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.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we continued our commemoration of Public Service Recognition Week by speaking with retiring University of North Florida President John Delaney (01:20).

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we learned about the upcoming Party Benefit and Jam (PB&J) Jam Session: Women on gender issues with Jam Sessions creator Denise Reagan and speaker Michelle Roberts (01:02).

Charlie Rose.com

Monday on First Coast Connect we spoke with author and political scientist Ian Bremmer about globalism and his latest book US VS THEM: The Failure of Globalism (01:07).

Florida Politics

The Sunshine Summit is an annual conference for Florida Republicans, and this summer one of the invited speakers is Dinesh D’Souza, is a convicted felon and conservative firebrand who mocked Marjory Stoneman Douglas students on Twitter. He later apologized.

Gov. Rick Scott and incoming Senate President Bill Galvano have criticized the GOP invitation to D’Souza.

The Republican Party has responded to the criticism by adding a speaker who’s been critical of D’Souza. Matt Schlapp is chair of the American Conservative Union.

Friday on First Coast Connect our weekly Media Roundtable included Florida Times-Union reporter Andrew Pantazi, WJCT contributor Fred Matthews, Florida Politics reporter A.G. Gancarski and WJCT reporter Lindsey Kilbride.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

The Democratic primary race in Florida’s 5th Congressional District officially got underway this week as incumbent Al Lawson and former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown both qualified to be on the August ballot.

Both candidates had already been taking shots at each other on the campaign trail.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Congressman Al Lawson (D-FL5), about some of the issues he’s working on in Washington. We also discussed the primary challenge against him by former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown (01:16).

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Jacksonville City Council President Anna Lopez Brosche about her relationship with Mayor Lenny Curry’s administration, the future of JEA and her future political plans (01:18).

 

Bob Self / Florida Times-Union

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Florida Times-Union reporter John Reid on his investigation into the connection between football and concussions and what is being done to prevent and treat them (01:16).

Travis Trice (far right), pictured with Elaine Carson (left) and World Relief Jacksonville CEO Jose Vega, compares the refugee vetting process to "torture."
Dima Vitanova / WJCT

Monday on First Coast Connect  we spoke with Travis Trice with World Relief Jacksonville about the work the organization does to help refugees who relocate to the First Coast and some upcoming fundraisers to benefit the group’s efforts (01:09).

Friday on First Coast Connect our weekly Media Roundtable featured reporter Tessa Duvall from The Florida Times-Union, WJCT contributor and Board Member Charles Griggs, Daily Record reporter David Cawton and Jacksonville Business Journal editor Timothy Gibbons. Their discussion included:

Thursday on First Coast Connect we talked about an upcoming OneJax Civil Discourse event with OneJax Director Nancy Broner and local philanthropist Laurie DeBow (01:12).

Left - Mellimage/Shutterstock.com, center - Montree Hanlue/Shutterstock.com. / right - nasa

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with climate scientist Dr. Peter Ward about an upcoming government report being prepared by the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s National Climate Assessment (01:08).

We discussed Teach for America and the issues surrounding education with Manager for Teacher Development John Grab and TFA alumni Lynette Jean (26:59) as Jacksonville commemorates the 10th anniversary of the organization.

ArtRepublic founder Jessica Santiago told us about some upcoming projects being planned for the area. (46:00). 

Jacksonville Jaguars

Tuesday on First Coast Connect  we spoke Jacksonville Jaguars President Mark Lamping about the changes coming to the stadium and the proposed entertainment center at the Shipyards and Lot J (01:16).

Moveable Feast featured local legendary chef Matthew Medure (30:30).

Florida Theatre CEO Numa Saesselin talked about the history of the theatre and it’s upcoming annual fundraiser (38:20).

Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images

Monday on First Coast Connect  we spoke with former Special Agent in Charge of Jacksonville’s FBI Field Office Jim Casey about former FBI director James Comey and Comey’s new book (01:11).

Reverend Patricia McElroy and Dr. Terri Andrews from Baptist Health told us about this week’s Faith and Mental Health conference (30:14).

We heard about Thursday’s Dining Out for Life to raise funds for AIDS research with NFAN’s Manuel Andrade and Paige Kelton and Derrick Odom from Action News (38:00).

Cole Pepper told us who the Jaguars may draft this week along with the Armada opening their season on Saturday (46:00).   

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