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First Coast Connect

Climate solutions; Operation New Hope; Election Day; Cummer topiaries

Hurricane Irma left Ortega flooded in Jacksonville.

Think you’ve got a solution to a climate problem in Northeast Florida? It could be good enough to win up to $10,000 in funding to take it to the next step.

Jacksonville University is launching the JU Climate Innovation Challenge to invite community members to submit innovative solutions to environmental challenges and win funding to make their ideas come true.

The Challenge is a Shark Tank-style grant competition open to residents of all ages. Application details are available here.

We learned more from Quint White of the JU Marine Science Research Lab and Nick Allard, dean of the JU College of Law.

Operation New Hope

Operation New Hope provides help, hope and support for those trying to build a future. The project has received national praise for its work with people affected by the criminal justice system.

The group's 2nd annual Hope Starts Here 5K is set for Saturday.

We got a preview from President & CEO Reggie Fullwood.

Election Day

Today is Election Day in Jacksonville, and the polls are open until 7 p.m.

Tonight, we’ll know who the city’s next mayor will be, and some other local offices will be decided too.

Attorney and author Chris Hand, former chief of staff for the city of Jacksonville, joined us for more.

Cummer topiaries

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is inviting you to a special event this morning.

Self-taught topiary artist Mike "Gibby-Siz" Gibson will demonstrate his unique and whimsical style by sculpting four site specific topiaries in the Cummer Gardens. Make it a Florida morning, sip some orange juice and watch the magic happen.

Mike Gibson joined us with Patrick MacRae, the Doolittle family director of gardens and horticulture at the Cummer Museum.

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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.