First Coast

News impacting Duval, Baker, Nassau, St. Johns and Clay counties.

Bonnie Zerr / WJCT

On this episode of Redux, the Friends of Hemming Park have a friend in Mayor Lenny Curry — at least for the next six months, anyway.

The city is giving the nonprofit more time to find more ways to improve the city’s marquee park. We’ll hear from the nonprofit’s interim CEO, nearby business owners and you, our listeners.

We also have a couple updates, including how one company wants to transform Jacksonville’s downtown into an innovation hub. And finally, remember when we brought you that story about Jacksonville becoming a skateboarding Mecca? Well, the idea of an urban skateboard safari idea is still on the table.


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday the arrests of 60 people after a four-month undercover narcotics investigation. Warrants are out for 11 additional people.

The investigation called “Operation Lockdown in O-Town” began on the Northside’s Oceanway area.


Florida Forest Service Image

 Updated 5:15 p.m. 

BRYCEVILLE — An evacuation order for Bryceville residents has been lifted and all roads re-opened after a wildfire raged in Nassau County.

hand lighting marijuana joint
Chuck Grimmett via Flickr

St. Johns County officials want to hear what residents think about potential medical marijuana regulations.

Time is of the essence to pass local rules, with several marijuana bills up for consideration in Tallahassee this legislative session.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Jacksonville is one step closer to temporarily halting certain kinds of block parties across the city.

City leaders from law enforcement, the parks department and City Council hashed out ways to reform the permitting process Wednesday.


Jacksonville City Council

Jacksonville City Councilman Bill Gulliford has scheduled his second meeting to address the opioid epidemic in Jacksonville for April 3, at 3 p.m. at City Hall.


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Jacksonville City Councilman Bill Gulliford introduced a bill in June that would have made skateboarding illegal in most of downtown — and skateboarders weren’t happy.  


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, is under an ethics investigation for potentially profiting off a budget item he requested for a friend.

The $1 million request for a mental health project was tucked into the budget for Florida State University’s medical school — which is not subject to Governor Rick Scott’s veto pen.

Scott told reporters he’d like to have more oversight on similar spending requests going forward.


Department of Economic Opportunity

The head of Florida’s economic and workforce agency is pushing back against claims business subsidies don’t spur economic development.


Sean Lahav / University of North Florida's Environmental Center

WJCT presents a collaboration between the University of North Florida's Environmental Center and Public Trust Law on 19 short videos showcasing the city, state and national parks of the First Coast, produced by Sean Lahav, a project leader in the environmental leadership program.

Betz-Tiger Point Preserve, 13900 Pumpkin Hill Road

Wess Holdings LLC

A proposal submitted to the city of Jacksonville would turn downtown’s shipyards and  Metropolitan Park into what developers are calling an “innovation district.”

Spokespeople for companies behind the proposal said their vision includes green park space in front of the river, lots of walkability and what’s called a “jobs factory,” which is a central place for people to develop their ideas into businesses, said Jason Walker of Chattanooga’s EMJ Corporation, which is partnering on the proposal.


JEA power plant
JEA

Jacksonville’s community-owned utility company is shutting down a large coal-fired power plant that’s served the area for 30 years.


Bonnie Zerr / WJCT

Updated March 17 1:10 p.m.

On this episode of Redux, we’ll look at a dispute between one historic Jacksonville community, two non-profits and the Department of Justice that already will cost taxpayers millions of dollars — and possibly much more when the issue is settled.

Then, in collaboration with public radio stations throughout the state, we bring you our contribution to Decision Florida, which is a look at the issues during this legislative session. And finally, who says it’s a bad idea to play video games in class? Certainly not this Jacksonville middle school.

But first, one developer wants to make Jacksonville the home of the tallest structure in Florida.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

A new commission convened Thursday to begin measuring how well the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is implementing task force recommendations from last year.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams asked the four taskforces to write a strategic plan.

Now, the Commission on Progress will study how well police are doing at increasing transparency, community engagement, training and resources.


phone in hand
Alexandra E Rust via Flickr

The Duval County School District is launching a safety hotline for students and parents. The email and phone system is for reporting threats.

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