Blaise Gainey

Blaise Gainey is a Multimedia Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.

Follow Blaise Gainey on Twitter: @BlaiseGainey 

Email Blaise Gainey at blgainey@fsu.edu

Florida is the first state to receive block grants for the timber industry from the United States Department of Agriculture.

The Florida State University football team fired its head coach Sunday after the team took another loss, making Willie Taggart’s record 9-12 while in charge of the Seminoles. FSU Athletics Director David Coburn addressed the media a day later to talk about a search for a new coach two years after hiring Taggart. 

Florida’s Secretary of State Laurel Lee says her department needs more money to help with elections security.

Most Florida felons had their voting rights restored after the passage of 2018’s Amendment 4. Earlier this year the legislature put in place a law that tied rights restoration to the repayment of all fines and fees. But, a ruling from U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle says the state can’t deny the right to vote based on a failure to pay, as long as a person genuinely can’t.

The Florida Education Association is visiting 30 counties and advocating for better funding for public education. They will make 50 stops on the tour. President Fedrick Ingram, says he is going directly to the people most affected by the decades of underfunding for public schools.

North Florida could be getting its first major toll road thanks to a bill signed by the Governor this summer. It’s one of three new major roadways to be built in the state. One would connect Collier County to Polk County, another extends the Florida Turnpike west to Suncoast Parkway and the third expands the Suncoast Parkway from Tampa Bay to Georgia. A task force was put in place for each section but a member of the Northern Turnpike Connector thinks plans are moving too fast.

Attorney General Ashley Moody is asking the Florida Supreme Court to block a proposed assault weapons ban from going in front of voters. Moody claims the proposed constitutional amendment is misleading and deceitful. Now Democrats are pushing back.

Currently, there are four ways Florida’s constitution can be changed. One method is through the Constitution Revision Commission or CRC. The group meets every twenty years to propose changes or additions to the constitution – giving voters the final say.

The last CRC met in 2018 and caused controversy by bundling several unrelated ideas. Now some lawmakers want the group dissolved for good. 

An amendment allowing felons to register to vote in Florida has been in effect since January 8th, but verifying which felons are eligible has proven problematic. The State’s Restoration of Voting Rights Work Group met today to figure out how to ease the problem.

Antwann Brown, the suspect who police say stabbed five people at Dyke Industries Wednesday morning, is being held with no bond. He faces five counts of attempted murder and one for aggravated assault.

The state could see a $30 million drop in sales tax revenue if an amendment banning assault weapons in Florida is passed. 

The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the constitutionality of a law that allows certain felons to vote but requires them to pay any fees associated with their sentence first. Critics call the new rule a poll tax. But the bill’s author argues he simply followed the language voters approved in a 2018 amendment. Now the Judge presiding over the case is questioning whether the amendment itself violates the constitution. I spoke with ACLU lawyer Julie Ebenstein to get the groups' view.

Florida A&M University and its union workers are at an impasse over their collective bargaining agreement. Monday morning both sides met with Special Magistrate Adrienne Trott to express their concerns.

Based on referrals from the Florida Department of Children and Families four arrests have been made in North Florida relation to exploiting seniors and disabled individuals.

Florida’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research known as EDR is tasked with predicting outcomes of proposed legislation, new laws, or constitutional amendments. But a new law has now changed how much work goes into predicting petition initiatives. EDR’s Coordinator Amy Baker spoke about what the changes mean.

What sounds really simple is turning out to be a lot more complicated than perhaps sponsors of an assault weapon ban thought. State estimators are struggling to define what the wording of the proposed ban would mean should it pass.

Tara Tedrow has been chosen to chair the group tasked with creating rules for Florida’s newest industry. During which Tedrow gave a quick rundown of what she does during the first Hemp Advisory Committee meeting.

The State Hemp Advisory Committee is trying to kick start Florida’s Hemp industry. One of its first steps is to create rules. Florida’s Director of Cannabis Holly Bell spoke on how that process will move forward.

The way some school districts are choosing to comply with bolstered safety measures has U.S. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Florida) upset. Scott explained the problem to the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on enhancing school safety.

The first named Hurricane of the 2019 Season skipped Tallahassee but officials say the season is just getting started. They’re urging everyone – especially people who are elderly or disabled – to get prepared in case of a natural disaster. City officials gave a hurricane preparedness presentation Wednesday at the Tallahassee Senior Center.

Governor Ron DeSantis announced plans to expand the state’s infrastructure as it relates to electric vehicles. He announced the plan Wednesday at the Florida Turnpike Headquarters in Orlando.

The City of Tallahassee is getting nearly $9,000 from the AARP. The grant will go toward a park in the Greater Bond Community--a traditionally African American neighborhood on the Southside of Tallahassee.

The bond for Mirko Ceska has been set at $50,000. He is accused of physically and sexually abusing female twins who have been in his custody of for several years. His wife Regina Ceska is also facing charges. The victims describe the couple as “doomsday preppers.”

Residents of one Atlanta neighborhood say a change occurred when the 1996 Olympics came to the city. Most call that change gentrification, but in one crime-ridden area nicknamed “Little Vietnam” the city managed to renovate and improve the area without removing its residents. It’s now a national model for cradle-to-college education with safe streets and better quality housing for low-income families.

Now, a group of Tallahassee advocates and local officials are trying to bring the model to the Southside, but there is a disconnect with the school district, a major player.

The city of South Miami and immigrant advocacy groups are suing the state of Florida over a new law that bans sanctuary cities and requires local officials to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.


Here in Tallahassee the Florida Historic Capitol Museum is holding an event to acknowledge the day the first human footprint was left on the moon.

Florida courts have spoken. They say the state’s medical marijuana distribution system is unconstitutional, and that could soon force the legislature and the industry to make changes.

One Florida lawmaker says the legislature could get a do-over on implementing the state’s 2016 medical marijuana amendment after the First Discrict Court of Appeal handed down an opinion Tuesday calling the current setup unconstitutional.

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Kent Wetherell to serve as judge in the Northern District of Florida. The moved restores the district to a full bench.

In May, Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed a bill preventing local governments from banning plastic straws, now Leon County is trying to do just that. Tuesday, the county commission met to discuss options to reduce or eliminate the use of single-use plastic straws.

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