In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue but he never set foot in North America. Now, carbon copy replicas of his fleet of ships will do what Columbus didn’t — make landfall in the New World. The ships will be in Saint Marys, Georgia, more than 500 years after the explorer first set sail from Spain.
Wednesday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with Baptist Health CEO Hugh Greene about the Mental Health First Aid initiative. Florida Coastal School of Law professor Kara Roberts and student Lance Francis talked about Saturday’s Citizenship Day and Sulzbacher Center CEO Cindy Funkhouser and Board Chair Pam Chally told us about Thursday’s groundbreaking of Sulzbacher Village.
TALLAHASSEE — Facing pressure to address drug overdoses across the state, Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi rolled out plans Tuesday for a series of workshops and gave support for legislation focused on opioids and drug abuse.
Duval School Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said filling teacher vacancies will be a focus of next year’s budget. As nationally fewer people are deciding to become teachers, Vitti said, during a workshop for next school year’s budget Tuesday, Duval is having trouble recruiting for the upcoming year. Over the last two years, the district recruited more than 500 new teachers from across the country. Duval currently has about 100 vacancies.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson made his first trip to Jacksonville for a tour of the troubled Eureka Garden housing complex Tuesday. He met with residents and local officials, laying out his plans to reform the public housing system.
Tuesday on “First Coast Connect” we heard from local labor attorney Tad Delegal about Mayor Lenny Curry’s pension reform plan. The First Coast Connect Book Club with blogger Stacey Goldring focused on the classic novel “The Stranger.” University of North Florida Communications Department Chair and director of the master’s program Brian Thornton talked about the school’s new master’s degree program in communication management and Florida Blue Foundation vice-president Susan Towler talked about being this month’s “Woman with Heart” raising awareness of Volunteers in Medicine.
Tuesday is the last day for Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp fans to pick a name for the team’s new mascot. Last year, when the Jacksonville Suns became the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp , the team adopted a pink, muscle-bound, fighting crustacean as its logo. Spokesman Marco LaNave calls it “the J shrimp” because it’s “in the shape of a J naturally — for Jacksonville.” But the scrappy little fellow is as yet nameless. “So we asked our fans to submit names for the mascot and we got over 2,000 entries,” he said. LaNave said that list has been narrowed down to five finalists: Jimbo, Mayport, Rocky, Scampi and Shelley. Fans can vote for their favorite at jaxshrimp.com The newly named mascot will be introduced to fans at the Jumbo Shrimp’s season opener Wednesday night at the Jacksonville baseball grounds. Contact reporter Cyd Hoskinson at 904-358-6351, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @cydwjctnews.
Jacksonville attorney John Phillips said he’s conducting a review of what happened during a Hemming Park protest Friday as he prepares to represent at least one of those arrested. Several protesters were arrested during a demonstration against last week’s U.S. airstrikes in Syria. Philips said he’s reviewing all available evidence of what led to the arrests.
Florida’s smoking rate is at an all-time low, and state officials attribute the precipitous drop to aggressive anti-smoking campaigns. But some North Florida counties are struggling to keep pace with statewide success.
BRUNSWICK, GEORGIA — After a six-day trial of a Brunswick pastor on sexual molestation charges, a Glynn County jury deliberated less than an hour Monday, finding Ken Atkins guilty of all charges.