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Florida Governor Rick Scott is tapping a former aide and water management district chief to head up the state’s environmental agency.

Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo
Nick Evans

Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo’s leadership of the city’s police department drew criticism and praise from residents at an open forum Tuesday. DeLeo said he likes to hold forums to build relationships with community members.

Scott talking to Reporters

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has a reputation for not answering direct questions from news reporters. Political experts say all office holders try to control their messages—but sometimes an unwillingness to address issues can overshadow what they’re trying to say.

A common theme runs through much of the recent news coverage of Scott.

R.Benk / WFSU-News

House Speaker Will Weatherford kicked off the ceremonial swearing in of former Republican lawmaker Carlos Lopez-Cantera as the next Lieutenant Governor of Florida but, Monday evening’s ceremony wasn’t the first time Cantera took the oath of office. He had been officially sworn in hours before in a private ceremony in the Governor’s office, making him the first Hispanic and first Miamian to ever be appointed to that position. Governor Rick Scott, whose support among Latinos in the state has all but dried up, may be hoping to use that to bolster his reelection campaign.


When Kamaria Jackson started attending Florida A&M University a few years ago, her tuition bill was about $2,000 to $3,000 a semester. Nowadays it’s around $5,000. Her mother makes too much money to qualify for federal financial aid. And that means Jackson has had to pay for her education out-of-pocket.

LHatter / WFSU

The Florida Democrats have been attacking Republicans for cuts to higher education and tuition increases. And as Lynn Hatter reports Wednesday Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith and former Governor Bob Graham raised the issue alongside university students.

The Republican-led legislature cut $300 million dollars from the state’s public university system this year and tuition rates have been climbing. Democrats say the state’s decision to cut higher education funding shows a lack of support for the state’s schools.

A state task force is trying to find ways to boost facility funding for charter schools, but it could come at the expense of traditional public schools and property owners. The move come after a proposal requiring local school districts to share their money with charters failed in the Florida legislature earlier in the year, but the issue itself is far from dead.

School districts and administrators have long complained about reporting requirements and mandates from the state that they don’t get funding to carry out. And now Gov. Rick Scott has announced he’ll convene a panel of five superintendents to find ways to reduce their paperwork. Scott says he wants teachers to spend more time teaching instead of trying to figure out how to comply with state rules and regulations.

“So, what you hear is there is a lot of paperwork, there’s unfunded mandates.  So I want to go through them,” he said.


One of the first issues before FAMU’s Presidential search committee is to decide what kind of candidate it wants to lead the 124-year-old institution. Many of FAMU’s former presidents have been alumni and all have had ties to academia, but some say it might be time for FAMU to look outside the box:

“I think we should reach for a river, for wherever the leadership is that can run the school. We won’t be able to restrict leadership to a given category. That’s my personal opinion," said FAMU Board Chairman Solomon Badger.


Steve Stewart and Scott Maddox are heading into a runoff in November. The two are vying for the hotly-contested City Commission One seat, being vacated by outgoing Commissioner Mark Mustian. The race has gotten even more contentious in the last few weeks with both candidates accusing the other of playing dirty.


A Tallahassee-based government watchdog group wants Florida to broaden its public records laws. Integrity Florida says state and local officials need to be more transparent in their government dealings. The group is calling for an overhaul of Florida’s disclosure system and has put the records of state officials, including those who represent Leon and surrounding counties, online.


By now, Leon County voters should see their August 14th primary sample ballots arriving in the mail. But this year, there is an entire section of the ballot that could leave many voters—especially Democrats at a complete loss for who to vote for. These are the party office races, and it’s a section of the ballot that’s largely overlooked and left blank.

Wanted: Women to Run for Public Office

Jul 20, 2012

More women should run for public office. That’s what three Tallahassee groups are saying as they hold a free event for women on Saturday, July 21, at Tallahassee City Hall, 300 S. Adams St.

Although women make up about half the population, they hold only 17 percent of U.S. Congress seats and similarly disproportionate numbers of state and local offices. 

Capital Report: 07-06-2012

Jul 6, 2012

While the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the federal healthcare overhaul law, the fight over it is far from over. Many questions about President Barack Obama’s signature legislation remain—like who will be covered under the Affordable Care Act? Who will have to buy insurance, and, will it bring down costs? Lynn Hatter reports the results may be just as complex as the law itself.