Ronald J. Ebben

Morning Edition Host

Ronald J. Ebben has 50 years of experience in broadcast news. Ron’s first assignment was covering the Kennedy-Nixon 1960 election in Peoria, Ill.  His first News Director position was in 1963 at a Fort Worth, Texas, radio station. He carried Kennedy speech in downtown Fort Worth before JFK was assassinated later that morning in Dallas.  And he was in the newsroom to see those fateful words come over United Press International wire: the “president had been shot.” Ron served as News Director for Tampa Bay stations from 1968 to 1990 and hosted the “Live with the Governor” statewide call-in show with Gov. Bob Martinez.   In 1990, he became News Director of a statewide network with 26 affiliates. From 1991 to 2000 Ron was News Director at WTNT and Program Director for WNLS.  Since 2000 Ron has served as :Morning Edition: host for WFSU News.

A newly released 911 call captures the desperate scene as Florida State University fraternity members struggled to revive 20-year-old Andrew Coffey, who died of alcohol poisoning after attending a Pi Kappa Phi party in November.

Al Lawson via facebook /

Former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown says he'll challenge Congressman Al Lawson in this year's Democratic primary. The seat was redrawn two years ago through a process known as redistricting, putting two longtime democratic strongholds--Tallahassee and Jacksonville-- into the same district.

Florida State University President John Thrasher
Florida State University / FSU

Florida State University President John Thrasher began his fourth year in the job Wednesday with his annual “State of the University” address to the faculty senate. Thrasher discusses FSU’s progress, its climb in national rankings, plans for new hires and the death of Andrew Coffey, a 20-year-old fraternity pledge who died at an off-campus party, along with the introduction of new head football coach Willie Taggart.

Florida Memory

Each week seems to bring a new wrinkle in the FBI investigation into the city of Tallahassee and the Tallahassee Democrat has been on top of the story. WFSU's Ronald J Ebben recently  talked to Tallahassee Democrat reporters Jeff Burlew and Jeff Schweers about the paper's coverage of the investigation.

City of Tallahassee News / City of Tallahassee

The Tallahassee City Commission voted last night to have the city post online all public records that have been provided to a federal grand jury investigating alleged public corruption. And in a separate case, city manager Rick Fernandez is taking paid temporary leave as an ethics complaint against him moves forward.

AP/Rainier Ehrhardt

Marco Rubio is getting clobbered by Donald Trump in his home state of Florida, where a Quinnipiac University poll shows the front runner is polling at  an all-time high in the Republican race for president.

Jackie Pons speaking with a constituent at a Village Square event in 2013.
Village Square

The Florida legislature's Joint Legislative Auditing Committee wants to know whether the Leon County School District has made changes to construction policies that resulted in dozens of projects not competitively bid. Lawmakers say they won't seek a review of legal fees paid as a result of ongoing investigations.

The Florida Supreme Court has removed Leon County Judge Judith Hawkins from the bench. Hawkins sold her religious books from her office to lawyers and staffers as part of her for-profit ministry.

New York Times /

A state legislative House panel has approved a plan aimed at compensating an elderly man wrongfully accused of one of the worst mass murders in Florida history.

The proposal by Rep. Dave Kerner (D-Lake Worth) expands the state's wrongful incarceration law to consider the case of 77-year-old James Richardson, who was living in Arcadia in 1967 when he was accused of poisoning his seven children.

Richardson spend more than 20 years behind bars before he was freed in 1989 amid allegations of misconduct and perjury by prosecutors and investigators

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected Governor Rick Scott's request to review a lower court ruling declaring his state employee drug testing policy unconstitutional.

The decision is a victory for 85,ooo state workers, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which challenged Scott's 2011 Executive Order as a waste of taxpayer money.

Florida A&M University will delay its search for a permanent leader until next year. The university board agreed Thursday to resume the search for a new president in January 2014.

The decision means Interim FAMU President Larry Robinson will stay on the job for another school year.

Florida high school students took AP classes and passed Advanced Placement exams last year in greater numbers than ever before, according to a new national report.

Florida ranked fourth in the nation, up two places from last year, based on the percentage of its 2012 graduates who had passed at least one AP exam while in high school, according to the College Board’s 9th annual “AP Report to the Nation.” Florida Governor Rick Scott attributes the success to the state’s teachers.

Two major Soccer teams would be eligible for subsidies given to other pro sports teams in Florida under a bill filed in the Legislature.

A measure filed by Sen. David Simmons, R-Maitland, would add MLS to the list of leagues eligible for a $166,000 monthly stipend from the state.

Currently,the National Basketball Association, National Football League, Major League Baseball and National Hockey League are eligible for the payments.

The U.S. Department of Education has ruled public schools must include students with disabilities in sports programs or provide equal alternatives.

The ruling is similar to the Department's Title IX rule, which expanded equal opportunities for women in public school athletics. Disability advocates like Disability Rights Florida, call USDOE's ruling a step in the right direction for children with disabilities.

Tampa Bay Times

In 2006 Alan Crotzer was exonerated for crimes he didn't commit after spending almost 25 years in prison. In the ensuing years, he was an advocate for wrongly convicted, and pushed for automatic restoration of voting rights for convicted felons who had completed their sentences.

But on July 29th, 2012, he was arrested in Tallahassee on an attempted murder charge after another man told police that Crotzer fired on him as they drove side-by-side on Apalachee Parkway.

Governor Rick Scott will have to find another Jobs Czar for the third time in less than a year, after Hunting Deutsch abruptly resigned his $140,000 job running the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Deutsch, a former banking executive, drew controversy recently following revelations in the Florida Current that he had collected state unemployment benefits between 2009 and 2011. He was in Europe part of that time.

The pressure on Florida A & M University continues to mount in the run-up to its board of trustees meeting set for Wednesday and Thursday.  In advance of the meeting, the chairman of the board that oversees all of Florida’s public universities issued a letter to FAMU’s board of trustees Chairman, seeking greater input into the evaluation of University President James Ammons.