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.

  • Join The Conversation: (904) 549-2937 (Note: This line is only active during the program, 9 -10 a.m.) 
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First Coast Connect is sponsored in part by Baptist Health and North Florida TPO.

The twice-a-month Going Green segment is sponsored in part by A1A Solar and the monthly First Coast Success segment is sponsored in part by Iberiabank.

The monthly First Coast Connect Book Club is sponsored in part by San Marco Books and more.


Ron DeSantis emerged from a machine recount Thursday all but certain to become Florida’s next governor while the U.S. Senate and Agriculture Commissioner races moved onto hand recounts.

Sam Turken / WLRN News

Thursday on First Coast Connect we looked at the ongoing twists in Florida’s recount, including the latest turn as a federal judge gives voters until Saturday to fix rejected signature ballots. But that’s already being appealed.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT News

Northeast Florida has seen a 27 percent drop in the number of homeless since 2009, according to a recent count that was done in Clay, Duval and Nassau counties.


Tuesday we looked at the likelihood of curing Jacksonville’s violence issues by treating crime as a public health issue.

Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

Monday on First Coast Connect we had the latest on the Florida recount as several statewide races hang in the balance.

Expected Florida recounts in the U.S. Senate, Governor and Agriculture races dominated Friday’s Media Roundtable discussion on First Coast Connect.

immortalpoet / Wikimedia Commons

On Thursday’s First Coast Connect we looked at the looming Florida recounts in the races for Senator and Agriculture Commissioner. Since the show aired, the numbers have tightened in the race for Florida Governor, making a recount likely in that contest as well.

It was a Republican sweep in Florida Tuesday night as the GOP kept the governor’s mansion and apparently unseated Democratic Senator Bill Nelson with that race headed for a likely recount.

On the Election Day edition of First Coast Connect we did a roundup of political news and looked at voting rights.

Campaign photos

Andrew Gillum and Bill Nelson hold seven-point leads over their challengers in a new Quinnipiac University poll out Monday - and while early voting has been strong this year there are still plenty of votes yet to be cast.  They also hold four-point leads in a new NBC/Marist poll.

Heather Schatz

First Coast Connect was broadcast live from Uptown Kitchen on Main Street in Springfield.

On Thursday’s First Coast Connect we looked at the races to fill open Duval County School Board seats and teacher pay.


Florida voters are facing the longest ballot in decades.

police create a road block
Thomas Hawk via Flickr

Matt Caldwell

With just one week to go until the November midterm election, voters in Florida are turning out already to early vote, and many are motivated by the races at the top of the ticket, for governor and senator.

But there are some other important races on the ballot.

Two candidates are vying to replace Adam Putnam as the state’s next agriculture commissioner, who also oversees the state’s Division of Consumer Services, managing everything from gun regulation to the do not call list.

Matt Rourke / Associated Press

A Jacksonville vigil is set for Monday evening  to mourn and reflect after Saturday’s massacre of 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue.