Topher Forhecz

Topher is the host of All Things Considered and reporter at WGCU News. 

He formerly freelanced for WNYC radio in New York City. He holds a master's degree from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Note: Audio to come.  

April is Fair Housing Month. It marks the enactment of the Fair Housing Act of 1968. The act protects against housing discrimination based on things like a person’s race or gender.  Local representatives are taking the opportunity to host the Southwest Florida Fair Housing Summit on Tuesday.

As the Florida legislature nears the end of its 2015 session, the fate of a tax incentive program aimed at boosting business growth in blighted communities remains unclear.

A lawsuit filed against Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet over skirting the state's Sunshine Law is heading into mediation. News outlets across the state and others are involved with the lawsuit. They allege the Governor and the Cabinet violated the state’s open meetings law over the dismissal of former Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey.

The National Park Service recently released a list of how much delayed maintenance projects cost for parks around the country.

In Florida, the amount comes to almost $192 million. At Everglades National Park, operators are trying to figure out what to do as that number grows.

Lee County is reviewing the rules behind what gives Pine Island its character such as stretches of mangroves, low buildings and controlled development. It’s happening in the wake of several lawsuits, one of which the county lost last summer.

One landowner, whose presence has been eyed suspiciously by some Pine Island residents, has floated its ideas to county officials as to how the rules should be changed. That landowner is the large agricultural producer King Ranch.

The Fort Myers City Council met for a special public meeting Wednesday night on a possible large junkyard expansion near the Dunbar area. 

And then, procedure intervened.

Lee County hospitals saw a significant rise from 2013 to 2014 in the number of babies born experiencing withdrawal from narcotics like heroin and some prescription drugs.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida is advocating to save a small island off the mouth of Tampa Bay from eroding.

The island represents a painful moment in the Tribe’s history. It was used as a deportation site in the mid-19th century. 

A handful of protestors gathered outside of the Hendry County Courthouse Tuesday over the increasing number of primate breeding facilities coming to the county.

A Florida House subcommittee proposed on Tuesday how it wants to spend dollars from a constitutional mandate for environmental conservation.

But, some environmentalists say this proposal doesn’t fully line up with the amendment’s original intent.

Note: Audio to come.

A Fort Myers man whose imprisonment and later exoneration made headlines is speaking to the Naples Press Club on Friday.

Gov. Rick Scott discussed his plans for Everglades restoration at a stop in Fort Myers on Wednesday.

An expert on hate groups is speaking at New College of Florida on Thursday.

Gov. Rick Scott was in Fort Myers Wednesday to make an announcement about transportation at the Southwest Florida International Airport.

 Florida and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been teaming up to address future health effects caused by climate change.

Note: Audio to come. 

Environmentalists urged the South Florida Water Management District to purchase land for Everglades restoration at its governing board meeting in West Palm Beach Thursday. They’re worried the district will not act in time to buy the land.

Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment last November securing funds for the environment. Now, affordable housing advocates are worried this mandate could mean fewer dollars for low income families.

The Big Cypress National Preserve will conduct a huge controlled burn to preserve a type of snail.

A recent report said the Sunshine State makes its lowest wage earners pay much more of their income in taxes than its top earners.  

 The Naples Municipal Airport has hired a communications specialist to help address community concerns over noise.

The airport hopes the new addition will open a dialogue between the airport, pilots and the community. But, some local residents are not convinced it will bring down the noise.

A controversial pastor, who appears on a widely-distributed al-Qaida hit list, has opened up a shop in a Bradenton mall.

His business raises questions over safety and free speech.

A Central Florida lawmaker has reintroduced a bill allowing people to carry concealed weapons during a state of emergency.

State Sen. Jeff Brandes’, R-St. Petersburg, bill grants those who do not have a license to carry a concealed weapon permission to do so during a mandatory evacuation. That evacuation would be part of a declared state of emergency.

Advocates, national and state organizations are exploring the possibility of a multi-use trail connecting Naples to Miami.

Buffalo Tiger, the man who led Florida’s Miccosukee tribe to federal recognition in the early 1960s, has died.

Tiger spent much of his life advocating for tribal rights.

A local arm of a national mental health advocacy organization has developed a successful way to screen children for signs of possible behavioral issues. 

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