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Hurricanes
Checklist: Outside the home
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Checklist: Outside the home

Checklist: Outside the home
Photo Credit: Cydney Scott / Palm Beach Post
John Walker (right) and Brian Hurst repair the roof of a building in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., after Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne in 2004.

Checklist: Outside the home

Be cautious following a storm

Do not leave your home or shelter until emergency officials tell you it’s safe.

In the yard

If your home is open to the elements or you fear it will collapse, get out. Secure it as best you can, get as many valuables out as possible and find another place to stay. 

If your boat is in your yard, inspect it and document damage for insurance. Repair what you can. Pump water out. Check the fuel, electrical systems for damage.

In the neighborhood

DON’T TOUCH POWER LINES. Watch for downed lines. Consider every power line energized. Do not attempt to touch any electrical power lines and keep your family away from them.

Watch your step. The area could be covered with broken glass and other debris.

Don’t walk in standing water and don’t venture out in the dark because you might not see a power line that could be energized and dangerous.

Watch for insects, snakes and other animals — including alligators — driven out by high water.

If your neighborhood floods during the storm, listen to the radio for instructions.

Watch and listen for reports of storm-spawned tornadoes.

Be careful about letting your pet outdoors. Landmarks and scents might be gone, and your pet might get lost. 

In the area

If you stayed outside your neighborhood, do not return to it until you get the all-clear. Roads may be blocked.

You might have to show proof of residency, such as a driver license or insurance documents, before being allowed back in.

Law enforcement agencies likely will impose curfews; hours and extent to depend on damage. Anyone out would be subject to arrest.

Driving will be treacherous. Traffic lights likely will be out and streets will be filled with debris and downed power lines. When traffic lights are dark, intersections become four-way stops.

If flooding occurs, try calling local government or drainage districts before calling the water management district.

Don’t go to the coast or barrier islands until you get word that it’s safe to do so.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • One woman is dead and another has life threatening injuries as the result of a domestic-related homicide in Orange Park, with the suspect still on the loose. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office says a juvenile also suffered minor injuries in the incident, on the 400 block of Heron Court Sunday afternoon.  The suspect has been identified as 36-year-old Kenneth Leonard Poythress, Jr. He was last seen in a 2008 red or maroon four-door Honda Accord with Florida license plate 037LSE. He was last seen wearing jeans, a dark colored shirt, an orange construction type vest, and a camouflage cap. There is no information at this time on what motivated this crime, the relationship of those involved, or what kind of weapon was used.  If you have any information about this incident, you’re asked to contact CCSO at 904-264-6512.
  • Mayor Alvin Brown is calling for 10 to 15 percent budget cuts across the board, but some agencies are now saying those cuts could put your safety at risk.We’ve heard some push back from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and now Fire Rescue is joining in.Cuts to the fire rescue department would be somewhere around $13 million.  The president of the fire union Randy Wyse says that would force them to close fire stations.Wyse spoke to our news partner Channel 4, he told them, 'I don't see any other option but closing fire stations and putting companies out of service with that number.” 'We think any sort of budget cut of that amount in any department in the city that provides an essential service is off base,' Wyse said.Mayor Brown told WOKV that everything is on the table right now and did not say whether or not he would exclude any city agencies from budget cuts.JSO would have to cut $32 million under the outlined budget reductions, to which the mayor says he’s confident a reduction of some sort will be worked out.Those cuts would not be made until next year and no word on whether more layoffs could be on the way.
  • The daughter of former Congresswoman Corrine Brown has been denied a blanket excuse from taking the stand during her mother’s federal fraud trial. Shantrel Brown’s attorney filed a motion this week aiming to squash the subpoena issued to her by the US Attorney’s Office, saying Brown intended to plead the Fifth and remain silent on any questions from the government. A District Judge Friday denied that motion.  The motion from Shantrel Brown claimed the only purpose for issuing a subpoena on her was “for the atmospheric effect upon the jury to see the defendant’s daughter invoke her Fifth Amendment rights”. Her attorney said she intends to invoke the Fifth on any question, so calling her to the stand solely to have her invoke is “improper”.  Prosecutors had fought Brown’s motion, calling it “premature” because it’s founded in the belief that a witness can refuse to answer questions without knowing what the questions will be. The government says Brown has the right to assert her Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, but that some of what she may be called to testify on does not deal with her personal actions. Specifically, the court filing highlights that Brown shares a home with her mother in Virginia and would naturally know about her habits and often her whereabouts. Prosecutors further say there is evidence Brown planned and attended events in her mother’s honor.  Former Congresswoman Corrine Brown, her former Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons, and the head of One Door For Education Carla Wiley are all accused of collecting more than $800,000 in donations to One Door- which they represented as an education charity- and using that money for personal expenses instead. Wiley and Simmons have previously pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the US Attorney’s Office as prosecutors build their case. Brown does not intend to take a plea deal and has said she will take the stand during trial. That trial is slated to start Wednesday, with jury selection on Monday.  The US Attorney’s Office further noted it’s possible the defendant will try to shift blame for her alleged role on to her daughter. As such-and with all of these factors considered- prosecutors say Shantrel Brown can’t be given any exemption at this point. They added that they will consistently evaluate her role as a potential witness through the early court proceedings to determine whether to call her to the stand, and if she is called on, she would be able to lay out her case for invoking the Fifth- arguments that would be done outside of the presence of a jury, according to the US Attorney’s Office filing.  The District Judge’s ruling denying the motion to squash the subpoena said the proper procedure is to have an “inquiry into the legitimacy and scope”- not in the presence of a jury- to look at the specific questioning Brown could face and whether privilege is “well-founded”. That inquiry will be conducted if the US Attorney’s Office determines they will, in fact, call Shantrel Brown as a witness. Shantrel Brown is one of 45 witnesses the US Attorney’s Office has filed notice they may call to testify. The prospective witness list for the defense is 33 people.
  • Twelve jurors will decide the future of former Congresswoman Corrine Brown- and they’ll be selected from a group of 39 in a two-day process starting Monday. Last July, Brown and her Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons were indicted in a federal fraud case centered on the group “One Door For Education”- which prosecutors say Brown and others represented as a non-profit to solicit donations, but used the more than $800,000 they collected for personal expenses instead. Prosecutors say the trio used Brown’s position as a Congresswoman to promote the group and solicit donations, without One Door having ever been registered as a charity.  Simmons and third alleged co-conspirator, Carla Wiley, have previously pleaded guilty. Brown faces a total of 22 charges including mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, and more. The jury must reach a unanimous decision in order to convict.  WOKV will be in the federal courthouse through the proceedings, which start Monday for two days of jury selection. The trial is slated to start Wednesday and expected to last two weeks.  Court records show the 39 people who have been summoned as prospective jurors have already been initially screened by the court for hardship. They have been randomly numbered, and that randomized list of names- and the corresponding juror number- has already been distributed to the attorneys for both sides.  Jury selection will begin with the judge outlining the nature of the case and questioning the prospective jurors. That process can include questions which have been submitted by the attorneys, at the judge’s discretion.  Federal court records show the US Attorney’s Office has submitted proposed instructions and questions for jury selection. The instructions include reinforcing that their decision should be based on evidence alone and not sympathy or prejudice for the defendant, explaining the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt and not all possible doubt, how to consider the credibility of a witness, and the meaning of the various charges. The questions include whether the prospective jurors know anyone involved, have any issue with the nature of the charges, have ever been involved in legal proceedings in any capacity, have any impression of the federal government, have any bias against plea agreements, have any political views that could influence the verdict, and more.  After questioning, the panel will be excused while attorneys first raise any challenges “for cause”, and then issue “peremptory” strikes, which don’t have to have a cause. The defense has ten peremptory strikes, while the US Attorney’s Office has six, according to the court records.  Ultimately, twelve jurors will be seated through this process, which works down the list based on the randomly assigned juror numbers. The next two jurors on the list who weren’t seated on the panel will be slated as the alternates- with each side getting one peremptory challenge to exercise on the alternates.  WOKV will have comprehensive coverage through jury selection and the trial proceedings. Check back frequently at WOKV.com for updates.
  • The fraud trial against former Congresswoman Corrine Brown is scheduled to start in just over a week, and there could be some notable names called by prosecutors.  The US Attorney’s Office has submitted 45 names as potential witnesses and Corrine Brown’s lawyer submitted 33 names. Among the people who will be called are Jacksonville politicians, political strategists, prominent attorneys, independent authority members and leaders, Brown’s daughter, among others. The list also includes Brown’s former Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons and the former head of One Door For Education Carla Wiley, both of whom have agreed to take plea deals for their part in this case, in exchange for helping prosecutors.  Brown, Wiley, and Simmons are accused of collecting about $800,000 in donations to One Door, saying the money would be used for scholarships and other charitable purposes. The US Attorney’s Office says, in reality, the money went toward personal expenses of the three involved.  Brown is facing various charges- aiding and abetting mail fraud, aiding and abetting wire fraud, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, scheme to conceal material facts on financial disclosure forms, corruptly endeavoring to obstruct or impede the IRS, and filing false income tax returns.  Jury selection is slated to start April 24th, with the trial scheduled to begin April 26th. Brown intends to testify during the trial. United States’ witness list:  1. Shawn Batsch, IRS-CI  2. Dawn Goldberg, IRS  3. Kimberly Henderson, FBI  4. Tracy Lane, IRS  5. Vanessa Stelly, FBI  6. Carolyn Chatman  7. Linda Foster  8. Reginald Gaffney  9. Nathaniel Glover  10. April Green  11. Eurmon Hervey  12. Charles McCormick  13. Ju’Coby Pittman  14. Doug Shackelford  15. Dawn Smith  16. Stanley Twiggs  17. Dawn Wright  18. John Baker  19. Robert Birnbaum  20. Stephen Bittel  21. Tandy Bondi  22. Edward Burr  23. Husein Cumber  24. Jack Hanania  25. Marva Brown Johnson  26. Gasper Lazzara  27. Richard Lipsky  28. Eugene Ludwig  29. Don Miller  30. Steve Pajcic  31. John Picerne  32. Robert Picerne  33. Kent Stermon  34. Michael Ward  35. Susan Wiles  36. Jessica Wynne  37. Voncier Alexander  38. Ingrid Burch  39. Tasha Cole  40. Siottis Jackson  41. Lavern Kelly  42. Brad Mims  43. Shantrel Brown  44. Elias Simmons  45. Carla Wiley Corrine Brown witness list: 1. Martin Luther King III  2. The Honorable Bennie Thompson  3. Geraldine Centeno  4. Peter Mikon  5. Julia Wilson  6. Rontel Batie  7. The Honorable Marcia Fudge  8. Patrick Lewis  9. Jackie Gray  10. Helen Sachs  12. Lavern Kelly  13. Tonia Bell  14. Ju’Coby Pittman  15. Jimmy R. Jenkins  16. Brenda Simmons  17. The Honorable Jeff Triplett  18. John Delaney  19. The Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee  20. Bruce Marks  21. Nick Martinelli  22. Clint Brown  23. Barbara Skinner  24. Genesis Robinson  25. Cathy Gass  26. St. Elmo Crawford  27. James Sampson  28. Jesse Jackson  29. Roslyn Burrough  30. Hector Alcalde  31. Ava Parker  32. Mary Adams  33. Elias “Ronnie” Simmons

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