First Coast

News impacting Duval, Baker, Nassau, St. Johns and Clay counties.

Ray Hollister / WJCT News

The Jacksonville City Council approved a bill Tuesday that encourages city contractors to consider hiring felons.

The bill, 2017-35, sponsored by councilman Garrett Dennis requires businesses contracting with the city for at least $200,000 complete an extra step toward considering  ex-offenders to fill job openings.


Flazingo Photos / Flickr

Jacksonville's Navy bases are inviting any military member transitioning out of service, their family members and all veterans to a job fair Wednesday, featuring more than 100 companies.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said more resources for human trafficking victims and community awareness are essential to addressing the problem in Jacksonville.

Several City Council members met with State Attorney Melissa Nelson, Sheriff Mike William, and others Monday to talk about how to help.


A recent study by professors at the University of North Florida say Jacksonville’s water quality ranks poorly among residents.

Excel23

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams will be speaking at Jacksonville University tonight.

The school’s Public Policy Institute is hosting Williams as part of its classroom guest speaker series.

“The sheriff, I believe, will be addressing a wide range of criminal justice issues— everything from juvenile justice to potential homicide cases to the crime rate here in Jacksonville,” said Rick Mullaney, Public Policy Institute director.

Presidium Group

Updated: 6:25 p.m.

A Texas-based real estate developer Presidium Group wants to build a fine art museum, aquarium and a 1,000-foot observation deck on Jacksonville’s vacant Shipyards and Metropolitan Park property. It’s one of three development proposals submitted to the city.


NPR

The Republican health care bill under consideration in the House of Representatives would change health coverage for a lot of people.

PHOTO COURTESY OF KRAVIS CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

Broadway legend Audra McDonald will perform with the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus Sunday night at the Times-Union Center.

Bonnie Zerr / WJCT

Updated March 17 1:05 p.m.

On this episode of Redux, we look at poverty on the First Coast.

In Duval County, roughly a third of the families here live on an income lower than what’s known as a “survival budget.”

Then there’s the homeless population on the First Coast, which has grown to more than 3,000, including approximately 2,000 in Jacksonville. We have an open letter from a homeless woman to Mayor Lenny Curry about how the city treats those without shelter.

But, homelessness isn’t exclusive to the urban core. We’ll look at what one organization is doing at the Beaches to help those most in need, help themselves. 

We also have an update on the Jacksonville Jaguars and the downtown shipyards project.


syringe on sidewalk
Eric Molina via Flickr

Councilman Bill Gulliford wants to convene a community task force to combat the opioid epidemic in Jacksonville.

He made the announcement at a town hall Thursday night, where he said heroin and other opioid overdoes kill more than three times as many people as guns do in the city.

The University of North Florida will face a major change next year, after its longest serving president announced his retirement last week.

Awake the State

Shortly after Governor Rick Scott finished his state of the state address to lawmakers in Tallahassee Tuesday, demonstrations were held in cities across Florida, including one in downtown Jacksonville’s Hemming Park.


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

The Jacksonville City Council Neighborhoods Committee voted Monday to recommend the full council withdraw a bill to designate Hemming Park’s confederate monument a historical landmark.

Council president Lori Boyer called for the withdrawal, but said she wants to bring back a more thought-out plan for preserving the park’s history.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

A new University of North Florida poll could spell trouble for one potential Republican candidate next year.

But UNF Public Opinion Research Laboratory Director Mike Binder is cautioning against reading too much into the data more than a year away from the 2018 midterm elections


Nicole Holderbaum/Facebook

The Jacksonville Landing is going to brighten up its interior walls through a local-artist mural project.

Its mostly blank walls currently feature simple green tropical plants and light blue pelican figures. Local artist Nicole Holderbaum wants to change that and has partnered with the Landing. She will accept artist submissions for seven murals to revamp the interior.


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