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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

Media Roundtable; Remembering 9/11 20 Years Later

AP Photo/Richard Drew
Smoke rises from the burning twin towers of the World Trade Center after hijacked planes crashed into the towers on September 11, 2001 in New York City.

Today’s Media Roundtable discussed some of the top stories in the First Coast, including: 

  • Thursday, President Biden announced a new plan to combat COVID-19. All federal workers must receive the COVID vaccine, and all private companies with more than 100 employees must either vaccinate their workforce or conduct weekly tests.
  • Biden took a direct shot at Gov. Ron DeSantis, saying his administration is ready to support school districts that have suffered financial losses for implementing student mask mandates.
  • Popular local TikTok creator and artist Alexandra Blankenbiller died from COVID complications. She used her last breaths to plead with her followers to get vaccinated.
  • Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper blocked DeSantis’ executive order to bar school mask mandates, giving a temporary victory to parents challenging the order. DeSantis filed a second appeal Wednesday evening. Less than one percent of Duval County Public School (DCPS) students filed medical opt-outs for the new mask mandate.
  • DCPS students plan to protest the dress code, which they feel “targets girls and their bodies to give teenage boys a distraction-free environment.”
  • The feds indicted a Middleburg couple who participated in the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. The couple received a plea deal.


Remembering 9/11 20 Years Later

Saturday marks 20 years since 9/11, and communities across the First Coast plan to assemble for memorials. Our senior producer Heather Schatz shared her story of working as an associate producer for CBS when the Twin Towers fell.

Local religious communities planned memorials to mark the anniversary, including St. Pauls By-The-Sea and Lord of Life Lutheran Church.

In conjunction with the Jacksonville International Airport, the Transportation Security Administration planned a short ceremony commemorating the lives lost twenty years ago.

Special coverage from NPR airs Saturday morning, including Bidens’ visit to three memorials in New York City, Shanksville, PA, and Arlington, VA.

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