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  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.

Flazingo Photos / Flickr

Jacksonville's Navy bases are inviting any military member transitioning out of service, their family members and all veterans to a job fair Wednesday, featuring more than 100 companies.

Tuesday on “First Coast Connect” we looked at the mental health crisis facing Florida with Mental Health America of Northeast Florida CEO Denise Marzullo; activist Jonathan Harriford, whose brother is in a state hospital after years of struggling with mental illness; and George Mallinckrodt, author of the book “Getting Away with Murder” about problems in Florida’s state prison psych wards, joined us by phone. We also were joined by First Coast Connect Book Club blogger Stacey Goldring, who talked about Ian McEwan’s book “Nutshell” and with Rebecca Jefferson, head of the Department of Special and Area Collections and the University of Florida library. News director Jessica Palombo then talked about how listeners can participate in 89.9 FM’s 45th anniversary celebration.     


torange.biz / Creative Commons

After battling for years over how to make healthcare more accessible and affordable, Florida lawmakers landed on a compromise. Instead of expanding Medicaid to cover more people, they decided during last year’s session to attack the cost of care directly, creating a database to make procedure pricing transparent.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said more resources for human trafficking victims and community awareness are essential to addressing the problem in Jacksonville.

Several City Council members met with State Attorney Melissa Nelson, Sheriff Mike William, and others Monday to talk about how to help.


Colleges Balk At Budget Cuts

Mar 13, 2017
401 (k) 2013 / Flickr

TALLAHASSEE — State college presidents on Friday expressed dismay that the 28-school system is being targeted for three-quarters of the cuts in the Florida Senate's initial plan to trim $131 million in higher-education spending.

“It is of great concern that the first thing out of the chute is a 74 percent reduction impacting the Florida college system and it is directed at programs that support our most at-risk student populations,” said Ed Meadows, president of Pensacola State College and the chairman of the Council of Presidents, which represents all the state colleges.

A recent study by professors at the University of North Florida say Jacksonville’s water quality ranks poorly among residents.

Monday on “First Coast Connect” we discussed Jacksonville’s drinking water with a study by three University of North Florida professors: assistant professors of economics Russell Triplet and Chiradip Chatterjee, professor of accounting and finance Parvez Ahmed, and JEA director of laboratory compliance Kevin Holbrooks. This is National Kidney Month and we spoke with Dr. Seth Strope, head of the urologic oncology at the Baptist Anderson Cancer Center. New author Tricia Booker talked about her book “The Place of Peace and Crickets” and Cole Pepper talked about his tournament picks for March Madness, the Jaguars aggressive free agent signings and Jacksonville University making the College Invitational Tournament, playing host to St. Francis (Pennsylvania) on Tuesday.   

Excel23

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams will be speaking at Jacksonville University tonight.

The school’s Public Policy Institute is hosting Williams as part of its classroom guest speaker series.

“The sheriff, I believe, will be addressing a wide range of criminal justice issues— everything from juvenile justice to potential homicide cases to the crime rate here in Jacksonville,” said Rick Mullaney, Public Policy Institute director.

Presidium Group

Updated: 6:25 p.m.

A Texas-based real estate developer Presidium Group wants to build a fine art museum, aquarium and a 1,000-foot observation deck on Jacksonville’s vacant Shipyards and Metropolitan Park property. It’s one of three development proposals submitted to the city.


NPR

The Republican health care bill under consideration in the House of Representatives would change health coverage for a lot of people.

Florida Bill Would Pull State Out Of Federal Refugee Resettlement Program

Mar 10, 2017
Dima Vitanova

Florida is the largest recipient of refugees in the U.S, welcoming more than 62,000 refugees last year. That’s according to the Florida Department of Children and Families. 


Our weekly Media Roundtable Friday on “First Coast Connect” featured Florida Times-Union reporter Sebastian Christian, Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth, blogger Fred Matthews and Jacksonville Business Journal editor Timothy Gibbons. We also spoke with Jeff Smith, arts director for the Duval County School District about next week’s Celebration of the Arts and host Melissa Ross spoke by phone with actor and singer Audra McDonald.   


PHOTO COURTESY OF KRAVIS CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

Broadway legend Audra McDonald will perform with the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus Sunday night at the Times-Union Center.

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