Jessica Meszaros

Jessica Meszaros is a reporter and host of All Things Considered for WGCU News.

She was a multimedia reporter for Miami’s public radio station, WLRN Radio, for more than two years.

In the summer of 2013, Jessica interned for NPR's All Things Considered  in Washington D.C. She has a background in newspaper reporting from her summer 2014 internship with the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida.  

Jessica graduated from Florida International University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Honors College.

 

It’s rare to see an unfiltered night sky in many parts of Florida. Artificial lights in highly populated areas, like Fort Myers or Miami, cover up views of constellations and the Milky Way. But, Big Cypress National Preserve in Ochopee is now an “International Dark Sky Park.” That means the preserve removed unnecessary lights. And the ones they kept were changed to be “night sky friendly” by using different bulbs or making the lights point down to the ground, rather than up to the sky.

The Florida Supreme Court will not overturn the governor’s vetoes of money the state owes some residents for destroying their citrus trees. However, justices did appear to agree the homeowners are due their compensation.

A Lee County circuit court judge said the state agriculture department needs to repay local residents for destroyed citrus trees, or explain why it refuses to pay. The Florida Department of Agriculture has less than 40 days to respond.

Residents in Lee and Broward Counties took Gov. Rick Scott to the Florida Supreme Court this week. They’re trying to overturn Scott’s vetoes of state money owed to them after agriculture officials destroyed their healthy citrus trees. The homeowners also took the state’s agriculture commissioner to lower courts.

UPDATED: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 2:20 PM

Gov. Rick Scott has vetoed a part of the state budget that would’ve compensated residents in Lee and Broward Counties years after the state removed their healthy citrus trees. The 16-year battle for reimbursement continues.

Federal environmental officials said Tuesday they will not force Florida to update its standards for potable and surface waters. This response comes eight years after environmental advocates petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to prepare and publish revised regulations for the state’s waters. Activists want the feds involved because state environmental officials have not updated the state’s water quality criteria in 25 years. 

This past state legislative session, Florida’s beaches got the most funding for renourishment than they have in more than a decade: $50 million. 

A couple researchers created fake mangroves in Manasota Key to bring back marine life that was lost from development. Along Florida’s coasts are seawalls-- built to prevent the shoreline from eroding. But that defense sometimes means removing natural habitats. Experts are now trying to turn these solid barriers into thriving ecosystems.

South Florida Water managers heard presentations recently on their options for underground water storage. These are possible solutions to excess fresh water that sometimes fills Lake Okeechobee, leading to harmful discharges in the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers. Experts say one choice is more ideal than another.

Cities in South Florida are torn about a recent ruling that allows water managers to back-pump water into Lake Okeechobee without federal permits. The U.S. Court of Appeals in New York made the decision Wednesday, Jan. 18.

Harvard University wants to study impacts of sea level rise in Southwest Florida-- Collier County, in particular. This was proposed during a climate change meeting at Florida Gulf Coast University on Monday. 

Jessica Meszaros / WGCU News

There’s a neighborhood in Southwest Florida that’s changing the way people think about affordable housing. 

Jessica Meszaros / WGCU News

People in Southwest Florida are having a new and sometimes uncomfortable kind of conversation at the dinner table… about death.

 

Medical professionals say most people are not preparing for their deaths. And this usually leaves families scrambling to make choices for their loved ones. So to fix that, there’s this worldwide initiative called Death Over Dinner. 

A Southwest Florida research company said it has developed a medication to combat Zika. The pill is meant to treat people who’ve already contracted the mosquito-borne virus. 

Big Cypress National Preserve is now internationally known as a “Dark Sky Park.” That means it’s lessening light pollution to preserve the night sky in parts of Collier, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. 

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