Brendan Rivers

Reporter

Credit Bonnie Zerr / WJCT

Reporter Brendan Rivers joined WJCT News in August of 2018 after several years as a reporter and then News Director at Southern Stone Communications, which owns and operates six radio stations in the Daytona Beach area.

Originally from Clifton Park, New York, Brendan moved to Florida in high school. He has a bachelor's degree in music from New College of Florida and an associate's degree in music production and technology from Daytona State College.

Brendan originally planned to pursue a career as a composer, arranger, music producer and recording engineer, but an internship at WGCU, the NPR and PBS member station in Fort Myers, convinced him he belongs in broadcasting and public media.

Brendan is the lead reporter for ADAPT, WJCT’s digital magazine exploring how Northeast Florida is adapting to sea level rise and other effects of climate change. He also hosts the ADAPT podcast.

Brendan's bylines include NPR, The Guardian, InsideClimate News, Living On Earth, The Florida Times-Union, and Folio Weekly. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and a former fellow with InsideClimate News and Climate Matters in the Newsroom.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at brivers@wjct.org, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.

City and school officials join the state champions Mandarin Mustangs for a photo op.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Players and coaches from the Raines and Mandarin high school football teams were handed keys to the city on Wednesday after bringing state titles back to Duval County.

2018 Jacksons' Music Scholarship Fund recipients flanked by city and school officials.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Four Jacksonville area college freshmen are benefiting from a donation given to the city by the King of Pop, 34 years ago.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry giving Bishop Kenny High School 9th-grader Arisa Nakamichi advice after presenting her with a 2019 Tomorrow's Leaders Award.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has visited three Duval County schools since Friday to surprise the winners of the 2019 Tomorrow’s Leaders Award.

Lt. Gov.-elect Jeanette Núñez (left) and Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis (right).
Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis Transition

The chair of Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis’ Transition Advisory Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture says the environment will be a priority under the DeSantis administration.

Exterior of FSCJ.
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Florida State College at Jacksonville will be hosting an open information session and waiving application fees for students affected by the sudden closing of Virginia College.

Florida Governor-elect Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis Campaign / Twitter

In an interview with the Palm Beach Post, Florida Governor-elect, Ron DeSantis, said that Amendment 4, approved by 64.55 percent of the state’s voters, should not go into effect until “implementing language” is approved by the Legislature and then signed by him.

Gillum talking to a group of people.
Andrew Gillum, Democrat, for Governor

In the weeks after Democrat Andrew Gillum lost the Nov. 6 Florida gubernatorial election, money continued to flow into a political committee that played a major role in his campaign.

Algal bloom in the Indian River Lagoon.
St. Johns River Water Management District

Over the past decade nearly 90,000 tons of sewage sludge have been trucked up from South Florida and dumped into the St. Johns River watershed and conservationists say it’s having a devastating effect.

Attorney Sean Cronin discussing the lawsuit filed Tuesday on behalf of his clients, Amy and Charles Bright.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

A lawsuit was filed against the federal government Tuesday alleging Naval Hospital Jacksonville staff allowed a piece of needle to break off in a woman’s spine during a caesarian section performed 15 years ago, never told her about it and then tried to cover it up.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry speaking to the Duval County Legislative Delegation at City Hall.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

In their Monday morning meeting at City Hall, the Duval County Legislative Delegation unanimously elected both their next chair and vice chair before ceding the floor to constituents as they look for input before heading to Tallahassee for committee meetings ahead of the 2019 legislative session.

Jacksonville City Hall
Steven Martin / Flickr.com

The Duval County Legislative Delegation will meet at City Hall on Monday to elect a new chair and vice chair and to hear from constituents.

The late Sen. Dorothy Hukill (left) with her friend and colleague Sen. Travis Hutson (right) at the Coke Zero 400 in July, 2017.
From the late Dorothy Hukill's Facebook page

A Northeast Florida state senator has filed a proposal that would require high-school students to take financial-literacy courses in honor of the late state Sen. Dorothy Hukill, who died this year after battling cancer.

Connell Crooms, Jacksonville mayoral candidate.
Connell Crooms

Update: Connell Crooms switched his campaign plans after this story's publication. He is running for a At Large Group 1 City Council seat.

Mayoral, constitutional and city council candidates have many hoops to jump through in order to qualify for candidacy and a big deadline is fast approaching.

Incoming Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville Executive Director Joy Young
1 MILLION CUPS COLUMBIA, SC

The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville has named their next executive director - a 14 year veteran of the South Carolina Arts Commission.

A fully lit Hanukkah menorah.
B.R. Guest Hospitality / Flickr.com

For the first time ever a giant six-foot menorah will be lit on the University of North Florida campus to celebrate Hanukkah and to “spread light” amidst an increase in anti-semitic acts like the recent mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Lulu, who's up for adoption at this weekend's Mega Pet Adoption event at the Jacksonville Fairground.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Hundreds of cats and dogs are up for adoption at the Jacksonville Fairground through 6 p.m. Saturday.

Village on Wiley,  a multifamily permanent supportive housing development owned by Ability Housing and financed by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation.
Ability Housing

The findings of a study in Jacksonville released Thursday show that affordable housing benefits not only those struggling with chronic homelessness and housing insecurity, but also the communities those people live in.

Museum of Contemporary Art in Downtown Jacksonville during Art Walk.
Michel Curi / Museum of Contemporary Art

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is set to host two panel discussions highlighting the ways a changing environment may impact Jacksonville and Northeast Florida.

VIA THE DAILY RECORD

The JEA Board voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to offer the CEO position to interim CEO Aaron Zahn.

Florida Senator Rob Bradley.
Rob Bradley

Several amendments placed on November’s midterm ballot by the Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) tackled multiple unrelated issues. A Republican state Senator is trying to make sure that never happens again.

Monarch butterfly on swamp milkweed.
Jim Hudgins / USFWS Midwest Region

The recently published results of a 37-year study of monarch butterflies in north-central Florida shows the number of adult butterflies migrating to the Sunshine State and the number of eggs they’ve produced have declined by about 80 percent since 2005, but researchers say there’s a lot being done to help save the iconic orange and black insect.

Heather Hausenblas (left) and Timothy Burrows (right) from the Mayor's Council on Fitness and Wellbeing speaking at Humana's third annual Clinical Town Hall.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

The Mayor’s Council on Fitness and Wellbeing is partnering with organizations that promote exercise to try and improve the mental and physical health of Jacksonville residents.

Duval County vote-by-mail ballot.
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Florida’s military and overseas citizens vote-by-mail ballots are being accepted at Supervisors of Elections Offices across the state through Friday, but it’s unlikely they’ll change the outcome of any contested races currently under recount.

Duval County Supervisor of Elections staff man a high speed tabulator on Monday during the machine recount.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Despite a couple of issues with tabulators at the Supervisor of Elections Office in Duval County this week, Elections Supervisor Mike Hogan said he expects to wrap up the machine recount well before Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline.

Duval County vote-by-mail ballot.
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Several Florida counties were still counting provisional ballots Friday afternoon as three statewide races were within the margin triggering an automatic retabulation, and voters across the state are concerned their ballots might not get counted before a deadline of noon Saturday for counties to submit their election results to Secretary of State Ken Detzner, after which he will likely order recounts in tight races.

Democratic Senator Bill Nelson.
Shawn P. Eklund / U.S. Navy

Senator Bill Nelson’s campaign and the Democratic Executive Committee of Florida have filed a lawsuit against the state’s Secretary of State, Ken Detzner, challenging the rejection of vote-by-mail and provisional ballots based on voter signatures.

Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Jacksonville native Wyman Duggan has won the race to become District 15’s next State Representative.

Duggan, the Republican candidate, came out on top with 51 percent of the vote. His Democratic opponent, Tracye Polson, got 49 percent with all precincts reporting.

Related

JEA's downtown Jacksonville headquarters.
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Voters in Jacksonville have sent a clear message to the City Council - they want a say in any potential future sale of more than 10 percent of the public utility company JEA.

Weston Funcheon (left) and Jake Capistran (right) of NextGen Florida tabling at UNF on Monday.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Republicans, Democrats and their allies are making their final pitches to potential voters, with the polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Pet therapist Susan Smalling (left), Mandy Rhoden (center) and Rosie Rhoden (right) play with Molly Mae, a therapy dog.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Several local foster children found their forever homes during a special Halloween event at the Duval County Courthouse Wednesday, just in time to go trick-or-treating with their new adoptive families.

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