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    The next time you check your mail, you'll want to watch out for this. The Duval County Property Appraiser, Jerry Holland, is warning of solicitations in the mail that could charge you up to almost $100 for a service that's completely free.  'It looks like an offer to buy a document that you think would be valuable. For example, a copy of your deed. Basically, the documents are already free. They're public documents and these people are, in a sense, acting like they have the ability to sell them to you,' explains Holland.  Holland tells WOKV he believes hundreds of people have received these types of solicitations in all parts of Jacksonville.  'I would say quite a few people actually fall for this scam, because we've seen this repeated over several years,' says Holland.  If you receive one of these solicitations and are actually in need of your deed or other legal document, he recommends reaching out to whatever government office typically provides it. He says most of these types of documents come from the Clerk of Courts, which will provide them free of charge.
  • A former Clay County high school teacher has been arrested and charged by criminal complaint with distributing child pornography.  According to the State Attorney's Office of the Middle District of Florida, Christopher Potter, 49, is accused of responding to a notice posted online by an undercover Orange Park Police Department officer posing as a 14-year-old child, with that conversation allegedly taking a sexually explicit turn.  The complaint says during their conversations, which apparently began in February 2018, Potter requested photos of the 'child' and wanted to meet the 'child' for sex. Potter is further accused in the complaint of sending the 'child' a video clip depicting the sexual abuse of a child and also a video of Potter performing a sexual act.  Potter's home was the subject of a search warrant on September 20th, during which we're told several computer devices and phones were seized.  The State Attorney's Office says Potter told investigators he had worked as a teacher at Clay High School from 2016-2017 and at Orange Park High School from 1997-2004. Potter is also said to be a member of the Individual Ready Reserves with the Navy.  He's being held pending a hearing on September 26th. Potter faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 5 years in prison, if convicted.
  • Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol said charges are pending after a man was hit and killed while trying to cross the street in Clay County. It happened a little before 10 p.m. on Thursday at the intersection of Blanding and Belmont Boulevard.  The crash report says the man who has yet to be identified was not in a crosswalk as he tried to cross the northbound lanes of Blanding Boulevard in his wheelchair.
  • If you're looking for a seasonal job this year, you may want to consider UPS. A UPS spokesperson tells us they'll be hiring more than 1,400 seasonal employees in the Jacksonville-area this year, as they're preparing for an anticipated increase in packages that'll begin in November and continue through early January 2019.  Those more than 1,400 jobs break down into the following categories:  - 1,035 package handlers (Starting pay listed at $10.35 per hour)  - 50 delivery and tractor-trailer drivers (Starting pay of $18.75 per hour)  - 349 driver-helpers (Starting pay listed at $10.35 per hour)  Anyone interested is told to apply online. Do that by clicking HERE.  We're told UPS will also be holding open interviews for the positions every Friday through October 19th, from 11 AM to 1 PM, at the Jacksonville Hub, located at 4499 James E. Casey Drive.  A UPS spokesperson says while these positions are seasonal, these types of positions can serve as an entry point to a new career. UPS says up to 35% of those hired for a seasonal role in the past three years now have permanent jobs with the company. Nationwide, UPS is looking to hire about 100,000 seasonal employees.
  • A new plan to redevelop the Berkman II site on the Northbank of Downtown Jacksonville is not derailing plans to create the USS Adams Museum along the St. Johns River.  In fact, the group behind the Museum believes the new project can be a win-win.  WOKV has been telling you about the redevelopment of the Berkman II site, with Barrington Development estimating their plan to cost $122 million, including a resort hotel, parking garage, and “Family Entertainment Center” with arcade games, rides, and more. The Downtown Investment Authority Board green-lighted a term sheet this week that would allow up to $36 million in City incentives for the project, with negotiations now underway.  Evident in the renderings for this redevelopment is the USS Adams moored along a pier by that Family Entertainment Center.  “People coming to visit the USS Adams now, we believe, will be able to and will willingly participate in the other types of attractions that this developer is bringing,” says Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association President Daniel Bean.  Bean says the City brought them in to the discussion when the Berkman II proposal came forward, because of the proximity of the development to the pier where JHNSA has the rights to moor the USS Adams, and their rights on the land immediately around that. He says they are completely in support of the proposed redevelopment, because- while they built an economic model that will allow the Museum to stand alone- this can bring in even more visitors, and therefore exposure and revenue.  “We think that anything that they do, any of the attractions and rides that they put in, are going to be incredibly helpful to us,” Bean says.  He says he sees the two projects as eventually working together seamlessly, possibly including the ship store going up among any storefront the Berkman II development may bring, or tickets to the USS Adams Museum being sold among the tickets for the other attractions in the Family Entertainment Center.  With the Berkman II redevelopment still years away, though, Bean says they’re pushing ahead.  “We do not have to wait for them, and we won’t wait for them. The Navy won’t allow us to wait that long,” he says.  With the new developer, Bean says they have to rework some of their licensing agreement with the City. When that is done, they need to secure final approval from their lender. The only thing left after that is final approval by the Navy, including the release of the warship.  “We are working as hard as we can to try to bring the warship in November,” he says.  He says they have a four-week drydock plan to restore the outside of the ship and get her ready to be towed to Jacksonville. That’s one area where they’re seeing the time pressure, because the drydock is open right now.  Once the ship is in Jacksonville, Bean says it will take another four weeks to get the Museum portion ready topside, so they can start opening to the public and generating revenue. While he says they still hope to be able to do that along with the start of the “Week of Valor” in November, the timeline may have to slide, pending the approvals they’re waiting for.  “It’s an ongoing process, it’s a complex process,” he says.  After the Museum is up and running, he says they move on to refurbishing the berthing areas on board, which can then be used for sleepovers for scouts, cadets, and camps. They will also look to host events, from weddings to re-enlistments to corporate meetings and trainings. Beyond that, Bean says the challenge is continuing to enhance the attraction and bring in new elements, in order to give people a reason to keep coming back.  He says, when this journey started a decade or so ago, they wanted to bring a new life in to Downtown Jacksonville. Now, with them being so close and with the Berkman II development moving forward, Bean says there is a lot to be excited about.  “At the end of the day, when all of those pieces are put together, it is going to be an incredible venue for the City of Jacksonville, and it will draw tourists from around the country,” he says.  The USS Charles F. Adams called Naval Station Mayport her homeport for 21- of her 30-year career, according to JHNSA. They say this will be Florida’s first naval warship museum.  Bean says they have secured the needed funding to bring the ship down, including private donations and some State support, but they always welcome continued support to go toward future operations. You can donate through their website.
  • A report of a possible firearm on campus led to a large law enforcement presence at Ed White High School on Thursday, though, we've confirmed with the Duval County Public School district, no gun was actually ever found. A DCPS spokesperson tells us law enforcement received a student tip about a possible firearm on campus, just prior to dismissal Thursday afternoon. That tip led to an immediate Code Red lockdown, so police could thoroughly investigate.  DCPS says no firearm was ever found and that students and staff were safe throughout the entire incident.  FULL STATEMENT FROM ED WHITE HIGH SCHOOL'S PRINCIPAL:  'Good Afternoon parents and guardians of Ed White High School. This is Principal Battest. I want to assure you that all students and staff are safe, but we did have an incident today that prompted a lockdown and delayed dismissal. Just before students were to be dismissed for the day, we received a student tip about a possible firearm on campus. The school was immediately placed on a Code Red lockdown and police began investigating the tip.  A thorough search of the school was conducted by law enforcement. No firearm nor an individual with a firearm was located. We were on a Code Red for approximately 30 minutes before we were advised the lockdown could be lifted and dismissal procedures could begin. Thankfully, students and staff remained safe throughout the incident.  We are grateful for the cooperation and responsiveness of students, staff, and law enforcement. We also appreciate the patience shown by parents during this time. The safety and well-being of our students and staff are important to us. If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at (904) 693-7620. Thank you and have a good day.
  • The Clay County Sheriff's Office is asking for the community's help identifying two suspects suspected of vehicle burglary and credit card fraud. According to deputies, the two are accused of entering a vehicle that was parked at the YMCA at 2075 Town Center Boulevard and then heading to the Target at 1490 County Road 220.  Deputies say the two made a fraudulent purchase of over $1,500 on the victim's credit card.  If you know who these individuals are, you're urged to contact the communications section of the sheriff's office at (904) 264-6512.
  • Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol says there will not be any charges following a crash in Putnam County involving a patrol car Wednesday night. According to the crash report, the driver inside a marked patrol car was heading south on State Road 19, just north of State Road 20 in the right lane. The driver entered the intersection with the cruiser’s emergency lights activated. Simultaneously, a woman was driving west on State Road 20 east of State Road 19.  The front of the woman’s car collided with the back side the of patrol car. FHP says this caused the patrol car to rotate counterclockwise and came to a final rest in the northbound lanes south of State Road 20. Nobody inside the patrol car was hurt but the woman in the other car had minor injuries.
  • This holiday shopping season is taking place while the Trump Administration and Chinese governments are both imposing tariffs on each other.  President Trump’s latest round of tariffs on $200-billion will go into effect on Monday at 10% and they are expected to jump to 25% at the start of 2019. China has already vowed to retaliate.  Consumer Warrior Clark Howard says while you’re seeing various headlines about the ongoing trade dispute, there is nothing to worry when it comes to your holiday shopping this year.  LISTEN: Clark’s latest podcast.  “Regardless of how things play out with us and the Chinese, this Christmas for you and me is fine.”  Clark says he doesn’t expect any dramatic increases in prices as shoppers start to flock to the stores for the holidays or the immediate aftermath. He did say afterward your wallet could start to feel the impact if the United States and China are still battling it out over trade.  “You will start to see meaningfully higher prices on any of a number of items you buy: items, all forms of electronics, and the components that go into other things potentially like automobiles.” However, Clark says that is and if/when kind of situation and it’s too early to connect the dots just yet with how the tariffs will impact consumers in the New Year. READ MORE: Clark’s take on trade wars and tariffs.
  • UPDATE 9/20: The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says after an active search for a vehicle they believe could help solve a recent murder, police say it’s now been located in Arlington. ORIGINAL STORY 9/19: The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help finding a vehicle, as investigators believe it could help solve a recent murder. JSO says the driver and/or passengers of the vehicle, pictured below, may have key information about that recent murder. Police didn't release any details on what murder or where it occurred.  The vehicle is described as possibly being a newer model White Mazda 3 with front end or left front damage.  If you have any information, you're urged to call the sheriff's office at (904) 630-0500. To remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

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  • As the Senate Judiciary Committee set a showdown hearing for Thursday with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and a woman who alleges that the judge sexually assaulted her in high school, the White House on Sunday again defended the President’s pick after new allegations surfaced, as Republicans said this was nothing but a coordinated political effort by Democrats to sink the Kavanaugh nomination. “This 35-year-old, uncorroborated claim is the latest in a coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats designed to tear down a good man,” said White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec. The White House also released a statement from Kavanaugh, who said a New Yorker article about him was nothing but ‘a smear, plain and simple.’ “I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name – and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building – against these last-minute allegations,” Kavanaugh said. A few hours earlier, Senate Republicans had announced a hearing for Thursday, at which Dr. Christine Blasey Ford will get the chance to detail her allegations of sexual assault from 1982 – and then, Kavanaugh will have the chance to answer the charges. Republicans on Sunday night also released the original letter by Ford to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) from back in July; Democrats did nothing with the allegations until they were leaked to the press in the days before a scheduled committee vote on the Kavanaugh nomination. “It is upsetting to discuss sexual assault and its repercussions, yet I felt guilty and compelled as a citizen about the idea of not saying anything,” Ford wrote in her letter. Meanwhile, Republicans were still angry with Feinstein for sitting on the letter for two months, as they joined the White House in making the argument that Democrats were simply trying to come up with anything to stop Kavanaugh from joining the U.S. Supreme Court. “Disgraceful hypocrisy,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR). As for Democrats, the rush of new information led them to demand ‘an immediate postponement of any further proceedings’ on the Kavanaugh nomination. “It is time to set politics aside,” Sen. Feinstein wrote in a letter to Judiciary Chairman Grassley. “We must ensure that a thorough and fair investigation is conducted before moving forward.” Also getting involved in the Kavanaugh fray was the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, as Michael Avenatti on Sunday night was already in contact with Judiciary Committee investigators. My e-mail of moments ago with Mike Davis, Chief Counsel for Nominations for U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. We demand that this process be thorough, open and fair, which is what the American public deserves. It must not be rushed and evidence/witnesses must not be hidden. pic.twitter.com/11XLZJBTtY — Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) September 24, 2018 The rapid developments left lawmakers in Congress waiting – along with everyone else – to see what more might happen before Thursday’s hearing. “I call upon Brett Kavanaugh for the good of the country and the integrity of the court to step aside immediately,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), one of the few Senators making public comments on Sunday night. But there were no indications that the President was going to abandon Kavanaugh, whose nomination may be at its most embattled point yet.  
  • Tiger Woods clawed his way to the Tour Championship, clinging to the lead all day and surviving a couple of rattling back-nine bogies. >> Read more trending news  Woods led by as many as five strokes on the final round but saw his lead cut to two strokes. He ended the day two shots over Billy Horschel. The throng cheered him up the fairway and chanted 'Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!' as he knocked in the final putt. He got support on social media from President Donald Trump and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. Woods’ last win was in 2013 at the Bridgestone Invitational. He was ranked No.1,199 in December when he returned to golf and could soon be listed as high as No. 13. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • An Uber driver is accused of stabbing two of her customers last Sunday in east Georgia, the Augusta Chronicle reported. Shaunisha Danielle Brown, 29, of Augusta, faces two counts of aggravated assault, the newspaper reported. She’s accused of stabbing two people in the 5000 block of Reynolds Way, according to a Grovetown police incident report obtained by the Chronicle. >> On MyAJC.com: Who’s driving? Uber, Lyft drivers accused of violent crimes Grovetown is in Columbia County, about 140 miles east of downtown Atlanta and about 12 miles west of Augusta.  >> Read more trending news  The victims were taken to an area hospital, and police searched for a 2012 silver Hyundai Sonata, the report said. The vehicle was later found, and Brown was arrested at an AM/PM gas station, the report said. No bond has been set. Police did not release a motive for the alleged attack. >> On AJC.com: Uber app now includes 911 button, emergency features Uber sent the newspaper a statement on the incident that said: “What the police reported is appalling and not tolerated on the Uber app. This driver no longer has access to the app and we will work with law enforcement to assist with their investigation.”
  • Update 2:02 p.m. EST Sept. 23: Emergency responders are continuing the massive search at a Gastonia park Sunday for a 6-year-old boy with special needs. Original report: Emergency responders began a massive search at a North Carolina park Saturday afternoon for a 6-year-old boy with special needs. The search continued Sunday morning. >> Watch the news report here Maddox Ritch was last seen at Rankin Lake Park in Gastonia at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Search and rescue boats were sent to the lake at the park. >> On WSOCTV.com: PHOTOS: Search for boy with special needs at Gastonia park Authorities said he was wearing an orange shirt with “I’m the man” on the front. Maddox is 4 feet tall and weighs 45 pounds. He has blond hair and blue eyes. Maddox was seen with his father and another adult, authorities said. 'They were walking around the lake,” Gastonia spokeswoman Rachel Bagley said. “They got around to the backside of the lake. He started running, according to the parents, and when they started running after him, they lost sight of him, and no one has seen him ever since.' The Charlotte Fire Department is assisting with the search. CMPD's helicopter suspended its search after sunset.  >> Read more trending news  The city confirmed crews are reviewing surveillance video at the park, and Gastonia police will be working overnight following leads. The ground search will continue at first daylight Sunday.  All activities at Rankin Lake Park have been canceled for Sunday. The park will be closed until further notice. Please call police at 704-866-3300 if you have any information on Maddox’s whereabouts.
  • After days of behind the scenes wrangling, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced on Sunday afternoon that the panel will hold a hearing on Thursday to take public testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct at a high school party in the early 1980’s. The panel had originally set a Monday morning vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, but after a weekend of talks – which still hasn’t resolved all the details for the hearing – committee Republicans agreed to allow Ford to present her case in a public hearing, posting a new hearing notice on the committee’s website. “Dr. Ford believes it is important for Senators hear directly from her about the sexual assault committed against her,” Ford’s legal team told reporters in a statement, adding that a ‘number of important procedural and logistical issues remain unresolved.’ Ford’s lawyers said the committee had rejected a request to invite other witnesses, specifically naming Mark Judge, a high school classmate of Kavanaugh; Ford says Judge was a direct witness to her assault. The current committee plan is for only two witnesses – one would be Ford, to be followed then by Judge Kavanaugh, who has sternly denied any wrongdoing involving Ford. GOP Senators and the White House said Ford has offered no corroborating evidence to back up her allegations. “Dr. Christine Ford claimed she was assaulted at a house party attended by four others,” said White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec. “Since then, all four of these individuals have provided statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee denying any knowledge of the incident or even having attended such a party.” “These official letters from the 4 named by Dr Ford — denying any knowledge of what Dr Ford has alleged — serve the same purpose as sworn testimony,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). NEWS: Attorney for Leland Keyser, who Dr Ford says was at the party where the alleged incident with Kavanaugh occurred says “Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford.” pic.twitter.com/l2F0s396IK — Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) September 23, 2018 The Thursday hearing would be a high stakes political event, drawing immediate comparisons to the extra hearings held for the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas, when he defended himself against public accusations of sexual harassment by law professor Anita Hill. Unlike that hearing in October of 1991, neither Kavanaugh nor Ford is currently expected to have testimony from additional witnesses.

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