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    Expect another mainly dry day in NE Florida as temperatures rise into the low 90’s.  Feels-like temps will climb to near 100 and most of the rain will be inland and in SE Georgia.  The hot and mainly dry weather continues on Friday with afternoon temps in the low 90’s. The average high is 91.  The weekend appears to be a little unsettled with a threat for scattered rain and thunderstorms both days.  High temps stay in the low 90’s but drop off significantly where it rains.  TROPICS:  Mike Buresh tracks the tropics daily In the tropics, Chantal has weakened to a depression and will stay out to sea in the north/central Atlantic. We are tracking an area of disorganized thunderstorms near The Bahamas that is expected to move closer to the Florida coast over the next few days.  While some development is possible, it is unlikely we will see much rain. The greatest risk will be rough seas. 
  • The search for Brian McCluney and Justin Walker is shifting to South Carolina as we approach one full week since the men left the space coast for a fishing trip.  “We’re in some critical times right now”, said JFRD Interim Chief Keith Powers.  Since Friday, more than 90,000 square miles of ocean has been searched by the Coast Guard and hundreds of volunteers. While some debris was found on Wednesday, nothing has been linked to the missing men since Monday, when McCluney’s tackle bag was recovered off the coast of St. Augustine.  Their fishing vessel has not been found. Two organizations are offering $20,000 in reward money for any boater or pilot who finds the missing firefighters.  And if you would like to help, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue has set up a fund to support search efforts and ultimately the families of the firefighters. 
  • Florida is joining 29 other states already part of an electronic network intended to maintain the integrity of voter rolls. Florida has had a history of high-profile election controversies. Elections officials say the network known as the Electronic Registration Information Center could help local election officials more easily verify registration records and detect any duplicate registrations. Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement Wednesday in Orlando and expects the state to join the program ahead of the 2020 elections. Florida, with more than 13.4 million registered voters, would become the largest member of the electronic network. DeSantis made only passing reference to election security and did not address it directly. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Russians hacked the electronic voter registration records kept by two Florida counties.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help finding a suspected hit-and-run driver that left a man with life-threatening injuries.  According to JSO, Jaliqua Mullen is accused of hitting a man on July 11 with her vehicle. Police say that man sustained a leg amputation and suffered multiple fractures in his other leg.  After that crash, police say Mullen allegedly ended up fleeing on foot.  While JSO did not directly tie Mullen to a specific incident, the details match an incident that occurred on the Westside.  If you have any information on where Mullen is, you're urged to contact JSO at (904) 630-0500 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
  • Partly cloudy and warm this morning with a couple areas of patchy fog. Local weather fairly quiet today with just an isolated storm possible this afternoon along the sea breeze. Most of the rain today will be inland, but there won’t be a lot of it.  Hot temperatures reach the low to mid 90’s this afternoon under a partly sunny sky. Rain still looking fairly scarce through Thursday and Friday before the threat picks up this weekend.
  • Saying it’s not manpower, it’s God’s power, the wife of missing Jacksonville firefighter Brian McCluney is praying for a miracle.  Stephanie McCluney’s husband and his friend, Justin Walker, haven’t been seen since they left for a fishing trip off the space coast last Friday. Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department is asking for additional volunteers to join the search, which will focus north of Jacksonville today, all the way to Savannah. The Coast Guard admits time is working against them. The search has covered more than 69,000 square miles, with an estimated 182 hours, and hundreds of volunteers.  The U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies have been searching a wide expanse of ocean between Cape Canaveral and Jacksonville off Florida's east coast. On Monday, crews found McCluney's fishing tackle bag some 50 miles off St. Augustine. McCluney works for the Jacksonville department while Walker is a master technician with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department in Virginia, just outside the nation's capital. McCluney's wife said Tuesday the discovery of her husband's tackle bag has given her hope that the men will be found. In a Facebook post, Stephanie McCluney added that she believed the bag was thrown overboard by the men to help those who are searching for them.
  • The most magical place on Earth is getting a little less expensive, at least for now. Walt Disney is offering its Mid-Day Magic ticket with tickets starting at $79 a day. With this offer, Disney wants park-goers to sleep in and visit the parks once the clock strikes noon.  Another requirement is that customers must but at least a two-day ticket, single-day passes are not included in this offer. According to Disney, lower prices may apply on certain dates. MORE: Learn more about Disney’s Mid-Day Magic Ticket With the ticket, guests can visit one park per day and can choose from the four parks. A Park Hopper Option and a Park Hopper Plus are available for an add on. LISTEN:  Clark Howard’s latest podcast  Consumer Warrior Clark Howard says this is a good discount and people should take advantage of it if they have been thinking about a trip to Walt Disney World or Central Florida. Because it’s a slower travel time, a lot of accommodations are cheaper in the fall. Clark says this is the reason why cruises are less expensive during this time and some people can even find cheaper airfare. READ: 2 legitimate ways to get free Disney World tickets 
  • Temperatures will quickly warm up to the low 90’s inland today before showers and thunderstorms fire up again.  Action News Jax Meteorologist Garrett Bedenbaugh says we should see an earlier start to the rain and storm activity, by midday and early afternoon, before storms move west of the metro area for the evening rush hour. Locally heavy rainfall and frequent lightning are the main threats.  Widely scattered showers and storms will continue on Wednesday afternoon.   Storms late on Monday night dropped a lot of rain in a short period of time and produced a lot of lightning. The thunder may have woke you up at times overnight. 
  • There is a sign of hope in the search for two firefighters who didn’t return from a fishing trip on Friday. An offshore angler fishing bag was found about 50 nautical miles east of St. Augustine on Monday.  Firefighters from Jacksonville and surrounding agencies are expected back out on the water to search for Brian McCluney and Justin Walker. They left Friday from the Port Canaveral area and haven’t been seen since.  Search teams have covered tens of thousands of square miles of ocean since the weekend.  JFRD is looking for volunteers who have boats capable of searching between 30 and 60 miles offshore safely. The United States Coast Guard searched through Monday night, and since the weekend has surveyed more than 46,000 square miles. The fishing vessel has not yet been located.  “These people are searching in areas from Brunswick all of the way down to St. Augustine and from the beach out about 60 miles,” JFRD Interim Chief Keith Powers said.  McCluney works with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department while Walker works at a fire department in Virginia.  “We’re talking about a decorated combat veteran and we’re talking about a firefighting paramedic,” Powers said.  Stephanie McCluney confirmed the tackle bag belonged to her husband. 'I wholeheartedly believe this is a bread crumb they through overboard to say 'we are here, come find us”, McCluney said. 
  • The Florida Highway Patrol has identified the woman who was hit and later died in a weekend crash while on a moped as 40-year-old Dayna Cogliser.  Investigators have also found what they believe to be the vehicle involved in Saturday’s crash on Sandridge Road and Robbie Lee Lane.  Cogliser was rear-ended and the moped was left abandoned on scene, according to a preliminary crash report by FHP.  Her body was found on U.S. 17 south of Village Square Parkway, more than 8 miles from the crash site.  A search warrant led investigators to a home in Clay County on Sunday afternoon, where they found a dark colored Dodge Charger that matched the description of the suspect car. It was in a closed garage.  The car had damage that was consistent with the damage from Saturday’s collision and it was taken to FDLE for further investigation.  The driver of the Charger has yet to be identified, and FHP is encouraging anyone who may have information about the deadly crash to contact the or Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.  

The Latest News Headlines

  • An Ohio school bus driver is facing charges of OVI and child endangering after she crashed the bus into a road sign Wednesday morning with students aboard.  >> Read more trending news  The Preble Shawnee Local Schools bus driver, identified as 44-year-old Amy L. Jones of Gratis Township, likely was impaired when the bus struck the sign on Camden Road west of U.S. 127, Sheriff Mike Simpson said in a media release. No children or staff were hurt. Jones was cited for OVI and child endangering and is scheduled to appear Aug. 26 in Preble County Municipal Court.  Students on the bus said they noticed things were not right with their driver from the start. “It didn’t feel like her normal self this morning,” senior Bethany Goodwin said. “She was really slurring her words,” student Hayden Schaffer said. They said it got worse as the drive went on. “She was, like, all over the road,” Schaffer said. “It seemed like she was kind of swerving in and out a little bit,” Goodwin said. At 7 a.m., Crystal Bissantz got a call from her daughter no parent wants, saying, 'Mom! ... We’ve been in a wreck.' The bus hit a sign on Camden Road, which students said shattered a mirror and door on the bus. No one was hurt, but students said they were scared. “I was shaking and nervous and my heart was racing,” Goodwin said. Following the crash, the driver took the students back to school. That’s where school leaders and deputies became concerned. Cruiser camera footage shows Jones wobbling as she took a field sobriety test in what appears to be a bus storage barn. Alcohol was ruled out as a factor in the crash, but investigators suspect she was under the influence of something else, Simpson said. Bissantz said she is relieved her daughter is safe, but has many questions, such as why it took hours to give her any information.  “The communications needs to be better,” she said. The district activated its call system mid-afternoon to alert parents, which stated: “The bus sustained minor damage and was operable.” As for students, hearing their driver may have been under the influence is not too surprising. “I mean, I believe it,” Schaffer said. But some students say they can no longer trust that school officials and staff will keep them safe. “I feel scared now to ride the bus at school,” Goodwin said. “It was just lucky that we were all OK ... and we made it through.” Jones is on administrative leave pending the investigation, district Superintendent Matt Bishop said in a statement.  “The safety of our students and staff is our number one goal. The district will take whatever action is necessary to uphold that goal,” Bishop said. 
  • Expect another mainly dry day in NE Florida as temperatures rise into the low 90’s.  Feels-like temps will climb to near 100 and most of the rain will be inland and in SE Georgia.  The hot and mainly dry weather continues on Friday with afternoon temps in the low 90’s. The average high is 91.  The weekend appears to be a little unsettled with a threat for scattered rain and thunderstorms both days.  High temps stay in the low 90’s but drop off significantly where it rains.  TROPICS:  Mike Buresh tracks the tropics daily In the tropics, Chantal has weakened to a depression and will stay out to sea in the north/central Atlantic. We are tracking an area of disorganized thunderstorms near The Bahamas that is expected to move closer to the Florida coast over the next few days.  While some development is possible, it is unlikely we will see much rain. The greatest risk will be rough seas. 
  • Police in Florida said a 16-year-old high school student made a shooting threat through a text message from a phone belonging to her sister, who attends a Catholic school, and sent it to a group chat.  >> Read more trending news  According to the Altamonte Springs Police Department, the principal of St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School received information from several parents regarding a group chat with several sixth-graders. One of the parents said the threat was made to the school by the 16-year-old's sister, who attends Lyman High School. According to police, the text message said: 'Next person to say something is the first person I will shoot on the school shooting that will take place this Friday… Kate you're getting shot for fun I can't stand that fish face.' The sister of the student reportedly told officials that around 9 p.m. Tuesday, she was doing homework in her room with her sister. She said there were several messages alerting her phone, which caused her older sister to take the phone, police said. The girl said she was unaware that her sister had typed the message and sent it to the group chat, according to police. The officer working on campus took immediate action to ensure the safety of all students. The 16-year-old was charged with written threats to kill, do bodily harm or conduct a mass shooting, authorities said.
  • The search for Brian McCluney and Justin Walker is shifting to South Carolina as we approach one full week since the men left the space coast for a fishing trip.  “We’re in some critical times right now”, said JFRD Interim Chief Keith Powers.  Since Friday, more than 90,000 square miles of ocean has been searched by the Coast Guard and hundreds of volunteers. While some debris was found on Wednesday, nothing has been linked to the missing men since Monday, when McCluney’s tackle bag was recovered off the coast of St. Augustine.  Their fishing vessel has not been found. Two organizations are offering $20,000 in reward money for any boater or pilot who finds the missing firefighters.  And if you would like to help, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue has set up a fund to support search efforts and ultimately the families of the firefighters. 
  • A Texas man was sentenced to life in prison Friday after a jury convicted him of capital murder in the 2015 drowning death of his girlfriend's toddler nephew. >> Read more trending news  According to KTRE, prosecutors said Bobby Woods Jr., 21, shoved Mason Cuttler, 3, into a pond near the family's Lufkin home and left him to drown. Woods, who was dating the boy's aunt, Billie Jean Cuttler, said he thought she was pregnant when he killed the boy, who lived in the same home as Woods, Cuttler and 'several families,' The Associated Press reported. Woods believed their house was too crowded and wanted to make room for the new baby, he reportedly told police. An attorney later said the woman was not pregnant, the news agency reported. Woods will not be eligible for parole, according to the AP. Cuttler, 23, also initially faced a capital murder charge in the incident, but agreed to a plea deal amid concerns over her intellectual competency, KTRE and the AP reported. She received a 20-year prison sentence after she pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit murder, authorities said. Read more here or here. – The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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