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.

WJCT and The Florida Times-Union

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we discussed the growing controversy around the appointment of Terrance Freeman to the Jacksonville City Council by Governor Rick Scott by speaking with attorney and political consultant Obi Umunna (01:06).   

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Agriculture Commissioner candidate Democrat Nikki Fried about her campaign and the issues she is focusing on, which include the environment, medical marijuana and gun background checks (01:17).

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Monday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Chris King, one of the five major Democratic candidates running for governor. (01:08)

Our weekly Friday Media Roundtable on First Coast Connect featured guest host A.G. Gancarski from FloridaPolitics.com. Our panelist were:

  • Florida Times-Union reporter Tessa Duvall
  • WJCT contributor Fred Matthews
  • Jacksonville Daily Record reporter David Cawton
  • WJCT reporter Ryan Benk (01:11).

Issues discussed included:

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Thursday’s First Coast Connect featured guest host Charlene Shirk.

We discussed the power of Political Action Committees and local and state political committees in the wake of Mayor Curry’s committee’s being scammed out of $120,000 with Florida Times-Union reporter Nate Monroe (1:15).      

Wednesday’s First Coast Connect featured guest host Charlene Shirk.

We discussed the latest news regarding using civil citations instead of arresting children in Jacksonville with Juvenile Director of the 4th Judicial District State Attorney’s Office Laura Lambert and Youth Crisis Center President and CEO Kim Sirdevan (01:01).    

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Tuesday’s First Coast Connect featured guest host Charlene Shirk.

A recently completed Jacksonville Task Force on Open Government report states the city’s government needs to be more transparent. We spoke with task force co-chairs Hank Coxe and Sherry McGill (01:06).   

EDIE WIDDER / VIA ST. JOHNS RIVERKEEPER

Monday’s First Coast Connect featured guest host Charlene Shirk.

St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinemen joined us to talk about the recent algal blooms that are threatening the health of the river and its wildlife (00:57).

Jessica Palombo / WJCT

Our weekly Media Roundtable Friday on First Coast Connect featured guest host A.G. Gancarski, a Florida Politics reporter.

Our panelists were Florida Times-Union reporter Dan Scanlan, Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth and Jacksonville Business Journal editor Timothy Gibbons (01:09).

Our topics included

Jessica Palombo / WJCT

Charles Griggs was our guest host Thursday on First Coast Connect.

On the heels of two area law enforcement officers charged with falsifying evidence we spoke with Public Defender Charlie Cofer (01:00).

Ed Brown / Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with attorney Wayne Hogan about Georgia’s new law that makes it illegal to use hand-held phones while driving and whether he thinks Florida should pass a ban of its own (01:11).

DEA

Monday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Dr. Raymond Pomm about the opioid and heroin epidemics and a report from the Palm Beach Post that asserts the slow approach by Florida lawmakers to passing legislation to combat the problem helped lead to an increase in the epidemic (01:14).

Our weekly Friday Media Roundtable on First Coast Connect featured David Bauerlein from The Florida Times-Union, WJCT contributor Charles Griggs, Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth and Florida Politics reporter A.G. Gancarski.

Topics included:

Thursday on First Coast Connect we heard a review of the just completed term of the U.S. Supreme Court and the potential effect of the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy with the Florida Immigrant Coalition’s Basma Alawee and Adrienne Wilmoth Lerner, director and pre-law instructor in the Department of Political Science at the University of North Florida (01:22).

Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we learned about a new survey of Northeast Florida’s LBGT residents that shows many are still experiencing discrimination in the workplace and the community at large. President of the LGBT Community Fund for Northeast Florida Michael Meyers and Cindy Watson, director of JASMYN, joined the show (01:15).      

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