Duval County teacher salaries, MOCA Jacksonville, EverBank Field and the St. Augustine Shipyards are all 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.
A dense fog advisory is in effect for Northeast Florida until 10 a.m. The rest of the day is expected to be mostly sunny, with highs near 75 and lows around 57. There will be a light northeast wind of 8 to 13 mph this morning. (National Weather Service)
Duval County ranks among the lowest school districts in teacher earnings
A new study released this morning by the National Council on Teacher Quality shows Duval County is one of the lowest paying school districts in the country. The study, adjusted for cost of living, placed Duval County teachers' lifetime earnings in 98th place out of 125 school districts. (WJCT)
Constitutional law expert says MOCA Jacksonville art exhibit protected by the First Amendment
Rod Sullivan, professor at Florida Coastal School of Law, joined Melissa Ross yesterday to discuss the nude photograph at MOCA Jacksonville that has been making headlines. Sullivan said, "Any restriction on a piece of artwork because of its content violates the protection of the First Amendment. So it violates both the civil rights of MOCA and the artist herself." (WJCT)
The Mayor will not defund MOCA Jacksonville
Mayor Alvin Brown responded to City Council President Clay Yarborough's demand to pull funding from the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville over the nude photograph. In his letter to Yarborough, Mayor Brown wrote that the actions Yarborough was seeking "could subject the City to injunctive action and financial sanctions" due to the likely First Amendment right violations. (WJCT)
New shipyard, new jobs in St. Augustine
A new project is bringing restaurants, a hotel and dry boat storage to St. Augustine. The initial stage of the St. Augustine Shipyards should open in April 2015, bringing with it many marine-related jobs such as engine and boat repair. (First Coast News)
Jaguars seeking more renovations for EverBank Field
The Jacksonville Jaguars submitted a bid to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity with the backing of the city of Jacksonville to receive $15 million from the state to go towards an $18 million renovation to the Club Level. The upgrades would include adding glass walls, bar-style seating and exterior drink rail seating. (WOKV)
Today on First Coast Connect, UNF Political Science Professor Matthew Childers and Joey Marchy, Social Media Expert and Product Manager at Ignite join Melissa to talk about the controversy over Duval County Republican Party secretary, Kim Crenier's tweets about Ferguson.
Then, authors Laura Jo Brunson and Kendall Brunson drop by the studio to talk about their new book, Legendary Locals of Jacksonville.
And finally, we'll wrap up with a preview of the Amelia Island Holiday Home Tour.