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WJCT First Read: Friday, August 30, 2013

Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida, and across the country. We'll also preview some of WJCT's upcoming news programming.

Sheriff gets funding restored in Jax budget: At the second of three hearings scheduled to finish budget negotiations this week, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office had $27 million in funding restored, avoiding officer layoffs. 

Scott appoints State Attorney for Shirk investigation: Governor Rick Scott has appointed Gainesville area State Attoney Bill Cervone to investigate allegations of professional misconduct in Jacksonville Public Defender Matthew Shirk's office. (Florida Times-Union)

Vitti academic standard plan closer to approval: Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti says he is closer to an agreement with the school board to approve his plan to bring student academic standards up to the statewide average. (Florida Times-Union)

Defense rests in Elkins murder trial: Murder suspect De'Marquise Elkins did not take the stand as his defense wrapped up their case that he was not responsible for the shooting death of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago. (News4Jax)

Trader Joe's considering Jacksonville distribution facility: After news yesterday that Trader Joe's would have a retail location opening in Jacksonville Beach next year, the company is also eyeing property in the city for to build an up to 750,000 square-foot distribution center. (Jacksonville Business Journal)

Former teacher set to shape state education policy: Florida State Senator John Legg, a former teacher and school administrator, will chair the senate's Education Committee. (Sunshine State News)

Today our Kevin Meerschaert (@KMeerschaertJax) returns for what city lawmakers hope will be the final hearing on the city budget this year. They have three more hearings scheduled as a contingency tomorrow and next Tuesday and Wednesday.

This morning on First Coast Connect, it's our four year anniversary! We'll start the show with our Friday media roundtable.

You can get all the latest headlines online at, on our Facebook page, and on Twitter @WJCTJax.

Patrick Donges served as WJCT's Digital Content Editor from August 2013 - August 2014.