Peter Haden

Reporter/Producer

Peter Haden is an award-winning investigative reporter and photographer currently working with The Center for Investigative Reporting. His stories are featured in media outlets around the world including NPR, CNN en Español, ECTV Ukraine, USA Today, Qatar Gulf Times, and the Malaysia Star.

He holds a Master of Mass Communication degree from Arizona State University's Cronkite School and bachelor's degrees in Geography and International Studies from the University of Iowa.

After growing up on an Iowa sheep farm, Peter has lived and worked in Ukraine, Chile, Mexico, Washington D.C., Georgia, Arizona and Florida.

His current mission is to tell the greatest stories on earth - in three minutes and thirty seconds.

Peter Haden / WJCT News

The third annual One Spark is off and running.

'The World's Largest Crowdfunding Festival' got off to a slow and thoughtful start Tuesday with a day-long speaker summit.

One Spark Communications Director Meredith O'Malley Johnson says the talks covered topics helpful to creators, such as "how to be innovative, entrepreneurship, and how to be successful starting a business."

O'Malley said the talks were full of "really great advice, especially for creators in the audience."

The list of summit speakers included Jeff Hoffman, founder of Priceline.com.

Peter Haden / WJCT News

Ground broke Tuesday on a new housing development in Jacksonville’s Historic Springfield neighborhood. It’s part of the city’s weeklong celebration of federally funded projects.

The new, 14-unit Dozier Apartments near 8th Street and Main Street will house moderate, low-income, and very-low-income families.

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A state-sponsored job-creation program that serves two large swaths of Jacksonville is due to expire this year — and may not be renewed. The future of Florida’s “enterprise zones” is uncertain.

Twenty square miles of Jacksonville’s urban core are classified as an “enterprise zone,” along with a strip of land along Philips Highway. The zone program is designed to revitalize blighted communities by offering tax incentives to businesses.

Peter Haden / WJCT News

The widening of Interstate 95 on Jacksonville’s Southside has come with the usual growing pains of progress: traffic congestion, lane closures and noise. The project has put one church congregation between the road and a hard place — and into a legal battle with the state.

If you come to worship at Glorious Bethlehem Temple and you forget your tambourine, Pastor Donald Richardson says, don’t worry. Richardson says some parishioners just pick up an instrument and join in. 

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Officials have closed a Mayport park while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers uses it as a construction staging area. 

Helen Cooper Floyd Park, also know as “Little Jetties,” lies along the St. Johns River just west of Mayport Naval Station. The park will be closed for up to two years as the Corps of Engineers begins work on the Mile Point Navigation Project.

Tera Meeks, chief of the City of Jacksonville’s Natural and Marine Resources Division said, "They’ll be removing a little portion of the jetty to restore the natural flow of the water in that area."

Peter Haden / WJCT News

Update: Friday, April 3, 9:10 a.m.:

A cross-party endorsement in the Jacksonville Sheriff race is coming as a shock to the local GOP.

The chairman of the Duval County Republican Party is decrying an endorsement of Democrat Ken Jefferson by Republican former candidate Jimmy Holderfield.

Holderfield, a retired JSO Officer with 33 years on the force, announced his support for Jefferson yesterday, saying he was faced with a tough decision but decided it was best to cross party lines.

Peter Haden / WJCT News

One Spark and Jacksonville city officials announced details of the third annual One Spark festival. "The World's Largest Crowd Funding Festival" runs next Tuesday through Sunday. 

Peter Haden / WJCT News

In a much-anticipated announcement Tuesday, former Republican mayoral candidate Bill Bishop said he’s not endorsing anyone in May’s runoff election. Incumbent Democrat Alvin Brown and Republican Lenny Curry both said they hoped to win Bishop’s support. The non-endorsement wasn't Councilman Bishop’s only announcement.

Peter Haden / WJCT

Florida Gov. Rick Scott was in Jacksonville Monday to send off a Florida Air National Guard Wing on a deployment to Europe.

Two hundred airmen from the 125th Fighter Wing will spend the next six months training in Operation Atlantic Resolve alongside NATO allies.

The Florida National Guard has been deployed 100 times since Sept. 11, 2001. Scott said that’s because they are well-trained and ready to defend freedom.

"This is becoming normal for our National Guard," Scott said. "We are perceived to be the best National Guard in the United States."

County Health Rankings & Roadmaps / http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/

For the fourth year in a row, St. Johns County was ranked the healthiest county in Florida, according to a new report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin. Other counties in the region face challenges to keeping residents healthy.

Northeast Florida’s Union County was ranked the state’s least-healthy, while nearby Duval County moved up two spots to 43rd in the state.

Peter Haden / WJCT News

Jacksonville police are giving hundreds of thousands of dollars they seized during arrests to community groups on the First Coast. The City Council unanimously approved the measure Wednesday.

One organization already announced how it will use the money: to teach young men how to manage conflict before it escalates.

There were seventeen shootings in Jacksonville last week. Operation Save Our Sons Director Bishop John Guns says his organization is dedicated to turning that around. 

A non-profit in Jacksonville Beach is trying to draw more families to the area through a crowdfunding campaign. It’s part of push to clean up the city’s image in the wake of several violent incidents.

Better Jacksonville Beach President Jon McGowan says his group is not out fighting crime, but promoting family events has that effect.

"People don’t go cause trouble where there Mom is hanging out," McGowan said.

He says if they can get more families downtown the troublemakers will go elsewhere.

JTA

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority unveiled a high-tech bus-driving simulator Tuesday. It can be programmed for a number of scenarios, including the top three challenges facing bus operators in Jacksonville.

The streets of Jacksonville present some specific challenges to JTA operators, according to Training Supervisor DeWayne Sparks.

Sparks says narrow streets with cars parked on both sides, pedestrians stepping out into traffic and car doors opening are all difficult to deal with when you're driving a 40-foot bus, Sparks says.

Jacksonville voters will choose between Democratic incumbent Mayor Alvin Brown and Republican Lenny Curry in the May runoff election. With mail-in votes remaining to be counted, Brown took 42.9 percent of the vote and Curry took 38.4 percent in Tuesday's first unitary election. 

Republican Bill Bishop and unaffiliated mayoral candidate Omega Allen were eliminated from the race, with 16.6 percent and 2.1 percent of the vote respectively.

Peter Haden / WJCT

Enrollment in health care plans under the Affordable Care Act has doubled in Duval County. Hundreds of thousands of Floridians are now covered for the first time.

During the latest enrollment period that ended last month, Florida surpassed all other states in the number of people covered under the Affordable Care Act with 1.6 million. More than half of those signed up for health insurance for the first time.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region Four Director Pamela Roshell says an increase in plan options was a factor.

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