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First Coast Connect

02/08/16: Violent Crime In Jacksonville; 26.2 With Donna; Super Bowl Ads; Cole Pepper

As politicians and pastors speak out about violent crime in Jacksonville, mourners laid to rest the 13th homicide victim of the year Saturday.

22-month-old Aiden Michael McClendon was shot by a stray bullet January 29 as he sat inside a parked car. Police are investigating the possibly gang-related shooting.

Jacksonville has been Florida’s murder capital on and off for more than a decade now. As Mayor Lenny Curry works to reinvigorate the Jacksonville Journey anti-crime initiative, we examine the city's murder rate and root causes of crime in Jacksonville. Dr. Michael Hallet, professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of North Florida, joins us.

The 9th annual 26.2 with Donna marathon takes place this weekend. The race was founded in partnership with Mayo Clinic to raise funds for genomics research relating to breast cancer here on the First Coast. We preview this week's race with founder Donna Deegan, and hear about the latest research with Aubrey Thompson, Ph.D, co-director of the Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Translational Genomics program.

David Bonner, executive creative officer with the Jacksonville advertising firm On Ideas, joins us to discuss some of the stand out ads from the Super Bowl.

And we look at the outcome of the big game with our regular sports contributor Cole Pepper.

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