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Latest from Sarah Thompson

    What was once a 43-year-old cold case is now coming to a close. Johnnie Miller entered a guilty plea to 2nd-degree murder on Wednesday in connection to the 1974 death of 34-year-old Freddie Farah. Farah was killed during a robbery at a convenience store he owned on Kings Road in the College Gardens neighborhood of Jacksonville.  The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office announced the arrest of Miller in May 2017, after he was tracked down in New Orleans where he was working as a street performer, going by the name 'Uncle Louie.'  Police linked Miller to the crime through fingerprint evidence, after Farah's son, Bobby, bumped into a cold case detective while grabbing a bite to eat. Miller’s attorney asked for time served--- which is 344 days-- in exchange for the guilty plea. Farah’s family has agreed to the deal. The judge has said she will impose the negotiated sentence. 
  • It's a bizarre story out of St. Augustine. The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office is investigating after a home burglary on Alava Court, off of Shores Boulevard.  According to the incident report obtained by WOKV, deputies were called to the home Tuesday evening, after the owner came home from work to find the front door kicked in.  Once inside, deputies say several drawers and closets appeared to have been rummaged through, with the burglar even moving a jewelry box into the kitchen.  However, the owner says nothing was missing, expect for a bag of chips.  At this time, there's no suspect information.
  • The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office is asking for your help finding a man who hasn't been seen or heard from since April 1st. St. Johns County deputies tell us Alfred Glenn Jr. is known to drive a black, 2013 KYMCO Scooter with the Florida tag 08655RR, similar to the one pictured below.  Family of Glenn tell deputies it is out of character for him not to contact them for extended of time. They say he's always notified them of his whereabouts or when he's leaving town.  If you have any information about where he may be, you're urged to contact Detective Rodney Erdman at (904) 209-3515 or the St. Johns County Sheriff’s at (904) 824-8304.
  • It's a major step forward in getting school resource officers in place at every school in the Clay County school district.  Tuesday evening, the Clay County Board of County Commissioners approved two different funding lines, which will provide almost half of the money requested by Clay Sheriff Darryl Daniels.  Commissioners have now approved $1.8 million in capital funding, which includes covering expenses like patrol cars and equipment. They've also approved $300,000 in operational funding. That part will likely come from funds and forfeitures from the sheriff's office.  Sheriff Daniels had been requesting $4.5 million to make this idea a reality, so following the commissioners' actions on Tuesday, he now has almost half of that amount.  That's as the Clay County Superintendent, Addison Davis, has previously said about $1.55 million will be coming from the state toward this school resource officer program.  Commissioners are now calling on Clay County Schools to fulfill the rest of the request, coming it at around $575,000. All of the funding approved by the commission is contingent on the school board approving the remaining balance.  While the school board is expected to take up the issue during their meeting next week, Sheriff Daniels says Tuesday was the drop date in order to get the school resource officers trained and in every school by the start of the upcoming school year. He says every day that there's a delay, there will be a delay in getting the officers into schools.  Sheriff Daniels says he will start acting immediately once the funding is in place.
  • If you've lost a pig--- you’ll want to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. JSO tells us they've recently found a Vietnamese pig lost, wandering, and hungry, and that they're hoping to reunite the animal with its owner.  At this time, the pig is said to be doing well and is being cared for by JSO.  If you believe this is your pig, call JSO at (904) 630-0500 or email them at JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org.
  • Just over one year after Dr. Nikolai Vitti took a job in Detroit, the search continues for the next Duval County Public Schools superintendent. On Monday, the Duval County School Board narrowed their search from a list of 29 candidates down to 6 semi-finalists candidates.  Out of the list, four are sitting superintendents. Two on the list also have former experience in Duval County.  The list of semi-finalists includes the following:  -Dr. Sito Narcisse: Current Chief of Schools in metro Nashville Public Schools  -Dr. Erick Pruitt: Current area Superintendent at Houston Independent School District  -Dr. Diana Green: Current superintendent in Manatee County. Began teaching in Duval  -Harrison Peters: Current Chief of Hillsborough County Schools. Began teaching in Orlando.  -Dr. Michael Dunsmore: Current superintendent in Wayne County, North Carolina.  -Frederick Heid: Current Superintendent of Community School District 300 in Illinois. Former Chief Academic Officer in Duval.  The next step in the superintendent process is bringing in the candidates for interviews. That's currently scheduled for May 11th and 12th.
  • Everyone is invited to grab a bite to eat! The Clay County Sheriff's Office is hosting their 'Tip-A-Cop' fundraiser from Monday through Wednesday, at the Longhorn's Steakhouse in Fleming Island on County Road 220, from 11 AM until 9 PM each of the days.  As part of this fundraiser, sworn law enforcement employees and civilian employees with the sheriff's office will be serving tables, with the tips benefiting the Special Olympics of Clay County. The sheriff’s office has held this fundraiser annually and they hope they continue to break records.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is investigating after a reported robbery at the Publix at 10500 San Jose Boulevard, right next to Target. According to the incident report obtained by WOKV, the suspect entered the grocery just after 8 pm on Thursday and made his way to the customer service counter.  The suspect reportedly said 'You are not going to like me very much,' before handing over a note. What exactly that note said is redacted in the report, but it appears he asked for $6,000 and made a comment about an explosive device.  Once the Publix employee handed over all the money in the register, the suspect is described as having left the store in a 'calm manner' with a gallon of milk.  The manager decided to evacuate the store, due to the threat made in the redacted note. However, a police search of the store did not reveal anything suspicious.  The suspect is described as being a white male, about 6'1'' tall, 160 pounds, and was wearing a red shirt with a black vest jacket, and black jean shorts at the time of the robbery.  If found, he's likely to be charged with armed robbery and threatening to throw/place/project a destructive device.
  • As part of their 'Spring Fling' event, the Jacksonville Humane Society, along with Animal Care and Protective Services, is offering free pet adoptions this Saturday and Sunday. We're told hundred of pets will be available at three different locations this weekend from 10 am- 4 pm,  --PetSmart Regency, 356 Monument Road  --The Jacksonville Humane Society 8464 Beach Blvd  --Animal Care & Protective Services, 2020 Forest St. (Saturday Only)  All cats and dogs looking for homes will be spayed/neutered, microchipped and vaccinated. Additional fees, like a city licensing free, may apply.  But if you're not able to adopt right now, but still want to help, the Jacksonville Humane Society is hosting a 'Kitten Shower' on Saturday, from 1 pm- 3 pm, at 8464 Beach Boulevard.  As part of that event, you can help supply items on the kitten wishlist and learn more about fostering kittens, with live bottle feeding demonstrations, prizes, and more.
  • It's designed to encourage long-term investment and job creation.  Florida Governor Rick Scott has released his list of 427 communities all across our state to be designated as 'Low Tax Opportunity Zones', under the Tax Cut and Jobs Act signed by President Trump late last year.  Those 427 communities, include areas of Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns counties, with 34 specifically in the Jacksonville-area.  Under the new tax law, areas designated as 'Low Tax Opportunity Zones' will allow reduced taxes for job creators and provide tax incentives for investors.  As for how these areas were chosen, Scott's office says a statistically model was created using census tract data and other economic statistics, like poverty level, unemployment rates, and population density.  The Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Cissy Proctor, released the following statement about the recommendations, 'While Northeast Florida's economy continues to grow with new job creation and low unemployment, these new Opportunity Zones will target focused areas and bring jobs where they are most needed.'  The US Department of Treasury now has 30 days to certify the 'Opportunity Zones' put forward by Scott or provide some further guidance to the state. For a full list of areas nominated to be ‘Opportunity Zones’ click 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

  • Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry says the news that Jaguars owner Shad Khan is pursuing a purchase of London’s Wembley Stadium is good news for the Jaguars and the city of Jacksonville.   Khan says today’s news changes none of what he envisions for the long-term promise for the Jaguars in Jacksonville.  Curry says Khan had previously shared his interest in Wembley with him.  Curry says it is consistent with the business model the Jaguars have shared with fans, which is financial stability.  The Mayor says the purchase of Wembley will increase the profitablity of the London game overnight. 
  • Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, has withdrawn his name from consideration, multiple news outlets are reporting. >> MORE COVERAGE: Embattled VA nominee Ronny Jackson accused of drunken driving, drug use | Jamie Dupree: Trump pick to head VA in trouble as Senators postpone hearing | Senate postpones hearing for Trump VA pick Ronny Jackson amid 'serious allegations' | More trending news 
  • Facing numerous questions about his past work record, White House physician Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson withdrew from consideration for VA Secretary on Thursday morning, calling a variety of claims about him, ‘false and fabricated.’ “If they had any merit, I would not have been selected,” Jackson said in a written statement. “I am regretfully withdrawing my nomination,” Jackson said in a written statement. Jackson’s nomination had been in peril all week, as allegations piled up against him, and his confirmation hearing on Wednesday had been postponed indefinitely. The move came after President Trump had openly suggested earlier in the week that Jackson did not have to pursue the post. “I even told him a day or two ago – I saw where this was going,” the President said in a telephone interview on “Fox and Friends.” BREAKING: White House doctor Ronny Jackson withdraws as VA secretary nominee, calls allegations against him `false and fabricated’ — AP Politics (@AP_Politics) April 26, 2018 Even before questions were raised about incidents during his time as the White House physician, there were GOP Senators who were not pleased about the President’s choice for VA Secretary, wondering aloud vetting procedures at the White House. “I don’t know whether that process is being short circuited now,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). GOP lawmakers quickly said the President needed to find a VA nominee who was familiar with the troubles confronting the massive federal agency. “The next VA Secretary must have the experience and commitment needed to continue that progress,” said Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN). “We owe it to those who have served our country.”
  • Police have released new surveillance video that shows how a 12-year-old boy became stuck underwater for more than nine minutes at a resort in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, last month. >> Click here to watch the footage (WARNING: Graphic) In the video, two boys can be seen playing near a 6-inch-wide suction pipe on the floor of the Avista Resort Hotel’s lazy river. The boys were able to remove the safety grate from the pipe, and the 12-year-old repeatedly dove down to explore the pipe. On one dive, the boy got his leg stuck and grasped the top of the grate to pull himself out. His friend tried to help him but couldn't, so he called for help. >> Read more trending news  That’s when several adults jumped into the water and tried to pull the boy out, but he remained stuck. Police said one of the men knew how to perform underwater mouth-to-mouth aid, and that helped keep the boy alive until emergency personnel arrived. Officers quickly lifted the boy out of the river and began to perform CPR before rushing him to the hospital. Police said the boy is alive but would not provide an update on his condition.
  • Only WSB-TV was in court Wednesday when a Georgia teenager learned she faces a felony vehicular homicide charge in the death of her best friend. >> Watch the news report here >> Teen killed, classmate injured in wreck on senior skip day Cristina Pavon-Baker, 17, crashed on Interstate 75 in Morrow during senior skip day. The wreck killed Mikayla Penn, 18. Pavon-Baker's attorney asked the judge Wednesday not to take her passport since she had a cruise scheduled next month. >> On WSBTV.com: Passengers say 100 mph crash encouraged by Snapchat 'speed filter' That upset the victim's family and the district attorney. “She doesn't need to be on a cruise enjoying herself,” Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson told the court. WSB-TV’s Tom Jones said Lawson was clearly irritated when Pavon-Baker’s attorney asked the judge to not take the teen’s passport as a condition of bond. “We would ask the court to allow her to leave the state and not put that restriction on her,” said Pavon-Baker’s attorney, Jackie Patterson. Lawson responded: “I have an 18-year-old that can't go on a cruise. I have an 18-year-old who can't be with her parents who are in the back of this courtroom.' >> On WSBTV.com: Teen faces felony charge after alleged Snapchat 'speed filter' crash Jones said the cruise request upset Mikayla Penn's parents. It was March 26 when Pavon-Baker and Penn reportedly were headed to Southlake Mall on senior skip day. Prosecutors said Pavon-Baker drove 106 mph in a 65 mph zone on the Jonesboro Road exit along I-75. Pavon-Baker’s Mini Cooper reportedly flipped and crashed, killing Penn. “We have some information that Snapchat may have been used” during the drive, Lawson said. Pavon-Baker is facing first-degree vehicular homicide, reckless driving and speeding charges. Patterson said he meant no harm asking for Pavon-Baker to go on the cruise. >> On WSBTV.com: Judge dismisses case against Snapchat in suit over serious wreck “We were not trying to be insensitive. We were just trying to say, ‘Judge, she has already had these tickets for this cruise,’” Patterson told Jones. Lawson said Pavon-Baker has received enough special treatment. “If you look at her history, these parents have covered for her over and over and over again. I believe in my heart of hearts Ms. Penn would be alive if this child had some consequences,” Lawson said. >> Read more trending news  Lawson was referring to some other traffic troubles Pavon-Baker has had. The judge gave Pavon-Baker a $31,000 bond and ordered her to surrender her passport. The judge also ordered her not to drive and to stay off Snapchat.

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