10/2/2017: Las Vegas Shooting; Flooded Cars; Gratitude America; Cole Pepper

Oct 2, 2017

Monday on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke about the shootings in Las Vegas and National Mental Health Week with interim President and CEO of Mental Health America of Northeast Florida Tara Wildes and Norma Basford, the former program director for National Association of Mental Illness of Jacksonville (01:17).  

Consumer law attorney Leslie Goller told us about the dangers of water-damaged cars that could hit the used car market after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and warning signs a car may have been damaged (28:55).                

We heard about the group Gratitude America with Executive Director Michael Anthony and social worker and Florida House candidate Tracye Polson about their upcoming retreat for women veterans (38:15).

Cole Pepper brought us the weekend’s sports news including the Jaguars overtime loss to the New York Jets (47:18).   


Las Vegas Shooting-Mental Health Week

At least 58 people were killed and at least 500 more people injured after a man opened fire Sunday night at a country music festival in Las Vegas. Police say the suspect, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock committed suicide just before a SWAT team burst into the hotel room from which he was firing at the crowd. In a sad irony, news of the mass shooting, now the worst in modern American history, is breaking just as National Mental Health Week kicks off. Florida ranks last in per capita spending for mental health treatment.

Water Damaged Used Cars

Thousands of cars around town were exposed to flooding during to Hurricane Irma. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma ravaged Texas and Florida within in a two-week span, leaving many with flooded homes and flooded cars. Some of those water damaged cars will make their way into the used car market. Goller told us there are some things you can do to ensure you don’t unsuspectingly buy one.

Gratitude America

More than two million troops have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. With up to 20 veterans committing suicide each day, particularly female veterans, the need for support is great.

This weekend there’s an opportunity for the female veterans of the First Coast to get the help and support they need. Gratitude America Military Support Retreats are a free, four-day experience designed for any post 9/11 veteran.

Cole Pepper

It was a bad game for the Jaguars as they lost to the New York Jets 23-20 in overtime on Sunday. The Florida Gators beat Vanderbilt 38-24 but quarterback Luke Del Rio was lost for the season. Georgia beat Tennessee 41-0 and Florida State won its first game of the season 26-19 over Wake Forest. The Armada lost in Miami 1-0.         

Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.