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First Coast Connect

02/16/16: Jax Journey; First Coast Connect Book Club; Michael Feldman; 'Stupid F#king Bird'

The spiking homicide rate in the city is bringing home the urgency behind a reinvigorated program at City Hall, the Jax Journey.

First started under former mayor John Peyton, this program has a number of initiatives designed to bring down the murder rate, including increased enforcement of police on the streets, and intervention and prevention programs for at-risk youth.

Mayor Lenny Curry has set aside roughly $3 million dollars in the current city budget to bolster Journey programs while also adding money to pay for 40 additional police officers.

At the same time, recommendations are expected soon on how the rest of the money will be spent- in particular on how to reach out to teens in Jacksonville.

We discuss these initiatives with Debbie Verges, project director for the Jax Journey.

In this month's edition of the First Coast Connect Book Club, book blogger Stacey Goldring joins us to discuss the work of magic realism author Isabel Allende.

"Whad'Ya Know?" host Michael Feldman joins us with a preview of the show's live broadcast this week from the Florida Theatre in Jacksonville. You can learn more about the show here.

And we learn about the 5 & Dime Theatre's latest production, "Stupid F#king Bird," from Lee Hamby, founder and managing director of the 5 & Dime Theatre, and cast members Ashley Macko and Franlin Ritch.

Subscribe to the First Coast Connect podcast in iTunes.

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