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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

9/29/2016: Banned Books Week; Dave Barry; The Human Race: Matt Blashaw


It’s Banned Books Week across the country. On Thursday’s First Coast Connect, host Melissa Ross spoke with our Book Club blogger Stacey Goldring, Jacksonville University professor Courtney Barclay and Jacksonville librarian Lisa Taylor about some the events being held to commemorate the week. We also heard from bestselling author and columnist Dave Barry about his latest book about life in Florida: “Best. State. Ever.” HandsOn Jacksonville CEO LeAnn Daddario joined the show to talk about The Human Race 5K fundraiser Saturday and HGTV’s Matt Blashaw phoned in to talk about his appearance this weekend at the Jacksonville Home + Patio Show.    


Banned Books Week

From “Fifty Shades of Gray” to The Bible some people and organizations still push to ban such publications from local school and public libraries. Goldring, Barclay and Taylor told Ross about their favorite banned books and events celebrating the printed word.                      

Dave Barry

He’s been writing about life in Florida for decades, often poking fun at some of the strange happenings in the Sunshine State. Barry’s latest book, “Best. State. Ever,” defends Florida as a strange, but great place to live.        

The Human Race

The Human Race is a fundraiser hosted by HandsOn Jacksonville. It helps raise money for several community non-profit organizations, churches, schools and sports teams. Daddario told Ross about the event, which includes a 5K and one mile walk/run. It will be held Saturday at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Jacksonville.      

Matt Blashaw

Blanshaw is known from HGTV shows like “Yard Crashers” and “Ellen’s Design Challenge.” He spoke with Ross about the Home + Patio show and his career.

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.