Catherine Welch

Catherine Welch is news director at Rhode Island Public Radio. Before her move to Rhode Island in 2010, Catherine was news director at WHQR in Wilmington, NC. She was also news director at KBIA in Columbia, MO where she was a faculty member at the University Of Missouri School Of Journalism. Catherine has won several regional Edward R. Murrow awards and awards from the Public Radio News Directors Inc., New England AP, North Carolina Press Association, Missouri Press Association, and Missouri Broadcasters Association.

Now that she manages a full newsroom she files less regularly for NPR’s All Things ConsideredMorning Edition and Weekend Edition.  In 2009 she was part of an NPR series on America’s Battalion out of Camp Lejeune, NC following Marine families during the battalion’s deployment to southern Afghanistan. And because Wilmington was the national test market for the digital television conversion, she became a quasi-expert on DTV, filing stories for NPR on the topic.

Catherine got her start in radio at her family’s radio station in Florida with her weekly jazz show "Catherine Keeping You Company." Her very first interview was with Cab Calloway, and it remains the strangest one she’s ever done. She will gladly tell you the story should you ask.

Before joining the public radio family, Catherine worked in television at KTVU in Oakland, CA and at the cable technology network formerly known as TechTV.

All this week, Health News Florida partner station WMFE is looking into Florida’s public records as a way to highlight Sunshine Week. Today WMFE host Nicole Darden Creston speaks with the station’s news director Catherine Welch about how the criminal justice system handles people with mental illness.

Sanford Burnham will return millions of dollars to the state after failing to meet requirements laid out in an incentive deal.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson says the state needs to make sure its monitoring nursing homes. Eight residents died in a sweltering south Florida nursing home after Hurricane Irma knocked out power.

“The ALF’s and nursing homes are patrolled, regulated by the state of Florida.  And so there’s going to be some hell to pay, because they are going to have to tighten down on the regulations to make sure the nursing homes for the frail, elderly are doing the job,” said Nelson Friday at a stop in Apopka.

Lindsey Kilbride

Seminole County is rolling out an app that acts as a panic button for school employees in an emergency.

With a tap of the app, an alert can be sent simultaneously to 911 and school employees. Maps of schools can be loaded into the app that sync with GPS allowing first responders to pinpoint where the call came from.

Catherine Welch / WMFE

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is warning drivers about credit card skimmers at the pump.

 

Skimmers often cover right over the slot where drivers enter their card to pay for gas, skimming information off the card and sometimes even the PIN.  The state has found and removed 276 skimmers so far this year. Florida Retail Association spokesman James Miller said a growing population and the large number of tourists make the state ripe for skimming.

 

Courtesy of Sea World

Sea World has welcomed its first baby walrus.

The baby walrus was born June 3rd, and it’s the first calf for mom Kaboodle.

Sea World veterinary teams are keeping an eye on mother and baby, who are bonding and snuggling as they sleep.

They are not currently on display, but Sea World says they will be used to teach guests about the plight of walruses due to climate change and a thinning ice pack.

There are about a quarter of a million walruses in the world.

Associated Press

Florida poet laureate Peter Meinke wrote a poem marking one year since a gunman opened fire in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando killing 49 people and injuring more than 50 others.

His poem is called "One Year Later" and you can listen to it here:

Bad meat is the apparent cause of death for a greyhound at the Seminole-Orlando Kennel Club. The meat also made 72 other greyhounds sick.

Catherine Welch / WMFE

A handful of Pulse survivors have teamed up with One Blood to promote blood donations.

One Blood says it took 441 units to treat Pulse victims.

Jeff Xavier is one of them. He was shot four times and needed more than 40 units of blood.

“The people helped save us. These are random people, I don’t know who those 40 plus people are,” said Xavier. “And they’re all from different races, nationalities and backgrounds, and a little bit of each of them is the reason why I’m here speaking with you today.”

The head of Audubon Florida says he thinks Everglades advocates will support changes to legislation for a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee.

A former chief judge says the number of future death penalty recommendations will likely drop now that a unanimous jury recommendation is required.

An angry crowd met Republican Congressman Dennis Ross at a town hall in Clermont Tuesday night. Rowdy town halls have become a familiar sight across the country since President Donald Trump took office.


Prosecutors say the wife of the Pulse nightclub shooter knew about the attack ahead of time. Noor Salman is facing charges of aiding and abetting her husband Omar Mateen.

In an unsealed indictment, she’s also accused of providing material support and resources to the Islamic State group, among other things. In a 911 call during the standoff the gunman pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

Salman’s uncle calls her a sweet girl who knew nothing of the June 12th attack that left 49 dead and more than 50 injured.

Catherine Welch / WMFE

At 2:02 am Monday, a small crowd gathered at the Pulse nightclub to mark six months since the mass shooting. The gathering was only for survivors, family and friends of those who died.

The fence around the nightclub, was covered with fresh flowers and banners. Inside the fence, near the club entrance, a small crowd gathered to read the names of the 49 victims and light a candle. The candles were aligned in the shape of the Pulse logo.

Richard Sizemore was there.

A clinic at the University of Central Florida helping veterans with PTSD is seeking funds to stay open. Dr. Deborah Beidel started the clinic with a Defense Department grant in 2011.

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