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First Read: Monday, December 1, 2014

Controversial art and tweets, JTA and a fire that destroyed a historic building are all in the headlines 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.

Today's Weather
Patchy fog until 9 a.m. Partly sunny. Highs in the mid-70s, lows in the upper 50s. (National Weather Service)

Massive fire destroys 105-year-old Davis Brothers Furniture Company building
Firefighters worked through the night and part of Saturday morning to put out the fire in downtown Jacksonville that burned so brightly it could be seen from I-95 and J.T. Butler Boulevard. (The Florida Times-Union)

City Council President Clay Yarborough lights social media firestorm over "pornography" at MOCA
Last week Yarborough demanded Mayor Brown revoke funding that the Museum of Contemporary Art receives indirectly from the City due to an art exhibit that included a nude photograph. Critics are calling it a violation of the First Amendment and have demanded an apology and retraction from Yarborough. Supporters agree that the photograph should not be in view of children. (The Florida Times-Union)

Jaguars edge out a win against the Giants
The Jaguars beat the Giants by only one point after an incredible turn-around. Ending the first half behind by 17 points, the Jaguars bounced back and narrowly defeated the Giants with a 43-yard field goal by Josh Scobee, giving former Jaguar head coach Tom Coughlin his seventh consecutive loss this season with the Giants. (News4Jax)

JTA: Fresh bus routes, free service begin today
An extensive overhaul of JTA service, including more frequent buses, new routes and real-time tracking launches today. As an invitation to try the new offerings, JTA is providing free fare for both the bus and community shuttles today through Friday, December 5th. (News4Jax)

Calls for Duval County Republican Party secretary to step down after controversial tweets
Kim Crenier, a secretary for the Duval GOP, posted tweets after the news that Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted on charges in the shooting of Michael Brown. The tweets were considered by many to be offensive and racially-charged. Republican City Councilman and mayoral candidate Bill Bishop and Southern Christian Leadership Conference Florida State President RL Gundy are asking for Crenier's resignation. (The Florida Times-Union and First Coast News)

Winn-Dixie stores begin accepting Apple Pay
Jacksonville-based Bi-Lo Holdings Inc. announced that it is now accepting Apple Pay at all of its locations, including Winn-Dixie stores. Apple Pay is the contactless payment system introduced this fall by Apple on its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus that allows customers to make payments using only their smartphone. (The Florida Times-Union)

Today on First Coast Connect, guest host Charlene Shirk discusses AIDS Week and Hemming Park. Author Michael Wiley joins Charlene to discuss his new book Blue Avenue, the first in a series of noir mysteries set in Jacksonville, and Cole Pepper talks about the Jaguar's close win on First Coast Sports Wrap Up. Get plugged in!

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.