First Read

WJCT First Read is your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida, and across the country. Subscribe to WJCT First Read and get the most important stories from WJCT News and NPR delivered straight to your inbox every weekday morning and breaking news when it happens!

It’s Monday, September 28, 2015. Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida and across the country.

Here are 7 stories you might have missed.

Jacksonville's Southbank Could Be Getting More Pedestrian Friendly

With Florida black bear hunting season scheduled to start next month, a conservation group is asking a judge to block it, but a veteran wildlife lawyer says the group’s chance of success is slim. Jacksonville’s Skyway people mover is almost 30 years old, and JTA is taking steps to figure out what should be done with it next. But instead of planning for final expenses, a recent AAA survey found half of Sunshine State residents don’t have life insurance.

Sunday was the first home game of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ regular season. Florida is expecting a budget surplus this year, and Attorney General Pam Bondi wants some of that money to go toward untested DNA samples. A Northeast Florida lawmaker is predicting Medicaid expansion won't be a factor during the next legislative session.

It’s Tuesday, September 15, 2015. Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida and across the country.

Here are 7 stories you don’t want to miss.

Hundreds of Chief Petty Officers from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Naval Station Mayport and Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay shared their pride at Metropolitan Park on Wednesday. Under a bill filed Tuesday by a Republican state lawmaker, a bronze statue of Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, which has stood in the U.S. Capitol since 1922, would be replaced by a statue more representative of Florida. Another Florida lawmaker is hoping to revive a past effort to make sure law enforcement agencies using body cameras have set guidelines in place.

On Friday, a vacant old coffee shop in Jacksonville’s Five Points reopened for a night to host a fashion show. Marriage may be legal for all couples now, but many in the LGBTQ community say the fight for equality is far from finished; one Florida lawmaker is pushing to prohibit so-called conversion therapy in the state. When Duval School Superintendent Nikolai Vitti provided a timeline and more information about potential school boundary changes at a workshop, Jacksonville Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown stopped by to give her two cents.

People living in Clay County are being told to lock the doors of their homes and cars after nearly a dozen crimes were reported over the past two weeks. Urban planners have long looked to have an educational institution in the heart of the city — and Florida Coastal School of Law, it turns out, has long wanted to be downtown. An investigation by Politico Florida shows Governor Rick Scott’s administration altered a statement to falsely claim one planned parenthood facility failed to properly log fetal remains.

This year, 500 black students in ten middle and high schools in Duval County will be paired with mentors through the “5,000 Role Models of Excellence Project,” an initiative to recruit 5,000 mentors over the course of 10 years. St. Augustine kicked off the 450th celebration of the founding of the country’s oldest city on Tuesday, a week-long celebration projected to bring in tourists from around the world. Organizers of One Spark Festival, billed as “the world’s largest crowdfunding festival,” announced a number of changes Monday.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have traded the team's longest-tenured player on Monday morning, releasing kicker Josh Scobee to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jacksonville Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D-FL5) could face several opponents in the courtroom as she sues over proposed new district boundaries. The St. Johns County Tax Collector’s Office is now performing weapons-permits renewals.

It’s Tuesday, September 1, 2015. Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida and across the country.

It’s Wednesday, August 26, 2015. Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida and across the country.

Here are 8 stories you might have missed.

City Clerk Of Hampton, Florida Arrested After $19,000 Disappears

Duval County students returned Monday for the start of another school year. Governor Rick Scott has named the president of a Key West real-estate development company to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, replacing the former chairman who announced last week he is stepping down after 12 years on the board. With the end of a special session looming, state lawmakers scrambled on Friday to agree on a new congressional map for Florida but failed to make any headway, leaving the door open for the state Supreme Court to redraw borders.

Ten pastors and their congregations will march along one of Jacksonville’s deadliest streets to pass out water bottles in the Saturday sun, hoping the gesture helps ‘quench the violence’ plaguing their community. A new study from Johns Hopkins University shows Florida’s pill mill crackdown worked in its first year. The city of Key West is joining the ranks of South Florida municipalities where possession of small amounts of marijuana is treated as a civil code violation, not a criminal act.

The city of Jacksonville Beach has banned the sale of cats and dogs that come from so-called puppy and kitten mills. The School Board is considering requiring Duval County elementary and middle-school to wear uniforms. The House and Senate are following different rhetorical paths in redrawing Florida’s congressional borders, but so far their proposals are pretty similar.

It’s Thursday, August 20, 2015. Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida and across the country.

Late Tuesday night Lonzie Barton’s mother, Lonna Lauramore, was arrested on charges of child abuse and lying to police. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry says he opposes a draft water plan that includes a possible withdrawal of water from the St. Johns River. A ship commander stationed at Mayport Navy Base has been relieved of her duty amidst allegations she behaved inappropriately.

It’s Wednesday, August 19, 2015. Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida and across the country.

William Ruben Ebron Jr., the prime suspect in the disappearance of 21-month-old Lonzie Barton, pleaded not guilty Monday to two counts of child neglect and one count of lying to police. Mayor Lenny Curry plans to participate in the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities program, which will provide Jacksonville with a $1 million grant to establish the position of Chief Resilience Officer, who will help address challenges like sea-level rise and hurricane preparedness.

The State of the River Report, presented Friday morning at the University of North Florida, indicates the health of the St. Johns River is generally improving, but that scientists are concerned about some recent negative trends. Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams says he supports increased funding for a crime-prevention program called the Jacksonville Journey — even if its success isn’t immediately apparent. The City of Jacksonville reopened Julius Guinyard pool near Downtown last week with new amenities and ADA accessibility after closing it three years ago.

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