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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

12/13/2016: Cumberland Island; Parvez Ahmed-Trump Cabinet; On John Glenn; Dr. Tra'Chella Johnson Foy


Tuesday on First Coast Connect we discussed a controversial proposal to allow new development of 10 houses on Cumberland Island in Georgia. We discussed Charles Seabrook’s non-fiction work“Cumberland Island, Strong Women, Wild Horses” with First Coast Connect Book Club blogger Stacey Goldring and Lisa Williams with the North Florida Sierra Club. We also heard from University of North Florida Coggin College of Business professor Parvez Ahmed about some of President-elect Donald Trump’s controversial cabinet selections. Commentator Jay Solomon remembers covering and meeting the late John Glenn. Solomon was a news director in Ohio when Glenn was in the U.S. Senate. We also met Dr. Tra’Chella Johnson Foy, the first African-American women to be named president of the Duval County Medical Society. 


 Cumberland Island

Cumberland Island is the largest and southernmost of Georgia’s barrier islands. It’s known for its wild horses and near-total lack of development along its beautiful seashore.

Cumberland first became a protected National Seashore back in 1972.

The island is accessible only by ferry or private boat. It served as the location of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette’s wedding in 1996. But now, descendants of the Island’s first wealthy owners have put forth a proposal to build some new homes on Cumberland, alarming environmentalists who argue the island needs to stay just as it is.

Parvez Ahmed Trump Cabinet

President-elect Trump’s cabinet is taking shape, pending Senate confirmation.

On Tuesday he announced Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his choice for secretary of state and multiple reports said former Texas Governor Rick Perry would head the department of energy.   

Some of Trump’s picks are causing alarm. Ahmad said he’s concerned about some of the anti-Muslim rhetoric from Housing and Urban Development designee Ben Carson and others expected to join the administration.     


On John Glenn

The death of pioneering astronaut John Glenn last week stirred memories for many.

Glenn will lie in state at the Ohio Statehouse rotunda in Columbus on Friday. The American hero will be celebrated in a memorial service Saturday at Ohio State University's Mershon Auditorium.

WJCT commentator Jay Solomon discussed covering Glenn as a reporter.


Tra’Chella Johnson Foy

It’s a story about breaking the barrier as the first African-American woman to become president of the Duval County Medical Society.

Johnson Foy was named the 130th president of the Duval County Medical Society last week. Foy is a board-certified family physician on the Northside, and is no stranger to overcoming obstacles.

She grew up in Jacksonville in a crack house. She saw a friend die and knew she wanted to help save people's lives. She then overcame the odds to become a successful and respected physician.

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