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First Read: ’Ask The Chief’


Hundreds of Chief Petty Officers from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Naval Station Mayport and Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay shared their pride at Metropolitan Park on Wednesday. Under a bill filed Tuesday by a Republican state lawmaker, a bronze statue of Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, which has stood in the U.S. Capitol since 1922, would be replaced by a statue more representative of Florida. Another Florida lawmaker is hoping to revive a past effort to make sure law enforcement agencies using body cameras have set guidelines in place. The House Judiciary Committee began the first in a series of Congressional hearings about Planned Parenthood on Wednesday.

It’s Thursday, September 10, 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 7 stories you don’t want to miss.

Southeast Chief Petty Officers Celebrate In Metropolitan Park

Adam Schumacher has been a CPO for a year. “So we’re celebrating Chief Petty Officers from the very beginning April 1, 1893, all the way up to today,” Schumacher said. He wore a Navy-blue shirt with the words ‘CPO Pride Day’ across the back. The blue shirt means he’s already a CPO.

Jacksonville Public Library Offering Older Patrons Help With Housing, Health And More

Margaret Moreford is a longtime Jacksonville librarian in special collections. She says before she worked at the library, she didn’t realize it offered so many services. “It’s a lot more than books, that’s for sure,” she says. Volunteer Jane Griffo says everyone has different needs. “What we do is we connect them with the resources available in the community,” she says.

Florida Lawmaker Seeks To Replace Statue Of Confederate General

Rep. Jose Felix Diaz said he's been considering the proposal (HB 141) for several years, and the bill comes as people across the country have reconsidered Confederate symbols after the racially motivated slaying in June of nine black church members in South Carolina.

New Survey Shows Black, White People Don’t Have Hope For Future Racial Equality

“Only 24 percent of whites and 19 percent of blacks believe America is close to achieving racial equality. That’s a low number for such a great country,” said Clarence Anthony, Executive Director of the National League of Cities. “And, we must work to improve the perspective of people who believe that things have gotten better. And, that is only going to happen through work and participation and engagement of all sectors.”

Florida Lawmaker Refiles Body Cameras Bill

Last year, Rep. Shevrin Jones (D-West Park) filed a bill mandating the cameras. But, after much opposition from law enforcement groups, he changed the measure to ensure law enforcement agencies using the cameras develop policies and procedures. It failed to pass this session amid the budget impasse between the House and Senate. So, Jones refiled a similar bill for 2016.

John Oliver Says U.S. Students Learn Virtually Nothing About Africa

This week, comedian John Oliver, host of HBO's Last Week Tonight, released a back-to-school video that mentioned how little U.S. students learn about Africa and Asia.

Congress Begins Series Of Hearings On Planned Parenthood

House Republicans began investigating Planned Parenthood after a group called The Center for Medical Progress began releasing surreptitious recordings that they allege show Planned Parenthood officials illegally selling fetal tissue attained from abortions.

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