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First Coast Connect

11/20/2017: Fentanyl Deaths; Daughters Of The British Empire; Native Sun Turkey; Cole Pepper

Carl- Johan Sveningsson

Monday on First Coast Connect we talked about a staggering increase in opioid-related deaths on the First Coast and what is being done about it with Gateway Community Services Medical Director Dr. Raymond Pomm and River Region Human Services and Addiction Specialist Dr. Amit Vijapura (01:09).   

Daughters of the British Empire spokesperson Ann Robards told us about the Jacksonville arm of the organization, the Clarence House Chapter (32:30).    

Native Sun founder Aaron Gottlieb told us how to pick out the proper turkey for Thanksgiving (40:50).

Cole Pepper talked about the Jaguars messy win in Cleveland and previewed this Saturday’s Florida - Florida State game and the upcoming schedule of the Jacksonville Icemen (46:00). 


Fentanyl Deaths

Last week the Florida Department of Law Enforcement released itsannual report on overdoses in the Sunshine State and the results were nothing short of sobering.

The report says 281 people died as a direct or indirect result of using the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl in Jacksonville last year. That number didn't even crack 60 in 2015. Last year’s tally gives Duval County the unenviable reputation for having the highest rate of fentanyl deaths in the Sunshine State.

Statewide there were close to 6,000 opioid-related deaths, which is a 35 percent increase over the year before. Close to 4,000 died of prescription drug-related causes in 2016, up a whopping 40 percent and deaths caused by heroin increased by 30 percent.

Daughters of the British Empire

They are called theDaughters of the British Empire or DBE and their Clarence House Chapter was formed last year here in Jacksonville.

The DBE is a national women's society who primarily support their four Homes around the country for retired men and women. Membership is open to any women of British or Commonwealth ancestry.

Native Sun Turkey

The holidays are upon us. This week families across the U.S. will gather around the dining room table and strenuously argue or avoid arguing politics while the sweet smells of the first festive dinner of the season waft around the house.

The holidays are already stressful enough without adding the uncertainty of selecting the perfect Turkey. Gottlieb suggests buying fresh instead of frozen and carefully checking to see how the turkey was raised.   

Cole Pepper

It wasn’t pretty but the defense again saved the day as the Jaguars remain alone in first place in the AFC South.  

They never lost the lead but there were some nervous moments in the Jaguars 19-7 win in Cleveland.

It’s Florida - Florida State week, but the game is producing no national buzz as both teams have losing records. Florida State can become bowl eligible if it wins its last two games. Miami is still undefeated and will play on the College Football Championship playoffs if it wins out and the ACC Championship game.  

The Jacksonville Icemen play a home-and-home series this week against the Orlando Solar Bears.  

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.