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First Read: Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mia Jones, bike sharing and gopher tortoises 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.

Body pulled from St. Johns after Buckman crash: A body believed to be that of the victim of an accident thatsent a truck over the edge of the Buckman Bridge was recovered late Wednesday. (WJCT)

Alleged child killer appears in court: Donald Smith, accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle last year, appeared at a pretrial hearing Wednesday morning. (News4Jax)

Mia Jones to become first Jax health commissioner: As part of a $500,000 grant to get more kids health insurance, Mayor Alvin Brown announced Wednesday that Florida State Rep. Mia Jones will become the city's first health commissioner. (WJCT)

Orange Park kids being investigated for turtle torture: Two local girls are being investigated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission after a video showed them torturing and killing a small gopher tortoise. (Florida Times-Union)

Bike sharing comes to Jax: The Hyatt Riverfront is now operating a bike sharing business downtown and a local partnership is working towards establishing a bike share in Riverside. (WJCT)

Atlanta anchor coming to Action News Jax: WSB-TV Atlanta anchor John Bachman is leaving Georgia to take an anchor chair at Action News Jacksonville. (Access Atlanta)

Beaten Palestinian-American teen returns to Florida: Tariq Abu Khdeir, the 15-year-old who relatives say was beaten by Israeli authorities, flew back to Tampa on Wednesday. (AP via NPR)

Florida teachers challenge voucher expansion: The Florida Education Association has filed a legal challenge to a recently passed law claiming it violates a constitutional requirement that each law be limited to a single subject. (Tampa Bay Times)

Delaware AG loses Nemours case appeal: A Florida appeals court ruled Wednesday against Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden in his bid to undo changes to the multi-billion dollar the Alfred I. duPont Trust. (Delaware News Journal)

Today on First Coast Connect, Jacksonville City Councilwoman Denise Lee and Jacksonville University's Ray Oldakowski on the recent rise in shootings and their effect on Jacksonville's image. Also, WJCT CEO Michael Boylan on what's happening at the station.

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.