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City of Jacksonville

Jacksonville City Council Gives Final Approval To Mayor’s Pension Plan

The Jacksonville City Council passed Mayor Lenny Curry’s pension-reform plan Monday. Though some members admit it isn't a silver bullet for all of the city’s funding problems, all agree it is the best plan they’ve seen because it includes a dedicated funding source — a half-cent sales tax that will cover pension costs after it was set to end in 2030. In Curry’s closing remarks at the special council meeting, he issued a warning. “Do not let this be lost on us today. When you solve a problem...

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Sean Lahav / University of North Florida's Environmental Center

VIDEO: Exploring NE Florida's Dutton Island Park & Preserve

Florida Legislature At 'Stalemate' Over New State Budget

Florida legislative leaders are at a “stalemate” over a new state budget with time running out. The first but crucial round of negotiations between the House and Senate broke downSunday. Legislators have less than two weeks left in their annual session.

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National News

Florida legislative leaders are at a “stalemate” over a new state budget with time running out.

The first but crucial round of negotiations between the House and Senate broke down Sunday. Legislators have less than two weeks left in their annual session.

Congress returns Tuesday from its spring recess, facing yet another down-to-the-wire spate of deal-making — and a White House anxious to claim its first major legislative win.

On Friday night, the funding measure lawmakers approved last year to keep the federal government running will expire. The timing leaves members of the House and Senate just four days to reach a new agreement to fund the government, or risk a partial shutdown of federal agencies on Saturday — the 100th day of Donald Trump's presidency.

In forcing out its top-rated star, Bill O'Reilly, the Fox News Channel sought to contain the damage inflicted by a spreading sexual harassment scandal less than a year after the network's chairman was ousted in the face of similar accusations.

North Korea could reduce a U.S. strike force to a sea wreck if it's provoked, the country's propaganda outlets said Monday, adding to tensions on the Korean Peninsula. With the threat of a nuclear test in North Korea looming and another U.S. citizen reportedly detained there, China's President Xi Jinping is urging President Trump to avoid escalating the situation.

Trump's First 100 Days: Foreign Interests

11 hours ago

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Jacksonville’s minor league baseball team, the Jumbo Shrimp, played Wednesday night's season opener before a near record home crowd of more than 10,000 fans — that’s after many fans booed the team’s name change from the Jacksonville Suns last fall.

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The rate of syphilis infection has risen 130 percent in Duval County over the past three years to the highest infection rate the county has seen in two decades. Rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea are also on the rise.

Bonnie Zerr / WJCT News

WJCT and the city of Jacksonville are hosting a traveling wall, commemorating American soldiers who lost their lives in Vietnam.

The Wall that Heals is a half-scale replica of the memorial wall in Washington D.C. The wall is open 24 hours a day until 3 p.m. on Easter Sunday.


Thursday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with former Jacksonville City Council President Eric Smith and retired long-time diplomat John Caulfield about an upcoming trade mission to Cuba. Black Commission president Diallo Sekou and vice president Lauren Cephus talked about Saturday’s Parent Education Support Workshop, and 5 and Dime Theatre executive director Lee Hamby and cast member Rodney Holmes previewed their upcoming performance “A New Brain.”   


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Former Jacksonville City Councilman Eric Smith is heading up a local delegation to Cuba next week, comprised of local business leaders seeking more trade with the island nation.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

The Florida Legislature is considering allowing voters to decide if they want an additional property tax break by increasing the homestead exemption.

The Jacksonville City Council passed a resolution Tuesday, 18-1, urging state lawmakers who represent Jacksonville to oppose the idea. Councilman Reggie Brown voted against the measure.

Andrews, E. Benjamin. History of the United States, volume V. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. 1912. / Wikimedia Commons

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. 


Key Foster/Flickr/Creative Commons

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.

Claire Cook44 / Flickr

  Updated 9:21 a.m.

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.


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