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First Coast Connect

The hazards of sugar cane burning

U.S. Sugar

For years, some Floridians have witnessed what’s known as “black snow.” From October to May, it’s a time when sugar cane farmers burn their stalks in preparation for the upcoming season. But, during these six months of frequent fires, have we considered the associated risks? Reporter Michael Adno joins us to share his findings.

You can find his article here.

AI in higher education

Artificial intelligence is increasingly making its way into classrooms, sparking a lively debate on its effect in higher education. Wednesday night, four university presidents from the First Coast will share their perspectives on generative AI and what it means for the future of higher education.


  • Audrey Antee, director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning at Florida State College at Jacksonville. 
  • Scott Cason, associate director at the Academy for Teaching and Learning at FSCJ.

If you are interested in attending this event, you can find more information here.

Atlantic Coast High School 

Every year, Duval’s high schools team up with a travel education company to offer students an enriching experience overseas. Despite being the ultimate field trip, the associated costs often are a barrier for many students. One local student, Amorita, a hearing- impaired sophomore from Atlantic Coast High School, faced an additional challenge: She discovered she would need to pay double to bring her interpreter on the trip. Her teacher, Sarah Colado, stepped in and created a GoFundMe campaign to turn Amorita’s dream of Italy into reality. The effort covered the full cost to have Amorita's interpreter with her.

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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.