Robbie Gaffney

Multimedia Reporter

Robbie Gaffney is a recent graduate from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.  

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Stacks of rice.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM

As stores across town struggle to keep toilet paper and hand sanitizer on the shelves, a small grocery store in Tallahassee is experiencing a different kind of shortage. New Seoul Oriental Market isn't lacking rice. There are 50-pound bags stacked near shelves. However,  owner Seunghwan Lee, who goes by Swan, says most people don't want to buy those big bags. Before COVID-19, he never stocked them. Now, Swan has to the buy 50-pound bags if he wants to have rice in his store. That's because the smaller bags are harder to get due to a demand surge. 

Man sits in a hammock
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and Florida State University are putting in place different policies for residence hall move-outs. These different policies, along with other safety measures have a visible impact.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a series of upcoming changes on Saturday. Those include stocking hopsitals with a drug tauted to be a potential treatment for COVID-19, more funds for local governments, and another quarantine checkpoint.

utility lines against a blue sky
Marta Weronika / Unsplash

Tallahassee's utility relief program is now live. It allows those who have lost jobs or revenue due to COVID-19 to defer utility bills sent between March 12 and May 12.

two pillows on a bed near a window
Nik Lanús / Unsplash

Florida’s Emergency Response Team is collaborating with the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association to gauge how hotels could help with the state’s response to the coronavirus. The organizations are polling hotels owners to find out whether they would be willing to house first responders and people wishing to self-quarantine. Officials are also looking into the option of asking hotels to open up beds for Covid-19 patients should a shortage arise in hospitals.

Charlien Gracia / Unsplash

Leon County Schools are working to continue special services and accommodations for students with disabilities during distance learning. The district plans to deliver these services through online videos, phone calls, and more.

Visit Tallahassee

Leon County is enacting a stay at home order starting at 11 p.m. Wednesday. Law enforcement will disperse crowds of more than 10 people and those who violate the order could face fines.

Ripe City Urban Farm

Local farmers are struggling to cope with changes brought on by Covid-19. For some, business is booming, but for others, the outbreak is a nightmare.

Man stands at a podium.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM

Leon County Schools will start handing out class materials on March 30. These materials, along with other resources, will be available online or can be picked up from schools. Paper packets will also be available for families that get food from the district.

Man in tee and shirt stand next to giant bus.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM

Small businesses in Tallahassee are already facing financial impacts from efforts taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

man in t-shirt and ball cap types at a computer. To the left of him is a man in a t-shirt listening.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM

Florida State University teaching assistants are working on transferring class materials online as the university switches to distance learning in an effort to reduce the spread of the corona virus. This comes as FSU is moving to distance learning for the rest of the spring semester. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling upon state agencies to suspend licensing renewal requirements, as well as hire more staff for the Department of Health among other changes. This comes as more Floridians are testing positive for the coronavirus.

Mary Blackwey / Unsplash

Rep. Spencer Roach (R-North Fort Myers) has been pushing a proposal allowing judges to decide whether a transition plan is appropriate when transferring a child out of temporary custody and into full custody of a parent.

Man sits down next to fire truck.
John Raoux / AP Photo

A bill to make peer support more confidential among first responders is heading to the governor's desk.

freestocks / Unsplash

Pharmacists could soon test, screen, and treat various sicknesses under a proposal making its way to the governor's desk. 

people grouped around a poridum.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM

Springtime Tallahassee, upcoming commission meetings and the Word of South Festival are canceled. The City and County announced the moves today as worries about the coronavirus increase. The County has canceled events like Leon Works that were expected to bring in hundreds of people. Leon County schools will remain open after the Spring Break holiday.

Man in suit and tie smiles as he walks up to the podium. Beside him are three women.
Steve Cannon / AP Photo

A man wrongfully imprisoned for almost 43 years could soon get more than $2 million from the state. The proposal cleared the Florida House on Tuesday and is on its way to the governor's desk.

skyscrapers, palm trees, and sky full of clouds.
Chalo Garcia / Unsplash

For the first time in more than a decade, the Florida Legislature will not take money away from an affordable housing trust fund. This comes as the state faces what some call an affordable housing crisis.

John Raoux / AP Photo

In 1920, African-Americans in Florida organized a voter registration movement ahead of a presidential election. In Ocoee, a white mob retaliated against black voters by killing some and burning their property, causing most black residents in the area to flee. Almost 100 years later, lawmakers want that history to be remembered and taught in Florida schools, museums and recognized in a state park.

Man in uniform points with pen to someone off camera.
Wilfredo Lee / AP Photo

A bill aimed at making Florida schools safer just passed a full chamber vote in the House. The proposal includes penalties for school officials and adds members to a school safety committee, among other changes.

people crowd around a podium holding signs and wearing religious garments.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM

For more than a decade, Florida lawmakers have tried and failed to approve the Competitive Workforce Act. This year’s attempt to put statewide protections in place for LGBTQ Floridians has also died, but now local communities are stepping up.

A man wrongfully imprisoned for more than 40 years could be awarded about $2 million if his claim clears the Florida House and Senate. Two bills moving alongside that claim could help other people found innocent receive compensation as well.

man reads book by wall with names on it.
Alan Diaz / AP Photo

Holocaust history lessons could be expanded in Florida if a bill heading to the Senate floor becomes law. The measure would require teachers to show current examples of antisemitism as well as historical ones, among other requirements. Magda Bader, a holocaust survivor, came to the Capitol this week to support the proposal.

Poster has a gray image on it with some dots.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM

Stem cell research has shown both promise and peril. The technology is advancing faster than the government's ability to regulate it. That's led to problems, such as a 2017 case where three women went blind after receiving stem cell injections to cure a degenerative eye disease. Since then, the federal government has taken measures to regulate stem cell clinics. Florida has been trying to follow suit. 

woman bends down at memorial to light a candle.
Wilfredo Lee / AP Photo

If another active shooting happens, lawmakers want schools to be equipped with a panic alert system. It would be activated through a mobile app. The push for this technology comes after the second anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.