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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

10/29/2018: The Temple Vigil; JEA Straw Ballot; Oakleaf Carnival

Matt Rourke
Associated Press
A person stands in front of Stars of David that are displayed in front of the Tree of Life Synagogue with the names of those killed in Saturday's deadly shooting in Pittsburgh. Monday night a vigil will be held in Jacksonville.

A Jacksonville vigil is set for Monday evening  to mourn and reflect after Saturday’s massacre of 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Rabbi Elizabeth Bahar of The Temple - Congregation Ahavath Chesed joined First Coast Connect Monday with some thoughts on moving forward after a deadly bout of anti-Semitism.

Monday’s vigil is at 7 p.m. at The Temple, at 8727 San Jose Boulevard.

JEA Straw Ballot

Duval County voters will get the chance to tell the Jacksonville City Council whether or not they should have a say in any possible future discussions regarding the sale of the public utility company JEA.

On The Ballot: Should Voters Have A Say If JEA Is To Be Sold?

If the straw ballot measure on the November 6 ballot passes it would essentially tell the City Council that voters want to have a say in any sale of more than 10 percent of JEA.

The measure was put forward by John Crescimbeni, At-Large City Councilman Group 2 and chairman of the 19 member special committee on the potential sale of JEA.

He joined us with a look at why he thinks it’s important for the public have the opportunity to weigh in on any potential future sale of the utility.

Battleground Florida

The PBS NewsHour will devote most of its Monday night broadcast examining key races in Florida.

We spoke about the show with Yamiche Alcindor, the White House Correspondent for PBS NewsHour, about why the Sunshine State is so important in the national political arena.

The PBS NewsHour airs at 6 p.m. on WJCT Channel 7.1.  If you can’t watch it live, you’ll also be able to watch it on demand on WJCT’s Passport.

Fall Carnival Focusing On Science

Fall and carnivals go together like Halloween and costumes. 

Oakleaf High School is gretting ready for its seasonal fall carnival and yes, the traditional stables of bounce houses, food, games and prizes will be part of it.

But so will science. Kids of all ages will find things like remote-controlled robot racing and an analysis of velocity as the Science National Honor Society does some outreach.  Oakleaf Physics teacher Thomas Webber joined us with a look at what festival goers can expect.

The fall carnival at Oakleaf is Tuesday from 5 – 8 p.m. in the high school faculty parking lot.

A Look At What’s Going On In The Newsroom

We joined by several of our newsroom colleagues for a look at some upcoming projects.

WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo told us about some changes in the news department.

WJCT has hired Abukar Adan as a reporter. Adan joins WJCT from Maine Public, which is the NPR and PBS affiliate in Portland, Maine. He joined us along with Lindsey Kilbride, who is taking on a new role as special projects producer, with a focus on podcasting.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.