first coast connect

Michael Gilmore / FLICKR

Last week, a Florida appellate court ruled that the system set up for distributing medical marijuana in Florida is unconstitutional. This could be considered a victory for cannabis growers and sellers throughout the state.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry presented a $1.37 billion budget to the City Council on Monday.  The spending plan is focused on public safety and economic development.

Oregon Department of Transportation / FLICKR

Local homeowners and businesses in Jacksonville and Neptune Beach are the latest groups to form a solar co-op. 

Heather Schatz / WJCT

Friday on the First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross Media Roundtable, our panel of journalists looked at the top stories of the week including:


Downtown Jacksonville’s Clara White Mission put out an emergency call to action funding appeal last week. It’s needed to avoid drastic service cuts. Jacksonville City Councilwoman Ju’Coby Pittman runs the organization, and joined us with more.


On the Fourth of July, a video broadcast by WJXT news partner News4Jax, showed a white JSO officer slamming a black suspect’s head into the pavement. 

Man in Overalls

It’s now legal in Florida to grow a vegetable garden in your front yard. The new law is seen as a victory for urban gardeners and food activists working to fight hunger and food insecurity.

Heather Schatz / WJCT

Seth Owen has become a Jacksonville's LGBTQ icon. But before that he was shunned from his family for being gay, faced homelessness and couldn't pay for college, even though he was accepted to Georgetown University. 


Duval County has the highest per capita heroin and fentanyl related death rate of any county in Florida, according to Project Save Lives.

Heather Schatz/WJCT

Former state representative Reggie Fullwood has a new leadership position, two years after he was sentenced in federal court in 2017.

Heather Schatz / WJCT

Friday on the First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross Media Roundtable, our panel of journalists looked at some of the biggest stories of the week including:

JEA's downtown Jacksonville headquarters.
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

JEA may have to lay off more than 500 workers to avoid a big spike in customer’s electric bills.  The public utility has been in downsizing mode for more than a decade. JEA decreased from 2600 employees in 2006 down to 2,191 in 2018. 

Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

As Democratic presidential canidates prepare for the 2020 primary debates in Miami on Wednesday and Thursday nights, 74 medical and public health groups are pushing candiates to make commitments to help fight against climate change. The groups are framing climate change as a public health emergency.

June is Pride Month and to celebrate it, a pride prom was going to be held at the Willowbranch location of the Jacksonville Public Library on Friday, June 28. But the event has now been canceled by the library due to security concerns