News

Bonnie Zerr / WJCT

What started out as a peaceful protest devolved into violence last week.

On this episode of Redux, we’ll get you up to speed on the who, why and what exactly happened in Hemming Park.

Then, the life and times of one of Jacksonville’s most infamous characters were brought to the stage last week — a portrait of serial killer Ottis Toole. Find out why these Jacksonville University academics decided to bring this story to the stage.

And finally, we'll bring you a story about the world’s oldest skate park.


Amy Hadden

Empty storefronts still line both sides of Main Street, which runs through the heart of one of Jacksonville’s historic districts. Many spaces are reminiscent of the area's heyday in the early 1900s. But some of the old haunts are now filled with sounds of construction as new businesses move into the Springfield neighborhood.


Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

Jacksonville’s minor league baseball team, the Jumbo Shrimp, played Wednesday night's season opener before a near record home crowd of more than 10,000 fans — that’s after many fans booed the team’s name change from the Jacksonville Suns last fall.

condoms
emtyage via Flickr

The rate of syphilis infection has risen 130 percent in Duval County over the past three years to the highest infection rate the county has seen in two decades. Rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea are also on the rise.

Bonnie Zerr / WJCT News

WJCT and the city of Jacksonville are hosting a traveling wall, commemorating American soldiers who lost their lives in Vietnam.

The Wall that Heals is a half-scale replica of the memorial wall in Washington D.C. The wall is open 24 hours a day until 3 p.m. on Easter Sunday.


Thursday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with former Jacksonville City Council President Eric Smith and retired long-time diplomat John Caulfield about an upcoming trade mission to Cuba. Black Commission president Diallo Sekou and vice president Lauren Cephus talked about Saturday’s Parent Education Support Workshop, and 5 and Dime Theatre executive director Lee Hamby and cast member Rodney Holmes previewed their upcoming performance “A New Brain.”   


Wikimedia Commons

Former Jacksonville City Councilman Eric Smith is heading up a local delegation to Cuba next week, comprised of local business leaders seeking more trade with the island nation.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

The Florida Legislature is considering allowing voters to decide if they want an additional property tax break by increasing the homestead exemption.

The Jacksonville City Council passed a resolution Tuesday, 18-1, urging state lawmakers who represent Jacksonville to oppose the idea. Councilman Reggie Brown voted against the measure.

Andrews, E. Benjamin. History of the United States, volume V. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. 1912. / Wikimedia Commons

In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue but he never set foot in North America.

Now, carbon copy replicas of his fleet of ships will do what Columbus didn’t — make landfall in the New World. The ships will be in Saint Marys, Georgia, more than 500 years after the explorer first set sail from Spain.


  Wednesday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with Baptist Health CEO Hugh Greene about the Mental Health First Aid initiative. Florida Coastal School of Law professor Kara Roberts and student Lance Francis talked about Saturday’s Citizenship Day and Sulzbacher Center CEO Cindy Funkhouser and Board Chair Pam Chally told us about Thursday’s groundbreaking of Sulzbacher Village. 


Key Foster/Flickr/Creative Commons

TALLAHASSEE — Facing pressure to address drug overdoses across the state, Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi rolled out plans Tuesday for a series of workshops and gave support for legislation focused on opioids and drug abuse.

Claire Cook44 / Flickr

  Updated 9:21 a.m.

Duval School Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said filling teacher vacancies will be a focus of next year’s budget.

As nationally fewer people are deciding to become teachers, Vitti said, during a workshop for next school year’s budget Tuesday, Duval is having trouble recruiting for the upcoming year. Over the last two years, the district recruited more than 500 new teachers from across the country. Duval currently has about 100 vacancies.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson made his first trip to Jacksonville for a tour of the troubled Eureka Garden housing complex Tuesday.

He met with residents and local officials, laying out his plans to reform the public housing system.


  Tuesday on “First Coast Connect” we heard from local labor attorney Tad Delegal about Mayor Lenny Curry’s pension reform plan. The First Coast Connect Book Club with blogger Stacey Goldring focused on the classic novel “The Stranger.” University of North Florida Communications Department Chair and director of the master’s program Brian Thornton talked about the school’s new master’s degree program in communication management and Florida Blue Foundation vice-president Susan Towler talked about being this month’s “Woman with Heart” raising awareness of Volunteers in Medicine. 


Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

Tuesday is the last day for Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp fans to pick a name for the team’s new mascot. 

Last year, when the Jacksonville Suns became the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, the team adopted a pink, muscle-bound, fighting crustacean as its logo.

Spokesman Marco LaNave calls it “the J shrimp” because it’s “in the shape of a J naturally — for Jacksonville." But the scrappy little fellow is as yet nameless.

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