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Latest from Rich Jones

    It’s a less active morning overall but NE Florida will once again see showers and thunderstorms today.  Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says heavy showers and thunderstorms will develop by midday and into the afternoon.  “Much more numerous through the afternoon so that most if not all areas see at least some more rain today”,  Buresh said.  PODCAST:  Mike Buresh provides the story behind the weather trends Expect the wet pattern to continue through the rest of the week and upcoming weekend.  “And additional 1 to 3 inches through Sunday and there will likely be some spots that will see more than that, bringing the six to seven day total anywhere from 5-10 inches in many many neighborhoods”.  We average just over 2 inches of rain during the month of May so it’s safe to say many neighborhoods will see a month’s worth of rain in just over a week. 
  • A Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer has died in a morning crash on the I-295 East Beltway and Alta Drive.  The officer was responding to a vehicle crash around 4:30 a.m. when the officer crashed into a tree line.  “Weather was probably a factor but that is under investigation”, said Sheriff Mike Williams.  The officer’s name has not been released by the Sheriff’s Office until family members are contacted.  The officer worked a Midnight shift.    “It’s a tough day for JSO and for the city”, Sheriff Williams said.  “It doesn’t get any more real than this”.  A Florida Highway Patrol Trooper had already been on scene investigating a crash and witnessed the crash involving the Officer.  FHP Sgt. Dylan Bryan tells WOKV News that rain was heavy in the area and likely played a role in the crash.  Today is Peace Officers Memorial Day, first established in 1962, to pay special recognition to law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.   Sheriff Williams said there is a JSO Honor Guard in Washington D.C. for Police Memorial Day observances.  
  • Expect times of heavy rain again today as we continue to feel tropical moisture in NE Florida.  Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says rain will be heavy at times today, then will shift more to afternoon and early evening hours Wednesday through Friday.  “We’ll see the entire area getting anywhere from one to three inches, locally more, by Friday night”, Buresh said.   We’ve already had more than one inch of rain in Clay and St. Johns County after a stretch of nearly three weeks without measurable rain.  Morning showers will lift north through the area, then more rain for the afternoon.  “With just enough heating we should manage to get some rumbles of thunder this afternoon and that’ll enhance the rainfall rates so use extra care”, Buresh said.  PODCAST:  Listen to Mike Buresh describe rainfall potential day-by-day As for a low pressure system over the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, Buresh says it is not likely to turn tropical.  And if it does, he says it will not change the local forecast.   “We have this broad fetch of southerly winds bringing in tropical air and on and off showers and storms weather or not that system were to develop”, Buresh said.  The low pressure area developed near the Dry Tortugas and is moving north-northwest.  It’s expected to move toward the Gulf Coast anywhere from Biloxi to the Florida Panhandle. 
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is investigating a crash with multiple injuries that happened in Arlington.  Police responded to the Arlington Expressway and Century Street just after 7 p.m. Sunday.  The vehicle was traveling northbound on Century when it hit a curb, jumped the grass median and hit a wall.  Police say the car was stolen around 3 p.m. Sunday from the Century 21 area off Atlantic Boulevard.  At least four people, two men and two women, were inside the car when police arrived on scene.   One person was detained. Police were working to determine who was driving.
  • Two people are hospitalized following a stabbing in the Lakeshore area and their father has turned himself in after police say he set the house on fire.  Jacksonville Fire Rescue was called to the home on Shirley Ave. between Cassat Ave. and Lake Shore Blvd.   According to police, a 29-year-old man heard his older sister screaming in a bedroom.  “He goes in there to investigate and saw the father was stabbing her”, said Lt. Evander Collier with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.  The son tried to intervene when he was stabbed.  Both victims were able to flee the home with three small children.  “The father stayed back, set the house on fire and he fled to a couple blocks away where he called police and turned himself in”, Collier said.  Police say the father was covered in blood and had superficial injuries.  The man didn’t tell police what motivated the attack.  Both victims were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.  DCF is working to take temporary custody of the three small children. 
  • Say goodbye to the dry heat of recent weeks.  After 20 consecutive days with no measurable rain we’re finally seeing a wet pattern change. Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says the roads will be slick from oily residue since we've been so dry. “A little bit slick out there, even some ponding of water at times and localized minor flooding due to the heavy rainfall today through Tuesday. Rainfall totals are expected to average one to three inches but may even be more than that, four or five inches in some spots before the week is over with”, said Buresh.   PODCAST:  Mike Buresh tracks rain, humid week of weather Rain coverage will be 100% this week and temperatures will stay in the 80’s and high humidity.   
  • With dry, hot weather and the biggest names in golf in the field, THE PLAYERS officials anticipate a record crowd at TPC Sawgrass this weekend.  “We’re anticipating record crowds. We’ve got a great leaderboard, we’ve got great weather.  with the leaderboard that panned out yesterday I think we’re going to have some pretty exciting stuff over the weekend, said Matt Rapp, Vice President of Business Development for the PGA Tour. MORE:  WHERE TO PARK, RIDE SHARE INFO THE PLAYERS Executive Director Jared Rice says general parking is already sold out for Friday and Saturday, but tickets are still available to purchase.  “This is a great opportunity to meet a friend, or make a new one if you find someone with a pass and hop in their car”, Rice said.  The 2017 tournament raised $8.7 million for local charities, and Rice is hopeful that the expected record crowd will also translate into another record haul for charities.  “With more engagement and more support we’re able to benefit worthy charities and improve lives of many here in NE Florida. When the dust settles I’ hopeful that we’ll beat last year’s number”, Rice said.  A few weeks ago, THE PLAYERS presented Nemours Children’s Specialty Care with a $500,000 check for its fundraising campaign.  
  • St. Johns County Deputies are trying to identify a woman who took a walker from the State Road 207 Flea Market.  An 85-year-old Korean War veteran says his walker was taken on Sunday, April 29th while he was in the restroom.  It was initially reported as stolen by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s office.  Deputies now say it’s unclear if the woman pictured wearing a black shirt intentionally took the walker, or if she thought it was free as it was near an area that was marked “free stuff”. According to the police report, Jim Arce went to the restroom and placed the walker out in front of his booth.   A friend has given Arce a replacement, but he said it’s too heavy to continually unload from his SUV. “I’m having enough of a hard time going on day-to-day, day-to-day, without taking something that I need to move,” Arce said. If you are able to identify the blonde woman wearing a back shirt, call St. Johns Deputies at (904) 824-8304. 
  • No injuries are reported after a fight at Ribault High School this morning.  Principal Ronnie Williams says two students got into a planned fight outside of the building just after school started.  As staff worked to separate the students, of group of trespassers joined the fight.  Duval County School Police were able to break up the fight and detain everyone involved. During a search of the people detailed, police confiscated a gun from one of the trespassers.  Duval School Police say criminal charges are pending.  School operations were not disrupted beyond the visible police response. 
  • Months after the shooting death of a young mother at a Riverside gas station, a second person has been arrested for the theft of the victim’s car.   We first told you late New Year's Day that Sahara Barkley was shot at a BP gas station on Stockton Street.  Jacksonville Police said there was an altercation between Barkley and another woman, which led to the shooting.  Tairrah McGriff turned herself in for a murder charge days later.  Late on Monday, a JSO spokesman confirmed a man has been arrested for the theft of Barkley's car prior to her death.  23-year-old Shawntez Edmondson is facing multiple charges including theft of a motor vehicle and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.  But so far he has not been charged in connection with Barkley’s death.  We are working to update details of this investigation.  
  • Rich Jones

    Host of Jacksonville's Morning News

    Rich Jones has been News Director of WOKV AM/FM since October 2006. Since joining the team, WOKV News has been recognized by the Associated Press as the most awarded radio news team in the state of Florida including awards for Best Newscast, Best Reporting, Best Public Affairs Coverage, and Best News Series, among others.

    Rich has been involved in many organizations and causes on the First Coast. He has twice been captain of WOKV's team at the Heart Walk, and has raised funds for the American Heart Association. 

    Rich is “the face” of WOKV in the community and is the Master of Ceremonies for many philanthropic causes such as the Annual WOKV Careathon, a day-long benefit for the Child Cancer Fund of NE Florida, which raises hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

    Rich enjoys spending his time away from the studio with his wife, daughters and son as well as watching sports and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

    Read More

The Latest News Headlines

  • A police officer was shot Monday while investigating a report of suspicious activity in Baltimore County, Maryland, according to authorities. >> Read more trending news  WJZ-TV reported that the officer, who was not immediately identified, died after she was shot in the head Monday, however, authorities said in a tweet around 4 p.m. that the officer was “injured and taken to a local hospital.” One person was at large after the attack. Baltimore County Councilman David Marks wrote in a Twitter post that the officer was shot in Perry Hall, near Belair and Lausmier roads. Police warned residents to shelter in place as they continued to investigate Monday's shooting.  Check back for updates to this developing story.
  • Investigators in Washington state last week made an arrest in a 31-year-old double homicide, tracking the suspect down using the same genealogy techniques used to capture the suspected Golden State Killer. William Earl Talbott II, 55, of the Seattle-Tacoma area, was booked Thursday with one count of first-degree murder in the November 1987 death of Tanya Van Cuylenborg, 18, of British Columbia, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office officials said Friday in a news conference.  Van Cuylenborg and her boyfriend, 20-year-old Jay Cook, vanished Nov. 18, 1987, on an overnight trip to Seattle to buy furnace parts for Cook’s family’s business.  They were reported missing when they failed to return home. A man found Van Cuylenborg’s body Nov. 24 near Bellingham in Skagit County. She had been bound with plastic zip ties, sexually abused and shot in the head, the Toronto Star reported.  Cook’s body was found two days later, battered and wrapped in a blue blanket that did not belong to the couple, about 75 miles away under a bridge near Monroe, which is in Snohomish County. Cook had been beaten and strangled.  “It's been 31 years since this horrific crime took place,” Skagit County Sheriff Will Reichardt said Friday. “Today, we are one step closer for justice for Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg.” Investigators from Skagit and Snohomish counties worked the three-decades-long case together.  Talbott’s arrest comes just five weeks after Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary released composite drawings of a possible suspect that were made using DNA believed to have been left behind by the killer. The images showed a white man with light hair and green or hazel eyes.  The killer’s DNA, which was found at the scene of Van Cuylenborg’s slaying, was also uploaded to a genealogy website and used to create family trees with people who shared significant amounts of DNA with the unknown suspect, officials said.  CeCe Moore, the genealogist who worked on the case, said Friday that she traced the suspected killer’s DNA to his great-grandparents, then used “reverse genealogy” to fill in the blanks on the branches.  “This led me to two descendants of the great-grandparents of the original matches who married, thus tying the two families together,” Moore said.  The couple had one son -- Talbott.  Once Talbott was identified as a potential suspect, detectives obtained his DNA from a cup he used and threw out.  Reverse genealogy made headlines around the world earlier this year when investigators looking for the Golden State Killer, a serial killer and rapist believed to be responsible for 12 homicides, more than 50 rapes and about 100 burglaries across California in the 1970s and 1980s, arrested Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., 72, after they said they matched his DNA to that of the killer.  Trenary on Friday thanked the investigators who never gave up on solving the slayings of the young Canadian couple.  “It’s a difficult thing for us, but candidly, this is what we do our job for,” Trenary said.  Reichardt said it was the forensic work that detectives did in 1987, which preserved the DNA evidence, that ultimately led to Talbott’s arrest.  “The next step is prosecution,” Reichardt said.  Cook and Van Cuylenborg left their Saanich homes bound for Victoria, where they were planning to take the Port Angeles ferry to Seattle. The couple made the ferry and were spotted buying snacks along the way to Seattle in Hoodsport and Allyn, both located in Mason County, Washington, according to Snohomish County officials.  They were last seen alive buying tickets for the 11:35 p.m. Bremerton-to-Seattle ferry the night they vanished. KIRO 7 News in Seattle reported that Van Cuylenborg was found six days later, partially clothed, in a ditch. Cook’s van was found the next day, locked and abandoned, in a Blue Diamond parking lot in Bellingham, located in Whatcom County.  Cook’s body was found the day after the van.  The victims’ families last month offered a $50,000 reward to anyone who could provide information before the end of the year that would lead to a positive match to the DNA in the case, KIRO reported.  Members of the Cook and Van Cuylenborg families were at Friday’s news conference. They expressed a mix of emotions at the news of Talbott’s arrest.  “Yesterday, the killer had his last sleep in his own bed, his last coffee break, his last day of freedom,' Cook’s sister, Laura Baanstra, said. “It’s hard to put into words the relief, joy and great sorrow this arrest brings.” “They were both gentle souls, caring and trusting kids, and they were betrayed,” Van Cuylenborg’s brother, John, said. “Hopefully, this is a start of some justice for them.” Talbott has not yet been charged with Cook’s slaying, but investigators continue to process evidence and interview witnesses related to that portion of the case. Detectives are asking anyone who knew Talbott or his activities in 1987 or 1988 to come forward. Talbott, who was 24 years old at the time of the slayings, was living with his parents in Woodinville, about seven miles from where Cook’s body was found.  Detectives are hoping to find witnesses who saw Talbott with Cook’s van in November 1987 or with a 35mm Minolta camera that Van Cuylenborg had with her at the time she was slain.  The camera’s lens was recovered in 1990 and traced to a pawn shop in Portland, Oregon, police officials said. The body of the camera remains missing.  They are also looking for anyone who knows anything about the blanket Cook’s body was found wrapped in.  Anyone with information related to the case should call the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 425-388-3845.
  • The man accused of being the notorious Golden State Killer has been charged with first-degree murder in the last four of the dozen homicides officially attributed to the serial rapist and killer who tormented communities throughout California in the 1970s and 1980s. “Violent cold cases never grow cold for victims or their loved ones. They never do,” Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley said Thursday during a news conference to announce the charges against Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., 72, of Citrus Heights. “In fact, most of them spend their lives feverishly seeking answers and desperately hoping for justice,” Dudley said.  The families appeared one step closer to justice Thursday as Dudley’s office filed charges against DeAngelo in the Dec. 30, 1979, double slaying of Dr. Robert Offerman, 44, and his girlfriend, Dr. Debra Alexandria Manning, 35, inside Offerman’s condominium in Goleta. The couple’s killer broke in through a sliding glass door, tied them up and shot them to death.  Santa Barbara County prosecutors have also filed charges against DeAngelo in the July 27, 1981, double slaying of Greg Sanchez, 27, and Cheri Domingo, 35, who were killed in Domingo’s home just blocks from where the Offerman-Manning homicides took place nearly two years before. Sanchez was shot and beaten to death, while Domingo was raped before she was bludgeoned.  DeAngelo faces sentencing enhancements in all four homicides due to them being multiple slayings, according to the felony complaint. The crimes were also committed during the commission of other crimes, such as burglary and rape, and the perpetrator used a firearm during the crimes.  DeAngelo, a Vietnam veteran and former police officer in northern California, was arrested April 24 in Sacramento County after a DNA match to evidence in the Golden State Killer case linked him to several of the crime scenes. The Golden State Killer, alternatively known as the Original Night Stalker, the East Area Rapist and the Visalia Ransacker, was suspected of at least 12 homicides, more than 50 rapes and over 100 burglaries.  Related story: ‘Golden State Killer’ suspect tracked down using DNA on genealogy website, officials say Cold case investigators narrowed down their suspect list after Paul Holes, a now-retired Contra Costa County investigator, uploaded the Golden State Killer’s DNA profile onto an open source ancestry website, where he found a similar profile belonging to the alleged killer’s distant relative.  Once DeAngelo, through the database and other circumstantial evidence, became a prime suspect, investigators obtained his DNA from material he discarded and more conclusively matched his genetic profile to that of the Golden State Killer.  DeAngelo, who was arrested outside his home while he worked on a woodworking project, was initially charged with two counts of murder in the 1978 shooting deaths of Brian and Kate Maggiore. The Rancho Cordova couple were walking their dog the night of Feb. 2 when they were accosted by a man in a ski mask burglarizing a home.  Brian Maggiore, a military policeman, was shot to death after he began chasing the burglar, authorities said. The gunman then chased down Katie Maggiore and fatally shot her.  The Sacramento Bee reported that DeAngelo is scheduled for a hearing Monday in the Maggiore case.  >> Read more trending news DeAngelo has also been charged with six additional homicides in Ventura and Orange counties. His DNA was reportedly matched to a profile found at the scene of the March 1980 slayings of Lyman and Charlene Smith, who were found dead in their Ventura home. The Smiths were bound together with drapery cords and bludgeoned to death with a log from their fireplace. The couple’s bodies were discovered by their 12-year-old son.  In Orange County, DeAngelo has been charged with murder in the August 1980 killings of Keith and Patrice Harrington, who were beaten to death in their Dana Point home. He is also charged there with raping and murdering Manuela Witthuhn and Janelle Cruz, both of Irvine. Witthuhn, 28, was slain in February 1981 while her husband was in the hospital, and Cruz, 18, was killed in May 1986 while her family was on vacation.  Dudley on Thursday credited Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert for her “true show of great leadership” by establishing a task force two years ago aimed at renewing the search for the Golden State Killer. Schubert teamed up with prosecutors and investigators from all the jurisdictions in which the prolific serial offender was believed to have struck.  “From that moment on, we never stopped hoping or believing that an arrest would be made,” Dudley said.  Dudley said that Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office detectives began investigating DeAngelo the day he was arrested in Sacramento County and that, as a result of the evidence and interviews in the case, she decided to file the charges against him.  Each charge against him carries the possibility of the death penalty, Dudley said.  Despite facing multiple murder charges in multiple jurisdictions, DeAngelo remains in the Sacramento County Jail. Schubert told the Bee that the entire case could be moved to Southern California, since most of the slayings of which he is accused took place there.  Though the rapes committed during the killer’s time as the East Area Rapist will likely not be prosecuted due to the expiration on the statute of limitations, it remains to be seen if DeAngelo will be tied to a homicide committed by the Visalia Ransacker.  The Ransacker is suspected in the September 1975 killing of College of the Sequoias journalism professor Claude Snelling, who was shot to death outside his home after a man woke his 16-year-old daughter and forced her at gunpoint to leave their home.  Snelling, who looked out a window and saw the attempted kidnapping, ran outside and was shot twice. He collapsed in the doorway of his home as he tried to give chase to the fleeing gunman.  The Visalia Times Delta reported that ballistics testing on the bullets that killed Snelling tied the killer to a previous Ransacker burglary.
  • The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office and the St. Augustine Police Department are both investigating similar reports of victims being sprayed with fire extinguishers, which is considered to be a misdemeanor battery. According to St. Johns County deputies, the first reported incident was at the Walmart on US 1 South, last Tuesday, May 15th.  In that incident, 3 victims told deputies they were sitting in their vehicle, when two white males approached the car and asked them, 'Do you know Omega?' and then proceeded to spray them with the extinguisher.  Several minutes later, St. Augustine police say they received a similar call. In that case, an employee at Salt Life on A1A said a vehicle pulled up next to him and asked for directions to Daytona Beach. As he tried to help, he was then sprayed in the face with a fire extinguisher.  St. Augustine police say they received an additional report of someone being sprayed with an extinguisher while they were walking their dog on 16th Street. In that incident, the suspects asked where 'Hamilton Street' was.  In all the incidents, the suspect's vehicle is described as a 2012-2016 Silver Dodge Charger, with possible Virginia plates, and an advanced stereo system.  The suspects are believed to be two white males with dark clothing and short brown hair. A female may have also been with them.  If you have any information about who is responsible, you're urged to contact either the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office or the St. Augustine Police Department.
  • With Governor Rick Scott announcing nearly $3.5 million in Florida Defense Grants on Monday, WOKV has confirmed that includes money for our area.  According to Scott's office, as part of these grants, the City of Jacksonville will be receiving a $90,000 Defense Reinvestment Grant to continue support for growth at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, as well as Naval Station (NS) Mayport.  We've also confirmed the Clay County Economic Development Corporation will be awarded a $56,000 Defense Reinvestment Grant to strengthen and diversify the area's non-defense economy, while promoting training operations at the Camp Blanding Training Center.  The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, which administers that Defense Reinvestment Grants, says the grants are provided to communities to either support the needs of a military installation or to help expand the community's non-defense economy.  'Defense communities play a large role in Florida's robust economy. We are proud to invest in our military installations and the local communities they support,' says Cissy Proctor, the Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.  Scott's office estimates that Florida's military installations contribute more than $84 billion in economic impact, while also supporting nearly 800,000 jobs in our state.

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