Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

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Melissa Ross

Melissa Ross has 42 articles published.

In addition to her work writing for Florida Politics, Melissa Ross also hosts and produces WJCT’s First Coast Connect, the Jacksonville NPR/PBS station’s flagship local call-in public affairs radio program. The show has won four national awards from Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). First Coast Connect was also recognized in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 as Best Local Radio Show by Folio Weekly’s “Best Of Jax” Readers Poll and Melissa has also been recognized as Folio Weekly’s Best Local Radio Personality. As executive producer of The 904: Shadow on the Sunshine State, Melissa and WJCT received an Emmy in the “Documentary” category at the 2011 Suncoast Emmy Awards. The 904 examined Jacksonville’s status as Florida’s murder capital. During her years in broadcast television, Melissa picked up three additional Emmys for news and feature reporting. Melissa came to WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. Married with two children, Melissa is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism/Communications. She can be reached at m.ross66211@gmail.com.

Foes of Florida’s bear hunt gearing up for new round of protests

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

As the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission debates whether to hold another bear hunt later this year, activists opposed to the practice say they’ll stage a statewide protest to urge the FWC to vote the idea down. Commissioners approved the controversial hunt last year, the first in the state in more than two decades. It was scheduled for seven days, but ended after just two because hunters killed 304 bears, close to the 320-bear quota for the hunt. “Last…

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Aaron Bean to try again with “cold case” legislation

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Families in Florida, who have lost loved ones to unsolved murders, often press in vain for authorities to re-examine their “cold cases.” Duval County alone has more than 1,200 unsolved murders dating back to 1970. Jacksonville resident Ryan Blackman, who lost his father to an unknown killer, has set up an online database in an effort to make sure these many forgotten victims find justice. And Blackman’s Project Cold Case has an ally in State Sen. Aaron Bean. “We’ve got to…

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What goes into being a convention delegate? For starters, some travel expenses

in 2017/Top Headlines by

This wild 2016 campaign season, we’ve heard a lot about delegates. Pledged delegates. Superdelegates. “Unbound” delegates. Delegate math. Delegate count. The delegate tracker! The nation (er, actually just political junkies in this great land of ours) is tracking delegates the way people living in prefab housing in Oklahoma stay glued to the local news when a twister comes roaring through their subdivision. But just who are these mythical delegates? They can be elected officials, party bigwigs, campaign organizers, and even…

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Proposed changes to nation’s school lunch program could impact thousands of Florida children

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

It’s a little-noticed move on Capitol Hill, but one that could negatively impact thousands of Florida children in districts around the state. House lawmakers are proposing legislation that would roll back school lunch laws passed in 2010. These laws guarantee free lunches and after-school meals for children in high-poverty areas. A proposal the House will consider (officially called the Education & Workforce Committee Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill) would change the criteria for what’s known as “community eligibility” — which means…

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#NeverTrump founder Rick Wilson: “Never means never”

in 2017/Top Headlines by

The Florida GOP media consultant and campaign adviser who founded the #NeverTrump movement says he will continue to oppose Trump to the bitter end – and will support the nascent push for a conservative third-party candidate he says better reflects Republican values. “I am willing to look at a conservative third-party option, even if that candidate can’t pull this thing off and win,” Rick Wilson told WJCT.  “And I’m willing to undervote if I have to, and not fill in that line on my ballot.” Wilson, who…

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New report says Florida still has issues with political corruption

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida continues to have some issues with political corruption. That, according to the new survey from the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics Corruption in America. The report is based on responses from hundreds of journalists covering state politics, along with issues related to corruption across all 50 states. Both legal and illegal corruption is measured, with illegal corruption defined as private gains such as cash or gifts by a government official in exchange for specific benefits. Legal corruption, meanwhile, is…

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Bob Graham on Gwen Graham: ‘I’m thrilled’ she might run for governor

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham says he’s “thrilled” his daughter, U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, is considering a run for governor, calling her an “outstanding public servant.” The proud dad noted that his offspring scored very high on Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy ranking of how often each member of Congress works across party lines. “Gwen was No. 1 in the 27 members from Florida, and number seven overall. That’s the kind of leadership she has provided. And should…

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