Kevin Meerschaert

Producer, "First Coast Connect"

Kevin Meerschaert is back at WJCT after two years, rejoining the station as producer of First Coast Connect.

Kevin was a reporter for WJCT News from 2001 until 2014. He previously worked at public radio stations in Salisbury, Maryland;  Evansville, Indiana; and Ypsilanti, Michigan. He won several awards for reporting and was the recipient of the 2007-2008 Media Community Leadership award from Mental Health America of Northeast Florida.

Kevin was born and raised in Michigan, earning his degree in political science from Eastern Michigan University. 

When not at work, you may run into Kevin on Saturday mornings walking around the Riverside Arts Market or in a local park.

Friday on First Coast Connect our weekly Media Roundtable featured Florida Times-Union reporter Andrew Pantazi, Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth, Jacksonville Daily Record reporter David Cawton and WJCT contributor and board member Charles Griggs (01:51).

Douglas Anderson School of the Arts Principal Melanie Hammer, Executive Director of the Douglas Anderson Foundation Jackie Cornelius and former student Tanner Lane talked Saturday’s annual Extravaganza (38:49).

Author Amy Chua told us about her latest book, Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations (46:00).  

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Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Florida Times-Union reporter Tessa Duvall on her report looking into how children in Florida’s juvenile justice system fare once they are released from prison (01:19).

Commentator Jay Solomon gave us his thoughts on the #NeverAgain movement (25:00).  

Mary Anne Jacobs with Girls Scouts of Gateway Council talked about this year’s Girl Scout cookie sales drive (30:50).

Hendricks Baptist Church music director Tommy Shapard told us about a free concert this weekend by organist Andrew Clarke (37:44).

With the Monster Jam coming to Everbank Field this weekend we spoke with the driver of Soldier of Fortune, Chad Fortune (46:00).                    

Jessica Palombo / WJCT

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Democratic 4th District Congressional candidate Monica DePaul who is looking to challenge incumbent Republican Congressman John Rutherford (01:18).  

WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo and reporter Ryan Benk talked about the Florida Constitution Revision Commission’s Tuesday afternoon meeting in Jacksonville (32:23).  

Local real estate entrepreneur Shankar Thayver told us about his new online portal Trintals (37:22).

We heard about Saturday’s Riverside Craft Beer Festival with Community PedsCare Clinical Manager Amanda Spence and festival chairman Chris Croft (46:00).               

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Ron Davis, father of slain Jacksonville teen Jordan Davis, on the recent rash of children shot in Jacksonville and the renewed call for more gun control (01:15).  

Angie Nixon with Party, Benefit & Jam (PB&J) told us about their upcoming Jam Sessions on major issues facing Jacksonville (27:20).

PS 27 Ventures’ Christine Lee McFaul spoke about their upcoming Female Founders Forum (38:00).  

Director of Events and Programming with Friends of Hemming Park Christina Parrish Stone told us about this weekend’s Get Down(town) event at Hemming (46:00).         

     

  

Monday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Emmanuel Martinez, data reporter at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting on the center’s investigation into modern day redlining in northeast Florida (01:08).

We spoke with Jocelyn and David Williamson who as part of a coalition sued Brevard County over its invocation rules at County Commission meetings and won (25:32).

We heard about a new program to care for St. Johns County patients with advanced illness from Flagler Hospital President Jason Barrett and Community Hospice & Palliative Care President and CEO Susan Ponder-Stansel (36:42).

Cole Pepper brought us the latest sports news (46:00).    

     

Friday on First Coast Connect our weekly Media Roundtable featured Florida Times-Union reporter Tessa Duvall, contributor Fred Matthews, WJCT Business Analyst John Burr and Beaches Leader columnist Jon McGowan (01:21).  

Florida Blue and Guidewell CEO Pat Geraghty talked about grief counseling they are making available to anyone in the wake of the Parkland shooting and his recent trip to the World Economic Forum and Davos (46:00).   


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Thursday on First Coast Connect in the wake of the mass school shooting in Parkland we spoke with WLRN Miami Reporter Caitie Siwalski who was on the scene and Chad McIntyre, manager of TraumaOne Flight Services at UF Health Jacksonville Medical Center (01:03).       

We heard an update on the Medical Marijuana dispensary business in Jacksonville with Daniel Locke from Compassionate Alternative Care (30:14).

Jacksonville Business Journal Editor Timothy Gibbons told us about a story this week looking at the rise of craft breweries in Jacksonville (38:03).   

On the heels of a $2 million Bansky work of art on display at the downtown Main Library we spoke the Executive Producer of the film Saving Bansky (46:00).  


Wednesday on First Coast Connect we heard the latest news of what we can expect in the future at the Cecil Spaceport with director Todd Lindner (01:24).  

In our latest Going Green segment we spoke with Kaitlyn Dietz, the coastal training coordinator of the GTM Research Reserve (24:34).

We heard about the upcoming documentary Jacksonville WHO which tells the story of Jacksonville University’s improbable run to the men’s basketball NCAA championship game in 1970 and its impact on the city with producer Frank Pace and Basketball Hall of Famer Artis Gilmore (32:43).    

We learned about this weekend’s MLK Oratorical Contest with Upsilon Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Chapter President James Kelly (46:00). 


The Jacksonville Jaguars

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke Jacksonville Jaguars President Mark Lamping about the tarps coming off Everbank Field and other changes on the way (01:10).

Our latest segment of Moveable Feast featured Walter Bianchi of Gusto Restaurant (32:32).

First Coast Connect Book Club leader Stacy Goldring highlighted Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None (36:41).

We heard about some upcoming events to raise funds for Catholic Charities of Jacksonville with Executive Director Lauren Weedon Hopkins (46:00).  


Monday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Florida Politics reporter AG Gancarski about the most recent news regarding the possible sale of JEA and the latest poll numbers showing Florida voters know little about the candidates for Governor in both parties (01:15).

We spoke with Jeannette Walls, bestselling author of The Glass Castle ahead of her talk next week in Jacksonville (27:23).

With Valentine’s Day around the corner we heard a live in-studio performance from the Sapphire Quartet (38:54).

Cole Pepper brought us the latest sports news including next weekend’s Daytona 500, golf, men’s college basketball and the Winter Olympics (46:00).  

  

Friday on First Coast Connect our weekly Media Roundtable featured Dan Scanlan from the Florida Times-Union, Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth and Dave Cawton from the Financial News and Daily Record (01:13).

We heard about this weekend’s STEM and Health Expo and River City Science Academy with coordinator Sarah Niss (46:00).


UNF

Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Mike Binder, the head of the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab, about the university’ latest polling numbers regarding a potential race between Sen. Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott and other issues (01:14).  

We heard about the upcoming production of George Bernard Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession at Jacksonville University with actresses Deborah Jordan, who also heads the acting department, and sophomore Sarah Stepp (32:37).     

We learned about the upcoming fundraiser for Friday Musicale with Executive Director Naomi Sheridan and venue director Jeff Tawny (46:00). 


Wednesday  on First Coast Connect we spoke with retirement planner Adam Wolf about the recent volatility in the stock market and how it could affect your retirement portfolio (01:13).

Local attorney and former Secret Service agent Michael Stanski talked about the importance of the Nunes memo in Washington (11:11).

Executive Director of Episcopal Children Services Connie Stophel and Board president Derrick Smith told us about their upcoming Children’s Champion Awards, and political consultant Obi Umunna told us about raising funds to bring  students in Jacksonville to see the movie Black Panther (46:00).     


fortheloveofcities.com

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with author and urban planner Peter Kageyama on how to get people to love the cities where they live (01:18).  

Jacksonville University Associate Professor Sawsan Tabbaa talked about the Give Kids a Smile program (30:28).   

Comedian and actor Colin Quinn joined us ahead of his performance this month at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall (46:00).     


Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Monday on First Coast Connect we spoke with WJCT President and CEO David McGowan (1:10).

Commentator Jay Solomon spoke about the importance of civics education (28:52).  

We heard about the upcoming PBS’s American Experience documentary The Gilded Age with Nell Irving Painter, a Princeton University Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita. (32:28).

Cole Pepper brought us the latest sports news (46:38).        

    

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