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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

6/19/19: Affordable Housing; Hemp Industry; 'Chicago'

Ability Housing
A rendering by Ability Housing of a new community under construction in Northeast Florida.


A new report says affordable housing is out of reach for millions of Americans.



The National Low Income Housing Coalition said it’s impossible for anyone earning the federal minimum wage - that’s $7.25 an hour - to afford a basic apartment when working a standard 40 hour work week.


Florida's minimum wage is $8.46, which the organization said is also not enough. Someone earning Florida's minimum wage would have to work 87 hours per week to afford a modest 1 bedroom apartment, according to the study.


Here in Jacksonville, there’s been a push to build more affordable housing. But is it enough to meet the big demand out there?


Shannon Nazworth, President & CEO of Ability Housing, joined us in Studio 5 with more.


Hemp Industry



Credit Jessica Hyde / Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock
The Florida Agriculture Department is moving forward with plans for a state hemp program.

It’s being called Florida’s hottest new cash crop.But can the state’s hemp industry get off the ground?

Sally Peebles is a Partner at Vicente Sederberg, and she serves on the state’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee; and Shelton Hull, who writes a weekly cannabis column for Folio Weekly joined us for a closer look.



Credit Heather Schatz
Chicago Show Director A.J. Allegra (left) and star Gena Heylock (right) joined FIrst Coast Connect with Melissa Ross.

Roxie and Velma take center stage at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall this weekend, in an Apex Theatre Studio production. They’re the murderous duo from the hit Broadway show, Chicago.

Show Director A.J. Allegra; Star Gena Heylock, who plays Roxie; and Ian Mairs, who runs Apex Theatre joined us with a preview.


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?