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First Read: 'The Jacksonville We Should Have'


On Friday, a vacant old coffee shop in Jacksonville’s Five Points reopened for a night to host a fashion show. Marriage may be legal for all couples now, but many in the LGBTQ community say the fight for equality is far from finished; one Florida lawmaker is pushing to prohibit so-called conversion therapy in the state. When Duval School Superintendent Nikolai Vitti provided a timeline and more information about potential school boundary changes at a workshop, Jacksonville Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown stopped by to give her two cents.

It’s Wednesday, September 9, 2015. Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida and across the country.

Here are 8 stories you might have missed.

Runway Fashion Show Lights Up Long-Vacant Five Points Venue

The show was inside the former Fuel Coffee House on Park Street. The venue shut down in 2009 and remained vacant until Williams purchased the building in February. He’s still deciding what will go in the space permanently, but in the mean time, he says collaborations like the runway show are what Jacksonville needs.

Disease-Carrying Snail Still Plagues Florida

The eye-catching mollusk was first spotted four years ago and is considered a major threat to all leafy green crops. The ravenous snail is about the size of a human hand, but department spokesman Aaron Keller doesn’t recommend picking one up.

Taxi Companies Sue State Over Uber, Lyft

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services certifies taxi drivers' meters --- which measure distances, and, consequently, charges --- but doesn't do anything to ensure that the GPS-based systems on Uber and Lyft drivers' cell phones, also used to calculate charges, are correct, according to the lawsuit.

House Speaker: Leave Congressional Map Decision To The Judge

Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli extinguished any remaining flickers of hope that state lawmakers could come together and approve a congressional map ahead of a circuit court hearing.

FL Lawmaker: Ban Conversion Therapy

Conversion therapy bills itself as a way to straighten out people attracted to members of the same sex.  But Rep. David Richardson (D-Miami Beach) says the practice is harmful to patients—who are often children.

St. Augustine Grant Application Draws Ire From Civil Rights Group

Several Civil Rights era historical sites in St. Augustine could soon get national designations. But some of the sites have already been documented and commemorated by independent civil-rights advocates — and they feel they’re being left out of the city’s project.

Congresswoman Brown Visits Duval School Board Workshop; Demands 'Real, Meaningful Community Input'

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti says the changes would address low-performance in schools, and the low residential growth, which he says leads to an inefficient use of funds and facilities, while Congresswoman Corrine Brown says her constituents feel like the boundary decisions have already been made without concern for what they think.

Judge Backs Florida's Ban On Prison Newspaper

Inmates won't be reading a newspaper banned by Florida corrections officials anytime soon, due to a decision by a Tallahassee federal judge who said the publication's advertisements pose a threat to security.

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