First Coast Success

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.


Juvenile Diversion

Every year, police arrest more than 2,000 juveniles in Duval County. Nearly half are under the age of 15.

Some are arrested for serious offensives but many get in trouble due to bad influences and immaturity, and this contact with the criminal justice system can affect their lives for years afterwards.

This has led to a strong focus in recent  years on juvenile diversion programs to give them a chance to clean their record. In Duval County, four of these programs serve more than 1,200 children each year.

Tess Duvall, education, children and families reporter for the Florida Times-Union, has been taking an in-depth look into these program and their effectiveness for a series of articles running in the paper this week. She joins us to discuss them.


A panel discussion titled “Peace in the Middle East: Inspiring Voices and Stories” took place Sunday at UNF.

The event, moderated by WJCT's Melissa Ross, explored the conflict between Israel and Palestine, and how faith communities how could help to resolve it.

First Coast Connect fill-in host Jessica Palombo continues that conversation with some of the nationally recognized faith leaders who took part in the event: Rabbi Donniel Hartman, president of the New York and Jerusalem based Shalom Hartman Institute; Imam Abduallah Antepli, chief representative of Muslim affairs and former chaplain at Duke University; and the Reverend Molly Marshall, president and professor of theology and spiritual formation at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas.


As presidential candidates gather this week for the final GOP debate, we discuss at the latest in the 2016 race, as well as recent controversial comments about Muslim made by Donald Trump. UNF professors Matt Corrigan and Parvez Ahmed join us.


Three years ago, Reverend R.L. Gundy of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church was a vocal opponent of updating Jacksonville’s anti-discrimination law to cover lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. 

But now, Gundy has changed his mind, saying it's time to "move the city forward." And he has joined a coalition of about 50 local faith leaders in support of updating the human rights ordinance.

We speak with Reverend R.L. Gundy about his change of position.


According to a recent Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute poll of registered Republican likely voters in Florida, Donald Trump remains the frontrunner among the 2016 GOP presidential candidates while others, including former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, gain traction. We discuss the factors behind these results with Rick Mullaney, director of JU's Public Policy Institute.


Next week the Jacksonville chapter of the United Nations Association and the Jacksonville University Political Science Society will hold the  "GirlUp: Empowering Women and Girls as the Third United Nations Millennium Goal" discussion about gender equality issues on the First Coast and around the world. We discuss efforts to close the gender gap with Karen Jackson, JU professor of biology, Amy Stalker, sponsor of the GirlUp Club of Fleming Island High School, and her student Rachel Thompson, president of the GirlUp Club.


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