News

A ballot in a voting booth.
Heather Katsoulis / Flickr

In a state where razor-thin election margins have become the norm in major races, Democrats are seeking to make inroads by trying to do away with a decades-old Florida law that requires candidates who are of the same party as the governor to appear first on the ballot.

Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis was at First Coast High School Monday morning to talk about her initiative to help improve mental health in schools.

Oregon Department of Transportation / FLICKR

Local homeowners and businesses in Jacksonville and Neptune Beach are the latest groups to form a solar co-op. 

Abukar Adan / WJCT-News

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry presented his $1.37 billion budget to the Jacksonville City Council Monday. As it has in years past, the mayor’s spending plan focuses on public safety and economic development.    

Senator Calls For More Hearings In SunPass Contractor

Jul 15, 2019
FORMULANONE / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Sen. Annette Taddeo, a Miami Democrat, wants more Senate hearings on the SunPass toll-collection system and its contractor, now that state transportation officials have said they won't renew its current contract.

Total Costs Exceed $400K For Florida Delegation's Israel Trip

Jul 15, 2019
GOV. RON DESANTIS' TWITTER PAGE

More than a month after Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Cabinet members wrapped up a six-day trip in Israel, the price tag of the mostly privately funded trip was revealed on Friday.

Baptist HealthPlace To Open In Nocatee Next Summer

Jul 15, 2019
Via Jacksonville Daily Record

Baptist HealthPlace announced Thursday it will open a health and wellness center at Nocatee in St. Johns County by summer 2020.

Abukar Adan / WJCT-News

The number of refugees who have resettled in Duval County has declined by more than 75% since the Trump Administration’s changes to the refugee resettlement policy. 

Gage Skidmore / FLICKR

On Friday, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigned due to the role he played in the Jeffrey Epstein case while serving as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Back in 2008, Acosta approved a plea deal for Epstein, a convicted sex trafficker. The deal offered very little jail time, even though a 53-page indictment detailed all of Epstein’s alleged crimes.

Our guests for the discussion were:

Business Brief: Mayor Says He's 'Close To An Agreement' To Develop Lot J

Jul 12, 2019
Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry says he's "verbally close to an agreement" on an incentives deal for Lot J, the proposed $500 million development at TIAA Bank Field.

Heather Schatz / WJCT

Friday on the First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross Media Roundtable, our panel of journalists looked at the top stories of the week including:

School Grades Improve In Florida With Several First Coast Counties Receiving A's

Jul 12, 2019
Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT News

Florida education officials on Thursday touted the state’s annual school report card as a “monumental improvement,” with public schools earning more A and B grades and fewer C, D and F grades during the 2018-2019 school year.

A red cockaded woodpecker.
North Florida Land Trust

The North Florida Land Trust says an endangered woodpecker recently found at Camp Blanding in Clay County proves that a big preservation project is working.

Via News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis formally asked Wednesday that the statue of civil-rights leader and educator Mary McLeod Bethune replace the likeness of a Confederate general as a representative of Florida in the U.S. Capitol.

Solar Energy Organizations Group Picture
Sky Lebron / WJCT News

City officials, environmental activists and solar power advocates met in Neptune Beach’s solar-powered City Hall Thursday morning to launch an affordable solar power co-op program.

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