Capital Report: 10-11-2019

Oct 11, 2019

Following Hurricane Michael’s destructive path through Florida’s panhandle, headlines painted a grim future for timber, a major industry in the region. The losses were huge – valued at $1.3 billion dollars. Yet not all was lost. And Ryan Dailey reports some lumber and paper mills in the region are still going strong.

Greenwood, Florida’s only grocery store caught fire after Hurricane Michael. A year after the storm, it still hasn’t been replaced. Robbie Gaffney reports the residents of Greenwood are banding together to assist elderly and low-income residents who can’t travel to find fresh food.​

Hurricane Michael left much of Northwest Florida looking like a war zone.  Gina Jordan reports that explains why so many of the area’s children now show symptoms similar to those of combat veterans.

Governor Ron DeSantis is backing pay raises for teachers. But that comes with quite a few caveats. And Lynn Hatter reports while that’s something teachers themselves have lobbied for, for years, it’s being met with everything from cautious optimism to skepticism in some quarters.

Voting-rights advocates continue comparing Florida’s new elections law to a poll tax. The law implements an amendment passed by voters in 2018 that aimed to automatically restore voting rights for most felons once they complete their sentence. But the law includes fines, fees and restitution as part of the sentence. Advocates say for many felons, that means their rights will never be restored. Now Regan McCarthy reports the battle is in federal court.

Blaise Gainey has been following the case of the murdered Florida State University law professor in 2014, which prosecutors say was a contract killing initiated by the victim’s estranged in-laws.  Tom Flanigan then reports the verdict, which convicted only one of the two suspects on trial in the case.