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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

3/20/2017: Hemming Park; Desean Kirkland; Cole Pepper


  Monday on “First Coast Connect” guest host Ryan Benk spoke with Friends of Hemming Park interim director Bill Prescott, Candy Apple Cafe & Cocktails co-owner Jen Earnest and Wolf and Cub Boutique co-owner Emily Moody about the future of Hemming Park. Local musician Desean Kirkland performed live in studio and Cole Pepper brought us the latest sports news. 

Hemming Park

Late last year Jacksonville Chief Administrative Officer Sam Mousa told City Council the administration had planned to take back control of Hemming Park from the nonprofit organization Friends of Hemming Park, which helmed downtown Jacksonville’s central plaza since 2014. The news of a city takeover came after the nonprofit was criticized for for mismanagement of funds, which  led to the departure of CEO Vince Cavin. But earlier this month, Mayor Lenny Curry announced he would give Friends of Hemming Park another chance, granting the group a six-month contract extension.

Desean Kirkland  

Local musician Desean Kirkland has a new album, “Genesis.” It is his self-released debut album. The University of North Florida graduate and Jacksonville native performed a song from his album.

Cole Pepper

Florida is still in the NCAA men’s tournament  but Florida State was ousted over the weekend by Xavier. Pepper also talked about one of the Jaguars recent free agent signings. The Armada’s season begins in two weeks and the Sharks began their season in the National Arena League with a win over Columbus. They’ll host Georgia in their home opener Saturday.        

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