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First Coast Connect

2/22/2018: Youth Incarceration; Jay Solomon; Girl Scout Cookies; Andrew Clarke; Monster Jam

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Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Florida Times-Union reporter Tessa Duvall on her report looking into how children in Florida’s juvenile justice system fare once they are released from prison (01:19).

Commentator Jay Solomon gave us his thoughts on the #NeverAgain movement (25:00).  

Mary Anne Jacobs with Girls Scouts of Gateway Council talked about this year’s Girl Scout cookie sales drive (30:50).

Hendricks Baptist Church music director Tommy Shapard told us about a free concert this weekend by organist Andrew Clarke (37:44).

With the Monster Jam coming to Everbank Field this weekend we spoke with the driver of Soldier of Fortune, Chad Fortune (46:00).                    

Youth Incarceration

Cristian Fernandez, the young boy who was charged at age 12 with adult murder in the death of his half brother, is now a free man after years in the juvenile justice system.

The stated goals of Florida’s Juvenile Justice System is to turn around the lives of troubled youth with prevention, intervention and treatment services.

But it that what actually happens? When youth leave the system are they prepared to take on a normal life?

Florida Times-Union reporter Tessa Duvall has been looking into what happens to minors who spend their teenage years in prison after they are released.

Jay Solomon

Wednesday night’sCNN town hall on gun violence was very emotional.

Senators Marco Rubio, Bill Nelson and Congressman Ted Deutsch took the stage with kids who survived the mass shooting at the high school in Parkland.

The teens demanded change and they’re leading a movement.

Commentator Jay Solomon reflects on what it means.

Girl Scout Cookies

As we’ve seen these past two weeks, young people are capable of amazing things. Anyone who’s ever led a Girl Scout troop has known that for a long time.

It’s that time of year again. If you’ve got a craving for some Thin Mints or Samoas, you need to move fast, because Girl Scout Cookie Selling Season is underway - but only for a short time.

Andrew Clarke

Jacksonville organist Andrew Clarke is a living legend. One of the greatest of his generation, he’s a master of the genre and has performed around the world.

He’s also almost completely deaf, which makes his talent even more amazing.

Clarke is playing a free concert 4 p.m.Sunday at Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church.

Monster Jam

It’s always the hottest ticket in town when Monster Jam roars into EverBank Field.

All the favorites will be vying to be Jacksonville champion, like the Grave Digger, Soldier of Fortune and El Toro Loco.  Fortune talked about his ride of choice and the event.

The Monster Jam Pit Party takes place 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m Saturday, Feb. 24. It provides access to the Monster Jam trucks and drivers.   

The Pit Party Early Access Pass is available to every fan who purchases a ticket to the event.  

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.