Puerto Rico

Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis Directs Action On Spanish-Language Ballots

Apr 11, 2019
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Gov. Ron DeSantis Transition Team

Amid a federal court battle involving 32 counties, including several in Northeast Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday directed the state’s elections chief to begin a process to address the availability of Spanish-language ballots and Spanish-language voter assistance.

Monday on First Coast Connect we spoke with The Centrist Project Jacksonville chapter leader Perry Waag (01:16).

Doctors Uma Eyyunni and Ravi Kancha told us about local nonprofit Mother’s Cry fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico (35:33).

Cole Pepper gave us a Super Bowl preview and a wrap-up of Sunday’s Pro Bowl and what to expect in the Jaguars off-season (46:00)   


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). 


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Florida has taken in nearly 8,000 students this year after hurricane disasters — the majority of them coming from Puerto Rico during the last couple months, according to the Florida Department of Education.


Carlos Giusti / Associated Press

Florida stepped up its emergency-operations activities Thursday as the federal government plans to offer short-term relocation to Florida or New York for Puerto Ricans still homeless after Hurricane Maria.

Florida Opens Doors For Puerto Rican Students

Oct 9, 2017
University of North Florida

Florida is waiving rules and regulations to let public schools and higher-education institutions admit students from Puerto Rico on an emergency basis, after the island was battered by Hurricane Maria, Gov. Rick Scott has announced.

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.


JEA

Jacksonville utility JEA is sending more than 40 workers to assist in power restoration efforts on the island of Puerto Rico.

Friday on “First Coast Connect,” our weekly Media Roundtable featured Mark Woods from The Florida Times-Union, Charles Griggs from the Jacksonville Free Press and WJCT reporter Lindsey Kilbride (01:53).

We heard about an event this weekend at the Jacksonville Landing to help Puerto Rico victims of Hurricane Maria and also spoke with author Steve Werlin, who wrote “To Fool the Rain: Haiti’s Poor and Their Pathway to a Better Life.”

Jacksonville Historical Society president Alan Bliss and Jacksonville attorney Michael Fisher with the Haitian advocacy group Fonkoze spoke about Haitian relief (28:31).              

Jacksonville AARP Field Coordinator Justine Conley talked about an upcoming race in downtown Jacksonville in conjunction with the YMCA (39:40).

Ahead of his appearance this weekend at the Jacksonville Home and Patio Show we spoke with “This Old House” host Kevin O’Connor (43:56).

      

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).  


Ashton Elder

A recently formed task force is trying to register Duval County Hispanic voters ahead of this year’s elections. The group kicked off its efforts at the Jacksonville Landing last Saturday.


It’s a form of modern-day slavery and one of the fastest growing crimes worldwide.

Federal and state authorities are stepping up their efforts to fight human trafficking of all types, whether it's minors forced into the sex trade or workers coerced into unpaid labor.

Florida is an epicenter for trafficking.

As the nation marks Human Trafficking Awareness Month, we speak with Amanda Rolfe, President, and Prudence Williams, Executive Director, of the Exchange Club Family Center of Northeast Florida about what’s being done here on the First Coast to raise awareness and bring traffickers to justice.