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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

6/15/2017: World Refugee Day; Triumphs, Tragedies Of A Brooklyn Dodger


Today on “First Coast Connect,” we discussed how Jacksonville helps refugees from around the world with Michelle Karolak, director of the Refugee Resettlement Program for the diocese of St. Augustine; Tracy Kovach, program director for the Children’s Refugee Program Project; Akbar Hakim Zoda, who immigrated from Afghanistan in 2001 and works with Catholic Charities; and caseworker Siamand Ando (01:08), who immigrated from Iraq in 2010. We also spoke with Michael Casey Kocijan (36:26) about a new book detailing the life of his father, former Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Hugh Casey. 

World Refugee Day  

Monday is World Refugee Day when we commemorate the work of those who help those seeking to escape the dangers in their homeland for a better life. The Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Office of the Diocese of St. Augustine is one of those groups helping the refugees. Several events are scheduled for Monday, including a naturalization ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Main Library in downtown Jacksonville.

Triumphs, Tragedies Of A Brooklyn Dodger

It’s a story about one of the most colorful members of the iconic 1940 Brooklyn Dodgers, a team that took part in four great pennant races, the first National League playoff series, and two exciting World Series. Hugh Casey was part of the roster that included manager Leo Durocher, and players like Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese. Casey is credited with inventing the relief pitcher position in baseball. In the new book “Hugh Casey: The Triumphs and Tragedies of a Brooklyn Dodger,” author Lyle Spatz details Casey’s life and career, from his birth in Atlanta, to his brawl with Ernest Hemingway to a son, Kocijan, that he never claimed to be his own to — ultimately — his suicide. Despite their troubled relationship, Kocijan has kept an extensive collection of his father’s career.     

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.