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First phase of SR 9B opens today
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First phase of SR 9B opens today

First phase of SR 9B opens today
Satellite image of SR 9B. The gray roadway on the right is SR 9B.

First phase of SR 9B opens today

The Florida Department of Transportation says State Road 9B will open today. The new roadway connects US 1 to the 295 East Beltway. DOT says the "northbound lanes will open at 10 am and the soubound lanes will open later tonight after rush hour to repaint the traffic lines at the I-295 transition".

You can enter/exit 9B at Gran Bay Parkway at US 1 on the southernmost end and between Baymeadows Road and Philips Highway at the 295 East Beltway on
the north end. This is the first phase of the project and it runs for more than 2 miles.

St. John's County commuters may find relief when the roadway opens because this is another route to get to the 295 East Beltway instead of continuing north on US 1.

Work on this new $75 million roadway began in the summer of 2010 and crews have already started working on the $95 million part known as phase two. Phase two will connect US 1 to 95 and should be complete in 2016. It will open as a four-lane highway (2 lanes in each direction) divided by grassy median but it can "expand to six lanes in the future when traffic warrants it".

Crews prepared to open the roadway by closing lanes on the 295 East Beltway Wednesday and Thursday between 8 pm and 6 am.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • Authorities are investigating after two people were injured early Friday in a shooting at South Carolina State University, officials said. >> Read more trending news  Update 11:10 a.m. EDT Sept. 20: South Carolina State University President James E. Clark told reporters two women were injured in Friday's early morning shooting. Authorities first got a call about the gunshots around midnight, Clark said. He identified one of the injured women as a student who was injured in the leg. The injuries appeared to be minor, WLTX reported. Clark said he spoke with the injured student after she was released from the hospital. 'She is emotionally shaken but is recovering,' he said, according to WLTX. Clark said the shooting stemmed from an incident that began off campus. Authorities continued to search Friday for suspects in the case. Update 8:44 a.m. EDT Sept. 20:  A lockdown was lifted at South Carolina State University, several hours after a shooting was reported on campus, WLTX reported. Campus police lifted the lockdown at 7:49 a.m., the television station reported. According to a university news release, one student sustained non-life-threatening injuries and is expected to make a full recovery. University officials have scheduled a 9:30 am news conference on campus to discuss the shooting, WLTX reported. Original report: The university remained on lockdown several hours after a campus-wide text alert was sent by school officials at 2:30 a.m., WLTX reported. According to the alert, the shooting occurred at Hugine Suites near Building K, the television station reported. University officials said Hugine Suites is a coed upperclassman housing complex that contains about 755 students, WLTX reported. A second email sent by the school 12 minutes after the first one advised students to avoid the area, WCSC reported. Authorities have not released any information about whether anyone was hurt, the television station reported. Police also did not release a description of the gunman.
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday he was dropping out of the 2020 presidential race, NBC News reported. >> Read more trending news  'I feel like I have contributed all I can to this primary election. It’s clearly not my time, so I’m going to end my presidential campaign,' de Blasio said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” De Blasio’s announcement comes before next month's Democratic presidential debate and lent credence to the idea he lacked support and money to continue as a candidate, The New York Times reported. De Blasio reported raising only $1.1 million during his first campaign finance filing, the newspaper reported.
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  • The man charged with killing two North Carolina university students and wounding four others in their classroom in April pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of first-degree murder. >> Read more trending news  Trystan Andrew Terrell, 23, also pleaded guilty Thursday to four counts of attempted murder and discharge of a firearm on educational property. State prosecutors accepted Terrell's plea during a hearing that was previously scheduled to decide whether the gunman could face the death penalty for the killings at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The shooting at UNCC happened April 30. Terrell admitted from the beginning he went to the Kennedy Building armed to kill that day. He recounted the shooting in detail to detectives hours later. Terrell was sentenced to two life sentences without parole. Riley Howell, 21, of Waynesville, and Ellis Reed Parlier, 19, of Midland, died after each was shot multiple times, according to their autopsy reports. Those victims' mothers spoke about the pain they have been living with. 'Your honor, the defendant took our son,' Reed Parlier’s mother, Julie Parlier, said after the plea deal. 'We will never forgive him (Terrell) for his actions,' Parlier said. 'If the defendant wanted to kill someone, he should have turned the gun on himself. May you rot in hell and suffer torture.' “Today, we finish what Riley started,” said Riley Howell’s mother, Natalie Howell. Samantha Coop graduated from the university since the tragedy. “It was really traumatizing,” Coop said. “I thought it was my obligation to see it through to the end with him.” She vividly remembers April 30. “I was getting phone calls and text messages from my friends that were scared,” Coop said. “My parents and family out of town were calling and asking me if I was OK.” Terrell apologized to the victims' families inside the courtroom. “I am so sorry to everybody,” Terrell said. “I really messed up. If I could go back in time and even to the very second to where I entered that classroom, I would do that. I am so sorry. I made a mistake.” Terrell’s attorneys spoke about how the suspect has been living with autism and that he was isolated and unable to socialize. They said he panicked, and the shooting was a cry for help. Spencer Merriweather III, Mecklenburg County District Attorney, told a news conference after the hearing the thought the decision to accept the plea deal was the right call because it saves families the anguish of enduring a death penalty trial. 'Today brings justice to the man who brought unspeakable harm to the victims, survivors and their families,' Merriweather said. However, at least one of the victims objected to the plea agreement, which effectively allows Terrell to escape the death penalty. It's a deal that has caught some by surprise. “I’m surprised that it's going this quickly,” said Rob Corbett, a defense attorney and former prosecutor. Corbett said earlier in the week if Terrell went to trial, the case could drag on for two years or more and require victims and their families to testify, with no guarantees the outcome would be any different. “I understand it's a hard call to make from the prosecutor's office but probably the right outcome,” Corbett said. At UNCC, the Kennedy Building where the shooting happened is still closed to everyone but faculty and staff, and no one has forgotten the shock that followed the shooting. “My friends and I actually saw the cops pull in to behind the library,” student Maryam Thomas said. Thomas is a junior now. She said the plea deal may help students and the school move on with the process of healing. “I think justice needs to be served for everyone here on campus, for all the staff, for the victims and the victims' families. I think it's time, and I'm glad that they're expediting how long this is taking, because justice needs to be served,” Thomas said. Prosecutors have discussed their decision with the surviving victims and the families of the two students who were killed. One of the survivors of the shooting, Drew Pescaro, posted a series of tweets Wednesday night reacting to the possible plea. He expressed frustration saying in part, 'Life in prison, and he got it by committing a school shooting. His plan to get life in prison worked, and he got everything he wanted out of the situation.

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