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First Coast Connect

Placemaking in Jacksonville; charitable giving; food insecurity on the First Coast; local sports

The Big Bounce America sets up at Riverfront Plaza.
Katherine Hobbs
The Big Bounce America sets up at Riverfront Plaza.

Last week, Fox and Friends host Brian Kilmeade bashed Jacksonville on national TV for its “unmet potential.” Kilmeade, who owns a home in Ponte Vedra, said: “The city is not nice. I mean, ask the Jaguars, ask them if they hang out in the city. Ask them how the Landing is going — oh, they wrecked it because they had too much gang activity and shootings. That’s just the facts.” Kilmeade made the comments Friday on his national radio show.

Frustrations about a lack of growth downtown have persisted for years, but there are plenty of efforts underway to change that. Downtown Vision Inc. has anew head of placemaking — a process to help create a vibrant and active downtown.

Guest: Kady Yellow, senior director of placemaking and events, Downtown Vision.

Charitable giving

Anew report is out on the state of giving in Florida, and it turns out that Florida residents are pretty generous. Almost 70% of households in the state reported giving to charity last year. And in this state, people really care about poverty, animals and the environment.


Food insecurity on the First Coast

Across Northeast Florida, thousands of working parents are struggling to buy groceries, even as COVID-19 wanes and the unemployment rate improves.

The price of food, gasoline and housing are at their highest point in years. Families are navigating an onslaught of challenges after the end of federal aid for the COVID pandemic.

Recent census surveys show 14% of Florida families don't have enough to eat, the highest level of food insecurity in more than a year.

Guest:Jacksonville Today enterprise reporter Claire Heddles.

Local sports

Jaguars’ owner Shad Khan found himself in some more hot water last week. WJCT Sports Analyst Josh Torres brought us that story and more.

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