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First Coast Connect

Coal Ash In The St Johns; Lung Cancer; Acosta Bridge Milestone; WinJax

Barge Bridgeport Response

A cargo ship carrying 12 thousand tons of residual coal ash ran aground near the mouth of the St. Johns River nearly three months ago.

Coal ash is an industrial waste that is generated by coal fired power plants. It contains hazardous contaminants like mercury, cadmium and arsenic.

Initially, efforts to remove the ash from the ship were successful, with 4,000 tons removed.  In May however, several thousand tons of ash washed off the ship after rough weather shifted the barge.  WJCT News’ reporter Sydney Boles has been covering the story and joined us along with  Jacksonville Maritime lawyer Rod Sullivan.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a risk for smokers, even years after they quit.That fact is prompting new guidelines for who should get lung cancer screenings and when.  Dr. Irram Hamdani, a pulmonologist at Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, joined us with an update.

Acosta Bridge’s Birthday

The Acosta Bridgeis approaching a huge birthday milestone - 100 years. It was the first bridge to carry automobile traffic over the St Johns River on July 1, 1921. San Marco Preservation Society  President Desiree Bailey joined us to share how her organization and the Jacksonville Historical Society will pay tribute to the bridge's history.  


There's a fun new line of Jacksonville-themed products, featuring everything from lapel pins with the iconic orange T Rex dinosaur on Beach Boulevard to Skyway t-shirts.  It’s called WinJax and it's the creation of Wingard, a Jacksonville-based marketing and communications agency. David Wingard, the company’s Founder and Chief Creative Officer, joined us with details.

Patrick Cantin can be reached at or on Twitter.  

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Patrick Cantin is joining WJCT from the University of North Florida as a news intern for the fall 2020 semester.