Author

Diane Rado

Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.

DeSantis touts ‘rights and liberties’ and ditching COVID restrictions; health experts say that’s dangerous

By: and - May 10, 2021

Amid thousands of new COVID-19 cases reported daily, with more than 2.2 million residents overall testing positive, and a surge of COVID-mutation cases causing more deaths, Gov. Ron DeSantis is using his sweeping authority to get rid of pandemic restrictions in communities across Florida. That means that as of July 1, face masks would no […]

Flags flown at half-staff for the late Justice Joseph W. Hatchett

By: - May 7, 2021

Flags will be flown half-staff on Monday “as a symbol of respect for the memory of former Florida Supreme Court Justice Joseph W. Hatchett and his service to our state,” according to the Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office. Flags of the United States and Florida will be flown at half-staff at the Leon County courthouse, City […]

U.S. Census news: FL gains 1 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives

By: - April 26, 2021

With its growing population, Florida has gained one new seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, pushing the total delegation from 27 to 28. The U.S. Census announced the figures Monday, showing the changes across the 50 states. Texas gained two new seats, and Colorado, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon and Colorado gained one seat. […]

On the vaccination front: FL lags behind most states in getting shots in the arm

By: - April 19, 2021

Two weeks after Florida opened the door to allow vaccines for residents 16 and older, CDC data show that the state has a ways to go in boosting the number of residents vaccinated. Florida has vaccinated 5.2 million residents, a number that looks high but percentage wise, is relatively low, with 24.3 percent of residents […]

State House tax holidays: Clothing, shoes, tents, snorkels, fishing rods and insect repellant, but no diapers

By: - April 16, 2021

A multi-million-dollar tax package approved by the House Ways & Means Committee on Friday includes everything from a “Freedom Week” sales tax holiday and a big batch of sales tax exemptions — but no exemption for diapers. What’s considered the family-friendly state House didn’t want to include  diapers in the mix of items that exempt […]

U.S. Rep. Gaetz says he won’t quit his House seat; FL Democratic Party says Gaetz should resign

By: - April 5, 2021

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Panhandle Republican under pressure from a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into allegations of a relationship with a 17-year-old girl and other accusations, says he’s not going to resign his seat from Congress, according to the Pensacola News Journal. And in a Washington Times opinion piece Monday by Gaetz, the […]

COVID mutations spreading widely; some 13,000 variant cases nationwide and highest numbers in FL

By: - April 2, 2021

Contagious COVID-19 variants continue to spread across the country, with Florida leading the nation in cases as residents hurry to get vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday reported 12,505 cases of the variant that emerged from the United Kingdom, covering 49 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico; 323 cases from the […]

FL disappointed in U.S. Supreme Court ruling on long-running water wars between FL and Georgia

By: - April 1, 2021

The Associated Press reported Thursday that the U.S. Supreme Court “unanimously dismissed Florida’s water lawsuit against Georgia on Thursday,” following years of legal battles. The AP added: “The court rejected Florida’s claim that Georgia uses too much of the water that flows from the Atlanta suburbs to the Gulf of Mexico. Florida said that its […]

COVID-19 variant cases exceed 10,000 as states expand vaccine eligibility; vaccine ‘passports’ launch in NY, gain momentum with White House

By: - March 29, 2021

COVID-19 variant cases grew to nearly 11,000 nationwide on Sunday, and that doesn’t include two California strains that have been identified but not listed in the CDC’s tracking map. Florida has the highest number of those cases in the nation — more than 2,000. The variants are more contagious than the original virus and are […]

COVID-19 infections reach the 2 million mark in Florida

By: - March 20, 2021

The Florida Department of Health on Saturday reported 2,004,362 COVID-19 infections, a 2 million mark that only two other states have reached: California and Texas. Florida’s 2 million figure comes following a year and about two weeks after March 1, 2020, when Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that Florida had two coronavirus cases. While Florida ranks […]

It looks like former U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida could head NASA

By: - March 18, 2021

Media outlets in Florida and Washington, D.C. are reporting that former U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson will be the Biden administration’s pick to lead NASA — the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Nelson, a Democrat and longtime politician well known in Florida, has served a variety of roles over the decades, from a state House member […]

How does FL compare in getting vaccines quickly to residents? Below average to good

By: - March 17, 2021

Florida has given 7,197,889 doses of vaccines to residents so far, which looks like a big number.  It means 73.27 percent of total vaccine doses delivered to Florida got into the arms of Floridians, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But based on all 50 states, Florida is below average in those […]