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 25, in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.

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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.

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First Coast Connect
11:04 am
Fri May 22, 2015

05/22/15: Media Roundtable Week In Review

We discuss the week's biggest news stories with our roundtable of local journalists: Mark Woods, Florida Times-Union reporter; Fred Matthews, Examiner blogger; and Tim Gibbons, Jacksonville Business Journal editor.

Topics include Lenny Curry defeating incumbent Mayor Alvin Brown in Tuesday's runoff election, the results of the sheriff's and City Council races, and more.

You can subscribe to the First Coast Connect podcast in iTunes.  

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First Coast Connect
11:23 am
Thu May 21, 2015

05/21/15: Mental Health; L'Arche Harbor House; Mystery Trip Suitcase Party; Kerry Speckman

As the nation marks Mental Health Month, we speak with Denise Marzullo, President & CEO of Mental Health America of Northeast Florida, about what can be done to end the stigma surrounding mental illness and how the "100 Portrait Project" photography exhibition aims to spark a community conversation about the topic.

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First Coast Connect
10:57 am
Wed May 20, 2015

05/20/15: 2015 Election Results; Employ Me First; Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra

Former Florida Republican Party Chairman Lenny Curry narrowly edged incumbent Mayor Alvin Brown with just over 51 percent of the vote in Tuesday's mayoral election. We discuss the results of all of the city races with A.G. Gancarski, Folio Weekly and Florida Politics columnist, and Marcella Washington, FSCJ professor of political science.

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First Coast Connect
2:17 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Sheriff John Rutherford To Run For Congress

Sheriff John Rutherford confirmed that he's planning to run for the North Florida 6th Congressional District seat.
Credit City of Jacksonville

Duval County Sheriff John Rutherford has been a vocal critic of Mayor Alvin Brown and a supporter of his hand-picked successor Mike Williams in the Jacksonville mayor and sheriff's races.

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First Coast Connect
12:03 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

05/19/15: Public Safety And Election 2015; Book Club; Healing Hands Clinic; Memorial Day Light Fest

As voters cast their ballots for mayor, sheriff and City Council seats, Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland joins us with an update about voter turnout in this election.

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First Coast Connect
4:36 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Public Safety Remains A Divisive Talking Point In Jax Mayor's Race

Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford says that the the number of police officers he says were cut by the Mayor's budget is accurate and The Florida Times Union's report is wrong.
Credit Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

Public safety has emerged as a major issue in Jacksonville’s super close mayor’s race, with incumbent Mayor Alvin Brown defending his approach to this core function of government, while challenger Lenny Curry has hammered Brown’s administration on the issue of violent crime. A recent school bus shooting incident reinforced the narrative.

In particular, the Curry campaign has pounded the messaging that Brown “cut 147 police officers” from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

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First Coast Connect
10:58 am
Mon May 18, 2015

05/18/15: 2015 Mayoral Election; Stroke Awareness Month; Political Cartoonist Ed Hall; Cole Pepper

After strong early voting over the weekend, the candidates for Jacksonville mayor have one day left to make their case. We hear from incumbent Mayor Alvin Brown and challenger Lenny Curry. Then UNF political scientist Matt Corrigan joins us with analysis of Tuesday's elections and a look at the wide range of factors that can affect voter turnout.

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First Coast Connect
10:58 am
Fri May 15, 2015

05/15/15: John Peyton; Media Roundtable Week In Review; Jax Beer Guy

Former Jacksonville mayor John Peyton joins us to discuss his decision to endorse Lenny Curry in the 2015 mayoral race.

The we look at the week's biggest news stories with our roundtable of local journalists: Nate Monroe, Florida Times-Union reporter; Fred Matthews, Examiner blogger; A.G. Gancarski, Folio Weekly and Florida Politics columnist; and John Burr, WJCT business analyst.

Topics include the 2015 local elections, a standoff between Gov. Rick Scott and the federal government over health care funding, and more.

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First Coast Connect
11:15 am
Thu May 14, 2015

05/14/15: Wayne Wood; 'The Adventures of Moxie Girl'; Caregiver Expo; Take Steps; Kerry Speckman

With just a few days left until Jacksonville’s runoff election, the endorsements are flying in the city’s mayor’s race. Incumbent Mayor Alvin Brown and challenger Lenny Curry are in a fight to the finish in what’s expected to be a close election. Earlier this week, former mayor John Delaney joined us to explain why he has decided to endorse Mr. Curry. Today we welcome high-profile supporter of Alvin Brown, Jacksonville author, historian and activist Wayne Wood.

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First Coast Connect
11:54 am
Wed May 13, 2015

05/13/15: Cuba Relations; Strike The Rock Water; NAMI Jacksonville; Monique Burr Foundation

As the U.S. works to normalize relations with Cuba, we speak with John Caulfield, retired American diplomat and former Chief of Mission with the US Interests Section in Havana, about what we could expect in the coming months in years for the island nation. As Havana’s senior U.S. diplomat, Caulfield achieved agreements on immigration, environmental protection, civil aviation and cultural exchange; championed the aspirations of ordinary Cubans to increase their political rights and economic opportunities in a difficult environment.  

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First Coast Connect
11:44 am
Wed May 13, 2015

'Tremendous Yearning for Change' In Cuba

John Caulfield
Credit State Department

As the U.S. and Cuba edge closer to an agreement to restore full diplomatic ties, a retired State Department official who served as the senior diplomat in Cuba says Florida is well-positioned to take advantage of the historic changes.

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First Coast Connect
2:29 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Endorsements Fly In Jacksonville Mayor's Race

Former Jacksonville Mayor John Delaney told the crowd gathered on the Southbank Riverwalk, “I have absolute confidence that we have a leader in Lenny.”
Credit Murphy Stidham / WJCT News

With one week to go till Election Day, endorsements are flying in the Jacksonville mayoral race between Alvin Brown and Lenny Curry.

Former Mayor John Delaney is throwing his support behind Curry.

Delaney, now president of UNF, says he’s stepping off the sidelines in the mayor’s race to endorse Curry over incumbent mayor Alvin Brown believing City Hall needs a fresh take.

In particular he cites the city’s finances as the reason for his endorsement of his fellow Republican.

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First Coast Connect
11:53 am
Tue May 12, 2015

05/12/15: John Delaney; St. Augustine Arts Association; Summer Camps; Big Climb For Tiny Hope

Incumbent Mayor Alvin Brown and challenger Lenny Curry are in the home stretch leading into next Tuesday’s election. Last night the two held the second of three debates. Early voting is underway, and the endorsements are flying fast and furious on both sides. We speak with former Jacksonville mayor and current University of North Florida president John Delaney about his decision to endorse Lenny Curry.

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First Coast Connect
11:16 am
Mon May 11, 2015

05/11/15: Medicaid Expansion; Mobile Responsive Websites; Kent Lindsey Tribute; Cole Pepper

We discuss the latest news in the long-running dispute between Governor Rick Scott and the federal government over the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion in Florida with Carol Gentry, WUSF Health News Florida correspondent.

Google has announced new rules for the search engine will rank mobile-responsive website. Dave Wingard and Scott Magdalein of Wingard Creative join us with what companies need to know about making sure their site is mobile friendly.

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Community
2:18 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

Jacksonville Concert To Support Haitian Microfinance Program

Fonkoze CLM graduates are equipped with the skills necessary to be self-sufficient.
Credit via Facebook / Fonkoze CLM

Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLM), which is Haitian Creole for “the pathway to a better life,” is a program that helps Haiti’s most disadvantaged citizens lift themselves out of poverty. CLM works with 2,500 families in the Central Plateau for 18 months at a time. The program helps Haitians learn skill sets that will empower them to pull their families out of poverty and be self-sufficient.

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