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LIVE BLOG: Latest on the Yellow Bluff Fire on Jacksonville’s Northside

LIVE BLOG: Latest on the Yellow Bluff Fire on Jacksonville’s Northside

A wildfire is burning in the Yellow Bluff area of Jacksonville’s Northside. Here is the latest information: Saturday 5/25, 7:05 PM: Containment of this fire has been boosted to 60%. The Florida Forest Service in Jacksonville says there are only minimal smoke impacts right now to the highway. Saturday 5/25, 1:10 PM: A small fire is being tended to west of I-95, around where the Yellow Bluff Fire is burning to the east of the highway. Saturday 5/25, 10:15 AM: This fire has burned a little more than 600 acres, and the Florida Forest Service in Jacksonville says containment is 55%. Friday 5/24 9:51 PM: The Yellow Bluff Fire is now said to be 50% contained according to City of Jacksonville’s Emergency Preparedness Division and EOC. At last update, it was only 30% contained. Friday 5/24, 2:10PM: The Yellow Bluff Fire is now 600 acres and still 30% contained, according to the Florida Forest Service in Jacksonville. FFS Jacksonville says they are working to build a box around the fire, with I-95 on the west, US 17 on the east, a dozer line on the south, and a wet line on the north. Until those lines are complete and the fire has burned all fuel within the boundaries, there will continue to be smoke and ash affecting the area. Only one lane of I-95 NB a few miles north of Pecan Park remains closed. All other NB and SB lanes of I-95 are open. Friday 5/24, 12PM: The Florida Forest Service in Jacksonville is calling in more resources to help contain the Yellow Bluff Fire Friday 5/24, 10:30AM: Two lanes of I-95 northbound and all lanes of I-95 southbound are now open. Friday 5/24, 10:30AM: All lanes of I-95 southbound are now open, northbound lanes remain closed. Friday 5/24, 7AM: As a wildfire continues to burn near the Duval-Nassau county line, I-95 has been closed in both directions, between  I-295 in northern Duval County to SR-200 in Yulee.  The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says your detour for I-95 northbound is I-295 east to U.S. 17/Main Street or I-295 west to Lem Turner or New Kings Road.  For I-95 southbound, the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office suggests SR-200 to U.S. 17. The Florida Forest Service says the Yellowbluff Fire is now more than 450 acres in size and, as of Friday morning, 30% contained.

City of Jacksonville to add 4 names to Veterans Wall at Memorial Day ceremony

City of Jacksonville to add 4 names to Veterans Wall at Memorial Day ceremony

Four names will be added to the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Wall on Monday in a tribute to the sacrifice they made to the country. The annual Memorial Day observance starts at 8:30 a.m., and people are encouraged to arrive early.  Christopher A. Reed of the U.S. Navy; Jimmie Randolph of the U.S. Air Force; Brittney N. Mitchell of the U.S. Army and George W. Woods of the U.S. Marine Corps will forever have their names on the second largest memorial wall in the country. The only one larger is the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.  'These are individuals that are part of our local community that have passed in the service of their country,' says Bill Spann, director of the Military Affairs and Veterans Department for the City of Jacksonville.  He says family member of the fallen will get the chance to speak during the ceremony, in what is a touching moment each year.  'It's a way for Jacksonville citizens, before they go to the beach, before they go out and cook hot dogs and enjoy those freedoms, to really remember where those freedoms came from,' says Harrison Conyers, the supervisor of the Military Affairs and Veterans Department.  He says there are two big differences this year than in many recent years. Two of the names being added are Vietnam veterans, and they’ll also commemorate D-Day.  'It's not that we forgot them when the wall was originally built,' Conyers says of the Vietnam veterans. 'But their obituaries did not run in Jacksonville.'  The remembrance of D-Day is fitting because the 75th anniversary is coming up June 6. Spann says there will be four D-Day veterans in attendance.  'We may not get a chance to honor those individuals on the 80th anniversary,' Spann says.  If you've never been to the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Wall, it's located between the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville and TIAA Bank Field. Anyone is welcome to attend.

Northeast Florida museums offering free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families

Northeast Florida museums offering free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families

It's underway all summer. The Blue Star Museums 2019 program has kicked off, allowing the nation's active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, to visit participating museums free of charge.  The 2019 program officially started on Saturday, May 18th, which is Armed Forces Day, and will run through Labor Day on Monday, September, 2nd.  Locally, military families will be able to visit the following museums free of charge:  Jacksonville  -Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens  -Mandarin Museum & Historical Society  -MOCA Jacksonville  -Ritz Theatre & LaVilla Museum  Jacksonville Beach  -Beaches Museum  St. Augustine  -Lightner Museum  -St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum  To find museums outside of Northeast Florida, click HERE. The Blue Star Museums program is a collaboration among the National Endowment for Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and participating museums.

The VA estimates 20 veterans take their own lives each day. It’s a tragedy that WOKV is shining the spotlight on, with the hope of reaching veterans in crisis- or anyone who knows a veteran that is struggling- and connecting them with help. FULL VIDEO: RESOURCES: -Veterans Crisis Line:  Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, text 838255, or  chat online. VA responders are available through this Crisis Line 24 hours a day, seven days a week for a confidential conversation. -Searchable resources: Find clinical care, counseling, and other resources near you. -Community Resource and Referral Center: This VA resource is open to walk-ins on weekdays from 8:30AM through 4:30PM for assistance with housing, mental health, substance abuse, nutrition, social services, peer support, and more. You can reach the Jacksonville CRRC at 904-798-2800. -North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System: VA care in the local region. -City of Jacksonville Military Affairs and Veterans Department: Free assistance in claiming VA benefits, employment, housing and utility payments -K9s For Warriors: Providing service dogs to veterans suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and/or Military Sexual Trauma as a result of military service post-9/11. -Wounded Warrior Project: Empowering veterans who suffered a physical or mental injury, illnesses, or wound, in military service on or after 9/11. -Five Star Veterans Center: Safe housing, health and wellness services, family reunification, education help, and job preparedness. -Northeast Florida Women Veterans: Ensuring female veterans transition into the civilian community with the tools they need to become self-sufficient. -Operation New Uniform: Career training and skill development. -Onward to Opportunity: Free, comprehensive career skills program that provides civilian career training, professional certifications and job placement support to transitioning service members. These are just a few of the organizations that represent a range of resources for veterans- from emergency assistance for those in crisis, to housing and employment for those transitioning in to civilian life. If you know an organization that should be added to this list, please contact WOKV’s Stephanie Brown at stephanie.brown@coxinc.com.
The VA estimates 20 veterans take their own lives each day. It’s a tragedy that WOKV is shining the spotlight on, with the hope of reaching veterans in crisis- or anyone who knows a veteran that is struggling- and connecting them with help. FULL VIDEO: RESOURCES: -Veterans Crisis Line:  Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, text 838255, or  chat online. VA responders are available through this Crisis Line 24 hours a day, seven days a week for a confidential conversation. -Searchable resources: Find clinical care, counseling, and other resources near you. -Community Resource and Referral Center: This VA resource is open to walk-ins on weekdays from 8:30AM through 4:30PM for assistance with housing, mental health, substance abuse, nutrition, social services, peer support, and more. You can reach the Jacksonville CRRC at 904-798-2800. -North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System: VA care in the local region. -City of Jacksonville Military Affairs and Veterans Department: Free assistance in claiming VA benefits, employment, housing and utility payments -K9s For Warriors: Providing service dogs to veterans suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and/or Military Sexual Trauma as a result of military service post-9/11. -Wounded Warrior Project: Empowering veterans who suffered a physical or mental injury, illnesses, or wound, in military service on or after 9/11. -Five Star Veterans Center: Safe housing, health and wellness services, family reunification, education help, and job preparedness. -Northeast Florida Women Veterans: Ensuring female veterans transition into the civilian community with the tools they need to become self-sufficient. -Operation New Uniform: Career training and skill development. -Onward to Opportunity: Free, comprehensive career skills program that provides civilian career training, professional certifications and job placement support to transitioning service members. These are just a few of the organizations that represent a range of resources for veterans- from emergency assistance for those in crisis, to housing and employment for those transitioning in to civilian life. If you know an organization that should be added to this list, please contact WOKV’s Stephanie Brown at stephanie.brown@coxinc.com.
The VA estimates 20 veterans take their own lives each day. It’s a tragedy that WOKV is shining the spotlight on, with the hope of reaching veterans in crisis- or anyone who knows a veteran that is struggling- and connecting them with help. FULL VIDEO: RESOURCES: -Veterans Crisis Line:  Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, text 838255, or  chat online. VA responders are available through this Crisis Line 24 hours a day, seven days a week for a confidential conversation. -Searchable resources: Find clinical care, counseling, and other resources near you. -Community Resource and Referral Center: This VA resource is open to walk-ins on weekdays from 8:30AM through 4:30PM for assistance with housing, mental health, substance abuse, nutrition, social services, peer support, and more. You can reach the Jacksonville CRRC at 904-798-2800. -North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System: VA care in the local region. -City of Jacksonville Military Affairs and Veterans Department: Free assistance in claiming VA benefits, employment, housing and utility payments -K9s For Warriors: Providing service dogs to veterans suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and/or Military Sexual Trauma as a result of military service post-9/11. -Wounded Warrior Project: Empowering veterans who suffered a physical or mental injury, illnesses, or wound, in military service on or after 9/11. -Five Star Veterans Center: Safe housing, health and wellness services, family reunification, education help, and job preparedness. -Northeast Florida Women Veterans: Ensuring female veterans transition into the civilian community with the tools they need to become self-sufficient. -Operation New Uniform: Career training and skill development. -Onward to Opportunity: Free, comprehensive career skills program that provides civilian career training, professional certifications and job placement support to transitioning service members. These are just a few of the organizations that represent a range of resources for veterans- from emergency assistance for those in crisis, to housing and employment for those transitioning in to civilian life. If you know an organization that should be added to this list, please contact WOKV’s Stephanie Brown at stephanie.brown@coxinc.com.
The VA estimates 20 veterans take their own lives each day. It’s a tragedy that WOKV is shining the spotlight on, with the hope of reaching veterans in crisis- or anyone who knows a veteran that is struggling- and connecting them with help. FULL VIDEO: RESOURCES: -Veterans Crisis Line:  Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, text 838255, or  chat online. VA responders are available through this Crisis Line 24 hours a day, seven days a week for a confidential conversation. -Searchable resources: Find clinical care, counseling, and other resources near you. -Community Resource and Referral Center: This VA resource is open to walk-ins on weekdays from 8:30AM through 4:30PM for assistance with housing, mental health, substance abuse, nutrition, social services, peer support, and more. You can reach the Jacksonville CRRC at 904-798-2800. -North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System: VA care in the local region. -City of Jacksonville Military Affairs and Veterans Department: Free assistance in claiming VA benefits, employment, housing and utility payments -K9s For Warriors: Providing service dogs to veterans suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and/or Military Sexual Trauma as a result of military service post-9/11. -Wounded Warrior Project: Empowering veterans who suffered a physical or mental injury, illnesses, or wound, in military service on or after 9/11. -Five Star Veterans Center: Safe housing, health and wellness services, family reunification, education help, and job preparedness. -Northeast Florida Women Veterans: Ensuring female veterans transition into the civilian community with the tools they need to become self-sufficient. -Operation New Uniform: Career training and skill development. -Onward to Opportunity: Free, comprehensive career skills program that provides civilian career training, professional certifications and job placement support to transitioning service members. These are just a few of the organizations that represent a range of resources for veterans- from emergency assistance for those in crisis, to housing and employment for those transitioning in to civilian life. If you know an organization that should be added to this list, please contact WOKV’s Stephanie Brown at stephanie.brown@coxinc.com.
House Republican blocks final vote on disaster aid bill until June Victims of Hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and other natural disasters will have to wait into next month for Congress to give final approval to a $19.1 billion relief bill, as final passage of the plan in the House was blocked on Friday by a lone Republican lawmaker, forcing a delay until Congress returns for legislative business in the first week of June.   “I respectfully object,” said Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), a more conservative Republicans who stayed in town after the House had completed its legislative business on Thursday, and came to the floor Friday morning to object to acting on the plan without a full roll call vote.   The House had approved $19.1 billion in disaster aid in early May; the Senate on Thursday amended the plan with the backing of President Trump – but it wasn’t good enough to get unanimous consent for approval in the House. “If I do not object, Congress will have passed into law a bill that spends $19 billion of taxpayer money without members of Congress being present here in our nation’s capital,” Roy said on the House floor, forcing a further delay on the disaster aid measure. One of Roy’s objections was that no money was included in the plan for the immigrant surge along the southern border - President Trump had backed off of that in order to secure a deal on Thursday. Roy’s maneuver drew the scorn of fellow Republicans from states which are need of aid - like Georgia - where farmers suffered devastating losses from Hurricane Michael. Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) tweeted that “our farmers need aid today,” as this move by his GOP colleague will delay that process into June, leaving a bad taste in the mouths of fellow Republicans with farmers in need of assistance.   Democrats were furious. “House Republicans’ last-minute sabotage of an overwhelmingly bipartisan disaster relief bill is an act of staggering political cynicism,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  “Countless American families hit by devastating natural disasters across the country will now be denied the relief they urgently need,” Pelosi added in a statement. “This is a rotten thing to do,” said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), who noted to reporters that Roy was blocking aid for his own home state of Texas. “We should have passed this months ago,” said Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL), who asked for approval of the measure on the House floor. “I am beyond fed up. This is wrong,” said Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA).  “This bill is about helping people – not about playing Washington politics.” “Republican politicians are playing games while people’s homes are literally underwater,” said Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH).   Unless Republicans relent next week, the House would not be able to set up a vote on the disaster aid measure until the week of June 3. “There are people who are really hurting, and he’s objecting,” Shalala said.  “He’s holding hostage thousands of people.”  The House has two ‘pro forma’ meetings scheduled for next week - on Tuesday and Friday.  Republicans could object to passing the bill at those times as well.