ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
76°
Partly Cloudy
H 82° L 56°
  • cloudy-day
    76°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 82° L 56°
  • cloudy-day
    72°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 82° L 56°
  • clear-day
    57°
    Morning
    Sunny. H 73° L 53°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Local
UNF wins $85,000 federal grant to create toy cars for disabled kids
Close

UNF wins $85,000 federal grant to create toy cars for disabled kids

UNF wins $85,000 federal grant to create toy cars for disabled kids
Photo Credit: University of North Florida

UNF wins $85,000 federal grant to create toy cars for disabled kids

It's for the neediest of kids and the University of North Florida will use your tax dollars to make it happen.

The university recently won an over $85,000 grant from the National Institute of Health for its Adaptive Toy Project, one that's been at UNF since the fall of 2014.

Mechanical and electrical engineering students work with physical therapy students as part of an elective class that will create toy cars for disabled children.

The money will help pay for those toys so that their parents don't have to, according to UNF electrical engineering professor Dr. Juan Aceros.

"This is not just an experiment in the lab that never gets out of the lab," Aceros noted. "This is actually going to somebody's family, to a kid."

Those battery-powered cars are custom-built for each child based on their needs and under the eye of Aceros as well as professors in UNF's physical therapy department.

Those kids suffer from cerebral palsy and a variety of genetic conditions. Some are visually impaired and others have to use their hands instead of their feet to move the vehicles.

Each child - all of whom are locals or treated locally at various health facilities - will be formally assessed before the students build the car to that child's needs.

The one thing most of the kids have in common is that their families can't really afford toys like this that would help them cope with their diseases.

That's why Aceros says winning this kind of highly competitive federal grant really makes a difference, especially considering that UNF doesn't have its own teaching hospital.

"Engineering students see a lot of math, a lot of lab work," Aceros stated. "They don't see that human aspect of how they can employ their abilities to make somebody else's life better."

Aceros also noted that other universities have reached out to him as part of their efforts to recreate a similar program at their schools.

"We are pioneers in this," Aceros stated.

The next fall class already has 28 students registered and they'll be building cars for 10 kids.

Read More

The Latest News Headlines

  • House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., on Friday subpoenaed the Justice Department for the full, unredacted report compiled by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his probe of Russian election meddling. >> Read more trending news Nadler said authorities would have until May 1 to comply with the subpoena. It came one day after U.S. Attorney General William Barr released a redacted version of the 448-page report to Congress and the public. >> Mueller report: Key findings from the investigation “My committee needs and is entitled to the full version of the report and the underlying evidence consistent with past practice,” Nadler said Friday in a statement. “I am open to working with the department to reach a reasonable accommodation for access to these materials, however I cannot accept any proposal which leaves most of Congress in the dark.”  Earlier Friday, Nadler said on “Good Morning America” that the subpoena would be forthcoming. “We need the entire report – unredacted – and the underlying documents in order to make informed decisions,” he said. “We will subpoena that entire report today …. Including the grand jury evidence.” The House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines earlier this month to authorize a subpoena for the full, unredacted Mueller report. Democrats have criticized Barr for not immediately releasing the report to Congress after the special counsel submitted it late last month, saying Barr’s decision fell far short of the typical disclosure given to lawmakers after special counsel investigations. >> Mueller investigation: Read the report Barr said Thursday that he plans to provide a less redacted version of Mueller’s report to some congressional leaders in the coming weeks in an effort to address congressional requests for more transparency. Mueller completed his investigation late last month, 22 months after he launched his probe at the direction of the Justice Department. The investigation was frequently lambasted by President Donald Trump as a “witch hunt” aimed at undermining his presidency.
  • Easter is a day to spend with family and friends.  And if you don’t want to spend that time in the kitchen rushing to get a meal together, plenty of restaurants will be opening their doors Sunday. If you are going to take the day off from cooking and want to relax with family and friends at a local restaurant, here are a few deals that you might want to consider.  Some restaurants require reservations, and some locations may not be open. Call ahead to your local restaurant to make sure they will be open. Here are some restaurants open on Easter: Baskin-Robbins  Bob Evans   Boston Market >>Easter 2019: When is it; what is it; why isn't it on the same date every year? Buca di Beppo   The Capital Grille  Claim Jumper  Cracker Barrel  Eddie V’s Prime Seafood  >>Easter 2019: How to make perfect hard-boiled eggs for Easter egg dyeing Fleming’s  Hometown Buffet   Krispy Kreme    Legal Sea Foods   Maggiano’s Marie Callender’s   McCormick & Schmick’s   Mimi’s Cafe Country Buffet  Ruth’s Chris Ryan’s  >>How did crucifixion kill Jesus? Shoney’s  Waffle House 
  • Police in Jacksonville Beach are asking your help finding a missing 16-year-old.  Asha Carter was reported missing around 3:00 a.m.  She is described as 5’6’’ and 150 lbs. and was last seen wearing a teal sweatshirt and black leggings and was carrying a large pink bag.  Jacksonville Beach Police released still photos from the Walgreen’s on 3rd Street at around 9:30 p.m. Thursday. 
  • It's a First Alert Weather Day in NE Florida with the potential for strong to severe storms as you're headed home to start the weekend.  Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says we're all going to see rain, and and in fact we did early this morning so roads are wet.  It’s windy and warm ahead of the arrival of a line of storms from the west. “Moving quickly to the east and northeast so expect conditions to change very quickly from one spot to another and from one time to another”, said Buresh.  Showers may linger into this evening and could even stick around early tomorrow. But we're in for a much cooler weekend.  
  • Here is a look at the stores planning to be open and those planning to close on Easter Sunday. >> Read more trending news Be sure to check with local retailers for Easter hours because some national chains set their own hours. Stores open and closed on Easter Academy Sports: Open Easter Sunday. Banana Republic: Closed Easter Sunday. Bass Pro Shop: Open Easter Sunday. Bed Bath & Beyond: Open Easter Sunday. >> Click here to see which grocery stores will be open on Sunday.  Belk: Closed Easter Sunday. Best Buy: Closed Easter Sunday. Cabela’s: Open Easter Sunday.  Costco: Closed Easter Sunday. >> Easter 2019: How to make perfect hard-boiled eggs for Easter egg dyeing Crate & Barrel: Closed Easter Sunday. CVS: Open Easter Sunday. Dillard’s: Closed Easter Sunday. Dollar General: Open Easter Sunday. Family Dollar: Open Easter Sunday. Fred Meyer: Open Easter Sunday. Gap: Closed Easter Sunday. Home Depot: Open Easter Sunday. >> How did crucifixion kill Jesus? J.C. Penney: Closed Easter Sunday. Kirkland's: Closed Easter Sunday. Kmart: Open Easter Sunday. Kohl's: Closed Easter Sunday. Lowes: Open Easter Sunday. Macy’s: Closed on Easter Sunday. Michael's: Closed Easter Sunday. Neiman Marcus: Closed Easter Sunday. Office Depot: Closed Easter Sunday. Office Max: Closed Easter Sunday. Old Navy: Open on Easter Sunday. Pier 1 Imports: Closed Easter Sunday. Pottery Barn: Closed Easter Sunday. Rite Aid: Open Easter Sunday. Ross: Closed Easter Sunday. Sam's Club: Closed Easter Sunday. Sears: Open Easter Sunday. >> Easter quotes 2019: Inspiring sayings of hope and renewal T.J. Maxx: Closed Easter Sunday. Target: Closed Easter Sunday. Walgreens: Open Easter Sunday. Walmart: Open Easter Sunday. Williams-Sonoma: Closed Easter Sunday.

The Latest News Videos