Student achievement, Marissa Alexander, and Cuba are in the headlines today.
Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida, and across the country. We'll also preview some of WJCT's upcoming news programming.
San Marco I-95 on-ramps reopened after overnight construction: On-ramps from Atlantic Blvd. and Philips Hwy. onto Interstate 95 northbound were reopened this morning at around 5:15 a.m. following overnight emergency repairs. (WJCT/News4Jax)
Florida makes student achievement gains: A new report from newspaper Education Week (EdWeek) says student achievement is up in Florida. (WJCT)
Dozens of motions heard in Donald Smith case: Rulings on motions filed by attorneys for convicted sexual predator Donald Smith in his trial for the rape and murder of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle last year are expected in the coming weeks. (News4Jax)
St. Johns dredging efforts renewed in the new year: Congresswoman Corrine Brown and Congressman Ander Crenshaw are pushing for federal support for deepening the St. Johns River's shipping channel. (Jacksonville Business Journal)
Rare earthquake strikes Cuba, South Florida: A 5.1-magnitude earthquake centered off the northern coast of Cuba rattled Florida residents as far north as Cape Coral. (Miami Herald)
Sen. Rubio to support delaying flood insurance hikes: Florida's junior U.S. Senator said Thursday he will support a bipartisan bill to delay increases in federal flood insurance rates despite misgivings about the program overall. (USA Today)
State leg committee chairman to file limited medical marijuana bill: Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, chair of the powerful House Criminal Justice Subcommittee, said he will file a bill to allow the use of specific strains of marijuana for treatment of seizures in children. (Tampa Bay Times)
Our Rhema Thompson (@RhemaThompson) is live tweeting from court this morning with coverage on the motion to revoke Marissa Alexander's bail.
Today on First Coast Connect, our weekly week in review local media roundtable.