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.

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with local attorney John Phillips about the case of Gregory Hill Jr. Hill was shot and killed by police in St. Lucie County through his closed garage door. A jury awarded the family a four dollar settlement that was reduced to four cents.

Mauricio Palos/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Monday on First Coast Connect we spoke with UNF Political Science Professor Matt Corrigan on how President Trump’s recent tariffs could affect Florida (01:29).  

Friday our First Coast Connect Media Roundtable featured Dan Scanlan from the Florida Times-Union, WJCT contributor Fred Matthews, Jacksonville Business Journal editor Timothy Gibbons and Florida Politics reporter A.G. Gancarski.

Issues discussed included,

Connell Crooms

Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Jacksonville Mayoral candidate Connell Crooms. He is best known as one of the members of the Hemming Park 5, who were arrested and beaten by police at a protest last year in the park over the Trump administration’s bombing of Syria (01:16).     

The Jacksonville Landing

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we heard the latest about the battle over The Jacksonville Landing with Florida Times-Union reporter David Bauerlein and Daily Record reporter David Cawton (01:09).

Joint Base Meyer-Henderson Hall / Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we heard about Florida’s growing medical cannabis industry with attorney Matthew Ginder. He’s senior counsel in the Cannabis Law practice group at the South Florida firm Greenspoon Marder (01:12).  

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

First Coast Connect was live Friday from downtown Jacksonville at Chamblin’s Uptown to celebrate the 2018 Jacksonville Jazz Festival.  We spoke with Jason Lewis, founder of Jazz Fest After Dark and Damien Lamar host of 89.9’s Taste Test.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke with newly installed Kids Hope Alliance CEO Joseph Peppers and board chair Kevin Gay about what we can expect the organization will do to help kids in Jacksonville (1:19).

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we learned the latest regarding a move in Congress to force a floor vote on immigration reform with local immigration attorney Susan Pai and attorney Ted Hutchinson with public policy group Forward Florida (01:09).

Jim Gilmore

Many drivers through downtown Jacksonville have seen the Whetstone building, with its collection of found objects arranged as sculpture — but not many people know the story of the man behind the quirky building.  

Jim Gilmore

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Marion Tischler from RE:MIND, an initiative from local spiritual leaders to help people deal with chemical dependency and mental illness (01:10).     

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Monday on First Coast Connect we spoke with American Medical Association President-Elect Dr. Barbara McAneny about the association’s conference this week at the Prime Osborn Convention Center focusing on gun violence, the opioid epidemic, mental health and obesity (01:16).

VR DREAMZ

The Timucuan Parks Foundation is teaming up with virtual-reality company VR DREAMZ to bring Jacksonville’s parks to hospital-bound children.

The pair will launch the plan with a demonstration of the technology next Tuesday evening at the Museum of Science and History.

Opioid Lawsuit

The state of Florida is going after major opioid manufacturers and distributors.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on Tuesday at a recovery center in Tampa announced the state is seeking to recover all damages allowable. She predicted a likely settlement in the billions.

Bondi said 15 people die every day in Florida from opioid abuse. More than 10,000 Floridians have died from what Bondi calls the state’s “opioid crisis.”

Medical Marijuana

Friday on First Coast Connect our Media Roundtable featured Florida Times-Union reporter David Bauerlein, WJCT contributor Fred Matthews, Florida Politics reporter A.G. Gancarski and Beaches Leader columnist Jon McGowan.

Issues discussed included

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