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WJCT First Read: Monday, September 16, 2013


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.

Allied Veterans lawyer trial begins: Jacksonville attorney Kelly Mathis, charged as the "mastermind" in the Allied Veterans of the World gambling ring case, goes on trial today.

Florida bridges among best in the nation: A new analysis of federal data shows Florida's bridges shows that of the more than 9,100 bridges the state is responsible for, only 17 have structural deficiencies and two are fracture critical.

Driver under investigation in road crossing death has history of driving troubles: Michael Fortunato, the 66-year-old driver being investigated after striking two pedestrians on Friday, killing one, struck and killed a 6-year-old in a similar incident in 2009. (First Coast News)

Bondi mum on state rules following new military policy for gay spouses: The office of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has declined to answer a request for opinion on whether a new policy extending health and housing allowance certificates to the spouses of gay National Guard members is in line with the state's constitution, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. (Miami Herald)

Suit filed to remove Jacksonville city attorney: At a Sunday press conference, the group Concerned Taxpayers of Duval County announced they will file suit to revoke the appointment of Cindy Laquidara as Jacksonville general counsel. (News4Jax)

Ethic questions about fundraising work done by statehouse employees: The practice of state employees taking the summer between sessions to work as political consultants is raising ethics questions. (Jacksonville Times-Union)

Orange juice future prices high after poor harvest: Florida's oranges are yielding the least amount of juice in three years, sending market prices higher. (Wall Street Journal)

Jags fall again in week 2, Orlando TV station apologizes: The Jacksonville Jaguars didn't look much better than in their dismal home opening loss this week, falling to the Oakland Raiders 19-9. One Florida CBS affiliates issued an apology to fans for airing the Jags/Raiders game instead of the much anticipated "Manning Bowl" pitting Payton Manning's Denver Broncos against Eli Manning's New York Giants. (San Francisco Chronicle, ESPN) 

Today on First Coast Connect, Nikole Helvey, head of the 'Navigator' program to help implementation of the Affordable Care Act for the Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida will join us.

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