First Coast Success

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Monday on First Coast Connect, we spoke with Jacksonville’s Downtown Investment Authority CEO Aundra Wallace about some of the development projects downtown (01:13).    

This month’s edition of First Coast Success with Karen Brune Mathis featured local developer Ed Burr (23:14).

As part of the Real Men Wear Pink fundraising month for the National Cancer Society we spoke with participant Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails owner/executive chef Tom Gray (28:12).   

Timucuan Park Superintendent Chris Hughes and Florida Times-Union columnist Mark Woods joined us to talk about the national preserve (34:46) and national park fees.

Cole Pepper brought us the latest sports news, including the University of Florida firing head football coach Jim McElwain (46:00).  


Monday on “First Coast Connect,” we heard from Jacksonville attorney Richard Vermut (02:02) about a lawsuit that threatens to remove Google’s trademark. This month’s “First Coast Success” segment features Benjamin Hakimian from Hakimian Holdings (25:04). We spoke with E-file.com co-founder Aaron Rosenthal (34:18), and Cole Pepper brought us the latest sports news (41:01).  


  Today on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with John O’Brien (01:15), professor at Flagler College and CEO of the Vista Consulting Group, about Social Security reform. Our “First Coast Success” segment featured former CEO and philanthropist Barbara Drake (37:30), and Cole Pepper (45:26) brought us the latest sports news. 


  Today on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with Jim Murley (01:20), chief resilience Officer for Miami-Dade County, on the threat of sea level rise. This month’s edition of “First Coast Success” features Lee and Cates Glass CEO Tommy Lee III (31:58). We heard the story behind a tombstone found at a home build in Springfield with TerraWise Homes owners David and Melody Shacter, and Springfield historian Jeff Gardner (40:19) and Cole Pepper (46:26) brought us the latest sports news.   


  Today on “First Coast Connect,” we discussed the Affordable Care Act with Florida Blue CEO Pat Geraghty (01:13). Florida Department of Transportation spokeswoman Odette Struys (28:17) discusses big changes coming to area highways. This month’s “First Coast Success” segment  features the owners of the Maple Street Biscuit Company, Scott Moore and Gus Evans (37:53). And Museum of Science and History curator Paul Bourcier (44:25) told us about a new dinosaur exhibit. 


Monday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with Save Guana Now co-founders Nicole Crosby and Gary Coulliette, who are fighting against a development next to the Guana Preserve named The Outpost. We heard about Thursday’s OneJax Humanitarian Awards with Executive Director Nancy Bronner and Audrey Moran, Senior Vice President with Baptist Health who will emcee the event. This month’s First Coast Success featured Florida Blue’s Darnell Smith. We heard about Dining Out for Life with North Florida AIDS Network Executive Director Donna Fuchs and spokesman Action News Traffic Derrick Odom. Cole Pepper talked about the week’s sports news. 


Monday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with Women’s Center of Jacksonville Executive Director Teresa Miles and board president Lise Everly about Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This month’s First Coast Success featured Moxie co-owner Lisa Marie Johnson. Celebrating its 100th anniversary, we spoke with Jewish Family & Community Services CEO Colleen Rodriguez, and Cole Pepper told us how the Florida Gators fell just short of reaching the NCAA Tournament Final Four.  


Monday on “First Coast Connect” we discussed the future of Enterprise Florida with JAX Chamber President and CEO Daniel Davis. This month’s edition of First Coast Success with Karen Brune Mathis featured Hardage-Giddens Funeral Homes & Cemeteries president Jody Brandenburg. We also heard about a new video series through the Environmental Leadership Program at the University of North Florida. We were joined by Sean Lahav, the project leader and producer of the videos, John November from the Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute of Florida and Maria Mark, program coordinator. 


Monday on First Coast Connect, we discussed President Trump’s executive order to ban travel from seven Muslim-majority countries with Travis Trice and Michelle Clowe from Jacksonville’s World Relief, Asghar Syed from Emerge USA and immigration attorney Ericka Curran with Florida Coastal School of Law. In this month’s segment of First Coast Success, Karen Brune Mathis spoke with Native Sun founder Aaron Gottlieb and we were joined by former TV anchor Donna Deegen to talk about next month’s 26.2 with Donna Marathon and Dr. Keith Knutson, immunologist and breast cancer researcher at the Mayo Clinic about a breast cancer vaccine trial.     


Monday on “First Coast Connect,” guest host Ryan Benk spoke with Dr. Bob Sommers, CEO of the Mental Health Resource Center in Jacksonville.

He also spoke with local attorneys Barry Newman and Keith Maynard from the Spohrer & Dodd law firm about their work helping families of the victims of air crashes. This month’s installment of “First Coast Success” with Karen Brune Mathis featured InMotion President Jeremy Smith, and Cole Pepper talked about the Jaguars’ firing head coach Gus Bradley on Sunday after another disappointing loss to the Texans. 


               

With Election Day just over a week away, Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin appeared on First Coast Connect Monday. The group has long advocated for the rights of the LBGT community and Griffin is a long time supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton. In honor of National Veterans Small Business Week, host Melissa Ross spoke with local veteran and business owner Gina Garcia and Natalie Hall with the Small Business Administration. This month’s First Coast Success segment with Karen Brune Mathis featured Richard Rosenblum from the local third-generation clothier Rosenblums, and Cole Pepper spoke about the Florida-Georgia game and the other weekend sports news. 

     

In the wake of the Wells Fargo scandal, we heard from University of North Florida professor Paul Fadil. He and his colleague Bruce Fortado authored a study several years ago that predicted problems banks might face in the drive to find new customers and revenue . In our latest edition of First Coast Success, Karen Brune Mathis spoke with Daily’s founder Aubrey Edge. Host Melissa Ross talked to Rock Steady Boxing — Amelia Island co-founders Mary Anne Sharer and Guy Petty about their work with Parkinson’s patients and Cole Pepper told us about another Jaguars loss and a sad sports weekend. 


Democratic National Convention

As the Democratic National Convention kicks off in Philadelphia, an unusual question is capturing the attention of cyberspecialists, Russia experts and Democratic Party leaders: Is Vladimir Putin trying to meddle in the American presidential election?

A Wikileaks release on Friday of some 20,000 stolen emails from DNC computer servers has intensified discussion of the potential role of Russian intelligence agencies in disrupting the 2016 campaign.

Chasing the Dream

The deplorable conditions at the local low-income housing project Eureka Gardens captured national headlines when it came to light residents were living with dangerous mold, leaky gas pipes, and dilapidated stairs. But those conditions aren’t unique to that complex. 

Many local, low-income residents deal with these conditions every day.

For poor people in Jacksonville, finding housing that’s both affordable and livable can be hard to come by. Finding shelter often means settling for dangerously run-down apartments and dealing with the constant threat of eviction.

WJCT’s "Chasing the Dream" series, launching this week on 89.9 FM, examines what housing is available when you’re poor and what’s being done to help against a public housing system that’s underfunded nationwide.

We discuss the issue with WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo, and attorneys Katherine Hanson and Jeff Haynie of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid.

El Faro

There’s still a lot to learn about the tragic loss of the El Faro.

The Jacksonville-based cargo ship that sank last October at sea during Hurricane Joaquin, killing all 33 people on board.

Two weeks of hearings recently wrapped up looking into the cause of the El Faro disaster.

And it was a sometimes contentious proceeding, with one investigator called the sinking "a colossal failure" of management before he apologized and took back the comment.

Investigators do want to confirm what mistakes were made, and also explore ways to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again.

We recap the hearings with Jacksonville maritime attorney Rod Sullivan and WJCT News reporter Ryan Benk.


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