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.

News4Jax

The city of Jacksonville is about to offer more rapid bus service to Northside residents. That's because the Jacksonville Transportation Authority got a boost from the federal government this week. The First Coast Flyer is designed to get you where you're going faster.

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded JTA almost $27 million for the First Coast Flyer, allowing construction to go forward on the North Corridor Project.

News4Jax

All the candidates for Jacksonville Sheriff met last night in a debate at Jacksonville University. The seven men vying for the office of Duval County’s top cop answered questions about violent crime, race relations, financial management, juvenile justice and gangs.

The candidates are Tony Cummings, Jay Farhat, Jimmy Holderfield, Ken Jefferson, Lonnie McDonald, Rob Schoonover and Mike Williams. Each explained how he would combat gangs in the city.

Holderfield stressed early intervention through arrests:

Peter Haden / WJCT News

A new space for kids to play popped up in a downtown Jacksonville park today. It’s part of a push to attract more families to the area.

Today in Hemming Park, Friends of Hemming Park Director Vince Cavin led the rollout of the new Kid Zone — located in the northwest corner of park.

Cavin said, the Kid Zone is "a play space that encourages learning, social development, movement and lots of fun."

Google Maps

The city of St. Augustine is monitoring the San Sebastian River after a sewage spill this weekend. A power outage at a city utility station sent thousands of gallons of untreated sewage flowing into the river.

A raccoon shorted out power to a sewer lift station at the end of Helen Street in St. Augustine at around 10 p.m. on Friday. But city crews were not aware of it until 8 a.m. the next morning. They restored power, but not before an estimated 60,000 gallons of sewage flowed into the San Sebastian.

Peter Haden / WJCT News

The St. Johns Riverkeeper is getting a boost from a local charity fund.

The Delores Barr Weaver Fund has pledged to match donations to the Riverkeeper’s "Save the St. Johns" fundraising campaign up to $125,000.

St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman made the announcement Friday on the Northbank Riverwalk behind the Yates Family YMCA. She said the fund will be used for technical, scientific and legal support, as well as informing the public about issues that span the length of Florida’s longest river.

Peter Haden / WJCT

This morning a caravan of championship-winning rally cars drove from Jacksonville to Amelia Island to be featured in the he Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance car show. The rare cars belong to Jacksonville businessman John Campion.

Campion sees the poetry in rally racing.

"It’s sort of a pantomime and a ballet of brutality," Campion said.

He says the cars are flogged.

"Rally driving is through forest, it’s through gravel roads, it’s driving at night, it’s driving in the snow," Campion said. "It’s absolute brutality."

News4Jax

A Jacksonville police officers' union says the ongoing police and firefighter pension woes are making it hard to recruit new officers without guaranteed benefits and hard to keep officers on the force.

Fraternal Order of Police President Steve Amos says Jacksonville Sheriff's Office’s requirement of a four-year college degree and low starting salary — just over $36,000 — makes recruitment tough. Add that to the city’s high rate of violent crime and uncertainty about pension benefits, and it’s an increasingly hard sell.

Ron Desantis' Facebook Page

A Northeast Florida Congressman is asking the federal government to change the planned location of a new veterans’ clinic in St. Johns County.

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL6) asked the Government Accountability Office to review data the Department of Veterans Affairs used to determine the location.

His letter comes after St. Johns County officials voiced concern. They say the proposed placement is not close enough to where veterans live in the county. St. Johns County performed its own geographic analysis and delivered its findings to the VA, but has not heard back.

Peter Haden / WJCT News

Hundreds of First Coast residents came out to a town hall meeting last night to discuss deepening the St. Johns River. The crowd that gathered at the University of North Florida was split on the issue.

There were no presentations at the town hall, just a big table at the front of the room where eight panelists responded to the crowd's questions and comments about the proposed deepening of Jacksonville's port.

"Are there any estimate studies on how much of the commercial shipping we will capture if and when the river is dredged?" George Catalano asked.

Google Maps

A coal-fired power plant in North Jacksonville is being targeted for closure by Florida Power & Light Company. The utility company is asking the state Public Service Commission for permission to buy the Cedar Bay power plant.

Florida Power & Light Company wants to buy the plant on Eastport Road for more than $500 million by July.

A new poll of shows a quarter of likely Jacksonville voters are indecisive as this month’s mayoral election approaches. The top three candidates all say the numbers work in their favor.

The UNF poll found incumbent Democrat Alvin Brown leading with 37 percent and Republicans Lenny Curry and Bill Bishop trailing behind at 25 and 11 percent. Unaffiliated candidate Omega Allen is polling at 2 percent. The remaining 25 percent are undecided.

Brown's Deputy Campaign Manager Fabian Levy says the numbers are great. Their candidate is in the lead. 

Peter Haden / WJCT News

Fans of the Jacksonville Symphony may know the kaleidoscope of sounds that come from the orchestra’s massive pipe organ, but they may not know it’s history, or what it takes to tune it.

“With this many pipes, anything can go wrong,” said organ technician Chaz Dewsbury, who's been taking care of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra’s Bryan Concert Organ for the last seven years.

Dewsbury tunes the organ once a year. To do that, he has to listen to each of its 6,215 pipes - some as long as 32 feet long. The process takes two days.

Dr. Quincy Gibson

What is the St. Johns River worth?

That's the question at the heart of a new study led by researchers at the University of North Florida.

Economists and ecologists from five institutions joined UNF in the study. It was a $400,000 state-funded project.

Peter Haden / WJCT News

On the steps of Jacksonville City Hall today, a new LGBT political action committee announced the candidates it’s supporting in the March 24 city elections.

The Northeast Florida LGBT Leadership PAC is endorsing Republican mayoral candidate and City Councilman Bill Bishop. The group is also behind Tracie Davis for Supervisor of Elections and a host of candidates for City Council.

Peter Haden / WJCT News

Today Jacksonville’s Downtown Investment Authority had its first discussion about Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s shipyards proposal. Through his Iguana Investments company, Khan wants to revamp the 48-acre vacant lot on the banks of the St. Johns to include a practice field for the Jaguars, an office park, apartments, retail, hotels, hundreds of marina slips and mooring space for a retired warship, the U.S.S. Adams.

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