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WJCT First Read: Friday, August 23, 2013

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Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida, and across the country. We'll also preview some of WJCT's upcoming news programming.

Kennedy Center partners with Duval County Public Schools for arts education: The Kennedy Center will bring it's Any Given Child program, which provides access to arts education, to Duval schools.

City animal control funding restored: The Jacksonville City Council Finance Committee quickly restored funding to the city's Animal Care and Protective Services at a hearing yesterday. 

Starke Elementary School closes due to mold concerns: In a letter to parents,  Bradford County School District Superintendent Chad Farnsworth said Starke Elementary School will be closed effective Friday after an air quality test that sparked elevated concerns of mold in the 

Questions remain after Head Start meeting: Parents who attended a public meeting with federal Head Start cheif Yvette Sanchez Fuentes were left with several unanswered questions, including how their children will get to class next month. (Florida Times Union)

Teen witness testifies in toddler shooting trial: 15-year-old Dominique Lang admitted he gave inconsistent statements to police, but pointed out defendant  De’Marquise Elkins as the triggerman in the killing of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago. (News4Jax)

City utility prices contributing record budget amount: JEA says their customers' monthly bills are providing about 24 percent of the city's operating budget. (Action News Jax)
    
Florida GOP unimpressed with Obama education agenda: Following speeches from President Obama during day one of a two day bus tour of New York and Pennsylvania, Florida's top GOP officials were skeptical of his plans for education. (Sunshine State News)

Florida redistricting case goes to court: A retired judge will determine if any of the 1,800 documents produced by a Gainesville consultancy for state Republicans will be revealed in court in the case against the state's latest Congressional and State Senate district lines. (The Florida Current)

Miami man charged with uranium smuggling: A Miami man originally from Sierra Leone was arrested in Queens, N.Y. on Wednesday on charges of smuggling uranium into the U.S. intended to be sold to Iran. (Fox News)

WJCT's Kevin Meerschaert (@KMeerschaertJax) will be back at the Jacksonville City Council Finance Committee budget hearings today. On the agenda, parks and recreation, veterans and disabled services, and capital improvement programs.

Today on First Coast Connect, our Friday media roundtable talks about the week's biggest stories and looks forward to the week ahead.

Monday, First Coast Connect is on the road at the University of North Florida for the first day of classes.

You can get all the latest headlines online at WJCTNews.org, on our Facebook page, and on Twitter @WJCTJax.

Patrick Donges served as WJCT's Digital Content Editor from August 2013 - August 2014.