Ashley Lopez

Ashley Lopez is a reporter for WGCU News. A native of Miami, she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a journalism degree. 

Previously, Lopez was a reporter for Miami's NPR member station, 

WLRN-Miami Herald News. Before that, she was a reporter at The Florida Independent. She also interned for Talking Points Memo in New York City and WUNC in Durham, North Carolina. She also freelances as a reporter/blogger for the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

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Rachel Ralph works long hours at an accounting firm in Oakland, Calif., and coordinates much of her life via the apps on her phone.

So when she first heard several months ago that she could order her usual brand of birth control pills via an app and have them delivered to her doorstep in a day or two, it seemed perfect. She was working 12-hour days.

"Food was delivered; dinner was often delivered," Ralph says. "Anything I could get sent to my house with little effort — the better."

There’s a new study out of the University of Miami that’s being put into practice at yoga studios in Naples.

The study quantifies the health benefits of yoga for aging populations—particularly the way some poses can help the elderly avoid harmful falls.

The country’s new surgeon general stopped in Fort Myers Friday.

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has been on the job for about two months and he’s been touring the country listening to local health officials talk about issues facing their communities.

 A new environmental report predicts nearly half of the bird species currently living in North America—including many in Florida could lose significant parts of their habitats by 2080 due to global warming.

The endangered Florida Panther is experiencing a slight population rebound.

While this is good news for recovery efforts, it’s becoming a problem for ranchers in Southwest Florida. That’s because panthers are killing off livestock such as cattle in large numbers, and ranchers are taking a financial hit.

A recent report from a watchdog group monitoring the state’s environmental regulators found Florida’s major wastewater dischargers-- including three in Southwest Florida-- are violating clean water laws with little enforcement from state officials.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports prescription pill related deaths in Florida fell sharply in the past few years.

State officials have said it’s a sign laws aimed at cracking down on “pill mills” in the Sunshine State are working. But, addiction specialists say the crackdown has had some unintended consequences. 

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., told a group of local officials and activists Monday he’s going to press federal agencies to answer questions about oil drilling in Southwest Florida.

County and state officials are still grappling over how to deal with a fracking-like incident in Collier County a few months ago.

The state’s environmental regulation chief visited Naples Tuesday to meet with angry residents and county officials, but the visit did little to ease concerns.