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Regan McCarthy

Phone: (850) 487-3086  x374

Regan McCarthy is the Assignment Editor and Senior News Producer for WFSU News/ Florida Public Radio. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories. She has also worked for the London Business Matters Magazine and the Rochester Sentinel, a daily local newspaper. She is the recipient of six professional broadcast awards including first-place Best Radio Feature from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  When she isn’t tracking leading newsmakers she spends her time knitting, reading, strolling through the woods and brunching at new restaurants.  Follow Regan McCarthy on Twitter: @Regan_McCarthy

  • The measure, titled The Local Business Protection Act, applies to businesses that have been operating for at least three years and that see at least a 15 percent reduction in profits because of a local government rule.
  • “I’ve been prolife my whole life,” Simpson said during a recent press conference. He called a measure to ban most abortions after 15 weeks a “very good bill,” but he said he also thinks it’s important to stop unwanted pregnancies from happening in the first place.
  • When kids are in the foster care system, it can sometimes feel like major decisions about their lives are happening without consideration for their input. Lawmakers are looking into a plan to change that, by appointing lawyers to represent the children in many of those cases.
  • Health experts are now reporting the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has arrived in Florida. The Department of Veterans Affairs has confirmed one case, and the Florida Department of Health is reporting a separate presumptive case.
  • “Over the last six weeks, we’ve seen a rapid increase in the number of COVID hospitalizations now exceeding over 17,000 individuals currently hospitalized for COVID," said Florida Hospital Association President Mary Mayhew.
  • With Florida at the epicenter of a nationwide resurgence of COVID-19 infections, some local governments are defying Republican Governor Ron DeSantis with new mask and vaccine mandates. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried plans to begin providing daily COVID-19 data to the media after the state switched to only providing weekly data in June. Lee Health and NCH hospitals report 600% and 800% increases in COVID-19 patients who are mostly unvaccinated. High levels of community spread and low vaccination rates are putting many nursing homes in Florida at risk for COVID-19 outbreaks. Some facilities are taking extra precautions.
  • State health officials reported 1,613 new COVID-19 cases and 35 deaths on Monday. So far, more than 7.2 million people in Florida have been vaccinated including more than 2.8 million who have received a first dose and more than 4.4 million people who have completed the series.Governor Ron DeSantis is railing against YouTube and Google and accusing the tech giant of censorship for removing a video of a COVID-19 discussion he had with scientists who oppose government lockdowns, school closures and mask wearing.Florida is suing the Biden administration and the CDC to let cruise ships sail again after being shut down for more than a year during the COVID-19 pandemic.The Florida Education Association is seeking clarity on recently adopted exemptions to testing requirements for this school year.Public school districts in Southwest Florida plan to scale back their distance learning options for students returning to school in the fall.A bill to make pandemic-induced expansions on the use of telemedicine permanent continues advancing in the state legislature.FEMA is now offering financial assistance to help cover the cost of funerals for those who have died of COVID-19.Lee County Commissioners stopped manning toll booths to collect bridge tolls on the outset of the pandemic and now they’re considering making that change permanent. They’re also considering a proposed increase in bridge tolls paid by motorists.A Florida woman was sentenced to 30 days in jail, last week, for deliberately coughing on a cancer patient during a dispute, last year, that was caught on a video that went viral.
  • Governor Ron DeSantis announced Thursday morning that starting Monday, March 29, vaccine eligibility will expand to people 40 and older and that the following Monday, April 5, vaccine eligibility will extend to anyone 18 and older. As of Wednesday morning, more than 5.2 million people in Florida have been vaccinated including more than 2.3 million people who have received a first dose, and more than 2.8 million who have completed the series.The CDC’s current moratorium on evictions is set to expire March 31, but experts say it will likely be extended.Florida House members are considering a wide-ranging bill aimed at helping Florida prepare for the next public health crisis. State lawmakers are also considering a measure that would make permanent Governor Ron DeSantis’ executive order expanding the allowed use of telehealth services.
  • State health officials reported 7,087 new COVID-19 cases, Wednesday and 127 deaths. Governor Ron DeSantis says he’s expecting a surge in vaccine doses coming to Florida in the coming weeks and that teachers, firefighters and law enforcement officers 50 and older could be next in line to receive the vaccine. DeSantis says he’s also targeting rural counties with relatively low rates of seniors vaccinated such as DeSoto and Hardy and Glades Counties in Southwest Florida. Advocates in Sarasota are fighting to get more vaccine doses to people of color as just 1% of Blacks and 1.5% of Hispanics in the County have received the vaccine. The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a complaint filed against Manatee County Commission Chairwoman Vanessa Baugh over alleged misuse of her position in cherry-picking who would receive vaccine doses at a state-run pop-up clinic last week in Lakewood Ranch. The Venice Fire Rescue Department is looking to expand its outreach through a state pilot program aimed at getting vaccines to eligible homebound residents.
  • State health officials reported 4,113 new COVID-19 cases Monday and 159 deaths, bringing the total number of infections to more than 1.8 million and bringing the death toll over the 30,000-fatality mark. Hospitals across Florida are experiencing a decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations, mirroring a national trend.U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate after Gov. Ron DeSantis authorized a state-run pop-up vaccine clinic limited to residents of an affluent, mostly white and Republican community in Manatee County.Four federal mass vaccination sites are coming to Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa.The city of Sarasota voted, last week, to allow its current mask mandate to sunset on Thursday.