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Local News

    The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is asking for your help tracking down an armed robbery suspect who they consider armed and dangerous. The suspect is 20-year-old Jebre Cook, who’s described as 5’9” and 174 lbs. Police say you should not approach him, because he is considered armed and dangerous.  JSO has not said what armed robbery incident they believe Cook is responsible for. If you know anything about Cook’s location, you’re asked to contact JSO at 911 or 904-630-0500, or JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. You can also submit an anonymous tip and be eligible for a possible $3,000 reward by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
  • If you get a phone call soliciting donations to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office- hang up. CCSO is warning the community, after receiving several reports from concerned citizens who said they had gotten suspicious calls or social media messages. CCSO says they do not solicit donations over the phone, so these are scammers. You should not give out your personal information. If you ever have questions about the legitimacy of a phone call from CCSO, they’re encouraging you to call their Communications Section at 904-264-6512. You’re also encouraged to report the scam call to the Federal Trade Commission.
  • A 20-year-old Jacksonville man has been arrested after allegedly kidnapping a woman at gunpoint, raping her, and stealing her car. The arrest report for Billy Gaines says he first approached the victim late Sunday at a gas station on Lem Turner Road, where he put a gun to her back and told her to get in the car. JSO says they drove off, but at one point he stopped the car and raped her in the back seat, while he was still holding the gun. The victim reported that they then went to the home of a friend of Gaines, and she then told Gaines something that led him to drive her to another location, according to the arrest report. At that location, police say the victim went inside, called police, and did not come back out. Gaines allegedly fled in the victim’s vehicle. Early Sunday, a patrol Sergeant searching for the suspect saw a vehicle matching the description, while on Golfair Blvd near I-95. JSO says Gaines sped up and took evasive actions. Several marked vehicles continued to pursue him, and he was ultimately stopped in a vacant lot. Gaines allegedly fled on foot from that point, but was caught soon after. He has been arrested for armed sexual battery, kidnapping, carjacking with a firearm, fleeing law enforcement, and resisting an officer without violence.
  • MORE LOCAL NEWS: Florida man bitten after jumping into pit at St. Augustine Alligator Farm The Jacksonville man accused of doing a beer run with a live alligator in his hands has been sentenced by a judge. Timothy Robert Barr, also known as Robby Stratton, entered a no contest plea to cruelty to animals and fish and wildlife conservation violation charges stemming from the July incident. Video posted to Facebook shows a man holding an alligator while he goes into a Jacksonville convenience store for beer. You can hear the man say, 'Y'all got beer still? Y'all ain't out, are y'all?' The video shows him chase another person inside the store while people laugh in the background. In the video, the man said the alligator he was holding was alive. Meet Robby Stratton, the man who ran through a #Florida convenience store holding a live alligator. The incident is under FWC investigation. @ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews @CBSNews @FoxNews @cnnbrk @NBCNews @AP pic.twitter.com/U6tRb6pVmS — Ryan Nelson (@RyanANJax) July 29, 2018 A second video appeared to show Barr and others passing the animal around. At one point, another man appears to step on the gator, then grab it by its neck and hold it in the air. He then shouts, 'Florida State, baby! Florida State, baby! Florida State, baby!' Florida wildlife officials said they were informed about the incident through a tip via their wildlife alert number. A judge sentenced Barr to two days in jail with credit for time served. He's also required to do 20 hours of community service and make a $100 donation to wildlife, according to court records.
  • Jacksonville Police are searching for the man accused of killing an Arlington gas station clerk. Police confirmed Martin Hower has died from his injuries after the armed robbery this past Saturday at the Gate gas station on Merrill Road and Townsend Boulevard. Friends and family are remembering the good times they had with Hower.  “He’s a great person, every time we came in the store for coffee every morning about 4 or 4:30, he’d put a smile on our face and greet us.” Says longtime friend LaVega Blunt.  According to the incident report the new description of the suspect is believed to be a black man between 5’5” and 5’10” with medium length dreadlocks and between 20 and 28 years old. Following the confirmation of Hower’s death, Gate released this statement. “Our hearts are broken with the passing of Martin Hower, a long-term member of the GATE family. For more than 10 years, Martin has been a shining example of a dedicated and caring coworker, employee and friend. The loss is immeasurable for us and for the countess customers who have made conversations with Martin a part of their regular routines,” said John Peyton, GATE’s president. “We are mourning this tragic passing and we are in prayer for his loved ones and friends, many of whom he worked alongside every day. We continue to assist JSO in every way possible to ensure the suspect is brought to justice. ” The company says. JSO says they are investigating this incident as a homicide.
  • After we shake off a chill this morning we’re in for a pretty day with temps in the upper 60’s with a lot of sun.  Action News Jax Chief Metorologist Mike Buresh says Wednesday will be our warmest day of the week with temps into the low 70’s.  Thursday is when our next storm system arrives with rain and thunderstorms through Thursday night. “Widespread rain and even a few rumbles of thunder. 100% coverage of rainfall”, said Buresh.  A few showers will linger Friday morning before skies clear and cooler temps return.  Friday will be quite windy, too. 
  • An employee with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department is facing a simple battery charge after allegedly head-butting a man at a Clay County School, according to a Clay County Sheriff's Office arrest report.  Many of the details in the report are redacted, but it shows Jason Angeles Jimenez was taken into custody after the altercation Friday, the report says.  A Fire and Rescue Department spokesman tells CBS 47 Fox 30 Action News Jax that Jimenez, an engineer, has been with the department since 2000, and has now been placed on administrative leave.  The report says Jimenez chest bumped Tony Propes, and then asked him to step outside. Exactly what happened at that point is redacted in the report, but it goes on to show both Jimenez and 47-year-old Propes had red marks on their heads consistent with head-butting.  Propes had to be taken to a hospital with back pain after he says he was pushed into a door, according to the report. Jimenez’s age is redacted in the report.
  • The nonprofit organization Hoods For Heroes has donated $40,000 worth of specialty hoods in an effort to protect firefighters in St. Johns County from heightened exposure to cancer-causing chemicals. SJCFR says the donation will equip every one of the 330 firefighters in the county. They say the hoods serve a potentially life-saving dual purpose, by both protecting from burns and blocking carcinogens from getting to the skin of the firefighters. HFH says head and neck skin is thinner, and therefore what they want to ensure is protected from potentially absorbing cancer causing chemicals. HFH says this donation was in partnership with Cancer Specialists of North Florida. HFH and CSNF has also recently donated hoods in Clay County, and the nonprofit hopes to ultimately raise funds to equip every firefighter across the country with a hood.
  • JEA says five new solar plants will drastically increase the amount of solar power Jacksonville generates. Seven plants are already operational in the city, with work underway on an additional farm. JEA just finalized plans for five more plants – much larger than any already generating power for homes and businesses. “We think that we’ll be the top, or one of the top solar cities in the U.S. as far as solar within the city boundaries,” Steve McInall said. McInall is JEA’s director of electric production resource planning. He said the new plants will generate 50 megawatts of solar power each, supplying about 5 percent of JEA’s power needs when they’re all online.   TRENDING:  Map: Best places to see Christmas lights in the Jacksonville area Jacksonville doctor accused of recording women in bathroom will not be charged New FEMA flood maps confuse some St. Johns County area homeowners VIDEO: JSO officer injured in crash by suspected drunk driver moved to rehab Foul-mouthed parrot uses Amazon Alexa to order things while owner is away McInall said the projects will bring new construction jobs to Jacksonville, and help provide energy security for the future. He said customers won’t see a noticeable dip in their monthly bills, but the power purchase agreements for the plants will help keep solar affordable. He said JEA is also paying much less for the energy coming out of the new plants. “It’s a fixed rate, that price for the solar power is flat for 25 years. So we look at it as a hedge or a way to lock in that fuel rate for the long term,” he said. The first of the new farms is expected to come online in late 2019 with all five operational by 2021. McInall said the solar energy supply can help attract businesses with green mandates to Jacksonville and lessen our city’s impact on the environment.  
  • The Clay County Sheriff’s Office has come up with a new purpose for used uniforms. Retired employee Kit Peterson volunteers to use recycled uniforms to create teddy bears and wreaths. The items are then sold within the agency, with all proceeds going to the Clay County Police Athletic League. “Our members are really embracing this. It gives them an opportunity to show some pride in their performance and their service to the community,” Peterson tells our partner Action News Jax. The very first bear she made was given to a child of a fallen Clay County deputy. The items are only available within the agency right now, because they can’t sell or distribute the patches, but CCSO says they’re working on an option that would allow them to open this to the public.

The Latest News Headlines

  • The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is asking for your help tracking down an armed robbery suspect who they consider armed and dangerous. The suspect is 20-year-old Jebre Cook, who’s described as 5’9” and 174 lbs. Police say you should not approach him, because he is considered armed and dangerous.  JSO has not said what armed robbery incident they believe Cook is responsible for. If you know anything about Cook’s location, you’re asked to contact JSO at 911 or 904-630-0500, or JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. You can also submit an anonymous tip and be eligible for a possible $3,000 reward by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
  • The Trump administration moved Tuesday to ban bump stocks -- devices that can make semi-automatic firearms fire at a rate similar to automatic weapons -- under a federal law that also bans machine guns, Justice Department officials said in a news release. >> Read more trending news Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said authorities amended a regulation on Tuesday to include bump stocks in the definition of “machinegun” under federal law. The regulation will go into effect 90 days after it’s formally published in the Federal Register, a move expected to come Friday, according to The Associated Press. >> Read the final rule White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a news briefing Tuesday that people who have bump stocks will be required to turn the devices over to officials at field offices for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or destroy them by March 21. >> What is a bump stock, how does it work and is it legal? Hours after Whitaker announced the move, opponents of the decision said they planned to fight the change. >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Trump ban on ‘bump stocks’ to face immediate legal challenge The ban was expected after the Justice Department earlier this year proposed a rule to classify bump stocks and similar devices as prohibited under federal law. >> Trump administration expected to announce gun bump stock ban Trump issued a memorandum in the wake of February’s deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, ordering the attorney general to “propose for notice and comment a rule banning all devices that turn legal weapons into machineguns,” according to Justice Department officials. Authorities reviewed more than 186,000 public comments as part of the review process. The Justice Department opened a review of the devices in the wake of the 2017 shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas that left nearly 60 people dead. Authorities said a gunman had bump stocks equipped to several weapons on Oct. 1, 2017, when he fired on festivalgoers.
  • A 20-year-old Jacksonville man has been arrested after allegedly kidnapping a woman at gunpoint, raping her, and stealing her car. The arrest report for Billy Gaines says he first approached the victim late Sunday at a gas station on Lem Turner Road, where he put a gun to her back and told her to get in the car. JSO says they drove off, but at one point he stopped the car and raped her in the back seat, while he was still holding the gun. The victim reported that they then went to the home of a friend of Gaines, and she then told Gaines something that led him to drive her to another location, according to the arrest report. At that location, police say the victim went inside, called police, and did not come back out. Gaines allegedly fled in the victim’s vehicle. Early Sunday, a patrol Sergeant searching for the suspect saw a vehicle matching the description, while on Golfair Blvd near I-95. JSO says Gaines sped up and took evasive actions. Several marked vehicles continued to pursue him, and he was ultimately stopped in a vacant lot. Gaines allegedly fled on foot from that point, but was caught soon after. He has been arrested for armed sexual battery, kidnapping, carjacking with a firearm, fleeing law enforcement, and resisting an officer without violence.
  • Hours after the Trump Administration signaled that it would administratively move to ban ‘bump stocks,’ which allow semi-automatic weapons to be fired at a much more rapid rate, lawmakers in both parties said it was time for the Congress to enact those regulations into law, as opponents of the decision vowed to immediately challenge the President’s plan in court. “We will be filing our lawsuit very, very soon,” the Gun Owners of America said in a written statement. “After all, in the coming days, an estimated half a million bump stock owners will have the difficult decision of either destroying or surrendering their valuable property – or else risk felony prosecution,” the group added. At the White House, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that is the plan, making clear that bump stocks will be illegal as of March 21, 2019. On banning bump stocks, Sanders says people have until March 2019 to turn them in or have them destroyed. Says they fall under same guidelines as machine guns. — Dana Brown Ritter (@danabrownritter) December 18, 2018 “A 90 period now begins which persons in possession of bump stock type devices must turn those devices to an ATF field office, or destroy them by March 21,” Sanders said at the White House briefing. Justice Department officials told reporters on Tuesday that bump stocks will be administratively banned by using language from a federal law which prohibits machine guns. There was no immediate comment from the National Rifle Association on whether that group would join in legal action against bump stocks as well. In Congress, lawmakers in both parties said while the President’s step is overdue, the House and Senate should also vote to codify the bump stock ban. “This is good news, but it is just one small step toward stopping mass shootings,” said Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH). “We must do far more to prevent gun violence.” “There’s no justification for bump stocks that transform semi-automatic weapons into machine guns,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). A regulation – not a law – is finally being issued to ban bump stocks. This is welcome news. But the country shouldn’t have had to wait a year+ after Vegas to get the most basic regulation. It’s testament to how hard we’ll need to fight to get the comprehensive gun safety we need https://t.co/LgjgBcAhxv — Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) December 18, 2018 “The President seems to be more interested in making headlines than making progress,” said Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV). “We know that his proposal will likely be tied up in the courts.” 58 people were killed in Titus’ district in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017, when a gunman opened fire on an outdoor concert, using ‘bump stocks’ to allow him to shoot more ammunition more quickly, in what was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States. “Finally and should be codified,” said Rep. Carlos Cubelo (R-FL), one of the few Republicans who has called for action on bump stocks in Congress.
  • A Texas 19-year-old has been charged with killing a young mother in a violent crash Sunday night as she drove with her toddler son and her mother.  Erick Raphael Hernandez, of Pearland, was charged Monday with intoxication manslaughter in the death of 23-year-old Taylor Phillips, court records show. As of Tuesday morning, he had been released from the Harris County Jail on $30,000 bond.  >> Read more trending news ABC 13 in Houston reported that Phillips was driving an SUV with her mother and 1-year-old son inside when Hernandez crossed three lanes of traffic on a South Houston street and slammed into Phillips’ vehicle with his truck.   The entire crash was caught on a security camera outside a nearby auto repair shop, the news station said. The grainy footage, seen below, appears to show Hernandez’s truck smash into the front driver’s side of Phillips’ SUV. The impact flings debris across the roadway.  Phillips died at the scene.  Her son and 48-year-old mother were hospitalized with serious, but not life-threatening, injuries. The victims’ family told ABC 13 both have since been released to recover at home.  Phillips’ social media profile is filled with photos of her son, who celebrated his first birthday in August.   “Sometimes when I need a miracle, I look into my son’s eyes and realize I’ve already created one,” Phillips wrote on Facebook alongside a photo of her son in October. In another post, she wrote that she had waited for the love of her son her entire life and would “cherish it forever.” Phillips also often mentioned a sister, Tyré Rai Sai Phillips, on her Facebook page. According to the Houston Police Department, Tyré Phillips was an innocent bystander at a party on April 14, 2013, when multiple fights broke out, during which shots were fired.  Tyré Phillips, who was killed as she sought safety, died a week after her 19th birthday. It was not immediately clear if an arrest has ever been made in her slaying.  Court records obtained by ABC 13 indicated that Hernandez was drinking at a bar with a cousin before Sunday’s deadly crash. The legal drinking age in Texas is 21.  Hernandez, whose appears intoxicated in his mugshot, had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and was off-balance after the crash, the news station said. When questioned at the scene, Hernandez admitted he drank a few beers.  “Based on his field sobriety tests, it was a lot more than a few,” Sean Teare, a member of the Harris County District Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Unit, told The Houston Chronicle. Teare told the Chronicle that investigators had learned where Hernandez had been drinking prior to the crash. ABC 13 identified the bar as Frontera Events Venue, which is located about a mile from the crash site.  “Obviously, at 19 he shouldn’t be drinking anywhere,” Teare told the newspaper.  ABC 13 reported that the court records indicate Hernandez had been drinking since 6 p.m. Sunday but could not remember when he’d had his last drink. A fake ID and bar receipt were found in his car after the crash.  “We believe that he spent well over $100 at the bar drinking alcohol that day,” Teare told the news station.  The district attorney’s office is now investigating the bar to determine if workers there overserved Hernandez. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission records indicate Frontera, which obtained its license in October 2017, has had six complaints filed against it this year involving alcohol being in the hands of underage individuals. One of those complaints, in which a violation was not found, involved employing someone under the age of 18 to sell or handle alcohol. The remaining five complaints dealt with selling or serving alcohol to minors and serving alcohol to someone already intoxicated. Three of the five complaints were substantiated, the records show. One of the three substantiated claims also included the sale of drugs by the licensee.  Teare told ABC 13 that Frontera’s owner and employees could face charges related to the fatal crash.  “If an establishment, if a server sees somebody who is intoxicated, they’ve got to stop serving,” Teare said. “They’ve got to take steps to ensure that person doesn’t leave their establishment and kill people.” The district attorney’s office is also considering action to shut the bar’s doors for good.  “I just know that a 19-year-old individual came out of that establishment highly intoxicated and moments later took a 23-year-old's life,” Teare told ABC 13. “That shouldn’t happen. Someone in addition to that 19-year-old is going to have to answer for that.”

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