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Latest from Sarah Thompson

    Following the recent passage of a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus measure to help families and businesses with the financial strain of the coronavirus pandemic, WOKV's Consumer Warrior Clark Howard is breaking down some of the finer details. Howard says adults making up to $75,000 a year will get a $1,200 check, while a married couple making up to $150,000 will get $2,400, with $500 payments per child.  STORY: Are you getting a stimulus check; how much will it be? Use this calculator to find out However, Howard says that $500 payment doesn't include every child.  'You will not get money for your teenager. So, once your teenager goes past 16, they're out of the picture for the $500,' explains Howard.  Howard says this $500 payment also does not apply to other types of dependents, like if you're an adult taking care of your elderly parents.  Get more consumer news and advice from Clark Howard in his latest on-demand podcasts by clicking HERE.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is searching for a suspect they say is wanted for solicitation to commit first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Police identify the suspect as 23-year-old Bobby Taylor.  If you've seen him or know where he is, you're urged to call JSO at (904) 630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
  • WOKV's Consumer Warrior Clark Howard is issuing a warning about scammers trying to use the coronavirus pandemic to their advantage. 'I need for you to know that you've got to be on your guard, because of how much con game kind of activity is going to go on,' says Howard.  Howard says one of the latest scams involves the stimulus checks that most Americans are slated to receive in April.  'One that the FBI put out a warning about is scammers sending fake emails that look exactly like they're from the IRS and it talks about how you need to provide information to the IRS in order for them to deposit money in your account for the helicopter money-- the $1200 of helicopter money per adult, $500 per dependent, if you have a qualifying dependent,' explains Howard.  STORY: Are you getting a stimulus check; how much will it be? Use this calculator to find out. But Howard says it's all a scam.  'The IRS is not, I repeat, is not emailing anybody telling you they need your bank account routing information in order to deposit money in your account. What's actually happening, people that are falling for this, within a very short period of time have whatever money they have in their accounts looted,' Howard says.  Get more consumer news and advice from WOKV's Consumer Warrior Clark Howard in his latest on-demand podcasts by clicking HERE.
  • Starting Saturday, the federal drive-thru coronavirus testing site at Lot J at TIAA Bank Field will be waiving the fever requirement. Previously, patients who wanted to be tested had to have an on-site temperature of 99.6 degrees or higher. Instead, patients will only need to exhibit respiratory symptoms or be a first responder or healthcare worker who has direct contact with patients.  While a doctor’s order and appointment are not required, you will be evaluated by a medical professional on site. If you don't meet the requirements, you will not be tested.  If you wish to be tested, you need to follow the following rules:  • Bring your own pen  • Bring a photo ID (first responders and healthcare professionals should bring a work ID)  • Refrain from taking any fever-reducing medicine four to six hours before testing  • Remain inside of vehicle at all times  A maximum of four people per car can be tested.  With long lines expected around the stadium, drivers coming from the Westside should use Bay Street, while drivers coming from the Eastside should use Gator Bowl Boulevard. The site is open from 9 AM to 5 PM, 7 days a week.
  • Whether you it's a lay-off from work or some other issue, WOKV's Consumer Warrior Clark Howard says keeping your credit score healthy amid the coronavirus pandemic could be a challenge. Howard says while some lenders are trying to help, it may not be enough to help everyone.  'A number of various forms of lenders are saying they are not going to report delinquencies for a period of time that varies from lender to lender through coronavirus, so that's something that for a lot of us may slip by the wayside as we try to just survive,' explains Howard.  Howard says while keeping your credit score healthy is important, it's not your first priority during a time like this.  'Your first goal, your first priority, is to make sure you have food and the basics for yourself and your household,' Howard says.  Get more consumer news and advice from Clark Howard in his latest on-demand podcasts by clicking HERE.
  • If you're looking for ways to keep busy while at home, the St. Johns County Public Library system is offering county residents online eCard registration. If you're in need of a library card, you can sign up for a temporary one by visiting the library website by clicking HERE.  The St. Johns County Public Library system says these eCards will be active for 60 days and provide access to the library's online collection of eBooks, eAudiobooks, movies, music, digital magazines, and more.  You can also use this eCard to log into virtual services such as Hoopla, OverDrive, and RB Digital.
  • With the Labor Department reporting that nearly 3.3 million Americans filed for jobless claims last week amid the coronavirus pandemic, WOKV's Consumer Warrior Clark Howard says it's, unfortunately, just the tip of the iceberg. However, Howard wants to stress that because the coronavirus outbreak is such a unique situation, the recovery process will be unique too. He says it will be different than what we saw with the Great Recession or even the brutal recession in the early 1980’s. 'The recovery will not be straight line back up, but the recovery from coronavirus will be much quicker and will be sped along, once we get the medical protocols right,' says Howard.  He says we're currently a few months behind on the medical protocols, but he says we'll get there.  'We will overcome this and we will overcome it in months, not years,' Howard says.  Get more consumer news and advice from WOKV's Consumer Warrior Clark Howard in his latest on-demand podcasts, by clicking HERE.
  • There's a new health advisory in place for Florida amid the coronavirus pandemic. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says Florida's Surgeon General, Dr. Scott Rivkees, is advising all individuals aged 65 and older to stay at home for the next 14 days to minimize their exposure to the virus.  'As we've seen with this virus, the folks who are 65 and plus, are the ones that have the best chance to suffer a negative outcome, and that's disproportionately so, when you talk about fatalities. So, we want to make sure that those folks are protected,' explains DeSantis.  He says the message from the beginning has been to avoid crowds and close contact and he says the easiest way to do that is to stay at home as much as possible.  DeSantis says the advisory also applies to people with serious underlying medical condition.  'Some of those conditions are enumerated, like chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions, immunocompromisation, including those in cancer treatment, and severe obesity,' says DeSantis.  He says those under 65 who have suffered serious hospitalizations or died, usually have been people with a serious underlying medical conditions.
  • Jacksonville Jaguars Owner Shad Khan is committing $1 million to support Northeast Florida's response to the coronavirus pandemic.  “I want to say thank you to every group or individual who is personally stepping up for the people of Jacksonville during these uncertain times. It’s my privilege to help,' says Khan in a statement.  According to a press release, this donation includes allocations to the following organizations: • Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund will receive $400,000.  •Feeding Northeast Florida will receive $75,000.  •The Clara White Mission will receive $75,000.  •The Jacksonville Public Education Fund will receive $50,000.  •The local chapter of the American Red Cross will receive $50,000.  Khan says in a statement that we will get through this together by staying home.
  • With President Trump recently announcing that federal student loan holders can get their payments paused for 60 days, if they submit a request with their loan servicing company amid the coronavirus pandemic, WOKV's Consumer Warrior Clark Howard is breaking down what that means for you. 'If you are current on your student loans or not late on them beyond 30 days, you're eligible for repayment suspensions right now,' says Howard.  He says this applies to virtually every federal loan since 2010, including both undergraduate and graduate loans, Stafford loans, and parent and graduate student loans under the Federal PLUS Loans program.  But Howard says to get information about your specific loan, you should visit your loan servicer's website.  However, Howard says there is something you should keep in mind with this.  'Remember, even though right now it's a two month suspension and a holiday from interest, it doesn't mean that you're not gonna have to make those payments eventually,' says Howard.  Get more consumer news and advice from Clark Howard in his latest on-demand podcasts by clicking HERE.
  • Sarah Thompson

    Sarah Thompson is the Afternoon Producer and Evening Anchor for WOKV and has been with the team since October 2013. She's a University of Florida graduate and a Jacksonville-native.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • Nearly 860,000 people worldwide -- including more than 189,000 people in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. as hospitals brace for unprecedented patient surges. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Wednesday, April 1, continue below: US coronavirus deaths hit 4,076, total cases top 189K Update 12:31 a.m. EDT April 1: By early Wednesday morning, the number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States neared 200,000 across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 189,510 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 4,076 deaths. U.S. cases now outnumber those in any other nation by wide margins, including the 105,792 reported in Italy and the 95,923 confirmed in Spain. Of the confirmed U.S. deaths, 1,550 – or nearly half of the nationwide total – have occurred in New York, 267 in New Jersey and 259 in Michigan.  In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the hardest hit with at least 75,795 confirmed cases – or roughly four times the next-closest state – followed by New Jersey with 18,696 and Michigan with 7,615. Three other states have now confirmed at least 6,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 6,932, including 150 deaths • Florida: 6,732, including 84 deaths • Massachusetts: 6,220, including 89 deaths Meanwhile, Illinois, Louisiana and Washington state each has confirmed at least 5,000 novel coronavirus infections; Pennsylvania and Georgia each has confirmed at least 4,000 cases; Texas and Connecticut each has confirmed at least 3,000 cases; and Colorado, Tennessee, Ohio and Indiana each has confirmed at least 2,000 cases. Click here to see CNN’s complete state-by-state breakdown.
  • Ahead of an approaching cold front, Northeast Florida saw a line of strong storms roll through. Some of those storms prompted severe thunderstorm warnings and a few tornado warnings from the National Weather Service of Jacksonville. The NWS does believe an EF-0 tornado did touch during in northern St. Johns County on Tuesday evening. At this time, WOKV has not received any reports of injuries, but there have been reports of damage and downed trees.
  • Following the recent passage of a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus measure to help families and businesses with the financial strain of the coronavirus pandemic, WOKV's Consumer Warrior Clark Howard is breaking down some of the finer details. Howard says adults making up to $75,000 a year will get a $1,200 check, while a married couple making up to $150,000 will get $2,400, with $500 payments per child.  STORY: Are you getting a stimulus check; how much will it be? Use this calculator to find out However, Howard says that $500 payment doesn't include every child.  'You will not get money for your teenager. So, once your teenager goes past 16, they're out of the picture for the $500,' explains Howard.  Howard says this $500 payment also does not apply to other types of dependents, like if you're an adult taking care of your elderly parents.  Get more consumer news and advice from Clark Howard in his latest on-demand podcasts by clicking HERE.
  • The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is working hard to make sure people throughout the state who are unemployed are getting the assistance they need during the coronavirus pandemic. That means hiring more staff members to help people who are trying to apply for unemployment benefits. Executive Director Ken Lawson signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor over the weekend to execute the CARES Act in Florida. Lawson says his staff is working hard to implement those resources to Floridians as soon as possible. The week before most businesses closed due to government orders, the Department of Economic Opportunity received 28,000 calls. Last week in just four days, they received 130,000 calls. That higher volume of calls is overwhelming the staff, but it looks like help is on the way. Anyone who calls right now should expect to wait on hold for upwards of an hour, but hopefully that wait time starts dropping soon. The Department of Economic Opportunity is hiring 100 people statewide to answer calls, walk people through the application process, and handle processing applications. Florida residents eligible for reemployment assistance include people quarantined by a medical professional or government agency, people who have been laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period of time or people caring for an immediate family member diagnosed with coronavirus. Any Floridian whose employment has been negatively impacted by the virus can get more information here.
  • Isolation and fear during the coronavirus pandemic can create the perfect storm for domestic abuse. Some experts say victims are like prisoners in their own homes during quarantine.  “We’re talking about a horrible situation. People who normally might be able to call us, reach out to us, stop at our outreach center or go to work and look online to find how they can get help are prisoners in their own home,” Hubbard House CEO Gail Patin, EdD, LCSW, said.  Anyone who needs help and can safely get away from their abuser is asked to call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-500-1119 or Hubbard House in Jacksonville at (904) 354-3114.

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