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.

 

Tuesday on First Coast Connect:

 

  • A look at the disparity in school suspensions in Duval County      

  • Author Michael Wiley on his latest book "Monument Road" 

  • How to do your part on this Giving Tuesday

  • Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra conductor Courtney Lewis

 

 

​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.

Former Jacksonville Jaguar Rashean Mathis was a guest on Tuesday’s “First Coast Connect,” along with Vee Bird, associate director of diversity and social change at Florida State College at Jacksonville regarding their Bridging the Divide initiative (01:17).    

Tuesday is the 90th anniversary of a visit to Jacksonville by aviation legend Charles Lindbergh that he made a few months after his historic flight across the Atlantic Ocean.  Ed Booth Jr., past president of the Jacksonville Historical Society, gave us a sense of just what a huge event Lindbergh’s visit was for the city. (32:55).      

We heard about the introduction of virtual reality arcades on the First Coast by speaking with VR Junkies co-owner Christopher Yozgat (43:59).  

Monday’s “First Coast Connect” examined a Tampa Bay Times story that states Jacksonville could experience severe flooding if it takes a direct hit from even a weak hurricane. Corey Johnson of the Tampa Bay Times, Nate Monroe from The Florida Times-Union and WJCT’s Ryan Benk (01:07) joined in on the discussion.   

We spoke with the new CEO of Groundwork Jacksonville, Kay Ehas (37:08).  

Cole Pepper brought us the local sports news, including the Jaguars big win in Pittsburgh (44:01). 


Friday on “First Coast Connect,” we had our weekly Media Roundtable.  David Bauerlein from The Florida Times Union, Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth and Jacksonville Business Journal editor Timothy Gibbons (01:46) took part.

We heard about the upcoming Sulzbacher Center’s “Transformations” event with co-chair Darnell Smith and Sulzbacher Chief Development Officer Eileen Briggs (40:41)  

We also spoke with the editor in chief of the new local publication, Salty at Heart, Kirstin Thompson (47:25).  

 

Thursday on “First Coast Connect,” we heard about the 2017 edition of the State of the River Report with co-authors University of North Florida Chemistry Professor Dr. Radha Pyati and Associate Research Scientist Dr. Gerry Pinto at the Jacksonville University Science Research Institute (01:07).  

We were told about a new partnership between UNF and the Peace Corp called Peace Call Prep with UNF Peace Corp Prep Advisor Dr. Tim Robinson, and UNF alumnus and returned Peace Corp volunteer Frances Luna (24:53).    

Patty Crosby of Hospice of the Golden Isles spoke about this weekend’s St. Simons Food and Spirits Festival (32:30).    

We heard about the Fall Makery, a move to get more people to buy local products with The Makery co-founders Sara Flowers and Taryn Nilson. Along on hand were Sailors Siren co-owner Whitney Canney and Fish Lips Paper Design owner Kimi Chronis. They were joined by Kerry Speckman who talked about other upcoming events this month (42:03).  

   

Wednesday on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with Chad McIntrye, manager of Trauma Flight Services with Trauma One at UF Health Jacksonville hospital and Dr. David Yorkgitis, who is a  trauma acute-care surgeon. Yorkgitis heads up a mass casualty group in Jacksonville that prepares the local trauma team for crisis situations (01:12).

Tuesday on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with former Congressman Jason Altmire about his new book “Dead Center” (01:15).

Dr. Takaya Jones with Baptist Health talked about this weekend’s Pink Ribbon Symposium (29:41). 

This week’s segment of “Moveable Feast” featured Lauren Titus of “Edible Northeast Florida” magazine (36:16).  

Players By The Sea Production Manager Jereme Raickett and Creative Marketing Manager Bradley Akers told us about this Saturday’s end-of-season fundraising event, “The Curtain Call” (47:24). 

    

Monday on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke about the shootings in Las Vegas and National Mental Health Week with interim President and CEO of Mental Health America of Northeast Florida Tara Wildes and Norma Basford, the former program director for National Association of Mental Illness of Jacksonville (01:17).  

Consumer law attorney Leslie Goller told us about the dangers of water-damaged cars that could hit the used car market after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and warning signs a car may have been damaged (28:55).                

We heard about the group Gratitude America with Executive Director Michael Anthony and social worker and Florida House candidate Tracye Polson about their upcoming retreat for women veterans (38:15).

Cole Pepper brought us the weekend’s sports news including the Jaguars overtime loss to the New York Jets (47:18).   

 

Friday on “First Coast Connect,” our weekly Media Roundtable featured Mark Woods from The Florida Times-Union, Charles Griggs from the Jacksonville Free Press and WJCT reporter Lindsey Kilbride (01:53).

We heard about an event this weekend at the Jacksonville Landing to help Puerto Rico victims of Hurricane Maria and also spoke with author Steve Werlin, who wrote “To Fool the Rain: Haiti’s Poor and Their Pathway to a Better Life.”

Jacksonville Historical Society president Alan Bliss and Jacksonville attorney Michael Fisher with the Haitian advocacy group Fonkoze spoke about Haitian relief (28:31).              

Jacksonville AARP Field Coordinator Justine Conley talked about an upcoming race in downtown Jacksonville in conjunction with the YMCA (39:40).

Ahead of his appearance this weekend at the Jacksonville Home and Patio Show we spoke with “This Old House” host Kevin O’Connor (43:56).

      

Thursday on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with Florida GOP operative and President Donald Trump critic Rick Wilson about the administration’s response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the documentary he is co-producing about the Trump presidency (01:13).

We heard an update on the proposed mixed-use development on Jacksonville’s Southbank, The District, with developer Michael Munz and Jacksonville University’s Associate Dean of Applied Health Sciences Heather Hausenblas (32:25).        

Learn to Read Executive Director Judy Bradshaw talked about their upcoming fundraiser at the Jacksonville Downtown Main Library (40:48)

Client Focused Media CEO Mike White told us about this weekend’s Oktoberfest in Jacksonville (45:00).

     

Wednesday on “First Coast Connect,” we hear about September being National Recovery Month with Lakeview Health’s Juan Deas and alumni manager Ashley Harris (01:03).  

Author and former land manager Terri Mashour joined us to talk about her new book,  “Backcounty Trails of Florida: A Guide to Hiking Florida’s Water Management Districts.” (32:47)      

Creator Keith Marks joined the show to discuss the launch of Avant Radio on 89.9 on Sunday (41:49).

Tuesday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with WJCT’s Corporate Secretary Carlos Semidei and local resident Elisha Sosa. Both have relatives and friends in Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria (01:02).

Local Fraternal Order of Police President Steve Zona joined us to talk about his call for the resignation of two city council members after they had an altercation with police (11:11).       

We heard about this being Banned Book Week in America with First Coast Connect Book Club leader Stacey Goldring and Keli Likins, who is the regional manager of the Jacksonville Public Library (30:33).

Kelly Mannel with Jacksonville’s Image Partners discussed a national conference coming to Jacksonville focusing on mindfulness (42:44).  


  Monday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with WJCT’s sports analyst Cole Pepper about the Jaguars and other NFL teams protests Sunday of statements made by President Trump (01:18).  

We also spoke with Tony Penna who directs efforts for Enroll America about the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill (29:34).

   

Youth Crisis Center CEO Kim Sirdevan discussed helping kids deal with trauma (39:50).

Northeast Florida STEM2 Hub program director Kathleen Schofield told us about the national STEM Ecosystems Initiative (46:19).


Friday on “First Coast Connect” our weekly Media Roundtable featured Tessa Duvall from The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville Business Journal editor Timothy Gibbons and blogger Fred Matthews (01:16).

 

Gabriel House of Care Executive Director Valerie Callahan talked about their upcoming Living Well Symposium (42:05).

We also spoke with author Larry Baker who sets his novels in Northeast Florida (46:24).

Thursday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman about the dangers to the river and its tributaries due to Hurricane Irma (01:10).

Tim Brack, Medtronic’s Ear, Nose and Throat division marketing manager told us about treatments for the sinus condition known as Chronic Rhinosinustis or CRS (31:52).

We also heard about two upcoming events connected to Volunteers in Medicine.

Noor Ashouri is the Director of Marketing with First Coast Cardiovascular and Aimee Boggs is with Raymond James. You’ll learn more about Volunteers in Medicine’s Women with Heart for September (39:43). 


Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

State Attorney Melissa Nelson decided not to pursue changes against Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer Tyler Landreville’s fatal shooting last year of Vernell Bing Jr. But that doesn’t mean the story is over.

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