Less Than 1% Of Students Opt Out Of Masks In First Week Of New Duval Policy

Sep 10, 2021
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

Duval County Public Schools' new mask mandate has cut down significantly on the number of students who have opted out of wearing a face covering on campus within the first week of enforcement, new numbers show.

Sky Lebron / WJCT News

Calling it unconstitutionally “vague and overbroad,” Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker on Thursday blocked a controversial state law that enhances penalties and creates new crimes in protests that turn violent.

Florida School Districts Tackle Staffing Challenges

Sep 10, 2021

Hosting hiring fairs, shifting resources and shuttering schools are some of the measures school district officials are taking as they grapple with shortages in crucial staffing positions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the school year began nearly a month ago, a growing number of school districts have gotten creative to address a shortage of bus drivers, cafeteria workers and other support staff.

Challenge To JEA Solar Policy Rejected

Sep 9, 2021
Rooftop solar panels
Pujanak / Wikimedia Commons

An appeals court on Thursday rejected a lawsuit that contended Jacksonville’s municipal utility violated a state law when it changed a program that provides credits to customers who generate electricity through rooftop solar panels. 


Thursday marks one month since a free, state-run monoclonal antibody treatment clinic opened in Jacksonville. As of Wednesday, 5,603 people have been treated between the city’s original Bay Street location and its current Downtown Public Library location.

The USS Orleck
The Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association

The historic USS Orleck, a highly decorated Navy vessel that is planned to serve as the future Jacksonville Naval Museum, could arrive in the River City by late November or early December, if everything goes to plan.

Pockets of strong wind gusts are possible in portions of Central and North Florida Friday afternoon ahead of front moving into the state.

A very humid air mass remains behind what was once Tropical Storm Mindy. Showers and thunderstorms are likely to develop early Thursday morning near the Nature Coast and in the Tampa/St. Pete metropolitan areas. These storms are capable of localized flooding and frequent lightning as they move from southwest to northeast.

TALLAHASSEE --- Hours after a Leon County circuit judge allowed school districts to continue student mask requirements, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration Wednesday night filed an emergency motion asking an appeals court to reinstate a stay.

The 41-page motion seeks to put on hold a Sept. 2 ruling by Circuit Judge John Cooper that said DeSantis overstepped his constitutional authority in an executive order aimed at preventing districts from requiring students to wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Developer Asks City For Another $2M To Satisfy Laura Street Trio Lien

Sep 9, 2021
Jacksonville Daily Record

The Jacksonville City Council is poised to add $2 million to a $24.67 million taxpayer incentives deal previously approved by the Downtown Investment Authority to renovate the historic Laura Street Trio. 

Jacksonville City Hall
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Jacksonville City Council will vote this month on the proposed spending plan for the upcoming year. Council is set to discuss the budget Sept. 14 and finalize it Sept. 28 before the new fiscal year starts Oct. 1.  

A disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico has quickly become better organized Wednesday and intensified into Tropical Storm Mindy by early evening.

No strong tropical systems are affecting Florida, but impacts from a disturbance in the Gulf and Hurricane Larry well offshore are making their presence known.

Heavy rain from what forecasters are calling Disturbance "91L" have prompted Flash Flood Watches for portions of the Florida Panhandle and Forgotten coast Wednesday through Thursday morning. 2 to 4 inches of rain, with local amounts between 5 and 7 inches, may cause flash flooding in areas where it comes down heavily in a short period of time. A few strong wind gusts or isolated tornadoes are also possible.

Judge Rules Florida School Districts Can Require Masks Immediately

Sep 8, 2021
disposable mask
News Service of Florida

A Leon County circuit judge on Wednesday again blocked Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order that seeks to bar school mask mandates, giving at least a temporary victory to parents challenging the order.

Dr. Tammy Hodo speaking at a TEDxJacksonville event in 2019.

TEDxJacksonville has announced its lineup of speakers and musical performers for this year’s event, which is being held for the first time at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts.

Adult Entertainment Law Not For Us, Jacksonville Store Owners Claim In Lawsuit

Sep 8, 2021
Steve Patterson / Florida Times-Union

Owners of a dozen Jacksonville stores selling sex toys and adult-themed merchandise are asking a federal judge for protection from zoning citations their lawyers call harassment by City Hall.

If you’re heading to the beach, look out for dangerous rip currents this week as Hurricane Larry lumbers by the North Florida coast in the Atlantic.  All week, lifeguards are flying red flags of warning.

New law enforcement officers in Florida would be eligible for $5,000 bonuses from the state under a proposal Gov. Ron DeSantis outlined Tuesday.

“Now, that may mean somebody who is younger, who decides to go into law enforcement who is already a Florida resident. But it would also apply to someone moving from another state," DeSantis said at a press conference at the Lakeland Police Department.

DeSantis Says Speculation Of White House Run In 2024 Is 'Nonsense'

Sep 8, 2021

As he faces a re-election campaign next year, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday tried to dispel speculation that he is preparing to run for the White House in 2024.

During an appearance in St. Cloud to discuss monoclonal antibody treatment for people who become infected with COVID-19, DeSantis was asked by a reporter about the possibility that he and former President Donald Trump might run for president. Trump has been a political ally of DeSantis and helped get him elected governor in 2018.

Affordable Housing Ballot Initiative Halted By Florida Realtors

Sep 8, 2021

Realtors are halting an effort to pass a constitutional amendment to ensure funding for affordable housing, saying they will work with legislative leaders to create a program to help people such as nurses, police officers and firefighters buy homes.

The decision, announced Tuesday night, came after the group Florida Realtors and the National Association of Realtors contributed at least $13 million to a political committee spearheading the effort to put the proposed constitutional amendment on the 2022 ballot.

Duval School Board Approves Threshold To End Mask Mandate

Sep 8, 2021
Manu Fernandez / AP Photo

The Duval Schools mask requirement will remain in effect until December unless the community positivity rate decreases significantly, the School Board ruled Tuesday. 

Raymon Troncoso / WJCT News

Congressional Republicans, Rep. John Rutherford, FL-4, and Sen. Marco Rubio joined together Tuesday to tout legislation that aims to help teachers and first responders become homeowners.


Florida State College at Jacksonville is hosting free vaccination clinics and an educational event in honor of the late UF Health Jacksonville CEO Dr. Leon Haley and in partnership with UF Health Jacksonville.

Steinmetz / Submitted

A longstanding women’s surf competition is coming to Jacksonville Beach this fall. The Super Girl Surf Pro contest has taken place in San Diego the last 15 years and is a World Surf League qualifying series competition. This is the first time the contest is coming to the East Coast.

A1A Solar

As Florida Power & Light began pursuing an increase in base electric rates this year, a new group, Floridians Against Increased Rates, emerged to oppose the utility.

That has led to battles at the state Public Service Commission about whether the group, dubbed FAIR, should be able to take part in the high-stakes rate case and whether information about its members should be made public.

COVID-19 Death Toll Reaches 2,237 Among Duval County Residents

Sep 7, 2021
AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

The latest wave of COVID-19 infections has raised the death toll among Duval County residents to 2,237 since the pandemic began in 2020 and unleashed yet another surge in cases this summer.

Raines High School
Bob Self / Florida Times-Union file photo


A group of Duval County high school students is planning a protest over the district’s dress code, saying it asks girls to sacrifice their comfort so boys don’t get distracted.

AP Photo/Marta Lavandier, File

Some Nassau County parents are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to tracking the number of COVID-19 cases in their children’s classrooms.

school bus

On Tuesday, students at Duval County Public Schools will be asked to wear a face covering.

Fans of Disney World can now show their appreciation for their theme park by purchasing a Florida specialty plate to commemorate the theme park's 50th anniversary.

According to a release from the Florida Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Disney specialty plates have been send to tax collector offices and license plate agencies across the state.

The department started to offer presale vouchers for the license plates in October 2020 after the Florida Legislature approved the new plate, according to the release.

Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson Enters Race For Agriculture Commissioner

Sep 6, 2021

Senate President Wilton Simpson, a wealthy Republican from Trilby whose business holdings include a giant egg farm, filed paperwork Friday to run for state agriculture commissioner next year.

Simpson, who in May drew an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, is the most-prominent candidate to enter the race for the Cabinet seat that will be open because Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democrat, is running for governor.