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Latest from Danielle Leigh

    It’s a nasty and expensive problem you do not want to have…especially if someone just spent a night out on the town.  Consumer Warrior Clark Howard is warning those who use ride-sharing apps like Uber or Lyft to get to and from their destinations. He says some drivers are going after passengers by falsely accusing them of getting sick and making a scene by vomiting in the backseat.  “In order to get drivers to go out in the wee hours particularly in the party scene areas, they (Uber and Lyft) give them an automatic $150 simply by the driver reporting somebody got sick in the vehicle. They send a picture of it and that’s it.” Clark says there is no verification on the passenger’s end and sometimes they wake up to the charge the next day. He adds there has been one case where a driver was caught planting a mess in their back seat to frame a passenger and collect the $150 clean up fee.  “If you are sober enough, when you’re getting out of Uber or Lyft – just very quickly take a picture of the back seat of the vehicle to show that it was clean and fine when you got out.” Clark acknowledges this is a real problem because there have been cases when passengers do get sick in the back of cars and leave a mess. Clark says this causes the driver to be out of work for a while as they spend money and take time away from their job to clean their cars. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CLARK’S LATEST PODCAST. 
  • The Military Lending Act is designed to protect military members from being ripped by predatory loans or financial products. It’s a move that has Consumer Warrior Clark Howard outraged. Clark says the move by the Trump Administration’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could hurt military members. Which is why he wants those serving in the military to know their rights when it comes to the Military Lending Act.  “One of them is that any borrowing a military person does, particularly if they need an emergency loan cannot be issued at more than 36%. But over and over again, military personnel are cheated and put in payday loans that are illegal to a member in the military at 100% interest,” Clark says.  CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CLARK’S RECENT PODCAST.  Clark says if someone is deployed, any loan they have, their interest rate based on a schedule under Service Member Civil Relief Act is supposed to be capped and potentially reduced.  “This is excusable and unacceptable. I want you to know that because no cop is going to be on the beat anymore if you have a young family member or a friend that serves in the military – make sure they know they have rights. Especially a good list of rights if they know they’re deployed.”  CLICK HERE FOR MORE OF CLARK’S TAKE ON THE MILITARY LENDING ACT.
  • Jacksonville Police are interviewing a man they say led police on a pursuit on Jacksonville’s Northside. It ended with an officer-involved shooting and the suspect being hit by a police cruiser. According to JSO, an officer driving on 21st Street early this morning noticed a black Chevy Impala with no headlights on. The officer engaged his emergency lights, but the car kept going down the road. “The police officer activated his emergency equipment around 21st and Liberty, however the black Impala continued to travel eastbound with the police officer behind him with his emergency equipment activated”, said JSO Chief Chris Butler.  Eventually, the car pulled into the Sanctuary Walk apartment complex and continued to drive around the area.  JSO says the cruiser followed but it was not a high-speed chase. The suspect vehicle continued to ignore commands, according to police.  At one point during the chase, police say the passenger of the car got out and started running. The officer then noticed the driver get out the car as well and started to take off. The officer began chasing the suspect while the passenger got away and went inside one of the apartments.  “The driver is seen by the officer as well as a witness officer, arm himself with a semi-automatic handgun and began to run through the breezeway and through the apartment complex”, said Chief Butler.  While the officer was chasing the man, he said that he witnessed the suspect reaching into his waistband. Chief Butler says the officer, identified as D.H. Bostick thought the suspect was going to shoot which is why he pulled out his own weapon and fired two rounds at the suspect. Neither bullet hit the suspect, but nearly simultaneously another officer showed up and pinned the suspect up against a fence.  “He hits the suspect and pins him up against the fence. The suspect was not hit by any gunfire from the two rounds that were fired”, said Butler.  The suspect was taken to the hospital and was later released.  He has not yet been identified.  The passenger in the car was eventually caught. Police say he was being cooperative but was arrested for unrelated charges. The officer who fired his weapon is a three-year veteran and this is his first officer-involved shooting.  Officer B.B. Bass, who pinned the man with his car, is also a three-year veteran.
  • A 7-year-old girl is dead after she was shot in the head on Jacksonville’s Westside. The shooting happened Saturday on 103rd Street. Police say the child was just sitting in the car with her family. They were not the intended target. They were just caught in the crossfire. Police are looking for two men who are considered persons of interest in the shooting.  They are both two black men. One is wearing a white top, jeans that appeared to be acid washed. The other man is wearing marron. JSO believes the two men are in an early to mid-2000’s green Nissan Altima. Anyone with information is asked to call JSO at 904.630.0500 or JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org.
  • A St. Augustine Beach mom is facing charges for battery and child abuse after getting into an argument with her mother that turned physical involving two of her children.  The St. Augustine Beach Police had three arrests reports for Tracey Johnson for each incident. The three events all took place Thursday afternoon at Johnson’s home. Johnson had got into an argument with her child about her mother buying the child video games. During the argument, Johnson slapped her child across his face and told the child she hated him and hopes that he gets molested and killed.  Johnson also got into a verbal argument with her mother. During the argument, Johnson pushed her mother who was standing in the hallway of the home down. Police say the mom hit her head on the door handle as she fell while also hitting her knee on the vacuum.  While that physical altercation was going on, Johnson’s other child went to help her grandmother off the ground and that is when police say Johnson picked her up by the back of the neck and threw her down to the ground causing the young child to have minor injuries.
  • Whether you belong in Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw…a Harry Potter movie marathon is something all fans can get behind Fans on the First Coast will be able to relive the magic as Cinemark celebrates the 20 years after the release of the book that started it all, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Harry Potter fans will be able to enjoy all eights films of the franchise plus “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them,” at Cinemark XD locations around the country – which includes the theater at Tinseltown. The movie marathon will run from August 31st – September 6th. “The Wizarding World holds a special place in everyone’s hearts, and we know many moviegoers experienced the magic of Hogwarts for the first time in a Cinemark auditorium. We are thrilled to welcome them back to our theatres for this exclusive opportunity to relive the magic in Cinemark XD,” says Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi Tickets to see the movies in Cinemark XD are $5 per film. Fans can also buy a festival pass for $25 to see all nine movies, all week long. The Wizarding World XD Week festival pass includes a collectible keychain, a specially designed cup that is refillable for $3.50 through the end of the year and a commemorative festival badge. Click here to buy tickets.
  • Their money is not welcomed here. The Fernandina Beach Police is working to identify the two people in the picture after one of them used a fake one-hundred-dollar bill.  It happened on July 18th at a local Wal-Mart, police did not share the exact location. They say the man bought one item at the store that was less than one-dollar and used the counterfeit money.  If anyone is able to recognize the two people in the picture, you are asked to call Detective Christina Woods at 904.310.3218. 
  • The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has taken over the investigation into an officer-involved shooting in Jacksonville Beach. Late Wednesday night, police say a suspect was walking along Beach Boulevard when he started shooting at the police cruiser that was driving down the road. The officer inside the cruiser started to chase after the suspect who then started running toward the beach.  When the suspect approached the Waffle House, he was met by two other police officers and they started exchanging gunfire. Jacksonville Beach Police say the suspect was shot as well as one of their own.  They were both taken to the Hospital – the officer was shot twice but is stable and in “good spirits” at the hospital. Police did not have a condition update for the suspect.  Neither the suspect or the police officer have been identified.
  • The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is working to identify the teen who was found dead at the bottom of a parking garage in the Ponte Vedra area.  He was found late Thursday night at the parking garage by Ruth Chris off A1A.  No foul play is suspected in the death; deputies believe it was a suicide.
  • The Florida Highway Patrol says 37-year-old Tanya Dennis has died after she was involved in a crash on the Arlington Expressway on July 23rd. Troopers say Dennis had the left turn light at the intersection of Regency Square Boulevard when Robert Isenhour ran through his red light and hit her. The crash caused Dennis’ car to overturn and she was ejected. The crash report says she was not wearing a seatbelt at the time.  It is unclear why Isenhour did not stop at the red light. FHP says it is still looking into whether or not alcohol played a role in the crash. Charges are still pending.
  • Danielle Leigh

    Morning News Producer

    Danielle joined the WOKV team in 2014 after graduating from Piedmont College in Northeast Georgia. Today, she is the Morning News Producer for Jacksonville’s Morning News. She used to be a military brat until her dad retired in Camden County, Georgia. Since high school, Danielle had dreams to work in the radio industry in Jacksonville and is excited to be finally living out her dream. One of Danielle’s life goals is to get a book published.

    Read More

The Latest News Headlines

  • A Missouri woman who applied for a customer service job was shocked Monday when she received an email stating that her “ghetto” name had lost her the position.  Hermeisha Robinson, 27, of Bellefontaine Neighbors, posted the email response from Mantality Heath on her Facebook page.  “Thank you for your interest in careers at Mantality Health,” the email read, according to Robinson’s post. “Unfortunately, we do not consider candidates that have suggestive ‘ghetto’ names. We wish the best in your career search.” The email was signed Jordan Kimler, a nurse practitioner with the company. According to the company’s website, Mantality Health provides treatment to men suffering from low testosterone. It has multiple locations in several states.  Robinson wrote that she was upset to be turned away from a position she felt she was well qualified for. “My feelings are very hurt and they even got me second-guessing my name, trying to figure out if my name is really that ‘ghetto,’” she wrote. “I would like for everyone to share this post because discrimination has to stop!” Share the post her friends did. As of Wednesday morning, it had been shared more than 10,000 times.  One of the people sharing Robinson’s post was her cousin, Miltina Burnett. Burnett wrote on Facebook that the response made Robinson -- who was named after her late father, Herman -- question whether she should “change her name to fit in corporate America.” “Don’t ever change who you are to become more like them,” Burnett wrote. “They had no right to say what they said to her.” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch spoke with Mantality Health owner Kevin Meuret, who on Tuesday said that the company’s email system was hacked by someone outside Missouri. Meuret said he believes the hacker may be an angry former employee.  “I’m a father of three daughters, and that young lady getting that (response) is horrible,” Meuret told the Post-Dispatch. “That young lady opened something that must have felt like a freight train, and that’s unacceptable.” Burnett shared images of private messages she received from Mantality Health employees about the alleged hacking.  Company officials believe the hacking may have been done through Indeed.com, where Robinson submitted her application. Mantality Health’s website has a statement addressing the situation. “The password for the outside job board site used by Mantality was compromised on Aug. 13, 2018,” the statement reads. “We are currently working with law enforcement to identify the perpetrator and consider appropriate legal action. We share the anger and frustration of those who received these bogus emails.” Meuret told KMOV News 4 that they believe about 20 applicants got emails similar to Robinson’s. Dorneshia Zachery was one of them, the news station reported.  “The company looked at my name and said, ‘We don’t care about what you’ve done in life; your name is going to dismiss you completely,’” Zachery told News 4.  Meuret told the news station that the emails are deplorable. “This is not a reflection of who we are as a company,” he said.  The company has gotten the Chesterfield Police Department involved in the case, as well as St. Louis County’s cybercrimes division.  “We will continue to pursue this even if it becomes a federal matter,” Meuret told the Post-Dispatch.  >> Read more trending news Indeed.com officials told News 4 that they have found no signs of hacking on their end. “Account security is of utmost importance to Indeed and something that we diligently monitor,” the company’s statement read. “Account holders are responsible for use of their password and we recommend frequent updates and complete confidentiality of your password. Our investigation into this particular account shows no evidence of compromise.” Cybersecurity experts told the Post-Dispatch that the incident was likely an internal break-in and not a “high-tech hacking event.” “If you have a guy who knows everything about the infrastructure of the company, it’s going to happen,” Jianli Pan, a cybersecurity professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, told the newspaper. “It’s up to the company how important it is for them to keep their systems secure. But that’s not free. It takes money and training and designating some expert to be in charge of such issues.” Companies, particularly small ones, should have a checklist of things to do when an employee leaves, according to Joe Scherrer, Washington University’s program director of graduate studies in information systems management and cybersecurity management. The checklist should include eliminating all access to email, social media and all other communication means, Scherrer told the Post-Dispatch.  “You should scrub them out of the company. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s how to prevent this from happening,” Scherrer told the newspaper. 
  • The two people filling the seats of suspended Democratic Jacksonville City Council members have now been sworn in. It was a quick ceremony Thursday, with City Council President Aaron Bowman delivering brief remarks about it being an exciting day for Jacksonville, and Ju’Coby Pittman (D) and Terrance Freeman (R) then each taking the oath of office. Both were appointed by the Governor, who previously suspended Katrina Brown and Reggie Brown, who have been federally indicted on fraud and related charges.  Pittman is the President of Clara White Mission, Inc. She is stepping in to Katrina Brown’s seat, representing District 8.  “My first thing is to meet the constituents. I want to go out, have a town meeting. I want to go to the churches, I want to go to the businesses, and just listen to what their issues are,” she says.  Freeman, the regional director for Ygrene Energy Fund, will serve the remaining term of Reggie Brown, representing District 10. Freeman lived in Mandarin, but confirms he is renting some rooms in a home in District 10, where his family of six will live so that he can represent that district.  “My first order of business- we’ll be at an HOA meeting on Monday, be at a church on Sunday, getting out and meeting people. I love meeting people and getting a chance to hear what’s important to them,” Freeman says.  Bowman welcomed them to the Council, noting that budget season is right around the corner and committee work resumes next week.  Katrina Brown and Reggie Brown have both pleaded not guilty. Their trial is tentatively slated for early September. They face charges for allegedly using shell businesses to draw down on an SBA-backed loan that was supposed to be used for Katrina Brown’s failing family BBQ sauce business. They each face additional charges, including Katrina Brown allegedly defrauding banks for loans, and Reggie Brown allegedly failing to file a tax return.
  • Just a couple of weeks before two now-suspended Jacksonville City Council members were slated to face a jury on federal charges, including fraud and money laundering, the trial has been pushed off. There was a joint motion by the government and Katrina Brown and Reggie Brown to continue the trial. It had been slated for September 4th, but is now scheduled for February 4th.  The defendants were jointly named in a 38-count federal indictment, relating to Katrina Brown’s family BBQ sauce business. The indictment says Katrina Brown did not disclose that the business was failing, and instead she and Reggie Brown used shell businesses to draw down on a federally-backed loan for the business, for work that was never done.  Katrina Brown is also charged with using fraudulent information to try to secure bank loans for the business, and Reggie Brown is also charged with not filing a tax return one year and not disclosing money he received from this alleged scheme to the IRS.  Both defendants deny any wrongdoing.  Both Democratic City Council members were suspended from the governing body, following the indictment. Governor Rick Scott has appointed Ju’Coby Pittman and Terrance Freeman are their replacements, and both have since been sworn in.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is releasing surveillance photos of an armed robbery suspect they're working to identify. According to JSO, this suspect was caught on camera robbing Tunis Seafood, Wings, and Subs on Emerson Street, back on August 9th.  Police say he entered the business, approached the counter, and handed the employee a note demanding money. At that time, investigators say he displayed a gun. The suspect was last seen on foot, after getting cash.  If you know who this man is, you're urged to contact the sheriff's office at (904) 630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
  • President Donald Trump is revoking former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday. >> Read more trending news The announcement came weeks after Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Trump was looking in to the process required to revoke security clearances from half a dozen former Obama administration officials.  Huckabee Sanders cited Brennan's 'erratic conduct and behavior' as the reasoning behind the revocation and accused him of 'lying' and 'wild outbursts.' Brennan has been critical of Trump, calling his performance at a joint press conference last month with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland 'nothing short of treasonous.' Huckabee Sanders did not say Wednesday that Brennan leveraged his security clearance for financial gain -- an allegation she levied at some former intelligence officials last month. >> Trump wants to revoke security clearances for ex-Obama intelligence officials, White House says During a July 23 news briefing, Huckabee Sanders said Trump was exploring options to remove security clearances from former officials who have “politicized and, in some cases, monetized their public service.” Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that officials continued to look at revoking the clearances of other former officials, including former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

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