First Coast Connect

Weekdays 9 a.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 ahead to the trial of Corrine Brown with Florida Times-Union reporter Nate Monroe

  • Downtown Ecumenical Services Council “The Great Electric Emergency” event  

  • Ulysses Owens and students from “Don’t Miss a Beat” all-stars

  • Justine Conley of AARP Jacksonville    

 

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.

 

 

Monday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with Save Guana Now co-founders Nicole Crosby and Gary Coulliette, who are fighting against a development next to the Guana Preserve named The Outpost. We heard about Thursday’s OneJax Humanitarian Awards with Executive Director Nancy Bronner and Audrey Moran, Senior Vice President with Baptist Health who will emcee the event. This month’s First Coast Success featured Florida Blue’s Darnell Smith. We heard about Dining Out for Life with North Florida AIDS Network Executive Director Donna Fuchs and spokesman Action News Traffic Derrick Odom. Cole Pepper talked about the week’s sports news. 


Friday on our weekly “First Coast Connect” Media Roundtable, we featured Florida Times-Union reporter Sebastian Kitchen, Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth and WJCT reporter Ryan Benk. We also spoke with Dylan Read, lifestyle director of Shearwater, about Earth Day events Saturday in St. Johns County. HandsOn Jacksonville CEO LeAnn Daddario told us about next Sunday’s Celebrate GOOD Festival and artist Lana Shuttleworth talked about her exhibit being unveiled Friday night at the Space Gallery. 


Thursday on “First Coast Connect” we heard about Earth Day Marches for Science in Jacksonville, St. Augustine and hundreds of other cities around the world with Bonnie Hendrix and Boa White, Women’s March, Jacksonville Chapter, co-captains; University of Florida Health-Jacksonville’s Dr. Marie Crandall; and the director of the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium at the Museum of Science and History Eddie Whisler. We also heard an interview with best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert and Theatre Jacksonville executive director Sarah Boone. K9 United founder Debbie Johnson and Executive Director Eric Heineman talked about their organization and a Saturday fundraiser. 

Wednesday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with former Jacksonville City Council President and chair of Florida’s Commission on Ethics about a move by legislative leaders to place additional restrictions on the commission’s operations. Ahead of Wednesday’s Women’s Giving Alliance annual forum we heard from Alliance President Ellen Wiss and speaker Mike Beard, the executive director for the United Nations Foundation Advocacy and Global Health. St. Augustine historian and author Robert Gold talked about his latest book “Dead and Gone,” and St. Augustine Distillery CEO Philip McDaniel discussed a bill in the state legislature to benefit distilleries in Florida. 


  Tuesday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver about the dangers of sea level rise in the nation’s oldest city. Attorneys Dan Iracki and Rufus Pennington talked about a $1.9 million settlement with Jacksonville over the shooting of unarmed Davinian Williams by a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office deputy. Attorney Wayne Hogan discussed Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and Exchange Club Family Center executive director Barbara Alexander and Mental Health America of Northeast Florida CEO Denise Marzullo talked about the upcoming Healthy Minds, Healthy Families conference.  

  Monday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with Florida Times-Union reporter Tia Mitchell, who covers the state legislature. North Florida Transportation Planning Organization Executive Director Jeff Sheffield told us about its upcoming alternative fuels expo and Communities in Schools director of resource development director Erin Morgan and Frank H. Peterson Academies of Technology student Elijah Heppner talked about the Rising Stars fundraising event where students, including Heppner, will perform in a talent show. 


     

Friday on “First Coast Connect” our weekly Media Roundtable featured blogger Fred Matthews, WJCT reporter Lindsey Kilbride, Jacksonville Business Journal editor Tim Gibbons and WJCT business analyst John Burr. We also spoke with journalist Soledad O’Brien, who is holding a workshop for young women Saturday at WJCT and we heard on in-studio performance by singer-songwriter Morley.   

     

Thursday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with former Jacksonville City Council President Eric Smith and retired long-time diplomat John Caulfield about an upcoming trade mission to Cuba. Black Commission president Diallo Sekou and vice president Lauren Cephus talked about Saturday’s Parent Education Support Workshop, and 5 and Dime Theatre executive director Lee Hamby and cast member Rodney Holmes previewed their upcoming performance “A New Brain.”   


  Wednesday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with Baptist Health CEO Hugh Greene about the Mental Health First Aid initiative. Florida Coastal School of Law professor Kara Roberts and student Lance Francis talked about Saturday’s Citizenship Day and Sulzbacher Center CEO Cindy Funkhouser and Board Chair Pam Chally told us about Thursday’s groundbreaking of Sulzbacher Village. 


  Tuesday on “First Coast Connect” we heard from local labor attorney Tad Delegal about Mayor Lenny Curry’s pension reform plan. The First Coast Connect Book Club with blogger Stacey Goldring focused on the classic novel “The Stranger.” University of North Florida Communications Department Chair and director of the master’s program Brian Thornton talked about the school’s new master’s degree program in communication management and Florida Blue Foundation vice-president Susan Towler talked about being this month’s “Woman with Heart” raising awareness of Volunteers in Medicine. 


  Monday on “First Coast Connect” we heard reaction to the Hemming Park protest Friday that turned violent, leading to six arrests. We discussed the event with Jacksonville Progressive Coalition members Wells Todd and Karen Morian and attorney John Phillips. We also heard about The Wall That Heals coming to Metropolitan Park later this week with the City of Jacksonville Public Affairs Director Bill Spann, WJCT board member Dan Bean and representative from Vietnam Vets local 1046 Bob Adelhelm. April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month and we spoke with neurologist from UF Health Jacksonville Dr. Odinachi Oguh, activist Jennifer Otero and Parkinson’s patient Bill Wilson  


Bruce Lipsky- Florida Times-Union

Six people were arrested Friday when a protest downtown against the U.S. firing missiles at a Syrian airbase turned violent.

Video of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s officers taking protestors to the ground has been shared around the world, including London’s Daily Mail.

On Saturday, protesters gathered in front of the Duval County Courthouse demanding the charges against those arrested be dropped.

Friday on “First Coast Connect” our weekly Media Roundtable featured Florida Times Union reporter Dan Scanlan, WJCT reporter Lindsey Kilbride, Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth and WJCT Business Analyst John Burr. We also spoke with local author Steve Berry about his latest thriller “The Lost Order” and we heard a live in-studio performance from Miami-based band Sofilla.  


Thursday on “First Coast Connect” we talked about a recent report about Duval County’s health ranking drop in Florida with Duval County Medical Society CEO Bryan Campbell. Artist Janet Echelman joined the show to talk about her work being highlighted by the Jacksonville Cultural Council and he heard a live in-studio performance by bluegrass musicians The Grass is Dead.  


Wednesday on “First Coast Connect” we discussed Sexual Assault Awareness Week with Betty Griffin Center’s advocacy team coordinator Ruby Hauder, and Green Dot coordinator Sandi Cipolloni. We heard from author, artist and former Florida prison inmate Moliere Dimanche about his new book on prison reform. We learned about the latest Art in Public Places projects in downtown Jacksonville from director Christie Holechek and artist Andrew Reid Shed. Playwright Ebony Payne English and director JaMario Stills spoke about their new play “On Purpose.”     

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