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Melissa Ross
Melissa Ross is the Host and Producer of “First Coast Connect” on NPR member station WJCT-FM 89.9 in Jacksonville, Florida. She is an Emmy award-winning broadcaster with more than 20 years of radio and television news experience.

Follow her on Twitter @MelissainJax or at

Entries by Melissa Ross

Florida's One Spark Crowdfunding Festival Sparks a Fire

(3) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 8:36 PM

If you haven't heard of One Spark yet, something tells me you soon will.

"The world's first crowdfunding festival," as it's known, started in Jacksonville, Fla., last year and had a decent go of it in 2013. It's a simple, yet powerful concept -- present an edgy yet...

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Biannela Susana: A Second Chance

(1) Comments | Posted September 16, 2013 | 2:47 PM

She was called "the worst mother in the world."

Twenty-five-year-old Biannela Susana, a widowed Latina mother of four, whose oldest son, Cristian Fernandez, became the youngest person in Jacksonville history to be charged as an adult for first-degree murder. Police say he beat his baby brother David's head...

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Chicago Isn't the Only City With a Gun Violence Problem: The Stories of the 904

(4) Comments | Posted February 20, 2013 | 3:54 PM

It's no holiday. February 16 is now known as Jordan Davis Dayi n Jacksonville, Florida. That's because Davis, who would have turned 18 on that date, was shot and killed last Thanksgiving after a confrontation over loud music at a gas station. His accused killer, 46-year-old Michael Dunn,...

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The Golden Globes Gets Some Long-Overdue Girl Power

(4) Comments | Posted October 17, 2012 | 1:22 PM

Of all the sexist myths that stubbornly refuse to die in our society, perhaps the one that ticks me off the most is the old canard that "women aren't funny."

The late John Belushi of Saturday Night Live was famous (infamous) for dismissing his female castmates that way....

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Anchorman-Inspired Newsroom Street Fight Rocks Twitter, Jacksonville Media

(5) Comments | Posted February 27, 2012 | 10:58 AM

The whole thing started as a joke on Twitter.

After reading a piece right here on the Huffington Post about two film directors who made a pact to start a fake Twitter feud-- hey, nothing better for publicity! -- I proposed the idea to a friendly Jacksonville rival,...

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Paterno, Penn State and Patriarchy

(4) Comments | Posted November 10, 2011 | 1:49 PM

When you Google the origins of the surname Paterno, you learn it referred not only to the makers of rosaries and beads, but was also a status name to imply "father figure."

Sadly, it's a short leap from Paterno to patriarchy, strictly defined as a social organization marked by...

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170 Million Strong Support NPR

(78) Comments | Posted January 8, 2011 | 9:25 AM

On Friday morning as I was driving to work, listening to the always outstanding and insightful NPR program Morning Edition, a short report aired that is emblematic of why this country must continue to embrace and support a vibrant public media.

The piece, reported by Media Correspondent David...

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Women Are Off to the Races

(0) Comments | Posted November 2, 2010 | 5:25 PM

There's a small but incredibly telling scene in the new film Secretariat that has women of a certain age chuckling, somewhat ruefully, about how things used to be. Diane Lane, portraying the housewife-turned-sportswoman Penny Chenery, is trying to resuscitate her father's moribund horse farm and so, being savvy,...

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Will Florida Voters "Cross Over" This November?

(2) Comments | Posted August 30, 2010 | 11:44 AM

The day before Florida's primary election, a rock-ribbed Republican friend of mine here in Jacksonville sent me a Twitter message.

"What's your feel, McCollum or Scott?"

"McCollum +4 pts," I replied.

As they say on Twitter, #epicfail.

The Rick Scott upset here in Florida over Attorney General Bill...

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Jaguars to L.A.? Don't Take It to the EverBank!

(15) Comments | Posted July 28, 2010 | 11:45 AM

Ari Gold is on a mission. As all Entourage fans know, the super-agent portrayed so winningly by Jeremy Piven is this close to a deal that would bring an NFL franchise to Los Angeles -- and would feature real-life players Casey Wasserman and Jeffrey Katzenberg as part of...

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Why I Love Hot in Cleveland

(16) Comments | Posted July 9, 2010 | 12:57 PM

So LeBron is leaving tire tracks on I-77 as he leaves the city we used to call "The Mistake By the Lake," and heading for the decidedly more glamorous confines of South Beach. That's all well and good, and I wish him, and the Heat, nothing but the...

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When Will the Sunshine State Embrace Solar Power?

(14) Comments | Posted June 23, 2010 | 3:20 PM

Florida is famous for its abundant sunshine. Yet the state's small solar businesses are expecting cloudy skies this summer. The Florida Legislature, citing another tough budget cycle, has failed to renew a state rebate program which provided incentives for solar providers working to sell renewable energy to Florida customers.


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An Educational Oil Spill

(3) Comments | Posted June 8, 2010 | 12:34 PM

Buried beneath the recent avalanche of coverage about the oil spill, the Al-Tipper split, Helen Thomas, and other news of note is a little-remarked-upon issue that has more profound long-term implications for this country's health and prosperity than health care reform, banking reform, or any other reform. It's this:

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