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Latest from Sarah Thompson

    Nearly two months after an armed robbery at a Circle K convenience store, the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office is releasing new composite sketches of the two suspects involved.   On June 26th, the two men entered the convenience store on State Road 16 and lingered in the store until other customers walked out.   One of the men then pulled out a gun at the counter and demanded cash from the register, while the other man appeared to be keeping a lookout during the robbery.   After the clerk complied, the two men fled on foot, heading eastbound on State Road 16.   Deputies say the two men were described as black males. One was in his 30’s, 170 pounds, and with a mole or birthmark on his left cheek. The other is about 40 years of age and 200 pounds.   If you recognize either of these men, you're urged to contact Detective Mark Kapelka at the Sheriff's Office at (904) 209-3987.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is asking the public for help, a week after a deadly hit-and-run crash, involving a pedestrian.   JSO says on August 11, at approximately 9:55 p.m, Anna Kelsey, 56, was fatally hit by a vehicle while crossing Lane Avenue, near the intersection of Wiley Road.   Police say the vehicle, which left the scene, may be an unknown colored, 2005-2007 Dodge Magnum. They say it should have damage to the front driver’s side headlight or fog light assembly.   If you have any information you're urged to contact the Sheriff's Office at (904) 630-0500, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has arrested the manager of a Westside Metro PCS, after he tried to stop a fight in his store.   According to police, four men were arguing with employees of the Metro PCS on 103rd Street, when that argument became physical.   At some point during the fight, the manager, Bilal Fshaikat, was hit in the face with an unknown object, so police say he retrieved a gun and fired a single shot into the ground.   Officers say he's now been arrested for aggravated assault, but the investigation is still ongoing.   Police say there are no serious injuries and no one was hit by the single bullet.
  • It's a story WOKV has been following since early Friday morning.   Now, we've learned after a search of a Green Cove Springs home, a 19-year-old man has been arrested for transmission of child pornography.   According to the arrest report from the Clay County Sheriff's Office, an online investigation was launched back on June 9, focusing on a certain device associated with a torrent, tied to child pornography.   The report claims Cameron Rushing had files of known child pornography in a public folder for other users to download from.   During the course of their investigation, the sheriff's office says they were able to download 70 files from that public folder, from June 9 through June 17.   The report goes on to say investigators noticed the IP address, that they later tied to Rushing, made a partial download of a file, which prompted them to serve Comcast with a subpoena for subscriber information.   Then today, August 18, during the on-site search of Rushing's home, investigators say they found multiple file names on his computer, consistent with child porn.   Rushing now faces two transmission of child porn charges, both of which are felonies.
  • It's set to be an exciting weekend for military families on the First Coast.   On Friday, August 18th, the 'Spartans' of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 70, which consists of 293 Navy personnel and 11 helicopters, will return to Naval Air Station Jacksonville, following a 7-month deployment.   The squadron spent time in the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Mediterranean Sea, and the Black Sea over the course of their deployment.   The 'Spartans' conducted maritime security missions in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria against ISIS. They also took part in exercises with coalition partners, including Egypt and the United Kingdom.   Then, on Saturday, August 19th, more than 300 sailors aboard the USS Philippine Sea will return to Naval Station Mayport after their 7-month deployment with the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group.   The strike group was part of a regular rotation of forces to support maritime security operations, including operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve over Iraq and Syria. But it's not just this weekend; the excitement continues into Monday, August 21.   Another 300 or so sailors on the USS Hue City will return to Naval Station Mayport after their 7-month deployment, also with the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group.
  • It means being able to see your doctor, without having to leave the comfort of your home.   St. Vincent's HealthCare has launched a new virtual care clinic, offering 24/7 access to healthcare.   St. Vincent's says the 'clinic' includes access to a physician or nurse practitioner, who can diagnose illnesses and prescribe medication, with the opportunity to arrange a follow-up appointment at any of their primary care and/or specialist offices.   David Meyer, the Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer for St. Vincent's, says the clinic is good if you’re dealing with common medical conditions.   'For example, if you have a cough, or a sore throat, or strep throat, you have seasonal allergies, you're having a fever, you may have a cold or the flu, or an eye infection, upper respiratory infection, a bite or a rash, something along those lines, you can certainly go online and we'll be able to take care of you,' says Meyer. We're told the service will cost $49.99 per appointment and will allow you to use an internet-based video chat or FaceTime, using a smartphone, tablet or computer.   You can find more information on their website HERE.
  • It's good news if you're looking for a job.   Florida Blue is announcing 200 full-time jobs with benefits in Jacksonville, featuring a teacher-like schedule.   Florida Blue says the 200 seasonal Member Care Specialists will work for 9 months and then get paid leave for 3 months, with the likely time-off window falling between May and August.   If you're interested, the company recommends applying by August 28th at www.floridablue.com/general/careers and search 'Member Care Specialist'.   A job fair date will also be announced soon.  
  • It's another step forward in the plan to deepen Jacksonville's harbor.   The US Army Corps of Engineers has received 6 different bids for the first phase of the job and they're all lower than the government's estimate of $43,170,000.00.   Susan Jackson, with the US Army Corps of Engineers, has released the following statement about the bids:   'The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers feels fortunate to have an apparent low bid like this (Dutra Group's). It's not a done deal, however. We will still work through our contracting process and anticipate awarding the contract at the end of September. Construction should start in early- to mid-December and end in May 2019.'   Check out the bids, on the US Army Corps of Engineers’ official contracting site HERE.
  • A Jacksonville woman has been arrested on multiple charges, after getting into a fight at the Duval County Courthouse on West Adams Street.   According to the arrest report, on Monday, August 14, Ciara Roberts, 24, was allegedly hitting two victims, including one who was holding a child at the time. The report says Roberts then took the child and proceeded to hit the second victim, while still holding the child.   As officers took her into custody, Roberts allegedly kicked one of the victims again. Upon entering the courthouse, the report says she began actively resisting and pulling away from officers.   Roberts is now charged with child neglect, battery, and resisting an officer without violence.   One of the victims had bruising to her leg, while the other was left with a scratch on his head. Thankfully, no injuries were visible on the child.   JSO didn't reveal any information about why the fight started.
  • It's a bizarre story out of St. Augustine.   A 22-year-old woman is facing two misdemeanor charges, after interacting with a fisherman on Tuesday.   According to the offense report from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, Alexandria Turner, was swimming in the ocean at the St. Johns County Pier, off of A1A, when she allegedly swam up to a man's fishing line, cussed him out, bite his line, and then swam away with the rigging.   When deputies arrived, the report says Turner, who smelled like alcohol, became belligerent and was verbally confrontational.   At one point, a deputy claims Turner screamed several times 'I am f****** naked', causing a scene, despite her being in a bikini at the time.   Turner is now charged with disorderly intoxication and resisting an officer without violence.
  • Sarah Thompson

    Sarah Thompson is the Afternoon Producer and Evening Anchor for WOKV and has been with the team since October 2013. She's a University of Florida graduate and a Jacksonville-native.

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  • 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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