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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

Surfside Condo Collapse; Health Care Bills; UNF COVID Research; Selfie WRLD Jax

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AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
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Crews work in the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo, Sunday, June 27, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. Many people were still unaccounted for after Thursday's fatal collapse.

New state and federal legislation could be proposed to address construction or engineering issues after the deadly condominium-building collapse in Surfside, where crews are continuing their search for survivors.

The Champlain Towers South collapsed early Thursday. The death toll currently stands at 11 people, with 150 more still unaccounted for.  Michael Bourré, founder and president of Bourré Construction Group in Fleming Island, has been reappointed for a second year to the Florida Building Commission. He spoke to us about the implications this tragedy could have on the building industry in Florida. 

Health Care Bills

Americans consistently call the cost of health care their number one financial concern. That’s especially true for the 155 million working Americans and their employers, who are paying the highest costs of all.  In NEVER PAY THE FIRST BILL: And Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win, award-winning ProPublica reporter Marshall Allen provides a step-by-step guide to show what consumers and employers can do to fight the health care system and win. He joined us with some advice.

UNF COVID Research

The University of North Florida is among 15 winners of the first Research Accelerator grants funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  The grant program ensures that researchers have the resources they need to leverage the COVID-19 Research Database to study the direct and indirect impacts of the virus. Dr. Cynthia Williams, a UNF Public Health Associate Professor, joined us with details.

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Credit Heather Schatz/ WJCT
Heather and Lily Schatz at Selfie WRLD Jax

Selfie WRLD Jax

The newest, “most insta-grammable” place in Jacksonville -  Selfie WRLD Jax - is now open. Owner Asa Maass spoke to us about his new venture.  

Patrick Cantin can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org or on Twitter.