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First Coast Connect

Governor debate; opioid battle; smoking on the beach; another Jags loss

Democrat Charlie Crist, left, and incumbent Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media/AP
Democrat Charlie Crist, left, and incumbent Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The stage was set Monday for the lone debate between Gov. Ron DeSantis and his challenger, former congressman and Gov. Charlie Crist. It’s seen as Crist’s last real chance to pull ahead against the incumbent, with polls continually giving DeSantis the lead.

In the meanwhile, early voting got underway in parts of North Florida and other spots around the state.

Guest: Matt Dixon, bureau chief for POLITICO Florida.

Crush the Crisis

Mark your calendar for a special drug takeback event called Crush the Crisis.

It’s as easy as grabbing old pills still in your medicine cabinet and driving through a drop-off point so they can be safely disposed of. The idea is to get dangerous opioids out of circulation.

Guest: Dr. Scott Rhude, critical care ICU pharmacist at HCA Florida Memorial Hospital.

Smoking on the beach

Atlantic Beach could soon become the first city in Duval County to ban smoking on the sand, following cities like Fort Lauderdale, St. Petersburg, Flagler Beach, Indian Harbor Beach, Fernandina Beach and Miami Beach.

Guest: Ellen Glasser, Atlantic Beach mayor.

Another Jaguars loss

After another heartbreaking loss for the Jags, what is going on with the team and how can they get out of this losing streak? Is now the time to hit the panic button?

Guest: Josh Torres, WJCT sports analyst.

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Randy comes to Jacksonville from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, where, as metro editor, he led investigative coverage of the Parkland school shooting that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for public service. He has spent more than 40 years in reporting and editing positions in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Florida. You can reach Randy at or on Twitter, @rroguski.