Lynn Hatter

Lynn Hatter is a  Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative.  When she’s not working, Lynn spends her time watching sci-fi and action movies, writing her own books, going on long walks through the woods, traveling and exploring antique stores. Follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter: @HatterLynn.

Phone: (850) 487-3086

Florida seems to have passed its peak for coronavirus cases. Even though the state is still logging new infections, the rate of new cases overall appears to be decreasing. Meanwhile, Gov. Ron DeSantis has gone on defense. Ahead of plans to reopen businesses that have been closed, DeSantis is attacking the same models the state has relied on to guide its COVID-19 response. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is defending areas like Jacksonville and Duval County that decided to reopen beaches.

Tallahassee Community College trustees got a dive Monday into the impact the Coronavirus is having on the school. The board touched on the possibility of budget cuts, new programs, and got a preview on what students can expect for a graduation ceremony.

Some Florida schools are opting for online graduation ceremonies this Spring. Florida A&M university is offering its take on what those celebrations will look like. 

Florida is still weighing whether to cancel in-person classes for the remainder of the school year. Right now, students are doing distance-learning and working from home. But with the end of the school year looming, the chances students will get back into their regular classes is dimming.

Florida’s hospitals are under capacity as they anticipate a rise in COVID-19 patients within the month. The lack of patients, coupled with increased spending to bulk up on supplies, has some of these hospitals furloughing their staff. 

Democratic Florida lawmakers say a Florida Supreme Court order suspending evictions doesn’t go far enough. 

Students in Florida’s public schools won’t be in classrooms anytime soon. The Florida Department of Education has ordered schools be closed until at least April 30th.

Gun sales across the country are surging and in Florida, there have been several record-setting days in the past few weeks. Tallahassee-based Red Hills Arms is struggling to keep up with demand and its owners say as is the case with other gun stores, it's seeing a boom in first-time buyers.

The United States is still on the upswing when it comes to the number of COVID-19 infections and the increasing worry has people looking for information on the disease. But not all information being floated is legitimate. Florida A&M University epidemiologist Dr. Perry Brown discusses where people should turn for good information, and how to discern fact from fiction.

The Florida Department of Agriculture has announced more than 900 sites in the state that will be serving meals as schools shut down until March 30.  The initial list covers 30 of Florida's 67 counties, including Franklin, Gadsden and Leon in the Panhandle.

Former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum says he’s entering rehab days after Miami Beach police were called to a hotel room where a man overdosed on what appeared to be crystal meth and Gillum was present.

Florida lawmakers have tried and failed to bring the former head of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence in for questioning. The legislature has tried to deliver subpoena’s to Tiffany Carr in person and online, via twitter.  House leaders are now considering penalties that could include imprisonment.

The World Health Organization has formally declared the coronavirus a pandemic. The move comes as higher education officials have directed universities prepare to suspend in-person classes and shift toward online learning. As fears of contagion spread, Governor Ron DeSantis is now limiting access to nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Florida will keep its 12 public universities—for now. Plans to merge Florida Polytechnic and New College of Florida into the University of Florida died Friday due to a lack of support in from the Senate.

The state of Florida will no longer contract with the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The Coalition’s former president is under investigation over how she was able to pay herself $7.5 million over a three-year period. 

North Florida’s Apalachicola region remains the subject of ongoing lawsuits between Florida and Georgia over water use. This decades-long water war has taken a toll: a decline in the health of the Bay has impacted the region’s key seafood industry and the economy  of the city that depends on it. Now, North Florida lawmakers Bill Montford and Jason Shoaf are trying to help by allocating millions of dollars to help with water quality issues but environmentalists are wary.

Florida lawmakers are again tinkering with the state’s school grading and testing system. The changes follow the rollout of new learning standards the Department of Education is using to replace Common Core. Teachers and school administrators worry the bill amounts to too much change, too fast, and say it could hurt schools that serve low-income students the most.

The Florida Supreme Court recently issued a ruling that could restart debate over capital punishment. The state’s high court says a unanimous jury is no longer needed to impose the death penalty.

Miami Republican Sen. Anitere Flores wants to change what she sees as an overly political and broken claims bill process. These bills are how people who’ve sued the state or local governments get the money they’re owed. Right now, the state caps how much money it pays out, often leading to long, drawn out legal battles and years of waiting for claims bill approval. 

When the Florida Legislature convenes on Jan. 14 for the start of its 60-day session, lawmakers will be faced with several important issues – with raising teacher pay and placing new limits on abortion among the top priorities.

Here is a list of several other issues the legislature will tackle during the session.

Three new toll roads planned for the state are supposedly coming with millions of dollars to upgrade city and county septic and sewer systems. But there’s little information on when and how the money will be distributed and who will be responsible for the work. 

Georgia officials are cheering and Florida environmentalists are feeling depressed. A special master appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court is recommending the body reject Florida’s request to cap Georgia’s water use in a long-running fight over the Apalachicola-Flint-Chattahochee River system. It’s the second time Florida has gotten an unfavorable outcome.

November 29th marked 50 years since the first time a black school and white school in the south faced off on the football field. The matchup featured Florida A&M University and the University of Tampa. Now, a documentary about the life of FAMU's legendary football coach Jake Gaither is in the works.

Prosecutors in the murder trial for Florida State University law Professor Dan Markel say his former in-laws and the people accused of the slaying discussed the plot in code across a series of text messages and phone calls.

Could Florida teachers get a long awaited raise this year? Governor Ron DeSantis, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, and Senate Budget Chief Rob Bradley have all discussed it, and the state’s largest teacher’s union is calling for it. But there are plenty of questions about how and whether teachers will get anything.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis maintains suspended Broward Sheriff Scott Israel failed in his department’s response to the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. This, despite a recent ruling by a special master that says DeSantis didn’t prove Israel’s policies and training were inconsistent with state law enforcement standards.

Florida’s largest teachers union is calling for a 10-year, $22 billion  investment into the state’s public schools. The Florida Education Association is calling its plan the "Decade of Progress."

When Florida wildlife leaders effectively declared “open season” on iguanas, they called for the animals to be killed on private property. And just this week, they doubled down on python eradication. Both animals are considered invasive species in Florida, but recent and past issues with how the animals have been killed has led to accusations of animal cruelty. The state says all killings have to be done “humanely”. But, what does that actually mean? 

Following mass shootings in Ohio and Texas President Donald Trump is calling on states to adopt laws temporarily preventing someone from accessing a gun. Florida already has such a law and is using it. Now two state lawmakers want to see the law expanded.

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