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First Coast Connect

Controversy in a small town

Rayonier Advanced Materials, News4Jax

A local community is concerned about a proposed bioethanol project they fear could pose environmental and safety hazards to their small coastal town.

We talk to residents of Fernandina Beach who oppose the proposed plant over pollution and safety concerns, as well as RYAM company officials who say the plant will be safe and production of sustainable fuels is a positive for the community and the planet.


  • Medardo Monzon, chemist and former president of the First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
  • Tom Budd, Fernandina Beach resident who lives 100 yards from the site of the proposed bioethanol facility.
  • Mark Homans, senior project manager, RYAM.
  • David Rogers, senior biomaterials and environmental manager, RYAM.

Then, a local LGBTQ trans-owned business shares how they'll celebrate Pride all month long.

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Jamie Valet has covered local news and entertainment in Northeast Florida/Southeast Georgia for over 25 years. One of her favorite roles was co-producing and booking guests for a live local talk show, "The Chat," which aired live weekdays on First Coast News. Jamie has a decade of experience working in corporate communications, most recently for IKEA U.S., where she was responsible for media relations, marketing, and external and internal communications in the Jacksonville market. She also has experience in the nonprofit sector, where she coordinated area events and managed multiple social media platforms. <br/><br/>