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Heather Schatz / WJCT News file photo

Here’s a sign that life may be slowly getting back to normal: the return of toll charges for people who want to drive on St. Johns County beaches.

People wait in line to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center at Jackson Hospital, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Miami.
LYNNE SLADKY / ASSOCIATED PRESS

With so much riding on the successful distribution of the coronavirus vaccine, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Florida Department of Health say their policy is to do everything possible to prevent any vaccine doses from going to waste. That sometimes means vaccinating people who don’t meet current eligibility requirements. 

Lawsuit Protections Weighed For Florida's Long-Term Facilities

22 hours ago
Marta Lavandier / Associated Press

The Republican-led Legislature has promised to fast-track legislation to protect Florida businesses from COVID-19 lawsuits, but shielding the state’s long-term care industry at the same time is proving thorny.

The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) sails in the Mediterranean Sea, Aug. 26, 2020.
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Indra Beaufort / U.S. Navy photo

COVID-19 outbreaks have been reported aboard two Navy ships, including the Mayport-based USS Philippine Sea, which is at sea.

A man paddles a kayak near a flooded home after storm surge from Hurricane Irma pushed water into the low lying area.
Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

The Jacksonville City Council’s Special Committee on Resiliency has unanimously approved its final report. The recommendations in that report will serve as the foundation for the work that will be undertaken by the city’s future Chief Resiliency Officer.

FloridaStateParks.org

To help celebrate Black History Month, Fort Mose Historic State Park in St. Augustine is launching a self-guided educational tour experience along the Flight to Freedom Trail, bringing to life the history of the park year-round.

Rendering of the Crossings at Wildlight
SLEIMAN ENTERPRISES

The fast-growing Wildlight master planned community in Nassau County will have a new Publix in 2022.

News4Jax

A new coronavirus vaccination site is opening in Jacksonville at Edward Waters College. The Historically Black College will distribute about 200 doses of the Moderna vaccine per day and will prioritize residents of the New Town neighborhood where the school is located. 

Camden County Georgia has launched a new tool to help residents understand the risks posed by flooding and sea level rise.

Council President Hazouri Draws Line On 'OK' Sign Associated With White Supremacy

Feb 25, 2021
City of Jacksonville / Via Florida Times-Union

Jacksonville City Council President Tommy Hazouri put a member of the public on notice he will be be barred from speaking to City Council during its meetings if he continues to make the "OK" sign that has been used by white supremacists.

Florida will start to see a surge in COVID-19 vaccine supply in the coming weeks, Governor Ron DeSantis said on Wednesday.

Speaking in Brooksville at another pop-up vaccination site, DeSantis said he expects Floridians to have access to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by this weekend or next week.

The vaccine was found to be safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration Wednesday and is expected to be authorized for use as soon as this weekend.

St. Augustine's City Hall is pictured during Nights of Lights.
BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

The St. Augustine City Commission voted Tuesday to begin allowing public gatherings starting this spring. Events are slated to include arts shows, athletic events and music festivals. 

City of Jacksonville

After years of planning, a groundbreaking was held Wednesday for the future Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing Park in LaVilla near Downtown Jacksonville.

Outside of the Duval County Public Schools building
Sky Lebron / WJCT News


New research from the Jacksonville Public Education Fund shows that Duval County is doing well to retain teachers overall, but turnover is disproportionately affecting low-income students and students of color.

Nestle Gets Okay To Bottle Nearly 1M Gallons Of Fla. Water A Day

Feb 24, 2021
Mistoffeles / Wikimedia Commons file photo

Nestle Waters North America will be able to ramp up bottling to nearly 1 million gallons of water a day at a North Florida plant after a permit was approved Tuesday over the objections of opponents who said it will continue degradation of the state’s natural springs and rivers.

The main entrance at the Jacksonville Zoo is pictured.
Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ 21-year-old female jaguar, Zenta, was attacked and killed by a 12-year old male jaguar named Harry over the weekend.

Potential Berkman Plaza II Developer Says City Demolition Order Hindering Sale

Feb 24, 2021
The unfinished Berkman Plaza II at 500 E. Bay St. in Downtown Jacksonville.
Jacksonville Daily Record

Park Beeler, the co-managing member of developer Jacksonville Riverfront Revitalization, told a City Council and Downtown Investment Authority joint workshop Feb. 23 that his company intends to buy the unfinished Berkman Plaza II within two weeks and start demolition at the end of March.

News4Jax

The Jacksonville City Council plans to hold a public meeting Thursday to discuss access to nutritious food in the New Town neighborhood. 

The meeting comes following reporting from WJCT news partner The Florida Times-Union, which revealed the lengths that residents of the northside neighborhood must go to reach a grocery store. 

The 2021 legislative session will start March 2, with Gov. Ron DeSantis giving the annual State of the State address.

Lawmakers will take up a wide range of issues during the 60-day session, along with negotiating a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Here are 10 big issues to watch during the session:

Flooding on Ken Knight Drive during Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Cherisse Lamb

During a meeting hosted by the North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Jacksonville City Councilwoman Randy DeFoor gave a preview of some of the recommendations the Special Committee on Resiliency, which she chairs, is scheduled to vote on this week and said the city will need to spend billions of dollars to defend against the impacts of climate change.

Corrine Brown walks into the United States Courthouse in Downtown Jacksonville in this 2020 file photo.
News4Jax

A federal appeals court appeared divided Tuesday as it heard arguments about whether to overturn the conviction of former Florida Congresswoman Corrine Brown, who contends that a juror was improperly removed from her 2017 trial because he said the “Holy Spirit” told him Brown was not guilty of fraud and tax charges.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, center, speaks during a news conference, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, at a Navarro Discount Pharmacy in Hialeah, Fla.
WILFREDO LEE / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Marking a significant change in Florida’s vaccination strategy, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday said teachers and law enforcement officers ages 50 and older will have access to COVID-19 vaccine doses in the coming days as four federally supported vaccination sites open in the state.

BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

It's been quiet at the former Jacksonville Landing site lately. But that’s about to change.

Redwirespace.com

Jacksonville-based Redwire, which makes components for space systems and infrastructure, has acquired Deployable Space Systems, Inc. (DSS).

Could Third Parties Upset The Two-Party System?

Feb 23, 2021

Nearly 4 million voters have abandoned the two major political parties in Florida. That's about 26 percent, or one out of every four registered voters. It's also an increase of more than 1 million people in the last decade alone.

The lurching of the Republican Party to the right and Democrats to the left have left some voters in the middle scratching their heads about who to vote for, which party to support.

"The question is — do I even really want to bother voting again? I'm not sure," said Norma Fowler, who officially cast a pox on both parties about seven years ago.

Buc-ee's, With 104 Fueling Stations, Opens In St. Johns County

Feb 22, 2021
Jacksonville Daily Record

Hundreds flocked to the opening of Buc-ee’s in St. Johns County on Feb. 22 to check out the 53,000-square-foot convenience store or pump gas at one of its 104 fueling stations.

Agriculture Commissioner Fried Won't Lower Flags For Limbaugh

Feb 22, 2021
Steve Canno / Associated Press

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried intends to defy a call by Gov. Ron DeSantis to lower flags to half-staff to honor conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, who died last week.

MARTA LAVINDIER / ASSOCIATED PRESS

St. Johns County launched a new COVID-19 vaccination appointment preregistration system on Monday, replacing the earlier Eventbrite system.

WUSF

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday plunged back into a years-long water battle between Florida and Georgia, at times sounding skeptical of arguments that more water should be directed to Florida in a river system shared by the states.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is working with a small group of business and community leaders to come up with quick ways to spur economic development Downtown.

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