Gulf Coast Live

Rachel Iacovone / WGCU

Messages have long circulated the internet, encouraging people to shop local at small businesses. They usually say something along the lines of “When you shop at a locally owned business, you aren’t helping a CEO buy a third holiday home. You’re helping pay for a little girls’ dance lessons or helping a mom put food on the table.”

Wikimedia Commons

A group of 32 community partners in Sarasota County are teaming up to strengthen prenatal care and early childhood development services in the’s called First 1000 Days. It’s part of a broader, statewide effort called First 1000 Days Florida – Sarasota County is the first local affiliate. The idea is driven by the fact that 52% of babies born in the county last year were born into families living in poverty, and 80% of brain development happens before a child’s second birthday, so getting families connected to the right services early on is crucial. The effort, which officially launched last week, is being led by the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, and is being facilitated by the former director of the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County, Bill Little. We’re joined now by Kelly Romanoff, she’s Projects Manager for the Foundation, and joins us by phone from her office in Sarasota.


This segment originally aired on December 21, 2016. 

A tour of vintage Central and South Florida is still possible—if you know where to look.  Today we listen back to a conversation about a book that promises to be your guide to "discovering old Florida," offering a list of museums, historic buildings, nudist colonies, dive bars, and more. All reaching back 25 years or more into Florida's history.

Older golfers make up a large percentage of the overall golfing population in the United States, and that’s especially true here in southwest Florida. But, a golf swing can be hard on a person’s body, and their back in particular, and that can take a person off the course entirely. We’re going to learn about a new research study at Florida Gulf Coast University that seeks to discover ways to increase the longevity of people’s golf games. And, we’re going to learn about the university’s PGA Golf Management Program, it’s one of just 18 in the country.

Rachel Iacovone / WGCU

For Southwest Florida, 2017 was a year dramatically punctuated by the September arrival of Hurricane Irma.


It was an extreme storm, which dominated the news in the weeks leading up to and the months that followed landfall. And, WGCU’s coverage of that storm garnered a number of awards.