Caitlin Switalski

Caitie Switalski is a rising senior at the University of Florida. She's worked for WFSU-FM in Tallahassee as an intern and reporter. When she's in Gainesville for school, Caitie is an anchor and producer for local Morning Edition content at WUFT-FM, as well as a digital editor for the station's website. 
 
Her favorite stories are politically driven, about how politicians, laws and policies effect local communities. 
 
Once she graduates with a dual degree in Journalism and English, Caitie hopes to make a career continuing to report and produce for NPR stations in the sunshine state. 
 
When she's not following what's happening with changing laws, you can catch Caitie lounging in local coffee shops, at the beach, or watching Love Actually for the hundredth time. 
 

The first results from last night's Iowa Caucus — nearly a day late — show former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders fighting for first place in the state's Democratic contest for the White House.

More cranes, cars, cargo and cruise ships: The Port Everglades of 2038 could look a lot different than it does now. 

Florida is abuzz about beekeeping. 

The number of Floridians who’ve started beekeeping has increased by over 500 percent in the last 14 years. 

The demand has gotten so large, that the University of Florida’s Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab recently added more to the Master Beekeeper Program that’s open to the public — online.

 

Fort Lauderdale residents are gearing up to demonstrate on land and water next weekend, to call on city leaders to take action to fix unreliable sewage infrastructure. 

Florida's Department of Transportation announced Thursday an immediate directive for more rail safety measures across the state as well as a new education initiative about rail safety called Operation STRIDE. 

As more than 10,000 supporters of President Donald Trump awaited his arrival at the BB&T Center in Sunrise for a campaign rally Tuesday night, Brock Cline showed up to the exceedingly red party in a green kilt and a bagpipe in hand.

"We just wanna come here and play and see if President Trump will let us play inside in front of everybody,” said the Boca Raton resident. He and his wife Toni broke out into song, playing Amazing Grace for a crowd that gathered around.

Twenty three out of the 27 Republican Governors around the U.S. are in South Florida this week. Thursday was the second - and final day - of the annual Republican Governors Association Conference at a resort in Boca Raton. 

The association's goal is to help get Republican politicians get elected as governors across the country, as well as  provide them with some resources. 

A new photography exhibit at the Stonewall National Museum & Archives in Wilton Manors aims to give transgender and non-binary couples a platform to tell their stories and show them living their everyday lives, posing with their families in the setting of their choice. 

The exhibit is called "Transcending Love: Portraits of Transgender and Non-Binary Couples." 

Barbara Proud is the photographer behind the project. A lesbian herself, she goes by the name B. Proud.

Inside of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is a movement to connect environmental entrepreneurs with philanthropists who love to boat and are passionate about ocean health. 

 

It's 450 feet of larger-than-life rock n' roll novelty. 

From the Florida Turnpike, the giant guitar building that lights up neon blue and green at night has been almost impossible to miss since construction broke ground in the summer of 2017.

Now, it's finally open to the public.

 

More parks, more parks management, and more resiliency against sea-level rise might be the key to Downtown Fort Lauderdale's future development, according to The Urban Land Institute.

The real estate research group presented its big ideas to improve the city to residents and development leaders Friday, after an advisory panel of experts spent a week studying the city's downtown core.

A date has been set for trial in the case of confessed Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz versus the State of Florida. 

Judge Elizabeth Scherer issued an order on Thursday announcing the pretrial motions will begin on January 13, 2020 and jury selection will start on January 27. 

"In February, 2019, this Court put all parties on notice that the trial in this matter would commence in January, 2020," the order states. 

This story was updated with additional information about potential legal action from the Southern Poverty Law Center at 1:03 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission wrapped up its two-day meeting in Orlando a couple hours earlier than planned on Wednesday. 

Thursday is World Mental Health Day. It's recognized by the World Health Organization as a day to talk about mental health awareness, education, and to push for an end to the stigma that can sometimes surround asking for help. 

Brightline train stations have joined in on the advocacy - bringing in therapy dogs to spend time with commuters for a couple of days this week.

Editor’s Note:  In the Capitol building in Tallahassee, the Fourth Floor Rotunda is where state lawmakers enter their chambers every time they vote on the laws that affect Floridians.
 

All this week in the space between the House and Senate chambers, six portraits are on display — the faces of people affected by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which happened two years ago Friday in Parkland.

Broward County's cultural division is holding a sort-of scavenger hunt — for giant inflatable art installations. 

Law enforcement, victims families and nursing home employees in Hollywood are still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma nearly two years after the storm. 

South Florida is heading back to school. Palm Beach County students started classes on Monday. Broward and Monroe Counties start Wednesday, and students in Miami-Dade go back Aug. 19. 

Safety and security are still on the minds of teachers, parents, students and state officials at this start to the second school year since the Parkland shooting. Several school districts in the state — most of which are in South Florida — were found over the summer to still not be in complaince with state safety laws. 

Florida agencies are increasing the number of python huntersand the amount of land they're allowed to hunt on. 

Brightline and Tri-Rail take South Floridians across the region. Now a monorail plan is in the works.

Cities don't like empty storefronts. They aren't good for business, and tourists notice when there's a dark shop in a row of otherwise bright stores and restaurants. 

A new initiative in Fort Lauderdale called Zero Empty Spaces is inviting artists to move in to some of those empty stores, acting as an intermediary between artists and property owners.

The city of South Miami and several other nonprofits, including the Guatemalan-Maya Center in Lake Worth, have launched the first legal challenge to the new state law that bans so-called sanctuary cities in Florida.

After threats of large-scale Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids across the country, advocates from some South Florida immigrant-rights groups have taken to the streets in recent days to talk to people who may be affected. 

The confessed-Parkland school shooter, Nikolas Cruz, had a bandage across the bridge of his nose as he stood and raised his handcuffed hand to address a Broward County Courtroom on Wednesday afternoon. 

 

Broward County has the fastest-growing population of people over 85 in the country. One of the growing problems they face is social isolation, which can lead to depression, loneliness and safety issues for those living alone. 

Updated at 6:28 p.m. Saturday. 

At least 23 people were injured after an explosion rocked a shopping center in Plantation just before 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. 

Police completed their search for victims, as well as a secondary sweep by late afternoon Saturday.  

There are no reported fatalities. One person suffered potentially life-threatening injuries. They were taken to the trauma center at Broward Health Medical Center.  While 18 others with injuries were taken to local hospitals, according to the Plantation Police Dept.

 


The City of Parkland has been asking people in email blasts and on social media not to explode personal fireworks during their Fourth of July celebrations on Thursday out of respect for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD

Symptoms of PTSD can be triggered by unexpected loud noises, including fireworks.

This story has been updated with additional information at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday

The Village of Lazy Lake is the smallest municipality in Broward County. Its population is just about 26 people, according to census data, and it's surrounded by Wilton Manors. 


A listener reached out to WLRN about why Lazy Lake didn’t hold an election in 2018. 

 

Friday marks 50 years since LGBTQ activists rioted at the Stonewall Inn in New York. The famous protests accelerated the movement to secure rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Americans.

After failing to raise the funds to qualify, Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam was not part of this week's Democratic debates in Miami. 

But Messam is continuing to run his presidential campaign from South Florida.

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