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Capital Report: 10-19-2018

Panhandle Counties ravaged by Hurricane Michael are trying to rebuild, with many still waiting for power. Ryan Dailey recently went to Liberty and Calhoun counties, neighboring areas both dealing with their own challenges.

Florida and the U.S. continue to grapple with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. Orlando-based economic analyst Hank Fishkind says that, along with the storm's devastating human toll, there also will be a significant and long-lasting financial impact. Fishkind says Michael will be one of the ten most costly hurricanes on record. Economists at Moody’s Analytics estimate Michael’s financial toll at $15 to $21 billion (B) dollars, but Fishkind tells WMFE’s Nicole Darden Creston why he thinks the numbers ultimately will be higher.

Florida is just under three weeks away from Election Day. EARLY voting begins Monday [OCT 22]. And some key races have now CHANGED -- this election is happening just as the Panhandle is trying to recover from Hurricane Michael. Voters could be casting their ballots based on HOW candidates responded to the storm, especially the candidates for governor and U.S. Senate. WLRN’s Alexander Gonzalez looked into that.

Florida voters are deciding whether a list of victims’ rights should be added to the constitution. That’s’ what’s promised in Amendment 6, known as Marcy’s Law. As WJCT’s Lindsey Kilbride reports, supporters say it balances out the rights of victims and the accused, while critics of Amendment 6 call it misleading. And a final note: this story contains descriptions of violence that some listeners may find too disturbing.

[South] Florida and [coastal] Louisiana face a shared threat -- sea-level rise. They are two of the most vulnerable places in the country. Mark Schleifstein [SHLEF-steen] is a Pulitzer-winning environment reporter with NOLA-dot-com and the Times-Picayune [pick-ee-yoon] in New Orleans. He used to live in Miami. And he spoke with WLRN’s Kate Stein about the future of both places -- and about a community that’s already had to move away from the coast because of rising seas.

Florida Panhandle residents are picking up the pieces of their broken lives after one of the worst hurricanes in U.S. history made landfall just over one week ago.  The death toll in Florida now stands at twenty-four.  And while the multiple tragic aspects of Hurricane Michael have some wondering where God may have been in the course of this catastrophe, others say they have witnessed a divine spark in the people now laboring to rebuild the state’s “Forgotten Coast.” Florida Public Radio’s Lynn Hatter created this sonic collage.