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First Coast Connect

An update on the case against two former JEA executives

The JEA headquarters in Downtown Jacksonville.
Jacksonville Daily Record
The JEA headquarters in Downtown Jacksonville.

Nate Monroe, metro columnist for the Florida Times Union, stopped by to give us an update on the federal case against two former JEA executives — CEO Aaron Zahn and CFO Ryan Wannemacher. Both face charges of fraud and conspiracy from related to the attempt to privatize Jacksonville’s city-owned utility company.

United Way

Melanie Patz, president and CEO of the United Way of Northeast Florida, joined Jacksonville Today reporter Will Brown to share insights about an impactful new program designed to assist Jacksonville residents in maintaining the sanctity of their homes.

Mackenzie Scott presented a remarkable $10 million gift to the United Way, directing $4 million of this generous contribution toward aiding 12,000 residents in rectifying home repairs within the communities of North Riverside and the Eastside. Additionally, $5 million has been allocated to the crucial cause of repairing existing homes, providing essential support to residents who strive to maintain their cherished homes.

Resettling refugees

Jacksonville boasts a vibrant history of embracing refugees, marked by the implementation of highly effective programs designed to seamlessly integrate newcomers into the community fabric. Laura Cook, refugee resettlement director at Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida, passionately shared the remarkable success stories of these integration initiatives, which have positively impacted thousands of individuals annually.

LSS also unveiled its new program, Circle of Welcome, to get the community involved with supporting refugee families in our city.

Mister Rogers Sweater Drive

Fred Rogers once said, “There are three ways to ultimate success. The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.’’

Kemal Gasper, vice president of community engagement at VyStar Credit Union, and David McGowan, president and CEO of WJCT Public Media, shared the legacy of Mister Rogers Sweater Drive and how you can get involved.

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Kathy Waterman joined WJCT News 89.9 as associate producer after graduating from the University of North Florida with a degree in multimedia journalism. She was previously a production intern on the station's talk shows.