Laura Cassels

Laura Cassels

Laura Cassels is a reporter, former statehouse bureau chief, and former city editor. She is a classical pianist, a Florida State University graduate and proud alum of the Florida Flambeau, an independent college newspaper. Contact her at [email protected]

As Seminole Tribe tries to rebound from defeat of gambling compact, feds offer little help

By: - November 30, 2021

New court filings Tuesday from Florida pari-mutuel facilities and federal Indian gaming regulators suggest the Seminole Tribe of Florida may face an uphill battle to resurrect its gambling compact with the State of Florida. A U.S. district judge struck down the compact in a ruling last week. The tribe, which launched Florida’s first statewide sports […]

Cash bail: Lawsuits target practice that leaves poor people jailed while others walk

By: - November 23, 2021

George Whitfield, arrested for possessing drugs and paraphernalia, has been held in the Sarasota jail awaiting trial since Aug. 4. Meanwhile, he’s lost his job. Why? He couldn’t afford the bail amount of $2,000. Linda Sue Reed of Sarasota was arrested Sept. 8 on a charge of selling cocaine within 1,000 feet of a public […]

FL Senate’s draft voting maps faring well in public opinion so far

By: - November 16, 2021

Early reviews of the Florida Senate’s eight proposed maps redrawing state Senate and congressional voting districts are favorable, drawing a stark contrast between this redistricting cycle and the one 10 years ago. “These maps are impressive,” said Sen. Jennifer Bradley, a central-west Florida Republican who chairs the Senate subcommittee on congressional reapportionment. We have come […]

The Everglades

DeSantis announces plans for a massive FL environmental budget in a one-page handout

By: - November 16, 2021

Gov. Ron DeSantis touted his proposed budget for environmental funding in 2022-23 but did not release the budget itself. The governor’s staff supplied only a one-page handout in connection with his press conference in Naples Tuesday morning. “With our recommendations … we will not only have kept the promises and met the standards that we […]

Climate change: Women and families in poor countries most feel the brunt

By: - November 12, 2021

The two-week climate conference in Glasgow, concluding today, shone a spotlight on the harm climate change inflicts on women and families in the world’s most vulnerable countries. Women, who often hold lead roles in providing food and health care for their families, are on the front lines, according to advocates participating in panel discussions during […]

FL Senate unveils draft maps proposing new districts for Congress, Legislature

By: - November 10, 2021

First drafts of redrawn voting districts were unveiled Wednesday afternoon by the Florida Senate Committee on Reapportionment, setting in motion a whirlwind of analysis, scrutiny, and debate that will shape Florida’s legislative and congressional races for a decade to come. The eight maps, proposing new boundaries for Senate and congressional electoral districts, can be viewed […]

U.S. Reps in Glasgow aim to bolster climate-rescue efforts at global conference

By: - November 10, 2021

A delegation of Congressional Democrats including Florida Rep. Kathy Castor told conferees Wednesday at the global climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, that the United States is not just talking, it is acting to reduce pollution, gird against vulnerabilities such as extreme storms, heat and flooding and demonstrate how major polluters can change. “America is back […]

Rarely sighted chief science officer appears while DeSantis touts millions in cleanup projects

By: - November 9, 2021

Touting funding for local projects to reduce pollution from faulty sewer systems and septic tanks, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis presented his rarely sighted chief science officer Tuesday at a press conference in Hernando County. “These are exactly the kinds of projects we need,” said Dr. Mark Rains, named Florida’s chief science officer in March when […]

Obama at world climate conference: We are falling short

By: - November 8, 2021

Returning to the world stage on climate change, former President Barack Obama on Monday told world leaders and young people gathered in Glasgow, Scotland, that time is running out to prevent life-threatening degradation of the planet’s climate, and he called on the world’s young people to demand better. “Collectively and individually, we are still falling […]

Florida mayors seek solutions at world climate conference; state government reps absent

By: - November 5, 2021

Three Florida mayors from cities feeling the consequences of climate change have traveled to Glasgow, Scotland, for the international climate conference where world leaders are trying to hammer out treaties to save the planet from overheating. No state administration officials from Florida are known to be among the conferees at the summit called COP26, despite […]

Sports worlds pledge to cut climate-heating emissions by half this decade

By: - November 3, 2021

The National Basketball Association, professional baseball, hockey and soccer teams, international motor sports, tennis pros, surfers, runners and wrestlers are accelerating their campaign to fight climate change. At events Tuesday and Wednesday at the COP 26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, universities, professional and amateur leagues from across the world announced new or intensified pledges […]


As Biden promotes climate action to world leaders, support in Congress still divided

By: - November 2, 2021

President Joe Biden on Tuesday spoke to world leaders at a global climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, about reducing methane gases and taking other measures in order to sustain humankind. Back in the United States, Democrats and Republicans remain apart on the climate issues and the president’s agenda at home is in flux in the […]