Rachel Iacovone

Rachel Iacovone is a reporter and associate producer of Gulf Coast Live for WGCU News. Rachel came to WGCU as an intern in 2016, during the presidential race. She went on to cover Florida Gulf Coast University students at President Donald Trump's inauguration on Capitol Hill and Southwest Floridians in attendance at the following day's Women's March on Washington.

Rachel was first contacted by WGCU when she was managing editor of FGCU's student-run media group, Eagle News. She helped take Eagle News from a weekly newspaper to a daily online publication with TV and radio branches within two years, winning the 2016 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award for Best Use of Multimedia in a cross-platform series she led for National Coming Out Day. She also won the Mark of Excellence Award for Feature Writing for her five-month coverage of an FGCU student's transition from male to female.

As a WGCU reporter, she produced the first radio story in WGCU's Curious Gulf Coast project, which answered the question: Does SWFL Have More Cases of Pediatric Cancer?

Rachel graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Florida Gulf Coast University's Student Government is rolling out a new program to help students in dangerous situations at bars and nightlife establishments in the Fort Myers area. So far, participating locations include The Keys Bar & Grille, Rusty's Raw Bar and Grill - Island Park, Rusty's Raw Bar & Grill - Estero, Rhythm House Restaurant and Lounge as well as Tacos & Tequila in University Village.


While nesting numbers of endangered green sea turtles in Florida can vary from year to year, the broader trend over the past few decades shows a marked increase in the animal’s population.  


Once it’s completed, the massive Caloosahatchee River West Basin Storage, or C-43 reservoir, near Alva will hold about 55 billion gallons of water captured from the river and local runoff. The idea is to both reduce the amount of water released from Lake Okeechobee that makes it to the estuary during the wet season and to store water to be released during dry season to help maintain ideal salinity in the estuary. But, there is no formal plan for a water quality element to ensure the water it holds is clean enough to be released.

Uriel Martinez, 22, was riding in the passenger seat of his friend’s car – an hour’s drive north of his hometown of Immokalee.

The WGCU News team won 11 awards in the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters Awards competition for its work in 2018, topping last year's total of 10.

Florida Gulf Coast University announced its first partnership for its new Water School on Thursday. 

April is National Sexually Transmitted Disease Awareness Month, and more than a dozen locations in Southwest Florida are offering free STD and HIV testing.

Florida Gulf Coast University's annual musical festival is getting a last-minute change. 

Wednesday night marked the start of Purim. WGCU's Rachel Iacovone spoke with Rabbi Nicole Luna of Temple Beth-El in Fort Myers ahead of the holiday celebrating the story of Esther.
 


  In the wake of the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, we’re zeroing in on religious persecution. The attacks killed 50 people, 29 remain hospitalized, and the first funerals take place today.

Also, today is Purim. The Jewish holiday celebrates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, an advisor to King Xerxes of Persia. The account is recorded in the biblical story of Esther.

Imam Mohamed Al-Darsani and Rabbi Nicole Luna join us in the studio. Imam Mohamed of the Islamic Center for Peace and Rabbi Luna of Temple Beth-El - both based in Fort Myers - share their thoughts on anti-Semitism and Islamophobia during the rise of white supremacy.  

Fifty people have been indicted following a college admissions scandal, involving universities across the country. Here in Southwest Florida, professionals from both sides of the admissions process are speaking out.

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in the Roman Catholic faith.
 
WGCU's Rachel Iacovone spoke with Diocese of Venice Bishop Frank Dewane today about what it all means heading into this season of Lent.

Ave Maria is known for its towering cathedral-like oratory in the town center, for its manicured lawns, for its law school and for being owned by the creator of Domino’s Pizza.

What it can now be known for, though, is its craft beer selection.

Temporary Protected Status has once again been extended for four groups in the U.S. – El Salvadorans, Hondurans, Sudanese and Haitians. 

A Florida congressman posted a taunting message to President Donald Trump's former lawyer on Tuesday.

This Black History Month, in honor of those of black heritage here in Southwest Florida, WGCU is featuring local African Americans from across the region. Today, you'll hear from a man whose childhood in the still-segregated South inspired him to one day be one of the most inclusive hosts in the area.

 


We're now more than halfway through Black History Month. So, in honor of those of black heritage here in Southwest Florida, WGCU is featuring local African Americans from across the region — from all sorts of professions, genders and backgrounds. This is a recent conversation between WGCU’s Rachel Iacovone and a local artist who’s highlighting his community this month, in a visual way.


The entire WGCU News team spent much of 2018 covering two devastating harmful algal blooms; red tide in the gulf and bluegreen algae coming from Lake Okeechobee.  


Gov. Ron DeSantis announced yet another executive order on Thursday. 

In his second visit to Southwest Florida in as many days, DeSantis came to Ida S. Baker High School in Cape Coral to make his announcement.

Gov. Ron DeSantis gave a sneak peek at one of the most highly anticipated line items on the upcoming state budget recommendation on Tuesday during his visit to Southwest Florida. 

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day March drew hundreds to downtown Fort Myers on Monday.

As the partial government shutdown approaches the one-month mark, members of one branch of the military are feeling its effects particularly hard: the Coast Guard. Here, in coastal Southwest Florida, one family-owned establishment is helping those in need.


Around the holidays, the Ritz-Carlton, Naples, is transformed. You can’t miss the life-size gingerbread house in the lobby. Like so many, you may even have to stop and take a picture in front of it. 

The excavation of arsenic-laden sludge from a city landfill in Fort Myers' Dunbar community began Thursday.

New information about whale shark behavior, biology, and ecology is being released today in the scientific journal BioScience. The 22 year long citizen-science effort has given researchers a whole new understanding of the global behavior of endangered whale sharks. We’re joined by one of those researchers. Dr. Robert Hueter is a Senior Scientist and Director of the Center for Shark Research, and the Perry W. Gilbert Chair in Shark Research, at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium in Sarasota.

Florida has the most invasive species of any state in the country, and half of the insects, reptiles, arachnids and crustaceans imported into the United States come through Florida ports, that’s according to researchers at the University of Florida. So, in an effort to identify invasive insects before they become prolific, UF/IFAS has created the Florida First Detectors program. The idea is to train stakeholders like Florida Master Gardeners, nursery managers, and farmers to identify invasive pests. We’re joined by Dr. Amanda Hodges, a UF/IFAS Extension scientist and co-author of a new invasive insects identification guide to learn more about the program and how people can get involved. We're also joined by Ian Bartoszek, Wildlife Biologist/Science Coordinator with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida to talk about his work with invasive reptiles like Burmese Pythons and the Argentine Black and White Tegu. And we'll learn more about FGCU's Campus Naturalist program with student Shawn Brunelle.

For an interactive version of these maps, click here.

The Republican contender for the role of state commissioner of agriculture joined the growing list of candidates filing lawsuits Friday afternoon.

 


If you voted provisionally in the midterm election, today, Nov. 8, at 5 p.m. is the deadline to prove your eligibility.

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