News

A man receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
Matt Slocum / Associated Press

Clay County is not taking any more COVID-19 vaccination appointments until another shipment of shots comes in.

Matt Slocum / Associated Press

Appointment slots for COVID vaccines this week in Nassau County are full, according to the county’s website.

Doug Marrone is pictured on the sidelines during his final game as Jaguars head coach on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.
Zach Bolinger / Associated Press

Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone has been let go after Sunday’s 28-14 season finale loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

University of North Florida sign
UNF Admissions Facebook page


The University of North Florida is planning to offer an Africana Studies program as part of its effort to meet the rising demand for courses and majors that focus on race.

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

2020 was dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and politics, and oftentimes, the two were intertwined in Florida.

MATT SLOCUM / AP PHOTO

Duval County's health department is now accepting appointments online for COVID-19 vaccinations for people 65 years old and older, along with healthcare workers and EMS workers who have direct patient contact.

BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

As we look ahead to the new year, there is no question that the pandemic will continue to be the biggest story in Jacksonville and across the world, but that’s just one of the First Coast stories WJCT News will be following.

Fried Asks New EPA Head To Reconsider Recent Fla. Wetlands Permitting Move

Dec 31, 2020
Wetland Preserve
North Florida Land Trust


State Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has asked incoming Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan to reconsider a recent EPA decision that shifted federal permitting authority to Florida for projects that affect wetlands. 

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Questions remain about when extended unemployment benefits from a newly signed federal stimulus package will be available for Floridians out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

WJCT News’ 10 Most Read Stories Of 2020

Dec 31, 2020
While coronavirus news dominated the news, WJCT News readers also loved looking at manatees and some fun cake creations.
Photos from top 10 WJCT News stories / Complilation image assembled by WJCT News' Bill Bortzfield

While the controversial Lot J development, failed JEA sale, a high-turnout presidential election and many other local stories dominated headlines in 2020, it was WJCT News' coronavirus coverage that grabbed the most attention from readers. Eight of the 10 most popular news stories this year had at least a tangential connection to the pandemic — and then, because it's Florida, there were the manatees.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is pictured.
Matt Slocum / Associated Press

The Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County is now vaccinating people 65 and older after receiving its first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. However, new appointments are not currently being accepted, the county said, and people should "check back this weekend" for further information.

Jacksonville Recycling Program Gets Another Look From City Council

Dec 30, 2020
Bob Self / The Florida Times-Union

The rise of home deliveries shipped in cardboard boxes plus the holiday season of gift-giving create so many opportunities for recycling that it might seem odd that Jacksonville is trying to figure out how to bolster the program that keeps trash out of the landfill by giving it a second life.

If you live in the Hampton Glen subdivision on Jacksonville’s Southside and you thought the thunderstorm that tore through Jacksonville on Christmas Eve seemed especially intense, you were right.

Lot J rendering
The Cordish Companies / Via Jacksonville Jaguars

A group of African-American community and faith leaders shared their support for the Lot J development project in a news conference Wednesday morning outside City Hall.

Registered nurse Cynthia Banada holds a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Miami Jewish Health, a senior healthcare facility, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in Miami.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

The city of Jacksonville is asking for patience as the hotline to set an appointment for COVID-19 vaccinations in Duval County has been frustrating callers since it went live at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.

Person with gloves on holding a vaccine in their hand, about to flick it with their finger.
Kirsty Wigglesworth / Associated Press

Duval County residents 65 and older and health care workers with direct exposure to patients can call the health department to get vaccinated against coronavirus starting Wednesday morning, Dec. 30.

Matt Slocum / AP Photo

Clay County announced on Tuesday it will be giving residents 65 and older and health care workers COVID-19 vaccines by appointment, starting Monday, Jan. 4.

Ferry loaded with cars
Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA)

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) will temporarily suspend service of the St. Johns River Ferry for approximately eight weeks starting Wednesday, January 6, 2021, to begin the next phase of upgrades to the facilities and the vessel.

Florida House of Representatives

Florida House attorneys next week will try to convince an appeals court that a former legislator should be shielded from a lawsuit filed by a one-time aide who alleges she was fired after reporting improper conduct.

Karen Mathis / Jacksonville Daily Record

Dennis Chan is starting the new year with the new Blue Bamboo Canton Bistro in Mandarin, continuing 16 years of the Asian restaurant’s operations.

WJCT News file photo

Federal prosecutors have asked an appeals court to uphold the conviction of former Congresswoman Corrine Brown on fraud and tax charges, pushing back against arguments that a juror was improperly replaced after he said the “Holy Spirit” told him Brown was not guilty.

JFRD Employees To Get Vaccinated For COVID-19 At Convention Center

Dec 28, 2020
woman administering a shot to a man's arm
JFRD via Mayor Lenny Curry/Twitter

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department employees are expected to start vaccinating the public for COVID-19 as early as next month, but that’s not until they get the vaccine themselves.

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

COVID-19 has cost Florida billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs. The virus has hit the state’s biggest industry — tourism — hard.

Police: Former Florida Lawmaker Arrested In Haiti On Weapons Charge

Dec 24, 2020
Florida House of Representatives

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A Florida lawmaker who was disciplined after using a gay slur against a political rival and who lost re-election earlier this year is in custody in Haiti on a weapons charge, police there said Thursday. Circumstances of his arrest were a mystery.

Duval County Mask Mandate Extended Into January

Dec 24, 2020
Face masks hanging on a cabinet
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Mayor Lenny Curry has extended Duval County’s mask mandate through at least Jan. 25, according to WJCT News partner News4Jax.

Jacksonville First Responders Get COVID-19 Vaccinations

Dec 24, 2020
Mike Simon / AP Photo

Jacksonville fire and rescue personnel got vaccinated Wednesday against the COVID-19 virus as the opening stage of vaccines expanded with a shipment of the Moderna doses to the city, Mayor Lenny Curry said.

Watchdog Group OurJax And NAACP Slam Lot J Development Deal

Dec 24, 2020
aerial view of parking lot packed with cars
Dede Smith / For the Times-Union

The watchdog group OurJax on Tuesday urged City Council to reject the proposed Lot J development, calling it a "rigged deal" that should be scrapped so negotiations can start over with the usual vetting for downtown developments that seek taxpayer subsidies.

DeSantis Breaks With CDC, Puts Vaccine Focus On Seniors Over Essential Workers

Dec 23, 2020
Chris O'Meara / AP Photo

Five more people are confirmed to have died from coronavirus in Duval County since Tuesday, and the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Duval jumped by nearly 700 overnight. And with two days until Christmas, more than 320 people in the county remain hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19.

Registered nurse La Tanya Forbes, right, is inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by RN Cheryl Birmingham, left, at Memorial Healthcare System, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in Miramar, Fla.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

A statewide taskforce is aiming to get at least 60% of people of color to get the coronavirus vaccine.

The Statewide Coronavirus Vaccination Community Education and Engagement Taskforce is enlisting faith leaders, historically Black college and university presidents, elected officials and others to advocate for the vaccine in minority communities. 

Dinosaur replica roars next to cars
Jurassic Quest

Dinosaurs are set to invade the Jacksonville area. For two weekends, the Jurassic Quest Drive Thru event will be next to TIAA Bank Field.

From January 15 to January 24, the touring dinosaur exhibit will transform the outdoor parking area of TIAA Bank Field into an interactive drive-through experience, including more than 70 moving and life-like dinosaurs, as well as a 50-foot-long Megalodon prehistoric shark replica.

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