Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

Cole Gordon / WJCT

While most of the crashes inside EverBank Field this weekend will be intentional, major traffic is expected in downtown Jacksonville on Saturday as the Auto Parts Monster Truck Jam gets underway.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

In the wake of the Christmas melee outside the movie theater at River City Marketplace, some community leaders are launching an initiative they hope will prevent such occurrences in the future.

In the wake of the abduction of Onnika Fisher changes are possible in the way parents can visit their children while they are in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

AT&T, medical marijuana, and a great white shark are in the headlines today.

Edward Waters College

Edward Waters College cut the ribbon today on its new Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Center.

In addition to classrooms, the $2.6 mil building will also house a police substation. Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford says the facility will serve as a crime deterrent.

“There are 240 officers that will be calling that building home. This is a tremendous opportunity for us to increase our physical presence day in and day out, in that area around EWC,” he said.

Tex Texin / Flickr

With about seven weeks left in 2013, Jacksonville has seen as many murders as were committed in the city in 2011, and only 18 fewer than all of last year.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

The Jacksonville Sheriff's office is changing the traffic patterns for Sunday's Jaguars game against the San Diego Chargers.

All lanes on the Hart Bridge will flow into downtown from 9 a.m. until 2  p.m.

Assistant Chief Leonard Propper says the change is being made to be more accommodating to Jaguar fans who normally use the currently closed Mathews Bridge. There will be plenty of signage and a police presence to direct traffic around the stadium.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office released the arrest records of the two men charged during the evacuation of Jacksonville International Airport last night. 

Zeljko Causevic is charged with making a false threat and possession of a hoax bomb. Manuel Rivera was charged with resisting arrest. Rivera's charge is not believed to be related to the threat made by Causevic.

Read the reports below:

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is encouraging Jaguar fans to head to Everbank Field about a half hour earlier than usual on Sunday as extra delays are expected due to the closure of the Mathews Bridge.

JSO Assistant Chief Leonard Propper says fans who usually take the Mathews to the stadium should use the Hart Bridge and fans who normally take the Hart should come in on the Main Street Bridge.

Stephen_Moody / Twitter

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is advising commuters to plan for delays getting to and from work today, hours after the Mathews Bridge was ordered closed indefinitely after being struck by a ship.

"Be patient, be safe, be courteous with each other, and understand that this is a unique situation," said JSO Sgt. Steve Zona at an press conference early this morning outside Everbank Field. 

He also encouraged people to adjust their schedules, to arrive or leave work an hour early, in order to avoid rush hour traffic.

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) — Clay County Sheriff's deputies are investigating the origins of an overgrown and cobwebbed-filled semi-trailer converted into a storage shed that contained two shelves of old explosives and a WWII-era rocket launcher.

Welcome to WJCT First Read (T.G.I.F. edition), your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida, and across the country. We'll also preview some of WJCT's upcoming news programming.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

There have been 17 homicides in Jacksonville since August 1, following 15 homicides in July.

Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford says a new agreement with the Nassau County Sheriff's office will help free up time for his officers to investigate such crimes.

The Cops Without Borders program allows Nassau and Duval County deputies and officers to cross the county boarder while pursuing suspects or investigating a crime without first having to seek permission. 

Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida, and across the country. We'll also preview some of WJCT's upcoming news programming.

Sheriff gets funding restored in Jax budget: At the second of three hearings scheduled to finish budget negotiations this week, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office had $27 million in funding restored, avoiding officer layoffs. 

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

The Jacksonville City Council Finance Committee has restored about $27 million to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at the second of three hearings scheduled this week to wrap up annual city budget negotiations.

Sheriff John Rutherford said that had the funding not been restored 381 police officers, 60 corrections officers, the department’s in-house drug treatment program, and the Community Transition Center would have all been cut.  

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