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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

07/13/16: Reginald Luster; Algae Bloom; Portraits For Hope; Swamp Radio

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Reginald Luster

Jacksonville attorney Reginald Luster is the only local candidate in the race for Florida’s open Senate seat.

Luster is joining the Democratic field of incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio’s opponents, including Rep. Patrick Murphy, Rep. Alan Grayson, and attorney and former naval officer Pam Keith.

Luster is a business owner and is also known for serving as the first, and so far only, African-American president of the local bar association.

We speak with him about his platform.

Algae Bloom

A toxic algae bloom, so large it is visible from space, has been expanding in Florida’s Lake Okeechobee since May, and has spread through the St. Lucie River estuary to the Atlantic Ocean.

The algae invasion has made the water unfit for consumption and agriculture, and prompted Governor Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency in two south Florida counties.

Scientists and politicians dispute what is causing the bloom.

St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman joins us with her thoughts on the issue.

Portraits for Hope

The Jacksonville nonprofit Compassionate Families is working with local artists to reach out to those who have been affected by the First Coast’s high homicide rate.

The project is called Portraits for Hope.

We learn more about it from artist Kaytee Esser and Jacklyn Overby, project coordinator with Compassionate Families.

Swamp Radio

Swamp Radio creator Ian Mairs and co-host Tiffany Melanson join us with a preview of the group's latest show this weekend, celebrating summer, St. Augustine, and William Shakespeare.