Kate Payne

As a Tallahassee native, Kate Payne grew up listening to WFSU. She loves being part of a station that had such an impact on her. Kate is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts. With a background in documentary and narrative filmmaking, Kate has a broad range of multimedia experience. When she’s not working, you can find her rock climbing, cooking or hanging out with her cat.

State lawmakers are advancing a plan to allow gun owners to check their weapons at the courthouse door. The bill is moving forward even as top politicians are taking a stand against gun expansion.

Across the country, advocates are hailing industrial hemp as a miracle crop. Some Floridians even think the plant could surpass oranges as an agricultural powerhouse. But lawmakers in the capitol are urging caution.

New research shows pollution in the Gulf of Mexico is coming from a source close to home: our closets. A team of scientists say plastic microfibers in polyester, nylon and acrylics are washing out of household fabrics and into the ocean.

Florida is reeling from an opioid epidemic that spans young and old, rural and urban. State lawmakers are once again trying to reduce overdose deaths and prevent addiction.

Florida lawmakers want to give officers more authority to use blood tests in misdemeanor DUI investigations. But some are sounding the alarm on the plan’s unintended consequences.

The Trump Administration is rolling back a federal rule that protects small waterways like wetlands and creeks. One expert says the move could leave more Florida farmers and conservationists stuck in court battles.

Earlier this month, a U.S. Supreme Court-appointed lawyer ruled against Florida in its decades-long water war with Georgia. As the court prepares to make its final decision, lawmakers are going back to the legislative drawing board. WFSU News went to the coast to see what the ruling means for the struggling Apalachicola Bay and its world famous oysters.

North Florida Congressman Neal Dunn wants to throw out a federal plan that would reduce freshwater flowing into the struggling Apalachicola Bay. The move comes after a Supreme Court-appointed lawyer ruled against the state in the decades-long water war with Georgia. The Court has not yet made a final ruling. But Dunn and his colleagues are going back to the legislative drawing board to challenge the Army Corps of Engineers.

Florida is a prime breeding ground for invasive species that can threaten the state’s ecology and economy. For every lionfish or Burmese python that’s captured, thousands remain. And the sheer scope of the problem is pushing some lawmakers to ask how much of a difference state funding actually makes.

Florida’s invasive species problem can be daunting, with real implications for the state’s ecology and economy. The breadth of the issue is spurring some lawmakers to ask if state funding makes a difference.

Mangroves are quintessentially tropical and take root along the coast of the Everglades and the Keys where they are home to colorful fish and crabs. But these plants are not marooned in South Florida anymore. WFSU went searching for mangroves along the state’s Gulf Coast.

A South Florida lawmaker wants patients to be able to donate their healthcare data in the same way they donate their organs. Republican Senator Jeff Brandes of St Petersburg is passionate about innovation, and champions self-driving cars and drone technology. Now he’s turning his sights on electronic health records.

In the upcoming legislative session, lawmakers will debate how to implement the state’s new medical marijuana regulations. 71% of voters approved a measure to allow more patients to access the drug. One of the top fundraisers behind the effort wants to see more competition in the industry.

Scientists have unlocked the secret to why so many supermarket tomatoes are tasteless. The findings mean there’s hope for delicious, marketable and affordable tomatoes. The miracles of modern agriculture mean tomatoes are available nearly year round. But ever wonder why those supermarket tomatoes turn out mushy and flavorless? That’s because growers favor bulky tomatoes with high yields and long shelf lives, and flavor got lost along the way.

Lawmakers are once again trying to combat Florida’s escalating opioid crisis. Across the country, patients with chronic pain are turning to heroin, or deadly synthetic opioids like fentanyl. A scarcity of prescription drugs, after lawmakers cracked down and pill mills, combined with cheap street drugs, is a proving deadly combination.

An openly gay lawmaker is once again trying to put an end to conversion therapy in Florida. For years, Representative David Richardson, a Miami Beach Democrat, has been trying to pass a ban on conversion therapy. That’s the practice of attempting to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

After years of debate, state regulators have approved a water sharing plan for the Suwannee and St Johns River basins. But conservationists argue the deal doesn’t do enough to protect Florida’s natural resources.

On paper, Florida’s economy has recovered since the great recession. But that progress isn’t obvious looking at the state’s public assistance enrollment.

Despite a decade of bad harvests, a Florida lawmaker says the state’s signature industry is recovering. Growers are optimistic new genetically engineered trees will survive the deadly citrus greening disease.

After experiencing the death of his grandparents, a South Florida lawmaker wants to the change how patients are treated at the end of life. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are granting a team of Florida researchers $10 million to research Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases. University of Florida scientists will lead the regional research center, in collaboration with teams from the University of Miami, Florida International University, and the University of South Florida. 

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows Florida’s gun homicide rates have increased dramatically under Stand Your Ground. In light of the new findings, WFSU checks in with critics and supporters of the controversial legislation.

State officials say Florida mosquitoes are no longer actively transmitting the Zika virus, marking a milestone in the fight against the disease.

Florida’s gun deaths have gone up 31 percent since Stand Your Ground has been on the books. An international research team published the findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The Leon County School Board is planning a special meeting to discuss lead levels in the district’s drinking water.

The helicopter ambulance service Life Flight will continue to airlift patients in the Tallahassee area, despite shutting down its operations center in Midway this week.

Seventy-seven percent of Florida voters support medical marijuana, according to a new survey of likely voters. The University of North Florida poll shows broad support for expanding access to the drug, which is currently available to people with certain chronic illnesses. UNF pollster Michael Binder says the results bode well for proponents of Constitutional Amendment 2, who need the support of 60% of voters in order to pass the measure.

State Republican Senator Jack Latvala is fighting the expansion of medical marijuana in the state. Florida voters will decide whether to kickstart the state’s fledging pot industry at the ballot box in November.

A sinkhole opened up Friday underneath a fertilizer factory in central Florida, dumping millions of gallons of contaminated water into the Floridan Aquifer. This is the latest in a string of issues that has scientists worried about the health of the state’s primary water source.

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are tied in Florida.

Pages