Tia Mitchell, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

Tia Mitchell

Tia Mitchell covers state government and politics in the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau. She joined the politics team in late 2011 after working as a general assignment reporter in the Times' Tampa bureau for most of the year. Tia is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a degree in journalism. She has worked at the Florida Times-Union newspaper in Jacksonville and has also interned at the Tallahassee Democrat and the Ocala Star-Banner. She is originally from Louisville, Ky.

Phone: (850) 224-7263

Email: tmitchell@tampabay.com

Twitter: @TBTia

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  1. Florida hospitals prepare for Ebola cases

    Health

    TAMPA — Tampa General Hospital has planned for the day it might get a suspected Ebola case. Officials designated special rooms for such patients and purchased impermeable Tyvek suits, face shields and heavy duty gloves for the staff who would treat them.

    The only step left is to train workers on how to handle the new equipment — something that will happen much more quickly now that the United States has its first confirmed case, in Texas, said Peggy Thompson, director of infection prevention at Tampa General....

  2. Democrat Rankin challenges CFO Atwater to a debate

    Blog

    Democrat William Rankin has challenged Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater to a debate, but just like nearly everything else with Rankin's campaign the idea is not gaining much traction.

    In a letter dated today, Rankin said he is willing to debate his Republican opponent "anytime and anywhere on the issues." Because they are both from South Florida, he suggested Palm Beach as a location and floated the ideas of a TV station or a local university as the setting....

    A screenshot of the letter Rankin sent to Atwater.
  3. Don Gaetz sticks up for John Thrasher in scorching op-ed about FSU critics

    Blog

    Some Florida State University students and faculty were vehemently opposed to state Sen. John Thrasher becoming Florida State University's next president and let their opinions be known throughout the search process. Now that Thrasher has the job, Senate President Don Gaetz is in classic form letting Thrasher's "haters" know how he really feels....

  4. John Thrasher's next goal is reconciliation at FSU

    Blog

    From Thursday's paper, an article about the road ahead for state Sen. John Thrasher:

    State Sen. John Thrasher says he knows he faces a tough job winning over Florida State University students and faculty that opposed him becoming the school's next president.

    Despite concerns about his politics and his lack of academic credentials, Thrasher won an 11-2 vote of the Board of Trustees Tuesday. In a long speech before casting his no vote, Faculty Senate president Gary Tyson said the campus will need a period of healing and reconciliation after a bruising selection process many believe compromised the integrity of an institution also roiled by the Jameis Winston controversy....

  5. John Thrasher's next goal at FSU is reconciliation

    Blog

    From Thursday's paper:

    State Sen. John Thrasher says he knows he faces a tough job winning over Florida State University students and faculty that opposed him becoming the school's next president.

    Despite concerns about his politics and his lack of academic credentials, Thrasher won an 11-2 vote of the Board of Trustees Tuesday. In a long speech before casting his no vote, Faculty Senate president Gary Tyson said the campus will need a period of healing and reconciliation after a bruising selection process many believe compromised the integrity of an institution also roiled by the Jameis Winston controversy....

  6. Newly named to lead FSU, Thrasher's next goal is reconciliation

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — State Sen. John Thrasher says he knows he faces a tough job winning over Florida State University students and faculty that opposed him becoming the school's next president.

    Despite concerns about his politics and his lack of academic credentials, Thrasher won an 11-2 vote of the Board of Trustees Tuesday. In a long speech before casting his no vote, Faculty Senate president Gary Tyson said the campus will need a period of healing and reconciliation after a bruising selection process many believe compromised the integrity of an institution also roiled by the Jameis Winston controversy....

    Sen. John Thrasher was selected as FSU president Tuesday.
  7. John Thrasher steps down from Rick Scott campaign

    Blog

    In his first official action since being named Florida State University's next president, state Sen. John Thrasher fulfilled a promise and stepped down as chairman of Gov. Rick Scott's re-election campaign.

    Thrasher said he told Scott about his decision in person Tuesday night just hours after the FSU Board of Trustees voted to make him president....

  8. John Thrasher named FSU president

    Blog

    The search that began in March and stalled over the summer because of the long shadow cast by a powerful state senator ended Tuesday when the Florida State University Board of Trustees named Sen. John Thrasher the school’s new president.

    Supporters say Thrasher, 70, is the best person to help FSU reach its $1 billion fundraising goal and its aspiration to become one of the top 25 public universities....

    State Sen. John Thrasher is Florida State University's new president.
  9. Today's the day FSU picks a new president

    Blog

    The search that began in March and stalled over the summer because of the long shadow cast by a powerful state senator is expected to end today.

    Florida State University will pick a new president this afternoon, and Sen. John Thrasher is among four finalists. Several members of the Board of Trustees who will make the final selection have supported Thrasher politically over the years.

    All four finalists will interview with the board for about an hour today. Thrasher, former West Virginia University Provost Michele Wheatly and Richard Marchase, vice president of research and economic development at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, are all in Tallahassee. Michael Martin, chancellor of the Colorado State University System who is still recovering from surgery to repair a detached retina, will interview using videoconferencing....

  10. Florida State names state Sen. John Thrasher its new president

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A search that began in March and stalled over the summer because of the long shadow cast by a powerful state senator ended Tuesday when the Florida State University board of trustees named Sen. John Thrasher the school's new president.

    "I am honored to have been selected by the board of trustees to serve as Florida State University's next president," Thrasher said in a news release. "I look forward to leading the university to even higher levels of excellence. My goal is to advance the faculty and the research, service and teaching mission of this university. I want Florida State to be the best place for students to receive an education, so they can realize their dreams."...

    John Thrasher’s sometimes testy on-campus interview last week drew the ire of Florida State University students such as Kristen Jacobs. Opponents of Thrasher’s candidacy to lead FSU say the process was rigged.
  11. FSU presidential search committee recommends keeping all 4 finalists, including Thrasher

    College

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida State University's presidential search committee wrapped up its work Monday by agreeing to recommend all four finalists, including state Sen. John Thrasher, to the school's Board of Trustees.

    The board will interview the four finalists today before making their pick. In addition to Thrasher, the finalists are former West Virginia University provost Michele Wheatly, Colorado State University System Chancellor Michael Martin and Richard Marchase, vice president of research and economic development at the University of Alabama at Birmingham....

  12. FSU foes point to John Thrasher's ties to Koch brothers

    Blog

    Set to run in Saturday's paper:

    One of the latest lines of attack against state Sen. John Thrasher becoming Florida State University's next president: Tying him to the billionaire libertarian Koch brothers.

    But Thrasher's ties to the political activists — whose name at FSU is especially radioactive since a controversial gift several years ago — are not as clear as some are suggesting....

  13. John Thrasher's FSU foes point to political links with Koch brothers

    Blog

    From a story running in Saturday's paper:

    One of the latest lines of attack against state Sen. John Thrasher becoming Florida State University's next president: Tying him to the billionaire libertarian Koch brothers.

    But Thrasher's ties to the political activists — whose name at FSU is especially radioactive since a controversial gift several years ago — are not as clear as some are suggesting....

  14. Thrasher's political links with billionaire Kochs questioned

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — One of the latest lines of attack against state Sen. John Thrasher becoming Florida State University's next president: Tying him to the billionaire libertarian Koch brothers.

    Thrasher does have ties to the political activists — who are especially radioactive at FSU since giving a controversial gift several years ago. But though the links are not as clear as some are suggesting, even the potential they represent is stirring some dissent....

    State Sen. John Thrasher  has received donations from the Libertarian Koch brothers, including $1,000 to his campaign in 2012 and another $1,000 in February.
  15. Jeff Atwater says FAU bid shouldn't affect re-election efforts

    Blog

    Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater met with the Times' editorial board today and talked about achievement during his first term office as he runs for re-election. He touched on effects of no-fault auto insurance reform, new policies that allow his office to monitor state contracts and even the environment.

    Atwater also explained the story behind his decision to apply for the presidency at Florida Atlantic University and why he believes voters should elect him to a second term without wondering if he is still looking for greener pastures elsewhere....