Politics

Political news

Channel 4 News/WJXT

Fraternal Order of Police President Nelson Cuba is among the local figures arrested as part of a multi-state gambling investigation into the Allied Veterans of the World and its internet cafes.

Cuba and his second-in-command, Robbie Freitas have reportedly been arrested on racketeering charges. Three executives with Allied Veterans were also arrested including the head of the organization, Jerry Bass, executive Mike Davis, and attorney Kelly Mathis.

According to Federal documents, the charges stem from an investigation into how much money Allied Veterans gave to charity. The organization claimed their facilities were fundraising centers,  but the investigators say they were Internet casinos operating in violation of Florida’s gambling laws. While Allied Veterans said it was donating 70% or more of its proceeds to charity, authorities say they really only gave about 2% of  profits to veterans’ causes.

The investigation is being conducted by the IRS and the United States Secret Service, with help from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and several local agencies in the state including the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

They received search warrants for 51 Allied Veterans properties in Florida including 8 in Duval County, 2 in Nassau County and 1 each in Flagler, Clay, Putnam and St. Johns counties.

The local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police issued a statement saying that the arrests of its top leaders were related to the mens’ private business and unrelated to their duties with the F-O-P.

Robin Wright

  The events of the Arab Spring were momentous and for many, exciting to watch as they unfolded in the Middle East. So what now?

That's the domain of acclaimed author and foreign correspondent Robin Wright. She's in town this week to discuss her book, Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Muslim World.

Three Jacksonville City Council Committees have deferred a vote on legislation that would have waived the city’s mobility fee for three years.

Council members want to try and reach a short term compromise, while a task force is formed to take a longer look at the fee’s formula and structure.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A Senate committee has essentially killed Gov. Rick Scott's plan to expand Medicaid coverage to roughly 1 million of Florida's poorest residents
      Instead, the committee proposed Monday that the state adopt a managed care system that requires patients have a copayment.
      Sen. Joe Negron says he hopes the state can eventually exit from the Medicaid system entirely and called this proposal the beginning of a transformation. Lawmakers also discussed using state funds to help with copays.

Kevin Meerschaert

    The Jacksonville Sheriff’s office has identified the man shot to death by police on Thursday as a 55-year old with a long record of domestic violence.   

    Two Jacksonville City Council Committees have approved 11-million dollars for economic development. Nine-million will be directed to downtown projects.
         The money comes from savings through the refinancing of city debt. The Downtown Investment Authority will oversee the funding for downtown projects, but the city council will still have final say.

Rick Wilson/The Florida Times-Union

 It's a big-picture look at the future transportation needs of the entire First Coast.

The Northeast Florida Regional Transportation Study Commission (RTSC), is working with the seven counties of the First Coast to develop a better transportation grid for the coming decades.

We spoke with Director Brad Thoburn and Commissioner Bob Rhodes about the organization's long-term goals.

They begin with securing funding from state lawmakers to develop a regional, multimodal transportation plan.

Do you have what it takes to navigate the political swampland of Florida and come out clean?

WLRN and the Miami Herald have partnered to create a  new interactive experience that will allow you to put your political integrity to the test.  After a cutthroat election, you have officially begun your career as a Florida politician.

Now it is up to you to make the right political and personal choices.

Jacksonville.com

Military flyovers, a favorite moment during Jaguars games, could be a victim of the sequester. USA Today reports that if the budget cuts go into effect, it's possible that the flyovers will end, at least for this fiscal year and possibly beyond.

Florida National Guard

    Governor Rick Scott is slamming President Barack Obama and Congress for not getting a budget deal done to replace the sequester set to begin on Friday.
         Scott says because politicians in Washington aren’t doing their jobs, Floridians may lose theirs.       
        Governor Scott says Sequestration makes no sense because it uses a meat cleaver approach in cutting spending instead of a scalpel.
         He says it will have a dramatic impact on Florida’s military bases and defense industry.

Richard Masoner

    Whether the city of Jacksonville should freeze a fee for construction projects brought a long debate to the Jacksonville city council meeting last night.

At issue is if the city should place a three year moratorium on it’s mobility fee.

          The mobility fee is placed on new construction projects with the intention to encourage redevelopment and reduce sprawl. The funds are used for transportation enhancements like sidewalks, bike lanes and road expansion.   

WJCT News


 

The Jacksonville City Council has approved the reappointment of UNF Professor Parvez Ahmed to the city’s Human Rights Commission.

He was approved on a 13-6 vote.

Unlike three years ago, when the council discussed his appointment at length, the vote was done quickly.

Only Robin Lumb spoke about the reappointment expressing concerns that the Rules Committee overruled it’s Chair Clay Yarborough who wanted to wait another two weeks before voting.

A City Council vote is expected tonight on whether to reappoint UNF professor Parvez Ahmed to the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission.

The council will also hold a public hearing on an ordinance to freeze a fee for construction projects.

Ahmed’s reappointment was approved last week in the Rules Committee. Opponents of his reappointment point to his former position with the Council on American-Islamic Relations while his supporters say he has long worked for understanding between religions.

Pages