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Latest from Sarah Thompson

    A 6-year-old boy is said to be in serious condition, after nearly drowning in the Bartram Springs community pool, just off Racetrack Road, near Philips Highway.   According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the child was with his family and lifeguards were on duty.   '[He] had some type of a condition, was observed under the water, was pulled out of the water, basic life support was initiated on the child,' explains a JSO officer.   The boy was rushed to Baptist South and eventually transferred to Wolfson Children's Hospital.
  • One 24-year-old man is dead; another is behind bars.   The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has announced the arrest of 24-year-old Toray Ricketts, after a deadly, overnight shooting outside the Suite nightclub at the St. Johns Town Center.   According to JSO, there was some sort of verbal argument that turned physical, with Ricketts and the victim, Sina Sharifai, both ending up on the ground.   'At that point, that's when Ricketts pulled a handgun from his waistline and fired two shots, striking Mr. Sharifai,' explains a JSO official.   Sharifai was rushed to the hospital, but later died from his injuries.   Ricketts was eventually arrested without incident and is now charged with second-degree murder, as well as carrying a concealed firearm without a permit.
  • Every little bit helps.   Saturday is the 22nd annual St. Johns River Celebration Cleanup and they're still looking for volunteers.   The chair of Keep Jacksonville Beautiful, Christine Buckley, says, 'If there's a site that's out there, that's near you, we would love to have you just drop in.'   If you're interested, volunteers must be 18-years-old or accompanied by an adult.   The cleanup officially begins at 8 am, with nearly 50 pre-selected riverfront and inland sites throughout the city:   Arlington/Beaches 8 a.m. -11 a.m.   -Arlington Lions Club Park, 4221-1 Richard Denby Gatlin Rd.  -Atlantic Boulevard at the Ocean  -Beach Boulevard at the Ocean  -16th Avenue South at the Ocean  -Beach Boulevard Boat Ramp, 8508 Beach Blvd., next to All Wet Sports. A personal or rented kayak, canoe or boat is required for this site. Participants use water vessels at their own risk. This site not recommended for children.  -Blue Cypress Park, 4012 University Blvd. N  -Castaway Island Preserve, 2921 San Pablo Rd. S  -Exchange Club Island Park Canoe/Kayak required.Meet at 5130 Arlington Rd.(9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)  -Ft. Caroline National Memorial, 12713 Fort Caroline Rd. (9 a.m. – 11 a.m.)  -Mike McCue Park and Boat Ramp, 2510 2nd Ave. N  -Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, 500 Wonderwood Rd. *Exception: Volunteers must arrive before 9:30 a.m. to participate.  -Reddie Point Preserve, 4499 Yachtsman Way  Naval Station Mayport, Jetties Pavilion # 3 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.  *Exception: Volunteers must have base access or arrange for base access*  Urban/Riverside Avondale/San Marco/Murray Hill/Springfield 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.  -Azalea Creek/Boone Park, 3700 Park St. (8 a.m. – 11 a.m.)  -Balis Park/San Marco Square, 1987 San Marco Blvd.  -Bee Street Park, Corner of Bee Street and Utah Avenue  -Fishweir Creek/Fishweir Park, 3999 Valencia Rd.  -Five Points, Meet in front of Sun-Ray Cinema, 1028 Park St. (Cigarette litter pick up)  -Hollybrook Park, 319 Cherokee St.  -Historic Murray Hill, Murray Hill Public Library, 918 Edgewood Ave. S  -Klutho Park, West 2nd St. at Boulevard St.  -Memorial Park, 1620 Riverside Ave.  -Northbank Riverwalk at Sydney J. Gefen Park, 505 Alfred DuPont Pl.  -Riverside Park, 753 Park St.  -River Oaks Park/Craig Creek, 1000 River Oaks Rd.  -S-Line Urban Rail Trail/Hogan Creek, 2335 N. Davis St. (10 a.m. – 12 p.m.)  -Willowbranch Park, 2870 Sydney St. (8 a.m. – 11 a.m.)  -Yacht Basin Park, 2941 St. Johns Ave.  Southeast 8 am. - 11 a.m.  -Burnett Park, 3740 Burnett Park Rd.  -John Lowe Boat Ramp at Goodbys Lake, 9020 San Jose Blvd.  -Mandarin Park (Mandarin Boat Ramp), 14780 Mandarin Rd.  -Palmetto Leaves Regional Park (South Entrance), 13799 Old St. Augustine Rd. (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) Clean up the boat ramp area, or bring a personal kayak/canoe to participate in the water-based portion of the cleanup.  -Walter Jones Historical Park, 11964 Mandarin Rd.  Southwest 8 a.m. - 11 a.m.  -Curtis Lee Johnson Marina Boat Ramp, 5434 San Juan Ave. A personal kayak/canoe is necessary to participate in the water-based portion of the cleanup.  -Ringhaver Park, 5198 118th St.  -Wayne B. Stevens Boat Ramp, 4555 Ortega Farms Blvd. (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) A personal kayak/canoe is encouraged to participate in the water-based portion of the cleanup.  Northeast 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.  -Jim King Park & Boat Ramp at Sisters Creek, 8203 Heckscher Dr.  -Joe Carlucci Sisters Creek Park & Boat Ramp, 8414 McKenna Dr.  -Little Talbot Island State Park, 12157 Heckscher Dr.  North 9 a.m. -11 a.m.  -North Shore Park, 7901 Pearl St.  -Jacksonville Zoo, 370 Zoo Pkwy (Limited to 25 volunteers. Volunteers will have free access to zoo after cleanup.)  In 2016, 839 volunteers donated 1,989 hours of their time to collect 8.3 tons of trash.
  • It led to road closures, right around rush hour Thursday afternoon.   The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is investigating after a triple shooting in the Magnolia Gardens neighborhood in Northwest Jacksonville.   Police say they were called about multiple people shot at the intersection of New Kings Road and Edgewood Avenue and when they arrived they found three victims with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries.   According to JSO, it's believed the suspect(s) pulled up next to the vehicle the victims were in and fired several shots into the car.   At this time, there's no information or description of the suspect(s). 
  • A number of questions remain, after a woman was found dead on the Northside.   According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the woman was found dead inside a home off 59th Street, though they aren't revealing how she died or her identity at this time.   However, police tell us the woman's car is missing.   They're now trying to find the gold 2010 Buick Lacrosse, with Florida tag 275LLJ.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office calls it operation 'Lockdown in O-Town'.   An undercover narcotics investigation, which started in the Oceanway area, ends with 60 arrests and 11 outstanding arrest warrants for other suspects.   JSO says it all began with numerous complaints from neighbors in Oceanway back in 2016, leading to the long term investigation involving undercover detectives.   Sheriff Mike Williams says, 'These undercover teams purchased several different types of narcotics, including methamphetamine, powder cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, prescription pills, and marijuana.'   The investigation lead to all sorts of items and drugs seized.   'We seized five vehicles from the drug dealers. We seized $9,000 in cash from the drug dealers. We were able to condemn four structures in those neighbors. We closed one active meth lab,' says Williams.   Police also seized varying amounts of cocaine, marijuana, heroin, oxycodone, and meth.
  • With fire crews making progress on containing a wildfire in western Nassau County, WOKV is learning more about how it all started.   According to the Florida Forest Service, it was an accident.   'This was not malicious intent, it was purely accidental,' says Annaleasa Winter with the Florida Forest Service.   According to Winter, a homeowner was illegally burning household garbage when the fire spread.   She says the man responsible feels terrible and is devastated by what happened, but there will be consequences.   Winter explains, 'They'll receive a suppression bill from the state for all the forestry resources that are out here and the fire is still not contained, so that bill is still adding up.'   It's not clear how much that bill may ultimately be. Additionally, we’re told the man is liable civilly for any damage that was caused to anyone else’s property. 
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is calling it an 'isolated incident', but officers continue to investigate after a shooting in the Normandy area.   According to JSO, a victim with a gunshot wound to the chest was found inside a home on Revels Road Wednesday afternoon. At this time, their injuries are described as non-life threatening.   Officers say the suspect is still at-large, but the victim and the suspect do know each other.   It's unknown if the incident is drug related.
  • They may be in the Jacksonville-area or Georgia.   The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Lake County Sheriff's Office are asking the public to keep an eye out, as they try to find a missing 2-year-old.   According to FDLE, Luna Simons-Millsap was last seen with Stephen Millsap, 23, and Taylor Dwyer, 23.   They may all be traveling in a black 2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara.   If you have information about their whereabouts, you're asked to contact FDLE or the Lake County Sheriff's Office at (352) 343-2101.
  • Thankfully it was clear before rush hour, but this one tied up traffic for hours in downtown Jacksonville Tuesday afternoon.   A crash involving 3 cars blocked all but one lane, on I-95 northbound, just north of the Fuller Warren Bridge.   According to the crash report from the Florida Highway Patrol, 3 people have minor injuries after the crash, which caused a semi truck carrying 25,000 pounds of cargo to jump a concrete barrier wall.   The driver of the semi was not hurt.   At this time, the cause of the crash remains under investigation. We're told charges are pending.
  • 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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  • Six people were shot early Monday in a Florida neighborhood, the Sanford Police Department said. The shooting was reported shortly before 6:30 a.m. at a home on Hays Drive in Sanford, police said. >> Read more trending news Investigators said a gunman went to the home of someone he knows and shot two adults, an 8-year-old boy and a 7-year-old boy. One adult died. The other adult and the two children were taken to a hospital in critical condition, investigators said. Detectives said the gunman then fled the home and randomly shot two bystanders in the roadway, critically wounding them both. An officer who was in the area was able to subdue the gunman, who was arrested, police said. Authorities did not immediately identify the victims or the suspected gunman. Investigators said the initial shooting appeared to be domestic in nature. No other details were given. Check back at WFTV.com for updates.
  • A number of questions remain, after a woman was found dead on the Northside.   According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the woman was found dead inside a home off 59th Street, though they aren't revealing how she died or her identity at this time.   However, police tell us the woman's car is missing.   They're now trying to find the gold 2010 Buick Lacrosse, with Florida tag 275LLJ.
  • A couple has been indicted on accusations that they murdered their deaf teenage son and then burned down their house to cover up the crime, the Associated Press reported. >> Read more trending news  According to the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office in New York, Ernest F. Franklin II, 35, and his wife, Heather Franklin, 33, of Guilford, New York, were charged with second-degree murder, arson and tampering with physical evidence. The two were indicted Friday on charges of second-degree murder in the death of their adopted son, 16-year-old Jeffrey Franklin, People magazine reported. Following an investigation of a fire on March 1 at the family’s 1,300-square-foot home, the couple was arrested. Investigators believe they set fire to their home to cover up the killing of their son. An autopsy determined he died prior to the fire, according to the sheriff’s office. Local law authorities have not said how or when the boy was killed. The Franklins got married in 2011 and adopted Jeffrey six or seven years ago, the sheriff’s office said. According to People magazine, Ernest is an Iraq War veteran. Heather wrote in posts on her Facebook page that she is pregnant. The Franklins are being held without bail. They entered a plea of not guilty. “People are asking themselves, ‘How could this happen?'” Chenango County Sheriff Ernest Cutting Jr. told People magazine. “Certainly for the public here, it’s a mix of anger and frustration and disappointment.” Just days before Heather Franklin was arrested, she posted an update on her Facebook page about how much she missed her son, who she called JR. She also informed friends and family that she and her husband had added their “needs” and “wants” to the CheckedTwice.com Family Gift Registry because they lost everything in the fire. A GoFundMe page was also established, but it has been taken down. The Associated Press reported that police who responded to a 911 call about 1:15 a.m. on March 1 found the Franklin’s house, located about an hour away from Syracuse, engulfed in flames. Jeffrey was inside and unable to escape the fire, according to the sheriff’s office. Authorities initially said the cause of the fire appeared to be a wood stove, the residence’s main heating source. “People are wondering how anybody could do something so brutal to a developmentally disabled and handicapped 16-year-old boy,” Cutting told People. “There are a lot of people who would have taken him. There are organizations that would have taken care of him. Why resort to that? … It’s just a terrible, terrible tragedy.”
  • A beloved music teacher from San Jose Elementary will no doubt be on the hearts and minds of students and staff as they return from spring break. Deborah Liles was found dead in her Panama Park home on the northside late last week. Her car was recovered over the weekend not far from her home. Liles' gold 2010 Buick LaCrosse was found on Golfair Boulevard on Saturday and JSO is now asking for the public's help identifying who was driving it.  Neighbors said police found the car behind an abandoned house near Notter Avenue. Police call the case a murder, and Liles’ children said she'd been a victim of several crimes in the past. “I don’t know about the circumstances. I don’t know if they’re coincidences happening. I don’t know if there’s a connection between what happened then and what happened now,' Liles' daughter Rachel Sirmans said. 'We really want to find those answers.” 'Just the condolences, completely unknown numbers that text us…I was your mother's music student in third grade and I'm in high school now”, said Liles’ son Gerald. JSO says this is an active ongoing investigation.   Anyone who knows anything about this murder is asked to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward up to $3,000 contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
  • Hannah Eimers, 17, was driving her father’s car in November when she lost control of the vehicle and slammed into a guardrail on the driver’s side, killing her. Months later, Eimers’ father received a bill from the Tennessee Department of Transportation to replace the guardrail. According to the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Steven Eimers got the $3,000 bill four months after Hannah’s death but refused to pay it and called the model of the guardrail “horribly designed.” He told the News-Sentinel that he couldn't believe that the state would “bill my daughter for the defective device that killed her.” >> Read more trending news Rather than deflecting the car or absorbing its impact, the guardrail, which was removed from the department’s list of approved products a week before the crash, reportedly impaled the vehicle and struck Hannah in the head and chest, killing her instantly. “I’m shocked,” Eimers told the News-Sentinel. “The audacity. What bothers me is that they’re playing Russian roulette with people’s lives. They know these devices do not perform at high speeds and in situations like my daughter’s accident, but leave them in place.” Mark Nagi, a spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Transportation, insisted that the bill was sent as a result of a “mistake somewhere in processing' and apologized. He also said Eimers will not have to pay the bill, which covered both the cost of labor and materials. Read more here.

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