ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

partly-cloudy-tstorms-day Created with Sketch.
76°
Broken Clouds
H 88° L 67°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day Created with Sketch.
    76°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 88° L 67°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    75°
    Afternoon
    Partly Cloudy. H 88° L 67°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    77°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 80° L 61°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

More Galleries 

The Latest News Headlines

  • When Mayor Alvin Brown released his government reform plan the first thing we got to look at was the organizational chart, where citizens got their own slot right at the top.  The reform changes could leave citizens with less say than before.“Council passes the budget and we’re just implementing that,” says Mayor Brown and they don’t plan on spending more than they take in.“With respect to how individual citizens deal with the city, that stuff is not all that changed,” says Councilman Bill Bishop about the reform plan.  What could change is how money gets spent.  The mayor has said before he would like to have a department under the Economic Development Commission that provides incentives for businesses to relocate here.  When he joined WOKV on Jacksonville’s Morning News he echoed what he’s said in that past, the faster we can get incentives to businesses the better chance we have to land more jobs.  However that’s a change that would leave citizens out of the money spending process.  Right now there are public comments through council committees all the way through to the time the City Council votes on something.“When you’re talking about spending money, that’s our job, that’s our one sole mission in life is to spend money,” says Councilman Bishop, “and we’re elected to that and ultimately responsible for that.”Councilman Bishop is not the only person in City Council concerned with what changes could be on the way.“The public needs to be able to weigh in, this is their government,” says Finance Committee Chair Richard Clark, “and we need to be able to vet those not behind closed doors individually but for everyone to be able to see and to be able to have the public to comment on what they see as well.”Mayor Brown wanted to have his first phase of the reform plan voted on by the council on December 13.  Because of the size of the reform and the amount of time needed in individual committees, council members have told me that probably won’t happen and a more realistic timeline would be mid to late January.
  • One woman is dead and another has life threatening injuries as the result of a domestic-related homicide in Orange Park, with the suspect still on the loose. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office says a juvenile also suffered minor injuries in the incident, on the 400 block of Heron Court Sunday afternoon.  The suspect has been identified as 36-year-old Kenneth Leonard Poythress, Jr. He was last seen in a 2008 red or maroon four-door Honda Accord with Florida license plate 037LSE. He was last seen wearing jeans, a dark colored shirt, an orange construction type vest, and a camouflage cap. There is no information at this time on what motivated this crime, the relationship of those involved, or what kind of weapon was used.  If you have any information about this incident, you’re asked to contact CCSO at 904-264-6512.
  • Mayor Alvin Brown is calling for 10 to 15 percent budget cuts across the board, but some agencies are now saying those cuts could put your safety at risk.We’ve heard some push back from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and now Fire Rescue is joining in.Cuts to the fire rescue department would be somewhere around $13 million.  The president of the fire union Randy Wyse says that would force them to close fire stations.Wyse spoke to our news partner Channel 4, he told them, 'I don't see any other option but closing fire stations and putting companies out of service with that number.” 'We think any sort of budget cut of that amount in any department in the city that provides an essential service is off base,' Wyse said.Mayor Brown told WOKV that everything is on the table right now and did not say whether or not he would exclude any city agencies from budget cuts.JSO would have to cut $32 million under the outlined budget reductions, to which the mayor says he’s confident a reduction of some sort will be worked out.Those cuts would not be made until next year and no word on whether more layoffs could be on the way.
  • The daughter of former Congresswoman Corrine Brown has been denied a blanket excuse from taking the stand during her mother’s federal fraud trial. Shantrel Brown’s attorney filed a motion this week aiming to squash the subpoena issued to her by the US Attorney’s Office, saying Brown intended to plead the Fifth and remain silent on any questions from the government. A District Judge Friday denied that motion.  The motion from Shantrel Brown claimed the only purpose for issuing a subpoena on her was “for the atmospheric effect upon the jury to see the defendant’s daughter invoke her Fifth Amendment rights”. Her attorney said she intends to invoke the Fifth on any question, so calling her to the stand solely to have her invoke is “improper”.  Prosecutors had fought Brown’s motion, calling it “premature” because it’s founded in the belief that a witness can refuse to answer questions without knowing what the questions will be. The government says Brown has the right to assert her Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, but that some of what she may be called to testify on does not deal with her personal actions. Specifically, the court filing highlights that Brown shares a home with her mother in Virginia and would naturally know about her habits and often her whereabouts. Prosecutors further say there is evidence Brown planned and attended events in her mother’s honor.  Former Congresswoman Corrine Brown, her former Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons, and the head of One Door For Education Carla Wiley are all accused of collecting more than $800,000 in donations to One Door- which they represented as an education charity- and using that money for personal expenses instead. Wiley and Simmons have previously pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the US Attorney’s Office as prosecutors build their case. Brown does not intend to take a plea deal and has said she will take the stand during trial. That trial is slated to start Wednesday, with jury selection on Monday.  The US Attorney’s Office further noted it’s possible the defendant will try to shift blame for her alleged role on to her daughter. As such-and with all of these factors considered- prosecutors say Shantrel Brown can’t be given any exemption at this point. They added that they will consistently evaluate her role as a potential witness through the early court proceedings to determine whether to call her to the stand, and if she is called on, she would be able to lay out her case for invoking the Fifth- arguments that would be done outside of the presence of a jury, according to the US Attorney’s Office filing.  The District Judge’s ruling denying the motion to squash the subpoena said the proper procedure is to have an “inquiry into the legitimacy and scope”- not in the presence of a jury- to look at the specific questioning Brown could face and whether privilege is “well-founded”. That inquiry will be conducted if the US Attorney’s Office determines they will, in fact, call Shantrel Brown as a witness. Shantrel Brown is one of 45 witnesses the US Attorney’s Office has filed notice they may call to testify. The prospective witness list for the defense is 33 people.
  • Twelve jurors will decide the future of former Congresswoman Corrine Brown- and they’ll be selected from a group of 39 in a two-day process starting Monday. Last July, Brown and her Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons were indicted in a federal fraud case centered on the group “One Door For Education”- which prosecutors say Brown and others represented as a non-profit to solicit donations, but used the more than $800,000 they collected for personal expenses instead. Prosecutors say the trio used Brown’s position as a Congresswoman to promote the group and solicit donations, without One Door having ever been registered as a charity.  Simmons and third alleged co-conspirator, Carla Wiley, have previously pleaded guilty. Brown faces a total of 22 charges including mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, and more. The jury must reach a unanimous decision in order to convict.  WOKV will be in the federal courthouse through the proceedings, which start Monday for two days of jury selection. The trial is slated to start Wednesday and expected to last two weeks.  Court records show the 39 people who have been summoned as prospective jurors have already been initially screened by the court for hardship. They have been randomly numbered, and that randomized list of names- and the corresponding juror number- has already been distributed to the attorneys for both sides.  Jury selection will begin with the judge outlining the nature of the case and questioning the prospective jurors. That process can include questions which have been submitted by the attorneys, at the judge’s discretion.  Federal court records show the US Attorney’s Office has submitted proposed instructions and questions for jury selection. The instructions include reinforcing that their decision should be based on evidence alone and not sympathy or prejudice for the defendant, explaining the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt and not all possible doubt, how to consider the credibility of a witness, and the meaning of the various charges. The questions include whether the prospective jurors know anyone involved, have any issue with the nature of the charges, have ever been involved in legal proceedings in any capacity, have any impression of the federal government, have any bias against plea agreements, have any political views that could influence the verdict, and more.  After questioning, the panel will be excused while attorneys first raise any challenges “for cause”, and then issue “peremptory” strikes, which don’t have to have a cause. The defense has ten peremptory strikes, while the US Attorney’s Office has six, according to the court records.  Ultimately, twelve jurors will be seated through this process, which works down the list based on the randomly assigned juror numbers. The next two jurors on the list who weren’t seated on the panel will be slated as the alternates- with each side getting one peremptory challenge to exercise on the alternates.  WOKV will have comprehensive coverage through jury selection and the trial proceedings. Check back frequently at WOKV.com for updates.

The Latest News Videos