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Hurricane Ian update; Florida’s insurance companies; 25 Million Sparks; Hurricane food storage; What’s Good Wednesday

Tropical Weather Florida
This GOES-East GeoColor satellite image taken at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, and provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows the eye of Hurricane Ian approaching the southwest coast of Florida. Hurricane Ian's most damaging winds began hitting Florida's southwest coast Wednesday, lashing the state with heavy rain and pushing a devastating storm surge after strengthening to the threshold of the most dangerous Category 5 status.

Hurricane Ian intensified to an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm this morning as it barreled closer to Florida's Gulf Coast. Residents have been emptying grocery shelves, boarding up windows and fleeing to evacuation shelters. Listeners can download the free Florida Storms app to get the latest updates on Ian.

Guest: Megan Borowski, Florida Public Radio Emergency Network and Florida Storms meteorologist.

Florida’s insurance companies

Concerns grow over Florida’s increasingly rickety property insurance market and whether or not it can handle claims as storms become more destructive. As insurance experts are sounding the alarm about Ian and storms to come, the issue is becoming more and more urgent for millions of homeowners across the state.

Guest: Mark Friedlander, national insurance expert

25 Million Sparks

Local author and Jacksonville native Andrew Leon Hanna knows a lot about the refugee crisis as it continues unabated worldwide. He is a first-generation Egyptian-American lawyer, entrepreneur and author who recently moved back to the River City. Earlier this week, he had a book signing event for his book 25 Million Sparks, which is about the refugee crisis and refugee entrepreneurs.

Hurricane food storage

Food safety expert Keith Schneider spoke with us to share tips for safe storage of food and water before and during a power outage. He is with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

What’s Good Wednesday 

  • The River City Pride festival is scheduled to happen in Riverside this weekend. We spoke with River City Pride’s Karrissa Wade, who discussed the festival’s events. Depending on weather conditions, River City Pride says it’s planning to go ahead with a series of fun events this weekend, including the Pride Parade. For more information and updates, visit River City Pride’s website
  • Cumberland Island National Seashore turns 50 on October 23rd. To commemorate this significant milestone, the park will be hosting a year-long series of events, with a kick-off event scheduled for this Sunday – weather permitting – in conjunction with the St. Mary's Seafood festival. This will include a full day of diverse and family-friendly activities and programs. The celebration will begin with a Cumberland Island themed parade at 10:00 a.m.
  • I'm A Star Foundation Teen Influencers, Duval County Public Schools and JaxParks have collected a total of 30,161 bottles of water to send to Jackson, Mississippi. The city is still struggling with water quality issues, weeks after a treatment plant broke down. I'm A Star Foundation Executive Director Betty Burney set an internal goal to collect 3,000 bottles. She and her students are overjoyed to have exceeded that goal by 10 times. 
  • Jewelry designer Elizabeth Sarah and visual artist Philip Bennett Walker have outgrown their current gallery space in Jacksonville Beach. Now they’re moving to a bigger space in Atlantic Beach. Elizabeth, Philip and their team members invite the public to join them in celebrating the grand opening of their new gallery. Their Grand Opening Party will feature a reception with artists, live music, hors d'oeuvres, libations, a raffle valued at over $500 and plenty of opportunities to support a small, local business by shopping for some of their unique pieces. If weather permits, this event is scheduled for Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Shoppes of A1A North, 1249 Mayport Road in Atlantic Beach. 
  • This week, students in the Twin Lakes Academy Middle School News and Podcast Club joined us in the studio. Their interview Monday gave the students a chance to be the ones to ask all the questions about broadcasting, journalism and news. 
  • There is a huge giveaway this week. Those who still haven’t seen the Beyond Van Gogh immersive exhibit have a chance to get a pair of free tickets from First Coast Connect. Emails sent to will be entered into the giveaway. Listeners can put Van Gogh in the subject line for a chance to win. One winner will be chosen at random.
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Gary Autry is joining WJCT from Florida State College at Jacksonville as a production intern for the fall 2022 semester. A native of the First Coast, Gary is finishing his bachelor’s degree in communication and media this fall.