Caitie Switalski

Reporter

Caitie Switalski graduated from the University of Florida, with a B.S. in Journalism, in April '17.

Her radio reporting has taken her to Havana, Cuba, California, Tallahassee, Gainesville, and South Florida. She was an intern at WLRN the summer of 2016.

In July of 2017, Caitie placed third in the Hearst Broadcasting national Competition, in San Francisco, CA. She's worked for WFSU-FM in Tallahassee as an intern and reporter. While at school, she gained anchoring experience for local Morning Edition at WUFT-FM, as well as a digital editing.

When she's not following what's happening all over Broward County, you can catch Caitie lounging in local coffee shops, at the beach, or watching Love Actually for the hundredth time.

Ways to Connect

middle school
Credit Matt Slocum AP Photo / Miami Herald

The Community Foundation of Broward launched a middle school initiative five years ago called ‘School Is Cool.’ It was a pilot program that targeted students who were not involved with clubs and friends or whose  grades had started to slip. Until now, the foundation was only able to use the program with middle schoolers during the summer and after school. 

But now the foundation has made the largest grant in its history, $3 million, to the Broward County School District to address isolation issues before students get to high school. 

Charlie Kirk
Gage Skidmore Wikimedia / WLRN

Many Parkland students have turned to activism in the aftermath of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February. Some advocate for gun control, some against it. 

Patrick Petty, older brother of one of the shooting victims,  is one of the students who tried to invite  conservative speaker Charlie Kirk to speak at Stoneman Douglas High. For Petty, Kirk represents a new viewpoint on how to talk about guns at his school.

MSD maroon support ribbons
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Since holding two town hall meetings last week, the steering committee in charge of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund is moving along quickly in the process to get money to people affected by February's mass shooting in Parkland.

But people who still want to give input in how those funds should be dispersed have one more chance to do so at a meeting in Coral Springs on Tuesday.

 

cruz
Associated Press / WLRN

Nikolas Cruz, the confessed shooter in the Parkland school massacre, was back in front of a Broward Circuit Court judge on Wednesday to determine if he can afford his own attorney or if he should keep his current public defender team. 

Sistrunk Blvd.
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Where it used to be quiet for the past 15 years or so along Fort Lauderdale’s Sistrunk Boulevard - there’s now a surge of building projects.

MSD victims fund
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Ever since the Parkland school shooting in February, celebrities, residents and organizations have been donating money to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Victims’ Fund. 

That money is set to be divvied up among victims’ families, but people got the chance to speak their minds about how to split it up at the first of two town halls in Davie on Tuesday afternoon.

Dream Flights
Top photo courtesy Dick Wells. Bottom: Caitie Switalski / WLRN

The Rev. Arthur “Art” Stejskal, 90, never got to fly during his time in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was a clerk in 1947.

“I was in charge of enlisted men separation, so I had a lot of happy customers,” he said. “I did the discharges ... I always wanted to fly, and being a missionary in Taiwan I never had the opportunity.”

Teen Political Forum
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Thursday, more than 1,000 teens attended the 12th annual Teen Political Forum at the Coral Springs Center For The Arts. 

The program is a night for teens to ask local city officials and Broward County School Board members their questions. 

 

Fort Lauderdale gun shows
U.S. Customs and Border Protection / AP

Fort Lauderdale’s War Memorial Auditorium, inside Holiday Park, has been hosting gun shows seven times a year for the last 30 years. On Tuesday, the City Commission announced at a conference meeting that it’s looking to end those shows later this year.

 

Charlie King lives in the city’s Victoria Park neighborhood and frequently speaks in front of the commission. He told commissioners at the meeting that he doesn’t like the gun show location. 

Town Hall For Our Lives Coral Springs
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

One of the initiatives to keep the gun violence prevention movement going took shape on Tuesday night when the first "Town Hall For Our Lives," hosted by U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts, opened its microphones to the community. 

Weston City Hall
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

The city of Weston wants to ban weapons in city buildings and parks. The city of Coral Gables wants to ban the sale of assault-style weapons inside city limits. But as of now, both of those actions would break a state law that establishes that only Tallahassee can regulate firearms in Florida. 

In fact, local officials who try to enact their own gun-control policies right now face fines up to $5,000 or even removal from office. 

Fort Lauderdale fire chief
Korey Howell / WLRN

It will be somewhat of a homecoming for Fort Lauderdale's next fire chief.

Rhoda Mae Kerr began her career in fire service in Fort Lauderdale in 1983, and after becoming the first female fire chief of Little Rock, Arkansas, and then again in Austin, Texas, the New Jersey native is ready to come back to where it all began for her. 

Leslie Ovalle / WLRN

The first of more than 800 March For Our Lives events in Washington, D.C., the U.S. and around the world took place early on Saturday on the island of Pohnpei in the Pacific nation of Micronesia.

Here in South Florida, things kicked off, fittingly, in Parkland - which was the site of the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people and ignited the student-led #NeverAgain movement for stricter gun control and school safety. Marches were also held in Miami Beach, Boca Raton and Key West.

City of Parkland Vigil
WLRN

The primary March For Our Lives event is happening in Washington D.C. on Saturday, March 24, but there are also more than 830 marches scheduled worldwide to demand stricter gun control laws and an end to gun violence. 

Parkland
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Parkland parents showed their outrage Wednesday night at a packed, and emotional, city commission meeting, after a series of security scares at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 

“My fears have increased 100 percent this week with the increased activity by trespassers, weapons being brought on campus,” said Elyse Claprood, whose daughter attends Stoneman Douglas High. “We can’t live in this bubble anymore in this city.”

 

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