WJCT News

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Duval Foster Providers Keeping Watch On Opioid Epidemic

Duval County child welfare providers are keeping a watchful eye on the opioid epidemic that’s killing people in Northeast Florida . The majority of children placed in foster care have parents who are struggling with substance abuse.

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White House Says It Didn't Interfere, But Will Russia Hearings Ever Get Going?

Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET with additional reporting
The wonkiest soap opera in Washington served up yet more of its trademark plot twists on Tuesday as the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russia detoured even further into partisan bickering. The upshot of the day's back-and-forth was this: Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a holdover from the previous administration whom President Trump fired on Jan. 31, is not barred by the White House from testifying in open...

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National News

Federal Judge In Hawaii Extends His Block On Trump Travel Ban

26 minutes ago

President Trump's executive order to restrict travel to the U.S. from six majority-Muslim countries and suspend the U.S. refugee program has been blocked indefinitely.

The state of Hawaii sued to stop the travel ban, arguing the president's policy violates the Constitution. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson has extended his nationwide order blocking the executive order while the lawsuit continues.

Updated 6:45 p.m. ET

In Washington, D.C., U.S. Capitol Police have identified a suspect in Wednesday's incident in which a driver "nearly struck" police officers and shots were fired.

Capitol Police communications director Eva Malecki identifies the suspect as Taleah Everett, 20, who appears to have no fixed address.

Malecki says the officers observed an "erratic and aggressive" driver near the Capitol on Independence Avenue at 9:22 a.m. ET and tried to carry out a traffic stop.

New Mix: Sufjan Stevens, Gorillaz, Perfume Genius, More

15 hours ago

It's late March, which can only mean one thing: Time for my beloved Kansas Jayhawks to take a premature nosedive in the NCAA men's basketball tournament! Accordingly, we begin this week's show with an annual tradition: me whining to Bob Boilen about my deep, dark, post-tournament depression. Bob says it's madness to keep putting myself through this, but I can't stop.

BQ Energy

It’s easy to pick on Buffalo: It’s cold, it’s snowy, the economy has been in the dumps for four decades, and the Bills lost four straight Super Bowls. (Just sayin’.)

But around the turn of the 20th century, Buffalo was THE place to be. It had the most millionaires, per capita, of any city in America. It hosted a World’s Fair. It was a bustling inland port, the terminus of the Erie Canal, with hulking grain elevators and steel mills.

Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET with additional reporting

The wonkiest soap opera in Washington served up yet more of its trademark plot twists on Tuesday as the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russia detoured even further into partisan bickering.

The upshot of the day's back-and-forth was this: Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a holdover from the previous administration whom President Trump fired on Jan. 31, is not barred by the White House from testifying in open hearings in Congress.

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Don Stock / ZIPStream

A second ziplining adventure is opening in late April at the St. Augustine Aquarium.

Guests can zip through the ZIPStream Castaway Canopy Adventure tucked away next to a Courtyard Marriot Hotel on State Road 16, which is the last part of phase one for the aquarium that opened in December. 


Sean Lahav / UNF's Environmental Center

WJCT presents a collaboration between the University of North Florida's Environmental Center and Public Trust Law on 19 short videos showcasing the city, state and national parks of the First Coast, produced by Sean Lahav, a project leader in the environmental leadership program.

Big Talbot Island State Park 

A local gem, Big Talbot Island State Park boasts thick maritime forests, open marshes, lazy creeks and beaches beaded with skeleton trees. 

Hours: 8 a.m. to sunset

Description

 A proposed settlement between Jacksonville and two nonprofits might lead to more housing options for the homeless in Springfield.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and a local nonprofit organization is a lifeline for survivors of sexual assault, as the only certified rape crisis center for Duval, Baker and Nassau counties.

Monday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with Women’s Center of Jacksonville Executive Director Teresa Miles and board president Lise Everly about Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This month’s First Coast Success featured Moxie co-owner Lisa Marie Johnson. Celebrating its 100th anniversary, we spoke with Jewish Family & Community Services CEO Colleen Rodriguez, and Cole Pepper told us how the Florida Gators fell just short of reaching the NCAA Tournament Final Four.  


JEA power plant
JEA

JEA recently announced it will close a coal-fired power plant on Jacksonville’s Northside, which came online in the late 1980s. With the complex’s closure, about 200 people will lose their jobs.

The plant’s closure after nearly 30 years of service is not surprising in today’s energy climate. If you’ve been paying attention to the electric power generation business, coal fired power plants are closing all across the country.


Wikimedia Commons

A bill seeking to protect the freedom of religious expression in public schools cleared Florida Senate on Thursday in a vote that largely cleaved along party lines.

The bill, aiming to create the “Florida Student and School Personnel Religious Liberties Act,” passed by 23-13 vote on the floor. It intends to unify existing religious rights in a single legislation that would be simple to implement and heed.

 


Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Updated 11:15 a.m.

The Jacksonville Zoo hopes its gorilla Kumbuka will soon become a first-time mom. But Kumbuka’s journey to motherhood has been complicated by the recent discovery that she’s deaf.  

Jacksonville Zoo veterinarian Dr. Yousuf Jafarey said there is often tension between Kumbuka and the other gorillas because she doesn’t hear social cues. He said helping Kumbuka overcome socialization problems within her gorilla family is an important step to having a baby.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Duval County Superintendent Nikolai Vitti is now one of two finalists for Detroit Public Schools Community District superintendent after the third candidate, Orlando Ramos of Milwaukee Public Schools, dropped out Thursday night, according to Detroit NPR member station WDET.

Serena Summerfield / WJCT News

The St. Johns Water Management District has issued a water shortage warning order for portions North and Central Florida after below-average rainfall this winter.

Abnormally dry weather conditions have prompted the need for additional water conservation in First Coast counties Baker, Putnam, Nassau, Flagler and Clay, which received about half of their normal rainfall.


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