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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

10/30/2017: Aundra Wallace; First Coast Success; Tom Gray; Timucuan Preserve; Cole Pepper

Kevin Meerschaert

Monday on First Coast Connect, we spoke with Jacksonville’s Downtown Investment Authority CEO Aundra Wallace about some of the development projects downtown (01:13).    

This month’s edition of First Coast Success with Karen Brune Mathis featured local developer Ed Burr (23:14).

As part of the Real Men Wear Pink fundraising month for the National Cancer Society we spoke with participant Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails owner/executive chef Tom Gray (28:12).   

Timucuan Park Superintendent Chris Hughes and Florida Times-Union columnist Mark Woods joined us to talk about the national preserve (34:46) and national park fees.

Cole Pepper brought us the latest sports news, including the University of Florida firing head football coach Jim McElwain (46:00).  

Aundra Wallace

The Cowford Chophouse opened last week in downtown Jacksonville to much fanfare. The hot new steakhouse at the corner of Bay and Main streets, just one of several projects that involves the renovation of old downtown buildings.

Earlier this month, work finally began to renovate the old Barnett Bank Building as well. Many of the renovations include help from the Downtown Investment Authority and more projects are moving forward or in the pipeline.

First Coast Success- Ed Burr

He’s the president and CEO of GreenPointe Holdings, a real estate company focused on sustainability.

In Monday’s edition of First Coast Success, Karen Brune Mathis of the Financial News and Daily Record speaks with local developer Ed Burr. You can read a transcript of Karen’s talk with Ed Burr in  Monday’s Daily Record.

Real Men Wear Pink- Tom Gray

Under the Real Men Wear Pink fundraiser prominent local men are working to raise money for the American Cancer Society this month by wearing pink for breast cancer awareness. Gray said with a $500 donation he’ll hold a raffle and the he’ll come to your house and make dinner for up to six people along with some fine wine. The deadline is Tuesday.       

Credit Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT
Chris Hughes and Mark Woods on First Coast Connect.

Timucuan Preserve

The National Park Service has announced a proposal to more than double the peak-season entrance fees at the country's busiest national parks, including Shenandoah, Yosemite, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon.

The park service said Tuesday that it needs the revenue expected from the fees to address its nearly $12 billion backlog of deferred maintenance. But the announcement has been met with worries that higher prices will push the parks out of reach for many Americans.

The good news for Jacksonville is that Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve won’t be affected since there is no entrance fee.

Cole Pepper

Cole talked about the firing of Florida Head Coach Jim McElwain and what happens next for the Gators and some of the names likely under consideration to replace him. Georgia blew out Florida Saturday. Florida State lost to Boston College and are one loss away from a losing season. 

The Jaguars are back on the field Sunday hosting the Bengals .   

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