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First Coast Connect

Racism in Northeast Florida; Greescape tree giveaway; local sports


A rash of racist incidents across Northeast Florida prompted diversity leaders to call for a reckoning.

  • In Nassau County, black students were suspended after confronting white students who shared a video on social media containing racial slurs and an individual wearing a white hood.
  • Later today, the Jacksonville City Council debates whether to remove a large Confederate statue in Springfield Park, after years of activism calling for it to be taken down.
  • In St. Johns County, Helen Geter is considering filing a federal lawsuit after a teacher repeatedly used the “n” word while discussing Huckleberry Finn. Geter says the incident was not handled properly by the school leaving her daughter so uncomfortable that she forfeited her spot in her gifted class, which Geter says forestalls her daughter’s academic goals. 
  • University of North Flordia student Nina Ward says Culhane’s Irish Pub’s Southside location fired her after she complained about a customer who came to a Halloween party in blackface. At the time of airing, Culhane’s Irish Pub did not respond to WJCT’s request for a statement.
  • No public schools in Florida teach critical race theory. Activists call for the immediate implementation of critical race theory in classrooms, while others demand it be banned from classrooms.


  • Dr. Tammy Hodo, executive director of All Things Diverse.
  • Helen Geter, parent of a student in a St. Johns County Public Schools.
  • Nina Ward, University of North Florida student.

Greenscape tree giveaway

Greenscape’s annual tree giveaway is this Saturday. The giveaway is in conjunction with Keep Jacksonville Beautiful’s Paper Recycling event.

Guest: Lisa Grubba, interim executive director of Greenscape of Jacksonville.

Local Sports

  • The Jaguars lost to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, a day after the Georgia Bulldogs beat the Florida Gators at the annual Florida-Georgia game.
  • Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville resigned after the Chicago Blackhawks released a report alleging that he sexually assaulted former player Kyle Beach in 2010.

Guest: WJCT Sports Analyst Josh Torres.

First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross Associate Producer Katherine Hobbs can be reached at or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.

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Katherine Hobbs was Associate Producer of talk shows at WJCT until 2022.