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First Coast Connect

Redistricting; honoring Harriet Beecher Stowe; ADAPT: The State of the St. Johns River; Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair

The Jacksonville City Council met Wednesday and will meet again Thursday.
The Tributary
The Jacksonville City Council met Wednesday and will meet again Thursday.

In this election season, Jacksonville City Council is under pressure to redraw the city’s lines of political power.

A federal judge has ordered the council to redraw council maps, ruling they were likely gerrymandered to dilute Black voting power in the city.

City Council has been meeting about the new maps all week and is scheduled to vote Friday. But council members say they do not intend to comply with the Voting Rights Act.

Guest: Andrew Pantazi of the Tributary.

Honoring Harriet Beecher Stowe

A local composer is honoring Civil War author Harriet Beecher Stowe with a new work of music.

The first of three planned Harriet Beecher Stowe works will premiere this weekend. It is a setting of her poetry conceived as a "requiem" for the millions of souls lost to COVID-19.

Stowe, who authored "Uncle Tom’s Cabin," the explosive book that helped turn Americans against the evils of slavery, once made her winter home in Mandarin, and even founded (with her husband) a church that is still thriving.

Guest: Composer Bob Moore.

ADAPT: The State of the St. Johns River

We want to invite you to a special event Thursday night at WJCT Studios, 100 Festival Park Ave. in Jacksonville. The event is ADAPT: The State of the St. Johns River, a panel discussion looking at the latest report on the health of the waterway.


Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair

The fair is in the air — along with the scent of funnel cakes! The Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair opens Thursday at the fairgrounds next to TIAA Bank Field.

Guest: Bill Olsen, president and CEO of the fair.

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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.