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First Coast Connect

10/20/2016: Refugees; Breast Cancer; Jacksonville Arboretum

Thursday on First Coast Connect we discussed the international refugee crisis. Jacksonville University is hosting a panel discussion on the topic this week. We heard from University of North Florida professor Leslie Kaplan; Travis Trice from World Relief, which assists local refugees; and Amy Stalker, the president of the Jacksonville Chapter of the United Nations Association. Host Melissa Ross also spoke with Dr. Sarah McLaughlin from the Mayo Clinic about Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Willis Jones, of the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens, told us about its upcoming ArborEATum Wine and Food Fest.  



One major topic that didn’t get as much attention during the final presidential debate was the global refugee crisis. It’s a divisive issue on the campaign trail, whether to admit refugees that some leaders and citizens believe could be a threat to public safety in this country. Our guest spoke about many of the misconceptions regarding how immigrants are allowed to enter the country and the discussion being held 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Jacksonville University Gooding Auditorium.

Breast Cancer

Survival rates are increasing, and diagnosis and treatment is making leaps forward when it comes to breast cancer.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and millions of women with a history of the disease are alive today. McLaughlin spoke about some of the new treatments being used at Mayo and other hospitals around the country.   


Jacksonville Arboretum

It’s a true hidden gem on the First Coast. The Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens is a 120-acre urban woodland full of trails to explore and enjoy. Jones spoke about the history of the Arboretum and this Saturday’s fundraiser, featuring nearly 20 local restaurants, caterers and craft brew masters will participate.    


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.