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. Black voters become focus in redistricting fight

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The racial tensions that coursed for years beneath the surface in Florida's redistricting battle came into sharp focus Wednesday as lawyers for each side blasted each other for attempting to use black voters for partisan gain.

    The conflict emerged at a hearing called by Leon County Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis to decide whether the Florida Legislature's redrawn congressional map meets the constitutional standards imposed by voters in 2010....

  2. Legislative lawyers ask court to consider role of Democratic operatives in redistricting case

    Blog

    Democratic operatives working for two national groups played a significant role in helping one set of plaintiffs in Florida's redistricting trial draw alternative maps that are now being offered as an alternative for the court to consider, according to depositions made public Wednesday in the trial.

    The depositions were cited at a hearing before Leon County Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis by George Meros, a lawyer for the Florida House of Representatives. Meros worked to discredit a map presented by the the Romo plaintiffs, one of the voters groups that brought the lawsuit. The other group of plaintiffs is led by the League of Women Voters and Common Cause of Florida. ...

  3. Judge will be next to decide which side best protects black voters in redistricting fight

    Blog

    Terry LewisThe racial tensions that coursed for years beneath the surface in Florida’s redistricting battle came into sharp focus Wednesday as lawyers for each side blasted each other for attempting to use black voters for partisan gain....

  4. Video: Gov. Scott maintains silence as scientists urge him to commit to action on climate

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott listened to five of Florida’s top climate scientists Tuesday as they urged him to show leadership and develop policies to offset the impact of human-induced climate change to the state. Story here.

     

     

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  5. Corrections officials announce new reforms after inmate deaths

    Blog

    Florida’s Department of Corrections, embarrassed by reports of a mentally ill inmate killed by guards — allegedly when they locked him in a brutally hot shower and left him — says it is instituting a series of system-wide reforms.

    The measures will be unveiled Wednesday morning at a news conference at Everglades Correctional Institution.

    “Stories report we have fallen short in specific instances with regard to facility leadership, safety, security, training and services for mentally ill inmates,” said Mike Crews, secretary of the department. “We’re fixing the problems that have been identified and as we identify new issues, we will fix those too. Our department should be held to the highest standards, and I have zero tolerance for anything less.”...

  6. Scott listens but won't commit to climate change appeal by scientists

    Blog

    Scott and climate changeGov. Rick Scott listened to five of Florida’s top climate scientists Tuesday as they urged him to show leadership and develop policies to offset the impact of human-induced climate change to the state....

  7. Gov. Rick Scott meets with scientists but remains silent on climate change

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott listened to five of Florida's top climate scientists Tuesday as they urged him to show leadership and develop policies to offset the impact of human-induced climate change to the state.

    But the governor whose campaign strategy has been to say nothing on the issue except that he is "not a scientist," stayed true to his plan. He would not comment, question or commit to whether or not he believes the warnings by the experts deserve his attention....

    Eckerd College marine science professor David Hastings, left, speaks to Gov. Scott, right, and his aide, Noah Valenstein, about why Florida should act to offset the impact of climate change.
  8. South Florida newest casino wants to close for a year

    Blog

    Six months after opening, Dania Casino and Jai-Alai announced late Friday that it will close for a year starting in October, putting an estimated 300 people out of work.

    Company officials say closing the brand new casino is necessary to expedite the company’s $50 million in renovations needed to help Broward’s newest casino compete in the rigorous South Florida gaming market. But the move also comes after the company’s revenue performance was the worst in the region, and its owners were forced to write a check to the state for nearly $400,000 after it under-reported its taxes for three months because of an alleged software glitch....

  9. Voters groups ask judge to redraw congressional maps, reject legislative attempt

    Blog

     RedistrictOldNewArguing that a newly drawn District 5 will establish a benchmark district "further entrenching the Republican Party in its position of power" the voters groups that brought the lawsuit against the Legislature are asking a judge to draw new congressional districts that would take effect this elections cycle in documents filed today....

  10. Crist blasts Scott on lottery plan to select marijuana producers

    State Roundup

    The growing tensions between prospective producers of medical marijuana and state regulators have now become political fodder as former Gov. Charlie Crist on Friday blasted Gov. Rick Scott's administration for a plan to use a lottery to select the companies that will develop legalized pot in Florida.

    Speaking to reporters in Miami on Friday, Crist said he believes the system should be based on merit, similar to one endorsed by nurseries, investors and families of people suffering from the ailments the low-THC marijuana will be used to treat....

  11. Supervisors tell court earliest date for Florida redistricting election is March

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida's congressional districts won't change by November and new elections can't be held until next year, the state's top elections officials told a circuit court judge Friday.

    Responding to a court order to have a proposal in place by noon Friday, the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections, in conjunction with the Florida secretary of state, concluded that the earliest date they could conduct a special election in the 25 counties affected by the new congressional districts would be in March 17, with a general election to follow May 26....

  12. Crist blasts Scott adminstration for relying on lottery to pick pot producers

    Blog

    The growing tensions between prospective producers of medical marijuana and state regulators have now become political fodder as former Gov. Charlie Crist on Friday blasted the Gov. Rick Scott for a plan to use a lottery to select the companies that will develop legalized pot in Florida.

    Speaking to reporters in Miami on Friday, Crist said he believes the system should be based on a merit-selection system, similar to one endorsed by nurseries, investors and families of people suffering from the ailments the low-THC marijuana will be used to treat....

  13. Supervisors tell court earliest date for redistricting election is March

    Blog

    Florida's congressional districts won't change by November and new elections can't be held until next year, the state's top elections officials told a circuit court judge on Friday.

    Responding to a court order to have a proposal in place by noon today, the Florida Association of Supervisors of Elections, in conjunction with the Florida Secretary of State, concluded that the earliest date they could conduct a special election in the 25 counties affected by the new congressional districts would be in March 17, with a general election to follow on May 26.  Download Response.Sec.of.State...

  14. Supervisors tell court earliest date for special redistricting election is March

    Blog

    Florida's congressional districts won't change by November and new elections can't be held until next year, the state's top elections officials told a circuit court judge on Friday.

    Responding to a court order to have a proposal in place by noon today, the Florida Associations of Supervisors of Elections, in conjunction with the Florida Secretary of State, concluded that the earliest date they could conduct a special election for the new congressional districts would be in March 17, with a general election to follow on May 26....