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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

01/16/19:Government Shutdown and Coast Guard; Fla.’s Film Industry; Beaches Go Green; Lantern Parade

Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Anderson
Wikimedia Commons/
A Coast Guard cutter at sea

Wednesday marks day 26 of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. More than 40,000 active-duty Coast Guard members missed their scheduled paycheck Tuesday, as the only military branch to work without pay during the government shutdown. 

Here in Northeast Florida, there are several hundred Coast Guard families being affected by the shutdown. We spoke to Shannon Beattie, a local wife and mom whose husband is a Coast Guard officer stationed at Mayport about the situation, as well as some of the ways local businesses and nonprofits are trying to help.

Credit City of Jacksonville Film and Television Office
City of Jacksonville Film and Television Office
File photo of a shoot outside the Florida Theatre

Florida’s Film Industry

Florida was once dubbed “Hollywood East,” thanks to its vibrant film industry.

However, the industry was decimated by the elimination of the state’s film incentives program back in 2016.

Will anything change under the new Ron DeSantis administration? We spoke to Sam Farmer, Writer and Director, Cry For the Bad Man; Jonathan Shepard, Producer, Cry For the Bad Man; and John Lux, Executive Director, Film Florida about it in more detail.

Related: The St. Augustine Film Festival takes place January 17-20.


Beaches Go Green

An effort to reduce, reuse and recycle is gaining steam at the Beaches. Anne Marie Moquin, the Founder and Executive Director of Beaches Go Green joined us with the details.

Credit Heather Schatz/WJCT
Melissa Ross and Joe White with lanterns outside of Studio 5

Jacksonville Lantern Parade

The 2nd annual Jacksonville Lantern Parade will take place downtown on February 16. Joe White, Publisher of Jacksonville Magazine, told us more about it.

Photo used under Creative Commons license.

Heather Schatz can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @heatherschatz.


First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross first coast connect
Heather is the senior producer of WJCT 89.9 FM talk shows including First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, the Florida Roundup and What's Health Got to Do with It?