Gina Jordan

Gina Jordan reports from Tallahassee for WUSF and WLRN about how state policy affects your life.

Tallahassee police are getting calls and emails from around the world after a cellphone video taken at the Stadium Centre Apartments on Gaines Street went viral.

A man whose name hasn’t been released is seen confronting a group of FAMU students trying to get into the building last weekend. 

The video contains graphic language.

Florida is $21 billion in debt.

State leaders were actually happy to hear that number at the most recent Florida Cabinet meeting.

The amount of money owed on initiatives like transportation and environmental projects has fallen in recent years, bolstered in part by low interest rates and the economy.

The Consolidated Dispatch Agency (CDA) is on an uphill climb as it works to overcome a series of tragic errors and fill vacant positions.

The agency ran into trouble soon after it was created in 2013. It endured some high profile technical problems that were blamed, in part, for the shooting death of Leon County deputy Chris Smith as he responded to a house fire.

The CDA was also blamed for bumbled responses in the Betton Hills murder of a Florida State University law professor and a shooting at FSU’s Strozier Library.

Now, a new interim director is at the helm. Steve Harrelson has soent nearly 30 years with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. He’s also the CDA’s fourth director in five years. He says his priorities include fully staffing the dispatch floor – where 500,000 calls are answered annually - and boosting morale.

Millions of dollars in renovations are underway at the Tallahassee International Airport as more travelers are staying in town to catch their flights.

June’s passenger count was more than 12 percent higher than traffic a year ago. Airport leaders credit the city’s non-stop service to Washington, DC and the economy for the increase.

Business owners in Florida are worried about the quality of the state’s workforce.

A survey by the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council shows an ongoing trend of employers being concerned about finding enough skilled and educated workers.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) began upgrading its Sunpass toll system on June 1st. Since then, Sunpass users have been racking up charges but not getting the bill.

The Maryland-based company Conduent State & Local Solutions was scheduled to finish work on the system by June 11th. Yet more than a month later, it still isn’t fully operational.

News is available at our fingertips. What constitutes news, and when should it be designated as “fake?”

The Capital Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association is hosting a luncheon on Thursday, June 21, to discuss how news consumers can discern what’s truthful and what’s less-than-factual.

Sachs Media Group Founder and CEO Ron Sachs will present tips on how to help stop the spread of misinformation – like keeping our own biases and emotions in check.

Denise Williams will finally get her bond hearing this Monday.

A judge postponed the hearing until June 18th to determine whether Williams should be released on bond as she awaits trial for an accused murder plot and cover up in her husband’s death.

The best selling rap artist once referred to as Mr. 305 is now a paid ambassador for Visit Florida, the state's tourism marketing corporation. Rapper Pitbull is working on a music video showcasing the state.

Performance funding in public higher education is a way for states to hold institutions accountable for certain outcomes. But new research shows it doesn’t do much to keep students enrolled or boost graduation rates.

Florida voters passed the Water and Land Conservation Amendment in November. It requires one third of documentary stamp revenue – a tax on real estate transactions - to go toward environmental initiatives.

The Florida Legislature must spend a portion of the documentary stamp money on environmental programs, like buying land and preserving springs.

The School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) in Tallahassee has just over 300 students, and the waiting list to get in is much longer.

Maureen Yoder is one of the founders of the 15-year-old K-8 charter school.

“We started this school with the intent of keeping it small because we want to create a school family,” Yoder says. “We believe that the relationship between the teacher and the students is the primary reason students succeed – besides a good home base.”

This is sixth grader Mary Stafford’s first year.

“Opt Out” groups are pushing back against what they say is too much standardized testing in Florida. The tests are changing as the state transitions to Florida Standards - an offshoot of the Common Core standards being implemented around the country.

The Supreme Court’s refusal to consider gay marriage cases in five other states may soon impact Florida, now that a federal judge is being asked to clear the way for same-sex marriage in the Sunshine State.

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