hurricane maria

A big discrepancy between Puerto Rico’s official death toll from Hurricane Maria and lives lost according to Harvard researchers has prompted U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida) and other Democrats to call for new standards in counting storm deaths.

Sen. Nelson, Rep. Soto Heading Back To Puerto Rico

Dec 26, 2017
Puerto Rico
Carlos Giusti / Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and U.S. Rep. Darren Soto are traveling to Puerto Rico Wednesday to get a firsthand look at the on-going recovery from the Sept. 20 hit by deadly and powerful Hurricane Maria.

Jose Lopez

Monday on First Coast Connect we spoke with 17-year-old author Jose Lopez who is writing a memoir about his experience in Puerto Rico and his family moving to Florida (01:17).   

Executive Director of Greenscape of Jacksonville Anna Dooley and Executive Director and General Counsel of the Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute John November talked about the launch of the Defend Florida Trees campaign (24:11).  

Kathryn McAvoy of the Performers Academy told us about the upcoming Truth and Proof Youth Open Mic Night (36:19).

Cole Pepper talked about the Jaguars big win over Seattle, the Heisman Trophy winner and the great start by Florida State men’s basketball (46:00). 

Hurricanes Leave Uncertainly In Florida Schools Enrollment

Oct 12, 2017
Carlos Giusti / Associated Press

The impact of hurricanes may be a complicating factor as lawmakers try to figure out how many students are in Florida's public schools this year and how many might show up next year.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

On Wednesday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and a group of Crowley Maritime employees met at Jacksonville’s JAXPORT to discuss ongoing relief efforts for Puerto Rico.

Jesse Romimora /

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday declared a state of emergency in Florida in anticipation of ripples from the growing humanitarian crisis in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

Tuesday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with WJCT’s Corporate Secretary Carlos Semidei and local resident Elisha Sosa. Both have relatives and friends in Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria (01:02).

Local Fraternal Order of Police President Steve Zona joined us to talk about his call for the resignation of two city council members after they had an altercation with police (11:11).       

We heard about this being Banned Book Week in America with First Coast Connect Book Club leader Stacey Goldring and Keli Likins, who is the regional manager of the Jacksonville Public Library (30:33).

Kelly Mannel with Jacksonville’s Image Partners discussed a national conference coming to Jacksonville focusing on mindfulness (42:44).  

Why Hurricane Maria will Miss Florida

Sep 21, 2017

Hurricane Maria is moving over the same waters Irma plowed through just two weeks ago, but on a much different course with a much better outcome as it relates to Florida. Rather than barreling west and threatening the U.S., Maria is turning north much sooner and not a direct threat.

Hurricane Maria's Maximum Sustained Winds Increase to 125 mph Monday Afternoon

Sep 18, 2017

Hurricane Maria had maximum sustained winds of 125 mph Monday at 2 p.m., according to the National Hurricane Center.

Maria could be the second major hurricane in as many weeks to threaten the islands of the northeast Caribbean. A Hurricane Warning has been issued for Dominica, and Hurricane Watches are in effect for all of the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Tropical Storm Maria is not as strong as Irma was, but still likely to be a powerful and destructive hurricane when it passes through the island chain on Tuesday.