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.

Friday on First Coast Connect  our weekly Media Roundtable featured David Bauerlein from the Florida Times-Union, WJCT business analyst John Burr, Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth and First Coast Connect producer Kevin Meerschaert (01:06).

We spoke with Generation W founder Donna Orender and guest speaker Shelley Diamond about next week’s big Gen W conference (46:00).

Florida Immigrant Coalition


Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Basma Alawee from the Florida Immigrant Coalition on recent national news regarding immigrants and what they are doing to help refugees in Florida (01:13).

Our latest edition of Art Attack featured:

 

Shawana Brooks with the Jacksonville Public Library

Adonnia Toler, Ritz Museum Administrator and Curator

Christa Sylla, director of Culture Moves101 Nan Nkama, Pan-African Drum and Dance Ensemble

Hope McMath, former Cummer Museum director and founder of Yellow House (30:53).   

Phase 8 Theatre Company founder JaMario Stills and actress Myles Para told us about their upcoming presentation of the play Noises Off (46:00).

Kerry Speckman told us about some of the upcoming events in Jacksonville (48:02).   

       

 

PHOTO ELEMENTS FROM MATHEW105601 / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Jacksonville City Councilman Matt Schellenberg about his support of looking into the possibility of privatizing JEA (01:01).

We heard about next week’s Equal Pay Day with Patricia DeWitt, the Public Policy Director for the American Association of University Women. Co Chair of Equal Pay Day Jax Donna Kuldau also joined us (33:15).

Ahead of this year’s Jax Poetry Fest kickoff Wednesday night at the Jacksonville Art Walk we spoke with Executive Director of Hope at Hand Steffani Fletcher (46:00).    

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with former Miami Beach Mayor and Democratic candidate for Governor Philip Levine (01:03).

Ahead of this week’s One Spark festival we spoke with Board Chairman Peter Rummell and Florida Blue Market President Darnell Smith (31:38).

We talked to Bob Boyd, counsel for the Professional Education Network of Florida (PEN), about HB 7055 which was recently signed into law by Governor Rick Scott  (46:00).    

Monday on First Coast Connect we commemorated the beginning of Sexual Assault Awareness Month with Women’s Center of Jacksonville Executive Director Teresa Miles and Board President Lise Everly (01:03).

We marked Public Art Week in Jacksonville with Director of Art in Public Places Christie Holechek and Patrick Fisher with the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville (32:53).

Cole Pepper talked about Monday night’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship and the latest sports news (46:00).     

Friday on First Coast Connect our weekly Media Roundtable featured Florida Times-Union Reporter David Bauerlein, WJCT Business Analyst John Burr, Jacksonville Business Journal Editor Timothy Gibbons and WJCT contributor and board member Charles Griggs.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic candidate for Governor Andrew Gillum (01:17).

Our periodic commentator Jay Solomon spoke about the controversy around removing Confederate monuments on the First Coast (39:57).

We heard about this weekend’s Mandarin Art Festival with Show Manager Krysten Bennett (46:00).

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT


Wednesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Jacksonville City Councilman Garrett Dennis (01:16).

Our Going Green segment featured Shannon Blankenship and Kelly Patton with the St. Johns Riverkeeper. They discussed their upcoming Great St Johns River Campout (29:06).

This month’s Women with Heart for Volunteers in Medicine featured Dr. Estrellita Redmon, President of St. Vincent’s Medical Group (37:57).   

We spoke with local actor, producer and author Nick Loren about his latest children’s book (46:00).

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT


Tuesday on First Coast Connect we heard about the city of Jacksonville’s Civil Rights History Task Force with authors and civil rights activists Tim Gilmore and Rodney Hurst (01:05).

Moveable Feast featured Suzi Renehan of Uncanny Biscotti (26:58).

Director of the Warrior Care Network Alex Balbir told us about the latest treatments to help veterans suffering from PTSD (33:24).  

Katie Provow and Katie Delaney told us about some recent changes at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre’s Farmers Market (46:00).               


Monday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Florida Coastal School of Law professors Ericka Curran and Kara Roberts on the school’s upcoming Citizenship Day (01:09).  

This month’s First Coast Success featured real estate leader Heyward Cantrell (23:20).

Looking ahead to the latest Generation W event we spoke with Generation W Executive Director Donna Orender and APR Energy President and COO Chuck Ferry (33:14).

Cole Pepper joined us with the latest sports news and a look at the Final Four (46:00).    

        

Friday on First Coast Connect our weekly Media Roundtable featured Florida Times-Union columnist Mark Woods, Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth and WJCT contributor Fred Matthews (01:06).

Ahead of this weekend’s Phoenix Rising Festival we spoke with Phoenix Arts District founder Christy Frazier and event coordinator Ari Gaskin (46:00).     

Will Dickey / The Florida Times-Union

Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Florida Times-Union reporter Ben Conarck about his investigation into how visitors to Baker Correctional Institution are treated (01:02).

Ahead of his appearance in Jacksonville next week we heard from legendary Disney and Pixar animator Floyd Norman (27:46).

With World Glaucoma Week just ending we heard about some new treatments for sufferers with Florida Eye Specialists Dr. Kathryn Friedl and patient Carol Matthews (38:30).

Ahead of this weekend’s A Brush With Nature event at the Jacksonville Arboretum we spoke with painter Randy Pitts and Board Chair Patty Miller.

Kerry Speckman told us what’s coming up this weekend and next week in the world of entertainment.  (46:00)    

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with FSCJ political science professor Daniel Cronrath who will be heading to Washington on Saturday to participate in the March For Our Lives event (01:08).

The latest edition of #RealTalk hosted by WJCT contributor Charles Griggs featured free-lance journalist Christin Jordan, former The Chat TV show host Henny Stewart and UNF Sociology Professor Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder (27:54)

We heard about the Old Town Art Show taking place this weekend in St. Augustine with Show Director Lynn Wettach (46:00). 

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with former CSX CEO Michael Ward who is co-chair of a Jacksonville Civic Council committee looking into the possible sale of JEA (01:06).

Renay Daigle from Daigle Creative and Delores Barr Weaver told us about the Connectable Campaign (32:03).

John November, Executive Director and General Counsel for The Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute of Florida, talked about Tuesday’s Jacksonville Tree Symposium (46:00).

Monday on First Coast Connect with guest host Jessica Palombo we heard about the upcoming inaugural Duval County Trump Club meeting. Club President Jim Davis and Duval County GOP Chair Karyn Morton (01:20) joined us.

We heard about the local company, Medic, that features vending machines for pharmacy products with cofounder Garlene Atcherson (28:40).

Keith Marks, a local artist and the founder of Avant Music, told us about two upcoming events he is involved in (38:40).

Sports analysts Cole Pepper talked about a wild weekend of March Madness and Jaguars free agency (46:00).  

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