First Coast Connect

By WJCT News

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Description

Hosted by Melissa Ross, First Coast Connect is an hour-long call-in program that features local newsmakers, civic and community leaders, arts, activities across Jacksonville and Northeast Florida, along with spot news features and a weekly roundtable of local journalists.

Episode Date
8/13/2018: Medical Marijuana PAC; Transgender Homicides; Cole Pepper; JAGMAC
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Monday on First Coast Connect we talked about the politics of medical marijuana with the owner of Compassionate Alternative Care, Daniel Locke, and Dr. Joseph Sirven of the Mayo Clinic (01:08). We spoke with ProPublica reporter Ken Schwenke about his investigation into the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office’s misidentifying transgender homicide victims (30:48). Cole Pepper brought us the latest sports news including the Jaguars’ suspending Dante Fowler and Jalen Ramsey for conduct unbecoming a Jaguars player (46:00). We met the band JAGMAC . The four brothers and two sisters from Baltimore are in Jacksonville this week and performed live in Studio 5 (48:36) Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Aug 13, 2018
8/10/2018: Media Roundtable; Kiss Me, Kate
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Our Friday Media Roundtable on First Coast Connect featured Florida Times-Union reporter Dan Scanlan , local talk show host Angela Spears , Jacksonville Daily Record reporter David Cawton and Florida Politics reporter A.G. Gancarski . Topics included Four major Jaguars players stayed in the tunnel while the national anthem was played prior to taking the field Thursday night. Other players did the same and one, Miami’s Albert Wilson, was the only one to take a knee. President Donald Trump blasted the players via Tweets Friday morning. The two major candidates running for the Republican nomination for governor participated in a debate Wednesday, while the five Democratic candidates participated in a Town Hall forum Thursday at Jacksonville University. The local gay teen forced out his parents home for religious reasons gets to go to Georgetown University at no cost. He will also use money raised in a GoFundMe campaign to help pay scholarships for teens facing similar situations to his.
Aug 10, 2018
8/9/2018: GOP Debate; #RealTalk; Farmers Markets; Cultural Council Symposium: Kerry Speckman
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Thursday on First Coast Connect we heard a review of Wednesday night’s GOP governor’s race debate with Director of Jacksonville University’s Public Policy Institute Rick Mullaney and FSCJ Political Science professor Daniel Cronrath (01:28). Our latest edition of #realtalk with host Charles Griggs discussed African-American owned businesses in Jacksonville with Suzanne Pickett , Executive Director of the Jacksonville Cultural Development Corporation; Ronnie King , CEO of software development company Scratchwerk LLC; JeffriAnne Wilder , Research Scientist with the National Center for Women and Information Technology and Dane Grey , and President of Elite Parking Services (27:16). We heard about National Farmers Market Week with co-founder of DIG Local Network and Atlantic Beach Commissioner Brittany Norris (36:55). Patrick Fisher with the The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville told us about his group’s upcoming Entrepreneur Symposium for Creatives . (46:00). Kerry Speckman told us
Aug 09, 2018
8/8/2018: Seth Owen; Land-Based Shark Fishing; Blended Designs
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Wednesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with former First Coast High School student Seth Owen. He’s the gay student who had to move out of his house for refusing to attend his family’s very strict baptist church. Owen’s story inspired a GoFundMe account that raised over $140,000. He’s attending Georgetown University this fall (01:19). We heard about the dangers of land-based shark fishing and an upcoming Florida Wildlife Commission meeting to consider drafting new rules to address the problem with activist Adam Sugalski from Save Florida Sharks (28:57). Blended Designs CEO Casey Kelley joined us to talk about her company that makes bags, totes and organizational tools that feature characters who are children of color (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Aug 08, 2018
8/7/2018: Thrillist Loves Jacksonville; McLaughlin Trump Tariffs; Science On Tap
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Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with online travel magazine Thrillist’s Miami editor Matt Meltzer who published a glowing review of Jacksonville last week, calling it a hidden gem and the most misunderstood city in America (01:11). Portfolio Manager with Legacy Trust Family Wealth Services Chord McLaughlin spoke with us about how President Donald Trump’s tariffs are impacting the economy (26:55). Organizers Josh Gellers and Eddie Whistler told us about Wednesday’s inaugural Science on Tap at 6 p.m. at Intuition Ale Works where University of North Florida professors John Anderson and Jack Hewitt will discuss the possibility of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Aug 07, 2018
8/6/2018: Dog Racing Ban; The Appeal Of Ebony Jones; Cole Pepper
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Monday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Florida Politics reporter A.G. Gancarski regarding the future of dog racing in Florida. Last week a circuit judge blocked a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban greyhound racing in Florida (01:13). We spoke with local TV producer and author Nikesha Williams about her new book, The Appeal of Ebony Jones (30:14). Cole Pepper joined the show to talk about what’s going on in the world of sports including the Jaguars ’ preseason opener Thursday against New Orleans at TIAA Bank Field (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Aug 06, 2018
8/3/2018: Media Roundtable; Electro Lounge 4000
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Our Friday First Coast Connect Media Roundtable featured WJCT contributor Fred Matthews , Jacksonville Business Journa l editor Tim Gibbons , Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth and WJCT reporter Ryan Benk . Issues discussed included: Jaguars owner Shad Khan has released renderings of a proposed $425 to $450 million project to build a hotel and convention center on the Shipyards property and an entertainment center on Lot J. Crowdfunding rescues a local teen’s college dream after he was shunned by his parents for being gay. Questions arise after the State Attorney’s Office drops charges against a former JSO officer who beat a handcuffed teenager (01:08). WJCT Station Manager and Music Director David Luckin talked about Friday’s Electro Lounge which is the 4,000 episode of program (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Aug 03, 2018
8/2/2018: Timothy James Case; Art Attack; LOL JAX Film Festival
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Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke with local attorney John Phillips about the dropping of charges against former JSO officer Timothy James in the beating of handcuffed teen Elias Campos . Phillips represents Campos (01:12). Our latest segment of Art Attack featured: - Duval County Public Schools Director of Arts Jeff Smith - Former Principal of the LaVilla School of the Arts and Douglas Anderson Jane Condon - Any Given Child Director Allison Galloway-Gonzalez - Jacksonville Public Library arts and culture developer Shawana Brooks . They discussed the importance of arts education in schools and how the public can get involved (29:53). Additional Resources: We heard about this weekend’s LOL JAX Film Festival at Sun-Ray Cinema with festival founders Adam Madrid and Sharon Cobb (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Aug 02, 2018
8/1/2018: Diana Greene; In The I; Ruined
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Wednesday on First Coast Connect we spoke new Duval County Schools Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene about her goals to improve education results in the district (01:23). Author teZa Lord talked about her latest book In the I: Easing Through Life Storms on how to deal with hurricane season and the storms of everyday life (33:18). Phase 8 Theatre Company founder JaMario Stills told us about their upcoming production of the Pulitzer Prize winning play Ruined opening this weekend at WJCT’s studios. He was joined by WJCT employee Carlos Semidei who will be making his acting debut in the play (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Aug 01, 2018
7/31/2018: Alvin Brown; March Against Fracking; Unsung Sheroes
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Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with former Jacksonville Mayor and Democratic Congressional candidate Alvin Brown who is challenging incumbent Al Lawson in the August Florida Primary (01:00). We were told about the upcoming St. Augustine March Against Fracking at 11 a.m. Saturday at the east side of the Bridge of Lions with Chair of the Northeast Florida Sierra Student Coalition and Education Ambassador for Care About Climate Nick Famularo (33:27). Author, public speaker and President of Fired Up! Reigniting Burnt-out Professionals Snowden McFall talked about The Professional Women’s Council’s Inaugural Women Connecting Women Event to be held in October at the UNF Adam Herbert University Center. It will honor five Unsung Sheroes (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Jul 31, 2018
7/30/2018: Fanatics Lawsuit; UNF Alligator Eggs; Cole Pepper
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Monday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Jacksonville Daily Record reporter David Cawton about his story on a federal lawsuit filed against Jacksonville-based Fanatics that accuses the company of racial discrimination and harassment (01:05). We heard about a research program at UNF studying climate change through alligator eggs with assistant professor of biology Dr. Adam Rosenblatt and student Molly O’Brien (30:26). Cole Pepper told us about the opening of Jaguars training camp, a big weekend for local swimmers and the Sharks will play their final regular season game Saturday in Maine. If they win, they’ll be the top seed in the playoffs (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Jul 30, 2018
7/27/2018: Media Roundtable
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Our Friday First Coast Connect Media Roundtable featured Florida Times-Union reporter David Bauerlein , WJCT contributor Charles Griggs and Florida Politics reporter A.G. Gancarski . Our topics included, Mayor Lenny Curry presenting his budget to the Jacksonville City council with an emphasis on public safety, libraries and infrastructure improvements. City Councilmember and former Council President Anna Lopez Brosche doesn’t rule out a run for Mayor. A federal judge rules a St. Johns County transgender high school student can use the boys’ bathroom in his final year at Nease High School. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office promises to name a liaison to the LGBT community. A month ahead of the August primary recent polls are good news for Democrat Gwen Graham and Republican Ron DeSantis. Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Jul 27, 2018
7/26/2018: The State Of Downtown; WOWsdom!; The River Comes Of Age; Kerry Speckman
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Thursday on First Coast Connect we were joined by Downtown Vision CEO Jake Gordon who discussed their annual report The State of Downtown and the progress made the past few years in redevelopment projects (01:05). Former WNBA president and Gen W founder Donna Orender along with photographer Susan Michal talked about their latest book to help young women to becomes leaders in their community. It’s called WOWsdom! The Girl’s Guide to the Positive and the Possible (30:08). We heard about the first St. Johns River Tri Athlon as part of The River Comes of Age athletic series with river advocate and JumpingFish founder Jim Alabiso , Jacksonville University Associate Professor of Education Dr. Steven Davis and Christopher Mark Moling of DRC Sports (38:04). Kerry Speckman told us about some upcoming events including this weekend’s Jurassic Quest at the Prime Osborn Center, Saturday’s annual Painting of the Pawprints ahead of the Jaguars new season and Saturday’s GAAM Anime Show at The Museum
Jul 26, 2018
7/25/2018: Anna Brosche Lynching Monument; Virginia Willis; Green Lion Festival; Judy Wells
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Wednesday on First Coast Connect we were joined by Jacksonville City Councilmember Anna Lopez Brosche to discuss whether Jacksonville should place a memorial to those lynched in Duval County in Hemming Park. She also talked about a potential run for mayor (01:20). Ahead of her appearance Wednesday evening at the Publix Jacksonville Cooking School we spoke with the author of The Secrets of the Southern Table , Virginia Willis (30:18). Next week’s Art Walk features the U.S. Green Building Council’s annual Green Lion Festival . We heard about if from festival chair Annie Murphy (37:25). Travel blogger Judy Wells told us about some fun vacation spots you may not know about in Florida (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Jul 25, 2018
7/24/2018: Curry Budget; Moveable Feast; Emerald Necklace
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Tuesday on First Coast Connect we were joined by Jacksonville Daily Record reporter David Cawton who gave us an overview of the proposed budget presented Monday by Mayor Lenny Curry to the Jacksonville City Council (01:15). Our latest edition of Moveable Feast with Leigh Cort of the Women’s Food Alliance featured Ryan Betesh from Fogo de Chao (32:12). We heard an update on the proposed Emerald Necklace which would encompass about 19 miles of trails, green space and parks. Groundwork Jacksonville Program Director Alyssa Bourgoyne told us about a meeting revealing the trail’s master plan Tuesday night at FSCJ’s Advanced Technology Center (38:52). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Jul 24, 2018
7/23/2018: Road To Change; Troy Mosley; Cole Peper
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Monday on First Coast Connect we heard about the March for our Lives political movement’s upcoming Road to Change rally Saturday at the Jacksonville Landing with teen activists Mia Cleary and Kaelin Kindy (01:14). Author Troy Mosley discussed his book about Harry Truman’s executive order to desegregate the military 70 years ago, Unwritten Truce: The Armed Forces and American Social Justice (34:52). Cole Pepper talked about the Jaguars training camp beginning this week, last week’s SEC media days in Atlanta and Tiger Woods’ great showing over the weekend at the British Open (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Jul 23, 2018
7/20/2018: Media Roundtable
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Our Friday Media Roundtable on First Coast Connect featured Florida Times-Union reporter Andrew Pantazi , The Victory’s Jax Engage radio host Angela Spears , Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth and Beaches Leader columnist Jon McGowan . Topics discussed included: Jacksonville City Hall is fighting a lawsuit challenging Terrance Freeman’s eligibility to serve on the City Council. A Neptune Beach board says “no” to a controversial project. After about a decade Berkman II is on track for redevelopment. The Florida Times-Union newsroom says “yes” to unionize. Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Jul 20, 2018
7/19/2018: Governor's Race Update; Go 365; 'In The Heights'
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Thursday on First Coast Connect in the wake of Wednesday night’s debate with the five major Democratic candidates for Governor we heard an update on how both the Democratic and Republican races are faring with FSCJ political science professor Daniel Cronrath (01:15). We heard about the new program Go 365 . It’s an initiative between Jacksonville’s Timucuan Trail State and National Parks and Humana to encourage people to get out and explore our extensive park system. We spoke with Timucuan Parks Foundation Executive Director Mark Middlebrook and State Board Chair at Humana’s Bold Goal Laura Nolan (31:21). The Players by the Sea begin its new season Friday night with the musical In the Heights . We spoke with Marketing Director Bradley Akers and 927 Events founder Chriss Brown who told us about a new collaboration the group is having this year with Players by the Sea (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Jul 19, 2018
5/18/2019: Freeman Appointment; 500 Atlantic; Urban Arts Program Phase II
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Wednesday on First Coast Connect we discussed the growing controversy around the appointment of Terrance Freeman to the Jacksonville City Council by Governor Rick Scott by speaking with attorney and political consultant Obi Umunna (01:06). Ahead of Wednesday night’s Neptune Beach Community Development Review Board vote on the proposed 500 Atlantic project we spoke with a member of the opposition group #NeptuneStrong Ric Duncan . A spokesperson for the developer was not available Wednesday morning but we heard a portion of an earlier interview with TriBridge Residential Principal Katherine Mosley (30:31). We heard a preview of the next phase of the Arts in Public Places Urban Arts Program with director Christie Holecheck and artist Karen Kurckyi (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Jul 18, 2018
7/17/2018: Nikki Fried; National Diversity Council; Pippa Mann; Kennedy Book; Fred Funk
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Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Agriculture Commissioner candidate Democrat Nikki Fried about her campaign and the issues she is focusing on, which include the environment, medical marijuana and gun background checks (01:17). The National Diversity Council ’s Communications Chair Kristen Williams joined us about the organization’s work to promote diversity in the workplace (27:43). Pippa Mann is an inspiration to people around the world as one of the few women ever to race in the Indianapolis 500 . She was in Jacksonville Tuesday speaking to employees at Crowley Maritime. Unfortunately we had a bad phone connection and had to cut the interview short. We apologize for poor quality (33:26). We heard a rebroadcast of an interview with author Peggy Bulger about her book Stetson Kennedy: Applied Folklore and Cultural Advocacy (38:36). We spoke with PGA Champion Fred Funk about Stryker Orthopedics “Get on the Bus” contest that encourages people living with joint pain to explore
Jul 17, 2018