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Latest from Matt Augustine

    Some changes are coming for an intersection you probably drive every day. The Florida Department of Transportation is upgrading signs at the intersection of I-95 and I-10. We’re told they’re working to make signs more reflective in order to cut back on the need to light them. “We want to try to make it as clear as we can for signage,” says FDOT Spokesman Ron Tittle. Tittle says the project will be focused on I-95 from MLK Parkway to I-10, and then I-10 west from I-95 for a few miles. He says there wasn’t any specific incident that is sparking the change, rather their engineers are constantly assessing what could improve efficiency and safety on major roads. They’ll also be adding more “mile marker” style signs at the interchange, so that in the event of a breakdown or other emergency, you can more clearly give emergency responders a picture of where you are. Tittle says the construction will last through mid-next year, but shouldn’t have a very substantial impact on traffic. Single lane closures will begin around 7:30PM, and if needed, double lane closures would be after 9:30 PM on I-10 or 10 PM on I-95.
  • One woman is in critical condition after a fire in the La Esparanza apartments near Memorial Hospital on University Blvd. on the Southside 'This was basically almost the icing on the cake, to use the archetype cliché, of a busy day for the B-shift,' says Jacksonville Fire/Rescue spokesman Tom Francis. Francis says JFRD got the call around 2:30 a.m. and they arrived to find one of the apartment buildings burning from the bottom up. Firefighters had to enter the burning building after hearing reports of a person inside. 'They found an adult female in a bedroom on the floor, the walls already encased in flame. They brought her out and she was transported to UF Health where she's listed in critical condition,' says Francis. JFRD says that even though this is a large apartment complex, firefighters were able to quickly get the flames under control and keep it from spreading to other buildings. Francis says in all, there were about 60 firefighters on scene. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. The State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating. The Red Cross is also assisting families living in the eight apartments that were damaged by the fire. WOKV will update this story as more information becomes available.
  • A former employee with the State Attorney's Office in the Nassau County office who says four years after she was wrongfully fired in 2009, she finally got closure Wednesday in the form of a $175,000 settlement. 'I felt like I was making a complaint to the proper people that I was supposed to make my complaint to,' says Julie Lyncker. Lyncker says she filed a complaint with State Attorney Angela Corey about her new boss, Wesley White, who she says had been asking her to call then-sheriff and family friend Tommy Seagraves and ask for things. 'He asked me to call him when he was on vacation because [White] felt like the Sheriff would answer my call and no one else's.' Lyncker says White embarrassed her in front of other employees on several occasions when she said she didn't feel comfortable doing what White asked. She says when she filed the complaint, she became the focus of the investigation instead and was eventually fired for what the State Attorney's Office said was having conversations about sex with employees. 'None of those other people were disciplined. The only difference between Julie Lyncker and those other employees is that Julie Lyncker complained about Wesley White,' says Lyncker's attorney Joseph DeBelder. Lyncker says she was fired in retaliation for filing her complaint, but in a statement the State Attorney's Office denies that. 'I never thought that I would lose my job.' She says she's just ready to move on with her life. The full statement from the State Attorney's Office reads: 'The SAO maintains that Ms. Lyncker's allegations of retaliatory discharge are not valid. The SAO contested the claims, would continue to contest the claims, and in good faith believes there is a valid foundation for the defense of such claims. But as is common in civil cases, Ms. Lyncker and the SAO have determined that their respective interests would be best served by completely resolving and settling this case.' Wesley White also denied any allegations of wrongdoing and says he opposes any form of settlement in the case.
  • We're finding out that scheduled repairs to the leaky downtown library are being delayed several months after the city says the damage is worse than they originally thought. 'I know money is tight, but yes, I would like the library taken care of,' says frequent library-goer Heather Johnston. Between the water-stained walls, the plywood on the skylights, and the tarp still on some fourth floor books, library-goers like Johnston and others say they can't believe the repairs aren't done yet. 'Do the necessary fixes so that it would not put its customers in a bad situation,' says resident Shirley Reed. It's a problem the city knew about for two years before they set aside $1.4 million last March to fix it. That was supposed to be done last month but a city spokesperson says the project is bigger than expected and they're pushing that completion date back to May. 'We pay our taxes, we do what we can to make sure the library is here for all kids,' says Johnston. Councilman Don Redman oversees the downtown district, and says with a library this new, there's no reason for all the issues. He says he's been told this winter's weather has played a role in the delay. 'It's been a rough winter. We've had a lot of rain and a lot of setbacks, so they tell me is the excuse that they're using,' said Redman. Despite being asked several times, the city spokesperson would not say how much the project has cost so far, saying only that the project budget for the library is $1.4 million. Councilman Redman couldn't say either whether or not the project had gone over budget but says he'd imagine if it did he would find out about it because council would have to approve the additional funds. The city has filed a lawsuit against the companies that built the main library because of the leaks. That litigation is ongoing.
  • We're hearing from one of your local representatives about how proposed cuts to the military could affect Northeast Florida. 'We'll look at what [President Obama] has to say but I can tell you with confidence what we end up doing is not going to be a direct reflection of what he has proposed,' Congressman Ander Crenshaw tells Jacksonville's Morning News. Crenshaw says the world isn't getting any smaller or safer, so this isn't the time to be making deep cuts to America's armed forces. One of those cuts? The proposed drawdown on production of littoral combat ships, which are replacing the old Navy frigates. Crenshaw says  the fleet would be at its smallest since World War I. 'And these littoral combat ships, all of those on the East Coast will be homeported at Mayport and they're the key to the Navy's future. He says cuts like reducing production on littoral combat ships will likely prolong the delay on Jacksonville getting a nuclear carrier. 'The good news is the Navy hasn't changed its mind. It's still part of their strategic dispersal strategy.' Defense secretary Chuck Hagel also wants another round of Base Realignment and Closure. Crenshaw's response? 'That's going to fall on deaf ears.' Listen to Crenshaw's full interview on Jacksonville's Morning News here
  • It was a case of mistaken identity and hasty police work. We're hearing an apology from the Clay County Sheriff's Office for wrongfully arresting and putting an 18-year-old in jail for 35 days man for a crime he didn't commit. Cody Lee Williams says he felt hopeless while he was in prison and only found out that he was being charged with having sex with a girl under age 12 weeks after he'd been in jail. When he made the connection that police were actually looking for Cody Raymond Williams, with whom the innocent Cody had gone to school at Clay High School, he called his mother, who called investigators and got them to admit they'd made a mistake. Sheriff Beseler said in a statement 'In fairness, let me say Deputy Hawkins has a good record with our agency.  He has no prior discipline and many commendations in his file. In this case, however, he took short-cuts and didn’t do a thorough investigation. The result was an innocent man was accused of a terrible crime he didn’t commit.  Arresting an innocent person is something we fear far more than letting a guilty person get away.  I extend to Cody Lee Williams my apology for this error and we will seek to make things right for him.  Detective Hawkins received disciplinary action for his lack of following proper investigative procedures and the supervisors who failed to properly review his work have also been held accountable.  This incident is an anomaly for the CCSO and is certainly not representative of the excellent work done by the men and women of this agency day in and day out.” In another document pertaining to Hawkins, Beseler wrote 'As a result of your incompetence, an innocent man was arrested for an offense that he did not commit.' Cody Lee Williams' attorney, Kristopher Nowicki, says his client isn't holding a grudge. 'I think you'll find that he is salt of the earth.  He's a nice kid.  He doesn't hold a grudge.  He doesn't want to be in the limelight, but he is,' Nowicki said. The Clay County Sheriff's Office has been informed that there is a lawsuit pending, so taxpayers could end up on the hook for the mistakes. Detective Hawkins has been given a ten day unpaid suspension and will be demoted from detective to the patrol division. Three other deputies were also disciplined.
  • One person has been life-flighted to UF Health Gainesville's burn unit following an incident at the Advanced Disposal plant on Normandy Blvd. near Herlong Rd. The Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department says they got the call in just before 8 a.m. Sgt. Jay Farhat with JSO says two private contractors with the company Pilot Electric were working on a panel in an electrical closet and for some reason the power had not been turned off. An electrical short set one of the workers' clothes on fire and his coworker and several other employees had to help put him out. 'When he took the brunt of the charge, apparently some of his clothing ignited. Other employees immediately put him down on the ground,' says Sgt. Farhat. He was airlifted to Gainesville in critical condition. The worker that helped put him out suffered minor injuries at the scene. JSO says they are working with OSHA to determine why the electricity had not been turned off before the workers started fixing the panel. The investigation is ongoing.
  • A source has confirmed to WOKV News that the U.S. men's national soccer team will play an exhibition game at EverBank Field on June 7. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says the men will play an international friendly against Nigeria. It will be their final exhibition game before heading off to Brazil for the World Cup. Jacksonville hosted an exhibition between the U.S. and Scotland in May of 2012, which drew a crowd of over 44,000 fans to EverBank Field. The U.S. beat Scotland 5-2. WOKV will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.
  • After Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called for significant cuts to the military Monday we're learning what that could mean for Northeast Florida. Keeping in mind Congress still has to approve any cuts to the military, the ones with the biggest potential to impact us would be any Base Realignment and Closure that may happen and a reduction in production of littoral combat ships, which are supposed to replace old Naval frigates that are being decommissioned. The Times Union reports there will also be a ten percent cut to the Florida National Guard. In a statement, Congressman Ander Crenshaw said 'Because the Administration’s Defense Budget has not been officially introduced to Congress, it’s too early to comment on which proposals may or may not be rejected.  My commitment to our national security at home and around the globe remains unwavering and steadfast.  Working together with my colleagues on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, we will review the fine print, ask questions and take testimony at hearings, and analyze the details with particular attention focused on the proposal’s impact to our national security. As the process moves forward on Capitol Hill, the Subcommittee will write its fiscal year 2015 Defense Appropriations Bill, which I can confidently predict will not be a direct reflection of Defense Secretary Hagel’s initial request.' Senator Marco Rubio's office also released a statement that says, in part “Every day, we are reminded that the world remains as dangerous as ever and that we need a modern military to protect the American people and U.S. interests abroad. It is vital that we maintain a strong U.S. military that serves as a capable deterrent, ensures freedom of the seas, and provides security for ourselves and our allies. We also need a military that is able to project force globally when crises emerge, sometimes at a moment’s notice. I am concerned that the budget announced today will put all of these goals at risk. Reducing the size of the Army to its lowest levels in seventy years does not accurately reflect the current security environment, in which the administration’s own officials have noted the threats facing our country are more diffuse than ever. Cutting key Air Force and naval capabilities just as we are trying to increase our presence in the Pacific does not make strategic sense. I am concerned that we are on a path to repeat the mistakes we’ve made during past attempts to cash in on expected peace dividends that never materialized. Mistakes that caused our allies to question America’s staying power and encouraged our enemies to test us.
  • A new poll out of the University of North Florida covers a number of questions related to Jacksonville's unfunded liability of $1.7 billion for its pension system.  Among the proposals that have been offered to reduce the city's pension obligation, one would require the JEA to increase its annual contribution to the city.  It may lead to higher electric rates.  'Over 70 percent of Jacksonville residents are opposed to that,' says assistant professor of political science Dr. Michael Binder at UNF. Despite the fact that the survey sample size was 502 people, Dr. Binder says he thinks it's safe to say most of the city is against this new pension plan because JEA says it would have to raise rates. 'I think that the public looks at that and says 'Well that makes sense. If they're going to be paying several hundred million dollars, where is that money coming from? It's got to come from us, the consumer.'' The poll also finds 60% either somewhat supporting or strongly supporting asking future public safety employees to pay more into the pension system.  The survey also showed that where 37 of participants last year felt the city's top priority should be improving jobs and the economy, this year the most support went to improving education with 27 percent saying that should be the top priority. Participants were also asked a couple of questions related to the pension plan. According to the poll, 'The public also opposes (56 percent) a small increase in property taxes dedicated to reducing the pension obligation. Three proposals to reduce the pension obligation that do have community support include requiring current (62 percent) and future employees (70 percent) to pay more into the pension system. There is also tepid support for requiring future public safety employees to work longer until they become eligible to receive pension benefits (51 percent).' UNF released a poll last week showing Mayor Alvin Brown's approval numbers as well as the hypothetical results of a mayoral race between Mayor Brown and several other potential candidates for the GOP. Data showed that though the Mayor's approval ratings are down from this time last year, he is still generally favored by the voting public. This week's poll dives more into some of the most important and controversial issues his administration has tackled since he took office in July 2011. For example, Dr. Binder says he thinks citizens know that something has to be done about the pension and want something done about it, but they just don't like the way the Mayor wants to do it. 'Taking stands on issues that are politically unpopular going into an election season is dangerous...so if I were the Mayor and if I were on the Mayor's team, I would be potentially concerned.' Binder says he hopes this data is not just looked at as a set of numbers, but useful information that politicians and decision-makers in the city can look at as a gauge of where the public's opinion stands. 'I think this is a great opportunity for the elected officials to look down and say 'Hey, here's what the citizenry think and maybe we should take this into consideration.' Mayor Brown's spokesman sent a statement in response to the poll, saying the language does not describe the Mayor's proposal.  Spokesman David DeCamp says Brown's proposal would not require JEA to do something in exchange for nothing. Instead, he has suggested a partnership in which JEA would make an increased contribution to the City of Jacksonville for a limited period of time, and in exchange the City would help JEA find savings and revenue opportunities to offset the increased contribution.
  • Matt Augustine

    Matt Augustine is the reporter for Jacksonville's Morning News but he wears many hats. You'll see him out even before the sun comes up as he spends his early mornings traversing Jacksonville tracking down the latest details on the day's top local stories and breaking news. Matt is also a television reporter for Action News Fox 30 WAWS and CBS 47 WTEV and can be seen between 5 and 9 a.m. on weekdays. You can also hear Matt on Saturdays from 12-1 p.m. as he co-hosts The Consumer Law Hour with Chuck and Eddie Farah. Matt is also a stringer for the NFL Network on Sirius XM and provides updates for Sirius at all Jaguar home games. He began his career at WOKV in June 2011 as an afternoon producer.

    Born in Athens, Georgia, Matt's family moved to New Hampshire where Matt spent his childhood. He still retains his passion for New England culture and the Red Sox and Patriots and hopes to move back one day. After graduating high school, Matt attended Syracuse University in central New York, where he went to the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and is proud to call himself a graduate and a die-hard Orangeman. He was lucky enough to spend a semester abroad living in Madrid to complement his Spanish minor and though he doesn't get many chances to use it, Matt is just about fluent in Spanish and dreams of one day returning to Spain.

    While at Syracuse, Matt was a jock, Promotions Director, Morning Show Director, sports broadcaster, and Programming Director at WJPZ-FM "Z89", a completely student-run radio station serving the greater Syracuse area. He was hired in July 2010 as a part-time dayside news reporter and sports analyst for Newsradio AM 570 and 106.9 FM WSYR. He has done everything from covering New York's midterm elections to covering a national political convention to DJing pop music to play-by-play and color commentary to running a radio station with a staff of about 120 students to interviewing musicians, actors, and even politicians like former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

    When Matt is not behind the microphone or out on a story, you might find him out walking his dog Leela, catching up on sleep, playing his guitar, visiting friends at his favorite local hangout, the European St. Cafe in San Marco, finding the best eats in town, or taking in some live music.

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  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is investigating after what appears to be a drive-by shooting near a local park.   Police tell us a 16-year-old was shot in the abdomen around 3:30 pm Friday afternoon, in the area of Westbrook Park.   Three juveniles witnessed the shooting. They describe the shots as coming from a white Chevrolet Impala, but there is no information about the actual suspect at this time.   The 16-year-old victim's injuries are said to be non-life threatening and he's expected to be OK.
  • The new owner of the lavish mansion where Latitude 360 CEO Brent Brown used to live has been cited for illegally renting out the property as an event venue.Action News Jax found evidence that Brown still has connections to the property.Brown lived in the sprawling waterfront estate at 4424 Kelnepa Drive while his employees' paychecks bounced, and while government records show he failed to pay taxes.Now customers can spend thousands of dollars to rent it out for a party.The problem? It's not legal.Neighbors say the events have turned their quiet San Marco street into a nightmare.'People going to parties, parties, parties, parties,' neighbor Marie Wood said.'We can't get in our driveway,' neighbor Bonnie Biats said.'The party trucks, the rental trucks and the 50-100 cars that show up at functions about every weekend,' neighbor Bobby Thomas said. Investigation finds mansion formerly owned by #Latitude360 CEO is being rented for illegal parties. #ANJaxInvestigates his involvement at 6. pic.twitter.com/yUH0iXGahe-- Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) July 21, 2017 Eight neighbors tell Action News Jax they have had enough.When they bought their homes on Kelnepa Drive, they thought they were moving onto a quiet street.That was before the mansion at the end of the cul-de-sac started being advertised as a resort called the Tuscan River Estate, booking weddings, parties and other events online all the way into May 2018.Last week, the city of Jacksonville posted a citation on the gate because this property is not zoned or permitted as an event venue.'I don't think it impressed the resort people at all because they started preparing for a new event that afternoon,' said neighbor Allan Biats, who said it was his complaint to city councilwoman Lori Boyer that sparked Code Enforcement's investigation. Neighbors say lavish events at mansion formerly owned by #Latitude360 CEO has turned their street into a nightmare. #ANJaxInvestigates at 6 pic.twitter.com/zOjEulvh8F-- Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) July 21, 2017 Neighbor of Brent Brown: 'He continues to play shell games'Action News Jax has been investigating the financial failures of now-bankrupt entertainment eatery Latitude 360 and its CEO Brown for nearly two years.Property appraiser records show Brown sold his mansion to CLS Asset Management.CLS Asset Management then sold the mansion to Tuscan River Estate LLC.Here's the thing: Florida Department of State filings show that Tuscan River Estate LLC is listed as the registered agent for CLS Asset Management.Tuscan River Estate LLC is registered in Delaware, where you don't have to name a registered agent. But Michael Johnigean is listed on the venue's website as the manager.Johnigean is also the director of Rex Gryphon LLC, a company whose certificate of formation is signed by Brent Brown's wife Antonia (Toni) Brown.One more thing about CLS Asset Management: Florida Department of State filings show its general partner is Brownstone Developers, LLC - a company that is managed by Brent and Antonia Brown.'He continues to play shell games with the ownership of the house, trying to stay one step ahead of his creditors, I'm sure,' neighbor Bill Wood said. At 6:Neighbor says Brent Brown 'continues to play shell games with the ownership of the house, trying to stay 1 step ahead of his creditors' pic.twitter.com/gH6r6IliB0-- Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) July 21, 2017 Brown's mother continues to look after Tuscan River EstateAction News Jax found several current ties still remain between the Browns and the mansion.Brent Brown's mother Sheri Brown still has a clicker for the gate. She showed up while Action News Jax was outside in an unmarked car.'I just kind of look over the property, make sure everything's OK,' Sheri Brown said.A review from last month on the website HomeAway thanks Toni Brown for being 'extremely helpful' during an event.Action News Jax left multiple voicemails for Brent Brown asking to get his side of the story. He has not responded. At 6: New owner of mansion where #Latitude360 CEO lived denies it's being rented illegally for events. Neighbors say these pics are proof. pic.twitter.com/lt8LGgPasY-- Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) July 21, 2017 Johnigean texted Action News Jax that what he was doing is 'perfectly legal.'He agreed to meet for an interview.Then two days later, Johnigean said he didn't have time to talk after all.But Johnigean did have time to call Scott Odell and give him Action News Jax reporter Jenna Bourne's number.'Everything's smooth,' said Odell, who lives next door to the mansion. 'There's no trash. We hear zero noise.'When Bourne asked Odell why his account differed from eight of his neighbors' experiences, he responded, 'Well, they may have other motivations.' Before & after: Website changed to remove event planner after city cited San Marco mansion owner for illegal parties. #ANJaxInvestigates @ 6 pic.twitter.com/F2HKubqlSR-- Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) July 21, 2017 Neighbor: Kelnepa Drive has turned into 'a carnival atmosphere'Allan Biats said his only motivation is to get his quiet street back.'I just find it hard to believe that someone can steal an entire street from a neighborhood and turn it into a carnival atmosphere,' said Allan Biats.The booking page of Tuscan River Estate's website said it costs a minimum of $650 a night to stay at the mansion, with a three-night minimum stay required.During checkout, customers can select an option to add an additional $2,000 to hold an event there for up to 100 people.That's not including the hundreds of dollars that customers can expect to be charged for a cleaning fee and lodging tax.Despite the event booking options on the website, Johnigean texted Action News Jax the following statement: 'The Tuscan River Estate has been on HomeAway for two years. The Estate is a rental destination. I do not provide any other services but a rental service of the Estate. This is perfectly legal along with millions of other homes set up as rentals throughout the United States. Tuscan River Estate, LLC has property rights according to both State and County Laws. The home has been under new ownership since April 1, 2016 and management. If our guest choose to hold their event at the Estate. I will insure that their event has minimal impact on the neighborhood. I apologize to the neighbors if their [sic] has been any issues in the past. I will make sure that if any of our tenants hold an event at the Estate that the neighbors will not have any issues and they will have my contact info so they can contact me direct.' City councilwoman Lori Boyer said code enforcement will re-inspect the property 30 days after the July 14 citation was issued.Boyer said the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and the Building Inspections Division were also notified because they may be able to enforce fire safety issues due to capacity.After the citation was issued, the Tuscan River Estate website took down the contact information for its event planner, Anne Urban.The website also changed its 'services' section to include a disclaimer that says, 'This is not a commercial property and we do not provide commercial services.' Brent Brown has business ties to new owner of mansion. His mother still has clicker to front gate. A review thanks his wife for help @ event pic.twitter.com/QEtjW5XRGr-- Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) July 21, 2017 RELATED COVERAGELatitude 360 closes its doors on the SouthsideReport: Latitude 360 didn't report wagesState Attorney's Office investigating Latitude 360Latitude 360 CEO Brent Brown in BuzzFeed report: 'I don't owe anybody s---'Main Entertainment Event opens in Jacksonville at former Latitude 360
  • White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned from his post Friday morning, six months and one day after taking the position. >> Read more trending news In a message posted to Twitter Friday afternoon, Spicer said he will continue to serve as press secretary through August. >> Related: Sean Spicer resigns: A look at his 6 months as White House press secretary “It's been an honor (and) a privilege to serve (President Donald Trump and) this amazing country,” he wrote. Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will take over his duties, newly named White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said at a news briefing Friday. Spicer’s resignation came in opposition to Scaramucci’s appointment, The New York Times reported.
  • The teenagers who police said did nothing to help a drowning man and instead recorded the incident and mocked him may now face charges, Cocoa police said.. At first, the suspects were not going to be charged in connection with 31-year-old Jamel Dunn’s death. >> Read more trending news Investigators were told by the State Attorney’s Office that while there was no moral justification for the July 9 incident at Bracco Pond Park, there wasn’t sufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution under Florida statutes. Related: Teens recorded video, laughed while man drowned Dunn’s body wasn’t found until July 14 when a passerby saw his body floating in the pond. Police announced Friday that they would be able to recommend charges against the teens under a Florida statute saying that a person who witnesses a death must report it to a medical examiner. Police said it’s a misdemeanor charge that hasn’t been applied in a case like this. “When we initially reviewed this case it was determined there were no laws broken as the teens were not directly involved with the death,” said Chief Mike Cantaloupe. “Further research of the statutes and consultation with the State Attorney’s Office yielded the decision to move forward with charges under this statute. It’s our belief that this law has never been enforced in a scenario like this, but we feel it could be applicable.” Link: Fundraiser for Jamel Dunn’s family The State Attorney’s Office will decide if a case is filed. In the video, police said a group of teenage boys can be heard yelling things like, “We’re not going to help you and you never should have gotten in there,” as Dunn screamed for help and struggled in the water. Police said video evidence showed that Dunn went into the water on his own. A neighbor’s security camera showed Dunn scaling a fence and intentionally going into the pond, police said. “Regardless of the circumstances surrounding his decision to enter the water that day, there is absolutely no justification for what the teens did,” Cantaloupe said. “Pursuing criminal charges is a way to hold them accountable for their own actions.” One of the teenagers mentioned marijuana in the nearly three-minute video.  The identities of the teens have not been released. 
  • A Scottish man will head back to Jacksonville to face a murder charge, ending a lengthy extradition battle, according to the BBC.  A release from the European Court of Human Rights states Phillip Harkins’ final appeal against legal extradition was rejected Monday morning.  Court documents show in 2000, Harkins was indicted in Jacksonville for first-degree murder and attempted robbery with a firearm. The crime itself occurred in 1999. He was then arrested in the UK in 2003, prompting the United States to seek extradition.  Harkins argued his human rights would be breached if sent back. Harkins complained he risked the death penalty or a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Monday, the court declared the complaint inadmissible. In the release from the European Court of Human Rights they explained, “The Court concluded that the facts of the case did not disclose any risk that Mr. Harkins would suffer a flagrant denial of justice. Nor indeed had Mr. Harkins himself suggested that the trial process in the USA would be unfair.” We have reached out to state and federal authorities to see what comes next for Harkins.

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