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.) 
  • Email First Coast Connect

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.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Wednesday on First Coast Connect featured guest host Charlene Shirk. She was joined by Alex Rudnick from Generation U.S, Phyllis Martin from United Way of Northeast Florida and Brenda Ford from New Town. They discussed the Community Leaders Igniting Mobility, or CLIMB project that looks to help unemployed and underemployed youth in Jacksonville find quality jobs (01:20).    

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Tuesday on First Coast Connect featured guest host David Cawton, reporter for The Jacksonville Daily Record. Ahead of Wednesday’s Downtown Investment Authority meeting he spoke with DIA Executive Director Aundra Wallace and Visit Jacksonville President Michael Corrigan. The DIA will be evaluating three submitted proposals for a new convention center (01:28).    

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Monday on First Coast Connect guest host Charles Griggs spoke with State Senator Audrey Gibson about her bill to provide $10 million in support for the former employees impacted by the contamination at the Fairfax Street Wood Treaters facility. Closed in 2010, the bill claims workers were subjected to high levels of chromated copper arsenate without the benefit of training or protective gear (01:22).     

Our Friday Media Roundtable on First Coast Connect featured Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth, radio host Angela Spears and Jacksonville Business Journal editor Timothy Gibbons (00:54).

Our panel discussed

WJCT

On Thursday’s First Coast Connect we spoke with Ken Burns. The legendary filmmaker is in Jacksonville for a Thursday night screening and discussion panel of his latest documentary The Mayo Clinic Faith - Hope - Science at UNF (01:21).

Watch The Video

Veterans Today.com

It’s National Suicide Prevention Week. On Wednesday’s First Coast Connect we talked about the suicide crisis among veterans and what is being done locally to combat it with Katherine Eicher, the lead suicide prevention coordinator for VA in North Florida and South Georgia and Daniel Henry, Public Information Officer for the region’s VA (01:10).

USDA

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we discussed the progress involving treating opioid addiction on the First Coast with Beaches Recovery Medical Director Dr. Marcus Decarvalho and Teresa Holton, Client Care Coordinator and an alumna of the program (01:06).

Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

On Monday’s First Coast Connect we took a look at Hurricane Irma, which was soaking Jacksonville one year ago today.

Our Friday Media Roundtable on First Coast Connect featured Andrew Pantazi of the Florida Times Union, blogger Fred Matthews, A.G. Gancarski from Florida Politics and Jacksonville Daily Record reporter David Cawton.

Topics included,

Brendan Rivers / WJCT

Thursday on  First Coast Connect we spoke with Darcy Richardson. The Jacksonville resident is the Reform Party candidate for Governor (01:16).

Related: Florida Gubernatorial Nominees Announce Their Running Mates

AP

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Jeff Weaver, campaign manager for Bernie Sanders in 2016. He was in town for a book signing of How Bernie Won: Inside The Revolution That’s Taking Back Our Country (01:18).

Bob Jagendorf / Wikimedia Commons

On Tuesday’s First Coast Connect our topics included prison reform, heart health and St. Augustine’s Sing Out Loud Festival.

Our Friday Media Roundtable on First Coast Connect featured Florida Times-Union reporter David Bauerlein, radio host Angela Spears, WJCT contributor Charles Griggs and Jacksonville Business Journal editor Timothy Gibbons.

Our topics included:

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT

Thursday on First Coast Connect, on the heels of the deadly weekend in Jacksonville there are more calls to address the roots of Jacksonville’s gun violence.

We spoke with Ben Frazer from the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, Wells Todd from the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition and Atlas Rankin, pastor of the New Life Community Church (01:10).  

Steve Cannon and Lynne Sladky / AP

Wednesday on  First Coast Connect we spoke with Florida Politics reporter A.G. Gancarski about the results of the Florida Primary Election including wins by Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis in the race for Governor (01:16).   

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