First Coast Connect

Weekdays 9 a.m. Rebroadcast 8 p.m.

Hosted by Melissa Ross, First Coast Connect is an hour-long call-in program that features local newsmakers, civic and community leaders, artists and people planning a variety of events across Northeast Florida, along with a weekly roundtable of local journalists.

 

Tuesday on First Coast Connect:

 

  • A look at the disparity in school suspensions in Duval County      

  • Author Michael Wiley on his latest book "Monument Road" 

  • How to do your part on this Giving Tuesday

  • Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra conductor Courtney Lewis

 

 

​Join the conversation:

 

  • Call: (904) 549-2937 (Note: This line is only active during the program, 9:00-10:00 a.m.)

  • Tweet: @MelissainJax

  • Email: firstcoastconnect@wjct.org

  • Comment on Facebook at First Coast Connect

 

Learn more about the First Coast Connect Book Club

Subscribe to the First Coast Connect podcast on iTunes

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

Education coverage is sponsored in part by the Chartrand Foundation.

Friday on First Coast Connect our weekly Media Roundtable featured Florida Times-Union reporter Dan Scanlan, WJCT business analyst John Burr and Beaches Leader columnist Jon McGowan. 


Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Florida Times-Union reporter David Bauerlein about a plan to build a new hotel and convention center in downtown Jacksonville (01:06).   

Kevin Venardos joined us to talk about The Venardos Circus, which is coming to the St. Augustine Amphitheater later this month (36:47).   

We were joined by film writer and director Royce Freeman, cinematographer Daniel Andujar and actress Jessica Lamb about their film In Utero (46:00).  


NPR

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Ted Hutchinson, the leader of Forward US.

It’s a group dedicated to immigration reform and improvements to the criminal justice system (01:11).  

Our Going Green segment featured St. Johns Solar Cooperative lead organizer Warren Clark and Angela DeMonbreun, Program Director for Solar United Neighbors of Florida on JEA’s decision to lower its compensation for customers with solar panels (18:02).

Ahead of this weekend’s Marvel Universe LIVE at Veterans arena we spoke with performer Megan Johnson (46:00).    

Chef Gilbert's Facebook page

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we heard about the upcoming Women’s March in Jacksonville with organizers Jennifer Wolfe, Bonnie Hendrix, Mary Cobb and Nancy Quinones (01:05).

The latest segment of Moveable Feast featured the first ever Food Judges Symposium (29:01).

Chef Kenny Gilbert talked about his latest eatery, Gilbert’s Southern Kitchen & Bar (36:38).

Cole Pepper talked about the Jaguars big playoff win in Pittsburgh and looked ahead to Sunday’s AFC Championship game against New England (46:00).   


Friday on First Coast Connect  our weekly Media Roundtable featured Folio Weekly Editor Claire Goforth and Florida Politics Reporter A.G. Gancarski (01:01).

Janell Goodwin with the U.S Department of Agriculture gave some food safety tips if you plan on throwing a Jaguars playoff game party (46:00).  


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT

It’s been four months since Hurricane Irma and the flooding that hit the area. Thursday on First Coast Connect  we spoke with local attorney Charlie Jimerson who lost his home in the storm and suffered major damage to his business location (01:17).  

We also talked with Erika Curran, who leads the immigration clinic at Florida Coastal School of Law about local reaction to President Donald Trump’s decision to end the temporary protected status for Salvadorans living in the U.S (32:47).

Jacksonville Magazine and 904 Magazine Publisher and editor Joseph White told us about the upcoming lantern parade on Jacksonville’s Northbank. 


Intravenouswit / Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Democratic candidate for Florida governor Gwen Graham (01:07).

Local attorney Deborah Reed told us about the upcoming exhibit “1st Things 1st” at the Karpeles Museum featuring local artists celebrating the First Amendment (29:10).

We spoke with Jekyll Island Authority events manager Nancy Kring-Rowan about the upcoming annual event Island Treasures on Jekyll Island (39:05).   

We learned about next weekend’s blind bowling tournament with Jacksonville Council for the Blind Vice President Doug Hansard and National Federation for the Blind Jacksonville chapter President Marita Winston (46:00).  


Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Harvard economist Dr. Mihir Desai on tax reform and U.S. competitiveness (01:23).

First Coast Connect Book Club blogger Stacy Goldring talked about one of the nation’s hottest books, Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury (28:58).

WJCT Music Director David Luckin and music host Damien Lamar talked about two new Sunday music programs on 89.9 (46:00).   


Richard Haass

Monday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations about his latest book, A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order  (01:15).

We heard a rebroadcast of our interview with local author Abby Vega (20:19).

Cole Pepper joined to talk about the Jaguars big playoff win and Monday night’s College Football Championship game between Georgia and Alabama (46:00). 


Friday on First Coast Connect  our weekly Media Roundtable with David Bauerlein from The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville Business Journal Editor Timothy Gibbons, WJCT Business Analyst John Burr and contributor Fred Matthews.   


Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke with local attorney Obi Umunna and WJCT contributor and board member Charles Griggs about how to empower young black voters (01:13).

Our premiere edition of Art Attack featured Lee Hamby from the 5 and Dime Theatre, Arts and Culture Developer Shawana Brooks from the Jacksonville Public Library, arts advocate Diane Brunet Garcia and Keith Marks, who hosts the WJCT music program Avant Radio (31:39).  

Kerry Speckman told us about some of the events coming up this weekend and later in January (46:00).


Univ. of North Florida

UNF President and former Jacksonville Mayor John Delaney is not ruling out another run for office as he steps down this May from his tenure leading the university.

University of North Florida

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with outgoing University of North Florida President John Delaney and Ambassador Marilyn McAfee of the World Affairs Council on the upcoming appearance by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on campus later this month (01:08).      

Florida Forum Speaker Series chairs Jane Pomar and Katherine Forrester told us about the upcoming speakers to benefit Wolfson Children’s Hospital (34:07).

Local singer Dalton Cyr joined the show and performed in-studio from his latest album (46:00). 


Molly Adams / Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday on First Coast Connect ahead of an expected congressional showdown this month on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA, we spoke with immigration attorney Giselle Carson, Director of the Refugee Immigration Project at Jacksonville Legal Aid Mariana Munoz and former DACA student “Maria” (01:07).   

The latest segment of Moveable Feast featured the Colonial Quarter and Pirate Museum of St. Augustine (33:16).

Cole Pepper talked about the Jaguars upcoming home playoff game Sunday against the Buffalo Bills and next week’s college football national championship game between Alabama and Georgia (46:00). 


Holly Manuel / WJCT

Friday on First Coast Connect we held our annual Year in Review Media Roundtable with Florida Times-Union Reporter Andrew Pantazi, Charles Griggs from the Jacksonville Free Press, Folio Weekly Editor Claire Goforth and A.G. Gancarski from Florida Politics (01:01).    

We learned the identity of the popular Twitter account @SanMarcoTrain as we spoke with the “train” himself, Jack DeYoung, the Digital Director at Nuera Marketing (46:00).


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