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Latest from Rich Jones

    Expect another round of heavy rain and thunderstorms today as a front slides through NE Florida.  Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh is tracking a saturated air mass and that’s going to lead to more showers and thunderstorms with a weak front moving in to the area.  “Heavy rainfall potential is going to continue and if we can get enough heating, there may be an isolated strong or severe storm but much of it will be contingent on whether we can get much sunshine which looks rather doubtful today”, said Buresh.   Strong storms will be most likely along and south of I-10.   LISTEN:  Mike Buresh weather podcast updated daily Sunday’s storms dropped a lot of rain throughout the area.  It resulted in a Flash Flood Warning for east central St. Johns County late Sunday night through Midnight on Monday. 
  • A 2-year-old child who was critically injured after being backed over by his mom’s vehicle around Midnight, has died.   According to JSO, Christopher Jackson Jr.’s mom was visiting a relative at the Mathews Crossing Apartments on Century 21 Drive near Atlantic Blvd.  The mother asked a relative to watch the boy so that she could go to the store.  He was able to leave the apartment without the relative’s knowledge, and was struck by his mother as she was backing out of a parking spot.   Family members drove the boy to Memorial Hospital where he later died.   Police say the mother did not exhibit any indications of impairment.  JSO is now calling the case an accidental death.  
  • Three teenagers are still on the run as of early this afternoon, following an escape at the Jacksonville Youth Academy on the northside Sunday night. Three security guards at the facility, which is operated by G4S Youth Services, were overpowered by 15 year-old Justin Silva, 16-year-old Luther Davis, and 16-year-old Derek Browley. The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice said Friday that it is conducting an escape review, which may include corrective actions.   And if a failure is identified on the part of staff or the contracted provider, DJJ says penalties could include termination and contract action against G4S Youth Services.  Here is a full statement from DJJ:  “As it relates to Jacksonville Youth Academy, DJJ is in the process of conducting an escape review and will determine what corrective actions may be necessary. A comprehensive investigation will also be conducted to determine whether all policies and procedures were followed. If a failure is identified on the part of staff or the contracted provider, they will be held fully accountable up to and including termination of staff and potential contract action against the contracted provider.”
  • The US Attorney has filed two motions in response to former Congressman Corrine Brown’s pursuit of a new trial.  Brown was found guilty on 18 of 22 federal charges. Her attorney says Brown’s Sixth Amendment right to a jury of her peers and to a unanimous verdict were violated with the removal of a juror during deliberations. An alternate juror was seated, and the verdicts were rendered about a day and a half later.  FULL COVERAGE:  The federal case of former Congresswoman Corrine Brown  In its response, the Acting US Attorney Stephen Muldrow says the self-serving view of the facts is belied by the record, which supports the Court’s decision to strike Juror 13, and the Court should deny the motion.  And he says the Court was well within its discretion to remove the juror based on a finding that there was no substantial possibility that the juror could render a verdict determined solely on the facts and the law.  In a separate motion, the US Attorney’s Office opposes Brown’s request for a judgment of acquittal. Motion for a new trial  WOKV was in the courtroom throughout the trial, including a hearing after a day and a half of jury deliberations where District Judge Timothy Corrigan told attorneys that a juror had contacted him about concerns with another juror. While much of the nature of that juror’s concerns were initially discussed in a closed session of court, WOKV has since obtained the transcript, which shows Juror 13 had said at the outset of deliberations that the “Holy Spirit” told him Brown was not guilty on all charges.  Juror 13 was questioned by Corrigan and told the court he believed he was following instructions to consider the evidence presented at trial and the law as instructed. He further said his religious or moral believes were not interfering with his ability to decide the case as instructed. The juror who initially raised a concern to the court even said Juror 13’s statements weren’t getting in the way of the deliberations, according to the transcript.  Corrigan carefully worded his ruling in his decision to remove that Juror 13, saying sincerely held religious beliefs and prayers for guidance are not ground for dismissal, but Juror 13 making the statement that he did before the deliberations took hold show inconsistencies with the instructions. Corrigan also noted that Juror 13 said specifically that the “Holy Spirit” had directed him on the verdict.  Corrigan ruled that, while it seemed Juror 13 was “very earnest, very sincere” in his belief and attempt to follow the court’s instructions, his statement about the “Holy Spirit” directing his verdict was a “disqualifying statement”. That further led to the conclusion that there was “no substantial possibility” the juror could follow the court’s instructions and that he using an “external force” in his decision making.  Case in review  Brown was convicted on May 11th of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, five counts of aiding and abetting mail fraud, and seven counts of aiding and abetting wire fraud in connection to her soliciting money for a sham charity organization called “One Door For Education”. Prosecutors argued Brown, her Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons, and One Door President Carla Wiley raised money for the group, but used the funds for personal expenses and lavish events.  Brown was also convicted of engaging in a scheme to conceal material facts, corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the due administration of internal revenue law, and three counts of filing a false tax return- generally involving Brown not reporting income she received from One Door and over reporting her charitable contributions.  Simmons and Wiley pleaded guilty ahead of Brown’s trial, and both testified for the prosecution. Brown took the stand in her own defense, claiming she was taken advantage of by Simmons. Sentencing dates have not yet been set for any of the three, with all remaining out of prison as the court proceedings continue.
  • A motorcyclist died in an early morning crash on University Blvd. N. in the Lake Lucina area.  Police were called just before 2am Friday and found a victim with life-threatening injuries.  The victim was transported to a local hospital and was pronounced dead.  According to JSO, a vehicle was disabled in a southbound lane when the motorcyclist collided with it.  No other injuries were reported.  Traffic homicide is now investigation the details of the crash. 
  • St. Johns County Sheriff’s Deputies are trying to identify two suspects in the burglary of a business at World Golf Village.   The men were observed on surveillance video arriving at St. Mary’s Seafood & More at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 10th.  The suspects arrived in a white van, walked to the rear of the business and entered the covered patio.  They removed two Samsung 50-inch televisions along with three neon signs and left the business 20 minutes later.  The suspects are described as white men in their 20’s or 30’s wearing t-shirts, shorts and gloves.   Anyone with any information about the suspects is asked to call St. Johns Deputies or CrimeStoppers at 888-277-TIPS. 
  • A Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer working in the construction zone on the Buckman Bridge was hit by a suspected drunk driver early today. According to JSO, the officer sustained non-life threatening injuries and was taken to the hospital as a precaution.  The driver who hit the cruiser was arrested for Driving Under the Influence.   The officer was working on the Buckman because of lane closures due to ongoing construction.    
  • A 4-year-old girl has been found safe at a home in Santa Rosa County following an hours-long search which led to FDLE issuing an Amber Alert. Alanda McCoy is now in the custody of police and other authorities.  She was reported missing around 3am Wednesday after leaving a hospital with William Kavchack.  He is a recent acquaintance of the girl’s mother, and they were at a hospital in Milton visiting a relative late Tuesday, according to Public Information Officer Pamela Holt in Santa Rosa County.  Kavchack is now under investigation and being questioned by police.  He has not been arrested at this point.  Police would not say if the mother is under investigation.
  • A search for prowlers in St. Augustine leads to a lockdown at the Alligator Farm.  The call originally came in as a prowler around 5:45 am, according to St. Augustine Police. A resident told police they saw two young men going through his truck.  Police were able to detain one man.  A second suspect got away.  He is described as a black male who was last seen in a marshy area near the Alligator Farm.   A police spokesman says they set up a perimeter around the Alligator Farm.  They’re not focusing the search specifically on the park, but on the houses around the area. 
  • A two-year-old boy was hospitalized in critical condition after he was pulled out of a pool Tuesday at a vacation home on Butler Beach in southern St. Johns County.  Tuesday night the St. Johns County Sheriff’s office was trying to figure out how it happened.  Fire and rescue officials said they were called to ta home on 4th Street. The 2-year-old boy was taken to Flagler Hospital in critical condition after he was found unresponsive in a pool, officials said.  The boy was then flown to Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville. The boy and his family are vacationing in the area from Ohio.  Neighbor Billy Hennesy had just gotten home when 'I heard a young child say 'he's drowned, he's drowned!''  Hennesy says, “I bee-lined it to the fence and, like I said. I was either going over or through it.”  Hennesy says “but all the paramedics showed up… so I knew… I put two and two together. From what I heard from the pool tech the baby was already at the bottom.”  'You step out that sliding glass door, take two small steps and you’re right down in the water there… there’s a deep end and shallow end. It’s over my head at one point, Diane said. Diane says 'I think I’m going to go take my grandson and get his lessons right away now beause we have them at the beach and running in the backyard and you just don’t want that to happen ever.' At last report the child was still in critical condition. SJSO says their investigation into this incident is ongoing.
  • Rich Jones

    Host of Jacksonville's Morning News

    Rich Jones has been News Director of WOKV AM/FM since October 2006. Since joining the team, WOKV News has been recognized by the Associated Press as the most awarded radio news team in the state of Florida including awards for Best Newscast, Best Reporting, Best Public Affairs Coverage, and Best News Series, among others.

    Rich has been involved in many organizations and causes on the First Coast. He has twice been captain of WOKV's team at the Heart Walk, and has raised funds for the American Heart Association. 

    Rich is “the face” of WOKV in the community and is the Master of Ceremonies for many philanthropic causes such as the Annual WOKV Careathon, a day-long benefit for the Child Cancer Fund of NE Florida, which raises hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

    Rich enjoys spending his time away from the studio with his wife, daughters and son as well as watching sports and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • A 2-year-old Idaho boy died after he was left over the weekend for more than six hours in a hot car near St. George, Utah, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending news Authorities found the boy after they were called around 6:40 p.m. Saturday to a report of an unresponsive child at a home in Winchester Hills, St. George News reported. The child was pronounced dead at the scene, the news site reported. The Washington County Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case to determine whether any charges will be filed, although sheriff’s office spokesman David Crouse told The Salt Lake Tribune that it appeared the child’s death was “a tragic accident.” >> Related: 4-day-old baby left in hot car in Massachusetts In a statement released to St. George News, deputies said the 2-year-old boy was one of as many as 35 children brought to St. George for a family reunion. The group traveled to St. George for an activity. Deputies believe that the 2-year-old fell asleep on the trip back to Winchester Hills, but no one noticed that he didn’t get out of the van. Meanwhile, a majority of the adults got ready for a religious meeting in St. George. >> Related: 10 ways to prevent a hot car death Crouse said at a news conference Monday that teenage family members were watching the children as the adults went to the meeting, KSTU reported. When they returned to Winchester Hills, the boy’s absence was noticed. His father found him in the van, according to deputies. >> Related: Waze traffic app includes feature to remind parents kids are in car It was not clear how long he had been left in the vehicle, although Crouse told the Tribune that the boy appeared to have been in the car for at least six hours. St. George saw a high of 109 degrees on Saturday, according to the Tribune.
  • She heard the front door open and then found a shirtless man standing in her house.   A St. Augustine woman is shaken-up, but otherwise OK, after pushing an intruder out of her home.   The offense report from the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office says they found a man matching the description of the intruder a short time later, during a patrol of the woman's neighborhood.   Deputies say he appeared to be swaying from side to side and that his speech was slurred. The man, identified as Devin Howell, 20, initially admitted to drinking a couple of beers, but later said he drank an entire case of beer.   Deputies searched his backpack and found him to be in possession of marijuana as well.   Howell is now charged with trespassing, disorderly intoxication, and possession of marijuana.
  • Police say the body of a woman was found Monday inside a family bathroom at an Oklahoma Walmart. At this time, police are not sure how long the woman was in the bathroom at the Sand Springs store. >> Read more trending news According to police, employees assumed that the family bathroom was out of order because it was locked. Employees placed an out-of-order sign on the door that remained there through the weekend. On Monday, employees unlocked the bathroom door and found the woman.  Sand Springs Police say their preliminary investigation shows nothing suspicious about the woman's death.
  • On Aug. 27 of last year, Breyana Davis dialed 911 to report a stabbing. Davis had just plunged a knife into the heart of her roommate, a 21-year-old Georgia State University student, and doused him with boiling water at their DeKalb County apartment. >> Read more trending news On Monday, Davis, 22, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the killing of Charles Rudison, a business major who also worked at a Publix distribution center. Judge Gregory A. Adams sentenced her to 20 years in prison. Davis was initially charged with murder, but the district attorney’s office allowed her to plead to the lesser offense after “extensive discussions with the victim’s family,” DA spokeswoman Yvette Jones said. Rudison’s sister, Karla Jones, had mixed feelings. “I wish the years were longer,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “but (at) least she's getting punishment for this.” Jones and the rest of the family were devastated and confounded by the crime. >> Related: Woman killed, five others hurt in valet parking accident Rudison, who had met Davis on an online student housing board, died after a night out in downtown Atlanta. Davis, whose attorney could not immediately be reached for comment, left him and another friend at one point and went back to their shared apartment. Rudison and the other friend were angry with Davis because they had to catch a ride home with a ride-sharing service. Once they arrived at the apartment, it took only moments for Davis to douse Rudison with boiling water and stab him, a detective testified in a previous hearing. Even now, the motive for the crime is still mysterious. Read more here.
  • Unable to muster enough votes, Republican leaders in the Senate said on Tuesday that they would not force a final vote on a GOP health care bill this week, trying to get extra time to negotiate a plan which could win the backing of 50 Republican Senators, as a vote seemed like to slip into the month of July. “It’s a big complicated subject,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who downplayed GOP troubles, vowing not to give up on changes to the Obama health law. “Legislation of this complexity almost always takes longer than anybody would hope,” McConnell added, as GOP Senators were to meet later in the day with President Donald Trump at the White House. .@SenateMajLdr on health care vote delay: 'We're going to continue discussions' within conference, White House 'very anxious to help.' pic.twitter.com/MYkLRc8nQH — ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) June 27, 2017

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