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

Thousands of felons throughout the state are now eligible to vote, thanks to Amendment 4 and Governor Ron DeSantis signing the implementing bill into law. However, to do so they will have to register first, and organizations and advocates have been fanning out across Florida to sign up these newly eligible voters. Joining those efforts is former Leon County Commissioner Bob Rackleff.

Next time you’re in South Florida beware of Iguanas. The states animal protection agency has now given its approval to kill the  lizards without permits. 

Voting Rights groups are challenging a new Florida law, saying it quote “violates the prohibition against poll taxes”. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill late Friday, it requires felons to pay court fines and fees before registering to vote. The American Civil Liberties Union, Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, and NAACP are all part of the lawsuit.

WFSU’s Blaise Gainey speaks with Julie Ebenstein, the lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union who submitted the lawsuit.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill implementing 2018's Amendment 4. When voters passed the amendment it was expected that nearly 1.5 million felons would be allowed to vote. But the Republican-dominated legislature passed an implementation bill that many say changes the intent.

Ending a two-year search Florida A&M University’s College of Education has selected a new dean.

 

More Floridians are taking advantage of renewable energy than ever before. According to reports filed with the Public Service Commission, customer-owned renewable systems increased by 54% in 2018. The total renewable system interconnections total close to 38,000, in 2008 there were only 577.

A day after Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill promoting technical career centers, local leaders are highlighting vocational schools and apprenticeships as a pathway for students after high school. City of Tallahassee Commissioner Curtis Richardson and Leon County School Superintendent Rocky Hanna spoke at the Network of Entrepreneurs and Business Advocates monthly meeting.

Several Leon County projects fell victim to Governor Ron DeSantis’ veto pen. They won’t get state funding for the upcoming fiscal year. 

The crime rate in Tallahassee during 2018 dropped by more than 7% compared to the year prior, according to the Annual Uniform Crime Report.

Triumph Gulf Coast is setting aside funds it hopes will help students soar thanks to a drone training program the board recently approved.

Florida’s economy is currently 17th largest in the world. Florida Chamber of Commerce CEO Mark Wilson wants it to be in the top 10.

Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis essentially reversed his predecessors’ actions by giving back $2.3 million  to elections supervisors to spend on cyber security. The money was left over from a $19 million grant the federal government gave the state prior to the 2018 primary election.

Wednesday, state-backed property insurance corporation, Citizens discussed a new law that makes changes to assignment of benefits process.

Scientists at Florida State University have created the world’s most powerful continuous field magnet magnet. It’s capable of generating a 45.5-tesla field. Chief Materials Scientist David Larbalestier explains what that could mean for the future.

As a response to the Parkland shooting which left 17 dead, Ban Assault Weapons Now is pushing to get assault weapons banned in the state. Monday, they announced that they’ve reached the threshold to trigger a Supreme Court Review. I spoke with the chairperson of the committee about what exactly the ban does.

A petition aimed at banning assault weapons has earned a constitutional review by the Florida Supreme Court. Ban Assault Weapons Now, an organizations led by survivors of mass shootings and their families, announced Monday they had 103,000 signatures.

In May, Florida A&M University was placed on a five-year probation by the NCAA for improperly certifying 93 athletes throughout 12 of their sports. The actions took place between 2010 and 2017. Since, the university has been making sure it doesn’t happen again.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded Florida $60 million to help lift the Tamiami Trail.

Hurricane season is officially here. Now, Attorney General Ashley Moody is working to make sure price gougers don’t take advantage of people trying to escape a storm.

Residents in Frenchtown and Tallahassee’s Southside will have two chances next week to give input to city officials about a Community Redevelopment Plan for the area.

Two Florida Democratic legislators have filed a complaint against a pro-gun Lobbyist who hasn’t disclosed her compensation in more than a decade.

Florida A&M University is asking the U.S. District Court in Tallahassee to allow use of an anonymous rape victim's full name during trial. In response, the victim’s attorney has written a letter to Florida senators and representatives asking them to investigate FAMU’s attempts to expose the victim’s identity.

Former Okaloosa County School Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson’s lawyers have been in the Florida Senate pleading for her reinstatement. She was suspended by Governor Ron DeSantis for what he says was a failure of leadership by allowing numerous criminal charges of child abuse by teachers. As Blaise Gainey reports the state is arguing her removal is necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the students.

Special Master Dudley Goodlette kicked off a hearing Tuesday to determine whether Okaloosa County School Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson should be permanently removed from her position. Governor Ron DeSantis suspended Jackson during his first week as Governor, after Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran made the recommendation.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill thats main goal is to stop bad actors in the homeowners insurance market. It would do so by changing what a contractor must do when a policy holder signs over their insurance benefits.

The itinerary is set for Governor Ron DeSantis’s trip to Israel. He will be meeting with Israeli business leaders, and he’ll take a cultural visit to the Old City of Jerusalem.

Contractors will now have to let insurance companies know when they’ve been assigned a policy holder's benefits. This change comes after Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 7065, which makes changes to insurance agreements.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed a tax bill Wednesday that is estimated to save Florida families nearly $47 million during two sales tax holidays. Another part of the bill is expected to save commercial real estate renters more than $64 million by reducing the tax rate.

Most of the discussion about a recently passed elections bill has focused on 2018’s Amendment 4. It restored the right for certain felons to vote. But the bill does many more things aimed at fixing issues within Florida’s elections system.

Governor Ron DeSantis says voter data was stolen in 2016 when election systems in two Florida counties were hacked. Previous reporters had identified only one county, but DeSantis says  the breach didn’t impact voting.

Pages