Sascha Cordner

All Things Considered Host/Reporter

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications.  She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink."  Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU.  Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

A new gun law signed by Governor Rick Scott last year has earned him and the Florida Legislature the 21st annual Jefferson “Muzzle” award. As Sascha Cordner reports, a free speech group located in Virginia says it is recognizing the state officials for their role in violating residents’ First amendment rights.

A Leon County Circuit Judge denied motions by the state and two industry groups to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an ex-long term care ombudsman during a Wednesday hearing. As Sascha Cordner reports, the judge made that determination, despite arguments from the defendants’ lawyers that the basis for the former ombudsman’s lawsuit holds no merit.

A Democratic lawmaker is firing back against arguments recently raised by Tea Party activists regarding a bi-partisan energy bill now on the Governor’s desk. Sascha Cordner has more.

During a recent news conference, a group of Tea Party activists talked about their efforts in urging Governor Rick Scott to veto a comprehensive energy bill, that they claim picks “winners and losers.” But, Democratic Representative Jeff Clemens says their arguments don’t make sense:

Lawmakers are now scrambling to raise money for their re-election campaigns. As Sascha Cordner reports, one incumbent lawmaker is catching up with new candidates, who got an earlier start.

Republican Representative Scott Plakon says in just 12 days, he managed to raise 53-thousand dollars for his own campaign, thanks to 200 contributors.

Thousands of Tea Party activists are calling on Governor Rick Scott to veto an energy bill that received bipartisan approval from the Florida Legislature and has the backing of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. As Sascha Cordner reports, the groups say the legislation will have a negative impact on Florida’s future energy policy.

“Government, get out of our lives!”

The Department of Corrections is looking into an inmate death that happened over the weekend. That death resulted from an earlier beating at Santa Rosa Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison in north Florida. As Sascha Cordner reports, the case is under investigation by the department’s Inspector General as well as the State Attorney’s Office.

The Department of Corrections is deciding how to proceed after a judge ruled the department must award an electronic monitoring contract to a different vendor. As Sascha Cordner reports, the court’s decision is the result of a dispute between two companies that specialize in tracking offenders through GPS ankle bracelets.

A bill inspired by the Casey Anthony trial received approval from the Governor Friday. As Sascha Cordner reports, the sponsor of “Caylee’s Law” says he’s happy there will now be increased penalties for people who lie to law enforcement during a missing child investigation.

When Orlando mother Casey Anthony lied to law enforcement officers during the investigation of her missing two-year-old Caylee Anthony, it got the attention of Republican Representative Jose Diaz. He remembers getting emotional on the floor as he talked about what this legislation meant to him.

A bill that would have let non-violent felons who complete drug rehab get their sentences reduced has fallen under the Governor’s veto pen. As Sascha Cordner reports, the bill’s sponsor says he’s saddened by Governor Rick Scott’s rejection of what he calls “smart justice prison reform.”

Democratic Representative Ari Porth says his bill would have allowed a judge to re-sentence inmates who completed a drug rehab program.

About a sixth of Florida’s state employees could see another retirement plan change. As Sascha Cordner reports, a bill is now on the Governor’s desk that would allow employers to contribute less into their employees’ retirement accounts.

Currently, there are about 650,000 people enrolled within the Florida Retirement System. That includes state employees, teachers, law enforcement officers, and city and county government workers.

Environmentalists are urging Governor Rick Scott to sign a measure that would designate April 7th as Everglades Day in Florida. As Sascha Cordner reports, the Governor has until Saturday to sign the bill into law.

Dawn Shirreffs is the Everglades Restoration Manager for the National Park Conservation Association. She says environmental groups do not want a repeat of last year when the Everglades and other conservation projects did not get the necessary funds:

With Summer just around the corner, some Florida parents have already started looking for camps to sign their kids up for. As Sascha Cordner reports, the Department of Children and Families has some tips for parents on how to choose a safe camp for their children.

Florida is one of a few states in the nation that requires high-level background screenings for summer camp employees. Department of Children and Families Spokeswoman Erin Gillespie says there are basic questions that parents can ask to make sure camp personnel are appropriately screened and trained.

A Republican state lawmaker is in the clear, after the Florida Ethics Commission dismissed a complaint against him. As Sascha Cordner reports, the panel decided the case during a closed-door meeting Friday.

State Senator Mike Fasano says he’s happy the ethics panel dismissed the complaint. The New Port Richey lawmaker says the commission members understood Fasano was not trying to “intimidate” anyone by comments he made last year. It was while Fasano was serving spaghetti at an event to raise money for his county.

Sascha Cordner

Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi ran about two-miles with law enforcement officers Tuesday to raise awareness and money for the Special Olympics. As Sascha Cordner reports, they were also joined by two special Olympic athletes, who ran the whole way with them for the cause.

Nineteen-year-old Keith Cline is shaking Governor Rick Scott’s hand, as they’re both gearing up for a 1.7 mile run.

Keith is a veteran Special Olympics Torch Run Athlete, having run 1.4 miles last year with the Governor in a Law Enforcement Torch Run.

Tallahassee natural gas customers should see lower charges on their next utility bills. As Sascha Cordner reports, at the start of April, natural gas rates for residential customers decreased by three-percent.

General Manager for Tallahassee’s Underground Utilities Mike Tadros says thanks to more residents turning to natural gas as a fuel source, the city is seeing much lower rates.

The lawyer for Rachel Hoffman’s parents says the family can move on with their lives, now that Governor Rick Scott signed a claims bill compensating them for the loss of their child. As Sascha Cordner reports, they’ve spent the last four years fighting for their daughter, who was killed in an undercover drug sting gone wrong.

Lance Block is the attorney for Rachel Hoffman’s parents, Irving Hoffman and Marjorie Weiss. He says they’re grateful the Governor and the Legislature allowed them to have the $2.4 million dollars for the loss of their daughter.

A union that represents the state's probation officers is leaving it up to a judge to decide whether it's legal for probation officers to have to cut back on the number of visits they make each month to the homes of parolees. As Sascha Cordner reports, the Teamsters Union claims the move is a danger to the public and could lead to the loss of jobs.

Faced with a $79 million budget deficit, the Florida Department of Corrections is trying to find ways to cut costs.

The head of Florida’s child protection agency is getting a new job in addition to his current one. As Sascha Cordner reports, Governor Rick Scott has appointed David Wilkins as the state’s first Chief Operating Officer for Government Operations.

Scott’s Spokesman Lane Wright says Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins is now in charge of finding ways to trim costs in state Government. Wright says the new role comes because of his good track record at his own agency.

The union representing correctional and probation officers claims the Department of Correction’s decision to reduce the number of visits probation officers make to released convicts’ homes is not only a public safety risk, but is also illegal. As Sascha Cordner reports, the budgetary move by the agency is now facing a legal challenge by the Teamsters Union.

A bill that would prohibit the use of restraints on pregnant prison inmates during and after childbirth is making its way to Governor Rick Scott. As Sascha Cordner reports, one labor group is urging the Governor to “end cruelty against pregnant prisoners” by signing the bill into law.

American Civil Liberties Union of Florida Spokesman Baylor Johnson says the practice of “shackling” women during and after childbirth in Florida jails and prisons is unacceptable:

A deadly Tallahassee crash that occurred more than a week ago on Tennessee and Monroe left two people seriously injured and three people dead, including two elementary school boys. As Sascha Cordner reports, their principal is weighing in on the tragedy.

Spring Break is now officially over for the children at Ruediger Elementary, and as students walk the halls of the school, there will be two kids permanently missing from its 4th grade roster:

Nine-year-old Vincent Vickers and 10-year-old Tyler Biggins. Melissa Fullmore is the Principal of Ruediger Elementary.

A state budget item that would allow newborns to get screened for a certain disease is now in Governor Rick Scott’s hands. As Sascha Cordner reports, if Scott does not veto the Health Care Budget item, proponents say it would give babies born without a normal immune system a chance at a normal life.

Twenty-two-month-old Kye Johnson is playing with his mother, Alethea Arthur. He’s your typical infant, getting into things, and playing with toys and a bag of crayons.

“Whoa! Are you okay? [baby laughter] [Hearing a rooster crowing] [Mother Alethea  laughing]”

A weekend wreck that left three people dead and two people seriously injured is still under investigation by the Tallahassee Police Department. As Sascha Cordner reports, no charges have yet been filed in Saturday’s traffic crash at the intersection of Monroe and Tennessee Street.

It’s possible the investigation into the fatal traffic crash could take weeks and even months to complete before any charges are filed. Assistant State Attorney for the State Attorney’s Office David Marsey says a hasty arrest could have a negative impact on the prosecution of the case.

This year, the Florida Legislature passed several claims bills to compensate individuals for injuries or losses suffered due to the negligence of the government. 10 of the bills are on the Governor’s desk, and another has already been signed. As Sascha Cordner reports, with about $40-million dollars in claims to sort through, the Governor says it’s not going to be an easy task.

Tallahassee police have arrested a man who intended to burglarize several cars in a city neighborhood. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, authorities say it’s because of two local heroes that a criminal is now off the streets.

Tallahassee Police Spokesman Dave Northway says Michael Nesbit and Carin Butler were sitting on a porch at 1325 Jackson Street, when they spotted 56-year-old David Sampson entering several driveways and pulling on car door handles.