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Latest from Arielle Wysocki

    More changes could be coming to Beach Boulevard, and the Florida Department of Transportation wants to hear what residents have to say about it during a public hearing on Monday, April 1.  During the meeting at the Regency Square Branch Library, FDOT will go over a list of proposed changes on Beach Boulevard between Southside Boulevard and Eve Drive.  FDOT’s inviting the public to their open house starting at 4:30 pm, followed by a formal public comment period at 6:30 pm. During the open house, attendees will be able to see displays and discuss the plan with project staff and consultants on site.  Proposed improvements include: Construction of a Restricted Crossing U-Turn (RCUT) on Beach Boulevard to northbound Southside Boulevard and northbound Eve Drive. Construction of a Displaced Left Turn (DLT) on Beach Boulevard to southbound Southside Boulevard. Construction of a bypass right turn lane on Southside Boulevard to eastbound Beach Boulevard. Construction of median improvements and pedestrian facilities at the intersection of Patton Road and Southside Service Road. Widening Beach Boulevard and Southside Boulevard to accommodate RCUT and DLT. Construction of traffic signals, pedestrian and bicycle facilities and driveway modifications to accommodate RCUT and DLT. Construction of overhead and post-mounted signs and pavement markings to accommodate RCUT and DLT. Milling and resurfacing within the project limits. FDOT says the project documents will also be available to the public after the hearing.  Attendees who want to make a verbal statement, can complete a speaker’s card that will become part of the public hearing record.  FDOT says attendees can also send written statements to Peter Osborne at 2198 Edison Avenue, Jacksonville, Florida 32204.   All exhibits or statements postmarked on or before April 11, 2019 will become part of the public hearing record, according to FDOT.
  • It will likely make your drive through Jacksonville’s Southside a little smoother when it’s done— the Florida Department of Transportation is upgrading the traffic signals along Beach Boulevard from Parental Home Road to Cortez Road starting next week.  FDOT says among the upgrades are new mast-arms and signals along Beach Boulevard, at Parental Home Road, Foster Drive, Grove Park Boulevard, Barkley Road, Peach Drive, Forest Boulevard, Anniston Road, DeSalvo Road and Cortez Road.  Roadway lighting, sidewalk repairs, new highway signage and an additional right turn lane from Beach Boulevard eastbound to Parental Home Road are also included in the $3.8 million improvement project, according to FDOT.  FDOT says drivers can expect single lane closures periodically throughout the week between 8 pm and 6:30 am.  FDOT says pedestrian detours will be in place in case of any sidewalk closures, and JTA bus stops may be temporarily relocated during construction.  According to FDOT, Florida Safety Contractors, Inc. is expected to finish this project early next year. 
  • If you’re a frequent East Arlington driver, you might notice a slight shift to your drive over the weekend. According to the Florida Department of Transportation, detours will be in place for McCormick Road and Fort Caroline Road between Friday, February 1 at 7 pm and Monday, February 4 at 5 am. FDOT says the detours are necessary so crews can safely finish some drainage work included in the Wonderwood Drainage Improvements project.  FDOT says McCormick Road eastbound traffic will be detoured right on St. Johns Bluff Road, then left on Monument Road to McCormick. Westbound drivers will turn left on Monument, then right on St. Johns Bluff to McCormick.  Fort Caroline Road westbound traffic will turn left on McCormick, then right on Monument, and then take another right onto St. Johns Bluff.  FDOT says there will be signs and message boards directing traffic through the detour.  According to FDOT, J.B. Coxwell Contracting Inc. is expected to complete the nearly $8 million project this summer. 
  • Expect a nightly detour on Jacksonville’s Northside, while the Florida Department of Transportation completes utility work for the Airport Road and I-95 interchange improvement project.  FDOT says from Sunday, January 13 to Thursday, January 17, between 10 pm and 5:30 am, drivers on I-95 northbound who need to get to Airport Road westbound will continue heading north on I-95 to the Pecan Park Road exit. From there, drivers will be directed from Pecan Park Road, then west to I-95 southbound, and down to Airport Road.  The $11 million project extends from Airport Center Drive to west of Duval Road, FDOT says.  According to FDOT, the project’s expected to be completed this December, and it includes widening of off-ramps, road resurfacing, drainage improvements, sidewalk construction and new signage. 
  • A 15-year-old has been arrested after allegedly stealing a skateboard from a vehicle parked at the Tinseltown movie theater on Jacksonville’s Southside.  According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, several witnesses approached the movie theater manager about a group of suspicious young people rummaging through vehicles in the parking lot Monday night.    JSO says an off-duty officer began driving through the parking lot and made contact with two people from the group. The officer said they began walking towards a black Toyota which was parked on the far west end of the parking lot. When the officer approached the vehicle and group of at least four people, they all fled, except for a woman sitting inside the vehicle.  JSO says the officer noticed a skateboard on the ground next to the vehicle, and confirmed it was stolen out of a vehicle in the parking lot.  JSO says a second officer was called to help locate the suspect. While the backup officer was driving on Southside Boulevard, he spotted the suspect running through a Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot. JSO says the officer caught up to the 15-year-old suspect and arrested him on scene. According to the arrest report, the suspect denied any involvement.   JSO says the stolen skateboard was returned to its owner. 
  • The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is warning everyone, especially women, to be aware of your surroundings, lock your vehicle doors, and don’t leave your valuables unattended.  SJC deputies issued this warning after multiple vehicle burglaries were reported at an area gym Monday morning.   Our partner Action News Jax says the windows of three vehicles were shattered at Orangetheory Fitness on County Road 210. According to Action News Jax, among the items stolen from the vehicles were three purses, a dozen credit cards, and an iPhone.     SJC deputies are calling this type of crime, “The Felony Lane Gang” tactic, in which gang members travel the country and target places with more women and a better likelihood of finding purses left in vehicles. Commonly targeted places include gyms, parks, daycare centers, funeral homes, churches, cemeteries, and sporting events, deputies say.  According to the SJSO, gang members check for unlocked vehicles or punch in the windows of vehicles that are locked and search for driver licenses, checks and debit cards, among other things. Gang members then recruit females to conduct fraudulent transactions by mimicking the appearance of the stolen identity victim, investigators say. 
  • Westside Jacksonville drivers who regularly take the Ortega River Bridge to get between Avondale and Ortega will not be able to access the Bridge until late next week, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.   As part of the Ortega River Drawbridge (SR-211) rehabilitation project, FDOT says the closure is necessary for crews to complete some electrical work, and will take place from Tuesday, December 4, to Friday, December 14. FDOT says a detour will be in place. Motorists heading southbound on SR-211 will be redirected to San Juan Avenue, and then to US-17 (Roosevelt Boulevard) south. Northbound motorists will detour to Grand Avenue, and continue north on Ortega Boulevard to Verona Avenue, and then to US-17 north.  Marine traffic will not be impacted during this time, FDOT says.  According to FDOT, automated signs are already in place to alert motorists and pedestrians about the closure.   FDOT says Astron General Contracting Co. Inc. is scheduled to complete the $1.7 million rehabilitation project by early 2019.
  • A 36-year-old man has been arrested in Nassau County after deputies say he stabbed a woman in the head with a fork, during an argument over a baked potato.  According to the arrest report we’ve obtained from the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched to a residence on Susi Lane around 11:30 pm on Sunday, after receiving a call that a person had been stabbed. When deputies arrived, they made contact with the victim, who had multiple stab wounds and blood on both sides of her head, according to the arrest report.  The arrest report says after the victim gave deputies consent to search the home, deputies found Kenneth Crumpton Jr. inside the residence. Crumpton told deputies that he threw a fork at the victim during a dispute over a potato, and that Crumpton thought the fork “glanced off her head,” according to the arrest report.  Crumpton was arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, according to deputies. 
  • It will hopefully make your drive through Downtown St. Augustine a little more enjoyable, without the hassle of sitting in traffic. The Florida Department of Transportation is installing an Advanced Notification System for the Bridge of Lions, to alert drivers ahead of time when the Bridge is raised up. FDOT says the system will be activated this week and will provide advanced warning for drivers when the Bridge is raised, giving motorists the option to choose an alternate route to avoid a major delay.  As part of the $95,000 project, FDOT has installed flashing signals in five locations in St. Augustine: May Street westbound, east of San Marco Avenue US 1 southbound, north of Castillo  US 1 northbound, south of King Street  State Road A1A northbound, south of State Road 312  A1A Beach Boulevard westbound, east of State Road A1A FDOT says the signals will be activated using fiber optic and wireless communication when the Bridge of Lions is raised.  Once the Bridge operator presses the button to lower the Bridge, the flashing lights will turn off. 
  • The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is asking for your help identifying the suspects who burglarized more than a dozen vehicles in the Deerfield Preserve and Treaty Oaks neighborhoods Monday night. Surveillance images provided by SJSO show three to four men dressed in hoodies, pants, and gloves, checking vehicle door handles. Deputies say the suspects appeared to pass over vehicles that had locked doors, while burglarizing ones that were unlocked. SJSO says the dark SUV the suspects were driving at the time has been identified as a stolen 2013 blue Jeep Grand Cherokee with Florida tag GNQA60, from Volusia County.  Deputies say a second vehicle, described as a 2017 white Honda Accord with the Florida tag CEYE86, was also stolen out of the Deerfield Preserve neighborhood.  Anyone with information about the suspects or stolen vehicles is asked to contact law enforcement. 
  • Arielle Wysocki

    Traffic Anchor

    Arielle Wysocki is a Traffic Anchor and Producer for WOKV.

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  • Here is a look at the stores planning to be open and those planning to close on Easter Sunday. >> Read more trending news Be sure to check with local retailers for Easter hours because some national chains set their own hours. Stores open and closed on Easter Academy Sports: Open Easter Sunday. Banana Republic: Closed Easter Sunday. Bass Pro Shop: Open Easter Sunday. Bed Bath & Beyond: Open Easter Sunday. >> Click here to see which grocery stores will be open on Sunday.  Belk: Closed Easter Sunday. Best Buy: Closed Easter Sunday. Cabela’s: Open Easter Sunday.  Costco: Closed Easter Sunday. >> Easter 2019: How to make perfect hard-boiled eggs for Easter egg dyeing Crate & Barrel: Closed Easter Sunday. CVS: Open Easter Sunday. Dillard’s: Closed Easter Sunday. Dollar General: Open Easter Sunday. Family Dollar: Open Easter Sunday. Fred Meyer: Open Easter Sunday. Gap: Closed Easter Sunday. Home Depot: Open Easter Sunday. >> How did crucifixion kill Jesus? J.C. Penney: Closed Easter Sunday. Kirkland's: Closed Easter Sunday. Kmart: Open Easter Sunday. Kohl's: Closed Easter Sunday. Lowes: Open Easter Sunday. Macy’s: Closed on Easter Sunday. Michael's: Closed Easter Sunday. Neiman Marcus: Closed Easter Sunday. Office Depot: Closed Easter Sunday. Office Max: Closed Easter Sunday. Old Navy: Open on Easter Sunday. Pier 1 Imports: Closed Easter Sunday. Pottery Barn: Closed Easter Sunday. Rite Aid: Open Easter Sunday. Ross: Closed Easter Sunday. Sam's Club: Closed Easter Sunday. Sears: Open Easter Sunday. >> Easter quotes 2019: Inspiring sayings of hope and renewal T.J. Maxx: Closed Easter Sunday. Target: Closed Easter Sunday. Walgreens: Open Easter Sunday. Walmart: Open Easter Sunday. Williams-Sonoma: Closed Easter Sunday.
  • Following the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's final report on the Russia probe, your local lawmakers are weighing.  WOKV spoke with Northeast Florida Republican Congressman John Rutherford hours after the report's release on Thursday.  He tells us the important elements to him, were the findings that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and no corrupt intent determined in the obstruction of justice allegations.  But Rutherford says he was surprised that the Special Counsel didn't make a final prosecutorial decision on the obstruction of justice issue.  'He [Mueller] relies on the Office of Legal Counsel that says you can't indict a sitting President, and in this regard, he went along with that. But to say that's his basis for not coming to a conclusion on obstruction, when he came to a conclusion on the Russian collusion, it doesn't make sense to me,' explains Rutherford.  He says it's almost like Mueller didn't want to make a decision.  'The lack of a conclusion that there was a crime IS an exoneration... if you say you find no corrupt intent, we find no crime, how do you then say, but we can't exonerate him [Trump]. In that part, I struggle with the finding,' Rutherford adds.  In terms of the reaction on Capitol Hill, Rutherford says it's likely that those who support the President will highlight no collusion and no obstruction, but those who dislike him will latch on to the elements that the Special Counsel refused to come to a conclusion on.  When it comes to recent calls to 'investigate the investigators' in the Russia probe, Rutherford says he feels it's absolutely necessary as he wants to know the 'predicate act' that started this investigation in the first place.  'We don't just investigate people, we investigate crimes. And there has to be a predicate act, that indicates there is a reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred. And if that predicate act turns out to be the Steele Dossier and it's completely false, then this whole thing falls like a house of cards,' says Rutherford.  WOKV also spoke with Northeast Florida Democrat Congressman Al Lawson about his thoughts on the report.  He says his biggest takeaway is that the American people will find out what really happened during the course of this investigation with the President.  'Because, as you know, about 25 people that worked with him [Trump] during the course of the campaign got indicted,' explains Lawson.  He says the other thing that stands out to him is that he feels Attorney General William Barr is more trying to protect the President, than do his job for the American people. Lawson says he also doesn't feel the AG's summary to Congress was accurate.  Lawson says when people and lawmakers read this report, he hopes they move away from putting a party label on it.  'I wish what they would put on it, is what is best for American people and, especially, when you have some possible collusion with Russia. It's unacceptable to have that regardless of who is in office and see the way the President has been operating- not like any other President in American history,' says Lawson.  When it comes to efforts to 'investigate the investigators', he says all of us need to be accountable and that investigators need to be unbiased and not swayed one way or another.  'This has taken up an awful lot of time, and we, as taxpayers, have spent an awful amount of money to be where we are today. It shouldn't be a situation where everything is being questioned, simply due to the fact that over the last almost two years, the investment we have made in order to get down to see whether a foreign government had significant input in our electoral process,' says Lawson.  He says his hope that once all the dust settles on this report, that the public has a clear vision of what occurred. READ: REDACTED SPECIAL COUNSEL REPORT ON THE RUSSIA PROBE
  • U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Thursday released a redacted copy of special counsel Robert Mueller’s highly anticipated report on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. >> Read more trending news The report was released around 11 a.m., weeks after Mueller completed his investigation. President Donald Trump hailed the report as a victory over his critics. >> Mueller Report: Read the report Barr just released Update 6:45 p.m. EDT April 18: The Justice Department said it will provide Congress with a second version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report that has fewer redactions in the coming two weeks. Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said in a letter to lawmakers Thursday that the Justice Department will make the report available to House and Senate leaders, as well as the top Republicans and Democrats on the judiciary and intelligence committees. Each lawmaker can also have a staff member present. Boyd said the report will be provided in a secure reading room at the Justice Department next week and in a secure room in the Capitol the week of April 29. The unredacted material will include classified information and material involving private citizens who were not charged. It won’t include secret grand jury information. Update 3:45 p.m. EDT April 18: Mueller’s report shows the Russian-based Internet Research Agency worked not only in Trump’s favor but also in favor of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who ran for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination before losing to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The company’s attempt to boost Sanders’ candidacy first surfaced last year, after authorities charged more than a dozen people and three companies with interfering in the election, The Washington Post reported. According to the newspaper, IRA operators were instructed not to harm Sanders’ reputation. “Main idea: Use any opportunity to criticize Hillary [Clinton] and the rest (except Sanders and Trump — we support them),” Mueller quoted IRA operators as saying. Update 2:55 p.m. EDT April 18: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler said Thursday that he will issue a subpoena to get the full Mueller report and the underlying materials from Barr after the attorney general released a redacted version of the report. “Contrary to public reports, I have not heard from the Department (of Justice) about receiving a less-redacted version of the report,” he said Thursday in a statement. “Because Congress requires this material in order to perform our constitutionally-mandated responsibilities, I will issue a subpoena for the full report and the underlying materials.” Barr is scheduled to testify before the committee May 2. Update 2:25 p.m. EDT April 18: Kellyanne Conway, who serves as counselor to the president, told reporters Thursday that Mueller’s report was inaccurate in its description of Trump’s reaction to the special counsel’s appointment. >> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupre: Mueller: Trump obstruction failed because aides refused orders to undermine Russia probe According to Mueller, the president 'slumped back in his chair and said, 'Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I'm (expletive).’' However, Conway said she was in the room when Trump learned about the appointment and that she “was very surprised to see” Mueller’s report on it, CNN reported. “That was not the reaction of the president that day,” she said. Update 2 p.m. EDT April 18: Vice President Mike Pence said in a statement Thursday that the special counsel’s report showed “no collusion, no obstruction.” “While many Democrats will cling to discredited allegations, the American people can be confident President Trump and I will continue to focus where we always have, on advancing an agenda that’s making our nation stronger, safer and more secure.” Despite the vice president’s claims, Mueller declined to answer the question of whether Trump obstructed justice in his actions related to the Russia probe. “Now that the Special Counsel investigation is completed, the American people have a right to know whether the initial investigation was in keeping with long-standing Justice Department standards -- or even lawful at all,” Pence said. “We must never allow our justice system to be exploited in pursuit of a political agenda.” Update 1:45 p.m. EDT April 18: In a joint statement released Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Barr and Mueller reached conflicting conclusions on the question of whether the president obstructed justice. “The differences are stark between  what Attorney General Barr said on obstruction and what Special Counsel Mueller said on obstruction,” the statement said. “As we continue to review the report, one thing is clear: Attorney General Barr presented a conclusion that the president did not obstruct justice while Mueller’s report appears to undercut that finding.” In his report, Mueller declined to answer questions surrounding whether Trump obstructed justice in his efforts to tamp down on the Russia probe, which authorities said he saw as a direct challenge to his presidency. Update 1:40 p.m. EDT April 18: In the report released Thursday, Mueller said his team’s investigation was sometimes hampered by the use of applications that “feature encryption or that do not provide for long-term retention of data or communications records” and the deletion of communications relevant to the probe. “In such cases, the Office (of the Special Counsel) was not able to corroborate witness statements through comparison to contemporaneous communications or fully question witnesses about statements that appeared inconsistent with other known facts,” the report said. “Accordingly, while this report embodies factual and legal determinations that the Office believes to be accurate and complete to the greatest extent possible, given  these identified gaps, the Office cannot rule out the possibility that the unavailable information would shed additional light on (or cast a new light)the events described in the report.” Update 1:20 p.m. EDT April 18: Mueller said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders admitted in an interview that her comments to the news media after the firing of former FBI Director James Comey were “not founded on anything.” In response to a reporter’s question about FBI support for Comey after his May 2017 dismissal, Huckabee Sanders said at news briefing that, “We’ve heard from countless members of the FBI that say very different things.” 'The evidence does not support those claims,' according to the Mueller report. Update 1:15 p.m. EDT April 18: The House Intelligence Committee invited Mueller to testify next month after Barr released a redacted version of his 448-page report Thursday. “To discharge its distinct constitutional and statutory responsibility, the Committee must be kept ‘fully and currently informed’ of the intelligence and counterintelligence findings, evidence, and implications of your investigation,” committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff said in a letter to Mueller dated Thursday. “This requires that the Committee receive comprehensive testimony from you about the investigation’s full scope and areas of inquiry, its findings and underlying evidence, all of the intelligence and counterintelligence information gathered in the course of the investigation.” The House Judiciary Committee has also asked Mueller to testify. In a letter sent Thursday, committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler asked Mueller to appear before the panel by May 23. Update 12:45 p.m. EDT April 18: Brad Parscale, manager of the 2020 Trump presidential campaign, hailed the release of Mueller’s report Thursday and repeated the president’s calls for an investigation into the investigators. “President Trump has been fully and completely exonerated yet again,” Parscale said in a statement. “Now the tables have turned, and it’s time to investigate the liars who instigated this sham investigation into President Trump, motivated by political retribution and based on no evidence whatsoever.” In the report released Thursday, Mueller said the FBI launched an investigation into whether Trump campaign officials were coordinating with the Russian government in July 2016. The investigation came after authorities said then-Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos suggested to a representative of a foreign government that “the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.” Update 12:35 p.m. EDT April 18: Mueller said Trump attempted to influence the investigation into Russian election meddling. Mueller said his efforts “were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede his request.” Mueller’s report details instances by several officials, including former FBI Director James Comey, former White House counsel Don McGahn and former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, ignoring or refusing Trump’s requests to interfere in the investigation. Update 12:15 p.m. EDT April 18: When then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Trump in May 2017 that a special counsel had been appointed to investigate Russian election meddling, the president 'slumped back in his chair and said, 'Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I'm (expletive).'  Trump blamed Sessions for the appointment, according to Mueller. 'Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency,' Trump said, according to the report released Thursday. 'It takes years and years and I won't be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.' Speaking Thursday at an event at the White House, Trump said, “this should never happen to another president again.” Update 11:45 a.m. EDT April 18: In the report released Thursday, Mueller said his team considered Trump’s written responses to questions in the Russia probe to be inadequate, but they decided against subpoenaing the president because of the delay such a move would cause to the investigation. Other revelations from the report include: Mueller said Trump directed White House Counsel Don McGahn in June 2017 to call the acting attorney general and say that Mueller must be ousted because he had conflicts of interest. Trump previously denounced reports of the call as “fake news.”  Members of Trump’s staff might have saved him from more dire legal consequences by refusing to carry out orders they thought were legally risky, according to The Washington Post.  Mueller made clear in the report that “Russia wanted to help the Trump campaign, and the Trump campaign was willing to take” the help, the Post reported. However, investigators were unable to establish that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government. Update 11:30 a.m. EDT April 18: In his report, Mueller shared the reasoning behind his decision not to answer the question of whether the might have president obstructed justice. Mueller’s team scrutinized 10 episodes in which Trump sought to seize control of the Russia probe, including his firing of FBI Director James Comey, his directive to subordinates to have Mueller fired and efforts to encourage witnesses not to cooperate.  The president’s lawyers have said Trump’s conduct fell within his constitutional powers, but Mueller’s team deemed the episodes were deserving of scrutiny to determine whether crimes were committed. Update 11:25 a.m. EDT April 18: President Donald Trump said Thursday that he was “having a good day” following the release of the Mueller report. “This should’ve never happened,” Trump told a crowd gathered at a Wounded Warriors event at the White House, according to CNN. “I say this in front of my friends — this should never happen to another president again. This hoax — it should never happen again.' Trump’s attorneys hailed the report as “a total victory for the president” in a statement released to CNN. “The report underscores what we have argued from the very beginning - there was no collusion - there was no obstruction,” the statement said. “This vindication of the President is an important step forward for the country and a strong reminder that this type of abuse must never be permitted to occur again.” >> The Mueller report: What is in it, when will it be released, what will happen next? Update 11 a.m. EDT April 18: Barr has released a redacted version of the Mueller report, which is 448 pages long. >> Mueller report: Read the transcript of William Barr's remarks Update 10:55 a.m. EDT April 18: President Donald Trump was expected to deliver remarks Thursday morning at the Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride as lawmakers and the public await the release of Mueller’s report. However, by 10:55 a.m., Trump had yet to appear for the event. Update 10:30 a.m. EDT April 18: In a letter sent Thursday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler asked Mueller to testify before the panel no later than May 23. Nadler released his letter to Mueller minutes after Barr spoke with reporters about the report, which is expected to be released Thursday. Barr told reporters he had “no objection to Bob Mueller testifying.” “It is clear Congress and the American people must hear from Special Counsel Robert Mueller in person to better understand his findings,” Nadler said. Update 10:20 a.m. EDT April 18: Barr said he plans to release a less-redacted version of Mueller’s report to several congressional committees on Thursday “in an effort to accommodate congressional requests” for Mueller’s full report. “These members of Congress will be able to see all of the redacted materials for themselves -- with the limited exception of that which, by law, cannot be shared,” Barr said Thursday morning at a news conference. “I believe that this accommodation, together with my upcoming testimony before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, will satisfy any need Congress has for information regarding the special counsel’s investigation.”    Update 10:05 a.m. EDT April 18: At a news conference Thursday morning, Barr said it will be important to view President Donald Trump’s actions in context. “President Trump faced an unprecedented situation,” Barr said. “As he entered into office, and sought to perform his responsibilities as president, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office, and the conduct of some of his associates. At the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the president’s personal culpability. Yet, as he said from the beginning, there was in fact no collusion.” Barr said the Office of the White House Counsel has reviewed the redacted version of Mueller’s report but that Trump declined to assert privilege over it. Trump took to Twitter after Barr spoke to highlight that there was 'No collusion. No obstruction.' Update 9:50 a.m. EDT April 18: Mueller’s report details two main efforts sponsored by Russian government officials to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, Barr said Thursday morning at a news conference ahead of the report’s release. The report details efforts by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company with ties to the Russian government, to “sow social discord among American votes through disinformation and social media operations,” Barr said. It also details efforts by Russian military officials connected to the GRU, “to hack into computers and steal documents and emails from individuals affiliated with the Democratic Party.” “The special counsel found no evidence that any Americans -- including anyone associated with the Trump campaign -- conspired or coordinated with the Russian government or the IRA in carrying out this illegal scheme,” Barr said. Update 9:15 a.m. EDT April 18: President Donald Trump called the Mueller investigation 'The Greatest Political Hoax of all time!' in a series of tweets posted Thursday ahead of the release of the report. >> Mueller report: Trump tweets 'presidential harassment' ahead of redacted report's release “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” he wrote in a subsequent tweet. Trump has frequently criticized the Mueller investigation, framing the probe as a political “witch hunt” aimed at harming his presidency. Original report: Barr is expected to release a redacted version of Mueller’s report to Congress between 11 a.m. and noon Thursday before sharing the report on the special counsel’s website, Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree reported. >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Battle lines clear as D.C. awaits redacted Mueller report Mueller completed his investigation late last month, 22 months after he launched his probe at the direction of the Justice Department. The investigation was frequently lambasted by President Donald Trump as a “witch hunt” aimed at undermining his presidency. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • It's some big news for St. Johns County parents, students, and teachers. The St. Johns County Schools Superintendent Tim Forson has announced he's canceling the district final exams, with the exception of iReady testing.  Forson says during this first week of testing, there have been 'significant issues' with the administration of the tests, which are computer-based.  He says while the district's staff has worked late hours to try to resolve the issues, he ultimately decided to cancel the district final exams to 'remove the frustration of inconsistent test administration and protect instructional time.'  Forson says students need to continue to learn to prepare for other required upcoming assessments, including the Florida Standards Assessment, among many others.  Forson says he does not expect the same issues for these other tests, as they are not done on the same testing platform.  He's assuring parents that the second semester grading scale will be adjusted, following this decision, so that the absence of a final exam will not penalize a student. Forson says the student performance element of teacher evaluations will also be adjusted.  Forson says parents can expect an update on the alternative grading plan, as soon as it's finalized.
  • In recent years, the stadium now known as TIAA Bank Field has seen new massive video boards, upgraded Club Levels, and the addition of pools and a dog park, among other things, through funding from both the Jacksonville Jaguars and the City of Jacksonville. But the team says they’re not done. Jaguars President Mark Lamping says, since the team joined the NFL, there is only one other team that hasn’t seen a major or full stadium renovation or had a new stadium built- the Buffalo Bills. He is not advocating for a new stadium, but along with Jags owner Shad Khan, they say- from a business perspective- there will need to be upgrades. “We want to co-invest with the City to make the stadium better,” Khan says. Lamping says, in order to continue to grow revenue, they need to continue to add season ticket holders and retain existing ones each year. Renewing a new season ticket holder in to their second season is crucial, according to Lamping, because he says that is a huge influence on whether they’re likely to hold the tickets for many more years  to come. Non-rookie season ticket holders consider their tenure and the team’s performance as the top two factors in deciding whether to renew again, but for rookies, Lamping says it’s about team performance and seat location. “We have to make our worst seats a lot better,” he says. One of the biggest challenges is along the east side of the stadium, especially on the upper level- the sun can be brutal in the midday hours that surround a 1PM kickoff. WOKV asked Khan whether he was considering a dome or cover of some sort to address that. “We want to look for creative solutions that are very cost effective,” he says. Khan brought forward the example of the use of drones to provide cover during the World Cup in Qatar, as something that is innovative and could be used on an as-needed basis, although he says they haven’t actually looked in to the feasibility of something like that. In fact, Lamping says they haven’t really focused much on what exactly they would want to be done at this point, but he believes that will have to be included in the lease re-negotiations the team will face with the City in the coming years. He does know that they are looking at keeping the current location and venue. “Major community gathering places belong in what’s the heart of the community. We think Downtown is that,” Lamping says. But with TIAA Bank Field being a city-owned venue, Lamping says they would seek a City partnership in the funding. “It’s naive to believe that just through the benevolence of some person, that all the City’s problems are going to be taken care of. If that’s the case, we wouldn’t have any problems Downtown, would we? So you want investment in Downtown, and the way to get investment is to make sure the person who’s making that investment- that is taking that risk- receives a reasonable return on their investment. And that’s what I said. It needs to be a private/public partnership only to the extent that the risk isn’t so high that the investment won’t come, and if it is successful, that the returns to the investor aren’t exorbitant,” he says. While the exact price tag or design of any renovations is to be determined, Lamping says they would only ask the City to contribute enough to make the project work. And the upgrades would benefit more than just the Jags, according to Khan. He pointed to the Rolling Stones concert that will take place at the stadium as the kind of event they want to bring more of to the City, and they hope the stadium will reflect the type of venue that those shows demand. This is all further partnered with the Jags’s continued push to redevelop in and around the Sports Complex. During the “State of the Franchise” Thursday, they re-affirmed their commitment to a $500 million development of Lot J, as well as the long term redevelopment of the Jacksonville Shipyards.

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