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First Coast Connect

8/23/16: Primary Preview; Tobacco Free Florida; Jags Teen Talk; Wine, Women and Shoes

Kevin Meerschaert

Florida Politics and Folio Weekly writer A.G. Gancarski talked with Melissa Ross Tuesday about next week’s primary election. Tobacco Free Florida has a new program to help people quit smoking, WJCT-TV is helping teens become successful adults and it’s time for “Wine, Women and Shoes” to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida. 


Primary Preview

Gancarski discussed how it’s possible three local long-time incumbents could be ousted in Tuesday’s primary. State Attorney Angela Corey, Public Defender Matt Shirk and Congresswoman Corrine Brown are all in fights for their political lives. Gancarski also talked about Mayor Lenny Curry’s push to extend the ½-cent sales tax to pay off the city’s pension debt. Folio Weekly’s Election Preview edition is on newsstands this week.      

Tobacco Free Florida

Ross spoke with Tonia Harris, a spokeswoman for Tobacco Free Florida and Tobacco Program manager Vicki Evans about quitting tobacco.

With its new Quit Your Way program, the Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida program is making it easier to access free tobacco cessation resources.

'Jags Teen Talk'

WJCT worked with the Jaguars Foundation to produce a program designed to teach teens how to prepare for success.

Educator Amy Morales, who participates in the">“Jags Teen Talk” program, spoke about how the human brain doesn’t finish developing until around age 25, and the importance of parents understanding the needs of their children. Producer Jennifer Candelino spoke about bringing the project together and how it evolved from previous programs that focused on teen pregnancy. The program airs on WJCT Public Television on Sept. 1 and will also other stations in Jacksonville.     

'Wine, Women and Shoes'

“Wine, Women and Shoes” is the biggest fundraising event for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida. Board member Jason Spencer and participant University of North Florida assistant professor Georgette Dumont appeared on First Coast Connect to talk about the event which features unlimited wine tastings, a fashion show, a marketplace of accessories from several local boutiques and a raffle.

The sponsors hope to raise more than $95,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters. It takes place at the Jessie Ball duPont Center on Sept. 24.    

Producer Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax


Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.