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First Read: Bear Hunt ‘Causes Passion In People’


With Florida black bear hunting season scheduled to start next month, a conservation group is asking a judge to block it, but a veteran wildlife lawyer says the group’s chance of success is slim. Jacksonville’s Skyway people mover is almost 30 years old, and JTA is taking steps to figure out what should be done with it next. But instead of planning for final expenses, a recent AAA survey found half of Sunshine State residents don’t have life insurance.

It’s Thursday, September 17, 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 don’t want to miss.

Veteran Wildlife Lawyer: Trying To Stop Florida Black Bear Hunt An Uphill Battle

The upcoming bear hunt will be the state’s first in more than two decades. Last time a bear was killed legally was in the early ‘90s. “It’s a very charismatic species, however you think about it, whether you support the hunt or not, and it causes passion in people,” says Preston Robertson, a former lawyer for the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

After Second Republican Debate, Consensus Lacking For Duval GOP

Almost all of the major candidates had supporters in a San Marco bar last night, where the local GOP gathered to watch the candidates battle for the spotlight.

JTA Skyway Future Uncertain In Light Of Study

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority commissioned a $350,000 study to see what its options are. The consultants came back with a few choices: upgrade the equipment, replace it with new equipment, or shut the thing down.

Beaches Democrats Explore Strategies To Elect Bernie Sanders President

A new Monmouth University poll shows Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders leading Hillary Clinton 43 percent to 36 percent among likely Democratic voters in New Hampshire. How to make that happen in Florida was a major part of the discussion at Tuesday night's meeting of the Beaches Democratic Club in Neptune Beach.

Florida's Life Insurance Rate Below Average, Survey Finds

AAA spokesman, Josh Carrasco, said Florida has a below-average rate of people with life insurance. “I think a lot of people just get caught up with, I mean I know in my situation, you get caught up with the month to month or week to week paycheck situation,” Carrasco said. “Just trying to keep the bills paid and not really thinking ahead.”

Campus Gun Bills Advance In House And Senate

A proposal that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to pack heat while hitting the books on college and university campuses notched it first two successes Wednesday. The legislation (SB 68 and HB 4001), which won support from criminal-justice committees in the House and Senate, is widely opposed by academic leaders.

On The Clock: Trump Gets Most Time In GOP Debate

The candidates in Wednesday's debates are supposed to have 1 minute to answer each question, according to CNN. And each candidate was to have 30 seconds to respond to another candidate's answer if his or her name was mentioned. Moderator Jake Tapper acknowledged that it would be a challenge to enforce those rules for so many candidates.

Texas High School Student Shows Off Homemade Clock, Gets Handcuffed

A 14-year-old boy says he was just trying to show off his engineering skill when he brought a digital clock he had made to his new high school in Irving, Texas. But Ahmed Mohamed was detained and reportedly suspended from school, after a teacher thought that his clock looked like a bomb.

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