Heard On WJCT News

Courtesy Amy Donofrio

A teacher in the Duval County Public School system has filed a lawsuit against the district over free speech issues and allegations of retaliation. 

Masked woman outside of an unemployment office with a "now hiring" sign.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

An effort to increase Florida’s much-criticized unemployment benefits, boosting the amounts and lengths of payments, continued to advance Thursday in the state Senate.

Rep. Cord Byrd (R-Neptune Beach)
News Service of Florida

A bipartisan proposal to add hiring standards and bolster use-of-force training for police and correctional officers began moving forward Thursday in the House.

Courtesy City of Jacksonville

A scheduled Friendship Fountain renovation was supposed to be finished this spring, but it hasn’t even started. 

North Florida TPO

A major debate is underway about how to fund, grow and expand Jacksonville’s urban core transit system.

On Climate Change, DeSantis Focuses On Infrastructure While Ignoring Heat-Causing Emissions

Apr 15, 2021
Anticipating significant impacts associated with sea level rise by 2040, Satellite Beach is moving its public works building to higher ground.
Amy Green / WMFE

Brick by brick, the stucco shell of a new, flood-resilient public works building is taking shape blocks from the beach, the most visible sign yet of this small community’s enormous task of staving off the rising sea. 

Camden County Seeks Input on Regional 20-Year Plan

Apr 15, 2021
A Camden County, GA government building
Courtesy Camden County, GA

The regional planning and development agency that serves Camden County, Ga. is encouraging residents to share their thoughts about the future of coastal Georgia in a survey. 

Three Bids Made For Berkman II Demolition Order

Apr 15, 2021
The unfinished Berkman Plaza II along Bay Street in Downtown Jacksonville.
Jacksonville Daily Record

Three out-of-state companies submitted bids as part of the city’s order to demolish the unfinished Berkman Plaza II while a potential developer says his group will buy the site within days.

Powerful, sustained winds are rare this time of year in Florida, and that means the polluted water that spilled from the Piney Point phosphate plant last month is likely to linger in Tampa Bay for months, a USF ocean physicist said Wednesday.

“Every time the tide sloshes to the north or to the south, this plume is going to spread a little bit more to the north and to the south,” said Bob Weisberg, a professor of physical oceanography at the College of Marine Science at USF.

St. Pete Pride Set To Return In June

Apr 15, 2021

The last time St. Pete Pride took place in person -- in 2019 -- the parade drew about 265,000 people.

Last year’s event was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, to avoid a large gathering, Florida’s largest LGBTQ+ celebration will be spread throughout the month of June.

Florida House Passes Transgender Sports Bill Despite Democratic Opposition

Apr 15, 2021

The Republican-dominated Florida House on Wednesday passed a bill that would ban transgender females from playing on girls’ and women’s high-school and college sports teams, with Democrats arguing the measure is purely political.

The proposal (HB 1475) would make participation in athletics contingent on determining students’ “biological sex,” a disputed term that refers to the sex assigned at birth.

Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York

A new exhibit at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens is celebrating the work of South African artist Zanele Muholi. The exhibit, a series of more than 80 self-portraits, explore themes like race, identity, human rights and social justice. 

Flooding in Flagler County.
Flagler County Emergency Services


With less than three weeks left in the legislative session, a key Senate panel Wednesday supported providing a tax break to property owners who elevate homes to address potential flooding, part of a House plan to combat rising sea levels.

Atlanta Braves' Hank Aaron smiles during a press conference at Atlanta Stadium, Ga., after the game in which he hit his 715th career home, in this April 8, 1974, file photo.
AP

The Jacksonville City Council Tuesday approved a bill renaming the baseball field at J.P. Small Memorial Park Stadium in honor of baseball great Henry L. “Hank” Aaron.

WJCT
WJCT News


The Local Media Association has announced 22 news outlets from across the country, including Jacksonville’s own WJCT News 89.9 and WJCT News partner News4Jax, that will be participating in its new Covering Climate Collaborative. WJCT produces ADAPT, a digital magazine focused on how climate change is impacting Northeast Florida and what’s being done about it, and the ADAPT Newsletter. 

Downtown Jacksonville
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Changes to shopping habits, fewer people commuting to Downtown Jacksonville offices, and more people enjoying the outdoors will all factor into the Downtown Investment Authority’s upcoming five-year plan, according to DIA CEO Lori Boyer. 

Florida has put a halt to the administration of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines after the CDC and the FDA recommended a “pause” as they investigate reports of very rare, but potentially dangerous blood clots.

A syringe is filled with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

Editor's Note:  Tuesday morning, following this story's Monday publication, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said they are recommending a "pause" in the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine out of an "abundance of caution" while an investigation is conducted into reports of apparently rare, potentially dangerous blood clots.

Original Post: Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines will be available at several pop-up sites around Northeast Florida this week, starting Tuesday at Lutheran Social Services in Jacksonville.

Jacksonville City Hall
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

One item on Tuesday’s Jacksonville City Council agenda would result in millions of dollars being invested in infrastructure improvements on parts of the Westside and Northside.

DeSantis accuses YouTube of censorship for removing video labeled as misinformation.
Sydney Boles / WJCT News

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis accused YouTube of censorship Monday for removing an earlier video in which he and some public health experts spread what YouTube has labeled as misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic. 

In this Saturday, April 18, 2020 photo, mortician Cordarial O. Holloway, foreground left, funeral director Robert L. Albritten, foreground right, place a casket into a hearse in Dawson, Ga.
Brynn Anderson / Associated Press


People whose loved ones have died from COVID-19 can get the federal government to help pay for a funeral.

City-Owned Golf Course To Reopen Saturday

Apr 9, 2021
Blue Cypress Golf Course
Courtesy Blue Cypress Golf Course

The Arlington-area Blue Cypress Golf Course is reopening Saturday, April 10 after a year-long renovation. The upgrades consisted of resurfacing the tees, greens, fairways and driving range. The irrigation system has also been upgraded to help maintain the course.

JTA First Coast Flyer bus
John Burr / WJCT contributor

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority is offering free 1-day passes to anyone who wants a ride to a COVID-19 vaccination site in Jacksonville.

The new shared use path on the Fuller Warren Bridge is due to be finished in the fall of 2021.
FDOT

It won’t be too much longer until you’ll be able to walk or bicycle across the Fuller Warren Bridge.

For rent sign
Jeff Chiu / Associated Press

Today, April 9, is the last day to apply for Jacksonville’s rent relief program for people who are behind payments because of COVID-19. 

A man wades through flood water as he check out damage from Hurricane Matthew Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, in St. Augustine , Fla.
John Bazemore / Associated Press


Tens of millions of dollars a year would go to fight the effects of rising sea levels under bills passed by the Florida House and Senate this week.

The backside of a vaccination card that was handed out after a man received a first dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in Miami is pictured.
WILFREDO LEE / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The FBI is warning Floridians about the risks of sharing photos of your COVID-19 vaccine card on social media. Scammers may steal your information off the cards, the FBI says, or use your photos to create fake vaccine cards that they can sell. 

Deesha Philyaw
Courtesy Deesha Philyaw

Jacksonville native Deesha Philyaw has won the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and is using her spotlight to uplift other Black women writers. 

A construction worker wears a protective mask during the coronavirus pandemic as he unloads a truck standing in front of a sign reminding people to stay six feet apart.
Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

The city of Jacksonville is launching a new program called Operation Boost. It’s designed to help low income residents find employment opportunities and get training to help them secure higher paying jobs.

Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

The annual Richest People in the World list from Forbes is out and two First Coast residents are on it, along with Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan.

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