn.

Green lines of computer code run horizontally on a black screen.
Markus Spiske / Unsplash

The Florida Department of Education has launched its school safety database in an attempt to track students who may become threats to themselves or to schools. The announcement comes after nearly three dozen organizations, including the ACLU of Florida expressed concerns over the type of information that will be collected.

A field of hemp plants
P. Solomon Banda / AP Photo

State Attorney Jack Campbell says his office will no longer prosecute marijuana possession cases at the moment. At issue is confusion over a new state law legalizing hemp.

United Way of the Big Bend President Katrina Rolle is leaving the agency for a new job.  Rolle’s departure comes a year after the social services agency announced it was re-tooling its operation and scaling down.

Florida was one of 21 states that had its election systems targeted by Russian actors in 2016. A recently released bi-partisan Senate Intelligence Committee report only refers to Florida twice, but an entity with circumstances similar to Florida’s emergences dozens of times in the document and is known as “State 2”.

Some three-dozen groups are asking Governor Ron DeSantis to stop the build of a massive database to track disciplinary and mental health issues. The database is months overdue and was ordered following the Parkland school shooting last year.  

Mary McLeod Bethune in front of White Hall at Bethune-Cookman University.
public domain via Florida Memory / Florida Memory

Florida will soon have a new figure in Washington D.C.’s statuary hall. Education advocate and Civil Rights Pioneer Mary McLeod Bethune will have a place among American founders, explorers, inventors and presidents. Bethune’s statue replaces that of Edmund Kirby Smith—a decision approved by the Florida legislature in 2018 and recently agreed to by Gov. Ron DeSantis. But as the changeover looms in D.C., the university that bears her name is fighting for its life.

A sign bearing the names of the 17 people killed during the Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. (3/24/2018)
Lydell Rawls / WFSU News

A statewide Grand Jury investigating school safety says “numerous” districts aren’t complying with school security laws. The report comes weeks before the start of a new school year.

John Morgan
Nick Evans / WFSU News

Former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Attorney John Morgan are once again sparring. Morgan continues to slam Gillum over the former Democratic gubernatorial nominee's use of money left over from Gillum’s failed 2018 bid. 

A police officer in green uniform stands in front of a white vehicle with flashing blue lights
Jackson County Sheriff's Department

It sounds like something out of a crime drama. A dirty cop plants drugs on people, then arrests them. But that’s what state investigators say happened in one North Florida County. There's no official database on the number of law enforcement officers arrested each year, but a report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2016 found at least one officer is arrested every day. 

A teacher reads to her student.
U.S. Department of Education / flickr

School grades are out and the news is good for three schools in Leon County that had been facing major decisions. Oakridge, Pineview and Hartsfield Elementary schools bumped their grades up to a “C” this year. That allows them to stay under district control. Oakridge was on the cusp of being turned over to an outside operator if it didn’t improve.

Former TPD Officer Vincent Crump 3/7/2018
Leon County Jail

A former Tallahassee Police officer accused of raping a motorist has agreed to a plea deal. Vincent Crump was tried twice, but both ended in mistrials.

The inside of the Leon County Supervisor of Elections office with a vote sign
Leon County Supervisor of Elections twitter

The race for Leon County Supervisor of Elections will now be partisan following an April Supreme Court ruling in an Orange County case. Leon County’s Elections office has been non-partisan since 2002. 

A former Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy has been arrested on several felony charges after planting drugs on people and arresting them. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement began investigating 26-year-old Zachary Wester in August.

Tallahassee Businessman J.T. Burnette is asking a federal judge to separate his case from former city Commissioner Scott Maddox and his former aide Paige Carter Smith and dismiss charges against him. In May Burnette was indicted in an FBI investigation into corruption in the city of Tallahassee.

Map of a blue water body surrounded by roads and other boundaries
wikimedia commons

Grady County in Georgia has reached a deal with Leon County to monitor water flow into Lake Iamonia. The agreement centers on a dam built by the Army Corps of Engineers on Georgia’s Tired Creek.

Fighting human trafficking is one of the top issues for U.S. Attorney Pamela Marsh.
Howard Revis via Flickr / flickr.com

Florida will soon strike up a so-called "John’s Registry" for people convicted of soliciting prostitution. It’s part of an effort to combat human and sex trafficking. The database has been endorsed by law enforcement who see it as a way to shame people who pay for sex, but some victim advocates worry it could sweep up people who’ve been trafficked themselves.

a man in a red athletics jacket and white pants holds a baseball mit while standing on an tan-orange mound
Florida State University / FSU Seminoles

Days after legendary Florida State University baseball skipper Mike Martin coached his last game, his son is taking over the program.  Mike Martin Jr. has been named the new head of FSU Baseball making him the ninth head baseball coach in the school's history.

Wakulla County Sheriff's Office / Facebook

Gadsden County Schools is among the latest districts to sign up for the state’s Guardian Program. That brings the number of districts planning to have armed personnel to 33. However, Gadsden won’t be arming classroom teachers as allowed under a new state law. 

Bill Proctor standing in dark suit and striped tie
leoncountyfl.gov

The City of Tallahassee will soon begin searching for a new police chief and Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor has four suggestions for how that search should proceed. 

Picture of marker on Florida A&M University's campus
Florida A&M University

Florida A&M University is investigating the improper transfer of up to $3 million to cover shortfalls in its athletics department. The school made the disclosure Thursday to the state university governing board and it's started an internal investigation.

Outgoing TPD Chief Mike DeLeo's last day is July 5th. (2014)
Sascha Cordner / WFSU News

Tallahassee City Manager Reese Goad says he’s accepted the resignation of Police Chief Mike DeLeo and that the city will begin searching for a new chief. In the meantime, Goad has named a 32-year TPD veteran to lead the agency. DeLeo’s resignation is effective on July 5th. He says he’s stepping down for an opportunity to address criminal justice and homeland security on a"national scale". DeLeo was hired in 2013 to clean up the agency after it was slammed with excessive force complaints and dealt with the fallout of a brutal DUI arrest of a local woman. But DeLeo has faced his own controversies—namely over hiring decisions and a relationship with a subordinate. City Manager Reese Goad tells WFSU News Director Lynn Hatter DeLeo’s resignation was unexpected.

Tallahassee Police Chief Mike DeLeo submitted a letter of resignation to the city. It's effective July 5th.
talgov.com

The City of Tallassee will soon have a job opening for a new police chief. Mike DeLeo has submitted a letter of resignation effective July 5th. 

An empty classroom with blue metal chairs in three rows
Bonnie Brown / Flickr/creative commons

The number of Florida School Districts that want teachers to carry guns is growing. Nearly half the districts in the state have signed up for the so-called “Guardian” program and more have signaled they intend to do so. 

Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum's bus is parked on Kleman Plaza as he prepares for a statewide tour ahead of the August 28th primary. (8/20/18)
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU News

A federal grand jury has subpoenaed documents related to former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, his failed 2018 gubernatorial bid, a charity and a wealthy donor. The Tampa Bay Times first reported the March 26th subpoena.

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran has set his sights on Duval County Schools. The district has nearly a dozen chronically low-performing ones and at Wednesday’s state board of education meeting, Corcoran clashed the district’s new superintendent over how to improve them.

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