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First Read: Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Duval County Public Schools, Bill Gulliford and George Zimmerman 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.

School Board approves budget: The Duval County School Board approved a $1.7 billion preliminary budget for 2014-15 on Tuesday along with a new lower millage rate for property owners. (WJCT)

Schools to get extra reading hour, including Holiday Hill: Fifty-two elementary schools in Duval County will extend their school days by one hour due to low reading scores, sparking outrage among parents at Holiday Hill Elementary. (News4Jax, WJCT)

Gulliford tables mayoral run: After “some good, objective viewing of the race,” Jacksonville City Councilman Bill Gulliford, a Republican, says he will not run for mayor. (Florida Times-Union)

Ray says Fort Caroline is in Jacksonville: Florida State Representative Lake Ray presented new research on Tuesday he says proves the site of Fort Caroline is in Jacksonville. (WJCT)

Florida court rules to prevent doctors from asking about guns: An 11th Circuit Court of Appeals panel issued a ruling upholding a Florida law that discourages doctors from asking patients about gun ownership, causing alarm among some medical professionals. (Wall Street Journal)

Back-to-school tax holiday this weekend: Floridians will get a break on sales tax this weekend for clothing, school supplies and computers. (Orlando Sentinel)

Zimmerman found patrolling outside DeLand motorcycle shop: Former Sanford neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman has been keeping watch at a DeLand motorcycle shop owned by a longtime friend and mayoral candidate. (Fox News)

Today on First Coast Connect, United for Care Director Ben Pollara and South Florida attorney Paul Lopez on the latest polling showing overwhelming support for medical marijuana in Florida.

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.