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

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.”

 

gun safety meeting
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz hosted a roundtable on Monday to discuss how to keep the momentum for gun control going long after this coming Saturday's "March For Our Lives," organized by Parkland students with support from their peers around the country. 

The panel was a follow-up to a gun safety roundtable that Wasserman Schultz held earlier this month.

 

 

Broward County Charter Review Commission
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

In response to the Parkland shooting that killed 17 people, Broward County’s Charter Review Commission (CRC)  is holding a special meeting to consider proposing gun control amendments for approval by the county voters. 

The meeting is scheduled for Friday,  March 16  at 10 a.m. at the County Governmental Center in Fort Lauderdale. 

opioid crisis
Franieleon via Flickr / WLRN

Broward County filed a new lawsuit in federal court Monday against manufacturers of opioid drugs.

Walmart, Walgreens, the McKesson Corp. and CVS Health are just some of the drug makers and distributors Broward County is suing.  

 

Others include Johnson & Johnson, Cardinal Health Inc., Health Mart Systems, Mallinckrodt, Amerisourcebergen Corp., as well as Endo Janssen, Purdue, Cephalon and Teva Pharmaceuticals. 

Associated Press

Nikolas Cruz was back in a Broward County courtroom Wednesday in front of Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Scherer. 

With his head down, Cruz sat silent throughout his appearance.

He was indicted by a grand jury last week on 17 charges of premeditated first-degree murder and 17 charges of attempted first-degree murder. Cruz's legal team told the judge that he didn't need to hear his charges read aloud because he already understood them. 

Only 15-year-old victim Luke Hoyer's name was read out loud in the courtroom. 

Carina Mask / Miami Herald

It's official. Fort Lauderdale has a new mayor. 

Dean Trantalis beat opponent Bruce Roberts on Tuesday night.  Trantalis made city history by also becoming the city's first openly LGBTQ mayor. 

A third candidate,  Charlotte Rodstrom,  did not get enough votes during the primary election in January to stay in the race.

Elizabeth Athanasakos, a Fort Lauderdale resident of 61 years, voted at the Coral Ridge Mall polling location early Tuesday. She said she was motivated to come and vote for mayor this election because of her stance on development.

Pembroke Pines Elections
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Fort Lauderdale will elect its next mayor by the end of the day Tuesday, but that isn't the only city in Broward County with candidates to vote into office and elections at stake. Across the county, five other cities are casting votes.  Here's a list of who is vying for what, and how you can cast your vote.

art therapy
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

It’s been close to a month since the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead and 15 more injured. In a city neighboring Parkland, one museum is making art therapy for students a weekly ritual. 

 

Kathryn Doll is an art therapist and one of the licensed clinical social workers leading the art healing group at the Coral Springs Museum of Art.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Wednesday was the first full day back with a regular class schedule for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students, teachers and staff, three weeks after the shooting that killed 17 people, and their day started with a visit from U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

DeVos wasn't the only visitor at the Parkland school on Wednesday morning. Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade also was on school grounds to talk to students. 

Fort Lauderdale gun show protests
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Before Tuesday evening’s Fort Lauderdale City Commission meeting, protesters gathered outside City Hall with signs asking motorists to honk if they wanted to end the gun shows that take place at Holiday Park eight times a year.  

 

This was not Barbara Markley’s first gun show protest outside of Fort Lauderdale’s City Hall. It was her sixth. 

Florida seal
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

The state’s lawsuit against the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills continues with more hearings this week inside  a Broward County courtroom in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

The Rehab Center is fighting Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to keep its license and reopen after 12 people died in sweaty and stifling hot conditions three days after Hurricane Irma made landfall in South Florida. 

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