First Coast Connect

Weekdays 9 a.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.

Tuesday on First Coast Connect:

 

 

  • Bill Bruce on the controversy regarding proposed development on Cumberland Island

  • Holly Tyrrell of Legacy Trust Family Wealth Offices and Chriss Spires of Montoya & Associates, on “Money Matters” program  

  • The Forking Amazing Restaurants “Collaborate and Give” kickoff

  • Norine Dworkin-McDaniel, Co-creator of Science of Parenthood coming to Jacksonville

 

 

Join the conversation:

  • Call: (904) 549-2937 (Note: This line is only active during the program, 9:00-10:00 a.m.)

  • Tweet: @MelissainJax

  • Email: firstcoastconnect@wjct.org

  • Comment on Facebook at First Coast Connect

 

Learn more about the First Coast Connect Book Club

Subscribe to the First Coast Connect podcast on iTunes

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

Education coverage is sponsored in part by the Chartrand Foundation.

 

 

Our weekly Media Roundtable featured David Bauerlein, reporter for the Florida Times-Union; Claire Goforth, editor of Folio Weekly; Jacksonville Business Journal editor Timothy Gibbons and WJCT reporter Ryan Benk. We spoke with Peggy Bulger, the author of “Stetson Kennedy, Applied Folklore and Cultural Advocacy.” Host Melissa Ross spoke by phone with Branden Miller, creator of YouTube sensation “Joanne the Scammer” and we spoke with City Year AmeriCorps recruitment manager Mia Francis and participant Lindsey Rose. 


Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Cultural Council executive director Tony Allegretti about U.S. News and World Report ranking Jacksonville 45th on the list of best U.S. cities to live in. We also heard from Douglas Anderson School for the Arts principal Jackie Cornelius about this year’s Extravaganza.  

   

Ahead of Wednesday evening’s  Community Thread on the possible expansion of Jacksonville’s Human Rights Ordinance to cover the LGBT community, we look at how the politics of the issue has changed in the past few years on “First Coast Connect” with University of North Florida political science professor Matt Corrigan and WJCT reporter Lindsey Kilbride. We also spoke with Melanie Stewart Bentley, the clinical research coordinator with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Florida Jacksonville Physicians Inc., about two upcoming studies in need of female volunteers and Jane Lanier with St. Vincent’s Foundation about the upcoming Mary Awards. 


Tuesday on “First Coast Connect,” as part of WJCT’s on going Community Thread looking into the area’s Opioid epidemic, we spoke with Dr. Scott Miles, medical director of Coastal Community Behavioral Health in St. Mary’s. Georgia. We also heard an interview with Florida Blue CEO Pat Geraghty about his trip to the World Economic Forum, also known as Davos. Naomi Sheridan and Jeff Tawney with Friday Musicale had a preview of next Saturday’s fundraiser featuring The Chris Thomas Band, and ahead of their concert tonight at the Mudville Music Room we heard an in-studio performance from organist John Ginty and his band. 


Monday on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with Mike Binder, director of the Public Opinion Research Laboratory at the University of North Florida, about his new poll on the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. We also heard from Baptist Health cardiologist Dr. Pamela Rama about American Heart Month. Humana Vice President Dr. John Montgomery and health solutions executive Laura Nolan joined the show give an update on the company’s Bold Goal initiative, and Cole Pepper talked about the historic comeback by the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl LI.  


Friday on First Coast Connect, our weekly Media Roundtable. Our panel included Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth, Florida Times-Union reporter David Bauerlein, blogger Fred Mathews and WJCT business analyst John Burr. We also spoke Jacksonville Library director Barbara Gubbin about the this year’s Jax Reads initiative with the book “The Namesake.” Dr. Amy Pollak from the Mayo Clinic and heart attack survivor Kathy Ellis talked about Go Red for Women Day, as part of Heart Disease Awareness Month and we met Kim Brown, head coach of the newly formed Jacksonville professional female football team the North Florida Pumas.


    

Thursday on First Coast Connect, 4th District medical examiner Dr. Valerie Rao and Lt. Mark Rowley, quality improvement officer with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, talked about how the opioid epidemic is straining their offices. We also spoke by phone with Abe Gol about an upcoming NOVA episode dealing with the discovery of tunnels in Lithuania used by Jews to escape the Nazi’s during the Holocaust, and Niki Brunson and Dana Miller, organizers of Saturday’s Melanin Market and Parade in Jacksonville.  

  

Wednesday on First Coast Connect, we were joined by phone with Nagol Ghandnoosh, the author of a study by the Sentencing Project that finds those serving life terms in the U.S and Florida who are eligible for parole are less likely to earn their release than in the past. We also heard from local comedian Richard Cuff, who is kicking off an initiative to curb violence in Jacksonville. Ahead of Valentine’s Day we spoke with local matchmaker Renee Richel Steilberg about her upcoming event, “Love Starts With You Tour.” 

Tuesday on First Coast Connect, we were joined by Downtown Investment Authority Executive Director Aundra Wallace and Board Chair Jim Bailey to bring us an update on several proposed downtown development projects.

We also spoke with Donna Orender and Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Director of Patrol and Enforcement Michelle Cook about this weekend’s Generation Works project. Travel blogger Judy Wells discussed two large travel shows in New York City. 


  

Monday on First Coast Connect, we discussed President Trump’s executive order to ban travel from seven Muslim-majority countries with Travis Trice and Michelle Clowe from Jacksonville’s World Relief, Asghar Syed from Emerge USA and immigration attorney Ericka Curran with Florida Coastal School of Law. In this month’s segment of First Coast Success, Karen Brune Mathis spoke with Native Sun founder Aaron Gottlieb and we were joined by former TV anchor Donna Deegen to talk about next month’s 26.2 with Donna Marathon and Dr. Keith Knutson, immunologist and breast cancer researcher at the Mayo Clinic about a breast cancer vaccine trial.     


Friday on First Coast Connect, our weekly Media Roundtable included Larry Hannan from the Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville Business Journal editor Timothy Gibbons, WJCT business analyst John Burr and WJCT reporter Lindsey Kilbride. We also heard from First Coast Connect entertainment analyst Joey O’Hern and Henny Stewart from local TV show “The Chat” to talk about this week’s Oscar nominations, and members of the Jacksonville Harmony Chorus performed in studio. 

    

Thursday on First Coast Connect, we spoke with Yvette Hyater-Adams who was recently appointed regional envoy of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture about their initiative the People’s State of the Union. Dr. Saumil Oza, chief of cardiology at St. Vincent’s Medical Center Riverside, talked about a recent decline in life expectancy rate, and we were joined in studio by comedians Paul Rodriguez and Shaun Latham. 


         

Wednesday on First Coast Connect, we spoke by  phone with “Reveal”  host Al Letson about this weekend’s episode that focuses on Jacksonville. He was joined by WJCT reporter Lindsey Kilbride and Florida Times-Union reporter Ben Conorack who contributed to the program. We also spoke with Tom McLaughlin, owner of Metro Rooter for our going green segment on how he turns old household grease into useful products. Leadership Jacksonville CEO Jill Langford Dame joined the show to discuss their upcoming seminar to train local political candidates and we welcomed Amnon Weinstein, one of the most respected violin makers in the world, who is in Jacksonville for Sunday’s “Violins of Hope” concert by the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. The concert features 16 violins recovered and restored from the Holocaust.  

      

Tuesday on First Coast Connect, we discussed the future of millennials in Jacksonville with the leader of the One Voice Young Professionals program Nyah Vanterpool. We also were joined by phone with Dr. Keith Fargo from the Alzheimer’s Association national office in Chicago and Michelle Branham, vice president of the Alzheimer’s Association, Central and North Florida to talk about a documentary airing Wednesday evening on WJCT Public Television. Lawrence Datz, a partner at Datz & Datz P.A., told us why there is surge of divorce filings in January and to commemorate National Compliment Day we met Sarah Dominey, the owner of the online boutique shop SMAC on how she is raising awareness of the initiative. 


              

Friday on First Coast Connect was our weekly Media Roundtable, featuring Anthony Pantazi from the Florida Times Union, Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth, A.G. Gancarski from Florida Politics and contributor Fred Matthews. We also spoke with recently sworn-in Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels and from the current Theatre Jacksonville presentation of “Peter and the Starcatcher,” we spoke with cast members Ron Shreve and Al Emerick. 


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