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First Coast Connect

Hate messages; sheriff poll; bugs as a treat; another Jags loss

Antisemitic messages appeared around Jacksonville, including this Interstate 10 overpass.
Antisemitic messages appeared around Jacksonville, including this Interstate 10 overpass.

Hate messages across the city last weekend rattled Jacksonville’s Jewish community and drew condemnation from local and statewide political leaders.

First, antisemitic banners went up along Interstate 10 and the Arlington Expressway. Then, during the Florida-Georgia football game, more hate messages were projected onto TIAA Bank Field and a downtown high-rise.

After a weekend of fear and anger, faith leaders say they are harnessing their outrage into positive action.

Guest: Mariam Feist, CEO of the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida.

Polling in the sheriff's race

New polling shows Republican T.K. Waters leading Democrat Lakesha Burton in the closely watched Jacksonville sheriff race. But a fair number of people remain undecided.

Guest: Michael Binder, faculty director the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida.

Bugs as a treat

Trick or treat, and take your pick: a chocolate-covered cricket or a waxworm caterpillar.

Even though Halloween is a time to eat candy, it’s also an opportunity to try creepy crawlers like crickets, grasshoppers and mealworms. In fact, eating bugs has become more popular in the U.S. as more people learn insects’ nutritional benefits and incorporate them into their diet.

Guest: Rebecca Baldwin, associate professor in the University of Florida department of entomology and nematology.

One more time: Another Jags loss

Sunday made five losses in a row for the Jacksonville Jaguars. With the trade deadline approaching, can we expect any moves by the Jags?

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.