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SWFL Teen Suing Gov. Scott For Environmental Issues

The Sagemont School
Valholly Frank (far left) stands with the seven other Florida youth who filed suit against Gov. Rick Scott, the state of Florida and other state agencies last month.

They’re not yet old enough to vote, but they want to hold the state accountable for how its treated environmental issues.

Valholly Frank is a 15-year-old who splits her time, spending weekends at the Big Cypress reservation in rural Hendry County and weekdays in Weston, Florida, where she goes to school. She’s part of the lawsuit filed last month in Leon County.

Last week, Gulf Coast Live host Julie Glenn spoke with Frank and her attorney, Guy Burns, a managing partner at Tampa-based Johnson Pope Bokor Ruppel & Burns.


Rachel Iacovone is a reporter and associate producer of Gulf Coast Live for WGCU News. Rachel came to WGCU as an intern in 2016, during the presidential race. She went on to cover Florida Gulf Coast University students at President Donald Trump's inauguration on Capitol Hill and Southwest Floridians in attendance at the following day's Women's March on Washington.Rachel was first contacted by WGCU when she was managing editor of FGCU's student-run media group, Eagle News. She helped take Eagle News from a weekly newspaper to a daily online publication with TV and radio branches within two years, winning the 2016 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award for Best Use of Multimedia in a cross-platform series she led for National Coming Out Day. She also won the Mark of Excellence Award for Feature Writing for her five-month coverage of an FGCU student's transition from male to female.As a WGCU reporter, she produced the first radio story in WGCU's Curious Gulf Coast project, which answered the question: Does SWFL Have More Cases of Pediatric Cancer?Rachel graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.