Heard On WJCT News

A woman wearing a protective mask watches television in her home.
Alvaro Barrientos / Associated Press

A St. Johns County Commissioner proposed a mandatory mask mandate during Tuesday’s special emergency meeting, but the motion failed as none of the other commissioners were willing to second the proposal, even as one of their colleagues is in “critical” condition due to complications from COVID-19.

Florida’s road network depends heavily on per-gallon taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel. Those taxes are used to fund road construction and maintenance.

In the coming two decades, Florida’s gas tax may need to be doubled over the current average of 36.7 cents per gallon in order to offset the decline in revenue caused by more fuel-efficient cars.

A new report by the James Madison Institute explains that’s why taxes should be charged per mile instead of per gallon.

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

A Florida House candidate from Northwest Jacksonville is calling on local environmental activists to highlight issues in her community.

Gerry Broome / Associated Press file photo

JEA says disconnections will start Friday, July 10, for potentially thousands of customers who have fallen significantly behind in their payments and have not contacted the utility to work out a payment plan.

Warming Brings Muggier Weather to Jacksonville, Threatening Most Vulnerable

Jul 8, 2020
An airman assigned to the 557th Expeditionary RED HORSE drinks water while working on a construction site.
Senior Airman Damon Kasberg / U.S. Air Force

Diallo-Sekou Seabrooks was working a job as a concrete finisher last summer when he started feeling dizzy and lay down in the bed of a truck before heading home. The next day, the same thing happened.

A line of drivers wait on Gator Bowl Blvd. to enter Lot J for COVID-19 testing in this Sunday, March 29 file photo.
MELISSA ROSS / WJCT NEWS

Jacksonville has been added to the list of cities that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has deemed “hotspot jurisdictions.”

As a result, federal temporary surge COVID-19 testing locations have opened in Jacksonville:

Alex Brandon / Associated Press

President Donald Trump pointed Tuesday to being “very flexible” when asked if increasing coronavirus cases could affect his desire for a big nominating convention next month in Jacksonville.

Jacksonville City Council President Tommy Hazouri
Tommy Hazouri's Facebook page

City Council President Tommy Hazouri said Tuesday it concerns him greatly that Mayor Lenny Curry’s administration may come to the City Council with a “hurry up offense” for part of the Republican National Convention being held in Jacksonville.

The St. Johns River.
The University of North Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law measures that include bigger fines for dumping pollutants into waterways and new rules for septic tanks and agricultural runoff, though environmentalists said the rules don’t go far enough.

BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

This 4th of July the city of Jacksonville is expanding its fireworks show to six locations around town.

US Space Force Headquarters In Jacksonville? Curry, DeSantis Back The Idea

Jul 2, 2020
Alex Brandon / Associated Press

Gov. Ron DeSantis has endorsed six Florida counties and three cities that hope to land the command headquarters of the U.S. Space Force.

Facing a tough reelection campaign, Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels has released a new video where he stands in uniform with more than a dozen other members of the department, saying while his department will protect “your constitutional rights” for a peaceful protest or march, that lawlessness will not be tolerated.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Gov. Ron DeSantis Transition Team

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill that would require state-financed coastal developments to account for sea level rise and storm surge.

Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., speaks during a House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 28, 2020.
Anna Moneymaker / The New York Times via AP, Pool

Local advocates recently met with Jacksonville Representative John Rutherford to talk about climate change and a national carbon pricing bill.

The coal-fired Plant Scherer, one of the nation's top carbon dioxide emitters, stands in the distance in Juliette, GA.
Branden Camp / Associated Press

The JEA Board of Directors unanimously approved a transaction on Friday that will lead to the closure of one unit at the coal-fired Scherer power plant in Georgia, which is one of the single largest point sources of carbon emissions in the country. 

State Suspends Alcohol Consumption At Bars 'Effective Immediately'

Jun 26, 2020
File photo of people drinking beer
Mark Lennihan / Associated Press

Friday the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) announced it is suspending drinking alcohol at bars, "effectively immediately."

Ryan Ketterman / Via Winn-Dixie

Jacksonville-based supermarket chain Winn-Dixie is getting national attention due to its name. The word “Dixie” is a nickname for the Civil War-era South. 

Climate strikers gather in front of Jacksonville City Hall in September of 2019.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

A recent poll from Florida Atlantic University finds that the coronavirus pandemic has not significantly changed the way Floridians feel about climate change.

BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

Getting more people to wear face masks when they’re out in public is gathering momentum in St. Johns County.

The Wolfburg family

A new fellowship program is meant to help Duval County teachers encourage diversity and nurture inclusion at school.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry
City of Jacksonville

Mayor Lenny Curry says, effective immediately, city code enforcement will be monitoring businesses throughout Jacksonville to make sure state ordered capacity guidelines are being followed.

City Council Approves $16.54M for 72 Businesses, Nonprofits

Jun 24, 2020
BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

The Jacksonville City Council approved spending $16.54 million to help 72 nonprofit and for-profit businesses suffering revenue losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Downtown Jacksonville and the VyStar Memorial Veterans Arena, where part of the RNC will be held, are pictured.
BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

Some city leaders may be ecstatic that Jacksonville will host part of the Republican National Convention in August, but the majority of residents are less than thrilled by the idea, according to a new University of North Florida public opinion poll, which touched on a wide array of topics.

City of St. Augustuine

Leaders of the country's oldest city have decided to move a Confederate memorial that has been a fixture in its central plaza for 140 years.

Photo of Stein Mart's corporate headquarters on the Jacksonville Southbank.
BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

Jacksonville-based Stein Mart’s future is looking bleak, according to the annual report the department store chain has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Jacksonville Historical Society

The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynryd, Molly Hatchet and The Derek Trucks Band are among the internationally successful acts with roots in Jacksonville.

BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

The Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront hotel, which is the largest and closest facility to the site of the August Republican National Convention, is shedding 200 workers ahead of what the Duval GOP describes as the "greatest event to come to Jacksonville since the Super Bowl."

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, holds up a graph concerning COVID-19 cases in Florida as he speaks about opening businesses.
John Raoux / Associated Press

A Jacksonville-based data scientist says the way Florida presents COVID-19 data to the public is misleading, and he worries it’s being done deliberately to help support efforts to reopen the state.

Melissa Ross / WJCT News

Mayor Lenny Curry said Tuesday the percentage of positive COVID-19 cases has dropped as compared to the city’s peak.

"A tribute to the Women of the Southern Confederacy" greets visitors to Jacksonville's Confederate Park on Sunday, June 14, 2020.
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

One of Jacksonville’s oldest and most historic parks will likely soon look different as Mayor Lenny Curry has vowed the city will take down Confederate monuments around Jacksonville.

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