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First Read: Thursday, April 17, 2014

JAXPORT,, and street art are in the headlines today.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.

Duval teachers call for testing moratorium: At a Wednesday press conference, Duval Teachers United called on state officials to delay the implementation of the state's new standardized tests for three years. (WJCT)

Army Corps approves JAXPORT dredging plan: Plans todredge the St. Johns River shipping channel will be included as part of the Water Resources Development Act before Congress next month following approval of the project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this week. (WJCT)

Three men arrested in 2009 gang rape: DNA evidence has led to the arrest of three men for the brutal 2009 gang rape of a woman in Riverside. (News4Jax)

Cultural Council, DIA consider pilot for street art: The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville and the city's Downtown Investment Authority will draft city legislation that wouldloosen rules on street art, creating public areas where artists would be encouraged to paint. (Jacksonville Business Journal)

Macca coming to Jax: Paul McCartney will play his only show in Florida this summer at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on June 22. (WJCT)

Companies file for medical marijuana sale: State records show more than two dozen companieshave registered with names suggesting they are planning on selling medical marijuana in the state, including two in Jacksonville. (First Coast News)

Amazon to begin charging sales tax on Florida purchases: will begin collecting a 6 percent sales taxon Florida purchases starting May 1. (Wall Street Journal)

Wildlife officials cite illegal feeding in bear attacks: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is offering a reward for information on anyone feeding bears in the Lake Mary area after they killed seven bears who appeared conditioned to people and human food. (UPI)

Rail plan draws criticism: Two members of Congress are seeking ways to reduce the potential negative effects of a planned passenger rail line linking South Florida to Orlando. (South Florida Sun Sentinel)

NY students suspended for Confederate display: Two Long Island high school students have been suspended indefinitely for bringing and displaying a Confederate flag at a sporting event. (Fox News)

Today on First Coast Connect, we'll hear what comes next for One Spark following the success of the 2014 festival with One Spark co-founder Elton Rivas, executive director Joe Sampson, and Downtown Vision Inc.'s Katherine Hardwick.

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

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