A celebrity chef is poised to bring his taste for Southern cuisine to Jacksonville’s Brooklyn neighborhood.

Keven Sbraga’s eponymous restaurant will open in the fall, he said Thursday. The eatery will focus on Southern crops and grains. It will also include a wood fire grill, a raw bar and an innovative bar program.

The menu will include some southern classics, he said, but the focus will be on the crops that are grown in the region.

Mary McIntyre / WJCT News

Jewelry, rare collectibles and antiques from abandoned safety deposit boxes are up for auction in Jacksonville on Saturday.

Florida’s annual unclaimed property auction moves to a different city each year, and this time it’s at the Jacksonville Marriott on Salisbury Road.

When people fail to pay their safety deposit box rental fees or they pass away, banks send the unclaimed contents to the Bureau of Unclaimed Property in Tallahassee.

Department of Financial Services Spokeswoman Ashley Carr says the state tries to return the belongings before selling them.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement wants more investigators to handle an increase in shooting incidents involving officers at other police agencies across the state.

The department next week will present Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet an outline of its budget proposals, which include requests for a boost in salaries for forensic lab technicians and for additional staff to help investigate officer-involved shootings and use-of-force cases.


A Florida Department of Transportation report released Thursday determined that The Florida Highway Patrol needs to do a better job of catching speeders on the Buckman Bridge. The average speed is 72 mph, which is 11 percent above the posted limit.

State transportation officials looked at crash data from 2009 to 2014 and determined the Buckman Bridge doesn’t have any design flaws. The study began after a fatal accident last year when a truck with 48-year-old William Maddox fell from the bridge.

Warren Miller

There's nothing unusual about a boy wanting a dog. Not every kid wants to train them, but Dorman Pantfoeder did.

"I’ve always had a passion for working with animals. When I was little, my mother read me the Dr. Doolittle books," Pantfoeder said. "Veterinarian was an option, but by the time I was in high school, the thought of more school didn't appeal to me. I wanted to be working with animals, hands-on."

When he was a boy living at home, his family bought a dog and took it for training.

Thanks to the Jaguars, JU and others, Duval County high school athletes will soon have certified athletic trainers to help them stay safe and healthy. The French Pantry has a new owner that is looking at expanding the popular lunch destination. Evenflo introduced a new car seat that should help reduce hot-car deaths by detecting if a child is buckled in after the car’s ignition is turned off.

Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida and across the country.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

On Thursday afternoon the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce announced Macquarie Group, an Australian financial services company, will soon grow roots in Jacksonville.

Under an economic development agreement with the city, Macquarie has promised Jacksonville 123 new jobs that pay an annual wage of more than $60,000.

And if the group keeps up its end of the bargain, Jacksonville will provide the company with grants, including nearly a quarter-million dollars for training.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

A former Duval County Public School third grade teacher is behind bars for allegedly molesting one of his students.

Police arrested Douglas Bailey last week after a Duval County Public Schools investigation began in March and Bailey resigned in April.  

The former Thomas Jefferson Elementary school teacher is accused of molesting at least one of his third grade students.

Investigators interviewed 15 of the victim's classmates , as well as the victim, who admitted to being touched.

The French Pantry / Facebook

After 20 years, the owners of Jacksonville restaurant and bakery The French Pantry have sold their business. But fans of the popular lunch destination don’t need to worry — the new owner plans on expanding.

The easiest way to spot The French Pantry is by the long lines stretching out the door and through the restaurant's parking lot on Powers Avenue.

But for customers like Hali Cole and Vicky Mossuto, the sometimes hour-long wait is more than worth it.

“It doesn’t bother me at all,” said Mossuto.



This week searchers in Jacksonville found the remains of two men while looking for missing toddler Lonzie Barton.

On Monday, police found the first body in the woods near the Avenues Mall. It’s believed to be a man, but it has not yet been identified. Some suspect the remains belong to Navy Chief Petty Officer Kevin Williams who went missing two years ago.

Mary McIntyre / WJCT News

Several Jacksonville organizations are working together to place certified athletic trainers in Duval County high schools.

The Jacksonville Jaguars, Jacksonville University, Jacksonville Sports Medicine Program and the NFL are some of the partners behind the initiative.

Mayor Lenny Curry celebrated the new trainers at EverBank Field this morning.

“If parents know that when their kids are in high school, the athletics are safe, the more likely [they are] to encourage them to play sports,” Curry said.

An influx of retiring Baby Boomers and a thriving tourism industry are putting Florida on the map for job growth. A new ranking by Forbes Magazine lists six Florida cities among the country’s 10 best for growing employment. Naples takes the top spot, the business magazine says, because of a wave of retirees who require new homes, new stuff to fill those homes and more healthcare. Orlando comes in at number four for a different reason: an improving economy is bringing tourists back to the land of Mickey Mouse in droves. Rounding out the list are Cape Coral at number three, Ocala in the number five slot, and Port Saint Lucie and North Port bringing up the rear at nine and 10.

The U.S. Supreme Court this fall will hear arguments in a challenge to the way Florida sentences people to death — a challenge backed by three former Florida Supreme Court justices and the American Bar Association.

The case, which stems from the 1998 murder of an Escambia County fast-food worker, focuses on the role that juries play in recommending death sentences, which ultimately are imposed by judges.

Police ask people from the Southside through the Northside to check their surveillance video to help them figure out where William Ruben Ebron last Thursday night until early Friday morning. Jacksonville’s biggest data center gets acquired, and Windows 10 rolls out to skeptical fanfare.

Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida and across the country.

Here are 7 stories you don’t want to miss.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

Jacksonville police are asking people to check their surveillance footage that could contain clues in the disappearance of 1-year-old Lonzie Barton.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says the public can help provide clues to piece a case together.

Investigation Chief Tom Hackney says if someone provides JSO with information leading to the baby’s body, Crime Stoppers will give them a $4,000 reward.

Hackney said, “Honestly at this point in time to put this at a resolution, that piece of this puzzle, I just need to find Lonzie’s body.”