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    The Jacksonville Aviation Authority is expecting a busy Memorial Day weekend at Jacksonville International Airport. Some people have told us they experienced longer lines while getting though security over the last few days. JAA says because of a surge in new flights and more passengers, wait times getting through security at JIA may take longer than normal. A spokesperson for JIA says more flights means more people having to clear through security. The airport says some passengers are spending up to 45 minutes in line to make it through, that’s compared to a 20 minute average wait time normally. JAA says in order to make it to your flight on time you should arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before to make it through security.  We told you earlier this month when Frontier Airlines was adding 6 new nonstop destinations out of JIA beginning in August and in April when Allegiant Airlines announced 2 new routes to JIA beginning in June this year. The airport says they are working with TSA to bring more workers to Jacksonville to help smooth out the security check point process.
  • Memorial day weekend is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year in the United States, and is the unofficial kick off for summer. Before leaving the First Coast, Patrick DeHann, Petroleum Analyst for GasBuddy.com, says avoid filling up your gas tank if you can.  “By the time you get back, uh, early next week prices may be a couple of cents lower.” DeHann says. Right now according to GasBuddy.com the lowest price for gas in Jacksonville is 2.68 a gallon at the Sam’s Club on Youngerman Circle near Blanding Blvd. and over the last week the average price of gas in the River City has gone up by more than 9 cents.  DeHann says we are paying 61 cents a gallon more this Memorial Day weekend compared to last year. He says Florida is one of the priciest states when it comes to the gas tax and suggests if your going out of state to fill up before heading back to Florida.  “Georgia should be about 10 cents a gallon lower, if you’re coming from Alabama the taxes there are about 20 cents a gallon less.” DeHann says. Looking ahead to the summer DeHann says it could be one of the more painful summers at the pump in the last few years. He says he will be watching the results of two major world events to see what the future may hold. One of them is if OPEC decides to increase production at their June meeting and if allies of the U.S. will pull out of the Iran Nuclear Deal similar to what President Trump did earlier this month. “So far the Iran situation is not really driving prices up, but there is potential if our partners follow us that it could be a very painful summer.” DeHann says. Right now, in Jacksonville the average price of gas is 2.89 a gallon, in Clay and St. Johns Counties its 2.88, Baker is 2.86, and Nassau is 2.84 according to GasBuddy.com.
  • We told you on Tuesday when Kimberly Kessler was arrested in connection to the disappearance of a missing Nassau County mother Joleen Cummings. Following the announcement of Kessler’s arrest, WOKV confirmed she had also been reported missing since 2004 in Pennsylvania under suspicious circumstances. We checked in with the Pennsylvania State Police and they tell us when Kessler left she made it known to her family that she was heading to the south to assume someone else’s identity she got from a tombstone. According to the Pennsylvania State Police she was leaving to hide from a person she was in a romantic relationship with. State police say the relationship between Kessler and the other person was not active. Nassau Sheriff Bill Leaper says Kessler identified herself as Jennifer Sybert, while she was in Florida and according to Pennsylvania State Police the identity Kessler was assuming when she left was not Jennifer Sybert’s, it was Pamela Kleiber. The state police say it seemed when Kessler left she didn’t want to be found. Kessler was arrested in St. Johns County for auto theft in connection to her driving and parking Cumming’s vehicle, and she has since been transported to Nassau County.  Nassau County Deputies say if you have any information related to Cumming’s disappearance or have any information on Kessler you’re asked to call The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office at 904-548-4005 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
  • The string of wet weather continues today as the humidity sticks around. Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says our rainfall patterns are starting to shift and we can expect that tread to continue for the rest of the week.  “That means the potential for a few coastal showers overnight into the early morning hours, but the majority of the rain will be mid-day and afternoon showers and thunderstorms that develop inland.” Mike says.  Mike says the majority of the heaviest rain is expected to be well west if I-95 by the afternoon commute.  Mike says today, and for the rest of the week, you can expect pockets of local heavy rain which drop large amounts over a short period of time, therefore, rainfall amounts vary from neighborhood to neighborhood with the heaviest rain generally missing the beaches.   Podcast: Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh tracks increased rain chances this weekend. As we look ahead to this weekend, Mike says a weak tropical disturbance, which is currently in the western Caribbean, will move to the north and toward the U.S. Gulf Coast. Mike says landfall is expected anywhere between New Orleans and the Florida Panhandle. What that means for us is we generally stay on the eastern side of the system which will bring more tropical, moist air to Northeast Florida. “It’s not necessarily a washout yet. We still have to fine tune the forecast, see exactly where this thing goes and what it does.” Mike says.  Mike says if you’re planning on traveling for the weekend you’ll still be able to go where you need to.  “This is not a tremendous tropical system, but there will be some heavy rainfall, there will be a rip current risk especially in the panhandle of Florida, but also on our coast.” Mike says.   Mike says there is a chance for an isolated tornado, but he doesn’t expect it to be anything widespread.
  • Northeast Florida has seen plenty of rainfall over the last week and as a result there is standing water collecting around the area. The standing water has those at the Anastasia Mosquito Control District in St. Johns County concerned about growing mosquito populations.  “Anytime we have a lot of rain, um, we have water standing everywhere and definitely when the temperatures start going up, we expect to see mosquito populations on the rise.” Says Molly Clark who is the Education Control Specialist with the Anastasia Mosquito Control District.  The district says mosquitos tend to come out in waves after a lot of rain and typically the first type of mosquito that we see is what the district calls Flood Water Mosquitos.  “These are really bad mosquitos.” Says Christopher Bibbs who is the biologist for the Anastasia Mosquito Control District. “They don’t carry disease, but they hurt and they’re very noticeable.” Bibbs says.   He says you should watch out with in the next week for these Flood Water Mosquitos.  He says the Flood Water Mosquitos are going to be a problem for all of St. Johns County.  “Even outside of our county, over in Duval, or any of our neighboring or adjacent counties, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam, you will all be getting Flood Water Mosquitos. So it doesn’t matter where you live because Florida is a giant swamp.” Bibbs says. Bibbs says some areas of St. Johns County will have more problems with mosquitos than others.  “South towards Flagler Estates, and uh, closer to the Hastings area, and especially north near the preserves, such as Nocatee Preserve, west near the river, Julington Creek and Switzerland Point, all of these will be hit very hard.” Bibbs says. Bibbs says as mosquito season moves on the container bred mosquitoes tend to come out.  “Usually people don’t notice them as much, they don’t bite as hard, but they’re around, and they get in your house, then they can even hang out in your house overnight or across several days.” Bibbs says.  The district says there are a lot of different types of mosquitoes that like to breed in containers that have standing water in them. Dumping out standing water is one way you can help to control the mosquito population around your home. “There a lot of mosquitoes that like to breed in containers such as little saucers under your plant pots, bird baths, pet bowls.” Says Clark  She says a lot of mosquitos, especially the ones that tend to carry diseases, tend to breed in flooded areas, and she says residents in St. Johns County could ask the district for help with controlling the mosquito population, it just depends on if the district can get to the flooded area.  “We can’t treat an entire swamp, but if someone has a low spot in their back yard that is breeding mosquitos, um, we can assist with that.” Clark says  The district says they expect to start spraying for mosquitos across parts of St. Johns County soon.  “We’ll be looking at water sources, doing, uh, door-to-door education, letting people know where the water is coming from, what places to pay attention to, as well as advising people how to protect themselves.” Bibbs says.   We reached out to The City of Jacksonville and they say they have been spraying for mosquitoes at select areas around the city since the middle of April and a city spokesperson says the Mosquito Control Division is providing treatment as needed. We are still waiting to hear back from Clay County on their mosquito control operations. The Centers for Disease Control says using insect repellent with DEET as one of the ingredients is one way you can protect yourself, in addition to dumping out standing water around your home. The CDC says you can also use repellents with other active ingredients such as Picardin, IR3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus for proven results. The CDC also suggests wearing loose long sleeve shirts and long pants when outside during dawn or dusk when mosquitoes are most active.   The Anastasia Mosquito Control District says this mosquito population increase which is expected is not out of the ordinary.  “As long as we don’t have any really major events, like a hurricane, its nothing people cant live with.” Bibbs says.  The district is having an open house for any St. Johns County resident who has questions about controlling mosquitoes around their home. Its this Thursday from 5-7:30 PM at 120 EOC Drive in St. Augustine. 
  • Mild and muggy to start off the new week here on the First Coast.  Action News Jax Meteorologist Garrett Bedenbaugh says the tropical air we’ve felt since last week will be sticking around for the next few days.  “We’ll be seeing a mostly cloudy sky for your Monday with mild and muggy conditions.” Garrett says.  Garrett says we could see some scattered showers near the beaches this morning. As we move into the afternoon, the showers are expected to move inland because of an onshore wind and gradually pick up after lunch time. “We’ll see those heavy downpours being the main threats here. Some localized flooding possible since we’ve seen inches of rain in many locations, especially west of the metro, especially last week and continuing into this week.” Garrett says. Garrett says areas west of Jacksonville could get 2 to 3 more inches of rainfall over the next 5 days.  Podcast: Action News Jax Meteorologist Garrett Bedenbaugh monitors potential tropical low pressure impacts for Northeast Florida as we move into Memorial Day weekend.  Garrett says our temperatures should get up in to the upper 70’s to low 80’s closer to the coast and lower to mid 80’s inland with some lingering showers sticking around into tonight, especially west of Jacksonville, with temperatures dipping in to the 70’s.
  • The Florida Department of Transportation says they are investigating why a 48-inch drainage pipe caved in which caused a massive hole to open up on the eastbound side of Beach Blvd near Hodges on the far right side of the road yesterday. FDOT says because of heavy rainfall recently the opening developed at a higher rate which caused the road to cave in. FDOT says they expect to have the road work completed in less than a week barring unforeseen circumstances. In the mean time FDOT says there might be lane closures along Beach BLVD as construction crews work to repair the road and the drainage pipe.  As part of the hole opening up JTA said they were detouring the eastbound Route 9 and any Paratransit service in the area, but they have since resumed normal routes along Beach.  FDOT says the contractor is at the hole and assessing the damage. “Their gonna need to replace portions of this drainage pipe.” Says Hampton Ray with FDOT.  Ray says parts of the pipe may need to be shipped in from somewhere.  FDOT says the hole has been contained and shouldn’t get any larger than what it already is.  As crews work to fix the drainage pipe and fill in the hole Ray says drivers should use caution through the area. “We do have professionals that work really hard to make sure that our infrastructure is safe and when an incident like this does occur, ya know, they are deployed quickly.” Ray says.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says they’ve made an arrest in connection to a home invasion and a sexual attack which happened at an apartment complex near Gate Parkway and Burnt Mill Road early Sunday morning.  Timothy McGhee, 25, has now been arrested for sexual battery, home invasion robbery, armed burglary, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  JSO says a detective working the case noticed the vehicle parked on South Newnan Street, approaching Bay Street, and then matched the driver to the suspect sketch. After making contact with McGhee, the detective determined he had a writ of attachment for child support and brought him in for questioning.  Once there, the victim was able to pick the suspect out of a photo line-up.  We sent out an alert through the WOKV app Tuesday night that JSO was looking for a man who was accused of kicking in the front door of an apartment and forcing a woman and her father into a bedroom at gunpoint.  Police say the man is also accused of sexually attacking the woman, demanding money from the two victims, and a cell phone before leaving the apartment. According to McGhee’s arrest report, he’s been previously convicted of felony fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement and possession of a weapon or ammunition by a Florida delinquent adult in 2014.
  • JSO continues to search for an unknown man accused of sexually attacking a woman at a Southside apartment early Sunday Morning. Police say the man kicked in the victim’s front door and forced the woman and her father into a bedroom at gunpoint. Police say the incident happened at a complex near Gate Parkway and Burnt Mill Road.  First Coast Crime Stoppers says they are hopeful tips leading to the unknown mans capture will start to come in.  “We should be getting something in the near future on that I would think.” Says Wyllie Hodges with First Coast Crime Stoppers.  As of Wednesday Morning, First Coast Crime Stopper hasn’t received any tips on the unknown man.  Hodges says there are a few things you can do to prevent yourself from being the victim of this type of crime. Hodges says the simplest thing you can do is make sure your home or apartment is locked.  “Believe it or not some people still leave it unlocked, and some of them just forget.” Hodges says. Hodges says having a surveillance system, or some way of looking out your front door, are both good ways to stay safe.  Hodges also says staying aware and looking out for your neighbors and talking with them is a way of keeping your community safe.  “Make sure that you’re talking with them and make sure they know who belongs there, what kind of cars belong there.” Hodges says.  Hodges says if you have a tip you are guaranteed to be remain anonymous when you report it to First Coast Crime Stoppers.  “We won’t know who you are, we don’t know where you live. All we’re looking for is the information.” Hodges says.  To report a tip and be eligiable for a reward of up to $3,000 you can call crime stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS or you can call JSO at 904-630-0500.
  • The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is investigating the business practices of Riverside Chevrolet after multiple people claim their credit is ruined because the dealership did not pay their trade-in loans in time. Customers say the dealership took months to pay them off.  WOKV’s Consumer Warrior Clark Howard is giving you some tips on how to prevent yourself from getting scammed the next time you are headed to a dealership. Clark says the problems with trade-in loans have been around for a while. A trade-in is when you are tired of a vehicle before you’ve payed off its loan, so you take it to a dealership, trade the vehicle in and then take out a loan on another vehicle. Clark says don’t trade in a vehicle you still own money on.  “You could end up owing on the loan on the vehicle you traded in, plus, the loan on the new vehicle you drove off in.” Clark says.  Clark says you are expecting, in good faith, the dealer to pay off the trade-in before time runs out, and if they don’t it ruins your credit.  Clark says the problem with trade-ins start with taking out longer car loans. He says the longest loan repayment you should have is 42 months.  “I’m sorry to tell you something you don’t want to hear, but if you can’t afford the payment on a 42 month loan, you can not afford the payment on that vehicle. You can not buy that vehicle. Period, if you care about your long-term finances.” Clark says. Clark says if you’re thinking about trading in, pay off the loan first, even if you have to use money from your savings account.  “Whatever it is, but do not trade in a vehicle that still has a loan on it.” Clark says.  Clark says you are responsible for your loan even after you trade in your vehicle because legally the lender was not a party to your decision to trade in your vehicle to that dealer.  “Your legal responsibility goes back to the lender. If the dealer doesn’t do the right thing and pay off that loan and it goes delinquent, that is on you and not the dealer.” Clark says.  Florida law says car dealerships have 10-days to pay off trade-in loans. JSO says they are also investigating an incident we told you about earlier this week at Riverside Chevrolet where multiple cars were set on fire in the lot after the dealership was involved in a consumer alert from the Better Business Bureau.
  • Steven Ponson

    Reporter

    Steven Ponson is the morning reporter for Jacksonville’s Morning News. He has been with Cox Media Group since the summer of 2015, and been living in Florida for over 20 years. Steven is an alumni of the University of Central Florida where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Radio and Television and a minor in Sociology. It’s a dream come for him to work in the radio business and has a family legacy in Florida radio. When he is away from WOKV, he likes to spend time with family and friends and is an avid football and hockey fan.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • Students at Indiana’s Noblesville West Middle School are hailing a science teacher as a hero for his actions Friday, when a boy opened fire on classmates at the school. >> Read more trending news A teacher, identified by The Indianapolis Star as Jason Seaman, sprung into action after a student asked to use the bathroom Friday morning and returned to the classroom with a pair of handguns, police said. Seventh-grader Ethan Stonebraker told The Associated Press that students were taking a test when the unidentified student walked into the classroom and opened fire. >> Noblesville, Indiana middle school shooting: 2 injured, student in custody “Our science teacher immediately ran at him, swatted a gun out of his hand and tackled him to the ground,” seventh-grader Ethan Stonebraker told The Associated Press. “If it weren’t for him, more of us would have been injured for sure.” The Star reported that Seaman was shot three times and underwent surgery Friday. An unidentified student was also injured, according to police. He released a written statement to media Friday evening:  “First of all, thank you to the first responders from Noblesville and Fishers for their immediate action and care. I want to let everyone know that I was injured (but) am doing great. To all the students, you are all wonderful and I thank you for your support. You are the reason I teach.” Jason Seaman’s brother, Jeremy Seaman, told the Star that he was not surprised by reports of his brother’s actions. “He’s not really ever been the person to run away,” Jeremy Seaman told the Star. “When the safety of the kids is at hand, it’s not surprising to me that he was going to do what he had to do.” Jason Seaman has been a teacher in Noblesville for four years, according to his LinkedIn profile. He has also served as head football coach for seventh-graders for two years. Jeremy Seaman  told the Star that his brother is married with two young children. Jason Seaman played college football for Southern Illinois from 2007 to 2010, according to ESPN. The team's head coach, Nick Hill, said in a statement Friday that Jason Seaman 'was a great teammate (and) one of the team's hardest workers.'  'You could always trust him to do the right thing,' he said. Jason Seaman continued to recover Friday. Police continue to investigate the shooting.
  • A former NAACP official who made international headlines in 2015 when it was discovered she had posed for years as a black woman has been charged with fraud, accused of cheating the government out of $8,847 in public assistance.  Rachel Dolezal, who in 2016 changed her name to Nkechi A. Diallo, was charged Tuesday with first-degree theft by welfare fraud, second-degree perjury and false verification for public assistance, according to court documents obtained by KHQ-TV in Spokane, Washington. The victim in the case is listed as Washington state’s Department of Social and Health Services.  Dolezal resigned from her post as head of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP in June 2015 after her white parents came forward and revealed her true lineage. She first applied for public assistance for her and her teenage son two months later, claiming that she no longer was able to find work, the Spokane Spokesman-Review reported.  Dolezal, who also worked as a professor of African-American studies, was first questioned about her ethnicity during an interview with KXLY in Spokane. Dolezal in that interview talked about alleged hate crimes she’d reported to police over the years, including nooses she said were hung at homes where she and her two sons lived.  About eight minutes into the raw interview footage, the reporter showed Dolezal a photo of a black man she said was her father, asking if the man was really her father.  “I don’t know what you’re implying,” Dolezal said.  “Are you African-American?” the interviewer asked.  “I don’t understand the question of -- I did tell you that yes, that’s my dad.” “Are your parents, are they white?” the reporter asked. Dolezal walked away from the interview.  Dolezal said in later interviews that she identifies as black, a claim that has brought the term “transracial” into the national conversation about race. She is the subject of a Netflix documentary, called “The Rachel Divide,” that premiered in April.  The court documents outlining the charges against Dolezal, who is now legally known as Diallo, allege that the DSHS’s Office of Fraud and Accountability learned in March 2017 from one of its criminal investigators that she had written and published a book. The investigator, Brad Borden, knew from previous news articles that Diallo had admitted to going on public assistance since her lies about her background had been uncovered.  Diallo told The Guardian for one of those news stories, published on Feb. 25, 2017, that she was jobless and had to resort to feeding her children through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.  “A friend helped her pay this month’s rent; next month she expects to be homeless,” the newspaper reported. “She has applied for more than 100 jobs, but no one will hire her, not even to stack supermarket shelves.” Borden found ample reason to doubt those claims, according to authorities.  “(Borden) conducted a review of Diallo’s DSHS records and found she had been reporting her only source of income was $300 per month in gifts from friends,” the DSHS’s investigative report stated. “He researched the publisher of Diallo’s book and found a typical contract would include payments of $10,000 to $20,000 as advances against later royalties.” Borden learned about the published book, “In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World,” from Diallo’s LinkedIn profile, the investigative report said.  DSHS fraud investigators subpoenaed Diallo’s self-employment records in September, as well as her bank statements from 2015 to the present. The records showed that Diallo had failed to report all her income to the department, the report said. Investigators said her bank statements showed she deposited just under $84,000 into her account in the two years subpoenaed. Investigators found during their probe that aside from the income from her book, Diallo also failed to report her income from speaking engagements, soap making, doll making and the sale of artwork she created, the report said.  Diallo’s business license indicated she had registered businesses under the trade names Melanin Spectrum, Gimme Some Sugar, Living Spectrum Studios, Rachel Dolezal, Royal Soaps and Shine On, the investigative report said.  Read the entire report from DSHS investigators here. When Diallo was called in for an interview last month, she invoked her rights and refused to speak with investigators. The investigators ended the interview. The investigative report said that Diallo was informed multiple times of the reporting requirements to receive assistance, as well as the possibility of criminal prosecution if she “willfully provided false information or failed to accurately report her circumstances.” Further details of the investigation indicate that, when applying online for assistance in August 2015, Diallo, who then still went by Rachel Dolezal, reported zero expected monthly income and said she and her son were living off $480 in child support. She also stated she had just $54 in her bank account at the time.  Her bank records show she actually had nearly $2,000 in her account on the day she signed the application, the report said.  A few days later, in a telephone interview with a welfare worker, Diallo claimed she was behind on her rent because of her lack of income, the report said. In that call, she was told to report by Sept. 10 if her gross monthly income exceeded the threshold of $1,726.  Bank statements show that, while Diallo was claiming little to no income, she deposited nearly $3,000 per month that September and October, the investigators said. In November, they said, she deposited more than $11,000.  In January 2016, she reported no income changes on her mid-certification review, the investigative report stated.  >> Read more trending news Diallo is accused of continuing the deception throughout 2016, bringing in up to $6,600 each month despite requesting food assistance for herself and her two sons, the report said. She reported no cash or money in her bank accounts on her June 2016 eligibility review, despite having more than $3,000 in her checking account at the time, investigators said.  According to the report, she also failed to report receiving unemployment benefits, citing child support as her sole source of income.  In January 2017, around the time of her name change, Diallo’s mid-certification review indicated no change in her income level, the investigative report said. At that time, she was asked about her rent and utility costs, which the report said she listed as $1,094.  She was asked how she paid those expenses with just $480 in child support each month.  “Barely! With help from friends and gifts,” Diallo responded, according to the report.  She told The Guardian the following month that she and her children were near homelessness, though her bank records showed that she deposited about $3,000 in January and February.  Investigators allege that Diallo continued the deception about her income through March 2017, when Borden requested the investigation, and beyond. She reported a change of circumstance in November but claimed it was for a one-time job for which she earned $20,000 for speaking and voice-overs, investigators said.  Diallo was largely criticized on social media following the news of the pending charges. Twitter was also abuzz with jokes.   If convicted, Diallo faces 15 years in prison on the charges, KHQ-TV reported. She will be arraigned June 6 in Spokane County Superior Court.  
  • Amid litigation and blame being thrown from both sides, the City of Jacksonville has taken new action against the Jacksonville Landing.  WOKV has obtained a letter from the Office of General Counsel to Jacksonville Landing Investments, through Sleiman Enterprises, notifying the owner of the Downtown Riverfront mall that the City would be terminating the lease agreement.  The letter builds on a prior notice from the City, which was sent in October, saying JLI was in breach of the lease agreement. The complain said the Landing was not operating as a “first class retail facility”, and listed complaints from vacant spaces to disrepair. The City says JLI has failed to “cure its breach”, and as such, the City is terminating the lease.  “The City demands that JLI provide it with immediate access to, and possession of, the Leased Property and all Building Improvements and other fixtures thereon. Additionally, the City requests that JLI provide copies of all sub-leases currently in effect for the Property,” says the OGC letter, dated today.  The City owns the land, but leases it to Sleiman Enterprises, which owns and operates the building itself. JLI took over a prior lease agreement in 2003.  Following the October claim, JLI sued the City in November, with claims including that the City has not delivered on adequate parking or security.  The parties are involved in other legal disputes, including one from 2015 that relates to the purchase of a parcel and another from early this year over docks that were damaged in Hurricane Matthew.  A Jacksonville Landing spokesperson tells WOKV they did receive the letter from the City. They are working on a response, and this story will be updated as that’s available.
  • Police took a middle school student into custody Friday morning on suspicion of firing shots at Indiana’s Noblesville West Middle School, leaving at least two people injured. >> Read more trending news Update 7:44 p.m. EDT: Jason Seaman, the teacher injured in the shooting, released a statement Friday evening: “First of all, thank you to the first responders from Noblesville and Fishers for their immediate action and care. I want to let everyone know that I was injured (but) am doing great. To all the students, you are all wonderful and I thank you for your support. You are the reason I teach.” Update 2:50 p.m. EDT: The Indianapolis Star identified the teacher injured in Friday’s shooting at Noblesville West Middle School as Jason Seaman. The newspaper reported he was shot three times while knocking the gun out of the hands of a middle school student who fired shots at the school. Jason Seaman’s brother, Jeremy Seaman, told the newspaper that he was not surprised by reports of his brother’s actions. Students have told several news stations that his quick thinking saved an untold number of lives. “He’s not really ever been the person to run away,” Jeremy Seaman told the Star. “When the safety of the kids is at hand, it’s not surprising to me that he was going to do what he had to do.” Jeremy Seaman told the Star that his brother was undergoing surgery Friday. Update 2:39 p.m. EDT: Noblesville police Chief Kevin Jowitt said at a news conference Friday afternoon that the student who opened fire at Noblesville West Middle School earlier in the day asked to be excused from class before returning with a pair of handguns.  Jowitt said the student was quickly taken into custody. Update 2 p.m. EDT: A Noblesville West Middle School student told WXIN that a science teacher sprang into action Friday after a student opened fire at the school, knocking the gun from the shooter’s hand and likely saving lives. The seventh-grade girl, who was not identified, told the news station that “this science teacher bravely swatted that gun away from the gunman’s hands, saving everyone else in that room.” Another seventh-grader, Ethan Stonebraker, told The Associated Press that the shooter walked into his science class while students were taking a test. 'Our science teacher immediately ran at him, swatted a gun out of his hand and tackled him to the ground,' Stonebraker said. 'If it weren't for him, more of us would have been injured for sure.' It was not immediately clear if the teacher was the same one injured in Friday morning’s shooting.  Police said a juvenile and an adult teacher were injured when an unidentified male student opened fire at the school around 9 a.m. Another student also suffered an ankle fracture, according to officials with Riverview Health. Update 11:43 a.m. EDT: Vice President Mike Pence thanked law enforcement officers and shared condolences after a shooting at a middle school in his home state, Indiana. “Karen and I are praying for the victims of the terrible shooting in Indiana,” Pence wrote on Twitter Friday, referring to his wife, Karen Pence. “To everyone in the Noblesville community -- you are in our hearts and in our prayers.” Update 11:28 a.m. EDT: Noblesville police Chief Kevin Jowitt confirmed that a teacher and a juvenile were injured Friday morning in a shooting at Noblesville West Middle School. Police did not identify either of the victims. They were taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital and Riley Hospital, respectively, Jowitt said. Officials with Riverview Health said earlier Friday that a second student was treated for an ankle fracture after the shooting. Authorities had a suspect, identified as a male student, in custody Friday morning. Jowitt said Noblesville West Middle School had been cleared by 11:30 a.m. However, he added that authorities also received reports of a threat made at Noblesville High School. Police are investigating the report. Update 11:18 a.m. EDT: Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said he and other officials are monitoring the situation in Noblesville after at least two people were injured in a shooting at Noblesville West Middle School on Friday. Authorities are expected to provide additional details about Friday’s shooting in a news conference later in the day. Update 10:55 a.m. EDT: Chad Lancaster, whose eighth-grade daughter and sixth-grade son attend Noblesville West Middle School, told the Indianapolis Star that his daughter called her mother, his ex-wife, while hiding under a desk amid reports of an active shooter on campus. He told the newspaper he has been unable to get in touch with his son. “This is surreal,' Lancaster told the Star. 'This happens in high school, not here.' Officials with Riverview Health said one of the two people injured in Friday morning's shooting was taken to the hospital and transfered to Riley Hospital in stable condition. A second person, a student, was being treated for an ankle fracture. Officials told the Star earlier Friday that an adult was also injured in the shooting. A suspect, who has not been identified, was in custody after the shooting. Update 10:40 a.m. EDT: Indiana University Health officials told the Indianapolis Star that an adult and a teenager were injured in Friday’s shooting at Noblesville West Middle School. The two have not been identified. Indiana State Police said earlier Friday that they were taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital for treatment of their injuries and that their families had been notified. Update 10:20 a.m. EDT: Indiana State Police confirmed two people were taken to a hospital after authorities responded Friday morning to reports of an active shooter at Noblesville West Middle School. Officials said a suspect was in custody after the shooting. Authorities were expected to provide additional details at a news conference later Friday. Original report: Authorities confirmed around 9:40 a.m. that police had a suspect in custody after responding to a report of an active shooter situation at the middle school. Check back for updates to this developing story.
  • With Memorial Day weekend marking the unofficial start to summer-- and the real start to summer just around the corner-- the Florida Department of Children and Families is sharing safety tips to keep your children safe. John Harrell with DCF in the Northeast Florida region says drowning is a serious and tragic problem in our state.  'Florida loses more children under the age of 5 to drowning, than any other state in the nation,' says Harrell. He adds that 80% of children that die from drowning are 3-years-old and under.  But he says DCF believes drowning deaths can be prevented, though, parents need to help and take responsibility.  Harrell says one of the most important things is supervision.  'At least one person keeping a close eye on the children. And that means putting the cellphones away, avoiding any long and detailed conversations, making sure they're seeing on the children, keeping eyes on them, and are able to help quickly if the children get into trouble,' says Harrell.  DCF also strongly asks parents to consider getting children swimming lessons, as early as the age of 1.  Even with lessons, Harrell says it's important to make sure your children know not to get into water of any kind, without supervision.  When it comes to pool owners, Harrell says it's important to have gates and locks around your pool, as children are often curious.  DCF also encourages people to learn CPR, in case the skill is ever needed.  In 2017, there were more than 80 child drownings in Florida. Just this week in Jacksonville, a near drowning left a child in critical condition in Arlington. 

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