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Green Cove Springs man pleads guilty to tax fraud

A Green Cove Springs convenience store owner pled guilty to tax refund theft.

Antuan Arbaji faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison plus an obligation to pay back nearly two million dollars to the federal government.

Arbaji cashed more than one point five million dollars in fraudulent tax refund checks through his business account in 2011.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • Jacksonville Beach city leaders have to go back to the drawing board on their medical marijuana policy.  On Monday night, a proposal to extend the ban on medical marijuana dispensaries was voted down.  Action News Jax’s Michael Yoshida was inside the meeting as the vote took place. He spoke to city leaders about what's next for possibly bringing medical marijuana to the beach.  A lot happened at the meeting, but the main takeaway is that there will be no permanent ban on dispensaries in Jacksonville Beach. The current moratorium is set to expire on Dec. 5. So, what does that mean for people living in the city? After Monday’s vote, the city manager, attorney and director of planning will meet and likely come up with two options to bring before the council. One would be to extend the moratorium another six months. The second would be to move forward with allowing dispensaries in Jax Beach. People voiced their concerns on the issue, many arguing to allow dispensaries, saying convenient access is needed for patients. Others voiced concerns about property value and having dispensaries in their neighborhoods. Mayor Charlie Latham argued for extending a moratorium to allow him and others to go to the Legislature to get more local control over where dispensaries can go. Right now they can only be regulated as pharmacies are, which is why some are concerned about them popping up on every street corner. Still at the end of the night, the council voted against a permanent ban. “It’s phenomenal for patients, it’s phenomenal for access, and I’m excited that maybe we now have a little bit more time to show them of why cannabis is so important for our beaches,” McClain said. ”Come up with a couple of alternatives -- one that might be oriented towards a moratorium, one that might be oriented towards moving forward without a moratorium,” Latham said.  If past voting is any indication of how the council will vote in the future, it’s likely a six-month extension of the moratorium would pass 4-3.  As for the current moratorium and its expiration of Dec. 5, even if it expires before any new legislation is passed, dispensaries would still have to go through an application process, which still has to be written. So, the expiration of the current moratorium doesn’t mean dispensaries would just start popping up.  There is a lot for the council to figure out as it moves forward on this issue.
  • Charles Manson’s infamous “family” numbered around 100 people in 1969, when Manson orchestrated a series of murders in Los Angeles that, over two nights, left seven people dead.  Nearly five decades later, the names of only a few family members are remembered, mostly due to the grisly nature of the crimes for which they were convicted. >> Read more trending news Here’s where the most notorious Manson family members are now: Charles Manson Manson, 83, died Sunday night at a hospital in Bakersfield, California. He was taken there last week for treatment of an undisclosed illness from the California State Prison at Corcoran, where he was serving a life sentence. Manson, along with several of his followers, was convicted of multiple counts of murder for the Aug. 9, 1969, killings of actress Sharon Tate, celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, her partner Wojciech Frykowski and Steven Parent, as well as the Aug. 10, 1969, murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.  Manson was also convicted of the unrelated murders of music teacher Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea.  Though Manson was not present for the Tate-LaBianca homicides, he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. That sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1972, when the California Supreme Court ruled the death penalty was unconstitutional.  According to the Los Angeles Times, Manson’s stay in prison was not a peaceful one. He racked up hundreds of infractions and over the years was denied parole 12 times.  His next parole hearing was scheduled for 2027, the Times said.  Susan Atkins Susan Atkins, who was 21 at the time of the crimes, died of brain cancer at the Central California Women’s Facility at Chowchilla in September 2009, just a week shy of 40 years after her conviction. The longest-serving female inmate in California, she was denied compassionate release by the state parole board. Described by a former prosecutor as the “scariest of the Manson girls,” Atkins played a large role in the murders, particularly that of Sharon Tate, who was nearly nine months pregnant when she was killed. The Times reported that Atkins confessed to stabbing Tate to death as the young actress pleaded for her life and that of her unborn son. “Woman, I have no mercy for you,” Atkins testified she told Tate.  Atkins also participated in the LaBianca murders the following night.  The Manson family became suspects in the murders, in part, due to Atkins’ confession to cellmates while she was jailed on unrelated charges.  Atkins, who embraced Christianity while incarcerated, married twice while behind bars, the Times said. Despite prison staff advocating for her release as far back as 2005, Atkins was denied parole 13 times before she died.  Charles “Tex” Watson Tex Watson, 71, is imprisoned at Mule Creek Prison, where he is an ordained minister, the Times reported. A model prisoner, he works as a janitor at the facility.  Watson, who described his position in the family as Manson’s “right-hand man,” was the Manson-appointed leader at both the Tate and LaBianca murder scenes. According to testimony in the murder trial, Watson shot Parent, Sebring and Frykowski, who was also pistol-whipped. He also inflicted some of the stab wounds on the victims in the Tate murders. Manson also put Watson in charge the next night at the LaBianca house, where he killed Leno LaBianca and participated in the slaying of Rosemary LaBianca. Watson, who was married and divorced in prison, and fathered four children, has his own ministry, Abounding Love. His website, run by an administrator outside of the prison, states that he “testifies that anyone can be forgiven and transformed by Christ, even a former member of the Manson family.” Watson has been denied parole 17 times, most recently in October.  Leslie Van Houten Leslie Van Houten, 68, remains jailed at the California Institution for Women at Corona, where she has spent her entire sentence as a model prisoner, the Times said. She was convicted of murder and conspiracy in 1978, following her third trial on the charges. A former homecoming princess and the youngest of Manson’s followers, Van Houten held Rosemary LaBianca down as Tex Watson and Patricia Krenwinkel stabbed her to death. Testimony at trial indicated that Van Houten also stabbed the victim, but did so after she was already dead.  Van Houten once told a parole board she was “deeply ashamed” of her role in the slayings, the Times reported.  “I take very seriously not just the murders, but what made me make myself available to someone like Manson,” she said.  The state parole board recommended Van Houten for parole in April after 19 previous tries, but California Gov. Jerry Brown reversed the decision.  The parole board again recommended her for parole in September, and Van Houten is awaiting Brown’s response, the Times said. Patricia Krenwinkel Patricia Krenwinkel, who became the longest-serving female inmate in California upon Susan Atkins’ death, remains at the California Institution for Women at Corona, where she works in the prison’s rehabilitative programs, the Times said. She has condemned Manson in the years since the murders. “What a coward that I found myself to be when I look at the situation,” Krenwinkel told the New York Times in 2014. “The thing I try to remember sometimes is that what I am today is not what I was at 19.” Krenwinkel participated in the murders at both the Tate and LaBianca murder scenes. Testimony at trial showed that she chased an injured and screaming Abigail Folger from the house onto the expansive lawn, where she continued to stab her 28 times, CNN reported.  The following night, Krenwinkel stabbed Rosemary LaBianca to death, testimony showed. She later scrawled “Death to Pigs” on the wall in Leno LaBianca’s blood. Krenwinkel has been denied parole 14 times, most recently in June.  Linda Kasabian Linda Kasabian, who drove the killers to both the Tate and LaBianca scenes because she was the only family member with a valid driver’s license, was offered immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony at trial.  Kasabian, who Watson ordered to remain outside during the Tate murders, later recalled seeing some of the victims run screaming from the house, followed by their killers. She also remained outside at the LaBianca house.  The Times reported that, as of 1994, Kasabian was a mother of four. She was believed to be living on the East Coast.  Robert “Bobby” Beausoleil and Bruce Davis Bobby Beausoleil, 70, who was convicted of murdering Gary Hinman on Manson’s orders, is housed at California Medical Facility in Vacaville, according to CNN. In jail awaiting trial for Hinman’s slaying in August 1969, he was not involved in the Tate-LaBianca murders.  Bruce Davis, 75, is imprisoned at the California Men’s Colony at San Luis Obispo, where he is serving a life sentence in the murders of Hinman and Shorty Shea. Davis, who the Times reported has been denied parole 30 times, became a born-again Christian in prison and earned a doctoral degree in religious philosophy.  Steve “Clem” Grogan Clem Grogan, who rode along with Manson and the other killers the night of the LaBianca murders, did not participate in the killings. He did help Manson, Watson and Davis kill Shorty Shea, however.  Grogan, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, was released on parole in 1985 after he helped authorities recover Shea’s remains by drawing a map to where the stuntman’s body was buried.  Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme Squeaky Fromme, who was one of Manson’s most devoted followers, did not participate in the murders, but was present outside the courthouse every day during the murder trial of Manson and the other defendants.  Fromme achieved her own notoriety in 1975 when she attempted to assassinate then-President Gerald Ford during a visit to Sacramento. Her gun did not fire and Secret Service agents wrestled her to the ground.  The Times reported that Fromme, who was sentenced to life in prison, escaped from a West Virginia federal prison in 1987, but was recaptured two days later. She continued to write to Manson while in prison.  Fromme, now 68, was paroled in August 2009 after serving 34 years in prison, the newspaper said. 
  • It'll begin next month. The US Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, has awarded a nearly $33 million contract to the Dutra Group to renourish Fernandina Beach, as well as carry out the next scheduled dredging of US Naval Station Kings Bay.  According to the Corps, the renourishment will start near Fort Clinch State Park's coast boundary, near New York Avenue, and will go as far south as Sadler Road.  It's estimated the renourishment at Fernandina Beach will involve about 740,000 cubic yards of sand. We’re told the contractor will also disperse about 1,020,000 cubic yards of non-beach compatible sand, just offshore.  They're actually planning on getting some of the sand used in this project from dredging the Kings Bay Entrance Channel, which they say will save about $13.5 million.  Construction is set to begin in December and will last about 3 months. The dredging will end before March 31, 2018,  due to turtle restrictions.  The Corps says this project is critical to the port and also to the Navy base, so cargo can get through.
  • Authorities are investigating after an Indiana man was found dead Sunday in what officials characterized as an accident during a deer hunting trip in Harrison County. >> Read more trending news Members of 58-year-old Thomas Zimmerman’s party found him unresponsive Sunday night as they were hunting on private property near Elizabeth, officials with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said in a news release. Indiana conservation officers were called around 6:40 p.m. Investigators said Zimmerman, of Borden, was in an elevated, ladder-type tree stand. Authorities used a rope and pulley system to lower Zimmerman from the tree stand. “Zimmerman died due to a close-range gunshot wound to the head,” Indiana Department of Natural Resources officials said. “No foul play is suspected.” Additional information on the circumstances surrounding the accident was not immediately available. Authorities said Monday that they are awaiting the results of toxicology and other tests.
  • “Touched By An Angel” actress and music legend Della Reese passed away on Sunday, friends said in a statement to PEOPLE. She was 86. >> Read more trending news “On behalf of her husband, Franklin Lett, and all her friends and family, I share with you the news that our beloved Della Reese has passed away peacefully at her California home last evening surrounded by love. She was an incredible wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and pastor, as well as an award-winning actress and singer. Through her life and work she touched and inspired the lives of millions of people,” Reese’s “Touched by an Angel” co-star Roma Downey said in a statement to PEOPLE. “She was a mother to me and I had the privilege of working with her side by side for so many years on ‘Touched By an Angel.’ I know heaven has a brand new angel this day. Della Reese will be forever in our hearts. Rest In Peace, sweet angel. We love you.” Downey posted to Facebook on Friday, requesting that fans pray for Reese. Before landing the role as Tess on “Touched by an Angel,” Reese was an accomplished singer who rose to national fame in 1957 with her song, “And That Reminds Me.” She had several other hits, including “Not One Minute More,” “And Now,” “Don’t You Know?” and “The Most Beautiful Words.” When she made the move to television, Reese saw success in parts on series including “The Love Boat,” “MacGyver” and “The Young and the Restless.” She also had her own television variety hour called “Della” and was the first black woman to co-host “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” She went on to play Tess in “Touched by an Angel’s” 1994 debut and continued through the end of the series in 2003. Reese had a near-death experience in 1979 when she suffered a brain aneurysm. The health scare lead her to found her own church, Understanding Principles for Better Living. She is survived by her husband Franklin Lett and children James, Franklin and Dominique. Her daughter Deloreese Owens passed away in 2002. The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

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