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. 
 

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.

 


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.

This report will be updated through the evening.

8:20 p.m.

Round two of the Democratic debates kicks off Thursday evening, but not before one candidate caused outrage by quoting  Argentine revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara in Miami.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who participated in Wednesday's debate, made the gaffe during a union protest at Miami International Airport. As he backed workers' efforts to unionize, de Blasio told them the eyes of the world were watching, then repeated Guevara's rallying cry: "Hasta la victoria, siempre."

Getting older is not easy. Yet aging in South Florida brings its own challenges, including affordable housing, new technology, transportation, and specific issues that LGBTQ seniors face — like discrimination in nursing homes.

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