Kevin Meerschaert

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.

Kevin was previously a reporter for WJCT News from 2001 until 2014. He has also worked at public radio stations in Salisbury, Maryland; Evansville, Indiana; and Ypsilanti, Michigan. He has won several awards for reporting, including the Media Community Leadership award from Mental Health America of Northeast Florida.

Kevin was born and raised in Michigan, earning his degree in political science from Eastern Michigan University. 

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Florida 4th District Congressional candidate Ges Selmont. He’s challenging incumbent Republican John Rutherford (01:03). Rutherford was also invited but his office did not respond.

Creative Commons

Monday on First Coast Connect we heard about this week’s Faith, Race and LGBT: A conversation with Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington at UNF that looks to bridge gaps and work for common goals. We spoke with UNF LBGT Resource Center Director Kaitlin Legg  and UNF Interfaith Center Associate Director Matt Hartley (01:14).       

Our Friday Media Roundtable featured Jacksonville Daily Record reporter David Cawton and WJCT’s Brendan Rivers and Kevin Meerschaert. The panel discussed the latest polling in the races for governor and the U.S.

Ryan Benk / WJCT

Thursday on First Coast Connect we heard about Saturday’s History Revealed walking tour of Confederate Statues and the history of Jacksonville’s racial past with #TakeEmDownJax co-founder Kris Kiernan, historian and author Tim Gilmore and Wells Todd from the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition (01:05).

 

Wednesday on First Coast Connect ahead of this month’s annual See the Girl Summit we spoke with Dr. Lawanda Ravoira, President and CEO of the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, Senior Vice President at the center Vicky Basra and Dr. Maureen Walker who is the keynote speaker at the summit (01:01). 

She Should Run

Tuesday First Coast Connect we spoke with Director of Programs and Impact Sofia Pereira. With the She Should Run incubator. It’s a national movement to get more women to run for public office. The group will be holding a cohort next month in Jacksonville (01:12).

Edward Waters College

Monday First Coast Connect we spoke with new Edward Waters College President Zachary Faison. He is the youngest president of a historically black college in the country (01:06).

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On Friday First Coast Connect was live from Derby on Park in Five Points to kick off WJCT’s Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall Block Party. Stop by Friday to hear the music playing.      

Mick Cornett

Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett who is the author of The Next American City. He discussed the growth his city has experienced in recent years and how mid-sized cities like Jacksonville can do the same (01:14).   

 

Jeff Nesbit

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Jeff Nesbit, executive director of Climate Nexus and author of This Is The Way The World Ends: How Droughts and Die-offs, Heat Wave and Hurricanes are Converging on America (01:14).

Steve Cannon and Lynne Sladky / AP

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with faculty director of the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab Mike Binder about UNF’s latest polling numbers regarding Florida’s U.S. Senate and Governor races (01:03).      

Monday on First Coast Connect we heard about the JAX Chamber’s upcoming Infrastructure Innovation Summit with Chamber Vice-President for Entrepreneurial Growth Carlton Robinson and Amin Toufani, CEO of T Labs in Silicon Valley who will be one of the event’s speakers (01:03).    

Our First Coast Connect Friday Media Roundtable with guest host A.G Gancarski Our panelists were Florida Times-Union reporter David Bauerlein, WJCT contributor Fred Matthews, Folio Weekly Editor Claire Goforth and Jacksonville Daily Record reporter David Cawton (00:58).  

Topics included:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration / Wikimedia Commons

The Youth Crisis Center (YCC) and Feeding Northeast Florida are teaming up to combat  obesity in Jacksonville’s children.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Thursday First Coast Connect featured guest host Charlene Shirk. She was joined by local historian Jim Crooks and attorney Earl Johnson Jr. to talk about the 50th anniversary of Consolidation in Jacksonville (01:38).

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Wednesday on First Coast Connect featured guest host Charlene Shirk. She was joined by Alex Rudnick from Generation U.S, Phyllis Martin from United Way of Northeast Florida and Brenda Ford from New Town. They discussed the Community Leaders Igniting Mobility, or CLIMB project that looks to help unemployed and underemployed youth in Jacksonville find quality jobs (01:20).    

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Tuesday on First Coast Connect featured guest host David Cawton, reporter for The Jacksonville Daily Record. Ahead of Wednesday’s Downtown Investment Authority meeting he spoke with DIA Executive Director Aundra Wallace and Visit Jacksonville President Michael Corrigan. The DIA will be evaluating three submitted proposals for a new convention center (01:28).    

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Monday on First Coast Connect guest host Charles Griggs spoke with State Senator Audrey Gibson about her bill to provide $10 million in support for the former employees impacted by the contamination at the Fairfax Street Wood Treaters facility. Closed in 2010, the bill claims workers were subjected to high levels of chromated copper arsenate without the benefit of training or protective gear (01:22).     

Our Friday Media Roundtable on First Coast Connect featured Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth, radio host Angela Spears and Jacksonville Business Journal editor Timothy Gibbons (00:54).

Our panel discussed

Will Dickey / The Florida Times-Union

The Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center will soon be taking in patients but first the outpatient facility will be hosting an open house in San Marco.

WJCT

On Thursday’s First Coast Connect we spoke with Ken Burns. The legendary filmmaker is in Jacksonville for a Thursday night screening and discussion panel of his latest documentary The Mayo Clinic Faith - Hope - Science at UNF (01:21).

Watch The Video

Veterans Today.com

It’s National Suicide Prevention Week. On Wednesday’s First Coast Connect we talked about the suicide crisis among veterans and what is being done locally to combat it with Katherine Eicher, the lead suicide prevention coordinator for VA in North Florida and South Georgia and Daniel Henry, Public Information Officer for the region’s VA (01:10).

USDA

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we discussed the progress involving treating opioid addiction on the First Coast with Beaches Recovery Medical Director Dr. Marcus Decarvalho and Teresa Holton, Client Care Coordinator and an alumna of the program (01:06).

Our Friday Media Roundtable on First Coast Connect featured Andrew Pantazi of the Florida Times Union, blogger Fred Matthews, A.G. Gancarski from Florida Politics and Jacksonville Daily Record reporter David Cawton.

Topics included,

Brendan Rivers / WJCT

Thursday on  First Coast Connect we spoke with Darcy Richardson. The Jacksonville resident is the Reform Party candidate for Governor (01:16).

Related: Florida Gubernatorial Nominees Announce Their Running Mates

AP

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Jeff Weaver, campaign manager for Bernie Sanders in 2016. He was in town for a book signing of How Bernie Won: Inside The Revolution That’s Taking Back Our Country (01:18).

Our Friday Media Roundtable on First Coast Connect featured Florida Times-Union reporter David Bauerlein, radio host Angela Spears, WJCT contributor Charles Griggs and Jacksonville Business Journal editor Timothy Gibbons.

Our topics included:

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT

Thursday on First Coast Connect, on the heels of the deadly weekend in Jacksonville there are more calls to address the roots of Jacksonville’s gun violence.

We spoke with Ben Frazer from the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, Wells Todd from the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition and Atlas Rankin, pastor of the New Life Community Church (01:10).  

Steve Cannon and Lynne Sladky / AP

Wednesday on  First Coast Connect we spoke with Florida Politics reporter A.G. Gancarski about the results of the Florida Primary Election including wins by Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis in the race for Governor (01:16).   

Bill Bortzfield / WJCT

Tuesday is Florida Primary Election Day. On First Coast Connect we spoke with University of North Florida Political Science Professor Mike Binder about the races and what we might expect heading to the general election (00:39).  

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