Topher Forhecz

Host, Reporter

Topher is a reporter at WGCU News. 

He formerly freelanced for WNYC radio in New York City. He holds a master's degree from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

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Florida Department of Health

The Florida Department of Health announced Monday which five nurseries will participate in the state’s first medical marijuana program.

This is a step toward getting the program up and running, since it was signed into law about a year and a half ago.  

Patients will still have to wait months to receive the final product.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Flickr

Environmental organizations say they consider the Florida black bear and panther populations conservation success stories. Their numbers are coming back.

But this has also led to more human interactions. Federal, state and local stakeholders are holding a workshop Saturday in Naples to talk about how to live alongside these species.

Wikimedia Creative Commons

A Florida Congressman filed a bill recently that expands tax incentives for citrus growers.

The bill has bipartisan support from Florida House members and industry stakeholders.

They hope it will keep growers in the industry, even as it buckles under the devastating disease called citrus greening.

Prensa 420 via Flickr

A state senator filed a bill recently that replaces Florida’s current medical marijuana program.

Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, said his bill is a free-market approach that stops only a few from cornering this new industry.

Dimitris Kalogeropoylos/Flickr

Opioid deaths in Manatee County are on track to double by the end of the year.

County officials believe this spike is the result of Florida’s crack down on pill mills. Now, users are turning to heroin and a synthetic drug called fentanyl sometimes with deadly results.

The crisis is putting a strain on community agencies from law enforcement to treatment centers.