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.

Former Jacksonville Jaguar Rashean Mathis was a guest on Tuesday’s “First Coast Connect,” along with Vee Bird, associate director of diversity and social change at Florida State College at Jacksonville regarding their Bridging the Divide initiative (01:17).    

Tuesday is the 90th anniversary of a visit to Jacksonville by aviation legend Charles Lindbergh that he made a few months after his historic flight across the Atlantic Ocean.  Ed Booth Jr., past president of the Jacksonville Historical Society, gave us a sense of just what a huge event Lindbergh’s visit was for the city. (32:55).      

We heard about the introduction of virtual reality arcades on the First Coast by speaking with VR Junkies co-owner Christopher Yozgat (43:59).  

Monday’s “First Coast Connect” examined a Tampa Bay Times story that states Jacksonville could experience severe flooding if it takes a direct hit from even a weak hurricane. Corey Johnson of the Tampa Bay Times, Nate Monroe from The Florida Times-Union and WJCT’s Ryan Benk (01:07) joined in on the discussion.   

We spoke with the new CEO of Groundwork Jacksonville, Kay Ehas (37:08).  

Cole Pepper brought us the local sports news, including the Jaguars big win in Pittsburgh (44:01). 


Friday on “First Coast Connect,” we had our weekly Media Roundtable.  David Bauerlein from The Florida Times Union, Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth and Jacksonville Business Journal editor Timothy Gibbons (01:46) took part.

We heard about the upcoming Sulzbacher Center’s “Transformations” event with co-chair Darnell Smith and Sulzbacher Chief Development Officer Eileen Briggs (40:41)  

We also spoke with the editor in chief of the new local publication, Salty at Heart, Kirstin Thompson (47:25).  

 

Thursday on “First Coast Connect,” we heard about the 2017 edition of the State of the River Report with co-authors University of North Florida Chemistry Professor Dr. Radha Pyati and Associate Research Scientist Dr. Gerry Pinto at the Jacksonville University Science Research Institute (01:07).  

We were told about a new partnership between UNF and the Peace Corp called Peace Call Prep with UNF Peace Corp Prep Advisor Dr. Tim Robinson, and UNF alumnus and returned Peace Corp volunteer Frances Luna (24:53).    

Patty Crosby of Hospice of the Golden Isles spoke about this weekend’s St. Simons Food and Spirits Festival (32:30).    

We heard about the Fall Makery, a move to get more people to buy local products with The Makery co-founders Sara Flowers and Taryn Nilson. Along on hand were Sailors Siren co-owner Whitney Canney and Fish Lips Paper Design owner Kimi Chronis. They were joined by Kerry Speckman who talked about other upcoming events this month (42:03).  

   

Wednesday on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with Chad McIntrye, manager of Trauma Flight Services with Trauma One at UF Health Jacksonville hospital and Dr. David Yorkgitis, who is a  trauma acute-care surgeon. Yorkgitis heads up a mass casualty group in Jacksonville that prepares the local trauma team for crisis situations (01:12).

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