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5:51 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Jacksonville Launches Federal Grant Program Aimed At Helping Veterans

The Veterans Economic Communities Initiative is aimed at helping those who have served in the military find jobs through meetings and an employment website with listings from over 250 companies.
Credit City of Jacksonville

The City of Jacksonville has been selected as one of the first 25 communities by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to participate in a new program called the Veterans Economic Communities Initiative.

The Veterans Economic Communities Initiative is aimed at helping those who have served in the military find jobs through meetings and an employment website with listings from over 250 companies.

Retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Victor Guillory is Director of the Jacksonville Military affairs and Veterans Department.

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Breaking
5:03 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Jacksonville School Bus Shooting Fugitive Caught In Georgia

Edgar Robles was wanted on two counts of attempted murder and one count of firing deadly missiles for the shooting that injured two teenage girls last Thursday.
Credit News4Jax

HINESVILLE, Ga. - A 16-year-old wanted in a school bus shooting on Jacksonville's Westside last week was arrested Thursday night during a traffic stop in Liberty County, Georgia. Authorities said he was treated for a self-inflicted gunshot wound, then locked up in a juvenile facility in Georgia.

Edgar Robles was wanted on two counts of attempted murder and one count of firing deadly missiles for the shooting that injured two teenage girls last Thursday. Liberty County is about 30 miles south of Savannah.

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Community
10:08 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

TSA: Remember Special Rules For Four-Legged Travelers

Evee the mini-Pomeranian is ready to go through TSA Security at the Jacksonville International Airport.
Gregory Todaro WJCT

Anyone who’s flown on an airplane in the past decade has the airport security rules memorized: Don’t leave your bag unattended. Take off your shoes when you pass through metal detectors. And leave weapons at home.

But what about rules for furry travel companions?

The Transportation Security Administration has special rules for flyers with small pets.

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Politics
5:10 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Jeb Steaming Over 'Intellectual Arrogance'

"I don't think the science is clear of what percentage is man-made and what percentage is natural. It's convoluted," Jeb Bush told about 100 supporters at a house party Wednesday in Bedford, N.H.

Jeb Bush is keeping Sunshine State governors in the global-warming crosshairs with comments this week in which he called the science surrounding the issue "convoluted."

On the campaign trail last year, Gov. Rick Scott demurred when asked about climate change, saying, "I'm not a scientist."

Former Florida Gov. Bush isn't a scientist either --- he earned a bachelor's degree in Latin American studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Law & Order
4:32 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Coast Guard Warns Against Making Hoax Distress Calls

Chief Petty Officer Andrew Cohen says making a hoax distress call is a felony punishable with “up to $5,000 in civil fines, $250,000 in criminal fines, along with restitution for all resources used.”
Credit Ray Hollister / WJCT News

With Memorial Day weekend coming up, the Coast Guard is advising all boaters to stay safe.

Chief Petty Officer Andrew Cohen, the Jacksonville command center supervisor said, “Make sure you have enough fuel on board, you know how to use your radio properly and how to read your GPS.”

“The more information you can give us, the easier it is for us to locate you,” Cohen said.

In addition to the helpful hints, the Coast Guard is also warning boaters against making hoax distress calls.

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Deemable Tech
4:07 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Ask Deemable Tech: Why Am I Using So Much Data?

Credit JESHOOTS / Pixabay

Donna writes, "I share a data plan with my family. I'm the biggest user of data, but I'm also the least tech savvy. I do very little downloading! I mostly just check emails. If someone sends me a link and I open it, am I downloading? Sometimes I use my iPhone as a hotspot for my laptop. Is that downloading? Why am I using so much data?"

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Politics
12:43 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Duval County Voters Add Two New Referenda To Jacksonville City Charter

Referendum 1 gives the City Council the power to fire the city’s General Counsel. Referendum 2 requires the mayor to appoint city department heads within 90 days of their departure.
Credit Ray Hollister / WJCT News

In addition to electing a new mayor, sheriff and several city council members, Duval County voters also approved two referenda amending Jacksonville’s charter.

The first affects the city’s attorney or general counsel.

Not only does it list specific qualifications for the position, it also dilutes the mayor’s control of the office by giving the City Council the power to fire an attorney.

Rick Mullaney, Director of the Public Policy Institute at Jacksonville University, says the change could help eliminate the perception of favoritism.

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Politics
7:47 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

City Election 'Great Night' for Jacksonville LGBT Community

Jimmy Midyette says that the election of City Council members in favor of explaining the Human Rights Ordinace shows that Jacksonville is "moving forward."
Credit Shannon LeDuke / WJCT

Several new members of the Jacksonville City Council ran on the platform of supporting an expanded human-rights ordinance that would protect LGBT people.

Advocates say they are confident the new makeup of the council will lead to its passage after the council voted it down three years ago.

“To me, it was a great night for equality in Jacksonville,” said Jimmy Midyette, the chair of the Northeast Florida LGBT Leadership Action Pac.

He says voters overwhelmingly chose candidates in favor of protecting the LGBT community from discrimination.

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Community
5:37 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Florida AG Bondi Joins Fraud Suit Against Four Cancer Charities

The Federal Trade Commission says 'four so-called charities got more than $187 million from consumers across the country.'
Credit Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a lawsuit against four cancer charities and their operators for conning donors more than $187 million.

The charities include Cancer Fund of America, Cancer Support Services, Children’s Cancer Fund of America and the Breast Cancer Society.

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Politics
5:23 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Florida Legislature To Consider Money For Bike, Running Trails During Special Session

A bill that would designate $50 million a year for the creation of a statewide network of bicycle and pedestrian paths known as SunTrail is being considered during the Florida Legislature's special session.
Credit Daniel Oines / Flickr

Voter-approved money for land and water conservation could be used to help create asphalt and concrete bicycle and running paths across Florida.

Among the bills that will be discussed in a special legislative session next month is a transportation measure (SB 7054) that would designate $50 million a year for the creation of a statewide network of bicycle and pedestrian paths known as SunTrail.

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Politics
10:30 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Sheriff-Elect Mike Williams Pledges Transparency, Accountability

Mike Williams signs his first autograph as Sheriff of Jacksonville at the request of a young girl in the audience.
Credit Saphara Harrell / WJCT News

Republican Mike Williams is Jacksonville’s new sheriff. He edged out Democrat Ken Jefferson with over 51 percent of the vote Tuesday. Williams says he looks forward to working with the new City Council and Mayor-elect Lenny Curry.

Williams said, “I pledge to the citizens of this community that our financial affairs will be transparent and to you I pledge my complete cooperation as we work to restore the city’s priority to public safety. And hold ourselves, all of us, accountable to our taxpayers.”

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Politics
9:34 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Lenny Curry Next Jacksonville Mayor; Brown: I'll 'Always Be There For You'

Mayor-elect Lenny Curry kisses his wife, Molly, just after winning election Tuesday night.
Credit Peter Haden via Twitter / WJCT News

Former Florida Republican Party Chairman Lenny Curry is Jacksonville’s next mayor. He narrowly beat incumbent Democratic Mayor Alvin Brown Tuesday with just over 51 percent of the vote. Curry says the work starts now.

"This is about one Jacksonville, about one people, and about our future. The message that I’ve carried over the course of this campaign comes from deep within me. This is what I believe. This is what we’re going to do. This will be a safe city again!" Just after conceding, Brown told his supporters he won’t stop trying to improve the city.

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Arts & Culture
6:17 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Author Of Novel Set In Jacksonville To Share ‘Education’ At Main Library

Larry Baker will be discussing his latest book, “The Education of Nancy Adams” at the Main Library Wednesday.
Credit Larry Baker

The author of a new novel set in the First Coast is speaking at the Jacksonville Public Library on Wednesday.

Larry Baker will be discussing his latest book, “The Education of Nancy Adams.” Adams is a teacher in a Jacksonville high school.

The Jacksonville Public Library’s Olga Bayer says Baker used to live in the area.

“He has several books which he has set in Northeast Florida. In this one, I think he talks about the St. Johns River quite a bit,” Bayer said.

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Arts & Culture
6:01 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Florida Folk Festival Bring State's Music, Art And Culture Together

The Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park is located along the banks of the Suwannee River in Winter Springs, Florida. This is the 63rd annual Florida Folk Festival.
Credit Florida Fish and Wildlife / Flickr

Way down upon the Suwannee River in White Springs, Florida, the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park is preparing for its biggest weekend of the year.

For 63 years, the Florida Folk Festival has brought together the state’s music and culture over Memorial Day weekend. Organizers say it’s the country’s oldest state-run festival.

“The Florida Folk Festival is like a melody of all the cultures of Florida , so it’s the best of Florida’s music, arts and culture,” said festival spokeswoman Andrea Thomas. “We like to showcase everything that makes Florida unique.”

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First Coast Connect
2:17 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Sheriff John Rutherford To Run For Congress

Sheriff John Rutherford confirmed that he's planning to run for the North Florida 6th Congressional District seat.
Credit City of Jacksonville

Duval County Sheriff John Rutherford has been a vocal critic of Mayor Alvin Brown and a supporter of his hand-picked successor Mike Williams in the Jacksonville mayor and sheriff's races.

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