Janet Adkins

Tyler Nienhouse / Flickr

Former Jacksonville City Councilman Warren Jones won a Duval County School Board seat, and the incumbent Clay County superintendent was defeated in Tuesday’s primary.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

A forum for 4th Circuit State Attorney candidates in Jacksonville kicked off with a familiar tone Wednesday night.

Hopefuls Wes White and Melissa Nelson criticized incumbent Angela Corey on issues like juvenile justice and court diversion programs. And Corey shot back by excoriating the press and defending her long record.

Mark Foley / Florida House of Representatives

A Northeast Florida lawmaker who’s running to be Nassau County school superintendent is asking Gov. Rick Scott to sue the federal government over recent transgender guidelines it sent to schools.

State Rep. Janet Adkins (R-Fernandina Beach), who chairs the House K-12 Education Subcommittee until her term is up in November, wants Florida to join 11 other states that sued last month.


James Tourtellotte / Wikimedia Commons

Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed into law a bill requiring police to send rape kits to crime labs for testing within 120 days of collecting the evidence.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

A coalition of voting rights groups is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Jacksonville Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D-FL5).  

A new study from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement  has found a backlog of at least 13, 000 untested sexual-assault kits in Florida. There are nearly 1,500 untested kits in Duval County alone. 

Managing that backlog could cost as much as $32 million dollars.

The study is under review in Tallahassee as the 2016 legislative session kicks off next week.

Rep. Janet Adkins (R-Fernandina Beach) is planning to introduce legislation to reduce this backlog, and create clear standards for testing sexual-assault kits. She joins us to discuss this.

QIAGEN

More than 9,000 untested sexual-assault kits need to be processed by Florida crime labs. That’s according to an assessment released Monday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The report also makes several recommendations for getting the backlog unjammed.


We discuss the week's biggest news stories with our roundtable of local journalists: Tim Gibbons, Jacksonville Business Journal editor; A.G. Gancarski, Florida Politics writer; and Claire Goforth, Folio Weekly reporter.

Topics include the controversial remarks made by State Rep. Janet Adkins concerning Congresswoman Corrine Brown's district, tensions between Mayor Lenny Curry and the JEA Board of Directors, and more.


Florida House

Update 9:51 am: In a statement emailed to WJCT Wednesday night, Adkins "apologized if her statements offended anyone," but said that her "comments regarding the proposed realignment of congressional district five (as recommended by the Florida Supreme Court) were an attempt to explain some of [the] issues that came up in debate during the redistricting special session."

State Rep. Janet Adkins (R-Fernandina Beach) made headlines Wednesday for comments she made at a closed-door GOP meeting.

POLITICO Florida published a secretly recorded tape of Adkins’ statements. She told meeting attendees Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D-FL5) will soon be more vulnerable because her proposed new district includes a larger prison population, taking some minority voters out of the equation.


Lindsey Kilbride

Fernandina Beach Representative Janet Adkins says she wants state law to help educators teach dyslexic students better.

Thursday, Adkins toured Jacksonville’s GRASP Academy, the state’s only dyslexic-focused public school.

 


Attorney General Pam Bondi put added pressure Wednesday on lawmakers to increase funding for crime labs as she detailed a massive backlog of untested rape kits across the state.

"Those need to be tested because, hidden in those estimated thousands of untested rape kits, we have the potential to solve cold cases and lock up sexual predators and make Florida the safest place to live and raise a family," Bondi said during a news conference at The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.

Florida House of Representatives Website

Florida State Rep. Janet Adkins (R-Fernandina Beach) is calling for awareness of the struggles students with dyslexia face in schools.

Adkins is the chair of the K-12 Education Subcommittee in the Florida House. She has also announced she’s running for Nassau County Schools Superintendent next year.

During an appearance on WJCT's “First Coast Connect,” Adkins talked about how schools can provide better teaching strategies for students with dyslexia.

State Rep. Janet Adkins (R-Fernandina Beach) joins us to discuss education issues, as well as possible legislation to address how quickly sexual assault kits are processed in the state.


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry told state lawmakers Tuesday afternoon the city needs more money for public safety, infrastructure, and health care, among other things.

Curry invited the Duval Legislative Delegation, a group of Northeast Florida state lawmakers, to lunch at City Hall. Curry and the delegates dined and talked Jacksonville priorities without a formal agenda.

Jacksonville Democratic Senator Audrey Gibson says she’s glad to see the meetings starting early ahead of next year’s legislative session.

Stig Nygaard / Flickr

Florida law bans kiteboarding within a mile of an airport runway. But last week, Governor Rick Scott signed an exception allowing the high-flying sport in Jacksonville’s Huguenot Memorial Park.

The park is across the St. Johns River from Mayport Navy base.

The statewide ban on extreme sports near airstrips took effect in October. That meant, popular kiteboarding spots in Huguenot park suddenly became off limits.

Fernandina Beach Representative and  sponsor of the new exemption, Janet Adkins, says one area of the park is particularly important for new kiteboarders.

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