Regan McCarthy

Senior Producer/Assignment Editor

Regan McCarthy is the Assignment Editor and Senior News Producer for WFSU News/ Florida Public Radio. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories. She has also worked for the London Business Matters Magazine and the Rochester Sentinel, a daily local newspaper. She is the recipient of six professional broadcast awards including first-place Best Radio Feature from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  When she isn’t tracking leading newsmakers she spends her time knitting, reading, strolling through the woods and brunching at new restaurants.  Follow Regan McCarthy on Twitter: @Regan_McCarthy

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

If you’re looking for a hotel to stay in during Florida A&M University’s homecoming weekend, expect to pay more. The cheapest room available as of Wednesday afternoon rings in at $175. The following weekend, the same room is listed for $80. Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor calls that price gouging.

row of parked cars in parking garage
Photo by wang ward on Unsplash

Tallahassee Police says 53 guns were stolen from cars over the past 2-and-a-half months.  Most of those cars were unlocked, and police officers say the majority of those guns were likely stolen by teens.

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.

Young woman holding an iphone. She has light nail polish and a silver watch.
Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

The 850 area code is expected to run out of phone numbers by 2022. Now, state officials are meeting with experts to decide what’s next. North American Numbering Plan Administrator oversees numbers for the United States, Canada, and some Caribbean countries. The group’s Heidi Wyman says the community will need a new area code.

arial photo looking down street toward FSU
Erich Martin

As mass shootings continue to rock the country, Florida lawmakers say more needs to be done to ensure students are safe. For some that means allowing more guns on college campuses. But for many students at Florida State University that proposal leads to more feelings of fear than safety.

A group of people hold signs at a gun safety rally. In the center is a woman holding a white posterboard with the words "Enough is Enough" written in black marker.
Lydell Rawls / WFSU

Rep. Mike Hill (R-Pensacola) wants to repeal gun safety legislation passed in Florida after the deadly Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting last year in Parkland. He says the measures, including a state ban on bump stocks, the so called red flag law and a provision raising the age to purchase a rifle violate the Second Amendment. He also says firearms aren’t the cause of mass shootings. Instead he points his finger at the use of psychotropic drugs, like Ritalin.

Rep. Mike Hill (R-Pensacola Beach) says the Fair Districts amendments violate the U.S. Constitution.
Florida House of Representatives

Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola, says it’s not guns but prescription drugs like Ritalin that are the core cause of mass shootings. Hill has filed a bill to repeal several gun related provisions passed by lawmakers after the school shooting in Parkland. 

State Attorney Jack Campbell says a focus on restorative justice may be one way to empower victims of crime. Campbell says restorative justice focuses on helping those who’ve committed crimes face the consequences of their actions—often by meeting and speaking with their targets. And he adds the process can also be therapeutic for victims.

A photo of many houses taken from above.
Photo by Blake Wheeler on Unsplash

Leon County has one of the poorest zip codes in the state of Florida. In an effort to address that the county is conducting a needs assessment. Meanwhile, area residents are teaming up to brain storm solutions with community leaders in a series of meetings called the 32304 Prosperity for All Summits.

A man in a blue shirt stands in front a group of women showing them a shiny mental box shaped machine
Regan McCarthy / WFSU News

Last month Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill aimed at promoting workforce training for students and adults. Recently the Tallahassee Community College Manufacturing Center hosted a ladies’ night to ensure women know those opportunities are open for them too.

uniformed police officers with white gloves solute the flag in front of a brick building that is the Tallahassee Police Headquarters
Tallahassee Police Facebook Page

The city of Tallahassee is moving forward with plans for a new police headquarters. During a meeting Wednesday city commissioners got an update on 10 potential locations for the new space.

The Florida Department of State launched a new website Monday where people must register before they can start collecting signatures to get proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot.

A row of Tallahassee police cars
Tallahassee Police Department Facebook

Tallahassee’s new interim police chief was officially sworn in Monday. Steve Outlaw will temporarily fill the position left open when former police chief Michael DeLeo resigned last month.

Jeff Huffman / Florida Storms

Forecasters are predicting a strong chance that a tropical system could develop in the Gulf by the end of the week. It could bring heavy rains and even flooding to the North Florida Panhandle. Regan McCarthy talked with Florida Public Radio meteorologist Jeff Huffman about what to expect.

darkly lit, soft focus photo of person gambling, playing a card game such as black jack.
Photo by Keenan Constance on Unsplash

The Seminole Tribe of Florida has stopped remitting gambling payments to the state. The tribe announced the move in a letter delivered to Governor Ron DeSantis Tuesday. But it doesn’t come as a surprise.

Nikki Fried's yellow and green sticker featuring her smiling face is stuck to a bright blue gas pump.
Regan McCarthy / WFSU News

Next time you get gas you might notice a new sticker on the pump featuring state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried’s face in front of a background of bright yellow, green and blue blocks. Fried’s staff says the new sticker is intended to attract attention and raise awareness about fraud and the use of gas pump skimmers. But the new design doesn’t seem to be popular with the legislature.

House Speaker Jose Oliva (R-Miami Lakes) talks to a group of reporters
The Florida Channel

Florida lawmakers are touting the success of the recently completed legislative session. House Speaker Jose Oliva says one thing that made a difference this year is that lawmakers were able to work closely with Governor Ron DeSantis.

Florida Capitol with dolphin statues jumping in front of tall new capitol tower.
Nick Evans / WFSU News

Florida lawmakers extended their legislative session by one day to do the one thing they’re constitutionally required to do—pass a budget. Lawmakers held a final vote for their spending plan Saturday before adjourning Sine Die.

A group of lawmakers wearing suits stand behind Senator Hutson who is speaking at at a lecturn.
Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

A bill moving through the legislature would put local governments on the hook for attorney’s fees if they pass rules expressly preempted by the state.

Capitol building at night with glowing lights of city.
Erich Martin

A controversial bill that bans local governments from adopting or practicing sanctuary city policies is moving forward, but it comes with some new amendments.

The Senate amended its sanctuary city legislation to include a carve out for state prosecutors and the Department of Children and families. Miami Democratic Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez says those exemptions are important for protecting some of the state’s most vulnerable people. He gives the example of a recent incident.

Tallahassee Commissioners have given city staff the go-ahead to continue looking into a co-location project with the energy group NextEra—but it comes with the stern warning the commissioners likely won’t approve a final plan that includes power lines along Tram Road. The project would help harden the city’s power grid at a reduced cost and Commissioner Curtis Richardson says while that’s good, it doesn’t balance out the bad.

Ian Britton / https://www.flickr.com/photos/freefoto/4635123089

Leon County Commissioners want more information about a NextEra Energy project. Reports from the Tallahassee Democrat indicate the project will connect Gulf Power and Florida Power and Light substations by running transmission lines through seven North Florida Counties. But Commissioner Kristen Dozier says at this point local commissioners know little more than is printed in the newspaper—and may not learn more until the company applies for permits.

Florida House of Representatives

Some Florida lawmakers say it’s too easy to change the state’s constitution. They want to raise the bar in an effort to keep what they say are policy changes out of document that lays the ground work for Florida’s government.

Sen. Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala) is behind the bill (SB 0232.)

“This resolution provides that to amend the state constitution, this is recommending an increase in the percentage to a 2/3rds majority, or 66 2/3 percent,” Baxley says.

Capitol building at night with glowing lights of city.
Erich Martin

Florida Senate President Bill Galvano is the driving force behind a new transportation plan coming up for another committee discussion in the Senate Tuesday. But the measure could face a bumpy road in the House.

Large Machinery is ready for use in front of a row of metal objects used in the distilling process.
Cpper Bottom Distillery Instagram

A number of bills that would make changes to Florida’s alcohol rules are moving through the legislature. But many of them make exceptions to the state’s three tier system that separates manufactures, distributors and vendors.

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