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First Read: Quenching The Violence

Ten pastors and their congregations will march along one of Jacksonville’s deadliest streets to pass out water bottles in the Saturday sun, hoping the gesture helps ‘quench the violence’ plaguing their community. A new study from Johns Hopkins University shows Florida’s pill mill crackdown worked in its first year. The city of Key West is joining the ranks of South Florida municipalities where possession of small amounts of marijuana is treated as a civil code violation, not a criminal act.

It’s Friday, August 21, 2015. Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida and across the country.

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Here are 8 stories you might have missed.

Pastors To Lead March To Reduce Violence In Northwest Jacksonville

Standing among hundreds of water bottles bearing the phrase “quench the violence,” on Thursday, 10 prominent Jacksonville preachers announced they'll take to the streets to plead for peace this weekend.

7 Men Sue Former Kingsland, Georgia Karate Instructor For Sexual Abuse

Six men, ages 30 to 37 introduced themselves in Jacksonville Thursday in front of a wall of martial arts trophies and medals. They and another man are filing suit against Craig Peeples, a former instructor they say sexually abused them for years while they studied at Pak’s Karate school in Camden County, Georgia.

Lawyers Who Fought For Same-Sex Couples Now Fighting Florida To Get Paid

Jacksonville lawyers for same-sex couples who challenged Florida’s now-defunct gay-marriage ban are fighting to get the state to pay their legal fees. The attorneys say the state owes them hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Florida's Pell Grant Recipients Are Graduating Ahead Of Those In Other States

A new study says Florida students who use federal Pell grants to pay for college are graduating at about the same rate as their peers. The Hechinger Report  gathered data on students across the country getting these grants and how many of them graduated within six years.

Johns Hopkins Study Looks At Florida Pill Mill Crackdown

After becoming the epicenter for prescription opioid abuse, the state passed tougher laws for pain management clinics.  Researchers at Johns Hopkins recently looked at hundreds of millions of prescriptions from the year before and after. Lainie Rutkow was lead author on the study and says the first year of data shows a promising drop.

Trump Up, Clinton Down In New Florida Poll

The poll, released Thursday, indicates that New York developer and television personality Donald Trump has taken a slight lead over former Gov. Jeb Bush and a larger lead over U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in the Republican presidential primary in Florida. The poll also shows that Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton trails by double digits in general-election match-ups with Bush and Rubio.

Key West Moves Toward Fine For Pot Possession

On Tuesday, the city commission unanimously approved an ordinance that would allow police officers discretion to cite people with less than 20 grams of marijuana, rather than charge them with a misdemeanor. The citation would carry a $100 fine.

Jimmy Carter To Undergo Radiation For Cancer On Brain

Former President Jimmy Carter announced Thursday that his cancer is on four small spots on his brain and he will immediately begin radiation treatment, saying he is “at ease with whatever comes.”

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Ray Hollister can be reached at, 904-358-6341 or on Twitter at @rayhollister.