ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-night
68°
Clear
H 94° L 75°
  • clear-night
    68°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 94° L 75°
  • clear-day Created with Sketch.
    89°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 94° L 75°
  • clear-day Created with Sketch.
    87°
    Evening
    Mostly Sunny. H 94° L 75°
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

Local
AIR to Van Zant: we are not advocates
Close

AIR to Van Zant: we are not advocates

AIR to Van Zant: we are not advocates
Photo Credit: Think Progress

AIR to Van Zant: we are not advocates

The organization coming under fire from one Northeast Florida State Representative for their potential “hidden agenda” says the claims are false.

Rep. Charles Van Zant says he has reservations about the American Institutes for Research, which was recently awarded a $220 million contract by Florida to write tests under the new Common Core guidelines.

“People ought to be concerned about us giving the contract to a company who has a strong LGBT support agenda,” Van Zant tells our partner Action News.

He believes AIR is trying to push youth toward homosexuality, evidenced through information posted on their website.

AIR’s website has a subsection for social development of LGBT youth. The page speaks about an adolescent’s journey in to adulthood, and the need for support at that time.

“A disproportionate number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth experience physical and emotional abuse at home, in school and in their communities simply because of their identity,” the website reads.

Van Zant says he is particularly concerned about a guide for “understanding, supporting and affirming” LGBT youth posted on the webpage.

AIR’s Director of Public Affairs tells WOKV they are non-partisan, not-for-profit and not an advocacy group.  He says their focus is “educational assessment, research, health policy research and communication, and international development” and further encourages people to explore the website for themselves.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • Detectives with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office are investigating a double shooting in a St. Augustine apartment complex.   They were called late in the afternoon Thursday to the apartments on Carter Road about a possible gunshot heard in the multi-family community.  Once inside, deputies found 53-year-old Kathy Edwards and 57-year-old James Edwards of St. Augustine shot at least one time each.  Kathy was pronounced dead at the scene.  James was rushed to an area hospital where he later died.  According to Deputies, the preliminary investigation reveals the couple was estranged and Mrs. Edwards had been provided current possession of the home. No suspects are currently being sought as the initial findings have revealed this incident is possibly isolated to the family.  Crime Scene Technicians were anticipated to continue early Friday morning. WOKV will continue to update this developing story.
  • President Donald Trump said “a major, major conflict” with North Korea is possible in the standoff over its nuclear and missile programs, but he is hoping for a peaceful solution to the problem, Reuters reported. >> Read more trending news “There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” Trump told Reuters in an Oval Office interview on Thursday. Trump said he wanted to peacefully resolve the crisis, but is not taking the military option off the table. 'We'd love to solve things diplomatically but it's very difficult,' he told Reuters during a 42-minute interview. The president also said he wants South Korea to pay the cost of the U.S. THAAD anti-missile defense system, which he estimated at $1 billion, and said he intends to renegotiate or terminate a U.S. free trade pact with South Korea because of a deep trade deficit with Seoul, Reuters reported. Asked when he would announce his intention to renegotiate the pact, Trump said: “Very soon. I’m announcing it now.” Meanwhile, a  top foreign policy adviser to South Korean presidential front-runner Moon Jae-in said Friday that Trump's suggestion that Seoul foot the bill for the THAAD system would be an 'impossible option,' Reuters reported.
  • Arkansas executed its fourth inmate in eight days, as Kenneth Williams received a lethal injection Thursday night, KARK reported. >> Read more trending news Williams, 38, died at the Cummins Unit prison in Varner. He was convicted of killing a former deputy warden after he escaped from prison in 1999, The Associated Press reported. At the time of his escape, in a hog slop-filled tank in a garbage truck, Williams was serving a life term for killing a cheerleader at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, KTHV reported. On December 18, 1998, Williams kidnapped Dominique Hurd and her friend at gunpoint and forced them out of their car. Williams shot Hurd in the head, KTHV reported. On Oct. 3, 1999, Williams escaped from state prison. During his escape, he fatally shot 57-year-old Cecil Boren, who had once worked as a prison warden, KTHV reported. He stole Boren’s pickup truck and then drove to Missouri, where he was arrested after a high-speed chase, KTHV reported. Williams was sentenced to death in 2000, KARK reported. The state had planned to put eight men to death before its supply of the sedative midazolam expires on Sunday, the AP reported. Courts issued stays for four of the men who were scheduled to die. Witnesses in the chamber, including an Associated Press reporter, said Williams lurched 20 times on the gurney before three lethal drugs took his life. The movements were described as “lurching, convulsing, coughing and jerking.” Shawn Nolan,  one of Williams' attorneys, said in a statement that he is requesting 'a full investigation into tonight's problematic execution.' A spokesman for Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson told the AP that Williams’ movements were an 'involuntary muscular reaction' to one of the drugs used. Spokesman J.R. Davis said he expects Hutchinson to review the execution. 
  • Even with another major push to get Republicans on board with a plan to overhaul the Obama health law, House GOP leaders were unable to bring the bill to the floor for a vote on Friday, still short of the support needed to squeeze out a majority for a major campaign promise. A day of arm twisting finally ended around 10 pm on Thursday night, as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told reporters that there would be no vote on Friday or Saturday on health care, and that Republicans would try again next week. “We’re going to go when we have the votes,” Speaker Paul Ryan had told reporters earlier in the day, as it became painfully evident for the GOP in the hours after that statement – again – that they were short on votes. no surprise but House leaders made it official late tonight – no vote on Obamacare repeal until AT LEAST next week. — Joanne Kenen (@JoanneKenen) April 28, 2017 “I think they are real close,” said Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) Thursday afternoon about the vote count, who said GOP leaders “want to be certain “before taking the bill to the House floor. Overall, Republicans were closer than previous attempts, as more conservative lawmakers who had resisted the bill in previous weeks, got on board in recent days. .@MajLeader: no vote on health care tonight or Friday. After almost 2-hr leadership meeting, says they were just working on CR — Erin Mershon (@eemershon) April 28, 2017 “I think the recent amendments to the health care bill have been very significant,” said Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), a member of the more conservative House Freedom Caucus, who said he was ready to vote for the bill this time. “I commend President Trump, Vice President Pence, Speaker Ryan, and my colleagues for keeping the lines of communication open, which has ultimately led to a better bill,” said Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), another Freedom Caucus member who was ready to vote “Yes.” But the bottom line as lawmakers go home this weekend is the same – Republicans still haven’t found the magic formula to get the health care bill through the House.
  • A Kentucky doctor who made headlines earlier this month when he was dragged off a United Airlines flight in Chicago has settled with the airline, attorneys said Thursday in a news release. >> Read more trending stories Dr. David Dao suffered numerous injuries when he was dragged off a flight bound for Kentucky on April 9 after refusing to give up his seat. The confrontation between Dao, 69, and three Chicago Department of Aviation officers was caught on video by passengers on the flight. The footage quickly spread on social media. >> Related: United passenger suffered broken nose, teeth while being dragged from plane Attorneys for Dao declined to share details of the settlement, citing a confidentiality provision in the agreement. Attorney Thomas Demetrio praised Oscar Munoz, CEO of United's parent company, in a statement. 'Mr. Munoz said he was going to do the right thing, and he has,' Demetrio said. 'In addition, United has taken full responsibility for what happened on Flight 3411, without attempting to blame others, including the city of Chicago. For this acceptance of corporate accountability, United is to be applauded.' Dao was hospitalized for days after the incident on Flight 3411 with injuries that included a severe concussion, a broken nose and an unspecified injury to his sinuses. He lost two front teeth in the scuffle, Demetrio said. 'Dr. Dao has become the unintended champion for the adoption of changes which will certainly help improve the lives of literally millions of travelers,' Demetrio said. The settlement was reached on the same day United announced policy changes aimed at preventing a similar situation from happening to other passengers. Among the changes was the announcement that the airline will offer travelers as much as $10,000 to give up their seats on overbooked flights. >> Related:United unveils 10 policy changes, will pay bumped passengers up to $10,000 Previously, the airline would offer up to $1,350, according to Bloomberg. A number of other airlines also announced policy changes aimed at offering passengers more incentive to delay flights in cases of overbooking and to ensure that they are not taken off planes after boarding. United's response in the immediate aftermath of the confrontation was widely criticized. Munoz first defended the airline and described Dao as 'belligerent' before publicly apologizing days later and vowing to do better. The officers who pulled Dao from the United flight were placed on leave after the incident. >> Related: Police who dragged passenger from United flight stand by use of force The agency released a report on Monday in which the officer who pulled Dao from his seat, James Long, gave his version of events. Long said Dao was verbally and physically abusive and was flailing his arms before he lost his balance and struck his mouth on an armrest. The department's roughly 300 officers guard the city's two main airports but are not part of the regular Chicago police force. They receive less training than police officers do and cannot carry guns inside the terminals. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The Latest News Videos