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    The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is welcoming back K9 Officer Jeremy Mason, nearly 18 months after he was shot in the face while chasing a robbery and carjacking suspect. The shooting happened in July 2017, when police were called to 103rd Street and Old Middleburg Road, after community tips led them to believe a bank robbery suspect was in that area. Police say that suspect- since identified as 28-year-old Michael Harris- carjacked and kidnapped a woman there by getting in her car and forcing her to drive off. JSO says Mason was shot in the ensuing chase, but continued to pursue the suspect. The suspect vehicle got in a crash with a civilian car, and Mason and a detective ultimately fatally shot Harris when he refused to disarm, according to police. Mason has undergone 12 surgeries through his recovery, according to JSO. Today marks the first day back on the job for Mason and K9 Echo.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is interviewing witnesses and trying to speak to victims after six people were shot in the Spring Park area.  Officers believe the scene happened around the Spring Park and Emerson area.  According to JSO, a Chevy Tahoe with multiple bullet holes pulled up to Memorial Hospital around 2:00 am with the victims inside. One person died, the others have injuries ranging from minor to critical. None of the victims are children. Police say the victims are between their 20’s and 40’s. Details are very limited about the person who died, all police were able to say is that the person is 25-years-old.  During the briefing, police were unable to say what exactly led up to the shooting and they’re not even sure if someone called 911.  The Sheriff’s Office does not have any type of suspect information. They are asking anyone with information to call them or Crime Stoppers. This is a developing story and will be updated throughout the morning. 
  • Highlighting the district's achievements and looking ahead at the work to be done-- Clay County Schools Superintendent Addison Davis held the annual State of Schools Address Tuesday evening. Addison says his hope is to make the district the number one school district in the state of Florida, beating out St. Johns County schools.  He says they've been making progress on that goal. When he took on the role of superintendent, he says the Clay County school district was ranked 18th in the state. It's now ranked 8th.  Addison also addressed 5 goals the district has been working on:  Goal #1: Developing Quality and Aligned Instructional Practice  -Addison says over the last 12 months, they made it their mission to re-align their curriculum guides to ensure that students have quality tasks in front of them.  Goal #2: Improve Management of District Wide Operations and Facilities  -Addison says they have doubled-down on security, in the wake of the Parkland mass shooting in 2018. He says they have increased school hardening, increased surveillance, added SROs, and established single points of entries for all of their schools. Her further says they've increased their security funding by 220%.  -Addison says they've also increased technology by 160%. In 2015, they had 13,000 devices in the county; they now have over 30,000.  Goal #3: Establish a respectful climate and culture that provides equity and access to all  -Addison says under this goal, they have made mental health awareness a priority and that students have access to needed resources.  Goal #4 Create Effective data system and train staff to leverage information to improve teaching and learning  -Addison says they have developed an early warning mechanism system that better tracks students who have attendance, academic, and behavioral problems to address issues earlier.  Goal #5 Develop and Support great educators, support personnel and leaders  Addison discussed some of the district’s next steps, with the below list just a few of the goals on the table:  -Launch and implement parent academy  -Create better support for parents/caregivers and students at home to assist with learning  - Expand choice offerings  Visual and Performing arts  pre-Cambridge and pre-AICE  Dual language  STEAM  -Highlight teachers and publicly acknowledge hard work  -Launch business partner 'principal for a day' initiative  -Implement Superintendent-Teacher Advisory Council  -Expand Pre-K programs  For a more complete overview of where the district stands on certain goals and the goals for the future, watch the full State of Schools below:
  • The old City Hall Annex is set for implosion this weekend, and there are important things to know if you plan to be within a few blocks of the 220 E Bay St. building when it happens. The implosion is scheduled for 8AM Sunday, January 20th. From 7AM through around 10AM, there will be restricted access to the area bordered by Main Street, Liberty Street, Adams Street, and the St. Johns River. Adams Street and southbound lanes of Main Street will be open, but northbound lanes of Main Street will be closed, as well as roads in that area. Foot traffic will also be prohibited within this “Exclusion Zone”, River traffic is restricted, and air traffic- including drones- is restricted to a half mile radius above the site. JSO will reopen access and roads, as clean-up efforts come to an end. If you’re required to be in the area, the City wants you to stay inside, with doors, windows, and entry ways closed and exhaust fans on. The City says noise and sound pressure levels could be harmful to your hearing, and lingering dust could pose a safety risk, especially if you have respiratory issues, which is why they want you to stay inside. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office will communicate when access is restored within the Exclusion Zone. You will hear a series of sirens at 7:58AM, as a two-minute warning to the implosion. When the implosion is done- which is expected to be about five minutes later- there will be another siren sound. The City says anyone who is sheltering in place should continue doing that, because even when the implosion is done, falling debris could produce dust that could travel through the area, especially if there is wind. JSO will notify the public when it is safe to be outside. The City hopes that conducting the implosion on a Sunday will provide for the least amount of disruptions for you.
  • Ahead of THE PLAYERS Championship in March, tournament officials have announced a week of events honoring our military members. Prior to tournament week, THE PLAYERS is welcoming all active duty, reserve, retired military, veterans, and military spouses to TPC Sawgrass on March 2nd, from 10 AM to 1 PM, to take part in its 8th annual Military Job Fair. About 50 companies are expected to attend.  Then on March 10th, THE PLAYERS and Birdies for the Brave will partner with Operation Shower to host a private, invite-only, baby shower for 40 military moms-to-be at TPC Sawgrass.  March 12th marks Military Appreciation Day at THE PLAYERS featuring a special performance by country artist Jon Pardi. The Military Appreciation Day ceremony will begin at 5 PM, followed by the concert at 5:30 PM on the Island Green 17th hole. Both events are free to any Tuesday ticket holder. Parking will be free that day and Wednesday.  THE PLAYERS provides all career military, which includes active duty, reserve, military retirees, and dependents, with complimentary admission to the tournament all week. Veterans get discounted admission. To obtain those vouchers, click HERE and then hit 'redeem' in the Military Ticket section.  THE PLAYERS says it's also providing military members and veterans access to the Birdies for the Brave Patriots' Outpost, which is a hospitality tent offering complimentary food, beverages, and activities.  THE PLAYERS Championship runs from March 12th through the 17th this year.
  • The 2019 partial government shutdown is not the longest shutdown in U.S. history as Congress and President Trump work to find a deal to reopen the government and funds a wall along the U.S./Mexico border.  Consumer Warrior Clark Howard says federal employees should turn to their local banks or credit unions if they are going without pay during this time.  “There are many credit unions in the country and a handful of small banks that are extending zero-percent loans as long as you can prove you are a current active federal employee.” Clark says this is a special thing for credit unions because so many of their members have other loans with the credit unions.  MORE: Affected financially by the government shutdown? Here’s help As more stories emerge about TSA employees calling out sick and long lines happening at some airports across the nation, Clark says this is the time to be proactive.  “Take advantage of checking the local airport’s website.” Clark says by doing this, people will be able to get an idea of how early to arrive at the airport and which security area they should go through. LISTEN: Clark Howard’s latest podcast 
  • A local man is suffering from life threatening injuries after he was stabbed multiple times in Downtown Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says they found the man late Monday night at what appears to be a homeless camp near West Beaver Street with a knife in his head. Investigators say they believe both the victim and the suspect are homeless. They are interviewing witnesses – but police say there are no outstanding suspects.
  • With funding for the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ Master Plan now in motion, WOKV is learning more about when you will start to see the changes. As part of the City of Jacksonville’s annual budget process, a plan was approved to borrow $5 million each of the next five years, with the Zoo matching that amount in private donations, and all of the money dedicated to the ten-year Zoo Master Plan. While the total $50 million will not cover the entire tab, Zoo Executive Director Tony Vecchio says he was satisfied and excited to see the City sign on to the funding. “We’ve been working on it so hard, for so long, for it to finally come together,” he says. FULL COVERAGE: Jacksonville’s $1.2 billion City budget WOKV has learned from the Zoo that the first project under the Master Plan that is already in motion is a $3 million overhaul of the parking area. Planning is already well underway, with construction expected to start in then next couple of months. Vecchio says it’s important to start with parking, because as the Zoo has grown in popularity, so has the traffic to get in and congestion in the parking lots. “I don’t want people to start their visit here with a negative experience, so being able to fix that from the very start is really exciting,” he says. FULL COVERAGE: In-depth look at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens Master Plan They are reworking their retention ponds, to create a water feature at the entrance point to the Zoo. There will be an entrance bridge over that water, which funnels cars on to a landscaped lane that encourages cars to continue moving toward the front of the lot to park- near the main Zoo entrance, which is also being moved under the Master Plan. Traffic can navigate off the main drag and in to the various rows to park, as well. This new central flow is aimed at not only making traffic more streamlined, but improving your safety, because you’ll now be walking with the flow of most of the traffic. The lots themselves are being repaved and marked, and about one hundred new spots are being added as well. The exception is Lot C, where they won’t be paving everything, but they will be more clearly marking spaces, in order to ensure the parking lot can be used in an orderly manner, even if there is no attendant. The parking overhaul is expected to take inside of a year to complete. A few months after construction on the parking begins, Vecchio says they start work on the new entrance. The main gate and the education center are being flipped, under the Master Plan. The intent is to have a more centrally located main entrance, which creates two possible “loops” through the Zoo, as opposed to the current set-up, which requires a long walk to get to the end. The new entrance will have a restaurant and gift shop, as well as admissions area. Tandem with that project is adding a new entrance exhibit, which will be “Manatee River”. The exhibit will highlight the species, while also showcasing the work that’s done at the Zoo’s Manatee Critical Care Center, which is not open to the public. The Center cares for and rehabilitates manatees until they can be released back in to the wild. Two of the manatees currently in the Center- Percy and MJ- have been there more than a year, but could be released as soon as next month, according to the Zoo. The exhibit will feature a long-stay manatee or one that can’t be released back in the wild, in a natural setting. The new education center, when it’s moved, will also serve as an event space. It will overlook the to-be moved and rebuilt lion exhibit, which will be “wellness-inspired”, meaning the lions will have a lot of features that allow them to climb or otherwise entertain themselves, to ensure they’re healthy mentally and emotionally, as well as physically. The Zoo’s “Range of the Jaguar” and “Land of the Tiger” are other big cat exhibits that have “wellness-inspired design”. The new “Great Apes Loop” in the African Forest embraces that as well. “We want our animals to thrive and be happy, and we’re using that philosophy as we design our new exhibits,” Vecchio says. Vecchio says they’re doing everything they can to keep the impact on you minimal, including planning construction around high-traffic months, looking at phased approaches, and more. “We want every day to be a great experience at the Zoo. We don’t want to say, ‘Well, yeah, you’re having a crummy time today, but come back in a year because it’s going to be better’. We intend it to be a great experience every day, so we’re very careful about how we time construction and the logistics of what’s going to be closed,” he says. There is a lot involved in this Master Plan beyond this first phase as well- a new attraction, and overhaul of “Wild Florida”, the addition of an “Orangutan Reserve”, a flex exhibit that can feature different animals, a new “Nature Play Zone” outside of the main gate to use for education and programs targeting at-risk youth, and more. “Hold on to your hats. It’s gunna be an exciting ten years here at the Zoo,” Vecchio says.
  • UPDATE: The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says Larry Heaton has been found safe. ORIGINAL STORY: The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help tracking down a missing 84-year-old man they say has dementia.  According to JSO, Larry Heaton was last seen on Cornell Road in the Lakewood-area walking at around 6:00 AM.  He's described as being 5'7'', 150 pounds, and was wearing a blue winter jacket, dark pants, khaki cap, along with beige shoes.  If you've seen him, you're urged to call JSO at (904) 630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org.
  • A fugitive wanted by the US Marshal's Service has been taken into custody, thanks to help from the Clay County Sheriff's Office SWAT team. The sheriff's office says Michael Sorrells was apprehended in the Tanglewood-area Monday.  We're told Sorrells is now being held in the Clay County jail for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, along with the felony warrants from out-of-county. At this time, deputies haven’t released what those felony warrants included.

The Latest News Headlines

  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced Tuesday that she plans to run for president in the 2020 race for the White House. >> Read more trending news The New York Democrat said in an appearance Tuesday on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” that she was filing the paperwork necessary to launch an exploratory committee, which would enable her to raise money for a White House run. “I'm going to run as president of the United States because, as a young mom, I'm going to fight for other people's kids as hard as I would fight for my own,” she said Tuesday. Here are some things to know about Gillibrand: Gillibrand was born Dec. 9, 1966, in Albany, New York. She attended the Academy of Holy Names, an all-girls Catholic school in Albany, before graduating in 1984 from the Emma Willard School in Troy, New York. She graduated from Dartmouth College magna cum laude in 1988 and earned her law degree from the UCLA School of Law in 1991. She worked as an attorney for more than a decade before being elected to represented New York in the U.S. House of Representatives. She represented the state's 20th congressional district in the House until 2009. After President Barack Obama was elected to office in 2008, he chose former first lady Hillary Clinton, who at the time represent New York in the U.S. Senate, to serve as his secretary of state. Gillibrand was chosen to replace Clinton, The New York Times reported. She went on to win the seat when voters went to the polls in 2010. Gillibrand has butted heads with President Donald Trump before over allegations of sexual assault, which Trump has denied. In December 2017, Trump took to social media to call Gillibrand 'a total flunky' who 'would do anything' for campaign contributions. Gillibrand criticized the president's response, calling it 'a sexist smear.' Gillibrand lives in Brunswick, New York, with her husband of 18 years, Jonathan Gillibrand, and their sons, Theodore, 15 and Henry, 10.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is welcoming back K9 Officer Jeremy Mason, nearly 18 months after he was shot in the face while chasing a robbery and carjacking suspect. The shooting happened in July 2017, when police were called to 103rd Street and Old Middleburg Road, after community tips led them to believe a bank robbery suspect was in that area. Police say that suspect- since identified as 28-year-old Michael Harris- carjacked and kidnapped a woman there by getting in her car and forcing her to drive off. JSO says Mason was shot in the ensuing chase, but continued to pursue the suspect. The suspect vehicle got in a crash with a civilian car, and Mason and a detective ultimately fatally shot Harris when he refused to disarm, according to police. Mason has undergone 12 surgeries through his recovery, according to JSO. Today marks the first day back on the job for Mason and K9 Echo.
  • With a partial government shutdown showing no signs of being resolved, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday basically ‘disinvited’ President Donald Trump from a scheduled January 29 State of the Union Address, saying that the Secret Service and Homeland Security Department should not be tasked with such a major event while they are in a shutdown status. “Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened,” Pelosi wrote in a letter sent to the President on Wednesday morning. There was no immediate reaction from the White House or the President. The President gives the State of the Union at the invitation of the Congress, as the House and Senate must agree to use the House chamber for such an event. The reaction in Congress split down party lines. “It is very ironic that Democrats reference security concerns in their latest grandstanding tactic, delaying the State of the Union, but will not address the security concerns that are creating a humanitarian crisis at the border,” said Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN). “We know the state of our union,” said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), as Democrats said there should be no speech from the President while the partial shutdown continues. In an interview with NBC News, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the President had been “disinvited” by Pelosi.
  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi asked President Donald Trump on Wednesday to postpone his State of the Union address as the partial government shutdown that started Dec. 22 continues. >> Read more trending news Earlier this month, Pelosi invited Trump to deliver the annual State of the Union address on Jan. 29. However, the California Democrat said Wednesday that the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Secret Service -- the agency tasked with coordinating and implementing security for certain special events, including the State of the Union address -- have not been paid for 26 days. >> State of the Union 2019: What day, what time, who will be there? “Given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th,” Pelosi said. Pelosi noted that State of the Union addresses were routinely brought to Congress in writing up until the presidency of Woodrow Wilson in 1913. >> Who is Nancy Pelosi? California Democrat elected as House speaker 'Since the start of modern budgeting in Fiscal Year 1977, a State of the Union address has never been delivered during a government shutdown,' Pelosi said. Several federal agencies have been closed and thousands of government employees have been compelled to wok without pay since last month, when lawmakers failed to approve of a budget to keep the federal government running. >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Coast Guard misses paychecks as partial shutdown reaches Day 25 At issue is funding for a proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border that Democrats have opposed. Trump has signaled that he’ll refuse to sign any budget passed by lawmakers that fails to include $5.7 billion to build the wall.
  • Police in California are hoping the public can help them identify a toddler found dead nearly 15 years ago. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's 'Help ID Me' page, hikers discovered the remains of the boy, known as 'Baby Doe,' in May 2004 near the Rancho Bernardo Community Park in San Diego. >> Read more trending news  'The remains were found by two hikers who noticed a green padded winter-type coat lying over a green and white duffel bag,' read the Facebook post shared Tuesday. 'When they removed the coat and looked in the bag, they saw a human skull and bones.' The 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-year-old boy likely died at least a year before he was discovered, authorities said. He had been 'wearing red warm-up pants, gray-tan socks, a blue vest and two sweatshirts,' the Facebook post said. Investigators also released sketches of what the child may have looked like. >> See the images here Forensic tests showed that the boy's mother 'likely spent time in the Southeast while pregnant and may have lived in Texas shortly after the child was born before ultimately moving to the southern California area,' the post said. >> Watch the video here If you have information about the case, please call 1-800-THE-LOST.

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