Phoenix Investigates


I think you will never see a FL county so hostile to a tree

BY: - July 22, 2021

Hey, do you remember nostalgia? That longing for simpler, happier times can be a powerful force in American life, affecting the success of everything from “The Way We Were” to “Make America Great Again.” Nostalgia can evoke such powerful feelings that the guy who coined the term in 1688, Swiss physician Johannes Hofer, considered it […]

States race to launch multi-billion-dollar sports betting for NFL season; fans and foes in FL ready to clash

BY: - June 22, 2021

Are you ready for some football? More to the point: Are you ready to gamble on it (legally)? Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia are set to go, and nine more are working on it as fast as they can, including Florida, hinging on an approval from the federal government that could reshape the […]

Mayors of U.S. cities plead for federal funds to alleviate housing crisis

BY: - June 15, 2021

WASHINGTON—The mayors of U.S. cities stressed the need for affordable housing to be included in any congressional infrastructure package during a Tuesday hearing before the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Committee. Mayors Daniel Horrigan of Akron, Ohio, Cyndy Andrus of Bozeman, Mont., and Corey Woods of Tempe, Ariz., all said that their cities are […]

Barriers to lawsuits over alleged COVID exposure for workers, patients headed for governor’s desk

BY: - March 26, 2021

Legislation that would make it harder to sue businesses, charities, schools, health care providers, and churches for exposing everyday workers, customers, and patients to COVID-19 passed its last major vote on the House floor on Friday by a margin of 83-31. The House sent the measure back to the Senate, which has already approved it, […]

U.S. House Agriculture panel to key in on climate change and farming

BY: - February 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — Democrats are eyeing programs to support U.S. farmers — who have suffered catastrophic losses from severe weather events in recent years — in reducing carbon emissions on their land. In his first major policy hearing as House Agriculture Committee chairman, Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) said that the issue of climate change would be […]

First U.S. case of new coronavirus strain identified in Colorado

BY: - December 29, 2020

The first U.S. case of a new, more contagious strain of the novel coronavirus has been identified in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis announced Tuesday. Colorado’s Laboratory Services Division confirmed that a man in his 20s has contracted a case of COVID-19-causing variant B.1.1.7, according to a written statement from Polis’ office. The patient hasn’t traveled […]


Twenty years on, plan to restore FL’s Everglades runs into climate questions

BY: - December 17, 2020

I’ve been humming the opening lines of a certain Beatles song lately. Why? Because it was 20 years ago today — no, wait, actually it was on Dec. 11, 2000 — that plans to restore the Everglades got their official OK with a bizarre little ceremony at the White House. This happened during the three-week-long […]

Student loan crisis: Politicians are struggling with staggering student loan debt, just like the rest of us

BY: - October 27, 2020

Some influential politicians are saddled by staggering student loan debt — more than $200,000 in two cases and several others with college loan obligations larger than $100,000, the Florida Phoenix has found. The full tab of college indebtedness adds up to $2.35 million for elected state House and Senate members plus the governor and Cabinet […]

State budget transparency? How bringing home the bacon can become a sneaky legislative maneuver

BY: - June 30, 2020

Like many lawmakers who work to bring home the bacon for constituents, State Sen. Travis Hutson pushed for $10 million in the new state budget for Manatee County road projects. He secured the funding, even as Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed hundreds of other local projects in the 2020-21 budget. However, Hutson doesn’t represent Manatee County. […]

Inmates released to home confinement say too many remain in infected federal prisons

BY: - June 12, 2020

Chalana McFarland, sentenced to 30 years in prison for mortgage fraud, left a federal prison in Florida on Monday with 10 years yet to serve. She will complete her sentence on home confinement, all the while wearing a hefty ankle monitor to track her movements. After being under prison-wide lockdown for nearly two months and […]

A cloistered culture in the nation’s federal prisons leads to infections and deaths

BY: - June 3, 2020

This is the second of two parts of an investigation into the federal prison system related to secrecy, conditions, and delays in releasing inmates because of COVID-19. The first installment was published Monday. In the cramped cells and crowded dormitories of the nation’s federal prisons, it’s difficult to practice the kind of social distancing that […]

Prison officials delay releasing federal inmates into home confinement, ‘thumbing their nose’ at judges and Congress

BY: - June 1, 2020

This is the first part of a federal prison investigation related to secrecy, facility conditions, and delays in releasing inmates related to COVID-19. The next installment will publish June 3. Defying court orders and a directive from the highest law-enforcement officer in the land, federal prisons have been delaying the release of inmates presumed suitable […]