Jessica Palombo

News Director

News Director Jessica Palombo came to WJCT after years of reporting on state government for Florida Public Radio in Tallahassee. Among her accolades are a statewide Society of Professional Journalists award for Best Government Reporting and a regional Edward R. Murrow award for Best Continuing Coverage.

Jessica is no stranger to the River City or WJCT: She grew up in Jacksonville and freelanced at the station as a legislative reporter before going to Tallahassee. She also interned at NPR's "Weekends at All Things Considered" in Washington, D.C., working with then host Guy Raz and his brilliant staff to produce two hours of national news features each week.

Jessica has a master's degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University's Newhouse School and a bachelor's in journalism from the University of Florida. Her writing has appeared in publications including The Gainesville Sun, Skirt! Magazine and Jacksonville Magazine.

Jessica and her husband, Andrew, live in Jacksonville with their two cats, Bunny and Starlord. 

Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter (@JessicaPubRadioand Facebook

Fewer Floridians died from drug overdose last year than the year before—and the number dying from the prescription painkiller oxycodone dropped by 41 percent. But at the same time, heroin overdose deaths nearly doubled—and people who work with drug addicts say they’re not at all surprised by the trend.

Since 2010, Florida lawmakers and law enforcement officers have cracked down on so-called pill mills—those doctors’ offices prescribing such large amounts of painkillers they’d been labeled “drug pushers in lab coats.”

Food containing genetically modified ingredients would have to be labeled as such if a bill filed this month passes the Florida Legislature. The bill’s sponsor says people should have the right to refuse genetically modified foods. But food biotechnologists say supporters of the bill overstate the dangers of genetic engineering.

Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda (D-Tallahassee) is sponsoring the food-labeling bill. Sitting on her front porch, she says she grew up in a farming community and she’s always felt close to the land.

At a public workshop Wednesday evening in Tallahassee, environmentalists expressed serious doubts about a list of conservation lands the state of Florida proposes to sell. The state is seeking public input as it looks to unload up to $50 million dollars’ worth of land.

The U.S. Justice Department is suing the state of Florida over hundreds of medically fragile children living in nursing homes. In the suit filed on Monday, the feds are calling for Florida to make sweeping changes to how it cares for the children, and to treat them at home whenever possible.

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