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

  1. Another first for DEO: challenging a local land use permit

    Blog

    From Bruce Ritchie of the Florida Current:

    The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is appealing a development permit in Lake County in what is the first challenge or appeal to a local land use decision since the department was created.

    DEO was created in 2011 when the Legislature eliminated the Department of Community Affairs and shifted its planning division to the new economic development agency. The Legislature that year also rolled back most state oversight of local growth management decisions....

  2. Scott picks fight with Senate over child welfare but defends gaps in his proposal

    Blog

    Scott opa lockaGov. Rick Scott visited a Department of Children and Families service center in Opa-locka on Tuesday to tout additional funding and staffing for the troubled agency’s child protection system....

  3. Hall-of-famer's lawsuit exposes limits of gaming compact

    Blog

    Brooks Robinson nowRenowned baseball hall-of-famer Brooks Robinson plunged six feet from an unsecured stage during a charity event at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood two years ago and is now suing the Seminole Tribe for nearly $10 million for his permanent injuries....

  4. Lawsuit exposes flaws in deal with Tribe

    Gubernatorial

    TALLAHASSEE — Baseball hall-of-famer Brooks Robinson plunged six feet from an unsecured stage during a charity event at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood two years ago and is now suing the Seminole Tribe for nearly $10 million for his permanent injuries.

    But whether the 76-year-old Baltimore Orioles superstar will collect enough to even cover his medical bills is an open question, said his Miami attorney, Jack Hickey, because under state law the tribe's liability is limited....

  5. Gambling may be dead for session, but power of lobbying cash lives

    Blog

    The debate over gambling may be dead in the Florida Legislature for this session, but it's short life was very lucrative for legislative campaign coffers. 

    The Republican Party of Florida raised nearly three times as much as the Florida Democratic Party from gambling interests, as is usually the case, but to get there you have to exclude the $375,000 contribution to the Democrats from a global gaming company, Delaware North Corporation, that wanted to influence a local election....

  6. With compact, governor can dictate fate of gambling

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott, who made a career out of negotiating hospital mergers, is now applying his negotiating skills to a deal with the Seminole Tribe that could singlehandedly dictate the future of gaming in Florida.

    The legal agreement, known as a compact, could open the door to swanky resort casinos in Miami Dade and Broward, or force them to remain off limits indefinitely. It could allow for dog racing to be replaced by arcade-style games, or close loopholes in state gambling law. It could allow for lower tax rates at the state’s horse and dog tracks and jai alai frontons, or force them to remain at a competitive disadvantage with the tribe....

  7. Gov. Rick Scott's negotiations with Seminole Tribe could be blueprint for gaming's future

    Gubernatorial

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott, who made a career out of negotiating hospital mergers, is now applying his negotiating skills to a deal with the Seminole Tribe that could singlehandedly dictate the future of gaming in Florida.

    The legal agreement, known as a compact, could open the door to swanky resort casinos in Miami-Dade and Broward, or force them to remain off limits indefinitely. It could allow for dog racing to be replaced by arcade-style games, or close loopholes in state gambling law. It could allow for lower tax rates at the state's horse and dog tracks and jai alai frontons, or force them to remain at a competitive disadvantage with the tribe....

  8. Scott raises $17 m for the quarter to Crist's $6 m

    Blog

    The first quarter fundraising number are out and, judging by the announcements from the leading governor's candidates, everyone is thrilled.

    "We have raised more money than any other Democratic candidate for governor at this point in the campaign,'' said Charlie Crist on Thursday, after meeting with House Democratic caucus and union members.

    "Find someone to high-five,'' read an announcment from the Crist campaign as it announced $1.5 million raised in March by both his "Charlie Crist for Florida" political committee and his campaign. The campaign launched in November and it was a record month....

  9. Solar rally in Tallahassee takes partisan turn

    Energy

    TALLAHASSEE — A capital rally to encourage solar energy development in Florida became partisan Thursday as organizers used the event to call out incumbent Gov. Rick Scott and to welcome his election-year rival, former Gov. Charlie Crist.

    "In Tallahassee, it's pay to play right now — the ones that are controlling the money are controlling the power," said Stephen A. Smith, director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, a solar industry-backed group that advocates for the development of alternatives to fossil fuels. The group funded an Integrity Florida report that found that the state's four top electric companies spent $18 million from 2004 to 2012 on state and legislative campaigns....

    Former Gov. Charlie Crist supports “going more solar.”
  10. Solar rally becomes partisan as Crist arrives and Scott stays away

    Blog

    Photo (12)A capital rally to encourage solar energy development in Florida became partisan Thursday as organizers used the event to call out incumbent Gov. Rick Scott and welcomed his election-year rival, former Gov. Charlie Crist. ...

  11. Effort to reduce greyhound racing runs into trouble

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — The effort to reduce greyhound racing in Florida hit the skids Tuesday as the sponsor of the amendment was forced to withdraw it after infighting within the industry made it impossible for her to win the needed votes for passage.

    Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, withdrew the measure as worries about election year politics, the looming uncertainty of a gaming compact, and infighting in the bitterly competitive gaming industry overshadowed the debate....

  12. Proposal to reduce racing at greyhound tracks hits the skids

    Blog

    The effort to reduce greyhound racing in Florida hit the skids Tuesday as the sponsor of the amendment was forced to withdraw it when it appeared she didn't have the votes.

    Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach,  withdrew the measure as worries about election year politics, the looming uncertainty of a gaming compact and the annual jealousies of the bitterly competitive gaming industry overshadowed the debate....

  13. Greyhounds' powerful advocate: wife of Senate president

    Blog

     

    Photo (11)Florida greyhounds have a powerful, unofficial, lobbyist....

  14. Economists estimate reducing greyhound racings will cost up to $336K

    Blog

    GreyhoundsEven before the ink was dry on the proposed amendment to SB 742 to allow greyhound tracks to operate their poker room and slot machine operations without racing dogs, the state's economists were hard at work calculating the cost....

  15. Session midpoint: Election year promotes harmony, squelches controversy, rewards contributors

    Blog

    The Florida Legislature has passed the halfway point of its 60-day session and the fruits of its labor can be summed up in two words: election year.

    With Gov. Rick Scott struggling in the polls as he seeks a second term in November, the Republican-led legislature has worked to send him bills to bolster his image while avoiding issues that could complicate the governor’s political prospects....