First Coast Connect

Weekdays 9:00 a.m.

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.

First Coast Connect will not air Monday, May 30, in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.

Please tune in to 89.9FM WJCT for an extra hour of NPR's Morning Edition in its place.

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

Education coverage is sponsored in part by the Chartrand Foundation.

Legal and political coverage is sponsored in part by Farah & Farah Law Firm.

Media Roundtable Week In Review

We discuss the week's biggest news stories with our roundtable of local journalists: Claire Goforth, Folio Weekly editor; Andrew Pantazi, Florida Times-Union reporter; A.G. Gancarski, Florida Politics writer;  and Tim Gibbons, Jacksonville Business Journal editor.

Topics include the debate this week between State Attorney Angela Corey and Public Defender Matt Shirk, the controversy surrounding a police-involved shooting in Jacksonville, and more.

Kit Cummings

Allie George

Cold Cases

Duval County has more than 1,200 unsolved murders dating back to 1970, but no statewide data is available.

Now advocates from the Jacksonville group Project: Cold Case hope their new online database will help find justice for these many forgotten victims.

Hemming Park

Friends of Hemming Park, the group in charge of running the downtown park, said this week that it needs $250,000 from City Hall or it will have to cease operations.

This puts the group’s long-term vision for beautifying and programming the downtown space in doubt.

Vince Cavin, CEO of Friends of Hemming Park, joins us to discuss their future.

Stroke Litigation

May is Stroke Awareness Month. Stroke is the number one cause of disability and the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.

Shrinking Middle Class

A new report from the Pew Research Center takes a close look at a growing phenomenon: America’s shrinking middle class.

In most American cities, lower- and higher-income groups are growing while the number of people making middle incomes is shrinking.

Jacksonville is one major city following this trend.

Media Roundtable

We discuss the week's biggest news stories with our roundtable of local journalists: Paula Horvath, Florida Times-Union reporter; Fred Matthews, Examiner blogger; Claire Goforth, Folio Weekly editor; and WJCT reporter Ryan Benk.

Topics include lawsuits against the Duval County and Clay County school districts over transgender students and bathrooms, the latest in the El Faro investigation, and more.

LGBTQ Workshop

Opioid Addiction

The problem of people abusing prescription pain medication, then often advancing to heroin use and overdosing, has become a serious public health crisis in this country. 

Christine Meyer, supervising program attorney for the Guardian ad Litem Program for the Fourth Judicial Circuit, joins us to discuss special training going on in the judicial system to help kids whose parents have a substance abuse problem.

Police Shootings

It’s a provocative new look at the killings of unarmed civilians by police.

Police detective Nick Selby has taken an in-depth look into this hot topic.

Are police being fair? Are they targeting African-Americans? Are they treating minorities differently? In his new book, In Context: Understanding Police Killings of Unarmed Civilians, Selby seeks the answers to these questions.

Nick Selby joins us with a look at the complicated picture of this issue.

Bullying Prevention

To combat bullying in the Duval County Public Schools, all educators, faculty and frontline workers have undergone comprehensive training to ensure they could identify signs of bullying and know how to stop it.

Brian Giles, K-12 regional vice president of Chartwells, and Michael Mcauley executive director of Student Discipline Support for the Duval County School Board, join us to discuss efforts to prevent bullying in local schools.

Teri Youmans Grimm

Transgender Students and Bathrooms

A new directive from the Obama administration on the use of school bathrooms by transgender students has provoked a torrent of criticism. It also marks a new front in America's long-running culture wars.

Last week the Departments of Education and Justice sent a letter to every public school district in the country with guidance for how to respect the rights of transgender students.

PLAYERS Championship Leadership

We broadcast live from the third day of the 2016 PLAYERS Championship.

Matt Rapp, executive director of The PLAYERS, and Michele McManamon, tournament chairman, join us with a look at what's new this year and everything that goes into making the tournament happen.

Uber and Lyft

Could voters decide the fate of Uber and Lyft in Jacksonville?

The Jacksonville City Council may be racing toward a populist solution to regulating ride-for-hire companies.

City Councilman John Crescimbeni has suggested holding a voter referendum on how to regulate the rideshares.

A similar type of referendum on Uber and Lyft recently failed in Austin Texas.

Crescimbeni joins us to discuss the issue.

London Elects Muslim Mayor

Reaction continues to pour in around the world at news that London has elected its first Muslim mayor.

Sadiq Khan, the London-born son of Pakistani immigrants, was elected last week by a wide margin after a campaign that saw his Conservative rival Zac Goldsmith accuse him of having shared platforms with Islamic extremists.

Delores Barr Weaver

Trailblazing philanthropist Delores Barr Weaver has done it again.

Weaver, the original co-owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, has established a $20 million endowed fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, adding to her already legendary history of giving back to the Jacksonville area and beyond.

We speak with Delores Barr Weaver and Nina Waters, president of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, about her latest efforts to support local nonprofits.

March Against Fossil Fuels

UNF Poll on Pension, HRO

A new poll shows Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has some work to do to build support for the pension tax referendum Duval County voters will decide this summer.

The new poll from UNF's Public Opinion Research Laboratory says 36 percent of local residents support the idea, with 24 percent opposed. Forty percent of respondents said they have no opinion on the matter.

Media Roundtable

We discuss the week's top news stories with our roundtable of local journalists: Dan Scanlan, Florida Times-Union reporter; Claire Goforth, Folio Weekly editor; A.G. Gancarski, Florida Politics writer; and WJCT News analyst John Burr.

Topics include Donald Trump becoming the presumptive Republican nominee following his primary win in Indiana this week, the 4th Circuit State Attorney race, and more.

The PLAYERS Championship