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First Coast Connect

11/16/2016: Guns- Newman Shootings; Eradicating Polio; DESC; intoGo

Wednesday on First Coast Connect, with Jacksonville again reeling from multiple homicides, including the shooting of an 11-month old, we spoke with local pastors John Guns and John Allen Newman as the city, once again looks for solutions to the violence. Rotary District Governor Marshall Butler joined the program to talk about the organization’s project to eradicate polio worldwide. Julie Handley, fundraiser chair of the Downtown Ecumenical Services Council, talked about the return of their fundraising event “Where’s Bubba?” Developer Zach Schwartz spoke about the new app he help create “intoGo,” which provides easy access to places and things to do on the First Coast.  


Guns- Newman Shootings

Both Guns and Newman have long advocated and worked to bring together the community in northeast Jacksonville. They have encouraged those with any information on the killings to report it to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s office and are offering help for anyone who fears retribution. They spoke about the need for more economic opportunities for young people who are at-risk of turning to crime and violence.    

Eradicating Polio

The Rotary Foundation is celebrating its centennial this year. First formed in 1917, the purpose of the Rotary Foundation is to fight disease, promoting peace, supporting education and more. The hallmark project of the foundation is the campaign to eradicate polio. When this project started in the mid-80s, there were 1,000 cases of polio every day worldwide. Year to date in 2016, only 32 cases of polio have been documented. Butler spoke about his father, who was quarantined with polio in Jacksonville when he was 4 years old.      


They lend a helping hand where it’s needed most, providing food, clothing and financial assistance for rent and JEA bills to the neediest in our community.

The Downtown Ecumenical Services Council (DESC) helps families living paycheck to paycheck, where the smallest problem can become a crisis.  The United Way’s 211 Crisis Line reports DESC is its second most referred agency for emergency assistance.

Their fundraiser “Where’s Bubba?” is a virtual fishing tournament from the back of a boat. The event will be held at the Haskell Building on Saturday, November 19th.


intoGo is a new app that helps people discover where to go and what to do in Jacksonville, all with the swipe of a screen.

Schwartz was the winner of the 2015 One Spark Technology’s award. intoGo incorporates a list of 5,000 fun places and things to do and nearly 3,000 events happening every month in and around the Jacksonville region. Users will able to buy tickets to events, book a ride on Uber and make restaurant reservations.

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.