12/04/18: Jacksonville's Crime Rate; Florida's Forest Ecosystem

Dec 4, 2018

Murder and violent crime is on the rise across Duval County despite campaign promises and spending on public safety.

That’s according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s latest semi-annual report tracking crime rates across Florida.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry made lowering crime a major focus of his campaign but the murder rate has increased nearly 12 percent during Curry’s term, according to an analysis of the FDLE numbers done by our Florida Times-Union news partner.

Ken Jefferson is a crime and safety expert for Action News Jacksonville and a former public information officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Jefferson also ran for sheriff in 2015 but lost to Mike Williams who has filed to run for a second term in the upcoming 2019 city election.

Jefferson joined us with his thoughts on the crime rate and steps that need to be taken next. He was also asked whether he might run again for public office.

Florida’s Forest Ecosystem

Insured losses from Hurricane Michael’s wrath have already topped $4 billion in Florida. While damage to homes and businesses have garnered most of the attention, the state’s forest ecosystem also took a beating.

Ben Williams, owner of the Wetland Preserve near Palatka, joined us with a look at the economic and environmental impact on Florida’s forestry.  

TEDWomen 2018

Women the world over are challenging the status quo. As part of that movement a TEDx event is being held in Jacksonville. 

Called "Speaking Out," it will be hosted by TEDxFSCJWomen and include a local panel of experts moderated by WJCT’s Melissa Ross.

The December 6 event is being held at the downtown campus of Florida State College at Jacksonville.

FSCJ’s Dr. Paul Hendrickson, Professor of Speech Communication and Philosophy,and Dr. Tara Haley, Instructional Program Manager of Human Services, joined us with a preview of the event that runs from 4 to 7:30 p.m.  Additional information is available here.

Void Live’s Photo Issue

Void Live Magazine’s annual photo issue comes out this month and captures the beauty of the First Coast.  Editor Matt Shaw from Void described what readers will see.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.