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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

6/26/2017: Sea Level Rise; 'First Coast Success': Tommy Lee; Tombstone Found; Cole Pepper


  Today on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with Jim Murley (01:20), chief resilience Officer for Miami-Dade County, on the threat of sea level rise. This month’s edition of “First Coast Success” features Lee and Cates Glass CEO Tommy Lee III (31:58). We heard the story behind a tombstone found at a home build in Springfield with TerraWise Homes owners David and Melody Shacter, and Springfield historian Jeff Gardner (40:19) and Cole Pepper (46:26) brought us the latest sports news.   

Sea Level Rise   

President Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate change accord has sparked an interesting reaction. Across the country, American governors and mayors are stepping up find their own solutions to the threat posed by climate change. Now this is especially true in South Florida one of the most vulnerable areas in the country to rising sea levels. Worst-case estimates call for a two-foot sea level rise by 2060, and more than six feet by 2100. The Union of Concerned Scientists warns that climate change is affecting our economy, safety and infrastructure right now. With heat waves that are grounding flights this summer and risks to critical infrastructure like roads, bridges, dams, energy plans, and military sites.

‘First Coast Success’: Tommy Lee 

It’s a local company that first opened its doors in 1926 to provide glass for the growing automobile industry. Lee spoke about how the company was created by two brothers-in-law and how it managed to survive the housing crisis.

Springfield Tombstone

TerraWise Homes has been leading the revival of new homes in historic Springfield since 2013. They have built several homes bringing forward the latest energy efficient net-zero energy technology while maintaining the character of the neighborhood by designing homes that blend perfectly with the historic architecture. Recently, they went from creating new family histories to turning up a chapter of forgotten history for one of Springfield’s early families when they found a tombstone buried in the yard of home build. It’s believed to be a second tombstone, the body of Martha Troeger is buried in  Evergreen Cemetery. Through research they were able to find a family member and returned the tombstone to her.  

Cole Pepper    

The Florida Gators are two wins away from their first College World Series Championship. They play a best-of-three series against Louisiana State, beginning Monday night in Omaha. The Sharks will play for the National Arena League title July 10 at Veteran’s Arena against the Columbus Lions. The Armada had their match Sunday against Puerto Rico postponed due to lightning. They’ll try again Monday night at 7, at Hodges Stadium. The Jumbo Shrimp return home Wednesday.

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