Peter Haden

Palm Beach Reporter

Peter Haden is WLRN’s Palm Beach Reporter. His stories cover the diverse issues and voices of a region that includes both the richest and poorest cities in Florida, the president’s “Winter White House,” the state’s leading agricultural territory, a bustling cruise and container port, vibrant immigrant communities, world-famous beaches and the Everglades.

Before joining WLRN, Haden reported for the investigative reporting showcase Reveal, WJCT in Jacksonville, Cronkite News in Phoenix and as a worldwide freelancer. He’s crouched at the intersection of desert Figure 8 races, skimmed alligator-infested waters with Florida bangstick hunters, ridden atop freight trains with migrants crossing Mexico and atop horses with Chilean cowboys crossing the Andes — to bring his audience into the story.

Haden’s radio and multimedia work has won awards from Edward R. Murrow, PRNDI, IRE and the Mark of Excellence award from the Society of Professional Journalists. His stories have been featured on programs including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Reveal and The Takeaway.

Haden holds degrees in geography, international studies and multimedia journalism. He grew up in the Midwest shearing sheep.

Ways to Connect

Leslie Ovalle / WLRN News

Demanding change and promising their generation would make it happen, students walked out of schools across South Florida and the country on Wednesday — one month after 17 students and teachers died in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.


Exactly one month after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, students across South Florida and the rest of the country walked out of their classrooms  to protest gun violence. 

Palm Beach County School District

Palm Beach County public schools will soon have a new leader from inhouse.

After three rounds of voting, school board members chose Donald Fennoy to be the district’s next superintendent.

Fennoy, 41, has been the district’s Chief Operating Officer since May 2016. He will be the first black superintendent of Palm Beach County schools.

“My role is to be a model for equity, to be a model for leading with dignity and respect, and also be a model for just listening,” Fennoy said.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz discussed gun control at a roundtable Monday alongside students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

In the wake of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at the school that killed 17 people, Wasserman Shultz said state and federal legislators must act.

“We have to ban semi-automatic assault rifles. We have to ban high-capacity magazines. And we have to make sure that background checks are universal,” said Wasserman Schultz.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Gov. Rick Scott says he expects major school safety reform to pass by next Friday — the last day of the legislative session.

Scott pushed his $500 million plan at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Thursday.

Gov. Scott’s plan would include more law enforcement officers at schools, target hardening (making school buildings harder to attack or breach), more funding for mental health programs and keeping guns away from people who may be a threat to themselves or others.

“We have the money,” Scott said. “We have to spend the money.”

Florida Trend via Miami Herald

As a veteran and West Point graduate, retired Florida real estate developer Al Hoffman Jr. says he knows what military-style weapons like the AR-15 can do.

“They're still designed to kill people,” said Hoffman, of North Palm Beach. “I don't care what anybody says, that's what they're for.”

Hoffman served as finance chair for the Republican National Committee and co-chair of both George W. Bush campaigns. Now, as a private citizen and major Republican donor, he plans to put his influence to use to ban assault weapons.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Hundreds of people filled Church of the Glades in Coral Springs Thursday to honor slain Stoneman Douglas High School assistant football coach Aaron Feis.

Feis, 37, was killed in the Feb. 14 mass shooting at the school. Witnesses say he was shot as he ran at the shooter and pushed students out of harm’s way.

Ever the coach, Feis’s memorial service opened with the singing of the national anthem.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Hundreds of people gathered in Parkland Wednesday to remember 17-year-old Nick Dworet.

He was one of the 17 people killed by a shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day.


Nick loved music. It played Wednesday at Parkland Country Club as friends, family and coaches took turns remembering him.

The handsome teenager who loved Oreos. The joyful nephew. The champion swimmer. The hopeless romantic.

Peter Haden / WLRN

The FBI ignored a tip last month that the accused Majory Stoneman Douglas High School killer was dangerous and at risk of committing a school shooting.

Seventeen people died in the attack.

Leslie Ovalle / WLRN

At a press conference Thursday, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said he wants to see legislation that would allow law enforcement to involuntarily detain an individual due to alarming social media post content — without evidence of a credible threat.

That request comes a day after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland killing 17 people. Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student, has been charged with 17 counts of murder.

Jeffrey Langlois / Palm Beach Daily News // via Miami Herald

A U.S. senator wants the Treasury Department to turn over records of a lucrative Palm Beach real estate deal President Donald Trump made with a Russian oligarch a decade ago.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, is asking for financial records of the deal between Trump and Russian fertilizer billionaire Dimitry Rybolovlev to be turned over to the Senate Finance Committee.

The committee is looking into Trump's ties to Russians.

More than 300 people wanted to have their moment at the microphone during the first public hearing of the amendments up for debate on the state's Constitution Revision Committee (CRC). 

Peter Haden / WLRN

In South Florida, they all have alligators. But there are some key differences between national wildlife refuges, national parks and national preserves. Here’s a snapshot:


Peter Haden

On the opening day of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, founding chairman and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel said, “The museum is not meant to be an answer. It's meant to be a question.”

Museum director Sara Bloomfield says that’s the starting place for the new “Never Stop Asking Why” digital campaign, launched to mark the 25th anniversary of the institution by engaging new generations on the lessons of the Holocaust. 

“Why did the Holocaust happen? What made it possible? How could it have been different? What does it mean for me today?” she said.