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Latest from Anneliese Delgado

    A student was airlifted to the hospital after a school bus crashed in St. Johns County Wednesday morning. The bus driver has been charged with careless driving. A spokesperson for the St. Johns County School district said the bus was headed to Pacetti Bay Middle School when it crashed into a tree on I-95 southbound near International Golf Parkway.  St. Johns County Fire and Rescue said the student who was airlifted sustained serious injuries. Three other people were also transported to the hospital in stable condition for evaluation.   Ten students were on board the bus, according to the school district. The driver was the only adult on the bus. It’s still unclear what caused the crash. 
  • A former employee of the Army Corps of Engineers is accused of putting the Confederate battle flag on a colleague’s desk, then lying about it. The Department of Justice said Susan R. Thompson, 58, placed the flag on her colleague’s desk.  The colleague is African-American. Thompson allegedly lied about putting the flag on the desk on two different occasions. She’s now facing two counts of making false statements to a federal officer.  She faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison on each count. 
  • Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler announced he will not run for a fourth term Tuesday. Beseler said he plans to retire at the end of his term in January of 2017. He has served for 42 years, but was elected Sheriff in 2004.  He was reelected in 2008 and 2012. Beseler said he is excited about the next chapter of his life, but didn’t reveal his future plans. Darryl Daniels and Harold Rutledge have filed to run for Clay County Sheriff, according the Supervisor of Elections website. The election will be held next year. 
  • It's a story that was unsettling for parents and kids alike, but the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said it never happened. A boy who was thought to be the victim of an attempted abduction on the Northside made the story up, according to JSO. Police said the 12-year-old admitted to falsifying the incident Tuesday evening after detectives questioned him more. The boy originally lied to his parents to avoid punishment for getting into a fight with another boy, according to JSO. The boy will not face any charges because of his young age. Police said they received several tips from members of the community about the incident. A spokesperson for JSO said officers will continue to take reports of abductions and attempted abductions very seriously.    Police searched for a man they originally believed attacked the pre-teen, while he was walking home Monday night from an after-school program at Highlands Elementary School. The boy said he was on DePaul Drive, when a man came up behind him and tried to grab his book bag and chased him while grabbing at his pants and shirt. The boy originally reported he was able to get help from school employees.  
  • Nearly two years to the day a ship hit the Mathews Bridge, the Florida Department of Transportation is suing the US Navy and Moran Towing Corporation. FDOT is claiming there was negligence and is asking for $4 million dollars in damages plus pre and post judgement interest and costs. On September 26, 2013, Patriot Contract Services hired Moran Towing Corporation to move the USNS 1st Lt Harry L. Martin as a deadship tow from Blount Island to a berth in between the Mathews Bridge and Hart Bridge. During the transit the stern ramp of the Martin collided with the Mathews Bridge, causing approximately $4 million in physical damage and other significant damage. The bridge was closed for nearly a month to make the necessary repairs. In a federal complaint filed Friday, FDOT alleges the Martin was unseaworthy based on the its true height. DOT also claims the Navy and Moran were negligent. WOKV is working to speak with representatives from FDOT, Moran Towing, and the US Navy. We will update this story throughout the day.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is searching for 23-year-old Devante Lewis. They believed Lewis could be armed with a handgun and consider him to be dangerous.  He has multiple warrants out for his arrest, including Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Police, Criminal Mischief and Child Abuse, according to JSO. Police said the suspect frequents the Lenox Avenue, 103rd Street, Normandy Boulevard and Arlington areas.  JSO said he is 5’3 and weighs about 140 pounds.  Anyone with information is asked to contact police. 
  • Hopefully you haven’t done the bulk of your back-to-school -shopping yet. A back-to-school sales tax holiday starts Friday and runs until August 16 in Florida. The 10-day holiday is longer this year compared to past years.   “This means retailers will be able to better plan for the increased traffic,” said James Miller with the Florida Retail Federation. Miller expects Floridians to save $60 to $70 million over the 10-day period, compared to $35 to $40 million when the holiday only lasted a weekend. Shoppers will not have to pay state or local taxes for clothing worth $100 or less and with school supplies $15 or less.  People will also not have to pay 6 percent sales tax on the first $750 on computer purchases. The holiday starts at 12:01 a.m. Friday.
  • Pizza Time of St. Augustine is getting national recognition.  A ranking from the popular website Trip Advisor named the restaurant the second-best pizzeria in the nation.   The list is based heavily on customer reviews and feedback, in addition to quantity of reviews.  Pizza Time of St. Augustine posted on their Facebook page after the list was published.   “Thanks to all of our customers that support us and love our work of love. We wish to continue bringing you the best pizza in St. Augustine for many years to come,”  the post said. Juliana’s Pizza in Brooklyn, New York earned the top spot. 
  • The Andrew Jackson statue had a strange addition Tuesday morning near The Landing in Downtown Jacksonville. Someone place a fake head of what appears to be a Native American in the crook of the statue’s arm.  It’s not clear who put the head on the statue. A crew from the city of Jacksonville removed the head before 7:30am Tuesday.    The city of Jacksonville was named after Andrew Jackson. The president was responsible for the forced removal of Native Americans in the 1830’s in an event called the Trail of Tears. 
  • The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a deadly hit-and-run in St. Augustine Beach. A car struck 23-year-old Casey McLendon along A1A near Acacia Street early Wednesday morning, according to Chuck Mulligan with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. The report WOKV obtained said McLendon was from Tallahassee and was taken to Flagler Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Mulligan said deputies stopped a driver shortly afterwards in the city of St. Augustine, after noticing what appeared to be fresh damage and a broken headlight. They believe that driver could be responsible for the hit-and-run. The male driver is in police custody and charges are pending. It’s still unclear if alcohol played a factor in the crash. 
  • Anneliese Delgado

    anneliese.delgado@coxinc.com

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  • UPDATE Friday morning:  Logan Mott’s mother has posted a heartfelt message on Facebook, pleading for a safe return of her 15-year-old son and his grandmother, Kristina French.  UPDATE 11/23/17 5:40 PM: The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says there’s no new information to release. ORIGINAL STORY: A missing child alert has been issued for 15-year-old Logan Mott out of Neptune Beach.  The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Jacksonville Police believe Logan is in the company of his grandmother, 53-year-old Kristina French.  The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says firearms are missing from a home they are associated with. Our partners at Action News Jax spoke with Logan’s mother who says the home that had the firearms looked like it had been ransacked.  The two are believed to traveling in a 2015 silver Dodge Dart with Florida tag D-L-L-T-4-2.  JSO says with the firearms missing, you should not approach them if you see them. You are asked to call 911. This is a developing story, check back for more updates. 
  • If you need a Christmas tree you might want to head over to Hendricks Avenue Elementary School. Kick off your holiday shopping by paying a visit to their Christmas lot which officially opened today.  The School’s Ambassador Program which includes the Safety Patrol and Leaders of Tomorrow are raising money for their end of the year trip.  You will be able to visit the lot to buy trees or wreaths over the next three weeks, proceeds will benefit the program. If you aren’t looking for a tree or a wreath, there will also be a donation jar.  Prices of the trees will depend on the size of the tree and based on the pricing structure given to the group by the tree farm. 
  • It’s no secret that you’ll encounter crowded stores, malls, and parking lots this time of year. Whether it’s Black Friday or any other shopping day for you, troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol wants to make sure you are safe while shopping.  As parking areas fill during the holiday season, shoppers are often forced to park from shopping center exits, sometimes in poorly lighted areas. With Daylight Savings Time ending in November, you’ll probably walk into the store while the sun is up and leave when it’s dark out.  Which is exactly why FHP wants you to follow these tips:  • Park as close to entrances and exits as you possibly can.  • Always try to walk to and from your car with another person. If you are shopping alone, consider walking near other shoppers in the parking lot.  • If you are shopping alone and leaving at night – particularly if you’re carrying several bundles of gifts, you can ask a security officer to walk you to your car. Troopers say most malls will provide that service.  • If you can’t find a spot up close and have to venture into the far reaches of the lot, try to find a spot that’s well-lit or near a well-traveled road.  • You should put all of your purchases in your trunk and away from plain sight to prevent possible thieves. Troopers suggest saving your most expensive purchases for last, so you can head straight home.  • Make sure you have all the right kind of equipment if you’re buying a huge load, a tree, or any type or large cargo.  • Have your keys ready when you approach your car. Before entering, do a double check to make sure nobody is inside (who is not supposed to be).  If you think about being followed, FHP is providing the following tips:  • Don’t drive home. You would only be telling your follower where you live.  • They want you to stay calm. As long as you think clearly, troopers say you’ll be in control of the situation.  • Flash your lights and honk your horn long enough to attract attention to you, and consequently the person following you.  • Drive to a safe location, like a police station or another type of law enforcement station. Do not leave this safe location, until you’re sure your follower is gone.
  • We're still damp this morning, with some mist and fog early.  Gradually the rain is expected to end and CBS 47/Fox 30 Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says skies will clear.   Thursday saw a tremendous amount of rain.  “Unofficial reports of as much as 6’’ in the St. Augustine area, pretty widespread rainfall of 2-5’’ for parts of Clay and St. Johns County and even into southeastern Duval County”, Buresh said.  Mike says we'll gradually see skies clear through the day and by tonight.   That sets up a really nice, dry weekend with temps in the low 70's. LISTEN:  Mike Buresh Weather Podcast
  • Whether you’re leaving Jacksonville or coming back home, expect to see more Florida Highway Patrol troopers on your busy roads this weekend.  The Thanksgiving holiday is a peak travel period for families nationwide. During this time last year, troopers and other law enforcement agencies state-wide worked more than 10,000 crashes. All sworn FHP personnel, including Auxiliary, and Reserve troopers will patrol major roads as the Thanksgiving holiday weekend comes to a close on Sunday.  “It’s imperative to buckle all seatbelts, get plenty of rest before a long trip and allow sufficient time to reach your destination,” says Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. The public is encouraged to report impaired or aggressive drivers by dialing *FHP (*347).

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