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Latest from Rich Jones

    Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams says two officers who were shot during a confrontation with an armed man on the westside late Friday are in stable condition but have a long road to recovery.  “I’m happy they’re still with us and I hope they recover”, said Williams who thanked the law enforcement community for the outpouring of support. At about 10:50pm Friday, officers responded to a home on Seaboard Avenue to a man who was making threats and fired a gun.  Three women were in the home: The suspect’s girlfriend, the girlfriend’s mother, and a friend of the family.  They were hiding in a bathroom to protect themselves.  We’ve also learned a 19-month-old baby was in another room in the home.  None of the four victims sustained injuries.  According to the Sheriff, seven officers arrived at the home and as they planned an approach they witnessed a man and woman out front in an argument.  Those two individuals went back inside the home, and moments later officers heard gunfire coming from inside.   “That is the point of time they decided to gain entry into the house to stop the suspect”, Williams said. The officers were encountered almost immediately inside the home by the suspect, and he opened fire on the officers.  'We’re talking about a gun battle within four or five feet of each other”, said Williams.  The suspect was shot twice by the officers and died.  He is identified as 25-year-old Derrick Rashard Brabham.  He had no criminal history, and according to the Sheriff, was armed with a 223 rifle.  Officer Michael Fox, an 11-year veteran, was struck when the rifle fire hit his gun. This was Fox’s second officer-involved shooting.  Officer Kevin Jarrell, a five-year veteran, was struck in the stomach under his protective vest.  The Sheriff says Jarrell is in stable condition and still has a long road back.  Williams says the suspect had been drinking all evening Friday, which escalated to arguments and eventually threats to kill other people in the home.  “We have a violent, alcohol-fueled domestic incident”, said Williams.  Williams thanked the Jacksonville community for the outpouring of support for the wounded officers.  
  • A westside internet cafe was robbed by an armed suspect who is still on the run three days later.  According to JSO, an unknown suspect knocked on the door of Fun Spot 2 on San Juan Avenue near Hyde Park Rd. asking if he can play games.  The suspect entered the door and pulled a black handgun on the clerk.  He forced the employee toward the cash register and then the employee fainted.  The suspect took money from both the register and purse before running out the front door and jumping a fence.  Anyone who has information is asked to call JSO at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS. 
  • The Clay County Sheriff's Office is searching a Green Cove Springs home as part of an investigation of child pornography. The Sheriff’s Office says six people were inside the home when they served a warrant around 6am.  Deputies say the father who was inside the home has an extensive criminal history.  
  • A man who was shot during an attempted robbery on Jacksonville’s westside is expected to recover from injuries.  Just after 2am Wednesday police responded to the Canterbury Gardens Apartments on Lane Avenue.  JSO says the victim had just arrived home and was near his apartment door when a man with a gun approached him.  During the course of the attempted robbery the suspect shot the victim once in the leg.   Police say the victim was also carrying a gun and returned fire at the suspect.  But it’s not clear whether the suspect was hit.   JSO did not provide a suspect description. 
  • An arrest has been made in the death of a woman who was shot and pushed from a moving vehicle in the Arlington area this spring. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on Tuesday announced the arrest of Charles Rowlands, 29,  for the May death of Victoria Braddock.    Police say the victim and suspect were friends and had a drug relationship, however they don’t know why he did it.  In early June, Rowlands was charged with tampering with evidence.  Since then detectives located key pieces of evidence including blood.   Police say Rowlands only recently sold his 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer. When investigators tracked it down, they found recent attempts to clean the vehicle of blood as well as “a large amount of blood trace evidence” in areas of the vehicle not easy to access.  JSO has been searching for a black Chevrolet Trailblazer since the incident on Cortez Road on May 15th. The SUV was caught on surveillance leaving the scene after Braddock was pushed out.  Police say Rowlands was seen with a white male in a black Chevy Trailblazer about a week before her death. The arrest report also indicates Braddock was in Rowlands’ SUV with him when he was recently arrested for armed possession of cocaine and carrying a concealed firearm. During that contact with police, Rowlands said he was an Uber driver, according to the arrest report. 
  • Four days after a woman was hit and killed on Jacksonville's westside, police do not have any description of the vehicle that hit her.  JSO has publicly identified the victim as 56-year-old Anna Marie Kelsey. She was crossing Lane Avenue near San Juan just before 10pm Friday when the vehicle hit her.  Kelsey lived near the sight of the crash, and police say there were no witnesses to what happened.  This was Jacksonville’s 99th traffic fatality for 2017, according to JSO.  Anyone who may have information about this fatal hit and run pedestrian crash is encouraged to call 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS. 
  • “It is important to never forget the history of our great city; and, these monuments, memorials, and markers represent a time in our history that caused pain to so many.” It’s just one part of a statement from Jacksonville’s City Council President Anna Lopez Brosche, as she announces she’s starting the process of removing Confederate memorials, monuments, and markers from City property. Brosche says the “horrific and unacceptable” weekend incidents in Charlottesville, Virginia are part of the reason for her stance.  LISTEN:  BROSCHE HAS NO DESIRE TO ERASE HISTORY She further cites the Florida Senate removing Confederate items from public places in Tallahassee and action of former Governor Jeb Bush. Brosche says she has ordered the Parks and Rec Department and Planning Department to inventory all of these items on public property. She then intends to propose legislation to move them where they can be “respectfully preserved and historically contextualized” in museums and educational institutions.  Council Member Bill Gulliford tells WOKV News he does not support making any changes.  “Do we make it so that we hide the things that maybe we’re not so proud of and sanitize it? I’m not a proponent of that”, said Gulliford.   Fellow Council Member Tommy Hazouri says a conversation is necessary, and he supports the approach taken by Brosche. Councilman Garrett Dennis says he completely supports Brosche’s proposal, calling it strong leadership. But, Councilman John Crescimbeni seemed to take a more middle-of-the-road approach, saying he's open to discussion.   'I certainly don't have a problem having this conversation, but I do not want to restrict it to just Confederate markers, memorials, and monuments. I think if we're going to develop a policy about what we want on our landscape, in terms of recognizing, or remembering, or whatever, it should be a policy based on actions and deeds, not restricted to some specific time period,' says Crescimbeni.   Crescimbeni says it's important, as a city, to set parameters on what we're going to memorialize and pay tribute to and what we’re not. As for Councilman Samuel Newby, he says, at this point, he doesn't have an opinion on the matter.   'I'm looking at both sides of it and I will make a decision in due time, but, like I said, I haven't made a decision on way or another,' explains Newby. Council member Scott Wilson tells WOKV, he's keeping an open-mind about the idea, but he is concerned about the cost of moving monuments.   Wilson says, 'I plan on remaining open-minded, but I'm hesitant to make any changes, especially with our budgets being so tight. This money could be spent on children's programs, whether it be after-school programs, swimming lessons, or what have you. So, I'm a little hesitant to spend the money to do it right now.' Meanwhile, Mayor Lenny Curry isn't giving a definitive stance either way. Instead, Curry says he will continue to focus on his priorities, which include public safety.   'Any issue that doesn't line up with the priorities that I've laid out and that I'm facing everyday, it's city council's right, job, and their role to determine their priorities and for me to evaluate that legislation if they pass it at that time. And that's how I'll handle this, like other legislation,' says Curry.   Curry goes on to stress his public safety focus, saying, 'I'm getting up every day, facing the idea that kids are shooting kids, fighting violent crime, reinvesting in public safety that was neglected before I got here. And the removal of a single monument would not have stopped the shootings of kids at the Jacksonville Landing last year, the 2-year-old, Aiden, that was shot in a drive-by, just over a year ago. So I remain focused and committed to the priorities that I've laid out.'   If a bill looking to move Confederate monuments lands on his desk, Curry says he will evaluate it at that time. A spokesperson for Duval County Public Schools declined to comment directly on this issue, instead saying that their focus right now is the first day of school. In late 2013, the name of Nathan Bedford Forrest High School was changed to Westside High School. Forrest was a Confederate General and believed to be the leader of the KKK. WOKV News has requested statements from other city leaders on their opinion of studying, keeping or removing Confederate markers on City property.
  • A homeless man is charged with Grand Theft for burglary of art from a St. Augustine gallery.  A bronze horse sculpture was stolen from the Grand Bohemian Gallery on King Street, according to St. Augustine Police.  While officers were investigating the theft of the sculpture, valued at $4,200, a man stopped by the gallery and led police to a man carrying a suitcase.  Officers found 66-year-old Richard Talach in possession of a black suitcase. During police questioning he admitted to taking the bronze horse statue earlier in the day, according to a statement from police.  Talach was charged with one count of Grand Theft. 
  • Jacksonville father Calvin Lincomfelt has not been seen since Monday afternoon.  His wife said the last time they spoke, he told her he’d be home around 3 p.m. on Monday. He never showed up to their Bartram Park condo. “It’s been terrible. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. My kids are all just tore up,” his wife Karen Lincomfelt said.  His wife and children retraced his last known steps on Thursday and handed out flyers. “Just in hopes that somebody says, ‘Yes, I’ve seen him,’” Karen Lincomfelt said. Calvin Lincomfelt was driving home from a job in New Smyrna Beach on Monday. Ormond Beach Police said the last time he was seen was on surveillance video at a McDonald’s drive-through at 2:23 p.m. His cellphone pinged late Monday night on a cellphone tower near Philips Highway, about five minutes from home. “He’s a very good husband. He’s a very good father. He’s a very easygoing man and would help anybody,” his wife said. Her last words to him before he disappeared were, “Love you mostest,’ because that’s what we always say,” Karen Lincomfelt said. If you’ve seen Calvin Lincomfelt, please contact Ormond Beach Police Det. Danielle Henderson at Danielle.Henderson@ormondbeach.org or 386-676-3516. Lincomfelt’s maroon GMC Sierra Crew Cab is also missing.  It has a North Carolina tag, and the license plate number is FJ5026.
  • THE PLAYERS is returning to March, beginning in 2019. It’s part of a strategic move the PGA of America and PGA TOUR announced today. Beginning in 2019, the PGA Championship will be played in the month of May.  “THE PLAYERS Championship has grown in stature since we moved to May in 2007 and, regardless of the date, is clearly one of the premier events in all of golf- the best players in the world, a premier venue in THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, an unmatched fan experience and a significant charitable component that benefits the Jacksonville-area community”, said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan.   THE PLAYERS Championship, traditionally held in March two weeks before the Masters, moved to May in 2007 to get away from the biggest major of the year and create a sequence of big events through the summer. “Average temps being around 75 degrees is going to open up a fan experience”, said Jared Rice, Executive Director of THE PLAYERS.   Rice said there is no change in philosophy in the charitable contributions and impact on local charities, including the traditional Sunday “Pink-Out” for THE DONNA Foundation.  But he says future conversations will come once the schedule is settled.   “THE PLAYERS moving to March in 2019 will enhance an already strong Florida portion of our calendar and play a significant role in an overall improved schedule”, said Monahan.   The specific date for 2019 THE PLAYERS has not been set but Monahan says they are targeting mid-March.   “THE PLAYERS continues to grow in stature despite its date”, Monahan said.   The long-term plan involves a major shift in the golf calendar in part because of golf’s return to the Olympics. The PGA Tour is also aiming to wrap up its FedEx Cup before the NFL season begins.  From May 16-19, 2019, Bethpage Back in New York will host the 101st PGA Championship, which will be the first conducted in May since Sam Snead’s win in 1949. 
  • 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

  • Ten sailors are missing and five are injured after a U.S. Navy destroyer collided with an oil and chemical tanker early Monday. >> Read more trending news The USS John S. McCain collided with the 'Alnic MC' at 6:24 a.m. in the Strait of Malacca off the coast of Singapore in the Pacific Ocean, according to the U.S. 7th Fleet. The USS John S. McCain sustained damage to its left rear side. The Navy said the ship has significant hull damage, and the crew berths, machinery and communications rooms were flooded, according to The Associated Press. Osprey aircraft and Seahawk helicopters from the USS America are helping with search and rescue efforts, officials said. Tug boats and coast guard vessels are also helping. The ship is named for both McCain Sr. and Jr. who served in the Navy. This is a developing story. Check back for updates. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Benjamin Whitten, 33, and his live-in girlfriend Jeryn Johnson, 25, are charged with torture and child abuse after authorities said Whitten’s 5-year-old son was discovered with severe injuries and living in filth among 15 animals, reports KGTV. >> Watch the news report here The police and fire departments in Murrieta, California, reportedly discovered the boy when they responded to a call for medical aid. The boy was airlifted to a San Diego County hospital, where he currently remains in “grave condition.” The injuries, which police said were caused by Whitten and Johnson, were unspecified beyond this. >> On Rare.us: YouTube parent-pranksters who lost custody of their children are now facing jail time KGTV reported that the home was said to be in “extremely unsanitary” conditions. Animal control removed “11 dogs, four cats and two fish.” “I didn’t even know there was a child who lived in the house,” neighbor Kristine Hendrickson told KCAL. “Did not know. We’ve lived here for 21 years.” >> Read more trending news The boy reportedly hadn’t been seen since Christmas of last year.
  • If you have not gotten a pair of glasses to view Monday’s solar eclipse, you are not alone.Retail stores and online outlets across the country have reported that supplies are low or nonexistent in the hours before the 2017 solar eclipse.If you haven’t secured a pair, there are a few things you can do to safely watch the eclipse.Here are some tips. Is there any way to still get glasses?Some vendors may have a few pairs left, but they are going fast. Click here to find the American Astronomical Society’s list of approved glasses sellers. Many libraries are hosting events. Click here to see an updated list from NASA. The libraries will have glasses for the event. Scientific societies are holding viewing events as well, and they will likely have some glasses to give out.What if I don’t have glasses?You do not have to have glasses to watch an eclipse. Read what NASA says about it:“The safest and most inexpensive method of viewing an eclipse is by projection, in which a pinhole or small opening is used to cast the image of the sun on a screen placed a half-meter or more beyond the opening. Projected images of the sun may even be seen on the ground in the small openings created by interlacing fingers, or in the dappled sunlight beneath a leafy tree. Binoculars can also be used to project a magnified image of the sun on a white card, but you must avoid the temptation of using these instruments for direct viewing.”For those who missed school the day astrophysics was taught, here’s what that means:You can take something as common as a shoe box to make a device that will let you watch the eclipse without looking directly at the sun; you can actually use your fingers to view the eclipse; you can stand underneath a tree and see a cool display that reflects through the leaves; you can use binoculars to project the sun’s image on a white card, but do not look at the sun with them. Don’t ever.So what if you can’t get a pair of glasses?If you can’t get glasses for the cosmic block party, start gathering some common supplies.From NASA, here’s how to make a pinhole viewer. You can also make a pinhole camera. Click here to see how to make the device that lets light pass through a hole and project an image of the sun onto a light surface. Can I look at the sun at any time during the eclipse?You can look at the sun during the eclipse while wearing certified eclipse glasses, welding glass (level 14) or other filters. You can look at the sun without the protection ONLY during the two minutes or so when the moon completely blocks out the sun. Only look at the sun without glasses if you live in the area of totality – a narrow strip of the country where the sun will be completely blocked out.For the rest in the area where the sun is only partially blocked out, keep the glasses on. Do not look at the partially blocked sun without them.So what if I do look at the sun without protection?You could, and likely will, damage your retina, leading to vision damage.What if I want to see it, but not go out to look at it?No problem, all the major networks, and cable channels will be carrying the eclipse live. ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, Fox and other cable outlets have plans to broadcast the progress of the eclipse across the country.NASA will livestream the eclipse starting at 1 p.m. ET. NASA plans views from balloons, satellites, and telescopes. What about taking a photo? Will it damage my iPhone?The eclipse won't damage your phone's camera, according to c/net. C/net’s post explains how to use your iPhone or an Android phone to capture the eclipse.
  • After two Jacksonville officers were shot on the Westside, support has been flooding social media. FULL STORY: Two JSO officers shot Government officials: Law enforcement:
  • The Stone Mountain Memorial Association this week denied a Ku Klux Klan request to burn a cross at the park in Dekalb County, Georgia, citing the trouble at a “pro-white” rally last year. >> Read more trending news Joey Hobbs, a Dublin man with the Sacred Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, wanted to hold a “lighting” ceremony on Oct. 21 with 20 participants, according to the application. This would have been to commemorate the KKK’s 1915 revival, which began with a flaming cross atop Stone Mountain on the evening of Thanksgiving. “We will light our cross and 20 minutes later we will be gone,” wrote Hobbs, who couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday, in an application dated May 26. It wasn’t immediately clear if Hobbs holds a formal position with the group. >> Related: George H.W., George W. Bush condemn ‘racial bigotry’ in Charlottesville statement “We don’t want any of these groups at the park, quite frankly,” John Bankhead, spokesman for the association said Wednesday, referring to white nationalists groups and the KKK. “This is a family-oriented park.”  But since it’s a public park, the association created a permit process to consider each application individually. In a statement, the memorial group, which oversees the park, said it “condemns the beliefs and actions of the Ku Klux Klan and believes the denial of this Public Assembly request is in the best interest of all parties.” >> Related: Trump again blames ‘both sides’ for violence in CharlottesvilleWriting to deny Hobbs, CEO Bill Stephens cited the trouble at the “Rock Stone Mountain” rally of April 23, 2016. The park had to close that day as white power revelers, including KKK members, clashed with counter-protesters. Stephens said an event like Hobbs’ would require public safety resources beyond what park police could provide, and thus, would put guests, employees and public safety workers in danger.  Besides creating a potentially-dangerous scene, the cross-burning would’ve also been an act of intimidation, Bankhead said. >> Related: University of Florida denies request for white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak “I think anybody who knows about cross burning knows why it’s used,” Bankhead said, recalling the KKK’s track record of setting crosses on fire to intimidate African Americans. “We’re just not going to allow that.” Georgia's terroristic threats and acts statute also specifically bars the practice when it’s done with the intent to “terrorize.” The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that states can ban cross-burning, though it warned that the intent to intimidate must be proven in each case. Whatever Hobbs’ intent, the Stone Mountain Memorial Association CEO said the event would violate its ordinances against disruptions to the park and actions that present a “clear and present danger.”

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