Mary Ellen Klas, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

Mary Ellen Klas

Mary Ellen Klas is capital bureau chief for the Miami Herald and co-bureau chief of the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau. She is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and a graduate of the University of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minn. Before she became bureau chief for the Herald in 2004, Mary Ellen was Tallahassee bureau chief for Florida Trend magazine and also served as a senior writer for the Palm Beach Post. She was bureau chief for the Palm Beach Post from 1990-94, after which she worked part time for 10 years while her daughters were young. She is married to John Kennedy, senior writer for the Palm Beach Post's Tallahassee bureau. They have two daughters.

Phone: 850-222-3095

Email: meklas@miamiherald.com

Twitter: @MaryEllenKlas

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  1. Plaintiffs want expert to redraw congressional map before November election

    Blog

    Responding to a Tallahassee court judge's skepticism that he could craft a new congressional map in time for the November elections, the voters group is now asking the court to appoint a redistricting expert to do it.

    The plaintiffs, a group of voters groups led by the League of Women Voters, successfully sued the state to throw out the congressional map. But Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis said at a hearing last week that he was unsure he could order a special election or revise the map....

  2. Judge skeptical about fixing Florida's congressional maps now

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A coalition of voting-rights groups on Thursday urged a judge to redraw Florida's congressional map and push back the August primary — or risk having the election be invalid.

    Leon County Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis said he was "extremely skeptical" he could do what was asked.

    "Logistically, it is going to be very difficult to get a map drawn within a reasonable amount of time," Lewis said, adding that he wasn't sure if he had the power to reconfigure the districts or delay federal elections....

  3. Court asked to reset election schedule to create new map

    Blog

    Florida should delay the primary or adjust its election dates this year in order to fix its unconstitutional congressional map and avoid an invalid election, lawyers for a coalition of voters argued Thursday in circuit court.

    But lawyers for the Legislature told Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis that fixing the map before the November elections would "cause horrific uncertainty" for voters and would be an extreme, unnecessary remedy....

  4. Climate war on: Charlie Crist agrees to meet with scientists, so Gov. Rick Scott follows suit

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Democratic candidate for governor Charlie Crist fueled the climate wars Friday and called Florida State University oceanography professor Jeff Chanton offering to meet with the scientists who asked to meet with Gov. Rick Scott.

    Scott said this week that someone in his administration would meet with the 10 climate scientists from universities and colleges across the state, but after Crist agreed to meet them, the governor also agreed....

  5. Climate war on: Crist agrees to meet with scientists (so Gov. Scott follows suit)

    Blog

    Democratic candidate for governor Charlie Crist fueled the climate wars Friday and called Florida State University oceanography professor Jeff Chanton offering to meet with the scientists who asked to meet with Gov. Rick Scott.

    Scott said this week that someone in his administration would meet with the 10 climate scientists from universities and colleges across the state, but after Crist agreed to meet, them, the governor also agreed....

  6. Gov. Rick Scott says his staff will meet with climate change scientists

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott deflected calls to meet with climate scientists Wednesday and told reporters that his staff "would be happy to meet" with the state's top climate experts about the impact human-induced global warming is having on Florida.

    Ten of the state's top scientists in oceanography, climate and atmospheric sciences delivered a letter to Scott on Tuesday, asking for an opportunity to explain to him the impact human-induced global warming will have on Florida....

  7. Prisons chief fires warden at embattled Dade prison

    Blog

    In a scathing rebuke to the leadership at the Dade Correctional Institution, Florida's prisons chief on Thursday fired the warden at the embattled prison and announced he wanted to "send a message" through the system.

    Department of Corrections Secretary Mike Crews announced that he had terminated Warden Cummings, whom he had suspended last week, and replaced him with Warden Les Odom, Assistant Warden Jose Lugo and Colonel Victor Barber....

  8. Scientist to Scott: meeting staff is fine, meeting you is better

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott deflected calls to meet with climate scientists Wednesday and told reporters that his staff "would be happy to meet" with the state's top climate experts about the impact human-induced global warming is having on Florida.

    But Jeff Chanton, the FSU oceanography professor who delivered the letter to the governor on Tuesday, told the Miami Herald that he is still hoping to meet with the guy in charge, Scott....

  9. Arguments on redrawing contested Florida districts will be heard next week

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — With time running out, the judge who invalidated Florida's congressional redistricting maps ordered a hearing for next Thursday to give voters groups one last chance to argue that the maps should be redrawn before the November elections.

    In a 20-minute hearing on Thursday, lawyers for the Legislature, Florida's secretary of state and the associations of supervisors of elections told Leon County Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis that it is practically impossible to draw new districts in time to meet federal and state requirements for the election....

  10. Judge schedules hearing to let voters groups make case for redrawing maps now

    Blog

    With time running out, the judge who invalidated Florida's congressional redistricting maps ordered a hearing for next Thursday to hear the last-chance argument by voters groups that the maps should be redrawn before the November elections.

    In a 20-minute scheduling hearing on Thursday, lawyers for the Legislature, Florida's secretary of state, and the associations of supervisors of elections told Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis that it is practically impossible to draw new districts in time to meet federal and state requirements for the election....

  11. DOC disciplines officer for failling to report contraband

    Blog

    The recent attention to management issues at the Department of Corrections in the wake of reports on suspcious inmate deaths -- all occurring while the governor is almost exclusively on the campaign trail -- has now prompted the agency to do what we've rarely seen before: call attention to discipling officers.

    In a press release on Tuesday, DOC announced it had fired a captain at Columbia Correctional Institution for failing to write up a report about contraband, including a gun, that had been smuggled to an inmate in February....

  12. Questions Rick Scott gets asked: Why don't you answer questions?

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott held a press conference in Tampa Tuesday to urge people to prepare for hurricane season. He was greeted with a series of questions from Tampa television reporters -- not about hurricanes but about minimum wage, on-duty police and why he has a reputation for not answering questions

    His answer: "I answer questions.  I have the opportunity to talk to the media a lot."...

  13. Florida scientists press Gov. Rick Scott on climate change

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — In an effort to push Gov. Rick Scott into the debate on climate change, 10 prominent Florida scientists on Tuesday asked for an opportunity to explain to him the impact human-induced global warming will have on Florida.

    "We note you have been asked several times about how, as governor, you will handle the issue of climate change," the scientists wrote in a two-page letter to Scott. "You responded that you are 'not a scientist.' We are scientists and we would like the opportunity to explain what is at stake for our state."...

    Gov. Rick Scott speaks at a hurricane readiness news conference in Tampa on Tuesday, the same day scientists delivered to Scott’s Tallahassee office a letter offering to explain climate change.
  14. Gov may be no scientist but scientists ask: let them explain climate change

    Blog

    Jeff ChantonIn an effort to push Gov. Rick Scott into the debate on climate change, ten prominent scientists from the state’s top universities on Tuesday asked to meet with him to explain the impact human-induced global warming will have on Florida.

    "We note you have been asked several times about how, as Governor, you will handle the issue of climate change,’’ the professors wrote in the two-page letter. "You responded that you are ‘not a scientist.’ We are scientists and we would like the opportunity to explain what is at stake for our state."

    Scott initially denied the impact of human-induced global warming when he first ran for office in 2010 saying he has "not been convinced that there's any man-made climate change." He has since been reluctant to engage on the issue, answering only, "I’m not a scientist,’’ when he was asked about it.

    The scientists, who are the top in their fields at the universities of Miami, Florida State, Florida International and Eckerd College, believe they can explain simply why they believe the governor should care.

    "Florida is one of the most vulnerable places in the country with respect to climate change, with southeastern Florida of particular concern,’’ the scientists wrote. "This is not a hypothetical. Thousands of scientists have studied the issue from a variety of angles and disciplines over many decades....

  15. Legislative leaders agree to redraw congressional districts after election

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida legislative leaders ended their silence on their rejected congressional map Tuesday and announced they will not appeal a judge's ruling, but will redraw the invalid map, as long as they can wait until after the 2014 election.

    House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz asked Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis to clarify his decision about when lawmakers must fix the two districts he ruled violate the Fair Districts standards of the state Constitution, rendering the entire map invalid. Lewis scheduled a hearing in the case for Thursday....

    Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford, left, huddles with Florida Senate President Don Gaetz during the most recent session of the Florida Legislature. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]