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Local News

    A man has been arrested for causing a crash that killed a local father in September 2018.  Florida Highway Patrol and Nassau County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested 32-year-old Brian Holtkamp on Friday.  Troopers posted a photo of Holtkamp as he was put into a the back of a patrol car.  He’s charged with DUI manslaughter. FHP says Holtkamp was driving north on U.S. 17 north of Bruney Road in Yulee, when he drove into the other lane and collided head-on with another vehicle.The passenger in that car, 37-year-old Justin Cribb, died. He left behind a 13-year-old son.  Cribb’s mother told Action News Jax his family misses him terribly.  The driver was seriously hurt in the crash.   According to FHP, Holtkamp tested positive for drugs, including meth. Action News Jax confirmed that he has prior arrests for charges including driving under the influence, burglary and grand theft.
  • With chilly temperatures this morning in the 30’s, inland communities are under a freeze warning until 10 am.   Action News Jax Meteorologist Corey Simma says temperatures this afternoon only climb to the upper 40's to near 50 degrees. And it will be breezy so it feels colder. Expect a widespread freeze on Wednesday morning, and a hard freeze well inland, with another day in the 50's. Then a gradual warming trend will arrive to end the week.  Friday’s high temperature will be in the low 70’s but with widely scattered afternoon showers.
  • With election season ramping up across the country, local election officials are happy to see a new change in federal policy. The FBI announced last week that the agency is working toward a commitment to notify state officials if election systems have been breached. Chris Chambless is the supervisor of elections in Clay County, but he’s also part of the Government Coordinating Council for the Election Infrastructure Subsector. He says that was created to set up policy in case there’s a cyber security issue in regards to elections. “Really it’s about notification and how to recover from an incident,” Chambless says. He says looking back at the 2016 election and how certain government entities were kept in the dark about certain threats, it’s a good thing that the federal government is taking steps in the right direction. “All of the sate, local, tribal territory entities will be able to, hopefully, make use of that information sooner rather than later,” Chambless says. He says election officials across the state have been in touch with various agencies and departments to come up with a solution for keeping information private as electronic hacking has become more prevalent. All those government entities are well aware of the threat right now, Chambless says. “We are focused on coming together as a community to strengthen and to make our systems more resilient to this type of attack,” he says. The threat is out there, but Chambless says the new policy changes at the federal level aren’t related to any specific threat. He says it’s a good thing that the government is being proactive before another situation comes up. “I think it’s important for everyone to realize tabulation systems are never connected to the internet,” Chambless says. He says Florida is a paper-based state, and that protects a lot of information from cyber activity. The federal policy change simply means more people will be aware when something happens, and the systems are in place to address a problem if needed.
  • UPDATE: The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says Nathan Garmany has been found safe. They’re thanking everyone for their help. ORIGINAL STORY: The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is asking for the community's help finding 17-year-old Nathan Garmany.  Police say he was reported missing by family members after walking off during Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. Parade in downtown Jacksonville. We're told that he was last seen near the intersection of Church and Pearl Streets.  Police say Garmany has Autism and due to the circumstances involved, they're asking you to come forward if you've seen him.  He's described as a black male, 5'5'' tall and weighing 90 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair. He was last seen wearing a brown leather jacket, dark jeans, a tan hat, and red/black shoes.  If you've seen him or know where he is, you're asked to call the sheriff's office at (904) 630-0500.
  • The original party bike is wheeling its way to Jacksonville, giving Action News Jax an inside look at operations ahead of the soft launch. Talk about designated drivers: Pedal Pub offers a 16-passenger ride as a mobile bar during its tour of different bars or breweries.  Their policy is B.Y.O.B., meaning bring your own booze. Passengers must bring their own alcohol, as long as it’s already sealed. They can not bring open containers onto the bike or from another bar. It must be opened and enjoyed on the bike.  “You can bring beer, wine, hard seltzer, you just can’t bring glass,” Theresa Pontieri said. “Other than that, it’s whatever your drink of choice is really.'  Pontieri is the co-founder and owner of Pedal Pub Jacksonville. She and her partner, a Jacksonville native, said they want to be involved in the revitalization of Downtown.  “We’ve all been in Florida for a really long time and we thought with all the growth and all of the businesses trying to really put Jacksonville on the map, this will be a perfect place for it,” Pontieri said.  They will have three tours: a Springfield Brewery Tour, a Downtown Jacksonville District tour and Riverside tour. Once football season begins, they said they will also have a tailgate tour.  Each tour is two hours long, with a couple stops at bars or breweries in the neighborhood. Passengers are given a Pedal Pub wristband to get discounted drinks. However, drinks cannot leave the bar.  According to a City of Jacksonville ordinance, open container restrictions on alcoholic beverages contained in Sections 154.107 and 154.108 are waived during Entertainment District Activity Periods. This allows people to have an open container during selected sporting events and tailgates, along with festivals.  Because the Pedal Pub is not considered an automobile, Pontieri said they have reached an agreement with the city.  “We’ve been working really closely with the City of Jacksonville to get around the open container issues,” Pontieri said. “They have been awesome working with us. So we have a special agreement with them. So riders can drink when they’re on our bikes.”  In other major cities, other drivers have run into these bikes and injured passengers. Therefore, each driver and tour guide must complete a driving certification program. They said each passenger must also agree to a set of rules for their safety ahead of the tour.  The soft launch is scheduled for February 1. Find more information here: https://www.pedalpub.com/jacksonville-fl/
  • Former University of Florida and NFL quarterback Tim Tebow married Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters in South Africa, the couple confirmed to People magazine. Tebow, 32, became the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy when he captured college football’s most prestigious honor in 2007. He married his 24-year-old fiancee, a native of South Africa who was crowned Miss Universe in 2017, in Cape Town, the magazine reported. “I’ve been waiting my entire life for someone special, who I can spend the rest of my life with,' Tebow, who grew up in the Jacksonville, Florida, area, told People. 'I was waiting for the right person to come along. And now I’m marrying Demi. I can’t wait to see what our future holds. All of my dreams have come true. It was 100 percent worth the wait.” Tebow helped the Gators win NCAA national titles during the 2006 and 2008 seasons. He played three seasons in the NFL and also played minor league baseball in the New York Mets organization.
  • Dozens of volunteers were hard at work with paint rollers Monday. They were transforming families’ homes on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Some were students -- while others were members of the community who heard about the project and wanted to help.  “This is going to make our neighborhood shine and brighten it up,” Doretha Tompkins said.  Tompkins has lived in the Riverview community in Northwest Jacksonville for 33 years. She said her home and many others on 4th Avenue really needed the help.  “All of the people we chose and selected are senior citizens,” she said. “They’re on fixed incomes and they could not afford to get their homes painted.”  AmeriCorps members were among up to 50 volunteers who transformed eight homes in the neighborhood.  The Northwest Jacksonville CDC was one group behind the project. Riverview is one of 19 neighborhoods they focus on.  “When neighborhoods start tipping, if we don’t fix up the homes that are here, it kind of feeds the decline,” Paul Tutwiler said. “Those homes that we’re not doing, we expect the other homeowners to start fixing up themselves.”  Volunteer Jaiden Sessions, a Paxon High School senior, said Martin Luther King Jr. Day was the perfect time to give back.  “We are celebrating the life of someone who influenced a lot of people to come together -- of different races, different ages, different generations,” she said.  Tompkins said it’s a blessing that will inspire their community for years to come.  “I can’t find enough adjectives to express in words how much this means to us,” she said. “It just falls right in to the things Martin Luther King believed in. Helping others, caring about other people and to make all of us equal.”
  • Jacksonville City Council President Scott Wilson is announcing the creation of a new special council committee to investigate JEA and the attempted sale.  'There are still many questions to be asked, information that must be learned. The public has a right to know exactly what happened, why it happened, how it happened, and who was involved. That is why I am forming a special council committee to investigate every aspect, turn over every rock, look behind every curtain, and bring all that we do not know and what we deserve to know into daylight for everyone to see,' says Wilson.  The special council committee will be made up of three council members: Rory Diamond, Priestly Jackson, and Randy DeFoor. Wilson says Diamond will chair this committee.  'Let me make something else very clear, we will uncover and hold accountable anybody who had anything to do with trying to take advantage of our city and the JEA ratepayers, whether it's lobbyists, investment bankers, lawyers, bankers, or employees. We will fight to recover the loss of wasted money and repair the damage this has done to our reputation and the community's trust. For any senior executive found to have been involved in wrongdoing, we will urge immediate termination, for cause,' says Wilson.  He says the mission of this committee is a public report.  Wilson is hopeful the committee will be able to put together a report within 90 to 120 days, but committee chair Diamond is already expressing concerns with the timeline.  The first meeting will come in the next two weeks. Following Wilson’s announcement, JEA released the following statement: We appreciate City Council President Wilson’s decision to move forward with the investigation and JEA looks forward to working side-by-side with him and his colleagues to provide any and all information pertinent to their review. Additionally, Interim CEO Melissa Dykes will be adding a discussion item to the JEA Board meeting agenda next Tuesday, January 28th that will seek to ensure that any future conversation concerning structural changes in the operations of JEA which require legislative consideration, are done in cooperation with the City Council and community. We are looking to set a course where JEA leaders work collaboratively with the City Council and Administration. CEO Dykes has already said there will not be any privatization effort during her tenure but requiring future JEA leaders to work step-by-step with the City Council, Administration and community stakeholders will be another measure to increase transparency. Additionally, CEO Dykes will be holding town hall meetings in every City Council district in the coming weeks to seek community input and rebuild community trust through open public meetings. WATCH: Jacksonville City Council President Scott Wilson announces creation of special council committee to investigate JEA and the attempted sale
  • The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department rescued a man that was stuck in a tree in Atlantic Beach Sunday afternoon.  Video taken from the scene shows a ladder truck ascending into a large oak tree.   JFRD tweeted that the man was rescued from the tree safely and was taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
  • As many as six people were shot in a violent weekend across Jacksonville. And the common thing in all these cases, no arrests. Two of the shootings happened within a block of each other on Justina Road in Arlington.  A man was sitting at a bus stop by when he was shot by someone in a red SUV on Saturday afternoon.  Hours later a person was shot nearby and hospitalized with injuries.  Late Sunday night a man was shot in the leg on Old Kings near Edgewood. The man was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.  On Friday night two men in their 20's were injured in a shooting off Kings Road on the northwest side.  One man was hit in the lower leg and the other was struck in the upper torso. Both were taken to a local hospital for treatment.  JSO says the shooting happened in a Shot Spotter area, and the technology system captured three gunshots.  On Friday around 8pm, a man in his 30’s was shot and killed on Brooklyn Road in the Moncrief area. JSO detectives were trying to locate any witnesses or video surveillance. 

The Latest News Headlines

  • The Lake City Police Department in Florida is asking for the public’s help in locating Kellie Woofe, 13. Kellie was last seen running west on Faith Road near the Bascom Norris intersection on Monday. Police said her grandfather reported her missing. After an argument that happened in his car, he told police Kellie got out of the car while they were in the Interface parking lot and ran off. LCPD said she was wearing a black jacket and ripped blue jeans. If you see her, you are asked to call police at 386-752-4343 or call 911. Kellie is 5 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds. She has red hair and blue eyes.
  • Search crews have found the body of a Montana teen who vanished on New Year’s Day, deputies said. According to USA Today, 16-year-old Selena Not Afraid was found dead near an Interstate 90 rest area Monday morning, weeks after she disappeared while traveling from Billings to Hardin after a New Year’s Eve party. Investigators do not suspect foul play, the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office said. In an FBI notice, authorities said the girl “left a disabled vehicle and walked into a field adjacent to the rest area” about 2 p.m. Jan. 1. She was “not dressed for the weather conditions,” authorities said. Not Afraid’s disappearance sparked a multiagency search involving hundreds of people, the Billings Gazette reported. Read more here or here.
  • Officials have euthanized a mountain lion that attacked a toddler on a trail at a California park, Orange County officials said. According to CNN and the Desert Sun, the attack happened after 4 p.m. local time Monday as a family visited Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. “The mountain lion came out of somewhere and grabbed the 3-year-old by the neck and dragged him a short distance,” Capt. Tony Bommarito of the Orange County Fire Authority told the Desert Sun. The child’s father then sprang into action, hurling a backpack at the mountain lion, Bommarito said. The animal set the boy free and went for the backpack before climbing a tree, the outlets reported. After the family fled to safety, the boy was treated at a hospital, authorities said. Orange County deputies said the boy is “OK,” the Desert Sun reported. Officials euthanized the cougar with permission from the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, the outlets reported. Read more here or here.
  • A man has been arrested for causing a crash that killed a local father in September 2018.  Florida Highway Patrol and Nassau County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested 32-year-old Brian Holtkamp on Friday.  Troopers posted a photo of Holtkamp as he was put into a the back of a patrol car.  He’s charged with DUI manslaughter. FHP says Holtkamp was driving north on U.S. 17 north of Bruney Road in Yulee, when he drove into the other lane and collided head-on with another vehicle.The passenger in that car, 37-year-old Justin Cribb, died. He left behind a 13-year-old son.  Cribb’s mother told Action News Jax his family misses him terribly.  The driver was seriously hurt in the crash.   According to FHP, Holtkamp tested positive for drugs, including meth. Action News Jax confirmed that he has prior arrests for charges including driving under the influence, burglary and grand theft.
  • With chilly temperatures this morning in the 30’s, inland communities are under a freeze warning until 10 am.   Action News Jax Meteorologist Corey Simma says temperatures this afternoon only climb to the upper 40's to near 50 degrees. And it will be breezy so it feels colder. Expect a widespread freeze on Wednesday morning, and a hard freeze well inland, with another day in the 50's. Then a gradual warming trend will arrive to end the week.  Friday’s high temperature will be in the low 70’s but with widely scattered afternoon showers.

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