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First Coast Connect

8/7/2017: Opioid Lawsuit; 'Rusty's War'; Cole Pepper

  Today on “First Coast Connect,” we heard from City Council member Bill Gulliford about a possible lawsuit filed by the city of Jacksonville against opioid manufacturers (01:08). Author Michael Gordon Bennett told us about his new book, “Rusty’s War: A Battle of the Mind,” (34:26) and Cole Pepper brought us the latest sports news (43:06). 

Opioid Lawsuit

The City of Jacksonville is considering filing a lawsuit against against prescription drug makers for deceptive marketing. The city is on track to see 700 opioid overdose deaths this year, with many heroin users’ initially getting hooked on prescription drugs. Gulliford said Jacksonville needs to collect more data to see how exactly how what the opioid epidemic is costing taxpayers.Gulliford said if it goes forward, the suit would likely be filed early next year.      

‘Rusty’s War’

Bennett tells the story of his mother’s battle with Alzheimer's and how she came to depend on her dog, Rusty, to cope during the early and moderate stages of the dreadful disease.  Research shows the very presence of pets can help reduce the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s, alleviating anxiety, agitation, irritability, depression and loneliness.

Cole Pepper

The Jaguars are in Foxborough this week holding combined practices with the New England Patriots. They play their first preseason game of the year against each other on Thursday. Head Coach Doug Marrone has made it clear he will not be handing out starting jobs to anyone who hasn’t proven themselves worthy. The Armada lost to Puerto Rico on Saturday. They’ll play at North Carolina this Saturday before returning home a week from Wednesday. This weekend also saw the Armada’s debut of former Bishop Kenny and Jacksonville University star Tony Taylor, who played for the New York Cosmos and in Portugal. The Jumbo Shrimp beat the Birmingham Barons 12-6 on Sunday. Their homestand runs through next Monday.    

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.