WFSU Local News

Valerie Crowder

Hundreds gathered in Mexico Beach on Thursday to celebrate the community’s resiliency one year after Hurricane Michael decimated the small coastal town. 

Sigfredo Garcia speaking to his attorney Saam Zangeneh during the trial for FSU Professor Dan Markel.
Alicia Devine, Pool / Tallahassee Democrat

A Tallahassee jury says Sigfredo Garcia is guilty for his role in the 2014 murder of Florida State University Law Professor Dan Markel. But they couldn't reach a decision on his co-defendant and ex-girlfriend, Katherine Magbanua. 

Katherine Magbanua listens to testimony in the murder trial for FSU Professor Dan Markel. She's facing life in prison if convicted in the case. (October 3,2019)
Alicia Devine / Tallahassee Democrat (pool)

Jurors are now weighing a decision in the murder trial for former Florida State University Professor Dan Markel. State Attorney Georgia Cappleman and defense attorney Chris DeCoste went head to head during the closing remarks. 

Construction machinery breaks down what's left of Hangar 5 on Tyndall Air Force Base
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

A year ago, Hurricane Michael steamrolled through the Florida panhandle, damaging nearly everything in its path - including three military bases along its route--Tyndall Air Force, the Navy’s naval support facility, and the U.S. Coast Guard. Blaise Gainey reports on efforts to fix what the storm broke.

The side of  a town house is almost so damaged you can see through it. Behind the structure is a beautiful blue sky.
Erich Martin

Just a year after Category 5 Hurricane Michael swept through Florida’s panhandle, the residents in the area are still feeling the aftermath.

Michael wiped through the city of Mexico Beach, ruining homes and businesses in its path. Florida Public Radio Emergency Network Meteorologist, Jeff Huffman, described the hurricane as one of the most historic storms the Panhandle has seen.

Katherine Magbanua speaking to her attorney Tara Kawass Thursday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Tallahassee, Florida, during the murder trial for Markel's death.
Alicia Devine, Pool / Tallahassee Democrat

Closing arguments are being heard in the Dan Markel murder trial.

The FSU law professor was shot to death in the garage of his midtown Tallahassee home five years ago.

Prosecutor Georgia Cappleman spent the morning laying out a case against Markel’s former in-laws and their connection to the defendants, Sigfredo Garcia and Katherine Magbanua.

“It’s relevant for you to understand the role all these people played, the motive for this crime, in order for make a determination about the guilt of the two folks who are on trial here today," she told jurors.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Capital City Youth Services has seen its federal funding dwindle for the past three years, and now leadership is seeking other avenues to keep programs afloat. The nonprofit has been denied $150,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its street outreach program. It’s going on two years without another $200,000 in federal funding for a transitional living program.

stuartwoods.com

The person who may now hold the title of “most prolific living American author” is enroute to Tallahassee. Novelist Stuart Woods began his writing career in 1981.

Katherine Magbanua says she had nothing to do with the 2014 murder of a Florida State University Law Professor. She took the stand Wednesday on the 9th day of the trial for slain law professor Dan Markel.

Katherine Magbanua listens to testimony in the murder trial for FSU Professor Dan Markel. She's facing life in prison if convicted in the case. (October 3,2019)
Alicia Devine / Tallahassee Democrat (pool)

Defense attorneys are picking apart the state’s evidence in the trial for the two people accused of murdering Florida State University Law Professor Dan Markel in 2014.  The attorney for one of the defendants says say their client wasn't involved, and that the state has unfairly cherry-picked evidence in the case.

leonschools.net

One of Tallahassee’s oldest public schools is trying to restore an important part of its history, while also adding some new technology to its campus. The school is reaching out to the community for help.

talgov.com

One of Tallahassee’s oldest neighborhoods will soon be telling its story through the voices of its most prominent residents, even though they are no longer alive.  Frenchtown’s historic celebration, including these "Soul Voices," will play out over four upcoming weekends.

bostonga.com

The community of Boston, Georgia just northeast of Thomasville may be small. But its residents know how to have big fun and everyone is invited to the community’s party that happens October 25th and 26th.

Valerie Crowder

For the state’s largest teachers’ union, Gov. DeSantis’ proposed minimum salary increase for beginning teachers is “a starting point.” 

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

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. Yet not all was lost, as some lumber and paper mills in the region are still going strong.

Katherine Magbanua speaking to her attorney Tara Kawass Thursday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Tallahassee, Florida, during the murder trial for Markel's death.
Alicia Devine, Pool / Tallahassee Democrat

Prosecutors in the murder trial for Florida State University law Professor Dan Markel say his former in-laws and the people accused of the slaying discussed the plot in code across a series of text messages and phone calls.

Tom Flanigan

There are lots of good reasons to make bicycles a more common transporation choice. But one negative is that Florida - including Tallahassee - has a poor safety record when it comes to bikes.

Tom Flanigan

Saturday, October 5 was Leon County's 22nd Annual Volunteer Firefighter and Fire Truck Roundup. This year, a true life-saver was honored as "Firefighter of the Year."

Katherine Magbanua speaking to her attorney Tara Kawass Thursday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Tallahassee, Florida, during the murder trial for Markel's death.
Alicia Devine, Pool / Tallahassee Democrat

A Leon County jury heard testimony about cell phone calls and bank records as the murder trial for a slain Florida State University law professor continued on its 6th day. 

Valerie Crowder

At least 90% of structures in Panama City were damaged in Hurricane Michael. One year later, city officials are about to resume code enforcement actions, and residential property owners say they’re ready for the city to begin cracking down on neglected lots that pose a health and safety hazard to their neighborhoods.

The front of a building is torn off. A hurricane Evacuation Route signs sits on top of the rubble.
Regan McCarthy

Last year, after Hurricane Michael wrought havoc in the Panhandle, school officials began raising concerns about an emergent mental health crisis among students. Bay County Superintendent Bill Hussfelt said in the first four months following the storm, 70 kids had been involuntarily held for mental health treatment through the Baker Act. But in the first two months of this school year, 50 students have already been institutionally committed. 

Picture of the sunset at Cascades Park
Erich Martin

The creators of restaurants including Madison Social and Happy Motoring are setting their sights on a new project.

A woman in a gray suit and glasses sits in a courtroom
Tallahassee Democrat (pool)

Prosecutors in the murder trial for a slain Florida State University law professor are focusing on the ties between the people accused of killing him, and his ex-wife’s family. Markel was entangled in a bitter child custody fight at the time of his death. 

Tom and Billy Dean
Lynn Hatter

Ken Burns’ recent PBS series on the history of country music was a profound experience for millions of viewers. One of those viewers was Billy Dean, the Quincy native who achieved country music stardom and has now returned to his North Florida roots.

A man in dark colored scrubs with a white t-shirt sits on the witness stand in a Leon County courtroom
Tallahassee Democrat (pool)

Luis Rivera testified for two days in the murder trial for Florida State University Dan Markel. He’s pled guilty to murder in exchange for a 19-year sentence in the case.

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