Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

First Read: Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Marissa Alexander, the FSU shooting, Renew Jax and the Police and Fire Pension Fund are all in the headlines affecting the First Coast today.

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.

Marissa Alexander to serve 65 days under plea deal
The mother of two accepted an offer from prosecution to reduce her sentence from 20 years to only 3 years in jail and 2 years under house arrest. With the 1,030 days she has already served being credited toward her sentence, Alexander will only have to remain in jail for 65 days. Alexander pleaded guilty to the three counts of aggravated assault stemming from the encounter with her ex-husband where she claimed she fired a warning shot toward Rico Gray in self-defense. (WJCT)

FSU shooting victim paralyzed
Farhan “Ronny” Ahmed was left in critical condition early Thursday after the shooting at the Strozier Library at Florida State University that left the gunman dead and two other victims injured. Ahmed was shot three times, with one of the bullets hitting his spine leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. (News4Jax)

City Council committee amends Mayor Brown's pension proposal
The Rules Committee and the Finance Committee voted yesterday to make amendments to the mayor's Police and Fire Pension Fund reform legislation. Opponents worried that the amendment could halt progress on the legislation while supporters felt that the changes reduced taxpayer burden. The amended legislation is expected to be voted on by full City Council tonight. (Florida Times-Union)

$35 million committed for infrastructure improvements in struggling Jacksonville neighborhoods
The project named Renew Jax combines $15.5 million in funds from the city's stormwater and state and federal funds with $20 million from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a non-profit that supports community development. The funds will be used for projects to improve or replace water and sewer lines, drainage, sidewalks and roads. (Florida Times-Union)

Lines start forming for Black Friday deals
Customers have already started lining up outside the Best Buy at the St. Johns Town Center in preparation for the deals. Tents are pitched and sleeping bags are laid out in front of the store to make the days until Black Friday more comfortable. (First Coast News)

Today on First Coast Connect, Larry Hannan from the Florida Times-Union joins Melissa to discuss the plea deal in the Marissa Alexander case, and later in the hour we'll be discussing local cases involving government whistleblowers revealing fraud, and the City Rescue Mission's Thanksgiving Meal and how you can be a part of it. Get plugged in!

UPDATE: The segment on local whistleblower cases has been moved to another day.

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

Ray Hollister can be reached at, 904-358-6341 or on Twitter at @rayhollister.