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First Coast Connect

New Jacksonville leaders; Ocearch; The Great Race; What's Good Wednesday

Mayor-elect Donna Deegan speaks at a news conference Thursday, May 25, 2023, at Jacksonville City Hall.
Corey Perrine
Florida Times-Union
Mayor-elect Donna Deegan speaks at a news conference Thursday, May 25, 2023, at Jacksonville City Hall.

Change is coming to our city’s leadership starting tomorrow, when newly elected City Council members will be sworn in, as will the council’s new leadership.

And, it will continue into next week, when Mayor-elect Donna Deegan will be sworn in.

For a closer look, we spoke with Mike Binder, faculty director at the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida.


Jacksonville University and its partner, Ocearch, are receiving $5 million in funding from the state of Florida for the Ocearch Global Headquarters in Mayport. The facility will serve as the hub for ocean research efforts, experiential education programs and vessel operations.

Quint White, executive director of Jacksonville University’s Marine Science Research Institute, and Bryan Franks, assistant director of marine science research and graduate programs at JU, joined us with more.

The Great Race

Saturday will bring the 40th iteration of The Great Race, a cross-country classic car rally that starts right here in Northeast Florida.

More than 100 vehicles are scheduled to set out Saturday morning from Francis Field in St. Augustine. The end of the event is 1,700 miles away in Pueblo, Colorado.

Joining use to share more about The Great Race were WJCT News’ own Dan Scanlan, who has driven in the race himself, and the director of The Great Race, Jeff Strum.

What’s Good Wednesday

Well, it’s Wednesday, so that means it’s time for a midweek look at what’s good here on the First Coast.

Today is International Yoga Day, so let’s start with Tony Hannekan of Yoga 4 Change. An International Yoga Day donation-based class will take place at 6:30 p.m. today at the Ocean Front Park, 429 1st Street S. in Jax Beach. Parking there is free.

And join us tomorrow for "First Coast Connect LIVE" as we wish Melissa Ross well in her new career and celebrate her final live show on the air. Enjoy breakfast and a live viewing. David Luckin, our executive producer, joined us today with more details.

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Cortnye Jackson is a senior at the University of North Florida. She is majoring in multimedia journalism. Outside of class, she has her own business where she customizes pens for any occasion. After graduation, Cortnye hopes to work in the radio side of journalism or become a news anchor.