ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
84°
Broken Clouds
H 88° L 73°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    84°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Cloudy. H 88° L 73°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    74°
    Morning
    Mostly Cloudy. H 88° L 73°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    84°
    Afternoon
    Partly Cloudy. H 87° L 73°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Local
Will Mile Point progress be smooth sailing?
Close

Will Mile Point progress be smooth sailing?

Will Mile Point progress be smooth sailing?
Photo Credit: Stephanie Brown
Florida Governor Rick Scott and Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown approach the podium to announce the state committing $38 million to the Mile Point project.

Will Mile Point progress be smooth sailing?

Florida Governor Rick Scott has committed $38 million to complete the next phase of the Mile Point project.

That commitment comes from Florida Department of Transportation money, and $2 million of the total is from the US Army Corps of Engineers.  It’s expected to bring about 3,500 jobs to the area either directly, through dockworkers, or as a trickle down through truckers, distribution centers, etc.

“You’re tax dollars, state tax dollars, are stepping up to say ‘we want these jobs now’,” Scott says.

In addition to the jobs coming in, the project is going to help increase port business.

“We have the capacity, we’re a great location, and it just makes good business sense,” says Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown.

Right now, the crosscurrents at the Intracoastal Waterway and the St. Johns County River make it dangerous for some of the largest ships, many container ships, to come in to the port most of the day.  Right now, they’re restricted to about 8 hours of favorable tides a day. By the completion of the long term construction at Jacksonville’s ports, which includes dredging as well, these ships would have access 24-hours a day.

Governor Scott is confident the project, with this funding, is now on an 18 month timeline.

But the full completion of port work could be harder to guess.

“Unless Congress says that you can make this correction, you can’t move forward,” says State Representative Lake Ray.

Ray, a longtime port advocate, says they will push through action, but it will be difficult to figure out the best way to achieve that.  He says a number of plans introduced through Florida’s Senators and Representatives have met opposition on Capitol Hill- whether through other states competing for port business, or lack of funding.

But in his opinion, this is less a construction and dredging issue and more about maintenance, which shouldn’t have to jump through as many channels.

“The problem there is that nobody’s passing earmarks and they look at authorization as being an earmark,” he says.

He says lawmakers at the city, state and federal level will have to “turn up the noise” in Washington in order to get this authorization sod they can stay in their timeline.  A study on the dredging options is set to come down in March or April, and Ray expects at that time the discussion will begin again.

Ray also tells WOKV that after years of advocating for the ports from Tallahassee, he wants to step in to a direct leadership role. He intends to declare to the JAXPORT CEO search committee that he is interested in taking on the position.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • A Texas police officer who was originally reported missing is believed to have attempted to fake his own death and to have fled to Mexico, officials said Friday night. >> Read more trending news Austin police Officer Coleman Martin, 29, is facing a Class A misdemeanor charge of “false report,” as a result. Martin’s wife told KVUE-TV on Saturday that “Cole recently received a new prescription medication.' 'The side effects were causing him to be depressed and think irrationally,” she said. “We want him to know his family loves him unconditionally and wants him home safe.'  Martin’s wife asked to remain anonymous for the interview. An arrest affidavit for the missing officer said a woman, who was not his wife, shared an email with detectives, in which Martin wrote to her and said his plan for a staged death had been successful. The affidavit does not say how the woman knows Martin. Martin’s email to the woman said he had staged a scene by parking his vehicle by a body of water near the U.S. border with Mexico, the affidavit says. Then he rode a bicycle for about 8 miles to a convenience store, took a taxi to the border and rode a bus farther into Mexico, the affidavit says he said in the email. Police obtained video footage of Martin at a gas station in Del Rio, the affidavit says. They also talked to a clerk at the gas station who had spoken to Martin. Martin told the clerk he had biked from Amistad Park to the store, the affidavit says. Police first got involved on Tuesday night, when Martin’s wife called 911, the affidavit says. She told police that Martin had texted her a photo of a handwritten note that said he was going to drown himself in a lake near the border of Mexico.  The next morning, officials at the Amistad National Recreation Area said they found Martin’s vehicle with a suicide note inside, the affidavit says. His wallet was also inside the vehicle, but there was no money inside it. His passport was also not in the vehicle. In response, “a massive search operation was initiated using local, state and federal resources” on Wednesday and Thursday, the affidavit says. The search team found an inflatable raft in the Amistad Reservoir, which is on the Rio Grande at the border between Mexico and the United States, with Martin’s name, his date of birth, date of death and his and his wife’s initials written on the side, the affidavit says. Inside the raft were remnants of a concrete block as well as scrape marks that indicated that concrete blocks had been pushed over the edge. Investigators discovered a charge on Martin’s credit card for a new HP tablet from a Best Buy in Austin a few hours before he sent the suicide note to his wife, and the tablet was not found in his vehicle, the affidavit said. Then, investigators learned that someone had accessed Martin’s email from Mexico about five hours after he sent the suicide note text. According to the affidavit, investigators believe Martin placed “the boat to appear he entered the water, paddled to the middle and jumped overboard with concrete blocks and ropes, and (placed) the raft on the shore to give the appearance it had drifted to shore from where the initial entry place was.” Investigators tracked down and interviewed the unnamed woman at 4:15 p.m. Thursday.
  • The annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner is set for Saturday, and while most of Washington’s journalism elite will be on hand, one of its usual guests – the president of the United States -- won't be there. President Donald Trump will not attend the dinner, which customarily includes a roast of sorts of the commander in chief. The White House announced that Trump will be at a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday night, not hobnobbing at the Washington Hilton Hotel. 'This wasn't a president that was elected to spend his time with reporters and celebrities,' White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on ABC's “This Week.” 'I think it's kind of naive of us to think that we can all walk into a room for a couple of hours and pretend that some of that tension isn't there.” If you don’t have a ticket but want to catch it, here’s how to watch. What time: 9:30 p.m. ET Saturday Where: The Washington Hilton Hotel What channel: C-SPAN is on channel 350 for DirecTV subscribers; Channel 230 on AT&T U-verse; Channel 210 on Dish Livestream: The dinner will be livestreamed on C-SPAN.org  Host: “The Daily Show’s” senior correspondent Hasan Minhaj is the host for the evening. “Hasan’s smarts, big heart and passion for press freedom make him the perfect fit for our event, which will be focused on the First Amendment and the importance of a robust and independent media,” White House Correspondents’ Association president Jeff Mason said in a statement. Has any president skipped it before? Yes, President Ronald Reagan missed the dinner in 1981, a few weeks after he was shot in an assassination attempt. Both Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon skipped the dinners at times, Carter in 1978 and 1980 and Nixon in 1972 and 1974.  What else do they do at the dinner? The White House Correspondents’ Association hands out scholarships and awards. This year, awards are going to Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post, Edward Isaac-Dovere of Politico and David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post, along with Watergate reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
  • A 13-year-boy died Friday after he and four other children were struck by a drunken driver while they walked home from a bus stop Thursday in Florida, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said. >> Read more trending news John Camfield, 48, of Davenport, was driving his Kia Rio on Allegheny Road near Athabasca Drive at about 5 p.m. Thursday when witnesses said he leaned forward and left the road, hitting five Dundee Ridge Middle Academy students who were walking on a shoulder of the road, Sheriff Grady Judd said. Judd said Camfield sideswiped Jonte Robinson, 15, Jasmine Robertson, 14, and Rylan Pryce, 12, before striking Jahiem Robertson and Juan Mena, both 13. Deputies said Jahiem Robertson and Juan Mena were flown to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando with life-threatening spinal, facial and head injuries. Investigators said Jahiem Robertson died Friday. Mena remains hospitalized with orbital fractures, but he is expected to survive, Judd said. Witnesses said Camfield traveled back onto the road after hitting the children, slowed and then sped off before rear-ending a pregnant woman in a Nissan Murano on Poinciana Parkway, deputies said. Investigators said the woman wasn't seriously injured. Deputy Jonathan Quintana, 30, who lives nearby, arrested Camfield after being notified of the crash, officials said. He was off duty at the time. Judd said Camfield spent 18 years in law enforcement in Mississippi. Deputies said Camfield was previously employed by: the Yolobusha County Sheriff's Office, the Tunica County Sheriff's Office, the Oxford Police Department and the Hernando Police Department, all in Mississippi. Camfield is charged with two counts of driving under the influence with serious bodily injury, two counts of leaving the scene of a crash with serious bodily injury, two counts of leaving the scene of a crash with bodily injury, three counts of driving under the influence with injury and property damage and reckless driving. Camfield is scheduled to face a judge at 1 p.m. Friday.
  • The Florida-Georgia game is one of the best rivalry games in all of college football and one of the reasons is because it’s a neutral site game. It’s been that way since 1933 — with the exception of a couple of years — and has been hosted in Jacksonville. There was a small chance that the game site wouldn’t be renewed as 2016 was the last game of the most recent contract, but it looks like “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” will get to stay in Jacksonville for the foreseeable future. RELATED: Vernne Lunndquist shares his favorite UF-UGA memory The Gators and Bulldogs have agreed to a new contract for the annual game and it’s on the agenda to be finalized by the Jacksonville City Council this week. According to the Jacksonville Business Journal, Florida and Georgia will be paid out a combined $2.75 million over the next five seasons. There is also a stipulation that accounts for plane travel for Georgia and it will pay them a little extra for their travels. The game is usually played Halloween weekend with this year’s game taking place on Oct. 28. Georgia leads Florida 49-43-2 all-time in the series, but the Gators have won three straight and 21 of the last 27 against the Dawgs dating back to 1990. [h/t News 4 Jax]
  • President Donald Trump told reporters on the eve of his 100th day in office that the job of leader of the free world is harder than he imagined it would be. Trump, speaking to reporters from Reuters and The Washington Post said he misses the things he could do before becoming president, like driving himself and having private time. “I love my previous life. I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life,” Trump said in an interview with Reuters. “I thought it would be easier. I thought it was more of a … I’m a details-oriented person. I think you’d say that, but I do miss my old life. I like to work so that’s not a problem but this is actually more work.” People on social media sites immediately began to comment on the remarks.  The president also talked about having 24-hour Secret Service protection, and the constraints that that type of protection puts on a person’s life. 'You're really into your own little cocoon, because you have such massive protection that you really can't go anywhere,' he said.  'I like to drive,' he said. 'I can't drive anymore.' Click here to read the entire interview. Here’s what other media outlets are saying Trump on his job, privacy New York Times “As he closes in on completing his first 100 days in office, Donald J. Trump reflected on how his life has changed since he became president and the challenges he faces. In an interview on Thursday with Reuters, the president offered these assessments: On the difficulties of the job “I loved my previous life,” Mr. Trump told Reuters. “I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”  An easier job Politico “President Donald Trump said Thursday he expected the presidency to be 'easier' than his 'previous life' as a real estate mogul. …The president also expressed a willingness to attend next year's White House Correspondents' Dinner, after breaking with decades of precedent in February by publicly rejecting an invitation to attend this year's gala. 'I would come next year, absolutely,' he said of the event.” At 100 days, Trump talks about rigors of the job NBC News Donald Trump misses his former life as a business tycoon and struggles with the workload and lack of 'privacy' that comes with being President of the United States, according to an interview coinciding with his first 100 days in office. 'I loved my previous life. I had so many things going … this is more work than in my previous life,' he told Reuters. 'I thought it would be easier.' The interview came as the White House was sprinting to bolster its record of accomplishments ahead of the 100-day mark, announcing the outlines of a large tax reform plan, signing a slew of executive orders and working with congressional Republicans on health care and a spending bill to prevent a government shutdown. On the heels of the ‘Simpsons’ parody Salon “In the same week that “The Simpsons” offered Americans a painfully incisive parody of everything that is wrong with Trumpmerica, President Donald Trump himself seems cognizant of just how much better things were before he assumed power. At least, for himself. “You’re really into your own little cocoon, because you have such massive protection that you really can’t go anywhere,” Trump told a trio of Reuters reporters in an interview to mark the impending close of his first 100 days in office. That isn’t the only observation that Trump had about how pre-presidential life differed from his day-to-day existence now. “I loved my previous life. I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.” ” Did he ever want the job? GQ “To celebrate (?) the end of the first hundred days of his presidency, Donald Trump sat down on Thursday for a wide-ranging interview with Reuters, because, as we all know, he really excels in this format. We learned that he is very mad about trade with South Korea and has no intention of getting on the horn with Taiwan again, but the interview's grimmest revelation is that whichever one of your coworkers had 'a tad over three months' in your 'When will Donald Trump start openly admitting that he never wanted this job?' office pool can go ahead and collect the cash. Read it and weep, and feel free to interpret that directive as literally as you like: 'I loved my previous life. I had so many things going,' Trump told Reuters in an interview. 'This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.' ”      

The Latest News Videos