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Jessica Bakeman

Jessica Bakeman reports on K-12 and higher education for WLRN, south Florida's NPR affiliate. While new to Miami and public radio, Jessica is a seasoned journalist who has covered education policymaking and politics in three state capitals: Jackson, Miss.; Albany, N.Y.; and, most recently, Tallahassee.

Jessica first moved to the Sunshine State in 2015 to help launch POLITICO Florida as part of the company’s national expansion. She is the immediate past president of the Capitol Press Club of Florida, a nonprofit organization that raises money for college scholarships benefiting journalism students.

Jessica was an original member of POLITICO New York’s Albany bureau. Also in the Empire State, Jessica covered politics for  The Wall Street Journal and  USA Today. As part of Gannett’s three-person Albany bureau, she won the New York Publishers Association award for distinguished state government coverage in 2013 and 2014. Jessica twice chaired a planning committee for the Albany press corps’ annual political satire show, the oldest of its kind in the country.

She started her career at  The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson. There she won the Louisiana/Mississippi Associated Press Managing Editors’ 2013 first place award for continuing coverage of former Gov. Haley Barbour’s decision to pardon more than 200 felons as he left office.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and English literature from SUNY Plattsburgh, a public liberal arts college in northeastern New York. She (proudly) hails from Rochester, N.Y.

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a controversial bill into law that will significantly change the voting process in Florida. He also did it at an exclusive West Palm Beach event with supporters, that was only broadcast on Fox News — raising legal questions and outcry over a lack of transparency.
  • State health officials reported nearly 5,600 new COVID-19 cases, Sunday bringing Florida's total to 734,491 cases. The Florida Department of Health also reported 180 new coronavirus-related deaths, Oct. 11, increasing the statewide death toll to 15,552 fatalities.Sunday's single day case load increase was larger than what the health department has been reporting recently, after health officials did not update the state's coronavirus online dashboard Saturday, for the first time in seven months.
  • Many parents appear to be keeping their children out of public school, especially from kindergarten. The declines could mean less state funding for school districts.
  • Teachers get money from the state to spend on their classrooms — but some pandemic must-haves are off limits.
  • The demands by student activists face what could be an insurmountable obstacle: security fears in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting.
  • State health officials reported 2,673 new COVID-19 cases, Tuesday, increasing the statewide total to 605,502 cases. The Florida Department of Health also reported 183 new coronavirus-related deaths, Aug. 25, bringing the statewide death toll to 10,717 fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic.The downturn in the number of COVID-19 tests being reported in Florida continues, even though public health experts say more testing is crucial to containing the virus.
  • State health officials reported 2,974 new cases of COVID-19, Sunday, pushing Florida over the 600,000-case threshold, with 600,571 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.The Florida Department of Health also reported 51 new coronavirus-related deaths, Sunday, bringing the statewide death toll to 10,462 fatalities.On Saturday, state health officials reported 4,300 new cases and 106 deaths.
  • State health officials reported 4,555 new cases of COVID-19, Thursday, increasing the statewide total to 588,602 cases. Aug. 20 marked the fifth consecutive day health officials have reported fewer than 5,000 new cases in a day.The Florida Department of Health also reported 119 new coronavirus-related deaths, Thursday, bringing the statewide death toll over the 10,000-fatality threshold with 10,186 total deaths. Thursday marked the 15th consecutive day that health officials reported at least 100 deaths.
  • State Health officials reported 6,229 new cases of COVID-19, Sunday increasing the statewide total to 532,806 cases. The Florida Department of Health also reported 77 new coronavirus-related deaths, Aug. 9, for a total of 8,315 fatalities. Sunday’s numbers compare to 8,502 confirmed cases and 187 new deaths reported Saturday.Despite Sunday's relatively low number of new coronavirus-related fatalities reported, the daily average number of deaths over the past seven days stands at 158 deaths.
  • State Health officials reported a single-day spike of 245 coronavirus-related deaths, Tuesday, increasing the statewide death toll to 7,402 fatalities. Tuesday’s reported deaths marked the third highest single day number of fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic.The Florida Department of Health also reported 5,446 new cases of COVID-19, Aug. 4, increasing the statewide total to 497,330 cases.Yesterday marked the tenth consecutive day the state has reported fewer than 10,000 cases in a day.