News

David Luckin

If you attended this year’s Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance you witnessed art in the motor trade, and the examples on display were extraordinary. Check out some of the best in our slide show, and next year see the art in person.

Justin Cormack



    State Senator John Thrasher says he expects a bill to ban Internet cafes in Florida

will sail through to passage.

Thrasher had introduced a bill that would have placed a moratorium on new cafes, but on the heels of the Allied Veterans of the World arrests he says the legislature should take stronger action.

Thrasher’s moratorium bill is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Gaming Committee on Monday. He expects a move to close all the cafes will be discussed at that meeting.  

Creator Series- 96 Seasons

Mar 14, 2013
Book Cover
Jessie Wilson

This week in the Creator Series, we spoke with poet Jesse Wilson about his One Spark project 96 Seasons. Wilson is from Jacksonville and writes of local VOID Magazine and is very involved in the community.

Wilson hopes his book of poems can inspire people to explore the magic of Jacksonville. He says he hopes his display at One Spark includes photos that can help draw the reader in and give them a visual representation of the city.

How Do Internet Cafes Work?

Mar 14, 2013
Florida Times-Union

A sweepstakes café must have 3 things to be illegal: price, chance, and consideration. Consideration means that they buy directly into the game as you would when buying a lottery ticket. With an internet café, the patrons are buying internet “time” instead. They use the time to redeem points and “cash out” at the end of their session.

Kevin Meerschaert

    Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford says the arrests of Fraternal Order of Police President Nelson Cuba and Vice-President Robbie Freitas shows no one in his department is above the law.

 Rutherford told reporters on Wednesday about the two officers’ roles in the Allied Veterans of the World conspiracy.

Law enforcement officials say Cuba and Freitas received more than 500-thousand dollars through a shell corporation during an 18-month period.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement has released more information about what they're calling Operation Reveal The Deal: 

Black smoke rose over the Vatican this morning.. a signal that the cardinals' conclave in Rome has not yet chosen a new pope.

The new pontiff will replace retiring Pope Benedict the 16th, and lead 1.2 billion Catholics around the  world.

He’ll also face deep divisions within the church and a scandal-plagued Vatican hierarchy.

Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll Resigns

Mar 13, 2013
Miami Herald

Update 10:30 am: The Governor's Office has confirmed both Matt Dixon's story from the Florida Times Union and Tia Mitchell's piece in the Tampa Bay Times. The Governor will answer questions at 3:00 this afternoon at the Capitol.

Kevin Meerschaert

The Jacksonville City Council has approved legislation authorizing a  long delayed plan to overhaul the old Federal Courthouse to house the State Attorney’s office.

Funding for the 26-million dollar project was always part of the 350-million dollar Courthouse project, but ran into design delays.

The original developer was dropped and the project was rebid but none of the new bids came in under budget.

Channel 4 News/WJXT

Fraternal Order of Police President Nelson Cuba is among the local figures arrested as part of a multi-state gambling investigation into the Allied Veterans of the World and its internet cafes.

Cuba and his second-in-command, Robbie Freitas have reportedly been arrested on racketeering charges. Three executives with Allied Veterans were also arrested including the head of the organization, Jerry Bass, executive Mike Davis, and attorney Kelly Mathis.

According to Federal documents, the charges stem from an investigation into how much money Allied Veterans gave to charity. The organization claimed their facilities were fundraising centers,  but the investigators say they were Internet casinos operating in violation of Florida’s gambling laws. While Allied Veterans said it was donating 70% or more of its proceeds to charity, authorities say they really only gave about 2% of  profits to veterans’ causes.

The investigation is being conducted by the IRS and the United States Secret Service, with help from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and several local agencies in the state including the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

They received search warrants for 51 Allied Veterans properties in Florida including 8 in Duval County, 2 in Nassau County and 1 each in Flagler, Clay, Putnam and St. Johns counties.

The local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police issued a statement saying that the arrests of its top leaders were related to the mens’ private business and unrelated to their duties with the F-O-P.

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