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Latest from Tim Tompkins

  •   More headaches for Southside drivers planned this evening for continued work on the I-95 / JTB Interchange Improvement project. Lane closures on I-95 NB at Butler will last from 8pm through 11pm, and then at 11, motorists will be detoured off of I-95 onto Butler Blvd. Drivers can turn around at Belfort to get back on I-95 NB. Overnight construction planned on I-95 NB at Butler, this evening from 8pm through 5am tomorrow #WokvTraffic pic.twitter.com/zdWeNclkZW — Tim Tompkins (@RadioTimNBA) January 10, 2017 Construction is expected to end by 5am just in time for morning drive. The $67 Million Dollar construction project is scheduled to wrap up in late May, schedule permitting of course.
  • The Florida Department of Transportation hopes 2017 will become known as the 'Year of the Express Lanes' to Jacksonville residents. Started in 2014, an $89 million dollar project began adding express lanes to the I-295 West Beltway between the Buckman Bridge and I-95. Originally, the project was slated for completion in late 2016. However, FDOT Public Information Officer Ray Hampton says this portion of the project will not wrap up until fall of 2017. Express lanes give drivers the option of either using the tolled lanes or the free ones they are already using. When we asked the reason for the delay, Ray cited unexpected weather and scheduling conditions for the contractor. FDOT is informing drivers of the new timetable via blue signage through the Mandarin area. The express lanes of the I-295 W Beltway between I-95 and the @BuckmanBridge are scheduled for completion in 2017. #WokvTraffic @WOKVNews pic.twitter.com/OJAQqhUHuS — Tim Tompkins (@RadioTimNBA) December 12, 2016 “FDOT is rolling out a campaign to educate the public on how to use the express lanes and why they will benefit the community,” Ray says. A poll of drivers in Miami released by the FDOT gave a 71% satisfaction rating on the recently installed express lanes in their area. Ray cites that many drivers enjoy express lanes because they give a predictable commute while simultaneously easing the congestion on the normal lanes. FDOT is hopeful the express lanes will ease congestion for Orange Park and Mandarin drivers on the I-295 West Beltway. FDOT Express Lanes Drivers will need to purchase a Sun Pass in order to use the express lanes and the price of the tolls will automatically be deducted from their accounts. The second phase of the express lanes - on the I-295 East Beltway between SR-9B and Butler Boulevard - remain on schedule for completion in 2019. That is a $139.9 million dollar contract.
  • Improvements for the Main Street Bridge Downtown are scheduled tonight. This will close the Main Street Bridge to all vehicles and pedestrians, as well as boaters who will be unable to pass through the channel underneath. The work is part of a larger improvement project scheduled to wrap up next spring.  Improvements to the Main Street Bridge include new heating and air conditioning units, sanitary sewer lines, closed-circuit television cameras for live traffic viewing, and replacement of the entire electrical system, among others. The Main Street Bridge closes tonight at 6:30pm and will reopen Thursday morning at 6am. Commuters can use the Acosta Bridge, into and out of Downtown, as their alternate.
  • Headaches for Southside drivers scheduled overnight on Wednesday through 11pm and 5am on Thursday morning, weather permitting.  The welcome news for drivers is the I-95/Butler interchange project is in it’s final stage. I-95 NB traffic will be detoured onto Butler Blvd EB where drivers will turn around at Belfort and merge back on to I-95 NB at Butler. The lane closures are for crews installing bridge beam connections to the Butler Blvd two-lane 1,400ft flyover bridge in the hopes of easing traffic exiting off I-95 SB onto Butler Blvd EB. The $67 million dollar project began December 2014 and is scheduled for completion in early 2017. The entire project includes resurfacing of Butler Blvd between Philips and Belfort, reconstructing the I-95 NB off ramp to Butler allowing traffic to exit both east and west, a new I-95 NB off-ramp from Butler, a new flyover from I-95 SB onto Butler Blvd EB and replacing the traffic signals on Butler Blvd at Philips Hwy. The goal is to ease traffic on Butler from Belfort to I-95 and I-95 SB exiting off onto Butler Blvd.
  • Revitalizing and restoring Downtown while preserving the original structure, the Newnan St/Hubbard Street Bridge in the historic Springfield District of Downtown reopened this week. The initial structure was built over 80 years ago, in 1929, by Henry J. Klutho. Construction crews were able to preserve the original structure of the bridge by removing parts at the start of construction and reapplying them when construction was coming to completion. The bridge has notable significance to Jacksonville as it’s eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic places. A bridge that runs parallel to the newly reconstructed bridge is a remarkable display of before and after. Seen below, the newly constructed bridge looked much like this one. During the project- crews rebuilt roadway approaches, a new bridge deck and reconditioned existing bike pathways. The bridge connects downtown to the Confederate Park which features basketball courts, a dog park and a playground The total cost of the reconstruction was $1.5 million and took nearly 7 months to complete.
  • FDOT continues to make safety improvements on the southside, and those improvements lead to overnight road closures this week. Monday and Wednesday from 11pm to 6:30am, the Butler Blvd eastbound ramp to northbound Southside Blvd is closed. Drivers will need to make a U-turn on eastbound Butler at Gate Pkwy and use the Butler WB ramp to northbound Southside Blvd. On Tuesday and Thursday from 11pm to 6:30am, westbound Butler Blvd to southbound Southside Blvd will detour to northbound Southside Blvd where drivers will need to make a U-turn at Gate Pkwy back onto southbound Southside Blvd.
  • A major shift has happened to I-95 NB drivers through the Southside. During reconstruction of the new I-95 northbound bridge, all northbound lanes of I-95 have shifted to the left at Butler Blvd. This is where the old I-95 SB lanes used to be. FDOT reminds motorists to pay attnetion in construction zones and that speeding fines are doubled whenever workers are present in a workzone.  
  • There are many ways to offer support to families whose child is going through the cancer treatment process. It was that line of thought that lead Carla Montgomery, Executive Director of the Child Cancer Fund, to found The Mothers for Hope 16 years ago. Her son was undergoing cancer treatment and she felt it was a way for the mothers to come together. “We spoke a language all our own.“ She added, “Going beyond that, we just wanted to give back.” The Child Cancer Fund decided about a year ago to bring back the group Mothers for Hope to provide support for mothers who currently have a child undergoing chemo.  Although the group meets quarterly, the mothers who attend have someone they can reach out to 24 hours a day who understands what they are going through. “Our goal is to have them pick up the phone and reach out to one another whenever necessary.” Says Carla Montgomery. The Mothers for Hope has a variety of members including those who have a child with cancer, to those whose child is a cancer survivor. “Obviously there’s a need, and hopefully it’s fulfilling that need.” says Carla Montgomery.
  • Tim Tompkins

    Lead Traffic Anchor

    Tim Tompkins has been with WOKV since 2014. He is the lead Traffic Anchor on Jacksonville’s Morning News and weekend expert show host on Saturdays between 12pm-3pm for the Consumer Law Hour, Q&A With JEA and Ask the Doctor. Outside of the WOKV studio, you can find Tim collecting vinyl, watching basketball or playing with his dog Sophie.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • A man who was shot early Friday outside SUITE Club near the St. Johns Town Center has died.  The man was shot and rushed to the hospital to be treated.  According to JSO, a fight started just after 2am Friday in the parking lot following an 18 and over party.  Off-duty police officers in the area were able to make a quick arrest.  Detectives were speaking with witnesses in the hours after the shooting.   Through the day we’ll be working to update charges the suspect will be facing.
  • The man accused of killing a woman whose body was found at his Southside home waived his right to a speedy trial. Russell Tillis is charged with the murder of 31-year-old Joni Gunter. Police found her dismembered body on his property, known as a 'house of horrors.' The property has been sold, but neighbors say there are still problems there. “We got people that come by just to pick some things for souvenirs because it’s the 'house of horrors,'” David Eichenlaub said. >> Read more trending news  Eichenlaub said neighbors called the mayor’s office and Gov. Rick Scott. On Wednesday, they finally started to see some action taken. “We’re just glad it’s getting cleaned up. It needs to be cleaned up,” Eichenlaub said. He said the worst part was that people would party in a trailer on the property at night and it smells like chemicals. We reached out to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, where a spokesperson said there have been six calls for service to the address since the first of this year, four calls for property checks and two for suspicious people. “I have to run them off all the time,” Eichenlaub said. We also reached out to the city, which said the current owner was cited by code enforcement on Feb. 8 for garbage and debris on the property. The city said since the owner didn’t follow through with the cleanup, the city stepped in to clean it, and the owner is responsible for the cost. We called the owner of the property, who said she did hire someone to clean up the property but they didn’t realize just how big a project this was. She said she has been in contact with the city and agreed to them cleaning it up.
  • Burger King officials said Tuesday that the company plans to stop buying chickens from farms that grossly mistreat the animals,CNN reported. >> Read more trending news By 2024, the fast-food chain said it plans to buy only chickens raised according to welfare standards established by the animal advocacy group Global Animal Partnership.  'Chickens raised for meat, also known as 'broilers,' are among the most abused animals on the planet,' GAP said in a joint statement. 'They are bred to grow so unnaturally fast that they are often crippled under their own weight. Many suffer from constant leg pain so severe they cannot stand, and so spend nearly all their time sitting in their own waste.'  Burger King’s action follows similar commitments made in recent years by companies including Chipotle, Red Robin, Quiznos, Panera Bread and Starbucks, CNN reported. According to the organization's website, GAP-certified farmers must provide birds with access to light and keep their barn living conditions cleaner. The chickens also must be rendered unconscious before they are slaughtered to minimize pain.
  • A 696-acre wildfire in Nassau County is 65 percent contained, according to the Florida Forest Service on Thursday. >> Read more trending news  Firefighters have been working since Wednesday on a wildfire in Bryceville, Florida, that was accidentally started by someone illegally burning paperback books, officials said. Officials said two homes were destroyed as well as sheds and vehicles. Ten homes were reported as having some damage. The Florida Forest Service said they identified the person who started the fire and that person will be financially responsible for damages.  There might be some challenges in extinguishing the fire since strong winds are expected Thursday afternoon, officials said. Firefighters said that 150 people are displaced and an evacuation order is still in place. A shelter is open at Bryceville Baptist Church for anyone who was displaced by the fire.  The Florida Forest Service said this is the worst massive wildfire for the county since 1998. Firefighters were working early Thursday morning to contain the fire along the eastern edges of the fire line. The fire department has been putting out hot spots around houses. Officials said the area is not safe for residents since a lot of power lines have been damaged during the fire. Road closures are in effect at several locations.  Crews from Georgia arrived to assist local firefighters on Thursday.  The fairgrounds are open for residents who need to shelter livestock and animals. 
  • For two years, Mitch Comer’s mother and stepfather, Sheila Comer and Paul Comer, kept him locked inside a bedroom in his family’s rental home in Georgia. He was shut off from the outside world and even his two younger sisters until September 2012. By then, Comer, who was 18 at the time, was loaded on a bus and sent to Los Angeles with some cash and pamphlets from a homeless shelter. He was spotted by a former security guard, st the Los Angeles bus station, who called police. When he was returned to Georgia, Comer was severely malnourished with translucent skin — evidence of his ordeal. The story made national headlines. >> Read more trending news Nearly five years after his mother and stepfather were sentenced to 15 years in prison as part of a plea deal, the two could be up for parole, according to the Paulding County District Attorney. In his first public interview since his ordeal, Comer said Thursday he doesn’t want that to happen. “I don’t think that’s right,” he said. “I don’t like it at all.” Mitch Comer, who now goes by Mitt, said Paul and Sheila Comer should serve more prison time, and DA Dick Donovan agrees. “Letting them out after just five years just doesn’t … it offends me as a prosecutor and I’m sure it would offend the people of Paulding County if they knew about it,” Donovan said. Despite the two years of his life that was taken from him, Comer has flourished, completing high school and now studying at Kennesaw State University. His passion is electronics, and one day, he’d like to be inventor. Until then, he’s like any other college student, he says. He’s managed to put his abuse behind him. “A long time ago, I heard about a dude that was left in a closet and he came out happy, and I said I’m going to be that dude, too,” Comer said.

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