First Read: Friday, February 21, 2014

Feb 21, 2014

Juror #8, the University of North Florida, and Stand Your Ground 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.

Dunn juror speaks out on issue of race: Michael Dunn trial Juror #8, Creshuna Miles, told CNN that race was never a factor when it came to making her decision in the jury room. She believes Dunn is guilty of second-degree murder. (CNN)

Warning shot bill continues to move through Florida legislature: A bill designed to make it clear people can show a gun, or even fire a warning shot, without drawing a prison sentence is advancing in Tallahassee. (AP)

UNF investigating campus hate crime: Police at the University of North Florida say they're investigating the first reported hate crime on campus after a transgender student was reportedly assaulted in a public restroom. (First Coast News)

St. Augustine police looking for hit-and-run drivers: The St. Augustine Police Department is looking for two vehicles that left the scene of a deadly hit-and-run accident that closed a section of U.S. 1 for three hours this morning. (Action News Jax)

Jax Sheriff Rutherford supports Stand Your Ground amendments: Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford says he supports "tweaking" the state's controversial Stand Your Ground self-defense law. (Florida Times-Union)

Three missing Miami-Dade children recovered safely in California: Two people have been arrested and three children are safe after being abducted from a Miami-Dade County middle school last week and taken to California. (News4Jax)

New UF report offers "grim" news for Florida economy: A new report from the LeRoy Collins Institute at the University of Florida says "the news in grim" as Florida is falling behind not only the rest of the country but also the South in key areas, from teacher salaries to high-wage jobs to adequate roads. (Tampa Bay Times)

Crowdsourced video on Venezuelan protests by UF student goes viral: A YouTube video created by a University of Florida highlighting the violence surrounding student protests in Venezuela has received more than 2 million views in less than a week. (WUFT)

Rescued Florida panther kitten recovering in Tampa: A Florida panther kitten discovered near death on a wildlife refuge and rescued in January is now recovering at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

Today on First Coast Connect, we'll start with our regular Friday local media roundtable. We'll also have music from the Get Right Band.

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.