Author

Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has covered politics and government in Florida for more than two decades. Most recently he is the former politics reporter for Bay News 9. He has also worked at Florida Politics, Creative Loafing and WMNF Radio in Tampa. He was also part of the original staff when the Florida Phoenix was created in 2018.

FL corrections officials say no injuries to inmates, staff after storm passed; prison reform activists critical

By: - September 29, 2022

The Florida Department of Corrections reported Thursday that there were no reported injuries to inmates or on-duty staff at various prison facilities throughout the state after Ian made landfall. But prison reform activists remain critical, saying the department didn’t evacuate inmates at Charlotte Correctional Institution, at a time when Charlotte County was considered a target […]

President Biden approves Florida disaster declaration

By: - September 29, 2022

(UPDATED) President Biden declared Florida a major disaster area Thursday morning, ordering federal aid to supplement local recovery efforts in areas affected by Hurricane Ian, which hit Florida as a Category 4 storm yesterday afternoon. The declaration will allow federal aid to go to Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota counties. […]

DeSantis says Ian expects to create major flooding in NE Florida, hundreds of miles from landfall

By: - September 28, 2022

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said early evening Wednesday that while Hurricane Ian is still battering the Southwest part of the peninsula, the Category 4 storm is going to continue to lash through Florida hundreds of miles away before it escapes into the Atlantic. “We do anticipate some major flooding events in Northeast Florida,” the governor […]

FEMA, Red Cross officials, announce operations by land, air and sea once Hurricane Ian passes FL

By: - September 28, 2022

In a Washington, D.C. meeting Wednesday, FEMA Director Deanne Criswell said search and rescue operations are the top priority for her organization immediately after Hurricane Ian passes through Florida. Search and rescue organizations teams are currently staged in Miami and encompass members of FEMA’s own search and rescue program, as well as members from the […]

As FL contends with the fentanyl crisis, ‘harm reduction’ advocates work to save lives

By: - September 28, 2022

With thousands of Floridians dying of drug overdoses caused by fentanyl, Attorney General Ashley Moody has been urging the Biden administration since mid-summer to classify the drug as a “weapon of mass destruction,” warning of the dangers posed if the potent opioid gets into the hands of an avowed enemy of the United States. “We […]

President Biden reaches out to FL as Hurricane Ian approaches the west coast of the peninsula

By: - September 27, 2022

As Hurricane Ian continues its path towards the west coast of Florida, President Joe Biden on Tuesday afternoon showed support for Florida officials and reiterated that federal resources will be available. “Experts say this could be a very severe hurricane — life-threatening and devastating in its impact,” Biden said, according to the Miami Herald. “Safety […]

FL, Tampa Bay officials warn of significant storm potential as evacuations begin and some schools close

By: and - September 26, 2022

The National Hurricane Center on Monday placed Tampa Bay under a hurricane watch and a storm surge watch while state and county officials and Gov. Ron DeSantis assess the path of Ian and prepare for evacuations and likely more school closings. Hillsborough County officials said this morning that they expect to have to evacuate over […]

With tens of millions, Ron DeSantis’s campaign is dominating the airwaves in race for governor

By: - September 26, 2022

With Hurricane Ian bearing down on Florida, political advertising may slow down in the coming days. That would put a pause on what has so far been an overwhelming advantage in TV this month for Gov. Ron DeSantis over Charlie Crist in the race for Florida governor. Between Sept. 5-18, 2022, there were more than […]

President Biden’s scheduled trip to Florida now postponed due to Tropical Storm Ian

By: - September 25, 2022

The White House and Democratic National Committee announced Saturday night that President Joe Biden’s visit to Florida on Tuesday has been postponed due to Tropical Storm Ian. Biden was scheduled to speak in Fort Lauderdale and then appear later in the day at a political rally organized by the Democratic National Committee. It’s the second […]

Joe Biden to return to Florida next week; first time in Sunshine State in more than a year

By: - September 23, 2022

Boosted by a mild surge in national public opinion polls, Joe Biden is scheduled to make appearances in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando on Tuesday, his first time in the Sunshine State in more than a year. While details about the events have been sparse, the White House says the president will discuss Social Security and […]

Environmentalists mostly welcome Florida’s plan to spend VW settlement money on cleaner buses

By: - October 14, 2019

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced this week that it will use most of the $166 million it received in Volkswagen settlement money to replace diesel buses and shuttle vans with electric models. It’s part of what Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling the “beneficiary mitigation plan” intended to improve the state’s air quality. […]

Dept. of Corrections proposal to reduce daily work shifts of officers has one problem – most of them oppose it

By: - October 11, 2019

Update: Circuit Judge Charles Dodson in Tallahassee issued an order Wednesday siding with the corrections officers’ union, finding no legal basis to overturn the arbitration decision that the shift change was subject to collective bargaining. Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch argues a key to reducing the pathologies afflicting the state’s prison system – […]