Regan McCarthy

Phone: (850) 487-3086  x374

Regan McCarthy is the Assignment Editor and Senior News Producer for WFSU News/ Florida Public Radio. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories. She has also worked for the London Business Matters Magazine and the Rochester Sentinel, a daily local newspaper. She is the recipient of six professional broadcast awards including first-place Best Radio Feature from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  When she isn’t tracking leading newsmakers she spends her time knitting, reading, strolling through the woods and brunching at new restaurants.  Follow Regan McCarthy on Twitter: @Regan_McCarthy

Leon County plans to join a court fight against a state law that preempts most local gun-related rules. Commissioner Bryan Desolge says for him the issue isn’t about firearms. It’s about home rule.

Hurricanes and warming ocean waters have led to damage in Florida’s coral reefs. Now experts say the state’s corals are facing a new danger—an especially pervasive bacteria.

The Tallahassee city commission is joining a group of South Florida cities in a fight against a state gun preemption rule.

Hundreds of people signed up Tuesday night to be heard on a Leon County firearm ordinance. The county approved a new rule that requires background checks and a waiting period for private guns sales.

Leon County Commissioners have agreed to hear a proposed ordinance to close the so-called gun loophole.

Local governments have little say over the rules that govern firearms. The state passed legislation preempting any local ordinances on the issue. But County attorney Herbert Theile says there is one exception.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions stopped in Tallahassee Thursday to reiterate President Donald Trump’s commitment to addressing the opioid crisis. He says Trump included some “bold” goals when he unveiled a new three-pillar plan earlier this week.

A measure to address Florida’s growing opioid crisis is nearing completion with just days left in the legislative session.

An average of fourteen people die every day from opioid related abuse. That’s according to Stuart Republican Representative Gayle Harrell.

She’s glad to see a measure moving through the legislature that aims to curb opioid abuse. The House version ensures doctors and pharmacies use the PDMP or Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database before prescribing or dispensing an opioid. It also allows Florida to share its information across state lines to help cut down on so called doctor shopping. Rep. Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton) says another provision limits the number of pills a doctor can prescribe.

Much has been made this session about efforts by Florida lawmakers to take power away from local governments. But a measure is scheduled for a discussion on the Senate floor Thursday that would expand local control—in this case when it comes to tobacco use.

Right now, decisions about where smoking is allowed are left up to the state. But Senator Debbie Mayfield wants local governments to decide whether people should be allowed to smoke in public parks.

Would raising the age to buy tobacco products lower the cost of healthcare in Florida? One lawmaker thinks so.

Florida Senators have approved a measure closing a loophole that allows child marriage. The bill is being called historic. If the proposal passes the full legislature, the group, Human Rights Watch, says it will be the first of its kind in the country.

In an effort to help those who struggle with food insecurity the latest Leadership Tallahassee class has created what it calls “Little Free Food Pantries.” Kevin Forsthoefel is a member of the group.

Under a newly signed Florida law, Possession of just four grams of the synthetic drug fentanyl can land a person in jail for a minimum of 3 years. Some are pushing back against the mandatory minimum sentence. But others claim it makes sense when one considers that that same amount—just four ounces--is enough to kill a room full of people.

Florida officials are urging residents to take precautions and comply with burn bans as forecasts predict even drier conditions going into the spring and summer.

Medical Marijuana is on the agenda for the Leon County Commission’s Tuesday meeting.

A bill that would ban the use of steroids in racing greyhounds is nearing its last hurdle in the Florida legislature.

A bill to prevent greyhound tracks from giving their racing dogs steroids is moving forward in the Senate.

Members of the greyhound industry say without the ability to use anabolic steroids, like testosterone, to keep their female dogs from going into heat, a catastrophe could be just around the corner. Fred Johnson works with the Florida Greyhound Association of Jacksonville.

Florida lawmakers say the future is right around the corner and now is the time to get prepared. This legislative session lawmakers are talking autonomous vehicles and personal delivery devices.

Leon County Commissioners want to be sure they have a plan in place as medical marijuana becomes more accessible and the state works out its rules stemming from Amendment Two. Commissioner Mary Ann Lindley says it makes sense to get started now.

The city is Tallahassee is no longer accepting medical marijuana dispensary applications.

A panel of judges heard arguments Tuesday in a court case involving Mayor Andrew Gillum and other members of the city commission who voted against repealing a pair of local gun ordinances. The case may have larger implications surrounding what’s known as home rule.

A proposed medical marijuana ordinance in Tallahassee appears to be undergoing some changes. During a public hearing on the ordinance Wednesday Commissioner Nancy Miller suggested shortening the timeframe for a proposed moratorium on new dispensaries in the city.

An appeals court judge Tuesday will consider whether a local rule prohibiting the use of guns in parks should stand. Florida law says local governments may not have stricter gun rules than the state. But Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum argues firearm regulation should be the purview of local governments.

Florida officials announced a new locally transmitted Zika case Wednesday—this time in Palm Beach County. It’s the second case stemming from local mosquitos in the county, but officials say the two cases aren’t connected.

Fire arms purchases are growing. That’s according to a report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Adam Putnam says he expects to see that trend continue. 

Governor Rick Scott says Florida is doing its part to fight the spread of the Zika virus in the state. But he’s continuing the complaint that he’d like to see the Federal government do more. Scott spoke with a group of reporters Friday.

WFSU news is taking a look at hunger in the Big Bend this week. In the final installment of our series we’ll take a look at the impact food deserts have on a person’s ability access fresh fruits and vegetables and the potential impact of new legislation lawmakers hope will help.

Over the weekend, the number of Zika cases reported by The Department of Health that involve pregnant women in Florida quadrupled. Health experts say that’s not because of an increase in cases, but due to a change in the information the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention is providing.

Tallahassee Officials are assuring citizens the city’s water is safe to drink. Following the lead outbreak in Flint Michigan, officials say some residents are worried about water quality in Tallahassee. But Jennifer Porter with the city’s Underground Utilities Services says given the local water source, Tallahassee has no reason for lead concern.

Tallahassee’s Fluoride system needs an upgrade and officials say there’s some state money that could help.  Water Resources Engineering Manager John Buss says Tallahassee renovated the buildings associated with the system a few years ago. Now he says the pipes and tanks need attention.

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