John Davis

John Davis has been a full-time Reporter/Producer for WGCU since 2009. He is the local host for NPRââââ

A state lawmaker wants to make it illegal to leave young children unattended in a car for any length of time in Florida.  The proposal, from Rep. Emily Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, is an effort to combat the problem of children dying from heat exposure after being left in a vehicle.

As the University of Florida’s Citrus Research and Education Center prepares to celebrate its centennial anniversary, researchers there say that they’re on the cusp of developing a cure to the most serious threat facing the citrus industry worldwide:  citrus greening. 

Warming temperatures and ocean acidification are significant threats to coral reefs, but a new study by Mote Marine Laboratory researchers last month provides something of a silver lining.   Researchers found that ocean acidification could actually help slow the progression of a disease that kills corals.

Governor Rick Scott signed a measure into law Tuesday, named for a Cape Coral teen who was killed when a driver did not yield to a stopped school bus. 

A federal court judge in Fort Myers ruled against a consortium of Environmental advocacy groups Monday in a lawsuit against the National Park Service and a Texas oil company.  The lawsuit was an attempt to prevent seismic testing for oil and gas reserves in Big Cypress National Preserve

Florida lawmakers are considering a bill that would increase penalties and jail time for people unlawfully in the U.S. convicted of certain violent offenses.  The bill is progressing through the House with sponsor Dane Eagle, R-Cape Coral, arguing it would increase public safety and send a message to federal immigration authorities.  Opponents question the bill’s constitutionality, and say Rep. Eagle is misusing data to bolster his case. 

Florida lawmakers are tackling a proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing, and other fracking-like well stimulation treatments in the state.  The Republican-sponsored bills in the House and Senate have gained a number of co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle.  Supporters of the ban say the risks of surface water and ground water contamination from fracking make the technology too risky.

Among the early bills already being filed for Florida’s 2017 legislative session is a measure from Rep. Dane Eagle, R-Cape Coral, that would increase penalties for undocumented immigrants who commit violent crimes. Supporters say the measure sends a message to federal immigration authorities and would increase public safety. Opponents question its constitutionality. 

Florida’s tomato growing season is now in full swing and growers are hopeful the industry will rebound after this past season during which farmers saw a nearly 23 percent reduction in crop yields.  Florida is the largest fresh tomato producing state in the country.

The rate of babies born premature in Florida and around the nation increased in 2015 according to the recently released March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card

 

   18-year-old Stef’An Strawder was one of two fatal victims in a mass shooting outside Club Blu in Fort Myers early Monday morning.  The other fatal shooting victim was 14-year-old Sean Archilles.

  Thawing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba is allowing researchers with Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota to expand their coral research and possibly improve the health of Florida’s coral reef tract. 

UPDATE:  The Fort Myers Police Department released an update Monday morning on their investigation into Saturday night’s shooting incident at ZombiCon in Downtown Fort Myers including a description of the suspected shooter who remains at large. 

As Hurricane Gonzalo bears down on Bermuda, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hurricane scientists are analyzing data from a recent experiment involving drones to improve hurricane forecast models in the future.