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    Officers were first called to the area because of a domestic dispute. Now traffic homicide detectives have taken over after a 50-year-old Atlantic Beach man is hit and killed by a sport utility vehicle near Naval Station Mayport. Darrell McKenzie died at UF Health around an hour after he was run over by a 2003 white Chevy Suburban last night on the 4500 block of Ocean Street/A1A near Pearl Street. The crash report shows he was laying across the northbound lanes when the SUV - which was going northbound - ran him over around 10 p.m. Sunday. Charges are pending against the driver - a 22-year-old Atlantic Beach woman - until JSO completes its investigation. She wasn't taken to the hospital by paramedics, per the report. Investigators believe McKenzie was being restrained by family members due to his mental well-being just before the accident, but the report doesn't specify what exactly the fight was about.
  • The nightmare is finally over for a mentally challenged woman and her family. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office rescues her from a hotel room on Blanding Boulevard, the same one where a man and woman allegedly forced her to have sex with people responding to an online ad. 20-year-old Tamia Oliver and 25-year-old Demontre Clark have been charged with human trafficking and living off the proceeds of a prostitute, both of which are felonies. Clark's also been charged with felony abuse of a disabled adult after the woman claimed he gave her a black eye and would beat her up sometimes for no reason, causing bruises on her body. According to the arrest report, that woman had been missing since February 9th after she failed to show at a special needs class. JSO says Clark and Oliver teamed up to advertise the woman for sex and directed anyone who responded to a hotel on Blanding Boulevard. The report also shows detectives were tipped by the woman's mother after another family member found the ad online and that the victim was given marijuana and Xanax during her ordeal. Following this morning’s court hearing, Oliver was given a bond of over $150,000, while Clark’s bond is at over $350,000. Both are due back in court April 12th.
  • It's something you've heard us talk about a lot recently. Now the Federal Bureau of Investigation is going public about threats made against Jewish institutions nationwide, including at least one in Jacksonville. FBI spokeswoman Amanda Videll says there's a free meeting tonight at 7 o'clock at the Jacksonville Jewish Center on Crown Point Road. That's just off San Jose Boulevard. 'We will specifically be talking about the threats against the Jewish facilities across the country,' Videll added. '[We'll] talk to them about what we do here locally to protect the area.' The goal, she says, is to make Jacksonville-area Jews feel safer and give them a place to address their concerns. 'Tonight's event is just an opportunity for us to open the doors to the Jewish community,' Videll noted. Anyone with concerns is free to attend and ask questions, even if they aren't Jewish. Among tonight's speakers is Special Agent in Charge Charles P. Spencer of the FBI's Jacksonville Division.
  • It's not often you can make something safe and preserve pieces of history. That's what happened as part of a nearly $2.1 million project to build a new bridge on Main Street over Hogan's Creek in downtown Jacksonville. That bridge - which opens this afternoon, according to the Florida Department of Transportation - replaces the old concrete structure, which inspectors deemed unsafe for vehicles. Crews replaced that concrete with a new bridge and also repaired and restored historical elements and drainage in that area. Construction started last July after that section of road was closed in May 2016 by FDOT. Ground-penetrating radar was used during the construction to identify and recover parts of Jacksonville's old trolley car system, which dates back to early last century. Among those parts are more than 300 bricks and nearly 20 feet of trolley tracks, all of which were recovered with the help of various groups, including the state and city's historical preservation offices and the Springfield Improvement Association.
  • It's labeled as arson and a man is due in court later today for it. A 51-year-old man is booked at Duval County Jail in connection to a house fire in Springfield late last night. Besides the arson charge, Eugene Howard is also charged with animal cruelty and domestic battery in that incident at a home on East 16th and Hubbard streets. The State Fire Marshal's Office has confirmed that two pets died in the fire and that there's substantial damage to the back of the home. Howard reportedly set that fire after a fight with his ex-wife, according to our partners at Action News Jax. We're working with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office to get more details.
  • It seems like everything in Capitol Hill these days is split down party lines. That's certainly the case for your local lawmakers when it comes to the President's proposed $1.15 trillion budget. Democrats like Jacksonville area House Representative Al Lawson aren't happy with President Trump's plans to make big cuts to the budgets for Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency. 'President Trump’s budget calls for extreme cuts to vital funding for job training, clean energy, medical research, and public education,' Lawson added. 'It is a short-sighted plan that seeks to give tax breaks to the wealthiest while taking away lifelines for those who need it most.' Lawson - who replaced Corrine Brown after beating her in the primary last August - says he intends to strongly oppose this budget plan. 'We cannot reform our nation’s health care system while simultaneously cutting $12.6 billion from the Health and Human Services budget,' Lawson noted. 'If we want to ensure clean drinking water for future generations, we need to be investing more in the Environmental Protection Agency, not cutting $2.6 billion from its budget.' Democrat Senator Bill Nelson says he doesn't like the idea of cuts just to do things like building a wall along the Mexican border. “This plan doesn’t make any sense,' Nelson stated. 'You're going to cut some of our most important agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, which is working to find cures for cancer and Alzheimer's, the Environmental Protection Agency, which keeps our air and water clean, and the Army Corps of Engineers, which is working to restore the Everglades.' Florida's junior Senator - Republican Marco Rubio - says he likes that President Trump is pushing for more school choice. 'I am very encouraged that this budget supports ideas like the Educational Opportunities Act I first introduced in 2013 with the goal of expanding school choice through tax credit incentives for scholarships to low-income students,' Rubio said. 'It's a promising sign that we'll be able to work with the administration on school choice policies I care deeply about because of the positive impact they can have in providing hardworking families with better school options for their kids.' Trump's former presidential rival is also pleased with more funding going towards the military, saying it's needed to reverse the damage caused by the Obama administration. He predicts strong support for that in Congress. Having said that, Rubio isn't a fan of a proposed 28% cut to the country's international affairs budget, saying that it will affect programs integral to national security and affect the State Department's diplomatic efforts. 'Cuts at these levels undermine America’s ability to keep our citizens safe,' Rubio added. 'In order to advance our national security interests, economic opportunity for our people and respect for human dignity everywhere, America’s leadership on the global stage is indispensable.' In a rare show of bipartisan unity, Lawson agreed with Rubio. “Our international standing relies on our global development and diplomacy work, which cannot afford an $11 billion cut,' Lawson noted. Find out what other programs President Trump wants to slash in Washington Insider Jamie Dupree's blog.
  • He was a prominent Jacksonville attorney until prosecutors went after him for being the brains behind a $300 million dollar gambling scheme.   Now the legal problems surrounding Kelly Mathis are done with, at least when it comes to Allied Veterans Of The World.    The state won't retry Mathis - a former president of the Jacksonville Bar Association - after he managed to get his conviction from last October overturned.    He had been sentenced to six years in prison and was set to have his case retried.    The Allied Veterans scandal eventually led to the resignation of Jennifer Carroll as Florida's Lieutenant Governor.
  • Would you vote for Rick Scott over Bill Nelson in the United States Senate?Do you approve of the way President Donald Trump is doing his job?According to a new study from the University of North Florida, the answer to both of those questions is 'no'.A poll released this morning by UNF's Public Opinion Research Laboratory shows 44% of registered voters in Florida would re-elect the Democrat Senator in a theoretical matchup over Governor Scott when Nelson's seat comes open in 2018.Governor Scott hasn't formally filed to run against Nelson in 2018, but he has said publicly that it's an option. The Republican is term-limited as governor.44% also happens to be the same percentage of people in the Sunshine State who approve of the President's work at this early point in his administration, according to that same poll. His disapproval rating from those same voters is at 51%.UNF Public Opinion Research Laboratory faculty director Dr. Michael Binder says these kinds of numbers could have 'huge implications' for the President and the Republican Party in the midterm election.'Just ask all the Democrats that lost in 2010 when Obama’s numbers were the lowest they had been to that point and Republicans that ran in 2006 when Bush’s popularity was plummeting,' Binder added.12% of voters remain undecided in the theoretical Scott-Nelson matchup, which Binder thinks will be impacted in some way by President Trump.'Even though it’s very early in the 2018 election season, Nelson’s six-point lead is meaningful,' Binder noted. 'This race is going to get national attention and Rick Scott’s alliance with Donald Trump will likely factor into this election’s outcome next year.'Nelson's current job approval rating is 42%, with 28% disapproving and 29% saying they don't know.'A 42% job approval isn’t a number an incumbent is usually happy about but with only 28 percent of the electorate disapproving of the job he’s doing, Nelson is a net positive 14 points,' Binder said. 'That difference in approval is greater than [Florida Senator Marco] Rubio, Trump and his likely re-election opponent, Scott.'When asked specifically about Rubio, 48% disapproved of his work while 40% approved. 12% were undecided.'It will be interesting to see how [Rubio's] latest interactions with protestors affect his approval going forward,' Binder stated.Other poll results include:- 65% disapproval of the job being done by the U.S. Congress. The approval rating is 28%.- 51% disapproval of President Trump's travel ban executive order. Approval of that ban is at 46%.The poll also measured how registered voters in the state feel about transgender people and their rights.- 79% don't consider transgender people a sexual threat to kids or women. - 62% say using the same bathroom with a transgender person wouldn't make them uneasy.973 people took part in the poll, which was conducted over the final two weeks in February using live callers. The phone calls were 97% in English and 3% in Spanish and placed between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. every single day during that stretch, with 27% of respondents on landlines and 73% using cell phones.The names were selected randomly through voter rolls provided by the state Division of Elections and weighted by party registration, gender, race and age so that it would fall in line with current demographics. Quotas were in place based on Florida's media markets.65% of those who responded were white, with Hispanics at 15% and blacks at 14%. More women (54%) were polled than men (46%).38% of those who responded were registered Democrats, while 36% were Republicans and 26% were unaffiliated, independent or with another party.27% of respondents were 65 years or older, which was the largest age demographic followed by 56 to 64 (18%), 45 to 55 (17%), 25 to 34 (15%), 35 to 44 (14%) and 18 to 24 (9%).The margin of error is +/- 3.14%.For a more detailed poll breakdown, click here.
  • This might make you think twice about having a maid clean your house, even if you could afford it.A Jacksonville woman is charged with taking thousands of dollars in jewelry from a married couple living near the San Jose Country Club.The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says 27-year-old Kimberly E. Clay pawned some of that jewelry at stores on Beach Boulevard, St. Augustine Road and St. Augustine Boulevard.The arrest report shows Clay had been acting as a maid at a home on Almours Road when the jewelry went missing nearly two weeks ago. A man living there estimated the amount taken at around $40,000, per JSO.The report also noted that the man suspected Clay because she had been the only other person in his bedroom other than his wife and that's where the jewelry was before it went missing.Detectives arrested her earlier this week after JSO tracked some of the victim's jewelry to those pawn shops. Those shops had paperwork showing Clay had been the one who sold the jewelry to them, per the report.Clay was taken into custody at the Family Dollar where she works. Her full statement to JSO was redacted from the arrest report.As of this afternoon, she's held at the Duval County Jail on over $30,000 bond on charges of grand theft, dealing in stolen property and giving false verification of ownership of pawned items.
  • Robert Alonso

    Morning Reporter

    Robert Alonso is the Morning Reporter and backup News Anchor for Jacksonville's Morning News.  

    He joined WOKV in March 2016 after spending 4 years as a news reporter/backup news anchor for WNDB in Daytona Beach.  

    Other news outlets/stations Robert has been a part of are WSJS in Winston-Salem (North Carolina), Metro Networks (Miami, FL) and WFTL in Fort Lauderdale (FL), where he started after getting his degree in Broadcast Journalism from Florida International University.  

    Robert also has experience in sports radio, working for a year as a talk show producer for SiriusXM's College Sports Nation channel in Washington, DC.  

    Other sports companies/stations Robert has worked at include the Carolina Panthers (gameday producer/on-air talent for Spanish radio), IMG College (studio host for the radio broadcasts of the universities of Akron, Vanderbilt, Arkansas and Oregon), WQAM (Miami) and WFLL (Fort Lauderdale).  

    Robert is married to the former Traci Isley, the best Southern redhead in the world. No kids yet... unless you want to count Moqui, their Jack Russell mix. (She does.)

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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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