Stacey Goldring

Hachette Book Group

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with author Sasha Polakow-Suransky on the rise of white nationalism in Europe (01:24).  

Book Club blogger Stacy Goldring and Jenna Hassell with the Jacksonville Public Library talked about the fifth anniversary of the regular segment on First Coast Connect (30:16).         

David Brown, CEO of Web.com and chair of this year’s Heart Walk and Dr. Amy Pollak, cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, talked about Sunday’s walk in downtown Jacksonville and the changes in guidelines by several medical groups as what blood pressure level should be considered as hypertension (46:00). 


Childhood Obesity

It’s a new way to fight a serious public health problem in this country and on the First Coast: childhood obesity.

About 13 million kids and adults in this country are considered obese.

In Florida, there’s been a decrease in obesity among preschoolers.

But as kids prepare to head back to school this month many of them are, ironically, overweight but at the same time not getting access to enough healthy food like fresh produce.

http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c11615

Behind every great author stands a great editor.

And few editors were as great as Maxwell Perkins, who worked with the iconic F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe to create classic American novels.

Stacey Goldring, WJCT contributor, spoke about Perkins’ literacy legacy on Tuesday’s First Coast Connect Book Club.

The Death of St. Augustine Priest Rene Robert

A Georgia prosecutor is seeking the death penalty in the murder of 71-year-old Father Rene Robert of St. Augustine, who was killed last April Burke County Georgia.

A deeply troubled young man, 28-year-old Steven Murray, has already confessed to the crime.

Tobert was a priest firmly opposed to the death penalty, so much so that he signed a document called a “Declaration of Life,” declaring that if he should ever himself be murdered, he did not want to see his killer be put to death.

Florida Times-Union investigative reporter Eileen Kelley examined this and other aspects of the case, including Murray's history of being sexually assaulted, in a recent article. She joins us to discuss it


National Parks

In 2011, Florida Times-Union columnist Mark Woods won the Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship, a $75,000 award given each year to one American writer.

Woods won the prize with his unique proposal to spend one year in the national parks, which celebrate their centennial this year.

Throughout 2012, he visited one park a month, starting with a sunrise in Acadia National Park in Maine, and ending with a sunset in Haleakala National Park in Hawaii.

Woods shares his experiences in his new book, "Lassoing the Sun: A Year in America's National Parks."

The book not only explores the parks, but also family, the legacies we inherit, and the ones we leave behind.

Mark Woods joins us to discuss the book and the future of the National Park Service.

Delores Barr Weaver

Trailblazing philanthropist Delores Barr Weaver has done it again.

Weaver, the original co-owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, has established a $20 million endowed fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, adding to her already legendary history of giving back to the Jacksonville area and beyond.

We speak with Delores Barr Weaver and Nina Waters, president of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, about her latest efforts to support local nonprofits.

March Against Fossil Fuels

Child Abuse Prevention

April marks National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

In Duval County, there were 2,471 reports of child abuse last year. That includes reports of neglect, physical and sexual abuse combined.

Out of the 735 children who were removed and sent to Foster Care in that same time period, 307 were removed due to neglect, physical abuse or sexual abuse.

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.


Federal authorities are warning the owner of Jacksonville’s Eureka Garden subsidized-housing complex that it is in default of a key funding contract because of deplorable conditions at the apartments.

A Notice of Default from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says Global Ministries Foundation has failed “to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing.”

HUD has set a February 4 deadline for the Reverend Richard Hamlet to fix the problems at the troubled site.

Meanwhile, Wayman Ministries and the Wayman Community Development Corporation are working to improve the lives of the residents of Eureka Garden. We speak with Pastor Mark L. Griffin about their efforts.


 A potentially historic U.N. summit on climate change later this month in Paris, expected to draw President Barack Obama and other world leaders, will be scaled back due to security concerns following Friday's terror attacks that left 129 people dead across the French capital.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls reportedly told local radio Monday morning that the conference will be "reduced to the negotiation" between countries' representatives, adding that "a lot of concerts and festivities will be canceled."

We discuss what could be expected out of the conference with Josh Gellers, assistant professor at UNF and research fellow at The Earth System Governance Project, the largest network of social scientists working on governance and global environmental change issues.


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