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Latest from Danielle Leigh

    Six people were sent to the hospital after a car collided with a Jacksonville Transportation Authority bus on Normandy and I-295.  In the crash report from the Florida Highway Patrol, the bus was traveling east on Normandy Boulevard in the outside lane. A Chevrolet Malibu was attempting to turn left onto I-295 South on the ramp from Normandy Boulevard failing to yield to oncoming traffic and collided with the bus.  After the initial impact, the bus then collided with another car and then continues on Normandy before colliding with a traffic control power box on the right shoulder.  The driver of the Chevy Malibu, the driver of the bus, and the four passengers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.  The driver of the Chevy will be facing failure to yield to oncoming traffic charges. 
  • The shooting happened at an event being held at the National Guard Armory on Normandy Boulevard.  The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says no off-duty officers were working the event.   One lieutenant says he was tipped off about a possible shooting going to take place. The Sheriff’s Office offered the event’s promoter (Forever Turnt Ent.), but they declined the offer saying they had private security.  Two officers were left stationed in the median, and began a traffic deployment to assist the cars leaving.  While officers were present, multiple rounds were shot, but they were unable to locate a suspect. No police officer fired any shots.  The teenagers who are 15 and 17 had non-life threatening gunshot wounds.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a man was hit and killed on Ocean Street.  Police say the man was lying in the middle of the road when a woman hit him with her car. The victim was taken by helicopter to the hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.  The driver is cooperating with the investigation, and at this time it is unknown why the man was in the street.  Anyone with information is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers. 
  • A man is recovering after he was shot overnight in the Washington Heights apartment complex.  The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office responded to a person shot and found a man with a gunshot wound to the leg. The victim, who has yet been identified by police says he was on E. Ken Knight Drive when he was shot by an unknown person in a gold color SUV.  The victim was taken to U-F Shands with non-life threatening injuries.  The Jacksonville’s Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information to give them or Crime Stoppers a call.
  • One person is in custody and police are searching for other suspects after a police chase in Moncrief on Monday night. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says a Sergeant was working off-duty at the Cleveland Arms Apartments conducting a traffic stop and he observed a hit and run crash and a reckless driver.  The Sergeant attempted a traffic stop, but the driver did not stop which started the police chase.  The suspect vehicle crashed a second time along West 26th Street. Police believe after the crash, several people got out and ran.  Police are still working on the investigation and is asking anyone with information to come forward or call Crime Stoppers. 
  • The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office arrested 51-year-old Jerald Donald Medders late Wednesday night and charged him with three counts of sexual battery on a person over the age 12.   We are told the victim who is a 16-year-old girl told detectives there were separate incidents over the last three months.  Medders is currently being held at the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office Detention Facility with a bond set at $150,000.000 Officials with the Sheriff’s Office says the investigation is still ongoing.  “I’m very glad this man has been arrested. We won’t tolerate adults having sex with children. He is truly a disgusting lowlife. He should be under the Green Roof Inn, not in it,” Sheriff Rick Staly said.  
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting on North Lamar Road that left one young man dead and another hurt Thursday night. Police say they believe the shooting happened outside on the street. JSO says they are talking to witnesses to figure out what happened and how many shots were fired. 
  • The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating what caused a 20-year old woman to crash into a tree on Thunder Road in Middleburg.  The crash report says the driver was going north on Thunder Road around 4am today, and for reasons still under investigation, her car left the roadway and struck a tree.FHP originally said the driver died.  But at 10:42am an updated release said the driver's injuries changed from fatal to serious.
  • A Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer was sent to the hospital with a possible leg injury after a crash in the Cedar Hills area.  The officer was traveling eastbound on Wilson Boulevard and was turning north on S Lane Avenue.   The officer had received a call about a person being detained by security at the Eureka Gardens Apartment Complex and was about to turn on his patrol car's emergency lights and siren.  A driver going west on Wilson Boulevard entered the intersection when the light was yellow. Investigators say the officer failed to yield while making a left turn and as a result was hit.  The other driver was not injured in the crash, but investigators revealed the driver was driving with a suspended license.  Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash. 
  • UPDATE (12:15 p.m.): PCSO says Price has been found and safely returned to his home. Earlier reporting below. -- The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a missing 82-year-old man. James Aaron Price was last seen in the Caraway area where he was walking towards Palatka on the “Rails to Trails” bicycle path which parallels State Road 100. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a faded blue/green jacket and red hat. Price is described to have blue eyes, white hair, he is five feet tall and weighs 135 pounds. Price has also been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and is considered to be endangered. If you have seen him or have any information, you are asked to call the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office at 386-329-0801. 
  • Danielle Leigh

    Morning News Producer

    Danielle joined the WOKV team in 2014 after graduating from Piedmont College in Northeast Georgia. Today, she is the Morning News Producer for Jacksonville’s Morning News. She used to be a military brat until her dad retired in Camden County, Georgia. Since high school, Danielle had dreams to work in the radio industry in Jacksonville and is excited to be finally living out her dream. One of Danielle’s life goals is to get a book published.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • A Florida woman accused of injecting Fix-a-Flat, cement, silicone, mineral oil and Super Glue into the buttocks of women in to try to enhance their figures was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison over a death resulting from the toxic mix, according to local media reports.   The 2012 death of Shatarka Nuby, 31, was dubbed the “toxic tush” case. O’Neal Morris, 31, served nearly a year in prison on charges of practicing medicine without a license after it was discovered she illegally injected toxic substances to enhance women's buttocks, leaving many scarred for life. >> Read more trending news Morris, who police say was born a man, but identifies as a woman, pleaded for mercy before a Broward County judge.  'I have never, ever, or would dare ever to inject, or have injected any human with any type of unknown substance, such as Super Glue, cement, Fix-a-Flat, concrete, nothing that comes from Home Depot, nothing that comes out of any hardware store,' Morris said. Related: ‘Toxic tush doctor’ facing steep prison time if convicted in death Nuby’s family members appeared in court asking for justice.  'What you took from me, that was a precious jewel,' said Nuby’s mother, Sherri Pitts. >> Got a question about the news? See our explainers here A plea deal called for a sentence of up to 15 years. The judge decided to sentence Morris to 10 years in state prison, followed by five years of probation along with restitution, local media reported.  Over her attorney’s arguments, the judge ordered Morris to serve time in a men’s prison because Florida law doesn't make exemptions for transgender inmates.
  • Three local men are among the 15 nabbed in an online child sex sting. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and five other law enforcement agencies - including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement - pitched in as the Gainesville Police Department led the way in Operation Resilient. GPD Chief Tony Jones says all the suspects made arrangements online to have sex with teenagers, but those suspects didn't know until it was too late that they were actually chatting with undercover detectives posing as the guardians of those teens. '15 men made the conscious decision to get into a vehicle and travel with the intention of having sex with a teenager,' Jones added. 'I'm proud of everyone involved in this operation as they seek to get these offenders behind bars and away from our children.' Among those arrested are 39-year-old Doe Doe (left in photo) and 22-year-old Cristian Torres-Vega (right), both from Jacksonville. The other local man arrested is 25-year-old Joshua Gillen (center) from Keystone Heights. Most of the others arrested come from Gainesville or the Alachua County area. Operation Resilient wrapped up in five days after beginning on March 15th, per GPD.
  • The news from retailers across the country this quarter has not been good.  More than two dozen stores and restaurants, including the likes of Macy's, Payless Shoes, Outback Steakhouse and Noodles and Company, have either closed locations or have announce plans to shutter stores across the country. As people choose e-commerce over shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, experts said customers can expect to see more deserted storefronts and “going out of business” signs. 'It's going to be a year of transition and a year of reckoning and a year of awakening for retailers,' said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analysis for the NPD Group. NPD Group conducts market research on consumer trends. More shoppers are eschewing retail outlets for the convenience of online shopping, made sweeter with deals from the likes of Amazon, which offers free shipping if you are an Amazon Prime member.  Amazon has seen the benefits of such features. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the company saw a 22 percent increase in revenue over the fourth quarter of 2015. U.S. shoppers spent a record high $91.7 billion online during the 2016 holiday season. While e-commerce is seen as quick and generally easy, a study conducted in 2013 by WD Partners showed that nearly 80 percent of respondents said instant gratification was what got them out of their homes and into the malls.  Here’s a list of 15 retailers that have announced store closings for 2017. American Apparel – all 110 stores closed CVS – closing 70 stores Chico – closing 120 stores Crocs – closing 160 stores Family Christian – closing all of its 240 stores  JCPenney – closing 138 stores Kmart – closing 108 stores Macy's – closing 63 stores Office Depot – closing 100 stores Payless Shoes – closing 400-500 stores Radio Shack – closing 552 stores Sears – closing 42 stores The Limited – closed 250 stores in January The Children’s Place – closing as many as 200 stores H.H. Gregg – closing 88 stores  Several restaurant chains have also announced they will be closing locations in 2017 as well. Forty “underperforming” Carrabba’s, Outback, Bonefish Grill and Flemings restaurants will be closing by the end of the year, according to the company that owns them. In 2016, chains Bob Evans, Logan’s Roadhouse, Old Country Buffet and Ruby Tuesday all announced restaurant closings.
  • A federal investigation into the 2009 disappearance of a New York teenager has led FBI agents to gator-infested woods in South Carolina. According to the Post and Courier, 17-year-old Brittanee Drexel sneaked away from her home in Rochester, New York, to spend spring break in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Drexel was last seen in security footage at a Myrtle Beach hotel on April 25, 2009.  >> Read more trending news In 2012, Drexel’s mother told a TV reporter she had learned her daughter had been “miserable” on the trip and had planned to leave anyway on the day she went missing. After years of minimal progress in the investigation, authorities received a tip from an inmate identified as Taquan Brown, alleging that he learned what happened to Drexel while visiting a so-called “stash house” in McClellanville, according to the Post and Courier.  Brown told investigators in August that Drexel was abducted, gang-raped, shot and thrown into an alligator-infested swamp. Brown also implicated then-16-year-old Timothy Taylor and his father, Shaun Taylor, in the crime, according to authorities. The FBI told the Post and Courier that “several witnesses have told us Miss Drexel’s body was placed in a pit, or gator pit, to have her body disposed of. Eaten by the gators.” The FBI is searching an area in Georgetown County, S.C., using an excavator to search a wooded area in Foxfire Court. Authorities have not provided any information on what they hope to find in the woods. >> Got a question about the news? See our explainers here No charges have been filed against Taylor, who maintains his innocence.  Investigators said Sunday that they are closer to making an arrest in the case, and are offering a $25,000 reward for anyone with information that leads to an arrest.  
  •   The suspected fentanyl-related overdoses of a Spirit Airlines pilot and his wife in their Dayton, Ohio-area home raise a frightening prospect: Has the opioid crisis that is destroying whole families entered the ranks of pilots entrusted with hundreds of lives each day? Investigators have offered no indication that Brian Halye used drugs while piloting aircraft during his nine years with Spirit Airlines, but a Dayton Daily News examination has uncovered a system in which commercial pilots can go years without being tested for drugs. >> Read more trending news Federal Aviation Administration’s guidance to airlines acknowledges the random drug test system established by U.S. code makes it “not uncommon for some employees to be selected several times, while other employees may never be chosen.” Moreover, pilots are not required to be drug tested during annual physical exams. Of the pilots tested from 2010-2015, 165 were found to be using one or more drugs, according to the FAA. Drug use among pilots is an enduring concern at the National Transportation Safety Board, the federal agency created by Congress to investigate transportation accidents and issue recommendations to improve safety. Related: More airline pilots testing positive for drug use In a 2014 study of fatally injured pilots from all forms of civil aviation, the NTSB said patterns of increasing drug use among pilots “are consistent with observed trends of increasing drug use by the U.S. population in general.” At the time, the most common illicit drug detected in pilots involved in fatal plane crashes was marijuana, which was found in less than 4 percent of all pilots tested between 2008 and 2012, and was not found in any of the airline pilots tested. But if Halye died from an accidental overdose of fentanyl, as the Montgomery County Coroner’s office suspects, another concern may have unfolded. With heroin and fentanyl invading the ranks of so much of the general population, is it too much to conclude that it is also present among those flying aircraft? >> Got a question about the news? See our explainers here Halye and wife Courtney Halye were found by their four children in the bedroom of their Centerville home March 16. The coroner’s office is waiting on toxicology reports but has said the deaths appear to be fentanyl-related. Centerville police also say the drug use appears to be voluntary and consistent with an accidental overdose.  Spirit Airlines, a Florida-based “ultra-low fare” carrier, told the Dayton Daily News that it is “cooperating with any and all agencies investigating this case.” Related: Children find Spirit Airlines pilot, wife dead in apparent overdose A spokesman for the carrier would not say when, if ever, the airline tested Halye during his time as a pilot. The FAA declined to acknowledge whether it is investigating Spirit Airlines following Halye’s death. The agency confirmed it has inspected Spirit Airlines’ drug and alcohol testing program before, but would not say how recently.   Read the entire story here.

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