First Coast

News affecting Duval, Baker, Nassau, St. Johns or Clay counties.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT News

On Sunday morning, at precisely one minute past midnight, a new Harry Potter book was released for the first time in nearly a decade…and a small Jacksonville bookstore was ready.

San Marco Books and More conjured up a midnight launch party for fans who couldn’t wait another second to get their hands on “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” 


Nearly 1000 Acre Fire Burns in Baker County

Jul 29, 2016
Florida Forest Service

More fires than average have broken out in Northeast Florida this summer because of dry weather, including a nearly 1000-acre wildfire is burning in Baker County.


Anastasia Mosquito Control

With the Zika virus on many Floridians’ minds, it’s easy to forget the other mosquito-borne viruses present in the state.

However, troupes of chickens are standing guard throughout St. Johns County as the first line of defense against the blood-sucking parasites. Backyard chickens are a source of eggs for many Northeast Florida residents, but for the state’s mosquito prevention programs, they serve a very different purpose. 

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Updated 9 a.m. 7/28

Jacksonville’s Hemming Park is a step closer to becoming a designated city landmark after the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission voted Wednesday evening to recommend protecting  the historic park, including its Confederate monument.

Duval County Looks To Improve Recycling Rate

Jul 26, 2016
Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Duval County’s rate of recycling is below the state average, according to the latest figures released by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

Before the football players arrive for training camp this week, the Jacksonville Jaguars threw open the doors of EverBank Field to trainers for the Pokemon Safari.


Florida Regulators To Update Water Quality Standards

Jul 25, 2016
Sarah De Nicolais

Florida’s Environmental Regulation Commission is set to vote Tuesday on new proposed levels of pollutants in surface water.


Steve Baker / Flickr

Updated 5:30 p.m. July 29

Jacksonville has cracked down on nuisance animals.

A City Council bill passed Tuesday, making it easier for annoyed neighbors to report noisy animals.


Police Make Arrest In Fatal Riverside Shooting

Jul 25, 2016
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

JACKSONVILLE — One year and two days after a 20-year-old was shot and killed while taking out the garbage at a Riverside restaurant, Jacksonville police and State Attorney Angela Corey announced an arrest in the case.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

An angry Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry lashed out Monday against news media for reporting on the draft of a Sheriff’s Office task force report, which calls his pension tax plan “insufficient” to solve the city’s financial problems.

The report recommends a property tax hike in addition to Curry’s suggested sales tax extension.


We Vote Rally

Advocates for increasing voter turnout among people living with disabilities will rally in front of Jacksonville City Hall at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The We Vote Rally happens every presidential election cycle. Participants learn about issues surrounding various disabilities and can also register to vote.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

A forum for 4th Circuit State Attorney candidates in Jacksonville kicked off with a familiar tone Wednesday night.

Hopefuls Wes White and Melissa Nelson criticized incumbent Angela Corey on issues like juvenile justice and court diversion programs. And Corey shot back by excoriating the press and defending her long record.

Northeast Florida Highways Being Brought Up To Speed

Jul 20, 2016
Allie George / WJCT News

Along several Northeast Florida highways, information superhighways – in the form of miles of fiberoptic cable – are being installed. The new technology could make safer, more efficient road trips a reality.

The Florida Department of Transportation has recently undertaken several projects to install the cables along existing roadways. Construction has already begun for the projects located along State Road 16 in St. Johns County as well as I-75, and another project along I-10 is expected to get underway this fall.


Saphara Harrell / WJCT News

Funding for Jacksonville’s Hemming Park is up in the air after its management almost ran out of money a couple months ago.

The city’s Finance Committee heard an auditor’s report Wednesday about how the park uses taxpayer dollars.


Jacksonville Bar Association

The candidates vying to unseat State Attorney Angela Corey will share a stage with her this evening at the second candidate forum in as many days.  

Last night’s forum focused on the relationship between police, prosecutors and Jacksonville’s black community.


Changes Possibly Coming To Jacksonville Naval Airfield In Whitehouse

Jul 20, 2016
U.S. Navy

JACKSONVILLE — The Navy is conducting an environmental assessment to determine if new training exercises can take place at the Naval Outlying Landing Field Whitehouse on Jacksonville's Westside.

Hulsey
Mark Hulsey for Circuit Judge via Vimeo

Updated 3:30 p.m.

A Duval County Circuit Judge is facing charges that he mistreated his staff and used language unbecoming of a judge.

The Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission finds probable cause against Judge Mark Hulsey III.

Allie George / WJCT News

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry’s "Dear Orlando" postcard initiative is in full swing, and organizers have already seen an overwhelming response.

Next week is the deadline for those who visit any of Jacksonville's public libraries to share condolences with Orlando residents still grieving from last month’s Pulse Nightclub shootings.

Krisit O'Daniel

Two years ago, Jacksonville native Kristi O’Daniel sold her possessions, gave away her cat and bought a one-way ticket to Turkey.

The University of North Florida international relations alum was in search of adventure, but may have gotten more than she bargained for.


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

New Jacksonville City Council President Lori Boyer wants the body to be more proactive about developing policy.

So she’s restructuring City Council committees to ensure it.


Jacksonville City Hall, St. James Building
Ray Hollister / WJCT News

The Jacksonville City Council will more strictly enforce its ban on demonstrations at meetings.

News4Jax

Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson are sponsoring legislation requiring the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to survey tenants in low-income housing twice a year.

The bill is a response to living conditions at Jacksonville’s Eureka Gardens apartment complex and the Windsor Cove complex in Orlando.


Flickr

  The Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida recently hosted the third annual Local Focus/Local Impact Awards during the Nonprofit Works Conference and a brand new Advocate Award was rewarded.

Riverside Robberies Recurring Around King Street

Jul 13, 2016
Google Maps

Armed robberies in Riverside have been a recurring problem over the last few weeks.

Since mid-June, there have been at least four robberies near the intersection of King and College streets, all with a suspect matching a similar description.

News4Jax

A former Jacksonville Transportation Authority manager was arrested Tuesday and charged with stealing nearly $400,000 from the company. 

Westside Jacksonville Park Receives Land Donation

Jul 12, 2016
Courtesy of the North Florida Land Trust

A Westside Jacksonville park is growing, thanks to a private land donation and the help of a local land conservation group.

The North Florida Land Trust recently facilitated the donation of 33 acres to expand Jacksonville's McGirts Creek Park.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

The first large freighter to pass through the new, larger Panama Canal arrived at JAXPORT Tuesday.

The landing punctuates an ongoing controversy over intentions to deepen Jacksonville’s channel to accommodate modern mega ships.


WJCT

Hundreds of people took to Jacksonville’s streets Sunday to protest the police shooting of an unarmed black man in Springfield.


Babies Abound At St. Augustine Alligator Farm

Jul 11, 2016
Allie George / WJCT News

It was a landmark month for breeding endangered animals at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.

The park recently welcomed six baby Galapagos tortoises and an Indian gharial, similar to a crocodile, representing the first time that either species has been successfully bred at the park. 


Sarah De Nicolais / WJCT News

As temperatures increase in Jacksonville, so too does the number of homeless men, women and children in search of shelter.

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