First Coast Connect With Melissa Ross

Weekdays 9 a.m. Rebroadcast 8 p.m.

Hosted by Melissa Ross, First Coast Connect is an hour-long call-in program that features local newsmakers, civic and community leaders, artists and people planning a variety of events across Northeast Florida, along with a weekly roundtable of local journalists.

  • Join The Conversation: (904) 549-2937 (Note: This line is only active during the program, 9 -10 a.m.) 
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First Coast Connect is sponsored in part by Baptist Health and North Florida TPO.

WJCT Sport Analyst Cole Pepper's sports wrap is sponsored by the Black Sheep Restaurant Group, which includes BellwetherRestaurant Orsay and Black Sheep.

The twice-a-month Going Green segment is sponsored in part by A1A Solar and the monthly First Coast Success segment is sponsored in part by Iberiabank.

The monthly First Coast Connect Book Club is sponsored in part by San Marco Books and more.

Lucio Eastman / Wikemedia Commons

Local parents are suing to stop the use of armed safety assistants in the Duval County Public Schools.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The new logo celebrating the Jaguars’ 25th season contains an outline of downtown Jacksonville’s skyline, so it was no surprise when team owner Shad Khan said Thursday at the State of the Franchise that he is eager to get started on adding another piece to the skyline, with an estimated $500 million development next to the stadium.

Heather Schatz / WJCT News

On Friday's Media Roundtable, our panel of journalists looked at some of the biggest stories of the week, including:

HEATHER SCHATZ / WJCT


Two local men were recently freed after spending more than 40 years in prison for a murder that the evidence now shows they did not commit.

 

Credit Laurie Avocado / WIkimedia Commons

We took a closer look at the rapidly expanding medical marijuana market here in Florida with Columnist Shelton Hull, who covers cannabis for Folio Weekly; and Jacksonville attorney Sally Kent Peebles, a Partner with Vicente Sederberg.

Solitary Confinement Hall
Henry Hagnäs

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s new report on the practice of solitary confinement, the Florida Department of Corrections holds approximately 10,000 people – more than 10 percent of its population – in solitary confinement on any given day. To put that number in perspective, the nationwide average was 4.5 percent in 2018.

Heather Schatz/WJCT

This month, during National Park Week, the National Park Service is highlighting the importance and value of our national park system to make sure we can preserve it for future generations.

Claire Goforth, A.G. Gancarski, Melissa Ross, Dan Scanlan and Stephanie Brown in Studio 5 (counter clockwise)

On Friday's First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross Media Roundtable, our panel of journalists looked at some of the biggest stories of the week, including:

Heather Schatz/WJCT

Several local races are headed to a runoff election in May.

Thursday morning, we continued our conversations with the candidates for City Council At-Large with Councilman Tommy Hazouri, the Democratic Candidate for Group 3.

Groundworks Jacksonville

The Emerald Trail has just been an idea for decades now. However, it is finally on its way to becoming a reality, after the City Council approved a plan to build it within the next ten years. 

HEATHER SCHATZ / WJCT NEWS

Tuesday morning was the second in a series of candidate profiles  in the Jacksonville City Council At-Large runoff races this spring. 

Greg Rachal, the Republican Candidate for Jacksonville City Council At Large Group 3 joined us in Studio 5.

His opponent, Democrat Tommy Hazouri, is scheduled to appear on Thursday.

UF Health Jacksonville

We took a closer look at the future of UF Health Jacksonville with Dr. Leon Haley Jr., the CEO of UF Health Jacksonville and Dean of the UF College of Medicine, Jacksonville; and  Lindsay Haga and Patrick Krechowski from the Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) that recently worked with the hospital.

Heather Schatz/WJCT

For today's First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross Media Roundtable, our panel of journalists looked at some of the biggest stories of the week, including:

Our panelists were:

HEATHER SCHATZ
WJCT NEWS

Several local races are headed to a runoff election in May.

We are profiling the Jacksonville City Council At-Large races this spring as we host the candidates asking for your vote in that runoff.

Wednesday we spoke with City Council At-Large Group1 candidate and former local Democratic leader Lisa King. We have also invited her opponent, Republican incumbent Councilman Terrance Freeman to join us on a future episode.

VIA JACKSONVILLE DAILY RECORD

JEA is staying in downtown Jacksonville. On Tuesday, the JEA board announced the utility will build a  new corporate headquarters tower on West Adams Street, near the Duval County courthouse.

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