First Coast

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

aerial map showing expressway near Middleburg High School
Florida Department of Transportation

The state plans to start collecting tolls on the initial segment of the First Coast Expressway next month.

When it’s complete, the 46-mile expressway will connect I-10 in Duval County with I-95 in St. Johns County.

Jacksonville Transportation Authority

JTA plans to increase fares for fixed-route buses, the First Coast Connect Flyer, the St. Johns River Ferry and ReadiRide services. If its proposal is approved, fares will increase by up to $35 or as little as 25 cents, depending on the service. 

City Hall exterior
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

At its final meeting on Friday, Jacksonville’s Storm Resiliency Committee recommended the city take steps to protect wetlands.


The Jacksonville City Council is holding a hearing Tuesday on whether to allow the public to vote on a half-cent sales tax increase to help repair and replace the Duval County School District’s aging school buildings.

DeSantis Signs Controversial Law Adding Restrictions On Ballot Initiative Petitions

Jun 10, 2019
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed 38 bills, including a controversial measure that will make it harder for groups and citizens to put proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot.

Business Brief: City’s Plan To Reduce Blight In Arlington Includes ‘Facade Grants’

Jun 7, 2019
Killingsworth talks in front of map inside church
Jacksonville Daily Record

Arlington businesses could freshen their facades with help from the city if they qualify in the proposed zoning overlay.

Those in the Renew Arlington Community Redevelopment Area could apply for up to $20,000 if they invest $10,000 to comply with the overlay’s new designs standards.

Angie’s Subs Owner Plans Distillery, Barbecue Joint To Join 40-Year-Old Restaurant

Jun 7, 2019
Jacksonville Daily Record

Edward Malin, owner of Angie’s Subs, plans to redevelop his property at 1436 Beach Blvd. which, if approved, could include a bourbon distillery and barbecue restaurant.

He is scheduled to present the plans Monday to the Jacksonville Beach Planning Commission.

Jacksonville Aviation Authority CEO Seeks To Regain International Service

Jun 7, 2019
Jacksonville Daily Record

When Jacksonville Aviation Authority CEO Mark VanLoh was a child in South Dakota, the airport in Sioux Falls was his playground.

“We used to go to the airport on Sundays after church to eat. We’d go watch the airplanes. My sister and I would run up and down the concourses,” VanLoh said.

He traces his 35-year career in aviation back to a single moment on the runway in his hometown — President John F. Kennedy’s arrival on Air Force One.

Sky Lebron

University of North Florida Professor Keith Ashley and his students are excavating at Big Talbot Island in  the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve with the goal of finding evidence of an ancient Native American village. Not much is known about the place called Sarabay, which Europeans documented in the 1500s.

cots in foreground, people sitting at tables
Sara Ulis

When the weather gets chilly this winter, homeless people in the city of Bunnell in Flagler County could have to tough it out on the streets.

That’s because The Sheltering Tree — the city’s only overnight cold-weather shelter — was shut down by Bunnell’s zoning board last week.  

Jacksonville Short-Term Rental Legislation Withdrawn

Jun 6, 2019
Councilman Love
Jacksonville Daily Record

Jacksonville City Council member Jim love requested withdrawal of Ordinance 2019-238, his substitute short term rental bill, in response to constituents’ concerns.

Brendan Rivers / WJCT-News

A citizen-led taskforce assembled by Jacksonville City Council President Aaron Bowman to address crime and public safety is recommending more funding for youth programs along with better coordination between existing initiatives.

City Rescue Mission

For those without a place to cool off during the day, the City Rescue Mission in Downtown Jacksonville is offering homeless residents respite from the afternoon sun, heat and humidity. 

K9s for Warriors

Northeast Florida Congressman John Rutherford has introduced a bill that would require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide service dogs to military veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Robert H. Mohlenbrock/USDA-NRCS PLANTS / Via Wikimedia Commons

Researchers at the University of North Florida are exploring potential plant-based fuels.