Tree service owner charged in teen's fatal fall

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. -- The owner of a tree service has been charged in the August death of a teenage boy who was working for him.

Jonathan Harves Wilkes, 37, has been charged with Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child, according to an arrest report from the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

Blake Bryant, 14, of Palatka fell from a 71-foot tree after he accidentally cut through his
safety harness while working for John Wilkes Tree Service in Middleburg.

Wilkes turned himself into CCSO on Monday at 1:40 p.m. He had an active warrant out for his arrest, which was issued on Sept. 19.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Bryant's normal duties included moving limbs and branches and his family had no idea that he was climbing trees.

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Real ways to help you find a job and other resources

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Shawntray from the Westside asked the On Your Side team a question.

He said he recently lost his job as a security guard because he was sick and can't find work. Shawntray said he lost his home and he's afraid he'll lose his car. He wants help.

Shawntray, here is what you do:

1) Get your hands on a phone in the area of Northeast Florida and dial the United Way's 211. It is a referral source that will refer you to places for emergency financial assistance, food, shelter and clothing and a lot of other service.

2) Call the company that you make car payments and explain your situation. Ask if some payments can be deferred.

3) Go to a place like WorkSource Florida. They have offices across the region They will help you or anyone looking for work Find a job. Call 904-356-JOBS for more information.

Clarification on Clay Electric Energy rate hikes

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- First Coast News wants to further clarify our story on Clay Electric's rates going up.

They are going up 3.5% percent for customers who use on average 1,171 kilowat hours of power per month. The 3.5% increase includes the slightly higher energy rates and a $3 customer charge.

Clay Electric's spokesperson tells FCN they are not the only power companies having to raise rates because of the economy.

 

 

 

 

Man wanted for lewd molestation

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- The Clay County Sheriff's Office needs the public's help locating a man wanted on lewd molestation charges.

Officers say Nicholas Von Williams, 33, is accused of lewd molestation of a disabled adult.

Williams is described as being 6-feet-2-inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds, according to the the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

Williams last known address is on 2nd Avenue in Thomasville, Ga.

Anyone who has any information about the whereabouts of this suspect is asked to contact the Clay County Sheriff's Office at 904-264-6512.

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Clay Electric customers' rates are going to rise

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fla. -- We are hearing from upset Clay Electric customers who's rates are set to rise.

Clay Electric's website says starting October 4 bills will go up 3.5 percent. This is in addition to an extra $3 in their 'customer charge.'

According to company spokesperson, Wayne Mattox, if customers use 850 kilowat hours a month they currently pay $94.75.

On October 4 the same amount of usage will be $99.03 a month.

Why the rate hike? 

Mattox points to the economy with declining sales and money in the last few years. Mattox said the rates are rising because more people are not moving to the area or starting businesses there.

Ribbon cutting ceremony to honor four fallen heroes

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- Clay County is honoring four fallen heroes that were killed in action while fighting in the War on Terrorism.

They are being honored during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Hilltop Restaurant in Orange Park, Florida. The event will last from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The heroes graduated from Orange Park High, Middleburg High and Keystone Heights High Schools.

It is Clay Counties goal to raise awareness and enlist sponsors to help put a Florida Fallen Monument at each school honoring those that have died in combat in this and other conflicts throughout the school's history.

On Your Side: Checking an Officer's identification

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- First Coast News got an email from Joyce who said someone disguised as a police officer came to her door, demanding $6,000. She was afraid and eventually gave it to the man.

Captain Joe Bucci, with the Clay County Sheriff's Office, gave tangible information on how you can confirm whether or not someone that comes to your door is an Official Law Enforcement Officer.

According to Bucci:

1) Ask to see a badge and department identification. It'll have a photo with it.

2) Call the dispatch center when the person gives you a badge number to confirm who they are.

3) Ask for a supervisor with dispatch to triple check.

4) When in doubt, if you're not sure, take their information and confirm it inside your home while they wait outside.