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First Coast Connect

Mask Mandate Controversy; Masks In Courtrooms; Chef Kenny Gilbert; LOL Film Festival

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the end of the regular 2021 legislative session on April 30.

While North Florida ICUs fill up with COVID-19 patients, some school boards across Florida are voting to require masks for students, despite Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order and emergency state rules that guarantee parents the right to choose masks.  

Despite recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics stating that all K-12 students should mask up for in-person learning, DeSantis and Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran are threatening to withhold pay from local officials who defy them.

Jacksonville attorney Chris Hand specializes in government law. He's the co-author of America, the Owner’s Manual, and the former chief of staff for the city of Jacksonville. Hand joined us with his interpretation of Florida’s constitutional law and weighed in on whether DeSantis’ threats would hold up in court.

Masks in Courtrooms

North Florida's Fourth Judicial Circuit has re-implemented a mask mandate in courtrooms by the order of Chief Judge Mark Mahon; however, some attorneys say it is not followed, even by judges.

Criminal defense attorneyJanet Johnson spoke with us about her experiences in First Coast courtrooms.

Chef Kenny Gilbert

Tonight, JacksonvilleChef Kenny Gilbert of Silkie's in Springfield appears on an episode ofFood Paradise called “Fried and True.” The episode airs on the Cooking Channel tonight at 10 p.m. and Thursday at 2 a.m.

LOL Film Festival

TheLOL Jax Comedy Film Festivalshowcases local filmmakers and their funny shorts. The two-day event kicks off Friday with screenings at the MOSH. Festival co-creator Monique Madrid gave us a preview.

What’s Good Wednesday

First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross Associate Producer Katherine Hobbs can be reached at or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.

First Coast Connect
Katherine Hobbs was Associate Producer of talk shows at WJCT until 2022.