First Coast Connect

Weekdays 9:00AM

Hosted by Melissa Ross, this one-hour call-in program features local newsmakers, civic and community leaders, arts, activities and more, along with spot news features and a weekly roundtable of local journalists.

Coming up on Friday's show:

  • Media Roundtable Week and Year in Review
  • Book Blogger Stacey Goldring on Unknown Holiday Stories from Famous Authors
  • Swamp Radio Christmas

Join the conversation:

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Listen To Past Episodes On Our WJCT On Demand Page

First Coast Connect is sponsored in part by Baptist Health and North Florida TPO.

Education coverage is sponsored in part by The Chartrand Foundation.

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First Coast Connect
9:11 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

From Rudolph To Santa, The Fascinating Origins of Holiday Symbols

Rudolph's story was first conceived as a promotional gimmick by 1930's adman Robert May.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

It’s the time of year when many of us bemoan the commercialization of Christmas. We mourn the loss of the “reason for the season.”

But actually, the symbols of Christmas and the entire ‘holiday season’ are in many ways a product of commercialization, says Nathan Rousseau, sociology professor at Jacksonville University and author of Society Explained.

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First Coast Connect
2:01 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

DOJ To Investigate Florida Prison System

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Hundreds of inmate deaths with questionable circumstances have sparked a potential federal investigation into the state's corrections system.

The U.S. Department of Justice has notified state authorities it will look into potential abuses of inmates after 320 people died behind bars in Florida this year - the highest number of inmate deaths on record.

At the same time, there's been a doubling of incidents involving the use of force by corrections officers.

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First Coast Connect
6:05 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Jacksonville City Council Approves Pension Reform Package

Credit Nichos / Wikipedia

On Tuesday night the Jacksonville City Council, in a 16-3 vote, approved new pension reform legislation, seen as a major step forward in a very long journey in the effort to tackle the city’s massive pension costs.

We spoke with veteran Florida Times-Union reporter David Bauerlein about where the pension package goes from here.

  "The next step will likely involve some back-and-forth with the board of the Police and Fire Pension Fund," says Bauerlein.

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First Coast Connect
4:16 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Edgewood Bakery Owners Say They're Open For Business Despite Legal Dispute With Shad Khan

Credit Google Maps Street View

  The owners of Jacksonville's Edgewood Bakery in the city's Murray Hill neighborhood say they are open for business and committed to an out-of-court settlement with Jaguars owner Shad Khan, despite a high-profile lawsuit the billionaire has filed.

Khan, through his investment firm Stache Investments, has filed a lawsuit in civil Circuit Court asking for a declaration that Stache owns a majority interest in the business. The lawsuit is seeking complete control of the bakery on Edgewood Avenue, which has been in business for decades and is regarded as a Jacksonville institution.

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First Coast Connect
5:06 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Media Roundtable: Yarborough's Objection To MOCA Photo Creates Uproar

Jacksonville City Council President Clay Yarborough, Duval County GOP Secretary Kim Crenier, and same-sex marriage are making headlines this week.

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First Coast Connect
1:25 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

MOCA's Exhibit Protected By First Amendment, Says Constitutional Law Expert

"Focused on Family" photography exhibit by artist Angela Stassheim.
Credit Annie Black / WJCT

A protest is scheduled for downtown Jacksonville Wednesday night during Art Walk–and it involves an art exhibit.

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First Coast Connect
4:10 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Mike Birbiglia Coming To The Florida Theatre

Mike Birbiglia
Kyle Ericksen

In his career of just 11 years, performer Mike Birbiglia has released two critically acclaimed albums and three Comedy Central specials.

At 24, Mike was one of the youngest comedians ever to appear on The Late Show With David Letterman.

He also wrote, directed and starred in the film Sleepwalk With Me, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. It’s based on his one-man Broadway show of the same name.

And Birbiglia is a featured contributor to Ira Glass’s much-loved public radio show This American Life.

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First Coast Connect
3:25 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Media Roundtable: President Obama Plans Executive Action On Immigration

President Obama, immigration reform, Bill Cosby and Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown are making headlines this week.

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First Coast Connect
5:19 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Business Exec, Former Councilman Propose Alternative Pension Funding To JEA And Mayor

Charlie Appleby (l) and Matt Carlucci (r)

Mayor Alvin Brown said Wednesday he strongly supports a new pension reform proposal developed by two private citizens in consultation with the mayor's office.

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First Coast Connect
4:06 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Commentary: Are High School Sports Real Life 'Hunger Games'?

Credit Lionsgate

As the latest film in the Hunger Games franchise opens this week, First Coast Connect pop culture philosophy contributor Nicolas Michaud has thoughts on dangerous entertainment both onscreen and on the field.

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First Coast Connect
4:34 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

FUBU, Priceline Founders To Headline One Spark 2015 Speakers Summit

One Spark's 2014 festival attracted record-breaking crowds to downtown Jacksonville.
Credit One Spark / Facebook

With nearly five months to go before the crowdfunding festival begins, One Spark is making major announcements for their third year in Jacksonville.

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First Coast Connect
4:11 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

FL Farmworkers Focus Of New Documentary 'Food Chains'

Credit Food Chains

A new documentary takes a look what some consider to be one of the most exploited groups of workers: Florida farm pickers.

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First Coast Connect
3:46 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Stetson Kennedy Home Designated As Literary Landmark

Stetson Kennedy at his desk in 1991.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A event in St. Johns County this weekend will honor civil rights icon Stetson Kennedy.

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First Coast Connect
1:39 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Recent Child Abuse Deaths Concern Local Hospitals

There has been a recent string of deaths due to child abuse in Northeast Florida.

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First Coast Connect
4:59 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Going Green: Eco Relics Takes The Old And Makes It New

Eco Relics is located in an old warehouse on Stockton Street.
Annie Black WJCT

Reuse, recycle, repurpose. That's what Anne and Michael Murphy, the owners of Eco Relics, are striving for. 

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