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.

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. 

A Florida lawmaker is pushing legislation that would prohibit a controversial kind of therapy aimed at LGBT youths. The bill could stop the use of so-called “gay conversion therapy” in the state.

A 2007 Department of Justice study says one out of five women experience an “attempted or completed sexual assault during their college years.”

These numbers can be difficult to clarify because – as a PunditFact article points out sexual assaults and rapes are underreported.

The federal government is currently investigating some 55 schools over how they handle sexual assaults. This includes Florida State University.

The problem also exists in Southwest Florida. A recent News-Press investigation found students reported 13 sexual assaults to campus police since 2010.

FGCU is not the only college in the region facing the issue. Sexual assault offenses and arrests have been reported at nearby schools including Florida SouthWestern State College and Ave Maria University.

We take a look at sexual assaults on college campuses, how schools and their students including those at Florida Gulf Coast University are trying to address the issue. 

Florida saw an increase in the number of “ultra-wealthy” millionaires in 2014.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or EPA launched a program to help water utilities across the country adapt to climate change. This includes the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

One man is using a shovel and wheelbarrow in an attempt to save Clam Pass in Naples from closing up with sand. If the pass closes, it threatens wildlife and mangroves in the connecting bays.

State Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami, is weighing in on a recent lawsuit against Hendry County over a new primate breeding facility being built there.

Lee County officials pledged to end chronic and veteran homelessness by the end of 2016.

The county is joining a campaign made up of 69 U.S. communities.

Almost half of all Floridians are struggling to make ends meet. That’s the takeaway from a new report by the United Way. It’s called the ALICE report, which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. It was done in partnership with Rutgers University-Newark’s School of Public Affairs and Administration.

The report states Florida’s 15 percent poverty rate doesn’t properly show exactly how much people are struggling when it comes to necessities such as housing, food, child care and transportation. Part of this is because the federal metrics for defining the poverty rate have not been updated since 1974. So, the United Way and its partner set out to create a new set of standards that takes an even crisper look at poverty in Florida.

We’ll take a closer look at those standards and what they tell us about poverty in the Sunshine state.