Cole Pepper

Democratic National Convention

As the Democratic National Convention kicks off in Philadelphia, an unusual question is capturing the attention of cyberspecialists, Russia experts and Democratic Party leaders: Is Vladimir Putin trying to meddle in the American presidential election?

A Wikileaks release on Friday of some 20,000 stolen emails from DNC computer servers has intensified discussion of the potential role of Russian intelligence agencies in disrupting the 2016 campaign.

2016 National Conventions

The 2016 Republican National Convention kicks off tonight in Cleveland.

As Donald Trump prepares to accept his party’s nomination, he’ll seek to bridge deep divisions in a GOP that’s still conflicted about his candidacy.

There are also policy disagreements between Donald Trump and his newly minted running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, on issues like trade, the Iraq War and Trump's proposed Muslim ban.

Lori Boyer

Two-term Jacksonville City Council member Lori Boyer takes the reins this month as that body’s new president, promising to push an ambitious agenda for the city.

Boyer’s tenure comes amid big financial challenges for Jacksonville, as well as growing concerns about public safety and tensions between the black community and police.

Lori Boyer joins us to discuss her priorities for the next year.

Chasing the Dream

The deplorable conditions at the local low-income housing project Eureka Gardens captured national headlines when it came to light residents were living with dangerous mold, leaky gas pipes, and dilapidated stairs. But those conditions aren’t unique to that complex. 

Many local, low-income residents deal with these conditions every day.

For poor people in Jacksonville, finding housing that’s both affordable and livable can be hard to come by. Finding shelter often means settling for dangerously run-down apartments and dealing with the constant threat of eviction.

WJCT’s "Chasing the Dream" series, launching this week on 89.9 FM, examines what housing is available when you’re poor and what’s being done to help against a public housing system that’s underfunded nationwide.

We discuss the issue with WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo, and attorneys Katherine Hanson and Jeff Haynie of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid.

AndrewAvitus / WikiMedia Commons

Sports analyst and WJCT contributor Cole Pepper discussed progress on the new Jacksonville Jaguars indoor practice facility Monday’s First Coast Connect. 

The facility is being built in Everbank Field’s south end zone and is projected to be completed by April 2017.

Nikolai Vitti

Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti joins us to discuss the most pressing issues facing Jacksonville schools, including the ongoing debates over transgender bathrooms, school boundaries, and more.

Orlando Shooting

Investigators continue their efforts to piece together what led to a shooting rampage Sunday at an Orlando gay nightclub.

The mass shooting is the worst in modern American history, with at least 50 people killed and at least 53 injured.

Twenty-nine-year-old Omar Mateen was killed by police at the Pulse nightclub early Sunday morning after opening fire on clubgoers inside

WMFE reporter Brendan Byrne joins us with the latest from Orlando.

We then hear local reaction from Jimmy Midyette, attorney and member of the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality, Dr. Parvez Ahmed, UNF professor and member of the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission, and Eric Friday, attorney and 2nd Amendment advocate.

Mason-Dixon Poll

Mason-Dixon Polling & Research last week released the results of a new survey on the 2016 presidential race in Florida.

Hillary Clinton holds a 3-point lead over Donald Trump in the pool, which shows Hispanics are helping the Democrat, and that the newly named Libertarian presidential candidate might be hurting the Republican.

Clinton has a 45-42 percent lead over Trump in the poll, while Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson comes in a distant third with 6 percent.

Seven percent of respondents were undecided.

We analyze the results of this new poll with UNF professor of political science Dr. Michael Binder, director of the school's Public Opinion Research Laboratory.


Shrinking Middle Class

A new report from the Pew Research Center takes a close look at a growing phenomenon: America’s shrinking middle class.

In most American cities, lower- and higher-income groups are growing while the number of people making middle incomes is shrinking.

Jacksonville is one major city following this trend.

Transgender Students and Bathrooms

A new directive from the Obama administration on the use of school bathrooms by transgender students has provoked a torrent of criticism. It also marks a new front in America's long-running culture wars.

Last week the Departments of Education and Justice sent a letter to every public school district in the country with guidance for how to respect the rights of transgender students.

UNF Poll on Pension, HRO

A new poll shows Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has some work to do to build support for the pension tax referendum Duval County voters will decide this summer.

The new poll from UNF's Public Opinion Research Laboratory says 36 percent of local residents support the idea, with 24 percent opposed. Forty percent of respondents said they have no opinion on the matter.

Lee Woodruff

New York Times bestselling author and CBS This Morning contributor Lee Woodruff was thrust into the position of caregiver after her husband, Bob Woodruff, was injured by a roadside bomb while reporting from Iraq for ABC's World News Tonight.

Lee cared for Bob on his long road to recovery from a traumatic brain injury, experiencing the impact that taking care of a loved one can have on a family, marriage and her own health.

Energy Inequality

An estimated 16 million Americans pay more than 10 percent of their total income on utility bills, more than four times higher than the average consumer.

A new report from the energy equity nonprofit Groundswell finds Jacksonville is the U.S. city struggling the most when it comes to the issue of energy inequality.

According to their research, nearly 15 percent of Jacksonville households living below the poverty line pay more than $200 per month for electricity.

JU Charter Day of Service

Jacksonville University is gearing up to commemorate its Charter Day this Friday.

The school celebrates it as a day of service with hundreds of students, faculty staff and alumni fanning out across Arlington to help more than a dozen nonprofits with a whole range of projects.

And it’s part of the neighborhood’s Renew Arlington turnaround effort as well.

St. Johns Riverkeeper

The Save the St. Johns River Tour just wrapped up, bringing together people united against the degradation of this natural resource.

Advocates for the St. Johns River traveled 310 miles, from the waterway’s headwaters at Fort Drum to the river mouth at Mayport.

We speak with St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman about the trip and what advocates have planned next.

Katie Ride for Life

April is National Donate Life Month, a time to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation.

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