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First Coast Connect

5/01/2017: Schools Of Hope; Telemedicine; Cole Pepper; Piotr Szewczyk

Monday on “First Coast Connect" we talked about education with Duval County School Board member 

Becki Couch and Jacksonville Public Education Fund executive director Trey Csar. We heard about telemedicine with Triage Logic CEO Charu Raheja. Cole Pepper reviewed the Jaguars selections in the NFL draft, and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra’s Piotr Szewczyk talked about an upcoming free concert during Wednesday’s Artwalk.  

Schools of Hope

Some local school board members say they’re concerned about legislation in Tallahassee this session. The most controversial bill, known as “Schools of Hope,” is aimed at encouraging non-profit charter school operators with track records of high performance among low-income students to open campuses in areas where traditional public schools have received "D" or "F" grades on state report cards for more than three consecutive years. Supporters say the bill would help children and their parents escape failing schools that have proven incapable of turning around. But opponents slammed the legislation as part of a long-running trend toward giving charter-school operators greater influence in the state's public education system.


Telemedicine was once considered a catch-all term for any type of healthcare service administered remotely. Over the last decade the word has been applied to the myriad virtual care services, tools and companies. Triage Logic is a Jacksonville-based firm that provides quality, affordable triage solutions, including comprehensive after-hours call center services and innovative online systems for use in both institutional and private practice settings.

Cole Pepper   

The Jaguars made seven selections in the NFL draft, including their first round pick of Louisiana State University running back Leonard Fournette. The most controversial selection was fourth round pick Oklahoma wide receiver Dede Westbrook, who was arrested twice on domestic violence charges but was never convicted.    

Piotr Szewczyk

The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra will perform a free concert during Wednesday’s Art Walk in Hemming Park. One of the performances will be a composition by Szewczyk. He is also the composer of the “First Coast Connect” theme song.

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.