Cole Pepper

As parents, students and teachers prepare for the first day of classes, Duval County Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti joins us with a look at his and the district's priorities for the new school year.


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.


An internal investigation is underway following the deaths of two inmates at Baker Correctional Institution in Sanderson, Florida last week.

They’re just the latest inmate deaths in Florida, which have sparked calls for reform of the state’s correctional system. Florida has the third-largest prison system in the nation, with more than 100,000 inmates and a $2.1 billion budget.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate whether a political bribery scandal at a company that sells red light cameras extends to the firm's contracts with five Florida cities, including Jacksonville.

The Chicago Tribune reported last month that the former CEO of RedFlex had pleaded guilty in a federal bribery investigation. Also, a Tribune investigation uncovered wrongdoing in a Chicago contract, with allegations involving bribes paid to a politically connected former city official.

RedFlex operates the cameras at intersections all around town and in other major Florida cities.

We discuss the issue with Mark Seiden attorney and professor with Florida Coastal School of Law, and Paul Henry, a retired Florida state trooper who has been lobbying against red light cameras in the state via the Liberty First Network.


Gov. Rick Scott has ordered an independent analysis of the state's prison system and the development of two prisons to test new ways of handling and housing prisoners with mental health issues, as well as the general population. Scott is also directing the Department of Corrections to work with the departments of Children and Families and Juvenile Justice on how to improve mental health services. That’s a change mental health advocates say is badly needed here in the Sunshine State. We discuss the issue with Denise Marzullo, President and CEO of Mental Health America of Northeast Florida.


The "Voices of the River" event this weekend aims to spotlight the important role the St. Johns River has played in our area’s history and continues to play today. The MOSH, the Cummer Museum and the Ritz Theatre will each have programming that explores the people and perspectives that have interacted with the St. Johns River through the years. This part of the larger Cultural Fusion Year of the River initiative celebrating the St.

Teaction continues to pour in after the Supreme Court on Friday declared same-sex marriage a constitutional right. However, religious conservatives decried the decisionm, calling it an example of judicial overreach. Jacksonville activists supporting the cause of marriage equality say their work on this issue is not yet done, as this remains one of only a few major cities in the United States that lacks discrimination protections for gays and lesbians. We discuss the ruling with Jacksonville attorney and activist Jimmy Midyette.


As a new Jacksonville City Council prepares to convene for the first time this month, there is renewed controversy over the issue of sectarian prayer at Council meetings. Over the years, meetings have often, but not always, began with an invocation of Christian prayer. Activists have long held this violates the Constitution and have called for either a moment of silence or a more inclusive prayer tradition to recognize those of other faiths or no faith living in Duval County.

The Downtown Investment Authority is asking for community input at a public meeting this week on what should be done to redevelop the Jacksonville Landing in downtown. We discuss what could be in store for the Landing, and issues facing downtown in general, with Tim Gibbons, Jacksonville Business Journal editor, and Doris Goldstein, Downtown Investment Authority board member.

The Florida House voted down an expansion of Medicaid on Friday. Lawmakers were called back into special session this month to try to come to an agreement on health care spending. The Florida Coastal School of Law’s Disability and Public Benefits Clinic has several clients affected by the “no” vote on Medicaid expansion. We speak with Clinic director Sarah Sullivan and law student Jenny Rose.

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