Amanda Brannon

WJCT NEWS INTERN SPRING 2019

Amanda Brannon is a senior at University of North Florida.

Originally from South East Florida she moved to Jacksonville to pursue a Bachelor degree in Multimedia Production.

Amanda has a passion for current events both domestic and international. 

Unrelated to work, Amanda loves finding any excuse to be outside and to spend time with her dogs.

She is excited to intern for WJCT.

RYAN STANTON / FLICKR

On Friday’s Roundup we discussed school safety in Florida. Reporting by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel this week found that a disturbing number of violent threats against students and teachers come from mentally impaired children who are fixated on violence, and have easy access to guns.

Whether you like to shop for holiday gifts online or in-store, we've got you covered this season with a curated selection of locally produced gift ideas that will delight your friends and family, and also help support the First Coast small business community.

DanTD

The City of Palatka is changing its grant programs to encourage people to invest in the city’s downtown through various incentives.

The city sold the Riverfront Square property to Riverfront Development Group LLC. 

There have been major investments recently in Palatka from Continental Building Products, Florida Power & Light, Georgia Pacific and others in Putnam County.

Solitary Confinement Hall
HENRY HAGNÄS

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s new report on the practice of solitary confinement, the Florida Department of Corrections holds approximately 10,000 people – more than 10 percent of its population – in solitary on any given day. To put that number in perspective, the nationwide average was 4.5 percent in 2018.

Solitary Confinement Hall
Henry Hagnäs

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s new report on the practice of solitary confinement, the Florida Department of Corrections holds approximately 10,000 people – more than 10 percent of its population – in solitary confinement on any given day. To put that number in perspective, the nationwide average was 4.5 percent in 2018.

HEATHER SCHATZ / WJCT

Current Group 3 City Councilman Democrat Hazouri Tommy Hazouri is a former mayor, state representative, and  Duval County school board member, and says he has the support to advance up the Council leadership chain should he win the runoff election in May.

HEATHER SCHATZ / WJCT NEWS

Tuesday morning was the second in a series of candidate profiles  in the Jacksonville City Council At-Large runoff races this spring. 

Greg Rachal, the Republican Candidate for Jacksonville City Council At Large Group 3 joined us in Studio 5.

His opponent, Democrat Tommy Hazouri, is scheduled to appear on Thursday.

Heather Schatz / WJCT NEWS

More than a quarter of the 19 seats on Jacksonville City Council will be decided in runoff elections on May 14. WJCT News has invited the four candidates for at-large, countywide seats to appear on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross. Democrat Lisa King was first to accept that invitation.

HEATHER SCHATZ
WJCT NEWS

Several local races are headed to a runoff election in May.

We are profiling the Jacksonville City Council At-Large races this spring as we host the candidates asking for your vote in that runoff.

Wednesday we spoke with City Council At-Large Group1 candidate and former local Democratic leader Lisa King. We have also invited her opponent, Republican incumbent Councilman Terrance Freeman to join us on a future episode.

JERICHO / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

April is Equal Pay Day. Discrepancies in salaries can be difficult to detect. If people aren’t aware of who’s making what, it’s hard to know when someone is being shortchanged.

Jericho / Wikimedia Commons

April 2 is Equal Pay Day. Discrepancies in salaries can be difficult to detect. If people aren’t aware of who’s making what, it’s hard to know when someone—a woman, for example—is being shortchanged.

Children's Movement via FaceBook

David Lawrence Junior, the former publisher of the Miami Herald, started the Children’s Movement here in Florida.

He has recently released an inspirational memoir about service and the importance of journalism as a bastion of democracy. It’s called A Dedicated Life.

Andrew Moore / National Geographic

National Geographic Magazine has dedicated the entire April 2019 issue to exploring the future of Cities.

BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

TakeEmDownEverywhere is an inclusive coalition of organizers committed to the removal of all symbols of white supremacy from the public landscape.

Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Activists from around the country are coming to town this Saturday for the TakeEmDownJax rally

HEATHER SCHATZ / WJCT NEWS

For the first time since regaining the right to vote after Amendment 4 was passed last November, Jacksonville’s returning citizens have the opportunity to make their voices heard in Tuesday’s mayoral election, the race for sheriff, City Council races, and more.

Mayoral candidate Omega Allen
HEATHER SCHATZ / WJCT NEWS

Mayoral candidate Omega Allen is a Jacksonville native and businesswoman with a Ph.D. in public administration.

Mayoral candidate Omega Allen
HEATHER SCHATZ / WJCT NEWS

Mayoral candidate Omega Allen, who is running with no party affiliation, spoke about her plans for Jacksonville and answered listener's questions before the March 19 election.

Related: WJCT Voter’s Guide

Dentist Shortage

The Floridians for Access Coalition states that five million Floridians live in areas with a dentist shortage crisis.

HEATHER SCHATZ / WJCT NEWS

Mayoral Candidate Jimmy Hill has been a part of the Jacksonville community and is now in politics in Jacksonville. He retired after 28 years from the Jacksonville fire department, previously served on the Atlantic City Council and he organized the Southeast U.S. Boat Show for 21 years.  

HEATHER SCHATZ / WJCT NEWS

Mayoral Candidate Jimmy Hill joined us to discuss his plans for Jacksonville and what he plans to do in the days leading up to the March 19 election to earn voters' support.

The four candidates running for Jacksonville mayor appeared together on television Wednesday night in a debate. The debate featured Anna Brosche and Lenny Curry, Jimmy Hill and NPA candidate Omega Allen who debated everything from crime to public safety and the plans to sell JEA.

Ballentine picking lettuce
Nathan Ballentine via Instagram

You don’t need a farm to grow your own groceries.

Nathan Ballentine, a.k.a The Man in Overalls, a Jacksonville-based urban gardener, community organizer, and entrepreneur, teaches people how to grow gardens in small spaces.

Ballentine has more than 20 years’ experience in growing vegetables. He rolls his “GrowCart,” an old grocery cart, around Jacksonville to show that people in cities can grow their own groceries.

Florida House of Reprsentatives
Wikimedia Commons

The state Legislature kicks off its session today in Tallahassee, with everything from spending on education and the environment to smoking medical marijuana on the table for debate. 

HEATHER SCHATZ / WJCT NEWS

The city’s grim parade of gun violence and homicides has become an election issue this season, with both challengers to Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Sheriff Mike Williams calling for change.

Heather Schatz / WJCT News

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams’ Democratic challenger Tony Cummings is a former JSO officer and Army officer. He says JSO needs to change course to reduce violent crime and rebuild the public’s trust.

The Frisch Family Holocaust Gallery

The Frisch Family Holocaust Gallery has just opened an exhibit called Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage from the Holocaust, focusing on the individuals who risked their lives to protect those persecuted during WWII.

Via discoverbooks.com

Bestselling author R.L. Stine is the headliner at this weekend’s third annual Jax Book Fest.

After six homicides in four days, some community leaders and lawmakers are saying it’s time to declare a state of emergency in the city of Jacksonville.

Senator Audrey Gibson and Representative Tracie Davis held a press conference Monday at a park in Northwest Jacksonville, where two people were killed in a quadruple shooting last Thursday.

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