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Caitlin Switalski

Caitie Switalski is a rising senior at the University of Florida. She's worked for WFSU-FM in Tallahassee as an intern and reporter. When she's in Gainesville for school, Caitie is an anchor and producer for local Morning Edition content at WUFT-FM, as well as a digital editor for the station's website. 
 
Her favorite stories are politically driven, about how politicians, laws and policies effect local communities. 
 
Once she graduates with a dual degree in Journalism and English, Caitie hopes to make a career continuing to report and produce for NPR stations in the sunshine state. 
 
When she's not following what's happening with changing laws, you can catch Caitie lounging in local coffee shops, at the beach, or watching Love Actually for the hundredth time. 
 

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in a case that could end the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA). 

 

In the more than 20 months since the deadly shooting in Parkland, the state has passed a number of laws to address school safety, including the controversial measure allowing teachers to be armed. 

A date has been set for trial in the case of confessed Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz versus the State of Florida. 

Judge Elizabeth Scherer issued an order on Thursday announcing the pretrial motions will begin on January 13, 2020 and jury selection will start on January 27. 

"In February, 2019, this Court put all parties on notice that the trial in this matter would commence in January, 2020," the order states. 

This story was updated with additional information about potential legal action from the Southern Poverty Law Center at 1:03 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission wrapped up its two-day meeting in Orlando a couple hours earlier than planned on Wednesday. 

Skyrocketing prices of insulin in recent years have increased medical costs for the millions of people living with diabetes around the country and in Florida. 

Broward County has the fastest-growing population of people over 85 in the country. One of the growing problems they face is social isolation, which can lead to depression, loneliness and safety issues for those living alone. 

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri
SAM TURKEN / WLRN

South Florida is heading back to school. Palm Beach County students started classes on Monday. Broward and Monroe Counties start Wednesday, and students in Miami-Dade go back Aug. 19.

Safety and security are still on the minds of teachers, parents, students and state officials at this start to the second school year since the Parkland shooting. Several school districts in the state — most of which are in South Florida — were found over the summer to still not be in compliance with state safety laws.

Florida agencies are increasing the number of python huntersand the amount of land they're allowed to hunt on. 

The confessed-Parkland school shooter, Nikolas Cruz, had a bandage across the bridge of his nose as he stood and raised his handcuffed hand to address a Broward County Courtroom on Wednesday afternoon. 

 

Updated at 6:28 p.m. Saturday. 

At least 23 people were injured after an explosion rocked a shopping center in Plantation just before 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. 

Police completed their search for victims, as well as a secondary sweep by late afternoon Saturday.  

There are no reported fatalities. One person suffered potentially life-threatening injuries. They were taken to the trauma center at Broward Health Medical Center.  While 18 others with injuries were taken to local hospitals, according to the Plantation Police Dept.

 


Several immigrant-rights groups gathered in front of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Miramar Tuesday morning, chanting "Melt the ICE!" and "Shut it down!"

Getting older is not easy. Yet aging in South Florida brings its own challenges, including affordable housing, new technology, transportation, and specific issues that LGBTQ seniors face — like discrimination in nursing homes.

We now know which Democratic presidential candidates will face off during the upcoming debates in Miami. NBC announced the matchups Friday, which were decided by drawing names in New York City.

The number of people spending more money than they should on housing in Broward County, keeps going up. 

 

When Hurricane Irma made landfall in South Florida nearly two years ago, it knocked out power across the region — in some areas for up to 10 days. A dozen people in the Rehabilitation Center At Hollywood Hills died after the storm, due to heat-related issues from lack of air-conditioning.

"Veto! Veto! Veto!"

A group of about two dozen protesters chanted in front of the Tri-Rail station in Hollywood Tuesday. Together, they represented a handful of environmental groups that have been writing letters and calling Gov. Ron DeSantis's office, asking him to veto two bills on his desk.

Mazie Ford was the only verified super-centenarian in Florida. That’s someone who’s over 110 years old. 

Ford died earlier this week. Her family said she died peacefully at her condo in Hallandale Beach. She was just seven weeks shy of her 113th birthday in June.

Leaders from civil and voters' rights groups in Florida testified before members of Congress Monday in Fort Lauderdale about the barriers that minority groups face when voting in the state. 

The Subcommittee on Elections of the U.S. House held the hearing inside the Broward County Commission chambers to evaluate whether claims of voter suppression need federal action. 

 

To mark Ron DeSantis's 100th day in the Governor's office, environmentalist groups gathered across several cities in Florida on Wednesday for a day of action to ban all forms of fracking, the controversial oil-drilling technique, in the state. 

A small group of about 20 people gathered in front of the state Department of Economic Opportunity in Oakland Park in the early evening to call on the governor to ban all forms of fracking, and not just some. 

Hours before the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Governor Ron DeSantis ordered an audit of discipline programs across Florida schools and announced he has requested the Florida Supreme Court to create a statewide grand jury panel to look into the shooting and actions that could have prevented it.

Family members of victims from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas massacre and shooting survivor David Hogg launched on Monday an effort to get a constitutional amendment on the Florida ballot in 2020 that would ban the sale of assault weapons. 

Hogg and Gail Schwartz, who lost her 14-year-old nephew Alex Schachter at the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting, were among the group that dropped off 200 signed petitions to be certified at the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office in Downtown Fort Lauderdale. 

About a dozen parents with signs and red banners gathered in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Monday evening to protest the leadership of Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie.


The protest took place while Runcie was holding a private meeting with parents of 10th-grade students at Stoneman Douglas. 

This story has been updated with additional context at 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16 2019.

What started as an idea to build more affordable housing in Downtown Fort Lauderdale has become a growing fight between residents, a developer and city officials. 

 

 

Gov. Ron DeSantis has officially removed and suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. 

DeSantis, sworn in as governor Tuesday, visited the Broward Sheriff's Office headquarters in Fort Lauderdale  Friday afternoon to put weeks of rumors about Israel's fate to rest.

 

Videos and photos of police officers responding to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 show them saving at least two victims by applying tourniquets to gunshot wounds on their legs.

Now, Julie Osheroff is learning how to do that. And she's not a cop — she's a teacher.

Osheroff recently trained with about 85 of her colleagues in how to be a first responder.

Members of The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission voted unanimously Wednesday morning to send their first report to the state authorities in Tallahassee, in hopes that it increases the pace of reforms recommended to prevent another school shooting in Florida. 

The Trump administration has proposed expanding a policy that would deny green cards to immigrants who access certain public benefits, like food stamps and Medicaid.

That would expand the list of services that some people seeking green cards get penalized for using.

Democrats in Congress spoke out against the proposed regulation in Sunrise Monday morning.

“This proposed rule change has sewn confusion and prompted immigrant families to start avoiding programs they need to raise healthy and productive children,” Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said.

This post was updated with additional information at 5:20 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 13.

The statewide commission investigating the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting released a draft of its long-awaited recommendations for school safety on Wednesday.

The 16-chapter draft report includes overhauling how schools secure individual classrooms and campus grounds. 

More than 800 high schoolers filled a ballroom in the Broward County Convention Center Wednesday morning to hear from Holocaust survivors.

The survivors gave advice to students about how to overcome forms of intolerance and anti-semitism that are on the rise in the U.S., such as bullying, bigotry and shootings. They spoke about the October shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Two Broward County leaders who have been criticized for their handling of the Feb. 14 shooting at a Parkland high school displayed a stark contrast in attitude as they were questioned on Thursday by a state investigative commission that includes parents of slain students.

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