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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

11/27/2017: Aids Quilt; First Coast Success- Eco Relics; Breastfeeding; Valerie Benton; Cole Pepper

City of Jacksonville

Monday on First Coast Connect we heard about this week’s events to commemorate World Aids Day with Justin Bell and Dr. Max Wilson with the North Florida Chapter of the NAMES Project Foundation (01:11).

This month’s First Coast Success featured Eco Relics founders Michael and Annie Murphy (23:17).        

We spoke with Dr. Rana Alissa, Director of the Newborn Nursery at UF Health on getting more young mothers to breastfeed (30:14).

Certified Weight Loss and Life Coach Valerie Benton talked about ways to prevent stress eating during the holidays (39:51).

Cole Pepper joined us to talk about the Jaguars loss to Arizona and the weekend’s college football results (46:00).   


AIDS Quilt

The famed AIDS Memorial Quilt was the focus Monday at a special ceremony at Jacksonville City Hall.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry read his World AIDS Day Proclamation at the event, which will also include HIV and AIDS advocates and people affected by the virus, and a ceremony to remember those lost to AIDS.

In its 18 years of display, the AIDS Memorial Quilt has traveled the world and had thousands of visitors. The event is part of a series of World AIDS Day events across the area this week.

All this as local advocates work to raise awareness about the importance of prevention and testing. The quilt will be displayed in the City Hall atrium through Dec 6.

First Coast Success - Eco Relics

They’re a unique local business, focused on reducing waste, repurposing supplies, and providing reclaimed and discounted building materials to the whole community.

They’re also one of the coolest places in town to visit for interesting and unusual objects and antiques.

In Monday’s edition of First Coast Success, Karen Brune Mathis of the Financial News and Daily Record talks to Michael and Annie Murphy - the founders of Eco Relics.


There was a worldwide uproar online over the Thanksgiving holiday after a mom posted a photo on Facebook of herself breastfeeding her child uncovered in public- at Disneyland in California.

24 year old Brittni Medina was feeding her 10 month old son Micah when he became fussy while waiting in line at Disney California Adventure.

The photo showed two frowning women in the background Medina says were saying she should nurse in a restroom rather than in public.

The issue of whether it’s appropriate for women to feed their babies in public has been around for generations, and opinions are sharply divided. Many believe that it’s a private act that should be carried out discreetly, preferably behind closed doors, while more and more younger women are flinging that tradition aside. Their position is, breasts are designed to feed babies- and breastfeeding is a public health issue, as more breastfeeding leads to healthier infants.

Some positive medical news, breastfeeding rates continue to rise in the United States. In 2011, the CDC says 79% of newborn infants started to breastfeed.

Yet breastfeeding did not continue for as long as doctors recommended. Of those babies born in 2011, 49% were breastfeeding at 6 months and only 27% at 12 months. Professional lactation support can help mothers initiate and continue breastfeeding.

Valerie Benton

Thanksgiving is over and the holiday season is here. It’s a time for family and friends and also a lot of stress.

So many people have a lot on their to-do lists during the holidays that they get stressed and overeat, gaining weight.  Others feel like they don’t have the “Leave it to Beaver” family and feel sad and this drives them to stress eat. Benton looked at ways to avoid falling into the overeating trap.

Cole Pepper

It wasn’t a good game this past Sunday for the Jaguars as they lost on a last-second field goal to the Arizona Cardinals. The Jags host Indianapolis this coming Sunday. The Florida Gators hired Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen. He was formerly Florida’s quarterback coach. There are reports that FSU’s head coach Jimbo Fisher has received an offer to take the head coaching job at Texas A&M.     

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