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First Read: College Alumni Pay Gap Not As Wide In Jacksonville


Recently released federal data show a widening salary gap between private-college graduates and their public-school counterparts, but in Jacksonville, both private and public colleges give students a relatively good return on investment. Although the overall job market has improved, the U.S. Labor Department finds an increasing number of Americans with disabilities are unemployed. The trial of the man accused of murdering 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle has been set for early April.

It’s Wednesday, September 16, 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.

Public Vs. Private College Alumni Pay Gap Smaller In Jacksonville

Overall, the recently published college scorecard appears to reinforce the idea that students able to afford tuition at a private institution have a leg up on their peers at a public school. But, Jacksonville University graduate Will Baxley, who attended the school on a full scholarship, says just because tuition  is more expensive doesn't mean it’s out of reach.

Living With Blindness, Ready To Work

Three women living with blindness in Jacksonville are searching for jobs, and not finding any. “I’ve had over at least 18 years of customer service experience, and I know if someone were to give me a chance I know I could do it,” said Sue Metcalf, who’s been searching for a job for two years.

Mental Health Evaluation Ordered For Orange Park Terror Suspect

A federal judge is ordering a mental-health evaluation for an Orange Park man accused of plotting a terrorist attack on a Missouri September-11th ceremony.

Trial Date Set For Alleged Murderer Of 8-Year-Old Jacksonville Girl

Donald Smith is accused of kidnapping Perrywinkle from a Walmart on the city’s Northside two years ago. Smith is also charged with rape and murder.

Macquarie Group To Move Into Riverplace Tower

The Macquarie Group’s Jacksonville operation will be housed in the Riverplace Tower building on the Southbank of the St. Johns River. The company will lease 17,500 square feet on the 5th floor of the tower.

Scott Won't Step In To Block Florida Bear Hunt

While anti-hunt groups have been collecting petitions and planning protests across the state on the eve of next month's hunt, the governor's office said Scott has left the issue up to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which has already voted to proceed.

Jeb Bush SuperPAC Going Up With $24 Million In TV Ads

Right to Rise superPAC, which has raised more than $100 million, is going up with $24 million in television ads in the three key early presidential nominating states. Ads go up Tuesday in Iowa and New Hampshire and then South Carolina in a week, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Amazon's Bezos Plans To Build, Launch Rockets From Florida

In a new expansion of commercial efforts to launch earthlings into space, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos plans to build rockets on Florida's Space Coast — in an area he calls "a gateway to humankind's greatest adventures." Speaking at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Bezos outlined a new chapter for Blue Origin, the private aerospace company he founded more than a decade ago.

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