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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

10/12/2016: Ken McGurn; National Farmers Day; World Blindness Awareness Month; H. Lee Peterson


Florida 3rd Congressional district candidate Democrat Ken McGurn joined host Melissa Ross to discuss his race against incumbent Republican Ted Yoho. As part of our regular Going Green segment, we spoke with Hastings farmer Danny Johns of Blue Sky Famers, as well as Dr. ShahriarNabizadeh about organic and traditional farming in honor Wednesday of National Farmers Day.

With October being World Blindness Awareness Month, we spoke with WJCT Morning Edition host and Radio Reading Service manager Michelle Corum and Doug Hansard, the President of the Jacksonville Council of the Blind. We also met award winning animation director H. Lee Peterson, who is in town to speak to students at the University of North Florida. He was joined by local filmmaker Jerry Smith of PineRidge Film and Television.  

Ken McGurn

McGurn is one of the few challengers of a congressional incumbent in Florida who has raised a comparable amount of money as his opponent. He’s an army veteran who served in Vietnam and has influenced an economic revival in downtown Gainesville. McGurn told Ross his focus is bringing more jobs to the district and protecting the environment.       

National Farmers Day

National Farmers Day pays tribute to the farmers throughout America and those family farms that continue to provide the nation with fresh produce. Johns spoke about the challenges running a fourth generation family farm. Nabizadeh talked about the importance of maintaining a healthy and organic diet.      

World Blindness Awareness month

Corum spoke about WJCT’s Radio Reading Service, which broadcasts the Florida Times-Union on special radios to the blind and vision impaired. She also told us about special programs airing this month on WJCT public television. Hansard spoke about a special White Cane walk in Jacksonville on Saturday.

H. Lee Peterson

Peterson is the film editor for some of Hollywood’s most popular and classic animated films, including “Aladdin,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Pocahontas” and three Madagascar movies. He spoke about his career, the challenges of directing animation as opposed to live action and the changes of animated filmmaking.    

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