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Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Duval Superintendent Now One Of Two Finalists For Detroit Position

Duval County Superintendent Nikolai Vitti is now one of two finalists for Detroit Public Schools Community District superintendent after the third candidate, Orlando Ramos of Milwaukee Public Schools, dropped out Thursday night, according to Detroit NPR member station WDET.

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NPR

Neil Gorsuch Testifies In Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing

NPR Politics team live blogged from the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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National News

For Jernica Quiñones, the reality of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, hit close to home this year when a friend woke up on New Year's Day and discovered the lifeless body of her baby girl.

That's why Quiñones' 4-month-old son, Bless'n, has spent a lot of his life so far sleeping in a cardboard box.

The 33-year-old mother of five took part in a program in New Jersey that promotes safe sleep education through the distribution of "baby boxes" that double as bassinets.

Katherine Nagasawa

When the temperature in Chicago hit 70 degrees in February this year, meteorologists were having a ball.

“It just keeps getting better and better!” exclaimed Steve Baskerville of CBS Chicago.

But when Curious Citizen Mark Mesle saw all that sun in the forecast, he had mixed feelings. “It was a beautiful day and I went to the park,” he admits. “But I also just genuinely worry. I have a 2 ½ - and a 4 ½ -year-old [child]. And it scares the hell out of me in terms of, what’s this going to be like in 2050? Are they going to be OK?”

A shooting in a Cincinnati nightclub left 15 people wounded, one of them fatally, early on Sunday morning.

The number of victims could rise, however, because people were traveling to hospitals on their own, Cincinnati police Capt. Kim Williams said.

NBC affiliate WLWT reported that police officers outside the club heard gunshots around 1 a.m., as the Cameo Night Club was closing.

Assistant Police Chief Paul Neudigate has tweeted that there was "only one reported shooter," and that police are "still investigating if others [are] involved."

Some basketball viewers on Friday night were subjected to television commercials that were guilty of peddling some alternative facts.

That's because in some markets with conservative-leaning districts, commercials aired praising some Republican House members for their efforts in repealing the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare.

The problem of course is that repeal effort, which many thought would be a slam dunk, was abandoned because the House Republicans didn't have enough support from within their own ranks.

Courtesy of Tonantzin Esparza

When the movie "Selena" opened in theaters back in 1997, it was an instant hit. That first weekend, the biopic starring Jennifer Lopez rang up more than $11 million in box office receipts, making it the No. 2 film in the country.

It had only been two years since singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez died of a gunshot wound, and her most dedicated fans in Texas lined up by the thousands to buy a ticket.

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WJCT News Podscast

Bonnie Zerr / WJCT

Updated March 17 1:10 p.m.

On this episode of Redux, we’ll look at a dispute between one historic Jacksonville community, two non-profits and the Department of Justice that already will cost taxpayers millions of dollars — and possibly much more when the issue is settled.

Then, in collaboration with public radio stations throughout the state, we bring you our contribution to Decision Florida, which is a look at the issues during this legislative session. And finally, who says it’s a bad idea to play video games in class? Certainly not this Jacksonville middle school.

But first, one developer wants to make Jacksonville the home of the tallest structure in Florida.


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Auditors said Duval’s new elementary English Language Arts curriculum is highly aligned with state standards. But while school principals are feeling good about its implementation, teachers aren’t necessarily sold.

School board members heard the results of the second phase and final recommendations of the curriculum audit by the company Educational Directions Thursday afternoon. Results from the first phase which focused on the curriculum's alignment, were presented in December.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

A new commission convened Thursday to begin measuring how well the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is implementing task force recommendations from last year.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams asked the four taskforces to write a strategic plan.

Now, the Commission on Progress will study how well police are doing at increasing transparency, community engagement, training and resources.


phone in hand
Alexandra E Rust via Flickr

The Duval County School District is launching a safety hotline for students and parents. The email and phone system is for reporting threats.

Thursday on “First Coast Connect” Florida State College Jacksonville President Cynthia Bioteau talked about a new program that will pay for the tuition of some local students. We also spoke with Generation W founder Donna Orender and Web.com Senior Vice President Mary Kellmanson about their upcoming conference. We were joined by artist Lauren Fenterstock, whose work will be on display beginning Saturday at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Project Atrium. We spoke with Erin Thursby about Saturday’s GastroJax in Hemming Park and Kerry Speckman told us about this weekend’s events.  


       

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

The nonprofit that manages downtown Jacksonville’s Hemming Park is getting another chance to prove it can handle the responsibility.

Mayor Lenny Curry originally planned for the city to take back control of the park after the Friends of Hemming Park misspent public funds. But Curry last week announced he’d extend Friends’ lease another six months.

Business owners around Hemming want city government to know the park’s condition directly affects their livelihoods.


Jesse Hanson

The St. Johns Riverkeeper is hosting a two-week event to acquaint Northeast Florida residents with the river.

Riverkeeper spokeswoman Shannon Blankinship said many people see the river when driving over a bridge, but not many actually get up close and personal with the water.

Ray Hollister / WJCT News

The Jacksonville City Council approved a bill Tuesday that encourages city contractors to consider hiring felons.

The bill, 2017-35, sponsored by councilman Garrett Dennis requires businesses contracting with the city for at least $200,000 complete an extra step toward considering  ex-offenders to fill job openings.


  Wednesday on “First Coast Connect” we discussed the proposed settlement between the city of Jacksonville and two nonprofits regarding a plan by Ability Housing to renovate an apartment building in Springfield that would house homeless veterans. Ability Housing Executive Director Shannon Nazworth joined us to talk about its plans and the deal with the city. We also discuss the growing problem of digital abuse against the elderly in senior living facilities with Joanne Hickox, executive director of Seniors on a Mission, and attorney Steve Watrel, who focuses on elder abuse cases. Author and financial planner Jeanette Bajalia talked about her new book “Planning a Purposeful Life” on how seniors can make sure they don’t outlive their savings.   


        

Duval County Public Schools / Facebook

Duval County School teachers reported improved school culture in the 2015-2016 school year, according to the 2016 Instructional Culture Index survey.

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