Robbie Gaffney

Robbie Gaffney is a recent graduate from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.  

The Florida Education Association (FEA) is asking the state's education commissioner to create two groups that would guide how schools should reopen. These groups would be separate from the Governor's Reopening Florida task force.

Several local businesses were able to tap into Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan. In Tallahassee, at least a dozen businesses got funding from the state.

Nearly all banks in Florida can now process applications for the federal paycheck protection program. Before, only certain banks were approved to give out the business loans, causing heartburn for small businesses trying to apply for the program. 

Buddhists across North America are raising money to buy FDA-approved surgical masks from China. Local Zen teacher Guo Gu is spearheading the project titled 'Dharma Relief.' He's founder of the Tallahassee Chan Center.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis wants to stock hospitals with Hydroxychloroquine. DeSantis has been  working with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries to get shipments of the drug.

Florida's Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is calling upon the U.S. Department of Agriculture to purchase surplus goods from Florida farms. In a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, Fried proposes this surplus be used in food assistance programs.

Florida’s Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning Floridians of a recent COVID-19 scam. These scam messages state that people won’t get their coronavirus stimulus check if they don’t fill out the 2020 census. The message then has a link to a fake website directing people to give out personal information.

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and Florida State University are putting in place different policies for residence hall move-outs. These different policies, along with other safety measures have a visible impact.

Florida’s Emergency Response Team is collaborating with the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association to gauge how hotels could help with the state’s response to the coronavirus. The organizations are polling hotels owners to find out whether they would be willing to house first responders and people wishing to self-quarantine. Officials are also looking into the option of asking hotels to open up beds for Covid-19 patients should a shortage arise in hospitals.

Tallahassee's utility relief program is now live. It allows those who have lost jobs or revenue due to COVID-19 to defer utility bills sent between March 12 and May 12.

Local farmers are struggling to cope with changes brought on by Covid-19. For some, business is booming, but for others, the outbreak is a nightmare.

Florida State University teaching assistants are working on transferring class materials online as the university switches to distance learning in an effort to reduce the spread of the corona virus. This comes as FSU is moving to distance learning for the rest of the spring semester. 

Pharmacists could soon test, screen, and treat various sicknesses under a proposal making its way to the governor's desk. 

For the first time in more than a decade, the Florida Legislature will not take money away from an affordable housing trust fund. This comes as the state faces what some call an affordable housing crisis.

A bill aimed at making Florida schools safer just passed a full chamber vote in the House. The proposal includes penalties for school officials and adds members to a school safety committee, among other changes.

If another active shooting happens, lawmakers want schools to be equipped with a panic alert system. It would be activated through a mobile app. The push for this technology comes after the second anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

Stem cell research has shown both promise and peril. The technology is advancing faster than the government's ability to regulate it. That's led to problems, such as a 2017 case where three women went blind after receiving stem cell injections to cure a degenerative eye disease. Since then, the federal government has taken measures to regulate stem cell clinics. Florida has been trying to follow suit. 

Climate change could soon be a factor state agencies use when determining whether plants and animals are considered endangered or threatened. It also would ban agencies from considering economic factors when making those decisions.

Florida lawmakers want to clarify the rights parents have in schools. The Parents' Bill of Rights allows parents to object to school materials based on religion, morals, and more.

According to a state analysis, about half of Florida's marriages end in divorce. To curb that number, Republicans want to require couples to read a handbook before they can get a marriage license. 

BRENDAN RIVERS / WJCT NEWS

A proposal in the legislature could change how recounts are conducted in Florida. The measure hinges on an auditing system that at least one local supervisor says is better at accessing digital copies of paper ballots than what's currently being used.

A proposal in the legislature could change how recounts are conducted in Florida. The measure hinges on an auditing system that at least one local supervisor says is better at accessing digital copies of paper ballots than what's currently being used. 

Under a new bill being considered by Florida lawmakers, courts could grant grandparents visitation rights under certain conditions. Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) is pushing the measure after Dan Markel's murder.

When a baby is getting adopted, the state seals their original birth certificate and they’re issued a new one. According to the Bureau of Vital Statistics, in Florida, adult adoptees can’t get their original birth certificate without consent from both their adoptive and birth parents. However, a bill by Rep. Richard Stark (D-Weston) seeks to change that. 

Killing a Florida black bear would cost poachers a minimum of $750 under a proposal pending before the legislature. According to the state, there are more than 4,000 black bears living in Florida.

Florida’s average teacher salary is among the lowest in the nation. The Florida Education Association says the state suffers from high turn-over rates and teacher shortages. The teachers union wants to change that and Monday, it brought educators from across the state to the Florida Capitol to demand more funding for education.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Chief Economist says there’s a low chance of a recession this year. However, that doesn’t mean it will be smooth sailing.

The Florida Commission on the Status of Women is hosting a listening tour that will come to Tallahassee on January 16. The top five issues trending statewide include: financial security, healthcare, workplace issues, violence against women, and a lack of women in leadership positions.

January 6th is the anniversary of same-sex marriage becoming legal in Florida. But 5 years after the historic ruling, Florida statute still says marriage is only between a woman and a man. Lawmakers are hoping to change that during this upcoming 2020 legislative session.

When someone dies without a will, their land goes to family. But it can lead to some sticky situations. A group of Democratic lawmakers is looking into the issue.

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