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First Coast Connect

Media roundtable; Jax Next 100

A sheriff's deputy handcuffs activist Ben Frazier.
Claire Heddles
A sheriff's deputy handcuffs activist Ben Frazier.

Today’s Media Roundtable discussed some of the top stories in the First Coast, including:

  • Jacksonville activist Ben Frazier, the founder of the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, will speak next week in Geneva, Switzerland, before a committee of the United Nations. The UN Committee to Eliminate Racial Discrimination is dedicated to monitoring human rights violations across the globe. It meets in Geneva for its 107th session in August. Frazier said he’s been asked to speak in Geneva because the Northside Coalition is a plaintiff in the lawsuit challenging Florida’s “anti-riot” bill.
  • The candidates running for two open seats on the Duval County School Board are right in the midst of our current culture wars. Elizabeth Andersen is running for reelection in District 2. She faces a challenge from April Carney, who is affiliated with the group Moms for Liberty. At a School Board forum at the beaches earlier this week, Carney seemed to endorse the idea of arming teachers in the classroom. Andersen also sent campaign mailers out this week across the district hitting Carney on rumors she was part of the rally at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. In the other contested local School Board race, incumbent Charlotte Joyce is facing reelection and is being challenged by Tanya Hardaker in District 6. Both Andersen and Hardaker are running on a platform of keeping politics out of these local races, saying Joyce and Liberty are too partisan. Gov. Ron DeSantis has endorsed Carney and Joyce, which is virtually unprecedented in races that have historically been nonpartisan.
  • Housing prices continue to be a huge challenge in Florida. To try to bring some relief, the city of Jacksonville may let people build small rental residences on their properties. The goal is to solve two problems: inflation and the housing shortage. Legislation introduced by City Councilman Rory Diamond would allow the construction of what are called Accessory Dwelling Units. Diamond foresees 100,000 of these new rental properties if his measure, the Keep Our Families Together Act, is approved.
  • Nearly 350 lawsuits have been filed against Dr. David Heekin, a former orthopedic surgeon in Jacksonville, alleging he caused hundreds of injuries while operating with a neurological condition that caused him to slur his speech and lose his balance. Dr. Heekin voluntarily relinquished his medical license in 2021 at the conclusion of a state Board of Medicine investigation, records show.
  • The Jags faced off against the Raiders in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, last night. And former Jaguar Tony Boselli will finally be inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend — the first player from the franchise to receive this honor.


Jax Next 100

The Jessie is hosting the Jax Next 100 initiative, a five-day celebration of Jacksonville’s past, present and future with an arts, music, film and literary festival next week. The celebration also will feature some educational components, including an Artist Salon to help Jacksonville-based artists navigate the ins and outs of running a small business in the arts.


  • Josué A. Cruz, interim director of development, The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville.
  • Huston Pullen, director, Small Business Development Center, Coggin College of Business at the University of North Florida.
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Katherine Hobbs was Associate Producer of talk shows at WJCT until 2022.