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. 
 

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.

Teachers, students, and families from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School don't want people to forget how their lives were changed when a shooting claimed 17 lives on campus a year and a half ago. 

 

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.

Broward and Miami-Dade County transit officials are proposing a single track that would run along Northwest 27th Avenue in Miami — connecting the Hard Rock Stadium up to an area of college campuses in Broward. A penny sales tax that Broward voters approved last November would, in part, fund the project.

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.

 


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