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First Coast Connect

The Moving Florida Forward Plan; help for Turkey; 'Untold Stories"; best Jax events

This file photo shows roadwork on Collins Road on Jacksonville's Westside.
Bob Self
Florida Times-Union
This file photo shows roadwork on Collins Road on Jacksonville's Westside.

If passed by the state Legislature, the Moving Florida Forward Plan would invest $4 billion right now from a surplus in the state general fund, and for the next four years, the state would also redirect $131 million annually to Florida’s State Transportation Work Program.

And they’ll leverage the funds to add an estimated $3 billion more that would expedite 20 priority infrastructure projects, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

We’re taking a closer look at efforts to shore up Florida’s — and Jacksonville’s — infrastructure with Buckley Williams, executive vice president of public infrastructure at England-Thims and Miller; and Bill Delaney of The Jaxson.

Aid for Turkey

The death toll in Turkey from last month's devastating earthquake has risen to 45,089, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority said Wednesday, bringing the total toll including Syria to about 51,000. The earthquake and subsequent powerful tremors injured more than 108,000 in Turkey and left millions sheltering in tents or seeking to move to other cities.

If you’ve been looking for a local way to help those affected by earthquake, you’re in luck. That’s because the Turkish Food Festival is taking place this Saturday. All proceeds from the event will help the earthquake victims. Aliye Karakoyun and Bengisu Bektas, both of whom are volunteering for this effort, joined us with details.

'Untold Stories' on WJCT

The Florida Theatre, in partnership with WJCT Public Media, is proud to present "Untold Stories," a new radio program that will also be published as a podcast on all major platforms. Episodes will air at 7 p.m. Sunday evenings in March 2023 on WJCT 89.9 FM.

"Untold Stories" is a project of the nonprofit Florida Theatre. Honoring the tradition of oral storytelling in a modern context, "Untold Stories" showcases six local storytellers in quarterly thematic story evenings. Numa Saisselin, president of the Florida Theatre, and Barbara Colaciello, artistic director, were here with a preview.


Toni Smailagic of Cre8Jax has been photographing Jax events — and the people who attend them — for years.

He also puts together a list of the best events and places to check out and shares them online.

Local multimedia personality Catalina Selvagn can often be found at these events alongside Toni. They joined us with THE MOVE — their picks for this week and next!

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Heather is the senior producer of WJCT 89.9 FM talk shows including First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, the Florida Roundup and What's Health Got to Do with It?