Valerie Crowder

Valerie Crowder is a freelance reporter based in Panama City, Florida. Before moving to Florida, she covered politics and education for Public Radio East in New Bern, North Carolina. While at PRE, she was also a fill-in host during All Things Considered.  She got her start in public radio at WAER-FM in Syracuse, New York, where she was a part-time reporter, assistant producer and host. She has a B.A. in newspaper online journalism and political science from Syracuse University. When she’s not reporting the news, she enjoys reading classic fiction and thrillers, hiking with members of the Florida Trail Association and doing yoga.  

Bay County residents who think they’ve been infected with the coronavirus have another option for testing. In addition to the health department and local hospitals, PanCare of Florida, a nonprofit health care agency, has begun screening people over the phone and scheduling appointments for high-risk patients. 

Update: 3/19


Another major tourist attraction in Panama City Beach will close through the end of the month. Pier Park, an outdoor shopping mall and amusement park, closed on Wednesday evening, according to a release from Simon Property Group.  The attraction will reopen on March 29. 

College students on spring break in Panama City Beach aren't letting the coronavirus pandemic stop them from having fun. 

As part of a statewide campaign to increase access to mental health services, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced on Thursday that K-12 students in every public school across six Northwest Florida counties can receive virtual counseling and psychiatric care without ever leaving campus.