Rochelle Koff, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

Rochelle Koff

Rochelle Koff is a reporter in the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee bureau. She previously worked at the Miami Herald as a business, news and features editor, reporter and Broward restaurant critic. Rochelle was also a reporter at the Sun-Sentinel and earned a bachelor's degree from Temple University.

Phone: (850) 224-7263.

Email: rkoff@tampabay.com

Twitter: @RKoff

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  1. Movers & Shakers

    Blog

    New official in emergency preparedness post

    Cynthia Dick, a former city of Tallahassee fire chief, has been named the new state division director for Emergency Preparedness and Community Support.

    She will oversee the the Bureaus of Preparedness and Response, Emergency Medical Oversight, Public Health Pharmacy, Public Health Laboratories and Radiation Control.

    Dick brings more than 26 years of experience in emergency preparedness and response services to the job, according to a press statement....

  2. Ex-Florida Supreme Court justices against amendment for medical marijuana

    Health

    TALLAHASSEE — A group fighting Amendment 2 has won the backing of seven former state Supreme Court justices to oppose the effort to legalize medical marijuana. But the spokesman for a group working to secure the measure's passage downplayed the development, saying the current court is what matters.

    A divided Florida Supreme Court ruled in January that ballot language for a proposed constitutional amendment meets all legal requirement....

  3. Seven former state Supreme Court justices say they oppose medical marijuana amendment

    Blog

    An anti-drug group fighting Amendment 2 has elicited the backing of seven former state Supreme Court justices to oppose the effort to legalize medical marijuana, but the spokesman for a pro-amendment group countered "what's relevant is the majority opinion" of the current court.

    A divided Florida Supreme Court ruled in January that ballot language for a proposed constitutional amendment meets all legal requirement....

  4. Florida Missing Children's Day comforts parents, celebrates law enforcement

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Hilary Sessions on Monday quietly placed a yellow rose by the picture of her daughter, Tiffany, who disappeared more than 25 years ago. Her tribute was echoed by others who honored the memories of missing or murdered children during an emotional ceremony held on Florida Missing Children's Day.

    "You take it one day at a time," said Sessions, a Tampa resident and director of the board of the Florida Missing Children's Day Foundation. Her daughter, a University of Florida student, vanished Feb. 9, 1989. Sessions spent much of the rally hugging and comforting parents. "You can feel the relief of these parents when they talk to someone who's been through this," she said....

  5. Families remember lost loved ones at Missing Children's Day

    Blog

    Hilary Sessions quietly placed a yellow rose by the picture of her daughter, Tiffany, who disappeared more than 25 years ago. Her tribute was echoed by other family members who honored the memory of their missing or murdered child during an emotional ceremony held Monday for Florida Missing Children's Day.

    In 2013, 35,124 missing children were reported missing, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. But Florida Missing Children's Day focused more on paying tribute to those children and honoring heroes than statistics....

    A few of the pictures displayed at the Florida Missing Children's Day honoring 21 missing or murdered children. The second picture is of Jimmy Ryce, a Redlands 9-year-old who was abducted and killed in 1995.
  6. Movers & Shakers

    Blog

    Circuit Court judge added to adult offender council

    Raag Singhal, a judge with the 17th Judicial Circuit Court in Broward County, has been appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to the State Council for Interstate Adult Offender Supervision.

    Singhal, 50, of Fort Lauderdale, succeeds Elisabeth Goodner and is appointed for a term that ends June 30, 2015.

    Former House general counsel joins Tallahassee law firm...

  7. New panel targets human trafficking

    State Roundup

    Human trafficking is a crime that reaches a broad spectrum of victims — teenage runaways, the homeless, undocumented workers and even "kids who hang out at the mall every day," Mike Carroll, interim secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, said Monday at the first meeting of the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking.

    Many victims are also foster care kids who are under state care or have aged out of the state system and have nowhere to go, Carroll, the council's vice chair, said....

  8. Council aims to fight human trafficking

    Blog

    Human trafficking is a crime that reaches a broad spectrum of victims -- teenage runaways, the homeless, undocumented workers and even "kids who hang out at the mall every day,"  Mike Carroll, interim secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families said Monday at the first meeting of the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking.

    Many victims are also foster care kids who are under state care or have aged out of the state system and have no where to go, Carroll, the council's vice chair, said....

  9. Movers & Shakers

    Blog

    Former Junior League president and police chief appointed to human trafficking council 

    Lee Lowry, a former president of The Junior League of Tampa, and Philip Thorne, Springfield's police chief, have been picked by Gov. Rick Scott to fill the two remaining seats on the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking.

    The council, which was created during the legislative session to develop recommendations for programs and services for victims of human trafficking and maximize existing resources, will have its first meeting at 2 p.m. Aug. 18 in Room 214 of the Knott Building at the Capitol. ...

  10. Movers & Shakers

    Blog

    Sen. Grimsley named to new human trafficking council

    Sen. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring, has been appointed by Senate President Don Gaetz to the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking, which was established by the legislature this session.

    The first meeting of the 15-member council will be held at 2 p.m. Aug. 18th in Room 214 of the Knott Building at the Capitol....

  11. Rep. Grant's the winner in Florida ethics commission ruling

    Blog

    In a closed-door session, the Florida Commission on Ethics ruled in favor of Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa, after an investigation into whether he misused his position to benefit a company that allegedly funded a grant awarded to his personal business venture.

    The nine-member panel also decided there was no probable cause concerning an allegation that Grant had a conflict when he voted on legislation that related to excise taxes on phosphate mining....

  12. Climate wars continue as Crist meets with FSU scientist

    Blog

    Democrat Charlie Crist said he's already a "believer" in climate change but said he listened to a scientific presentation Friday partly to highlight the differences between him and Gov. Rick Scott.

    The presentation took place during a press conference as Jeff Chanton, a Florida State University oceanography professor, showed slide after slide showing the impact of global warming on Florida and the world. Chanton was one of 10 scientists who last week sent a letter to Scott requesting a sit-down to discuss climate change since the governor has often said he's not a scientist when asked about global warming....

  13. Bondi calls on emergency medical workers to help fight human trafficking

    Blog

    Attorney General Pam Bondi is turning to emergency medical workers to help fight human trafficking in Florida, which is the third highest ranked state for the crime.

    Emergency medical providers are at the "front line to help to identify possible victims of human trafficking," Beth Brunner, CEO of the Emergency Medicine Learning and Resource Center in Orlando, said in a press release....

  14. Movers & Shakers

    Blog

    Legislative director leave

    A longtime presence in state government, Darrick McGhee has left his job as director of legislative affairs for Gov. Rick Scott, and will be starting a new position as vice president of government relations for the lobbying firm, Johnson & Blanton, on Aug. 4th

    Darrick is "an outstanding human being, a really good guy," said Travis Blanton. "He's very knowledgeable of the (state) agencies because he's worked in several and he's very knowledgeable about how Florida government works."...

  15. Blog