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JOHN RAOUX / AP

The Coast Guard is monitoring the debris field of a rocket that exploded during take-off on Sunday.

The debris from is floating north more than 150 miles off the coast of Florida, and it is not expected to impact beaches over July Fourth weekend.

St Johns County spokeswoman Sarah Hand says while it’s not likely debris will land along the first coast, beach-goers should keep their eyes open.  

“It’s best to stay away from any debris or any perceived debris and immediately call Spacex or the Coast Guard,” she said.

athriftymrs.com / Flickr

The American Publishers Association has designated June as audiobook month. The Jacksonville Public Library is celebrating the month by touting its free audiobook delivery service. The library offers so-called “talking books” and magazines to city residents who are blind or living with physical disabilities.

Susan Mason is blind and says she’s been reading books on tape since she was 5-years-old. Mason says the library’s delivery service keeps her up-to-date with the latest titles.

Bonnie Zerr / WJCT

  Last week, the One Spark crowdfunding festival eliminated most of its full-time staff.

In this week’s Business Brief, analyst John Burr tells WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo the festival’s future is uncertain.


A rocket carrying cargo intended for the International Space Station breaks up over the Atlantic Ocean, plus a look at how the recent Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage and the ACA will affect Floridians. JU’s College of Health Sciences is renamed in honor of Brooks Rehabilitation, and a class of JU students launch a tracking buoy into the St. Johns River.

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 7 stories you might have missed.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

More than a 1,000 Duval County kids will be able to go to camp this summer thanks to $541,000 the Jacksonville City Council approved Tuesday.

To celebrate, children from about 20 different summer camps were at Randolph Heritage Park for a field day Friday morning.


Rhema Thompson / WJCT

  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that same-sex marriage must be allowed in all 50 states. Not much changes in Florida because a federal court struck down Florida’s same-sex marriage ban early this year.

But Jacksonville residents Aaron Talbot and Joel Adams say, even though they’re already married, today’s ruling is still meaningful.

“I guess the biggest thing is having your own government tell you that you are welcome in the country in which you were born and where you want to live,” Talbot said. “That, for me, is the biggest victory here.”

Stig Nygaard / Flickr

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, will be in Jacksonville on Monday protesting against SeaWorld.

The protest will take the form of an interactive exhibit on a downtown street corner.


Jacksonville University

Jacksonville University’s College of Health Sciences has partnered with Brooks Rehabilitation, which provides specialized care to rehab patients.

The college has been renamed the Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences in honor of the center’s donation of $4 million over several years.

JIM LO SCALZO EPA / LANDOV

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a crucial interpretation of the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, preserving health insurance for more than 1 million Floridians but providing no larger solutions to the national or statewide divisions on the law.

In a case that hinged on what Congress meant by making tax credits for insurance available to people using "an Exchange established by the State," a majority of justices found that credits could be given to people who purchase coverage through an exchange set up by the federal government if the state doesn't operate one.

Jennifer Dougherty

A class of Jacksonville University students is traveling the Atlantic Ocean by tracking a floating buoy.

The oceanography students are using the simple device to learn where water ends up when it leaves the St. Johns River.


After years of fighting, the U.S. Supreme Court has seemingly closed the debate over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the Cultural Council prepares to fill the Duval County Courthouse with almost $900,000 worth of art and six other stories you don’t want to miss.

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 eight stories you don’t want to miss.

Two First Coast organizations received federal grants Thursday to help them find jobs for people getting out of jail or prison.

First Coast Workforce Development in Fleming Island received more than $1 million to support its work with juvenile offenders.

And Jacksonville’s Operation New Hope is getting more than $1.1 million for its efforts to help adult ex-offenders.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

As Lenny Curry transitions into the role of Jacksonville mayor, he is taking a close look at several issues, including fighting neighborhood blight.

Outgoing Councilwoman Denise Lee is the head of Curry’s blight committee. The team will soon make recommendations about the best ways to fight urban decay.

“The mere fact that [Curry’s team] made blight a part of the transition is indicative that this administration is very serious about the quality of life for all neighborhoods,” Lee said.

Gregory Todaro / WJCT News

Gov. Rick Scott was in St. Augustine Thursday for a Veterans’ Service Award Ceremony.

At the same time as the ceremony, a Washington congressional panel was taking a look at problems with the St. Johns County Department of Veterans Affairs clinic.

Erica Protsman / WJCT News

Thousands of dogs and cats are turned into North Florida animal shelters each year.

The First Coast No More Homeless Pets foundation is hosting what it’s calling a Super Pet Adoption event this weekend.


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