First Coast Connect

First Coast Connect

From WJCT 89.9 FM Jacksonville

Host Melissa Ross gets plugged in to everything thats happening around the First Coast. Join me as we launch First Coast Connect, a new show covering the issues, trends and newsmakers that have people talking. Get connected. This one hour programs airs Monday to Friday at 9am.More from First Coast Connect »

Most Recent Episodes

10/24/2016: Juvenile Justice; Secrets of Ma'at; ONECOR924

Guest host Ryan Benk was joined Monday by Florida Times-Union reporter Tessa Duvall, who wrote a story about how, despite the Supreme Court's ruling life prison sentences for minors are unconstitutional, it could take years for some convicted in Duval County to see any change in their sentences. We were also joined by Pastor Phillip Baber and Nancy Ricker of I-CARE, which is pushing to increase the use of civil citations in Jacksonville. Author Ebony Payne-English spoke about her new book of poetry, "The Secrets of Ma'at." And Kim Bynum and Michele McManamon from the group ONECOR924 told us about their program to help former athletes.

10/21/2016: Media Roundtable; Dave Barry; Mary Chapin Carpenter

Our weekly Media Roundtable included Tessa Duval, reporter for the Florida Times-Union; Tim Gibbons, editor of the Jacksonville Business Journal; Claire Goforth, editor of Folio Weekly, and WJCT reporters Lindsey Kilbride and Ryan Benk. Host Melissa Ross also spoke with humor essayist Dave Barry about his latest book, "Best. State. Ever," and singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter about her latest album and concert next week at the Florida Theatre.

10/20/2016: Refugees; Breast Cancer; Jacksonville Arboretum

Thursday on First Coast Connect we discussed the international refugee crisis. Jacksonville University is hosting a panel discussion on the topic this week. We heard from University of North Florida professor Leslie Kaplan; Travis Trice from World Relief, which assists local refugees; and Amy Stalker, the president of the Jacksonville Chapter of the United Nations Association. Host Melissa Ross also spoke with Dr. Sarah McLaughlin from the Mayo Clinic about Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Willis Jones, of the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens, told us about its upcoming ArborEATum Wine and Food Fest.

10/19/2016: See The Girls; Kelly Mathis; Hope At Hand; Chris Thomas

On Wednesday's First Coast Connect we discussed the See the Girl Summit being held Thursday and Friday at the Jessie Ball duPont Center with Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center CEO Lawanda Ravoira and Roy Miller, president of the Tallahassee-based Children's Campaign. We were also joined by attorneys Kelly Mathis and Mitch Stone. Host Melissa Ross also welcomed Steffani Fletcher, the executive director of Hope at Hand about their mission that provides art and poetry therapy to at-risk youth. Then Chris Thomas of the Chris Thomas Band joined the show to talk about his new CD and two shows being held this week.

10/18/2016: Amendment 2; Trainwrecks; MS Bike Tour

A lively discussion about the medical marijuana amendment, Amendment 2, was featured on First Coast Connect. We were joined by Susan Pitman of Drug Free Duval. Host Melissa Ross also spoke by phone with author Sady Doyle about her book "Trainwreck," which takes a look at the sometimes unusual behavior of female celebrities and what it says about our society's views on women. We also spoke to National MS Society North Florida Chapter President Corrina Madrid and cyclist and multiple sclerosis victim Ellen Kallaher about this Saturday's MS: PGA Tour Cycle to the Shore bicycling fundraiser at TPC Sawgrass.

10/17/2016: Sewage Spills; Free Thought Society; & Cole Pepper

On Monday's First Coast Connect we discussed the problem of sewage overflows in Jacksonville after Hurricane Matthew. More than 11 million gallons of sewage have been discharged around Duval County, and after Hurricane Hermine, 20 million gallons flowed into Tampa Bay. Host Melissa Ross spoke by phone with Alyson Kenward of Climate Central, an independent organization researching climate change. We also spoke with Bill Mefford, the faith research specialist for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, regarding a Monday meeting at the First Coast Freethought Society, and Cole Pepper talked about the Jaguars win over the Chicago Bears plus the weekend's sports news.

10/14/2016: Media Roundtable; Florida Bat Festival; Civic Orchestra Of Jacksonville

Our weekly Media Roundtable featured Tonyaa Weathersbee of the Florida Times-Union; blogger Fred Mathews, formerly of the Examiner; A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics; and WJCT business analyst John Burr. The panel discussed with host Melissa Ross the fallout over JEA's response to restoring electric service and sewage problems. Brian Pope from the Lubee Bat Conservancy in Gainesville joined us on the phone to talk about next weekend's Florida Bat Festival and Jacksonville Civic Orchestra president and co-founder Nadine Terk talked about their free concert on Sunday. Principal flutist Julie Badger performed live.

10/14/2016: Media Roundtable; Florida Bat Festival; Civic Orchestra Of Jacksonville

10/13/2016: Pamela Goodwin; State Of The Arts; Drybar; Luckin On Dylan

After a federal judge ordered Florida to extend its voter registration deadline to Oct. 18, we spoke with League of Women Voters- Florida President Pamela Goodman. The LWV was one of the groups that filed a complaint against Governor Rick Scott, who refused to extend the deadline after Hurricane Matthew. Melissa Ross was also joined by Tony Allegretti from the Jacksonville Cultural Council, and Cressman Bronson and Kim Reckley from PNC Bank to discuss Thursday's local State of the Arts luncheon and the local arts groups that were awarded PNC Arts Alive grants for 2016. Ross also spoke with Drybar founder Alli Webb, who opened her first Jacksonville salon this weekend in Brooklyn. WJCT music director David Luckin joined Ross to talk about Bob Dylan, who had been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

10/12/2016: Ken McGurn; National Farmers Day; World Blindness Awareness Month; H. Lee Peterson

Florida 3rd Congressional district candidate Democrat Ken McGurn joined host Melissa Ross to discuss his race against incumbent Republican Ted Yoho. As part of our regular Going Green segment, we spoke with Hastings farmer Danny Johns of Blue Sky Famers, as well as Dr. Shahriar Nabizadeh about organic and traditional farming in honor Wednesday of National Farmers Day. With October being World Blindness Awareness Month, we spoke with WJCT Morning Edition host and Radio Reading Service manager Michelle Corum and Doug Hansard, the President of the Jacksonville Council of the Blind. We also met award winning animation director H. Lee Peterson, who is in town to speak to students at the University of North Florida. He was joined by local filmmaker Jerry Smith of PineRidge Film and Television.

10/12/2016: Ken McGurn; National Farmers Day; World Blindness Awareness Month; H. Lee Peterson

10/11/2016: Sunshine State Survey; Matthew Insurance Claims; Book Club; Visionary Scholars

University of South Florida political science professor Susan MacManus joined host Melissa Ross Tuesday to talk about the latest Sunshine State Survey asking Floridians what their greatest concerns as the presidential election looms. With the cleanup from Hurricane Matthew continuing on the First Coast, we spoke with Vicky Zelen, president of Zelen Risk Solutions insurance agency, about what you need to do to make a flood insurance claim. First Coast Connect Book Club blogger Stacey Goldring spoke about some Halloween themed favorites, and we spoke with David Williams from the Mike Williams Foundation, Dr. Ismael Maomou from Guinea, Dr. Abba Hydara from Gambia and Bill Sorenson from the Rotary Club of Jacksonville about the annual Mike Williams Visionary Scholars program.

10/11/2016: Sunshine State Survey; Matthew Insurance Claims; Book Club; Visionary Scholars

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