First Read: Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mar 19, 2014

Visit Jacksonville, Marissa Alexander, and the American Institutes for Research 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.

Study shows $2 billion tourism business on the First Coast: According to the results of a study by Visit Jacksonville, the city's destination marketing group, revenue generated by the tourism industry exceeded $2 billion last year. (WJCT)

Documents released in Marissa Alexander case: Three pages of information from the State Attorney's Office to local lawmakers detailing their case against Marissa Alexander are causing controversy. (News4Jax)

BAE Jacksonville awarded multi-million dollar Navy contract: BAE Systems, Jacksonville has been awarded a $27.3 million modification to a previously awarded contract to provide ship repairs, hull, machinery, electrical, electronics, ship alterations and piping as required. (MarineLog)

Former Governor Askew honored with viewing in Tallahassee: The viewing of the late Gov. Reubin Askew, who died last week at age 85, began at the state Capitol yesterday. (AP)

Official nod given to testing company: Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart has recommended the American Institutes for Research produce Florida’s next statewide exam. (StateImpact Florida)

Florida lawmakers vow to spend to reduce child deaths: The head of the state’s child welfare agency told a House committee Tuesday that child deaths documented by a Miami Herald series shows a gap in the state’s safety net and that will take more services and money to fix. (Miami Herald)

Brevard County sergeant awarded Medal of Honor: retired Army sergeant Melvin Morris of Brevard County was one of three soldiers still living to receive the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony yesterday for valor on a Vietnam battlefield in 1969. (Tallahassee Democrat)

State Senate passes car registration fee cut: The Florida Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved a measure that should lower the annual registration fees for most car and truck drivers by about $25. (AP)

Winning Mega Millions ticket sold in Florida: Winning tickets in Tuesday night's Mega Millions drawing with a jackpot of about $400 million were sold in Florida and Maryland. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

Woman allegedly set car on fire at Jax McDonalds over dessert refusal: Witnesses said a woman set a man's car on fire at a Jacksonville McDonald's after he refused to buy her a McFlurry. (WFTV)

Today on First Coast Connect, guest host Mike Miller welcomes One Spark executive director Joe Sampson and Mayor John Morrissey of St. Marys, Georgia.

You can get all the latest headlines online at, on our Facebook page, and on Twitter @WJCTJax. You can follow Patrick Donges on Twitter at @patrickhdonges.