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First Coast Connect

Florida U.S. Senate debate; In the Pink; '6 Beaches'; What’s Good Wednesday

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., conclude their televised debate at Palm Beach State College in Palm Beach County on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022.
Thomas Cordy
The Palm Beach Post via AP, Pool
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., conclude their televised debate at Palm Beach State College in Palm Beach County on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022.

Incumbent Republican Sen. Marco Rubio sparred in a debate Tuesday night with Democrat Val Demings. The candidates faced off in the only scheduled televised debate here in Florida before the midterm elections in less than a month. Both candidates for the U.S. Senate went back and forth on a variety of issues, often interrupting one another and engaging in heated exchanges. Rubio, a former Florida House speaker, is seeking a third term in the Senate and has gotten support from law enforcement groups across the state. Demings, a former police chief, had accepted invitations to three debates, but Rubio agreed only to only one. Additional Florida politics topics briefly discussed in the studio today include other races, Molly Curry and Gary Chartrand endorsing Lakesha Burton, and gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist visiting a small business in Jacksonville today.

Guest: AG Gancarski of Florida Politics and Jax Today.

In the Pink

In the Pink in Jax Beach is a unique boutique providing services and community for men, women and children with cancer. The boutique’s founder, Jeri Millard, spoke with us about the boutique and the network they’ve established for breast cancer survivors. During this Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the boutique wants to get the word out about the dragon boat teams they’ve created for survivors.

'6 Beaches'

TheBeaches Museum has partnered with Jacksonville-based artists Dustin Harewood, Hiromi Moneyhun and Jennifer Lail to present "6 Beaches," a collaborative interpretation of the history of our Beaches communities. The exhibition opened Friday and runs through early February. Harewood and Jax Beach Mayor Chris Hoffman, who is also the executive director of the Beaches Museum, spoke with us to discuss the exhibition. All events are free to museum members with a $5 suggested donation for nonmembers. For additional information and to register for events, visit or call 904.241.5657.

What’s Good Wednesday 

  • TheGirl Scouts of Gateway Council are gearing up for another great Girl Scout season this fall. The council currently serves more than 6,000 girls across 35 counties, and there’s always room for more girls to join. The organization has begun its fall recruitment campaign, emphasizing the exciting reasons to join Girl Scouts during the organization’s 110th anniversary year. 
  • TheMuseum of Science & History will host its fifth annual A Taste of the Philippines event starting at 6 p.m. Thursday. Guests will enjoy the rich flavor and culture of the Philippines through tastings by Jax Filipino Chefs and other local businesses, an array of artwork, vendors and traditional dances in celebration ofFilipino American History Month, along with museum-wide access. 
  • This Friday, Downtown Vision is proud to bring back the free family-friendly Jack O’ Landing Movie Night. This event is presented by Live Oak Contracting at Riverfront Plaza. The double feature movie night will screen "Casper" (Rated PG) at 6:30 p.m. and "Beetlejuice" (Rated PG) at 8:30 p.m. Moviegoers are encouraged to bring picnic blankets and camp chairs and dress in costume. Dogs on leashes are welcome. Coolers are not permitted. Attendees are invited to come as early as 5 p.m. to enjoy a free petting zoo, pony rides and a bounce house. Onsite food vendors include CJ's Kettle Corn, Lazy Days Hot Dogs and Hibashi Party. Vagabond Coffee Co., which will sell coffee and hot chocolate. Bars will feature beer, wine and Manifest Distilling spirits. 
  • Beginning Friday, the third annual Halloweek Scavenger Hunt launches in Downtown. The hunt will run through Oct. 31 during normal business hours at participating locations, which include Bay Street Bar & Grill, Chamblin’s Uptown, The Happy Grilled Cheese, The JFRD & JSO Pension Fund, Super Food and Brew and Tossgreen. “Hunters” can download the free Eventzee app and use the join code, HALLOWEEK, starting Friday to see more participating locations. As hunters visit the locations and scan their QR Codes to play, they will discover spooky storefront decorations and businesses handing out candy along the way. The first 100 participants to hunt and gather QR Codes from 10 participating businesses will receive a $20 #DTJax e-Gift Card redeemable at participating businesses such as Ground Level Coffee, Sweet Pete’s Candy Company and the Florida Theatre. Purchase not required to play. 
  • For the next six weeks, Yoga 4 Change will host free yoga at Riverfront Plaza at 6 p.m. every Tuesday, courtesy of the city of Jacksonville Parks Department and Downtown Investment Authority. No experience or registration is necessary to participate. 
  • The Third Annual VyStar Emerald Trail 5K/10K presented by JTC Running and 1st Place Sports is coming up this Saturday. This year, they are adding a 10K distance for the ride and run and hosting the event in the evening. Cyclists, runners and walkers will run along part of the nearly completed LaVilla Link and the existing S-Line Rail Trail, both part of the planned 30-mile Emerald Trail. There will also be pre- and post-race activities including several nonprofits sharing the interesting history of Jacksonville and the LaVilla neighborhood. All proceeds will benefit Groundwork Jacksonville
  • Tony-nominee and cabaret legend Ann Hampton Callaway has created an exciting program featuring songs and stories in celebration of one of America’s most beloved artists, Peggy Lee. Palms Presbyterian Church is pleased to invite guests to the opening concert of their 2022-2023 Fine Arts Series presented by Callaway that honors Peggy Lee called "Fever-The Peggy Lee Century" at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The concert is free and all are welcome. Palms is at 3410 Third St. South in Jacksonville Beach. On the heels of Ann’s "Streisand Songbook" triumph, this show celebrates the 100th birthday of the trailblazing woman who gave the world Feverthrough six decades of iconic songs.
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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.