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Latest from John Engel

    The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has announced an arrest in the murder of a man who was found dead at a Jacksonville motel on Tuesday.  Nicholus Mitchell, 37, is charged with murder, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and carrying a concealed firearm.  Charles Quiantance was found dead with a gunshot wound at the Days Inn on Baymeadows Road on Dec. 19.  Police did not give any more information about the case, saying it’s an on-going investigation and more people may be involved. 
  • Police are hoping surveillance photos from an ATM will lead to an armed robbery suspect from back in October on the Westside.  The victim told police she was parked on Lane Ave. when a young black man pointed a gun at her, then demanded her wallet and pin number. Investigators with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office believe the same man withdrew money from the woman’s account at a nearby ATM.  If you have any information, you’re asked to call JSO or Crime Stoppers. 
  • A man is fighting for his life after he was found badly burned in the San Marco area after a car fire.  Jacksonville Police is working with the State Fire Marshal to piece together what caused the fire in a parking lot on Atlantic Boulevard and Arcadia Place.  Police believe the man is in his early 40’s and was the only person in the car at the time, but he was found outside of the car. He was transported to UF Health in Gainesville for his severe burns.  JSO says there is no criminal act being investigated at this time.  Police have not released the name of the victim.
  • A former Jaguars defensive tackle has been arrested for domestic battery after getting in a fight with his wife Friday night. Police say Miller and his wife went on a date to the Jacksonville Zoo, then took separate Ubers home. Miller arrived after his wife, and they began to argue about where he had been.   That's when police say Miller grabbed his wife by the hair and was pushing her around. A child in the home told police she saw Miller on top of her mom during the argument. The police report shows Miller grabbed his wife’s phone and threw it in the toilet. She was eventually able to get the phone and call police.  In his first court appearance, Miller was told his wife is no longer pressing charges and he was released. Miller’s current team, the Kansas City Chiefs, was on a bye this week. 
  • A Jacksonville man has been charged with three counts of attempted murder for a road rage incident that left two people in critical condition. Charles Michael Mohr, 22, was allegedly involved in an argument with three people in another car while driving on Race Track Road Friday morning. Both cars pulled into the parking lot at 2700 Race Track Road, and a physical altercation ensued between the drivers. Mohr is then accused of pulling out a handgun and firing multiple rounds at the other vehicle. Two of the victims, both age 21, were struck. They were taken to Baptist South by the third occupant, and were later transferred to UF Health in critical condition. A witness on scene held the suspect at gunpoint until deputies could arrive.
  • Frontier Airlines announced on Tuesday it would be adding round trip, non-stop service from Jacksonville to a total of four cities beginning next year.  Frontier is marketed as a low-cost alternative to larger airlines.  JACKSONVILLE (JAX) – CHICAGO (ORD) F9 1285 Depart JAX: 2:58 p.m. Arrive ORD: 4:46 p.m.  F9 1286 Depart ORD: 10:53 a.m. Arrive JAX: 2:08 p.m.  Frequency: Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday Aircraft: Airbus A320 Service Start: May 10 Seasonal   JACKSONVILLE (JAX) – CINCINNATI (CVG) F9 1955 Depart JAX: 5:15 p.m. Arrive CVG: 7:11 p.m.  F9 1954 Depart CVG: 2:39 p.m. Arrive JAX: 4:24 p.m.  Frequency: Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday Aircraft: Airbus A320 Service Start: April 8 Seasonal   JACKSONVILLE (JAX) – DENVER (DEN) F9 0473 Depart JAX: 11:22 a.m. Arrive DEN: 1:19 p.m.  F9 0858 Depart DEN: 3:59 p.m. Arrive JAX: 9:10 p.m.  Frequency: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday  Aircraft: Airbus A320 Service Start: Feb. 14 JACKSONVILLE (JAX) – PHILADELPHIA (PHL) F9 0858 Depart JAX: 10:00 p.m. Arrive PHL: 12:12 a.m.  F9 0473 Depart PHL: 4:30 a.m. Arrive JAX: 7:05 a.m.  Frequency: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday  Aircraft: Airbus A320 Service Start: Feb. 14 Seasonal 
  • Eric Green, who had been serving as JAXPORT’s interim CEO for the last six months, was unanimously voted by the authority’s board to become the permanent chief executive on Monday. Green joined JAXPORT in 2006, and has been working in government relations ever since. 
  • In an effort to fight drunk driving, Budweiser is teaming up with ride-sharing company Lyft to offer 150,000 free rides in nine states, including Florida, beginning today. Budweiser will release special promo codes each weekend on its Facebook page. It’s part of the “Give A Damn” campaign - 10,000 rides will be offered each weekend through Dec. 31. Promo codes will be released at 2 p.m.
  • While utility crews are working hard to get power back on in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, two men have been caught apparently stealing a light pole. In a photo given to News 104.5 WOKV, two shirtless men appear to be in police custody while a utility pole rests on top of an SUV. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has now confirmed the two men were trying to steal the pole. The incident report obtained by WOKV shows the two men- 46-year-old Victor Apeler and 42-year-old Blake Waller- were spotted taking a JEA light pole. The responding officer saw the spot on the Wonderwood Bridge where the pole was missing, and soon after saw  a vehicle driving east with a large utility pole on the roof. Apeler- who was driving- said he was moving the pole because it was laying  on the ground close to travel lanes, according to the incident report. Police say he couldn’t answer why he didn’t just move the pole to the side or notify police or JEA. A witness told  police both of the men were  involved in loading the pole on to the SUV. The pole is valued around $2,500. JSO says Apeler has made 73 pawn transactions since the start of this year, and 72 of those were related to scrap metal. JSO further says Waller is currently out on bond on drug charges. Both men have been arrested for grand theft.
  • Six tornadoes touched down while Hurricane Irma moved through Northeast Florida from Sunday afternoon and into the overnight hours Monday, according to the National Weather Service.  Three of the tornadoes came from St. Johns County, while two were confirmed in Nassau County and another was in Flagler County. St. Johns County An EF-2 tornado, with wind speed between 110 and 130 mph ran 1 mile from Crescent Beach to Highway 1 around 1:15 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 11. The National Weather Service report notes significant structural damage at vacation home rentals and tree damage along A1A. An EF-1 tornado with wind speeds between 85 and 100 mph was tracked westward from Vilano Beach to south of St. Augustine Airport around 7:50 p.m. Sunday night. The path of the tornado reached 4 miles in length, and spanned 200 yards.  An EF-1 tornado with peak wind speeds between 85 and 100 mph ran 1 mile from Huguenot Cemetery in St. Augustine west to Hwy 1 around 1:40 p.m. Sunday. The National Weather Service report notes significant tree damage around Huguenot Cemetery.  Nassau County The first track of an EF-0 tornado in Amelia Island, based on radar, ran from Ft. Clinch westward to Highway 17, with estimated wind speeds between 85-100 mph. No damage was reported.  A clear second tornado track was found north CR-200. Both tornadoes are believed to have occurred around 2:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11. No damage was reported.  Flagler County An EF-0 tornado, with an estimated maximum wind speed between 85 and 100 mph, was confirmed south of Marineland moving westward to I-95 around 8:20 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 10. The National Weather Service report notes some debris, but no structural damage. A waterspout was also recorded around 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 10 in Crescent Beach, though the National Weather Service was unable to confirm if the circulation reached land. 
  • John Engel

    Afternoon Anchor, Producer

    John Engel is the Afternoon Anchor and Producer at WOKV and has been with the news team since Aug. 2015. Originally from Southern California, John moved to Boise, Idaho with his family and attended Boise State University. He started working in sports media and still has a love for watching, and debating about, sports.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • A Louisiana woman with a history of identity theft faces 10 years in prison after she was convicted Wednesday of stealing another woman’s background to land an executive position with a six-figure salary. Cindy T. White, 41, of Slidell, was found guilty of identity theft over $1,000, according to a news release from the office of 22nd Judicial District Attorney Warren Montgomery. It took jurors just 15 minutes to find White guilty of the charges.  Montgomery said in the news release that White used information stolen from another woman’s LinkedIn profile to beef up her resume in September 2015, when she applied for an executive-level position with Diversified Foods & Seasonings. NOLA.com reported that the company, based in Covington, was founded by the late entrepreneur Al Copeland. White also used the other woman’s Social Security number and driver’s license number when applying for the job, the news release said.  She was initially hired as a human resources manager, a position with a $95,000 annual salary, Montgomery said. Five months later, she was promoted to senior human resources director, a job with a $105,000 salary.  >> Read more trending news Company officials became suspicious a few months later when they noticed that White had trouble with duties that she should have been able to perform based on her alleged educational background. Her resume listed a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University and a master’s degree from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. “That’s not this person,” prosecutor Casey Dieck said in court, pointing at White. “This person stole the victim’s hard work and used it to get a six-figure salary and benefits to boot.” Officials at Diversified Foods & Seasonings also noticed that White delegated a large number of tasks assigned to her, Montgomery said in the news release. They took a closer look at her personnel file and found discrepancies in it.  Company officials called the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office in April 2016.  Investigators determined that White lifted her educational background directly from the LinkedIn profile of a woman with a similar name, Montgomery said. They also discovered that she obtained the woman’s driver’s license and Social Security numbers from an unnamed online site.  A look at White’s real background revealed that this was not the first time she had stolen someone’s identity, the news release said.  White, a former Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office employee, was arrested in New Orleans in 1997 on suspicion of theft, forgery and malfeasance in office after she was accused of stealing a co-worker’s identity and emptying the woman’s bank account. She was caught when she was spotted in surveillance photos and identified, the news release said. She pleaded guilty that September to two counts of forgery and received probation.  Her probation was terminated in 1999 when the court was sent information that White had died, Montgomery said.  White also had a 1998 conviction in Jefferson Parish for attempted theft of goods.  Prosecutors argued that White, who admitted to St. Tammany Parish investigators that she used the victim’s identity to get the job, fraudulently collected $56,209 during the seven months she worked at Diversified Foods & Seasonings. Her defense attorney argued that she earned the salary she received.  Dieck denied the defense claim, Montgomery said in the news release.  “We have here a defendant who admits to stealing to cover up the fact that she’s a convicted thief,” the prosecutor said. 
  • Swedish DJ Avicii was found dead Friday in Oman, his publicist confirmed. He was 28. >> Read more trending news
  • A Pennsylvania teacher was suspended last week after he cooked breakfast for his students as they took state assessments. LancasterOnline reported that Kyle Byler, an eighth-grade teacher at Hand Middle School, was suspended without pay and warned that he would be fired for “causing a distraction” while his students took the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, or PSSAs.  Byler told local media that he brought an electric griddle to school the morning of April 10 and cooked each of his students a whole-grain pancake to eat while they took their exams. An assistant principal walked in and questioned why he was making the children breakfast. >> Read more trending news The teacher, who many parents consider the “eighth-grade dad” at the school, was called into a meeting with administrators within 24 hours and told he would be fired, LancasterOnline reported.  Byler said in an interview Monday that he did not understand what he did wrong. The state education department does not have a rule against serving food during the PSSAs. Pennsylvania Department of Education spokeswoman Nicole Reigelman told LancasterOnline, however, that “those activities would likely interfere with ‘actively monitoring’ the assessment, which is a key task.” Byler said the pancakes did not deter the students.  “At no point was it any distraction for any of the students,” Byler said. “They worked their butts off.” A student told the news site that the assistant principal was the only distraction. “The moment she walked in, everybody turned,” Alizea Rodriguez told LancasterOnline. “She was the distraction. Not pancakes. Not Byler.” Rodriguez and other students were distraught when Byler was not in class the next day. Many of those students showed up at a Tuesday night school board meeting, at which Byler expected to learn his fate.  School district officials dismissed the claim that he was to be fired Tuesday, saying that there was never a dismissal action on the meeting agenda and that a teacher cannot be fired without the board approving a written notice setting a hearing in the matter. None of that had taken place. “Nor will it occur in this situation, as the personnel matter has been resolved with the employee, who is scheduled to return to work,” School District of Lancaster officials said in a statement.  The district statement said that free breakfast and lunch are offered to all students every day, including testing days.  “Moreover, the Pennsylvania Department of Education strictly requires that teachers who proctor PSSA testing focus their full attention on monitoring students during the test,” the statement read. “All teachers serving as PSSA test proctors receive specific training on testing protocol. Had permission been sought by a teacher to cook in the classroom during PSSA testing and serve food to the students, the response would have been that such activities would distract the teacher from the required duties as a test proctor.” LancasterOnline reported that about 100 concerned residents, including both parents and teachers, turned out at Tuesday’s board meeting to support Byler.  “It takes a village to raise children,” mother of two Crystle Martinez said. “He’s part of that village.” Students and teachers were not Byler’s only fans. Officials at Holiday Inn Express sought to gift him and his students a one-touch pancake machine -- like those on the breakfast bars in Holiday Inn Express hotels -- and enough pancake batter to get them through the remainder of the school year.  “As a hotel brand that knows how important an energizing breakfast is to being ‘THE READIEST’ for the day ahead, Holiday Inn Express salutes Byler for taking the initiative and making pancakes for his students,” said Lauren Schuster, manager of PR firm Weber Shandwick.  “The brand welcomes this teacher back to school, and hopes he and his students enjoy their very own one-touch pancake machine as much as Holiday Inn Express guests do,” read a statement from the company.  It was not clear if the school district would allow Byler to put the pancake machine in his classroom. 
  • The Jacksonville Jaguars “State of the Franchise” was packed with new information about the fan experience, stadium, Downtown development and more. 1. New season, new look- The Jags have unveiled their new uniforms, which are designed to honor tradition. The two-tone helmets are gone, in favor of a shine-finished traditional look, and the numbering is more simple and modern. The uniforms also have features, like increased ventilation around sweat areas, which are aimed at giving the team a competitive advantage.  GALLERY: New uniforms for the Jacksonville Jaguars For the first time, the team has teal pants- and teal will now be the “Color Rush” uniform, instead of the gold ones the Jags have been using in prior years. Teal is also the alternate uniform, and expected to be worn several times over the season.  2. Cheaper concession options- Concession “classics” will now be only $5 at the stadium. These include hot dogs, nachos, pretzels, fries, and soft drinks. Fans will also still be allowed to bring in food, in accordance with the team’s policy and the NFL’s clear bag rule.  3. Your dog can now cheer for the cats- Among the changes inside of the stadium, the Jags are building a dog daycare/park in partnership with Pet Paradise. This will be on the South End Zone fan deck, will have a water feature, and will only be open on gamedays. Dogs will be pre-screened to ensure they are up to date on shots and have the right temperament for this environment. Fans will be able to see the action inside of the park, but only trained staff will be in with the dogs themselves.  4. Expect a crowd- Tarps will NOT be back at EverBank Field, meaning there are about 3,500 additional tickets being sold every game. There are also a handful of new premium seating options the team rolled out, which they say have already been snatched up. The Jags are also projecting their highest season ticket renewal rate and new season ticket sales, since they started tracking that in 2004.  5. Honoring the military- The team emphasized that veterans and members of the military are not only important to the City of Jacksonville, but to the Jags themselves. The Jags have the highest concentration of veterans in market, compared to other NFL markets. To celebrate that, the North End Zone fan deck is being rebranded in partnership with the veteran-owned business Grunt Style. In addition to creating a competition area for fans and a “hometown pride” area, this is also where the team will celebrate a veteran of the game and veteran business owner of the game, and ring the fourth quarter bell.  6. London will keep calling- The Jags are proud of being the team that has played the most London games of any other in the NFL. They said that game is valuable strategically and in terms of revenue, and they will work on protecting their position. Meanwhile, the UK fan club continues to grow, now standing at more than 86,000 members.  The Jags play the Eagles in London on October 28th at 9:30AM.  7. TIAA Bank going beyond the stadium- We got our first look at the new signage we’ll see at the stadium, as EverBank Field becomes “TIAA Bank Field” before the next football season, but TIAA Bank also announced a pledge to help the community.  The Jaguars and EverBank- which is becoming TIAA Bank- are launching the One Team. One Home. Initiative. They’re partnering to contribute $1 million in the next five years to help build and repair homes in Northeast Florida. This will be a collaboration with Habitat for Humanity affiliates, as well as volunteers and Jags players. EverBank is also pledging additional money to build and repair 100 homes in Florida where TIAA has an existing presence.  8. Lynyrd Skynyrd planning a big homecoming- The band will bring their farewell tour to EverBank Field on September 2nd. They’ll be joined by Kid Rock, Jason Aldean, and others, in a day-long event that also includes food trucks and games.  9. Sports Complex development- The team is still negotiating a redevelopment of the Jacksonville Shipyards, but they’re now expanding on that by pitching a $2.5 billion redevelopment in the Sports Complex. The first step is expected to be Lot J- which could see three mixed-use buildings and a “live arena”. To compensate for the loss in parking, a 3,000 space parking garage would go up where there’s currently a retention pond.  The team says this would be a public/private partnership, but they don’t have an estimate yet on what they would ask for from the City.  GALLERY:Shipyards redevelopment If the Hart Bridge ramps are taken down- which is something the City is currently pursuing- the Jags and their partner The Cornish Companies would seek to continue developing, with a high-end hotel, convention center, upgraded marina and more along the River.  10. A big schedule faces the team in 2018- Technically, this came out after the State of the Franchise, but in the spirit of all this Jags news, it’s also worth mentioning that the team’s schedule is out! Let us know what you think of the announcements on Facebook:
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is investigating after a reported robbery at the Publix at 10500 San Jose Boulevard, right next to Target. According to the incident report obtained by WOKV, the suspect entered the grocery just after 8 pm on Thursday and made his way to the customer service counter.  The suspect reportedly said 'You are not going to like me very much,' before handing over a note. What exactly that note said is redacted in the report, but it appears he asked for $6,000 and made a comment about an explosive device.  Once the Publix employee handed over all the money in the register, the suspect is described as having left the store in a 'calm manner' with a gallon of milk.  The manager decided to evacuate the store, due to the threat made in the redacted note. However, a police search of the store did not reveal anything suspicious.  The suspect is described as being a white male, about 6'1'' tall, 160 pounds, and was wearing a red shirt with a black vest jacket, and black jean shorts at the time of the robbery.  If found, he's likely to be charged with armed robbery and threatening to throw/place/project a destructive device.

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