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

Last month the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission effectively declared "open season" on iguanas by allowing them to be killed on private property. Since then, the agency has had to backtrack a bit after reports of the animals being killed and mutilated. Now, FWC officials are investigating a disturbing video posted to Instagram of one iguana being killed in a way the agency head calls, "despicable."

The Florida Department of Education has launched its school safety database in an attempt to track students who may become threats to themselves or to schools. The announcement comes after nearly three dozen organizations, including the ACLU of Florida expressed concerns over the type of information that will be collected.

State Attorney Jack Campbell says his office will no longer prosecute marijuana possession cases at the moment. At issue is confusion over a new state law legalizing hemp.

Florida was one of 21 states that had its election systems targeted by Russian actors in 2016. A recently released bi-partisan Senate Intelligence Committee report only refers to Florida twice, but an entity with circumstances similar to Florida’s emergences dozens of times in the document and is known as “State 2”.

Florida will soon have a new figure in Washington D.C.’s statuary hall. Education advocate and Civil Rights Pioneer Mary McLeod Bethune will have a place among American founders, explorers, inventors and presidents. Bethune’s statue replaces that of Edmund Kirby Smith—a decision approved by the Florida legislature in 2018 and recently agreed to by Gov. Ron DeSantis. But as the changeover looms in D.C., the university that bears her name is fighting for its life.

A statewide Grand Jury investigating school safety says “numerous” districts aren’t complying with school security laws. The report comes weeks before the start of a new school year.

Former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Attorney John Morgan are once again sparring. Morgan continues to slam Gillum over the former Democratic gubernatorial nominee's use of money left over from Gillum’s failed 2018 bid. 

It sounds like something out of a crime drama. A dirty cop plants drugs on people, then arrests them. But that’s what state investigators say happened in one North Florida County. There's no official database on the number of law enforcement officers arrested each year, but a report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2016 found at least one officer is arrested every day. 

School grades are out and the news is good for three schools in Leon County that had been facing major decisions. Oakridge, Pineview and Hartsfield Elementary schools bumped their grades up to a “C” this year. That allows them to stay under district control. Oakridge was on the cusp of being turned over to an outside operator if it didn’t improve.

A former Tallahassee Police officer accused of raping a motorist has agreed to a plea deal. Vincent Crump was tried twice, but both ended in mistrials.

The race for Leon County Supervisor of Elections will now be partisan following an April Supreme Court ruling in an Orange County case. Leon County’s Elections office has been non-partisan since 2002. 

A former Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy has been arrested on several felony charges after planting drugs on people and arresting them. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement began investigating 26-year-old Zachary Wester in August.

Tallahassee Businessman J.T. Burnette is asking a federal judge to separate his case from former city Commissioner Scott Maddox and his former aide Paige Carter Smith and dismiss charges against him. In May Burnette was indicted in an FBI investigation into corruption in the city of Tallahassee.

Grady County in Georgia has reached a deal with Leon County to monitor water flow into Lake Iamonia. The agreement centers on a dam built by the Army Corps of Engineers on Georgia’s Tired Creek.

Florida will soon strike up a so-called "John’s Registry" for people convicted of soliciting prostitution. It’s part of an effort to combat human and sex trafficking. The database has been endorsed by law enforcement who see it as a way to shame people who pay for sex, but some victim advocates worry it could sweep up people who’ve been trafficked themselves.

Days after legendary Florida State University baseball skipper Mike Martin coached his last game, his son is taking over the program.  Mike Martin Jr. has been named the new head of FSU Baseball making him the ninth head baseball coach in the school's history.

Gadsden County Schools is among the latest districts to sign up for the state’s Guardian Program. That brings the number of districts planning to have armed personnel to 33. However, Gadsden won’t be arming classroom teachers as allowed under a new state law. 

The City of Tallahassee will soon begin searching for a new police chief and Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor has four suggestions for how that search should proceed. 

Florida A&M University is investigating the improper transfer of up to $3 million to cover shortfalls in its athletics department. The school made the disclosure Thursday to the state university governing board and it's started an internal investigation.

Tallahassee City Manager Reese Goad says he’s accepted the resignation of Police Chief Mike DeLeo and that the city will begin searching for a new chief. In the meantime, Goad has named a 32-year TPD veteran to lead the agency. DeLeo’s resignation is effective on July 5th. He says he’s stepping down for an opportunity to address criminal justice and homeland security on a"national scale". DeLeo was hired in 2013 to clean up the agency after it was slammed with excessive force complaints and dealt with the fallout of a brutal DUI arrest of a local woman. But DeLeo has faced his own controversies—namely over hiring decisions and a relationship with a subordinate. City Manager Reese Goad tells WFSU News Director Lynn Hatter DeLeo’s resignation was unexpected.

The City of Tallassee will soon have a job opening for a new police chief. Mike DeLeo has submitted a letter of resignation effective July 5th. 

The number of Florida School Districts that want teachers to carry guns is growing. Nearly half the districts in the state have signed up for the so-called “Guardian” program and more have signaled they intend to do so. 

A federal grand jury has subpoenaed documents related to former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, his failed 2018 gubernatorial bid, a charity and a wealthy donor. The Tampa Bay Times first reported the March 26th subpoena.

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran has set his sights on Duval County Schools. The district has nearly a dozen chronically low-performing ones and at Wednesday’s state board of education meeting, Corcoran clashed the district’s new superintendent over how to improve them.

A member of Florida’s public school oversight board is taking a stand against arming teachers. In Wednesday’s State Board of Education meeting Michael Olenick called the move “wrong”. 

Sandy D'Alemberte wore many hats during his life. The 85-year-old was an attorney, legal scholar, politician, university president and head of the American Bar Association. 

Governor Ron DeSantis has approved a measure that could pave the way for the state’s first major highway expansion in decades. The effort has been led by state Senate President Bill Galvano who pushed the roads as a way to aid in evacuations, promote growth in rural parts of the state and help transport an ever growing population. But environmentalists argue the idea could be a disaster for fragile ecosystems. 

Florida lawmakers changed the way the state awards bonuses to high performing teachers and the way school district's receive money for safety and hardening upgrades. It's part of a new budget the legisalture recently approved that's set to roll out for the upcoming fiscal year.

A Lake City Nurse Practitioner has been arrested for solicitation of a minor. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says Matthew Melvin has been booked into the Columbia County Jail.

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The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says Melvin worked as an advanced practice registered nurse at a Lake City clinic. The Department began investigating him on May 9TH after it received allegations Melvin sexually assaulted a male patient, who is a minor. Investigators say he touched the child and began sending sexual messages to the victim via Snapchat.

Florida’s utility regulator has approved rate increases for Gulf Power customers. The money will go to reimburse the company for power restoration efforts following Hurricane Michael. 

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