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First Coast Connect

06/22/15: Sectarian Prayer At City Council Meetings; Backyard Chickens; Cole Pepper

As a new Jacksonville City Council prepares to convene for the first time this month, there is renewed controversy over the issue of sectarian prayer at Council meetings. Over the years, meetings have often, but not always, began with an invocation of Christian prayer. Activists have long held this violates the Constitution and have called for either a moment of silence or a more inclusive prayer tradition to recognize those of other faiths or no faith living in Duval County. We speak with two of those activists: Rabbi Merrill Shapiro, Board President of Americans United for Separation of Church and State; and Earl Coggins, President and Founder of the First Coast Freethought Society.

A local group that supports the right of people in Jacksonville to keep chickens on their property is hopeful that a pilot program passed a couple of years ago is about to become permanent. An ordinance before the City Council this week would make permanent new rules for hens in the city. We discuss the issue with Genora Crain-Orth, founder of River City Chicks; City Councilman Doyle Carter; and former Council candidate Lisa King, who serves on the city’s Planning Commission.

And sports contributor Cole Pepper joins us with a look at the outcome of the U.S. Open, Jacksonville Armada news and more.

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Sean Birch joined the WJCT team in late 2011 and was with the company until 2016.