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First Coast Connect

1/26/2017: People's State Of The Union; Life Expectancy Decline; Paul Rodriguez

Thursday on First Coast Connect, we spoke with Yvette Hyater-Adams who was recently appointed regional envoy of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture about their initiative the People’s State of the Union. Dr. SaumilOza, chief of cardiology at St. Vincent’s Medical Center Riverside, talked about a recent decline in life expectancy rate, and we were joined in studio by comedians Paul Rodriguez and Shaun Latham. 


People’s State of the Union

In January of most years, the president delivers a State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress highlighting the past year and suggesting priorities for the coming year. There isn’t an official State of the Union in a president’s first year although President Donald Trump will be addressing Congress Feb. 28. The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture last year started hosting its own state of the union, taking place in homes, churches and community organizations across the country. It is coming to Jacksonville this week. The conversations will be held Saturday at the Main Library from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Feb. 2 at the Space Gallery on Forsyth from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; and Feb. 3 at the Main Library from 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Life expectancy decline

The National Center for Health Statistics recently released a report that U.S. life expectancy has declined for the first time in more than two decades. Fatalities rose among eight of the top 10 leading causes of death. In particular, the death rate from heart disease increased by almost 1 percent, or 20,000 more deaths than the previous year. Oza talked about some the reasons the life expectancy rate may be declining and some of the things people can do to reduce their risk of heart disease like getting more exercise and improving their diet.       

Paul Rodriguez

He’s been entertaining the world for more than three decades and was ranked among the top 100 standups of all time by Comedy Central.

Paul Rodriguez also has dozens of TV and film acting credits on his resume, from “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” and “Born in East L.A” to 
“Bloodwork” and “Ali.”

Rodriguez is performing tonight through Saturday at the Comedy Club of Jacksonville on Beach Boulevard. Fellow comedian Shaun Lathan is his opening act.

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.