First Coast

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

Serena Summerfield / WJCT News

Updated Feb. 20, 12:34 p.m.

University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute treated nearly 200 kids with cancer last year. Now doctors there are hoping a new app will help young patients prepare before they arrive for treatment.

 

The Proton U App was developed by UF Health child life specialist Kim Todd. It’s an interactive storybook that introduces kids to the hospital environment to make treatment less intimidating.

 


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George Louissaint via Facebook

A candlelight vigil is scheduled Monday night to remember University of North Florida student George Louissaint Jr., 20, who was found Saturday in a pond at the District on Kernan apartments.

The vigil will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Osprey Plaza at the student union.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

A year after convening its first hearing into the sinking of cargo freighter El Faro, the U.S. Coast Guard wrapped up its third and final fact-finding session Friday in Jacksonville.

It could be another year or more before investigators issue recommendations.

Dan Nelken/St. Martins Press

What started off as a grin quickly turned into goosebumps.

Bestselling children’s author R.L. Stine joined First Coast Connect by phone Friday to discuss his top-selling children’s series "Goosebumps." Stine will also speak at the Amelia Island Book Festival in Fernandina Beach on Saturday. The event is sold out.

 

Stine said the launch of his Goosebumps empire in 1992 happened unexpectedly.

 

Bonnie Zerr / WJCT

On this episode of Redux, we look at law enforcement in the River City.

A recent poll shows mixed reviews for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, but overwhelming support for the use of police body cameras as citizens increase pressure on police to document its interactions on the street.

We talk to folks from the sheriff’s office, as well as the police union to find out: What’s the holdup?

Then, research shows bees are responsible for pollinating nearly a quarter of the food eaten by humans. We bring to you what’s being done here in Florida to help bees avoid extinction.


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

The Jacksonville City Council this week approved a bill making it easier for police to ban people from city parks when they break rules. Drinking in the park could get the offender banned for a year, for example.

A separate bill approved Tuesday also extends Hemming Park’s boundaries. Now, if someone is banned from Hemming, they can’t hang out on the surrounding sidewalks or under the Skyway platform.  

Florida Memory

The front windows of Jacksonville’s City Hall are displaying photos and stories about different parts of the city’s history.

One of those displays celebrates Jacksonville’s first streetcar suburb, Springfield.


U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy’s new drone program will be calling Jacksonville home.

Naval Station Mayport beat out fellow Florida base Naval Air Station Key West and a NASA flight facility in Virginia for the contract.


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Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

Three Jacksonville police officers have been arrested for tampering with evidence after one of them fatally shot a robbery suspect early this month.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is asking the city council to approve emergency funding for new gun identification technology.

The Integrated Ballistic Identification System uses a shell casing’s “fingerprint” to track down a shooter faster than ever. The new tech is expected to cost the city $250,000.


Jacksonville’s Grammy-winning R&B band Tedeschi Trucks, led by Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, will be the opening act to debut Daily’s Place, the new 5,500 seat amphitheater at EverBank Field scheduled to open this summer.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

“We have rights, let’s party” was shouted over an intercom in Hemming Park Tuesday evening right outside Jacksonville’s city hall.

The City Council had just amended the city’s human rights ordinances to protect gay and transgender people from discrimination.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

The Jacksonville City Council has passed a law requiring more demographic reporting from city agencies.

It also recommends funding the position of equal opportunity manager to ensure city entities are doing everything they can to broaden their workforces.

Councilman Garrett Dennis, the bill’s sponsor, told his colleagues the law affirms Jacksonville’s commitment to diversity.

Jacksonville Human Rights Commission

The Jacksonville City Council confirmed the appointment of a new member of the city’s Human Rights Commission.

Peret Pass is a Republican political consultant who worked for Congressman John Rutherford’s campaign.


María Helena Carey / Flikr Creative Commons

Jacksonville ranks in the middle of the pack for dating this Valentine’s Day, according to Apartment List, an online rental aggregator site.

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