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First Coast Connect

Environmental justice; Freed to Run; new art exhibit Downtown: Jags blow another game

Flooding on Ken Knight Drive from Tropical Storm Nicole.
Hope McMath
Yellow House
Flooding on Ken Knight Drive from Tropical Storm Nicole.

Nicole is long gone, but it showed us once again that the effects of climate change disproportionately affect low-income and minority communities. We can expect more of this as bigger and stronger hurricanes keep battering Florida as the oceans heat up.

For the second time in the span of about five years, several homes on Ken Knight Drive were flooded and damaged last week as Hurricane Nicole made its way through Florida.

The predominantly Black neighborhood sits along the Ribault River, which overflowed into the community, just as it did during Hurricane Irma in 2017. Several residents have been temporarily displaced, according to reporting from our partners at News4Jax.

Students in the University of North Florida’s new Global Environmental Justice course recently teamed up with Groundwork Jacksonville for a tour of North Riverside and Mixon Town to learn about environmental justice issues in those communities and potential solutions, like the Emerald Trail. The senior research seminar, which is co-taught by Charles Closmann and Josh Gellers, aims to teach students about environmental activism in their communities.


  • State Rep. Angie Nixon, D-Jacksonville.
  • Hope McMath, director and founder of Yellow House.
  • Charles Closmann, associate history professor at UNF.
  • Emma Cartwright, UNF student.

Freed to Run

Jacksonville attorney Mike Freed is the man behind Freed to Run, an event that features six marathons in six days, running all the way from Tallahassee to Jacksonville. Funds raised through the marathon relay series are used to provide legal aid for underprivileged communities in Northeast Florida.


  • Attorney Mike Freed.
  • Attorney Jim Kowalski.

New art exhibition in Downtown Jacksonville

Moving the Margins, an artist-in-residence program and exhibition space, opened its latest exhibition in Downtown Jacksonville over the weekend.

":Tabono’s Tempo: Standing Room Only" was created by Moving the Margins’ newest artist-in-residence, Roosevelt Watson III.


  • Roosevelt Watson III, local artist
  • Shawana Brooks, creator and artistic director of Moving the Margins.

The Jacksonville Jaguars blow yet another game

Despite a big win last week, the Jaguars have lost yet another game, this time to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Nicole brought some good waves to the First Coast as pro surfers took advantage of the water this weekend at the Super Girl Pro surf contest.

Guest: WJCT Sports Analyst Josh Torres.

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Special Projects Producer Brendan Rivers joined WJCT News in August of 2018 after several years as a reporter and then News Director at Southern Stone Communications, which owns and operates several radio stations in the Daytona Beach area.