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Capital Report: May 10, 2024

Severe weather Friday morning devastated homes and businesses across Tallahassee. As of Friday afternoon one death had been reported and almost half of the city remained without power. Tristan Wood spoke with some of the people who were impacted.

Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for 12 counties after thunderstorms and at least 3 confirmed tornados barreled through Tallahassee early Friday morning, resulting in at least one local death and leaving more than 80-thousand people without power. Casey Chapter reports the county’s emergency management director is viewing this as a test-run for the upcoming hurricane season.

Florida investigators are looking into a fatal shooting involving a deputy and a Black United States Airmen. The shooting happened last Friday but As Adrian Andrews reports, there are unanswered questions about who was in the wrong, and a warning to listeners, this story contains sound of gunfire.

Last week, it looked like Florida A&M University was in line to receive the largest contribution in the history of historically black colleges and universities. This week, Lynn Hatter tells us the origin and nature of that gift has alarm bells ringing.

In November’s election, Floridians may vote on Amendment Four, which would protect abortion rights in the state constitution through fetal viability. That typically means no more than 24 weeks of pregnancy. For it to pass, at least sixty percent of voters across the political spectrum must vote yes. As WLRN’s Veronica Zaragovia reports, supporters are trying to energize the yes votes, while opponents are working to weaken their support.

During the 2024 legislative session, lawmakers passed a sweeping bill addressing issues important to Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. Patronis is also the state’s fire marshal and one item he wanted to be sure the bill includes is language clarifying benefits for firefighters who get cancer, which is considered an occupational hazard. Now, as Margie Menzel reports, Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed the bill, opening a new chapter in an ongoing conflict between the city of Tallahassee and the statewide firefighter’s union.