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.

CHERISSE LAMB

Jacksonville’s Resiliency Committee is being urged to consider turning empty lots and unused properties into green space to protect the city from flooding.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, holds up a graph concerning COVID-19 cases in Florida as he speaks about opening businesses.
John Raoux / Associated Press

A Jacksonville-based data scientist says the way Florida presents COVID-19 data to the public is misleading, and he worries it’s being done deliberately to help support efforts to reopen the state.

Gov. Ron DeSantis (left) is pictured in Jerusalem with Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried
Gov. Ron DeSantis' Twitter page / Gov. Ron DeSantis' Twitter page

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is calling on Gov. Ron DeSantis to drop his appeal of a recent court ruling regarding Amendment 4, which restores the voting rights of millions of ex-felons in Florida, and to reform the state’s controversial Clemency Board, the statewide body that decides whether felons can have their rights restored.

Zachary Faison, President and CEO of EWC.
Edward Waters College

Jacksonville’s historically black Edward Waters College will host an event on Thursday to discuss the deaths of African Americans in police custody and efforts to address racial inequality.

Flooding in Jacksonville on Sunday, June 7.
Riverside Avondale Preservation

Heavy rains over the weekend, attributed partly to Tropical Storm Cristobal, which made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday night, led to flooding in several areas of Jacksonville.

Andrew Kennedy, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Jacksonville, said the highest recorded rainfall amount was 7.02 inches over a 24-hour period from Saturday to Sunday.

Empty interior of the Five Points Chapel & Event Hall.
Five Points Chapel & Event Hall

A new wedding and event venue recently opened in Riverside. Then the pandemic hit.

Jacksonville protesters gather outside of the Duval County Courthouse on Saturday, May 30.
Sky Lebron / WJCT News

Tensions flared during a special meeting Tuesday when Jacksonville City Council members discussed the need to address racial inequality.

Flooding on Ken Knight Drive during Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Cherisse Lamb

The Jacksonville Resiliency and Climate Change Coalition, a newly formed advocacy group working to raise awareness of the local impacts of climate change and sea level rise, is looking to better engage minority communities.

Jacksonville City Hall
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

During Thursday’s meeting, the first since February, Jacksonville’s Special Committee on Resiliency voted to establish three new subcommittees, which residents are being encouraged to join.

Downtown Jacksonville
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

The number of pollution violations issued in Jacksonville has significantly declined since coronavirus brought everything to a screeching halt in March. But it’s not clear whether there’s actually less pollution or it’s just because routine inspections have been put on hold during the pandemic.

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department firefighters hosing a fire.
JFRD

The City Council is expected to take up a proposal Tuesday that would help the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department recruit more women and minority firefighters. 

A car stops to pick up reemployment forms.
Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

As Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to tout improvements to Florida’s unemployment system, some First Coast applicants who believe they qualify for assistance are being told they’re not eligible.

North Florida Rep. Al Lawson
Office of Rep. Al Lawson

North Florida Congressman Al Lawson (D-FL 5) is co-sponsoring the Save Our Streets (SOS)  Act to give small businesses and nonprofits up to $250,000 to help them deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Edward Waters College
Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Thanks to millions of dollars in federal aid and the potential for record enrollment this fall, Edward Waters College looks as if it will make it through the coronavirus pandemic relatively unscathed.

Jacksonville City Councilman Matt Carlucci.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

The Chair of Jacksonville’s Special Committee on Resiliency, tasked with helping the city prepare for the impacts of sea level rise, is proposing three new subcommittees to better engage the public ahead of the committee’s first meeting since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in Florida.

Colorful mural with several faces
Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

The coronavirus pandemic has slowed down efforts to revive Jacksonville’s once-vibrant, historically African American Eastside neighborhood, but advocates and business owners are optimistic that progress will resume. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Ascension St. Vincent's staff.
City of Jacksonville

Governor Ron DeSantis says Florida will be in full Phase 1 of reopening by Monday, after the state was effectively shut down to stop the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus.

FSCJ's Deerwood Center
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Florida State College at Jacksonville and Edward Waters College are both expecting to receive more federal CARES Act funding, on top of the millions of dollars they’ve already been given in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Jacksonville Armada FC U-23 squad prepares for a game.
Jacksonville Armada FC

The Jacksonville Armada FC pro soccer team is ending its partnership with the Armada FC Youth Academy, which will now revert to its former name, Jacksonville FC.

A snook lies dead due to red tide in Bradenton Beach, Florida.
Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

A team led by University of Florida researchers is receiving nearly $280,000 to study the social and economic costs of harmful algal blooms.

Bogey Creek Preserve
North Florida Land Trust

The Bogey Creek Preserve park in Jacksonville will reopen on Tuesday for the first time since mid-March, when it was closed due to the coronavirus.

A COVID-19 health advisory blocks the seat next to a woman riding a JTA bus.
Jeffrey Leeser / JTA

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority is getting more than $15 million from the federal government to help maintain service during the coronavirus pandemic.

The city of Jacksonville prepares for Mayor Lenny Curry's live Zoom press conference on Thursday.
The city of Jacksonville

Mayor Lenny Curry says Jacksonville is cautiously moving forward to “reopen” the economy and that he will soon release details on a plan to ease the financial burden being placed on local businesses by the coronavirus pandemic.

A volunteer at a drive through coronavirus testing site.
Walmart

Volunteers are needed at a drive through COVID-19 testing site in Jacksonville, and at other sites around the country.

A food server wears a protective face mask as he delivers food to customers.
Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

Leaders in Clay County are urging residents to stay vigilant and continue taking precautions to help stop the spread of coronavirus as phase 1 of the county and state’s reopen plans move forward.

A recent FOLIO Weekly cover featuring staff members.
FOLIO Weekly

FOLIO Weekly, Northeast Florida’s largest circulation alternative weekly newspaper, is shutting down after 33 years due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Marshes on Amelia Island.
Razvan Orendovici / Wikimedia Commons

Nassau County and the North Florida Land Trust (NFLT) will host an online public workshop to discuss the county’s land conservation efforts.

A Phlebotomist draws blood from a patient for COVID-19 antibody testing.
David J. Phillip / Associated Press

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Sunday said the state has received 200,000 coronavirus antibody tests that will be deployed in the coming days.

A car stops to pick up reemployment forms.
Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling for an investigation into the state’s unemployment system, which he described as “broken.”

Little Talbot Island State Park
FloridaStateParks.org

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says state parks will reopen on Monday.

Pages