First Coast

News affecting Duval, Baker, Nassau, St. Johns or Clay counties.

Florida Department of Transportation

The Interstate-295 West Beltway Express Lanes from the Buckman Bridge to Interstate-95 are expected to be completed in early 2017.

The Express Lanes, which will have a toll, will be another option for commuters. The regular lanes will remain open and free.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Residents of the Northside’s Fairway Oaks neighborhood protested outside of HabiJax Friday morning.

They want the nonprofit that builds low-income housing to fix their HabiJax homes or relocate them before it receives any city money to build more.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Residents of the Fairway Oaks neighborhood on Jacksonville’s Northside said the city should not give more money to HabiJax without first fixing the homes the nonprofit built.

The residents, who say their houses were poorly constructed, plan to protest Friday morning.

Clay County Sheriff's Office

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office is looking to find a home for a wayward pony named Tom Boy.

The dappled, brown Welsh pony was spotted running free, and no owner could be located, sheriff's office spokeswoman Mary Justino says.

Tom Boy will be put up for auction on Thursday, Aug. 11, at 10 a.m. at the animal control building at 3984 W. State Road 16 in Green Cove Springs.

The pony is of unknown age and is in good health, in addition to being "cute as a button," Justino says.  


Jacksonville police officers are on board with body cameras — that’s what Sheriff Mike Williams told a City Council committee Tuesday morning. A program requiring police to wear them is in the making.

CC0 Public Domain

A judge has declared the Jacksonville Kennel Club card and racing facility violated gambling laws by the way of its “player-banked” card games.

Price at pump lowest since April

Aug 1, 2016
Jenn Durfey / Flickr

Gas prices have fallen three cents since last weeks' Gas Price Brief, reaching today’s average price of $2.14 per gallon, which is the lowest mark since April and the lowest price for this date since 2004. Today’s price is 15 cents less than one month ago, 53 cents less than last year, and $1.38 cheaper than this same date two years ago. While gas prices are likely to remain relatively low heading into the fall, there is potential for an increase if there is an unexpected impact to supply or distribution, such as a hurricane.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Military officials from 18 Latin American nations are meeting in Jacksonville to discuss the security of the Panama Canal.

It’s been a little more than a month since the first super-vessels made it through the newly expanded canal, but the future of trade in the region is uncertain.

Currently 10 additional people are believed to have contracted the Zika virus from mosquitoes in Florida.

On Monday’s First Coast Connect, Dr. Mobeen Rathore, of University of Florida Health discussed measures by the state to prevent the spread the disease as well as what Florida residents can do to help protect themselves.

“I think the state has been preparing for this for quite a while and they’re responding in a very robust manner with the resources they have,” Rathore said.


Friends of Hemming Park CEO Vince Cavin has resigned as head of the nonprofit.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT News

On Sunday morning, at precisely one minute past midnight, a new Harry Potter book was released for the first time in nearly a decade…and a small Jacksonville bookstore was ready.

San Marco Books and More conjured up a midnight launch party for fans who couldn’t wait another second to get their hands on “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” 

Nearly 1000 Acre Fire Burns in Baker County

Jul 29, 2016
Florida Forest Service

More fires than average have broken out in Northeast Florida this summer because of dry weather, including a nearly 1000-acre wildfire is burning in Baker County.

Anastasia Mosquito Control

With the Zika virus on many Floridians’ minds, it’s easy to forget the other mosquito-borne viruses present in the state.

However, troupes of chickens are standing guard throughout St. Johns County as the first line of defense against the blood-sucking parasites. Backyard chickens are a source of eggs for many Northeast Florida residents, but for the state’s mosquito prevention programs, they serve a very different purpose. 

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Updated 9 a.m. 7/28

Jacksonville’s Hemming Park is a step closer to becoming a designated city landmark after the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission voted Wednesday evening to recommend protecting  the historic park, including its Confederate monument.

Duval County Looks To Improve Recycling Rate

Jul 26, 2016
Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Duval County’s rate of recycling is below the state average, according to the latest figures released by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.