Circus

Elephants performing in circus show
I B GINZ via Flikr

The Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus features its first female ringmaster center stage just months before announcing the iconic circus will shut down this spring after 146 years.

Elephants performing in circus show
I B GINZ via Flikr

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be met with protests during its four day visit to Jacksonville, concluding Sunday.

The results of a new poll released this week by the Florida Times-Union show Donald Trump and Ted Cruz leading the field of Republican presidential candidates among likely voters in Florida.

Trump is the choice of 31 percent of GOP primary voters in the state, a 12-point lead over Ted Cruz’s 19 percent support.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio are essentially tied for third place, with 13 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

We discuss the state of the presidential race with Matt Towery, founder of InsiderAdvantage, which conducted the poll.

Also joining us are Mike Binder, assistant professor of political science and public affairs at UNF, and Stephen Baker, professor of political science at Jacksonville University.


A raft of death penalty cases across the state of Florida are in limbo after a ruling last week by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The high court struck down Florida’s death penalty sentencing system, declaring that it violates defendants’ Sixth Amendment Rights to trial by jury. This means delays for the outcome of many cases, including several here in our area.

About 400 people currently sit on Florida’s Death Row, including the man charged with murdering Jacksonville resident Shelby Farah. Two years ago, defendant James Xavier Rhodes offered to plead guilty to the murder in exchange for life in prison without possibility of parole. Shelby’s mother, Darlene Farah, has urged the State Attorney’s Office to take the plea. However, State Attorney Angela Corey still intends to pursue the death penalty for Rhodes.

We discuss the latest in the case with Darlene Farah, and attorney and former prosecutor Dale Carson, co-counsel on the civil suit for the Farah family.

We also look at how the Supreme Court ruling affects the Florida death penalty as a whole with Ben Jones, campaign strategist for the criminal justice reform organization Equal Justice USA.


greyloch / Flickr

Activists will protest against the use of animals in the Morocco Shrine Circus show in Jacksonville this Friday.

During an appearance on WJCT's “First Coast Connect,” Adam Sugalski, the creative director of Compassion Works International, talked about some of the group’s concerns with the use of animals in circus acts.

Compassion Works International is a nonprofit organization dedicated towards ending animal cruelty.

A series of articles in the Florida Times-Union this week is looking inside a bold plan that includes single-gender classrooms and school uniforms to turn around the struggling Eugene J. Butler Middle School. Tessa Duvall, Florida Times-Union children and families reporter, joins us to discuss the successes and challenges the plan has met so far.

We speak with Adam Sugalski, Creative Director of Compassion Works International, about why he protesting the use of animals in a circus being held at the local Moroccan Shrine this week.