Atlantic Beach

Friday on “First Coast Connect,” guest host Ryan Benk led our weekly Media Roundtable with panelists Florida Times-Union reporter Dan Scanlan, Folio Weekly Editor Claire Goforth, Florida Politics reporter A.G. Gancarski and Jacksonville Business Journal Editor Timothy Gibbons (01:07). We spoke with K9s United Executive Director Eric Heineman about his organization and how the upcoming Spanish Wine Festival in St. Augustine (39:51) will benefit it, and Jacksonville musician Jenni Reid performed live in Studio 5 (48:36).     

Brandt Absolu / Flickr

Cyclists and pedestrians will soon have a safer route across the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge on Atlantic Boulevard.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry celebrated the end of a multi-million dollar project to rebuild area beaches after last fall’s Hurricane Matthew.

exterior of plaza
Google Maps

The owners of the former Kmart shopping center in Neptune Beach are asking the Beaches community for input as they redevelop the site.

Nuijens at work
Warren Miller

Tom Nuijens grew up in Fort Lauderdale, waterskiing and surfing. His family was devoted to good food.

“We all loved dinner hour, which is kind of unusual for younger kids,” he says. “My father was the cook of the family. My sister is an accomplished cook, and my nephew is a James Beard Award chef.”

John Stinson / Twitter

Atlantic Beach businessman John Stinson is running for city commissioner against incumbent Maria Mark this month.

During an appearance on WJCT's “First Coast Connect,” Stinson talked about some of the leading issues in his campaign.

“I chose to run for office because during the [human rights ordinance] debate I heard the comment was made that 'some things are too important to let the voters decide,'” Stinson said.

Businessman John Stinson is taking on incumbent Atlantic Beach City Commissioner Maria Mark in this month's City Commission elections. We speak with Stinson about the issues he's focusing on in his campaign.

City of Atlantic Beach

Atlantic Beach City Commissioner Maria Mark is running for re-election this month after occupying the position for the past four years.

Mark is best known for leading the effort to pass the first and only inclusive human rights ordinance or HRO in Northeast Florida. The ordinance bans acts of discrimination against LGBT residents and visitors in Atlantic Beach.

Atlantic Beach City Commissioner Maria Mark is currently running for re-election against challenger John Stinson. Mark is best known for leading the effort to pass the first and only inclusive Human Rights Ordinance in Northeast Florida. The city of Atlantic Beach passed an inclusive HRO in August of 2014. We speak with Maria Mark about this and other key issues in her campaign.

Michael Casey / Flickr

The Beaches Branch Library located in Neptune Beach is getting some renovations in the near future.

A meeting about the planned library improvements is scheduled for Monday at 6 p.m.

The meeting is at the Beaches Branch Library on Third Street, blocks away from downtown Neptune Beach. City officials will be giving a presentation about upcoming changes to the library.

The library was partially renovated last year. But the city terminated the contractor and is now seeking a new one.

We discuss the week's biggest news stories with our roundtable of local journalists: Fred Matthews, Examiner blogger; Andrew Pantazi, Florida Times-Union reporter; Tim Gibbons, Jacksonville Business Journal editor; A.G. Gancarski, Folio Weekly and columnist.

Topics include Marissa Alexander's release from jail, former Atlantic Beach police chief Michael Classey taking a plea deal on five felony drug counts, the outcomes of local Republican primary elections this week, Gov. Rick Scott's budget, and more.


Michael Dunn, former Atlantic Beach police chief Michael Classey and ridesharing services are making headlines this week.


The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has arrested former Atlantic Beach police chief Michael Classey on 21 counts of drug trafficking, possession and evidence tampering.

gay pride flag
Ted Eytan / Flickr

With a unanimous four to nothing vote, Atlantic Beach this week became the first city in Northeast Florida to adopt a Human Rights Ordinance that includes protections for sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.  

gay pride flag
Ted Eytan / Flickr

This week the city of Atlantic Beach moved ahead with a potential update of its Human Rights Ordinance.