Gov. Ron DeSantis named Dr. Joseph Ladapo Florida’s new surgeon general this week. Ladapo has questioned the effectiveness of masks, downplayed vaccines and,  changed quarantine protocols for schools.


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

New Chief Resiliency Officer Says Park Design At Former Landing Site 'In Flux'

23 hours ago
Jacksonville Daily Record

New city Chief Resiliency Officer Anne Coglianese says she’s working with the team designing the public park at the former Jacksonville Landing site to make it more climate and storm surge resilient. 

Plans Show 336-Unit Apartment Complex At Former Beaches Regal Cinemas Site

23 hours ago
Jacksonville Daily Record

Presidium Group filed civil engineering plans for its apartment project at the site of the closed Regal Cinemas on Beach Boulevard. 

Fresh Take Florida: Gainesville Man’s Dog Alerted Neighbor When He Suffered A Stroke

23 hours ago
Fresh Take Florida

GAINESVILLE – The stroke came suddenly. He didn't remember falling, but the bump seen later on his head was evidence of his collapse. His wife was two hours away, so he was home alone and vulnerable.


Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed a controversial new surgeon general on Tuesday.

Photo of woman cleaning a table in a classroom

The St. Johns County School District’s mask mandate for employees and visitors expired Thursday, and Superintendent Tim Forson has not moved to extend it. 

Edward Waters University To End In-Person Classes In November

Sep 23, 2021
Edward Waters University

Edward Waters College this week announced a host of changes to its COVID-19 protocols, including the end of in-person learning starting in mid-November, due to the increase in reported cases in Duval County.

Jax Daily Record

A Cinemark Holdings Inc. senior executive says Jacksonville likes its flicks.

'An Inspiration': Beloved Stanton History Teacher Lisa Koehler Dies

Sep 23, 2021

Lisa Koehler, a social studies teacher at Stanton College Preparatory School, has died. She was 46 years old. 

Raymon Troncoso via WebEx / WJCT News

The JTA’s First Coast Flyer bus rapid transit program, offering longer-distance, limited-stop routes throughout the metro area, opens its fourth and final line, the Orange Line, next week.

Claire Heddles / WJCT News

Five of the city’s council members OK’d the latest draft of Jacksonville’s redrawn voting districts on Wednesday, and at least six more council members will take up the map Thursday afternoon. The new maps are set to take effect by next April

Texas-Style Abortion Bill Filed In Florida

Sep 22, 2021
Patrick Semansky / AP Photo

State Rep. Webster Barnaby, R-Deltona, filed a proposal Wednesday that aims to follow Texas’ lead in blocking physicians from performing abortions if there is a “detectable fetal heartbeat.”

Palm Coast Rep. Paul Renner Ready To Take Reins As Florida House Speaker

Sep 22, 2021
Florida House of Representatives

Rep. Paul Renner formally became the next speaker of the Florida House on Tuesday, as the Palm Coast Republican prepares to move into one of the most-powerful positions in the state after the 2022 elections.

New Florida School Rule Leaves COVID-Exposure Quarantine Up To Parents

Sep 22, 2021
Sarah Blake Morgan / AP Photo

Pointing to a need to “minimize the amount of time students are removed from in-person learning,” the Florida Department of Health on Wednesday issued a revised rule that gives parents more authority to decide whether children go to school after being exposed to people who have COVID-19.

U.S. Department of Education

Jacksonville Beach Elementary School is a Blue Ribbon School for the third time, becoming recognized Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Education for exemplary high performance.

Office Of The Governor Of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a new surgeon general for Florida on Tuesday.

Bits of furniture, garbage cans overflowing
Fish Island Preserve

For those waiting weeks for weeks for yard waste to be picked up, help could be on the way. The Jacksonville City Council Finance Committee on Tuesday approved allocating $4 million for trash pickup from the city’s federal COVID relief dollars. 

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

COVID-19 vaccine approval for kids under 12 might be approaching soon.

Memorial Hospital

Hospital administrators on Monday gave House committees a glimpse into the challenges facing health care professionals, describing efforts to re-imagine how care is delivered amid a nursing shortage and sizable financial hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the forefront of the concerns is a shortage of nurses, which the executives told lawmakers has created an emergency for hospital administrators.

Senate Kicks Off Redistricting Process

Sep 21, 2021
Florida Senate

Senate Reapportionment Chairman Ray Rodrigues said Monday he wants the Florida Legislature to avoid the “shadow process” that occurred in 2012 when lawmakers drew new political district lines that were rejected by the Florida Supreme Court.

State Goes to Appeals Court in School Board Mask Fight

Sep 21, 2021
News Service Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration has asked an appeals court to block challenges filed by five school boards against a Department of Health rule aimed at preventing students from being forced to wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students To Face Punishments After Homophobic Harassment Of Classmates

Sep 21, 2021

Students involved in an alarming incident at a St. Johns County High School, could face the toughest punishments the district has to offer. Video surfaced last week of students slinging homophobic slurs at classmates at Bartram Trail High School.

Two Clay County School Buses Shot With BB Gun

Sep 21, 2021
school bus
Indiana Public Media

Two Clay County school buses were shot at Tuesday morning with a BB gun, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Doctors Say Mask Mandate Is Working As School Case Counts Slow

Sep 21, 2021
Members of the Duval Schools Pandemic Solutions Team rally for a mask mandate ahead of Tuesday night's Duval County Public Schools Board meeting.
Marla Bryant / Duval Schools Pandemic Solutions Team

The number of new COVID-19 cases reported within Duval County Public Schools has tapered off significantly within the last week. Doctors say it's an indicator that the school district's stricter mask mandate is working. 

Claire Heddles / WJCT News

Jacksonville’s main library Downtown is closed indefinitely “for upgrades” as it hosts the city’s state-run COVID antibody treatment clinic. 

A woman passes a bag of groceries through the passenger side window of a vehicle.
Farm Share

In Northeast Florida the non-profit Farm Share has set up distribution events for food-insecure residents to receive fresh produce and non-perishable canned goods.

Believe In Ghosts? Here Are The Haunted Places Around Jacksonville

Sep 20, 2021
The refurbished "ghost chair" and its companion seat are pictured.
Florida Theatre

Northeast Florida has witnessed centuries of history, and not all of it has been pleasant. Murders, suicides, betrayals, executions and other tragedies have left spiritual echoes behind that can give the creeps to people who encounter them today. Here are some of our favorite haunted places in the area.

King House, Mayport

Northside Church A ‘Complete Loss’ After Early Morning Fire

Sep 20, 2021
Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department / Via News4Jax

A Northside church was destroyed by an overnight fire.


An ex-deputy with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, seen on video beating a man during a December 2019 traffic stop, will go on trial this week on a charge of aggravated battery.