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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

05/03/16: Tourism In Jax; 'Holocaust Cantata'; Stroke Prevention; Public Service Recognition Week



Tourism in Jacksonville is a $2.2 billion industry that employs more than 22,000 people.

The past two years have been record-breaking for visits to the First Coast. Jacksonville is ranked as one of the top 50 convention destinations in the country.

Jacksonville officials are marking  National Travel and Tourism Week with a series of events highlighting tourism’s growing importance to the city's economy.

Visit Jacksonville CEO Paul Astleford joins us with a look at what's being to done to bring more visitors to the First Coast.

'Holocaust Cantata'

It’s a unique and somber way of remembering the horrors of the Holocaust.

Donald McCullough, director of the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus, spent a year researching the songs and stories that recounted life in Nazi concentration camps. The result, "Holocaust Cantata: Songs from the Camps," features 13 songs and readings that came directly from inside the walls of the camps.

The Jacksonville Symphony Chorus will perform "Holocaust Cantata" Wednesday, May 4.

Donald McCullough joins us with a preview.

Stroke Prevention

More than 800,000 Americans suffer from a stroke each year.

But thanks to better diagnostics and awareness in recent years, stroke has dropped to the fifth leading cause of death in this country. It is, however, still the leading cause of disability.

May is National Stroke Awareness Month.

We speak with Dr. David Miller, director of the Mayo Clinic Stroke Center, about the signs and symptoms of stroke, as well as groundbreaking research about the malady.

Public Service Recognition Week

We continue our coverage of Public Service Recognition Week, spotlighting the work of of public employees, with a look at those focused on environmental concerns.

Sarah Boren, executive director of the Northeast Florida Green Building Council, and Matanzas Riverkeeper Neil Armingeon join us.

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