Gina Jordan

Tallahassee reporter

Gina Jordan reports from Tallahassee for WUSF and WLRN about how state policy affects your life.

Dale/flickr

The Florida Roundup looks at the death penalty, heavy rains, fracking and more this week.

The Florida Supreme Court stopped one execution as questions continue around the process of how Florida decides the death penalty. Dozens of inmates on death row could challenge their sentences.

South Florida is being drenched by historic rains in the midst of what is supposed to be the dry season. Lake Okeechobee is swollen, sending dirty water into rivers and raising worries about pollution.

Lightblb on Flickr

Hundreds of thousands of registered voters in Florida are being asked to update their signatures.

If the signature on an absentee ballot doesn’t match what the elections office has on file, the vote can be tossed out.

Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections Penelope Townsley sent letters to nearly 200,000 voters who have previously requested ballots by mail.

Steve Bousquet in the Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau says absentee voting has become so popular that an effort is underway to re-name it.

Miami Herald Staff

Signs about human trafficking are going up in places like airports and strips clubs in the new year. The public awareness campaign is now required by Florida law.

Human trafficking is considered to be a form of modern-day slavery. The signs encourage victims who are being exploited for sex or labor to contact a national hotline.

The new law requires the signs to be posted in a wide range of places including highway rest stops, rail stations, and emergency rooms.

The information must be displayed in English and Spanish - and meet size requirements.

Adam Fagen/flickr

While students are out of school for the holiday break, Florida’s attorney general is waging a Twitter campaign to keep kids safe in cyberspace. The campaign urges parents to get a good look into their children’s electronic devices.

Kids have more time to spend online when school is out. Attorney General Pam Bondi says predators know this and are looking for potential victims. She says predators use online games with message boards and Internet chat rooms to pose as teenagers and ask for face-to-face meetings. 

NehaSarin/Flickr

Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed state budget includes $5 million for the creation of a database that would show all the costs and expenses associated with hospital treatment and other health care.

Scott says hospitals would have to post what they actually get paid for every procedure in order to prevent price gouging. He says patients and insurance companies should know the cost of health care treatments up front,  just as consumers know the cost of items at the grocery store.

Jayme Gershen/Eve Mosher/flickr

Twenty university professors, including a few from Florida, sent a letter to the White House in September asking for an investigation of corporations that deny - and simultaneously profit from - the effects of climate change. The group says the actions of these organizations have been extensively documented in peer reviewed academic research.

Florida Fish and Wildlife/flickr

Florida’s efforts to bring more visitors to the state are getting a boost from National Geographic. The website has launched a new hub dedicated to the Florida parks system.

Fantasy Springs/flickr

The best selling rap artist once referred to as Mr. 305 is now a paid ambassador for Visit Florida, the state's tourism marketing corporation. Rapper Pitbull is working on a music video showcasing the state.

Pitbull’s real name is Armando Christian Pérez. He’s a Miami native; his parents emigrated from Cuba. Now he calls himself Mr. Worldwide – since he’s become an international star. Pitbull’s more than 100 million social media followers make him an attractive partner for Visit Florida.

 

Charles Trainor, Jr./The Miami Herald

Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin was fired Monday after the team lost three of its first four games. This was Philbin's fourth season as head coach. Dolphins executive vice president Mike Tannenbaum announced tight ends coach Dan Campbell as Philbin’s temporary replacement.

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