Arts & Culture
11:33 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Getting Ready For The 2013 Jacksonville Jazz Festival

The 2013 Jacksonville Jazz Festival poster.
Credit City of Jacksonville

The Jacksonville Jazz Festival kicks off Thursday night with the annual Jazz Piano Competition at the Florida Theatre.

The annual Memorial Day weekend event brings tens of thousands of people into downtown Jacksonville. It began in Mayport Village in 1979 under Mayor Jake Godbold, but it quickly became too popular to be housed in the small village and was moved to Metropolitan Park which had just recently been open.

Read more
6:48 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

ESPN Pro Boxing Coming to Veterans Arena

Professional Boxing is coming to Jacksonville next month.
Credit Kevin Meerschaert

For the first time since 1997 professional boxing is returning to Jacksonville.

The Big City Brawl in Duval at Veterans Arena will be broadcast live by ESPN on Friday June 28th.

It will feature eight bouts with a middleweight fight between Sergio Mora and Grzegorz (Zagers) Proksa as the main event.  

More was the first winner of The Contender NBC series. Proksa is from Poland and is one of the highest ranked European fighters.

Read more
Hidden Gems
1:37 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Hidden Gems: J.P. Small Park

The front of J.P. Small Park
Kevin Meerschaert

WJCTNews.org is beginning a new web only series checking out some of the great places in Jacksonville you may not know exist.

We are starting off with J. P. Small Park in Durkeeville.

We welcome your suggestions.

Opened in 1912, and rebuilt in 1936, J.P. Small Park served as Jacksonville's primary baseball park until Wolfson Stadium was built in 1954.

Read more
public safety
3:16 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Baldwin Gets New Fire Rescue Unit

The JFRD showed off its new rescue unit stationed at the Baldwin Fire Station.
Credit Kevin Meerschaert

Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown and Baldwin Mayor Stan Totman were on hand to introduce a new rescue unit for the Baldwin Fire Station. Before now, the closest Rescue Unit to Baldwin was seven miles away on Beaver Street.

Along with the Rescue unit, the full time staff of the station will increase from two to four. Jacksonville Fire Chief Marty Senterfitt says that's important because the increase in protection is expected to help lower home owner insurance rates for Baldwin residents.

Read more
Arts, Culture & Business
3:55 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

French Ambassador Helps Jacksonville Kick Off "French Week"

French Ambassador to the U.S. Francois Delattre addresses a crowd at the ribbon-cutting for Buffet Group USA's new North American headquarters.
Credit Kevin Meerschaert

France's Ambassador to the U.S. Francois Delattre was in Jacksonville on Thursday to help kick off the city's second annual celebration commemorating Jean Ribault's arrival at the St. Johns River in 1562.

Read more
Local Politics
5:08 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Jax Council Committee Wants More Answers On Ousting Of Environmental Chief

Jacksonville's Director of Environmental Control Vince Seibold was let go by the city last week.
Credit City of Jacksonville

The Jacksonville City Council Rules Committee wants to know if Environmental Quality Chief Vince Seibold was let go because he publicly expressed concerns about reorganization plans involving his department.

Seibold told the Environmental Protection Board, or EPB, about potential problems with moving environmental control under Public Works.

The administration says Seibold was let go because he had requested a member of the General Counsel's office to prepare a document for the EPB without the consent or acknowledgment of her superior, Cindy Laquidara.

Read more
2:48 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

The Players Expanding To Downtown

The Players Championship "Gold Man" insignia will be painted on sidewalks around downtown Jacksonville
Credit Kevin Meerschaert

A partnership including the city of Jacksonville and downtown hotel are teaming to give the Players Championship more of a presence  in downtown Jacksonville.

The Players Alliance also includes JEA, JTA, JAXPORT, the Jacksonville Aviation Authority, The Jaguars, the Gator Bowl Association, Florida's First Coast of Golf and Orange Peel Entertainment.

It will all kick off with a party on the Shipyard's property that will include music, food and golf related events  May 3. A golf-theme will be part of the ther May 1 Art-Walk.

Read more
City History
8:27 pm
Sun April 14, 2013

PHOTOS: Walking The Matthews Bridge

A view from the top of the Matthews Bridge
Cyd Hoskinson/WJCT

The Matthews Bridge celebrated its 60th Anniversary Saturday with a rededication ceremony at the foot of the bridge in Arlington. 

Although tens-of-thousands of vehicles cross the Matthews Bridge every day, it’s unusual to see groups of people walking across it. But that’s exactly what you would have seen Saturday morning after Old Arlington, Inc. president Steve Matchett wrapped up the ceremony. 

"When the ribbon is cut, that's your signal that you can walk onto the bridge."

Read more
First Coast Connect
1:49 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Working Moms Rejoice As "Plan Summer" Launches

Working moms have a new friend- the website Plan Summer, helping plan your kids' summer camps.

Working parents know the drill. Every spring it's a scramble to find quality, affordable summer camps for their kids. The best camps fill up quickly, cost a lot, and it can be a logistical nightmare to try to schedule your kids in several different camps that fit their interests over the long summer break.

Read more
Veterans Health
4:53 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Locals Talk Ways To Prevent Veterans Suicides

About 200 people gathered at UNF on Thursday to look for solutions to problem of veteran's suicides.
Credit Kevin Meerschaert

More awareness, less stigmatism and learning the warning signs are some of the ways people can help work to reduce the number of suicides by veterans.

According to a report by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 22 veteran suicides occur every day nationwide.

The City of Jacksonville's Military Affairs, Veterans and Disabled Services department teamed with the University of North Florida to talk about the problem at the 2013 Veterans Suicide Awareness and Prevention Summit.

Many told their stories about losing friends and relatives to suicide.

Read more
First Coast Connect
2:55 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

One Spark: Planning To Light Up Jacksonville

Businessman Peter Rummell has been called the "patron of One Spark."
Credit Will Dickey / The Florida Times-Union

Jacksonville's inaugural One Spark Festival is set spark up downtown next week, and no one's happier about it than financial backer Peter Rummell.

The former CEO of the city's St. Joe Company says he's hopeful One Spark will become synonymous with the First Coast.

"You think of the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, or SXSW in Austin, Texas," says Rummell. "This event has that same potential."

Read more
First Coast Connect
11:04 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Mathews Bridge Turns 60

The John E. Mathews Bridge in 1953
Credit State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

Decades before a certain span in Alaska won the dubious honor, a bridge project in Jacksonville was  tagged a "bridge to nowhere."

The Mathews Bridge, which opened to traffic in the spring of 1953, was initially derided by skeptics, who said no one would use it.

Before the bridge was built, the Arlington neighborhood was accessible to many only by ferry.

Read more
First Coast Connect
3:02 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Summit Looks To Curb Rising First Coast Veteran Suicide Rate

Veterans are at increased risk for suicide, both nationally and here on the First Coast.

This year’s City of Jacksonville Veterans Summit will focus on the growing problem of veterans’ suicides.

According to a recent U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs study, an American veteran commits suicide once every 65 minutes in this country - about 22 per day.

Here on the First Coast, about 25% of the population is either active or retired military, so this is a serious public health and policy issue.

Read more
Creator Series
11:49 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Creator Series- 96 Seasons

"96 Seasons" correlates to Jessie Wilsons age 24. It describes how many seasons he has lived.
Credit Jessie Wilson

This week in the Creator Series, we spoke with poet Jesse Wilson about his One Spark project 96 Seasons. Wilson is from Jacksonville and writes of local VOID Magazine and is very involved in the community.

Wilson hopes his book of poems can inspire people to explore the magic of Jacksonville. He says he hopes his display at One Spark includes photos that can help draw the reader in and give them a visual representation of the city.

Read more
Downtown Parking
3:30 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Smart Parking App Goes Live on Laura Street

The app Parker allows drivers to find parking spots on Laura Street.

A smart app that helps drivers find parking spots in downtown Jacksonville went live on Wednesday.

Read more