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Erika Dissipates; Threat To Northeast Florida Minimal

 Tropical Storm Erika proved to be no match for the volatile conditions aloft and the mountainous terrain of Hispaniola.
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Tropical Storm Erika proved to be no match for the volatile conditions aloft and the mountainous terrain of Hispaniola. 

Tropical Storm Erika is following a path that could end Florida’s 10-year run without a hurricane. Jacksonville City Council President Greg Anderson is proposing a solution to infrastructure woes on downtown’s Northbank. The Jacksonville organization that protects people from discrimination is struggling under an overwhelming case load.

It’s Friday, August 28, 2015. Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida and across the country.

Here are 8 stories you might have missed.

Lindsey Kilbride

While a lot of University of North Florida students will spend the semester at desks, one photography student is spending a lot of her senior year working at the Museum of Contemporary Art, downtown.

Amanda Rosenblatt is the second UNF student to be chosen for the museum’s residency program.


Florida Department of Transportation

The new Arlington River Bridge on University Boulevard will open to traffic this weekend.

The Florida Department of Transportation says the new $11.5 million bridge will have sidewalks and bicycle lanes as well as decorative lighting, architectural railings and landscaping at both ends.

Plans call for traffic to be shifted from the temporary bridge to the new one sometime Saturday afternoon, weather permitting.

The final phase of the project, removing the temporary bridge and resurfacing the entire project, will begin soon.

Warren Miller

Carla Morello moved to Jacksonville Beach from New York as a child. She wasn't an athlete. But she had a career goal.

"I thought I was supposed to be a nurse,” Morello said. “I did that for a little while, then realized I didn't like it, didn't want to do it anymore. I went for a shift one night and turned around and came home. My husband said, 'what are you going to do?' I said, 'I have no clue, but give me a day to think about it and I'll figure it out.' I just made a list of what I like to do, and what I liked to do most was exercise. So I became a fitness trainer and aerobics instructor."

Morello worked as a trainer at a number of fitness centers and resorts in the area. Then an injury opened her eyes to yet another health-related profession — massage therapy.

Independent Living Center

Jacksonville residents are bracing for the possibility of a Category 1 hurricane. Many are buying water and stocking up on batteries.

For people living with disabilities, preparation involves more steps.

The Independent Living Resource Center has a new guide to help them keep an emergency from becoming a tragedy.


Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

A theater on Jacksonville’s Northside is looking for a new home. The Stage Aurora Theatrical Company was founded more than a decade ago to highlight the African-American experience and give people of color a performance venue.

We discuss the week's top news stories with our roundtable of local journalists: Paula Horvath, Florida Times-Union columnist; Tim Gibbons, Jacksonville Business Journal editor; Susan Eastman, Folio Weekly reporter; and A.G. Gancarski, Florida Politics reporter.

Topics include Tropical Storm Erika, this week's Florida Mental Health Summit, and local business and civic leaders pushing for Mayor Lenny Curry to lead a community discussion about the city's Human Rights Ordinance.


Florida could be a key state next year in the battle for control of the U.S. Senate.

But first, Florida voters will have to figure out who is running.

A poll released Tuesday by Quinnipiac University continues to show that voters know little about the candidates seeking to replace presidential candidate Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate.

In the wake of a massive hacking, the founder and CEO of the cheating website Ashley Madison has stepped down.

Noel Biderman had been at the center of controversy after hackers released information on 33 million people who had used to the site to try to cheat on their spouses.

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