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Capital Report: 08-09-2019

As students across the state prepare to head back to school, ensuring their safety in the classroom is top of mind for teachers, administrators, law enforcement and state leaders. Regan McCarthy has more….

Currently, the state Department of Education does not keep a complete database of all substitute teachers in the state. But Ryan Dailey reports one violent tragedy in Tallahassee last year has raised concerns, and a push for better record-keeping at the state level.

10 months after Hurricane Michael communities in the Big Bend are still struggling to recover. But in the small city of Port St. Joe, big changes are coming and not everyone is on board. Robbie Gaffney has more.

After Hurricane Michael ripped through the panhandle last year it left much of the area battered and beaten. One of the most impacted counties is Bay, where Tyndall Air Force Base is located. The base suffered nearly $5 billion dollars in damage. But officials at the base used the disaster as a chance to rebuild for the future. Blaise Gainey reports their hope was that the Air Force would bring in F35 fighter jets and that plan has now paid off.

First Lady Casey DeSantis has prioritized expanding access to mental health services to residents’ across the state.  As part of her campaign called “Hope for Healing,” she announced yesterday that K-12 students in every public school across six Northwest Florida counties will have virtual access to mental health evaluations and counseling. Capital Reporter Valerie Crowder reports state leaders chose to focus on the region because of an increased need for services in the wake of Hurricane Michael…

When Florida wildlife leaders effectively declared “open season” on iguanas, they called for the animals to be killed on private property. And just this week, they doubled down on python eradication. Both animals are considered invasive species in Florida, but recent and past issues with how the animals have been killed has led to accusations of animal cruelty. The state says all killings have to be done “humanely”. But, what does that actually mean? Lynn Hatter examines the issue.