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Local News

  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said its officers are working a report of a person shot at the 1300 block of W. Ellis Trace Drive. The Sheriff's Office said a man was shot in the arm and that he is expected to be okay.  The Sheriff's Office said it does not have any suspect information at this time.  #JSO is working a person shot on W. Ellis Trace Drive in the Lakeshore area. — Jax Sheriff's Office (@JSOPIO) August 17, 2019 BREAKING: #JSO is investigating a shooting off Ellis Trace Drive West. @ActionNewsJax is working to get info. We will have updates on FOX30 and CBS47. pic.twitter.com/sX1QjQTcJV — Tenikka Smith Hughes (@TenikkaANjax) August 17, 2019 TRENDING:   JSO dive team at a retention pond off Philips Highway I-95 closed for hours after incidents in Jacksonville leads to stolen police SUV, high speed chase Jacksonville teacher removed from classroom over Pledge of Allegiance message to students Jeffrey Epstein autopsy finds broken bones in his neck, report says Baby left in hot car outside Arizona Target as temperatures hit 112 degrees, police say One-of-a-kind indoor sports facility planned for St. Johns County​​​​​​​ STAY UPDATED: Download the Action News Jax app for live updates on this breaking story
  • Just a month after City of St. Augustine Beach leaders passed bans on the sale and distribution of plastic straws, plastic bags, and Styrofoam, it all may need to be rolled back. That's as a Florida appeals court has struck down a similar ordinance in Coral Gables. The court found that their ban violated a state law that stops local governments from regulating Styrofoam.  Attorney Jane West, who pushed for the St. Augustine Beach bans, tells our partner Action News Jax, that after the city passed the measures, they received a letter from the Florida Retail Federation threatening to sue.  'Now that they're armed with this very strong opinion in their favor, the city can't take the legal risk of getting sued and then having to pay all the attorney's fees in defending what is probably going to be a losing case,' says West.  She and other residents believe it'll likely be up to families and local businesses to cut down on their use of these materials on their own. The ban was set to take effect on January 1st, 2020. St. Augustine Beach Mayor Undine George released the following statement about this court decision: “I don’t believe the appellate decision reflects the majority opinion of Fl communities. Even our governor has expressed strong support for local communities’ right to regulate Styrofoam and single use plastics; we are the ones who see and feel their impact. Hopefully, local businesses will listen to the voice of the people and transition away from Styrofoam and single use plastics. Consumers want to patronize businesses who share their desire to protect our environment from harmful pollutants.”
  • Raul Sanchez and his wife, Julie, have been coming to St. Augustine for 20 years. He said he's noticed an uptick in visitors. 'From the time I first started coming, it was a little more quaint but it still has that feel, I think - just a little more congested,' he said. Construction crews are busy at the corner of Castillo and San Marco Ave near downtown St. Augustine. A new Renaissance hotel is going in. On CBS47 at 5:55: The record number of guests staying in St. Augustine, and when the hotel will start welcoming families @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/PdbAOTomhz — Brittney Donovan (@brittneyANjax) August 16, 2019 The St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors & Convention Bureau said 5.3 million people visited the Ancient City in 2014. That number grew to 6.7 million in 2016, the latest number available. The boost means there is more demand for places to stay.  Construction crews are busy at the corner of Castillo Drive and San Marco Avenue, where a new Renaissance Hotel is being built. It will feature 89 rooms, a banquet hall, a restaurant, and an upscale bar and a parking garage. TRENDING:   JSO dive team at a retention pond off Philips Highway I-95 closed for hours after incidents in Jacksonville leads to stolen police SUV, high speed chase Jacksonville teacher removed from classroom over Pledge of Allegiance message to students Jeffrey Epstein autopsy finds broken bones in his neck, report says Baby left in hot car outside Arizona Target as temperatures hit 112 degrees, police say One-of-a-kind indoor sports facility planned for St. Johns County​​​​​​​ Troy Blevins, the director of developments for Jalaram Hotels, said the architect behind the historic design, Jerry Dixon, died a few weeks ago. 'We're talking a decade of going back and forth with the city and design,' Blevins said. 'He did an amazing job of researching all the hotels that are no longer here and implemented three of the main hotels that burned down in the late 1800s, early 1900s. The Visitors Bureau said the Renaissance is the 10th new hotel to come to the area since 2010. That includes three in the city of St. Augustine, two in Vilano Beach, one on St. Augustine Beach and four along I-95 at State Road 16 and County Road 208.  That doesn't include growth in alternative accommodations including Airbnb rentals. The Visitors Bureau said St. Augustine hotels and accommodations have hosted more visitors in  2018 and so far in 2019 than in any previous year.  The Renaissance is expected to be finished in July 2020. STAY UPDATED: Download the Action News Jax app for live updates on this breaking story
  • The Clay County Sheriff’s Office will honor a fallen deputy next week with a wreath-laying ceremony. Monday is the one-year anniversary of a crash involving Deputy Ben Zirbel, who died two days later in the hospital. The Sheriff’s Office says he is remembered as a fun-loving man who was always willing to help others. “Ben’s crash was a very tragic, very hurtful event with us,” says Deputy Jimmy Stalnaker. Stalnaker works in the Sheriff's Office motor unit, the same unit that Zirbel was a part of. He says the anniversary of Zirbel’s death is a reminder to everyone in the area that two seconds can change someone’s life forever. “He was one of our guys,” Zirbel says. “We’ve always said we’re a close-knit family, but when you work with somebody every day, that’s even closer.” The driver of the vehicle that drove into Zirbel’s path was cited this week for failing to yield to oncoming traffic or a vehicle passing on the left when making a left turn, according to court records. The ceremony will be an intimate occasion attended by members of the Sheriff’s Office and Zirbel’s family.
  • The Jacksonville Beach Police Department is turning to the community for any information after a man was fatally shot outside his home. Police have now identified the victim as 28-year-old Jake Hall. Neighbors tell us he was a father of three kids.  Investigators say at this time, there's no clear motive or any information on a possible suspect. That's why they're asking neighbors within a 6 block radius of 17th Avenue North and 2nd Street North to check their doorbell cameras and security cameras for anything that might be of interest to police. They say the shooting happened around 9:40 PM, Thursday evening.  The police department says shootings for the community are rare. According to their stats, the last shooting was in August 2018.
  • The push for a new tax to fix Clay County schools has been delayed. A judge ruled Thursday evening  in favor of county commissioners to postpone the vote for a half cent sales tax on the November ballot. “Through this whole thing, the children are the ones that lose in the end,” Clay County School Board member Janice Kerekes said. “We all lose and especially the children.” CONTENT CONTINUES BELOW:  TRENDING:   JSO dive team at a retention pond off Philips Highway I-95 closed for hours after incidents in Jacksonville leads to stolen police SUV, high speed chase Jacksonville teacher removed from classroom over Pledge of Allegiance message to students Jeffrey Epstein autopsy finds broken bones in his neck, report says Baby left in hot car outside Arizona Target as temperatures hit 112 degrees, police say One-of-a-kind indoor sports facility planned for St. Johns County​​​​​​​ The district gave Action News Jax several pictures of its aging buildings. The pictures show rusting lockers, water fountains and air-conditioning units, as well as the need for structural repairs. The district said they need approximately $318 million for repairs and renovations and $300 million to build new school buildings. In June, Action News Jax reported the Clay County School Board voted in favor of placing a half cent sales tax on the November ballot to fund the repairs. However, county commissioners denied it and said it needs more work. The school board then filed a lawsuit. RELATED: Continuing coverage: No date set for half-cent sales tax on ballot | Clay County half cent sales tax: Judge expected to rule on resolution Friday | Judge gives Clay County commissioners a week to explain half-cent sales tax denial A judge made the deciding vote Thursday evening, ruling in favor of the county commissioners. As a result, the half cent sale tax will not go on the November ballot. “I’m so extremely disappointed in our county commissioners,” Kerekes said. “It’s about our children, at the end of the day we’re doing what’s right for our children.” Kerekes said it is likely the school board will make an appeal. Action News Jax reached out to the board’s attorney to learn when it might be filed and waiting to hear back. STAY UPDATED: Download the Action News Jax app for live updates on this breaking story
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has released an extremely clear surveillance photo of two armed robbery suspects that they're working to identify. Police say they're accused of robbing the Circle K on St. Johns Bluff Road, Thursday night, just before 11:00 PM. Police are asking anyone with information about either suspect to contact the sheriff's office at (904) 630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-8477.
  • It's an exciting day for the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park! The zoo held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for their new sloth exhibit. WOKV told you back in July, when the zoo brought in two Hoffman’s two-toed sloths named Teddy and Grizzly.  The zoo says the exhibit is part of the rainforest habitat as guests walk into the ‘Land of the Crocodiles.’ Despite sloths typically being solitary, the zoo has said Teddy and Grizzly share a strong bond.
  • A former Yulee High School student, Triston Cook, 18, faces serious charges after he was accused of sending threatening texts to a teenage girl. CONTENT CONTINUES BELOW:  TRENDING:   JSO dive team at a retention pond off Philips Highway I-95 closed for hours after incidents in Jacksonville leads to stolen police SUV, high speed chase Jacksonville teacher removed from classroom over Pledge of Allegiance message to students Jeffrey Epstein autopsy finds broken bones in his neck, report says Baby left in hot car outside Arizona Target as temperatures hit 112 degrees, police say One-of-a-kind indoor sports facility planned for St. Johns County​​​​​​​ One text read, 'I got a 12 gauge slug with your brains name written all over it.' The message thread then goes on to say, 'I know where your house is, don't make me have someone pay you a visit.' Allie Threlkeld and her friend Ameera Yousef are college students. “You have to be careful,” Threlkeld said. Threlkeld and Yousef both agree threats should not be taken lightly. RELATED: Teen arrested again on suspicion of making threat toward Interlachen High School | Florida man committed after threatening attack on school | 'Don't go to Walmart next week': Florida man arrested for making threat, officials say “There are two sides to every story, but you can’t expect to threaten someone and get away with it,”  Threlkeld added. “There was something wrong with him, obviously. He has some mental issues and anger issues that need to be addressed. Hopefully he gets the help that he needs,” Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said. Leeper says even if it’s a joke, his deputies investigate each and every threat as potentially credible. “When you send it out in the technology atmosphere, someone will capture it and it will come back to haunt you,” Leeper explained. Nassau County Schools stood with Leeper to reiterate the message that all threats are taken seriously. “Better to be safe than sorry, than going to bed scared every night that he is going to do that, and I know it gives parents a peace of mind,” said Threlkeld. Leeper said Cook asked for a lawyer after police questioned him about the threatening texts. Cook is facing charges of making written threats to kill or do bodily injury and disturbing the peace of a school campus. Leeper said a risk protection order is something Nassau County Sheriff's Office is looking into, but it is up to the judge to decide if one needs to be issued in this case. The full transcript of the threatening text message is below. Beware, the text is graphic and may be disturbing to some readers. WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT 'Hey dumb b**** next time you wanna do some stupid s*** like you did today just remember that I got a .12 gauge slug with your brains name written all over it. Get the f*** out of her life, nobody gives a f*** ab you go make up another sexual assault story you stupid b****. Grow the f*** up. You're f****** r******* an nobody even likes you.' 'It ain't a f***** joke. I know where your house is don't make me have someone pay you a visit.

The Latest News Headlines

  • Just a month after City of St. Augustine Beach leaders passed bans on the sale and distribution of plastic straws, plastic bags, and Styrofoam, it all may need to be rolled back. That's as a Florida appeals court has struck down a similar ordinance in Coral Gables. The court found that their ban violated a state law that stops local governments from regulating Styrofoam.  Attorney Jane West, who pushed for the St. Augustine Beach bans, tells our partner Action News Jax, that after the city passed the measures, they received a letter from the Florida Retail Federation threatening to sue.  'Now that they're armed with this very strong opinion in their favor, the city can't take the legal risk of getting sued and then having to pay all the attorney's fees in defending what is probably going to be a losing case,' says West.  She and other residents believe it'll likely be up to families and local businesses to cut down on their use of these materials on their own. The ban was set to take effect on January 1st, 2020. St. Augustine Beach Mayor Undine George released the following statement about this court decision: “I don’t believe the appellate decision reflects the majority opinion of Fl communities. Even our governor has expressed strong support for local communities’ right to regulate Styrofoam and single use plastics; we are the ones who see and feel their impact. Hopefully, local businesses will listen to the voice of the people and transition away from Styrofoam and single use plastics. Consumers want to patronize businesses who share their desire to protect our environment from harmful pollutants.”
  • The Jacksonville Beach Police Department is turning to the community for any information after a man was fatally shot outside his home. Police have now identified the victim as 28-year-old Jake Hall. Neighbors tell us he was a father of three kids.  Investigators say at this time, there's no clear motive or any information on a possible suspect. That's why they're asking neighbors within a 6 block radius of 17th Avenue North and 2nd Street North to check their doorbell cameras and security cameras for anything that might be of interest to police. They say the shooting happened around 9:40 PM, Thursday evening.  The police department says shootings for the community are rare. According to their stats, the last shooting was in August 2018.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has released an extremely clear surveillance photo of two armed robbery suspects that they're working to identify. Police say they're accused of robbing the Circle K on St. Johns Bluff Road, Thursday night, just before 11:00 PM. Police are asking anyone with information about either suspect to contact the sheriff's office at (904) 630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-8477.
  • The plane that crashed in Tennessee on Thursday while carrying retired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., his family and two pilots bounced at least twice before stopping and catching fire, according to investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board. >> Read more trending news  Officials said the incident happened as the Cessna Citation was landing at Elizabethton Municipal Airport at 3:40 p.m. An NBC Sports spokesperson said in a statement that Earnhardt, his wife Amy, his 15-month-old daughter Isla and two pilots were safe after the crash.  Update 2:35 p.m. EDT Aug. 16: Investigators will spend at least two days collecting evidence from the scene of the crash, Ralph Hicks, a senior investigator with NTSB, told reporters Friday. Authorities have reviewed surveillance footage from near the crash site which showed the plane bounced at least twice before coming down hard on one of the landing gears, Hicks said. 'You can actually see the right main landing gear collapsing in the video,' he said. 'The airplane continued down the runway off to the end, through a fence, and it came to stop ... on Highway 91.' Hicks said the crash site was about 1,000 feet past the end of the runway. The plane had taken off about 20 minutes before the crash from Statesville, North Carolina, Hicks said. The aircraft was not equipped with a data recorder, though Hicks said other instruments recorded some data. Officials are also analyzing a cockpit voice recorder. Authorities continue to investigate the cause of the crash. Update 2 p.m. EDT Aug. 16: Authorities are providing an update Friday on the investigation into Thursday's plane crash. Update 1:50 p.m. EDT Aug. 16: Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said no injuries were reported as a result of the crash, although the Cessna 680A aircraft was destroyed. The Earnhardt family and the pilots were the only passengers listed on board when the crash happened. Authorities are expected to provide more updates on the incident at 2 p.m. news conference Friday. Update 11:50 a.m. EDT Aug. 16: Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board are scheduled to hold news conference Friday afternoon to update the public on the investigation into Thursday's crash.  Update 9:25 a.m. EDT Aug. 16: Earnhardt's sister, Kelley Earnhardt Miller, thanked God, supporters and medical staff early Friday in a Twitter post after Earnhardt and his family survived a fiery plane crash in Tennessee. 'Finally laying down for the night and want to say thank you to God, the angels among us, our pilots, first responders, medical staff, our NASCAR family and everyone that has reached out in whatever way to support us all,' Earnhardt Miller wrote in a post around 12:30 a.m. Friday. A nurse who witnessed the crash told WSOC-TV her instincts kicked in Thursday when she saw the jet skid off the runway. '(The) first thing that went through my mind was, 'Lord, I hope there was nobody in the plane that's still in the plane,' because it was completely engulfed,' she told WSOC-TV. She added that as she tried to help, the plane, it was smoking out the back and then, all of a sudden, it caught on fire.' An NBC Sports spokesperson said Thursday that Earnhardt was taken to a hospital but released a short while later. Authorities are investigating the cause of the accident. Update 9 a.m. Aug. 16: Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board were in Elizabethton on Friday morning, WJHL reported. Agency officials said Thursday that two NTSB officials were being sent to investigate the incident. Federal Aviation Administration officials were also expected to be on the scene Friday, WJHL reported. Original report: Retired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his wife Amy Reimann were aboard a private jet when it crashed at the Elizabethton Airport, in Tennessee.  Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford told WJHL that Dale Earnhardt Jr. was taken to an area hospital and his injuries are described as cuts and abrasions.  Lunceford also said that his wife and child were onboard as well as the family dog. The pilot and one other passenger was also onboard. Earnhardt Jr. sister, Kelley, tweeted that everyone involved survived the crash. 'We're incredibly grateful that Dale, his wife Amy, daughter Isla, and the two pilots are safe following today's accident,' NBC Sports said in a statement. 'After being discharged from the hospital, we communicated with Dale and his team, and we're all in agreement that he should take this weekend off to be with his family. 'We look forward to having him back in the booth next month at Darlington.' According to WJHL, emergency crews responded to the crash involving the Cessna Citation Latitude business jet that ran off the end of the runway Thursday afternoon. It's not clear if the plane was departing or arriving. Earnhardt retired as a full-time racer in 2017 and has been working as an analyst for NBC. He is part of the scheduled broadcast team for Saturday night's Cup Series event in Bristol, Tennessee.The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • It's an exciting day for the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park! The zoo held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for their new sloth exhibit. WOKV told you back in July, when the zoo brought in two Hoffman’s two-toed sloths named Teddy and Grizzly.  The zoo says the exhibit is part of the rainforest habitat as guests walk into the ‘Land of the Crocodiles.’ Despite sloths typically being solitary, the zoo has said Teddy and Grizzly share a strong bond.

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