Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

Masks In Schools; COVID-19 Nurse; Perkins & Will; 'The Sunshine Plate'


COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are continuing to rise in our area, as students are preparing to return to school in a few weeks - without a mask mandate.

During a drive-in rally, dozens of concerned parents, educators, medical professionals and community faith leaders Sunday called on Superintendent Diana Greene and the Duval County Public Schools Board to require all students to wear face masks when Jacksonville classes resume on August 10. 

Matt Hartley is the father of two students in the Duval County Public Schools district and one of the rally’s organizers. He joined us with more.

Covid-19 Nurse

As the Delta variant rampages through Northeast Florida, health care professionals are near the breaking point. They’ve been on the front lines of the pandemic for a year-and-a-half now.

Things had started to improve, but now, intensive care units are filling up again. And most of the time, it’s unvaccinated patients who are getting seriously ill or dying.  

Last week First Coast Connect host Melissa Ross spoke with a nurse working the COVID-19 ward in a local hospital, who shared her story with us anonymously.

Design Contest Winner

There’s a winner in the contest to design a new concept for the former Jacksonville Landing site - Perkins & Will.

Christopher Counts is Design Principal at Perkins & Will. He joined us with more about his firm’s winning design and what it will mean for Jacksonville.

'The Sunshine Plate'

The latest issue of Edible Northeast Florida, “The Sunshine Plate,” recently hit the stands.

A travelogue of sorts, it covers Florida’s most iconic foods -some of which originated right here in our area - and provides information on festivals, u-pick farms and roadside attractions for opportunities to celebrate the culinary bounty of our state. Editor Lauren Titus joined us with details.

Heather Schatz can be reached at 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?