News

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sideline 2013 Game of the Week: Orange Park at Oakleaf

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- It was a Friday morning to remember on FCN. We were live at Oakleaf High School on GMJ firing up the band and leading the cheers for our Sideline 2013 Game of the Week. 

Oakleaf is hosting Orange Park. This is known as the Battle for the Block because these two Clay County schools know each other a little too well being only a couple miles apart. This rivalry is heating up like our weather as the Knights are looking to avenge last year's 35-0 upset loss to the Raiders.

We had special coverage on First Coast News at 5, 5:30, 6, 7, and 11 and do not forget to check out Our First From You Game Box set up at the game. You can take video booth photos and tape your favorite cheers and chants for all to see online and on our newscasts.

One in four Floridians without health insurance

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In Duval County 145,000 people have no health insurance, Karen Hanna is one of them.

"I tried to blame my situation on the government or the place I retired from," said Hanna.

Hanna, a retired teacher, said even with a part time job, the cost of insurance is too much.

"When you're only getting one thousand dollars and 800 goes to insurance," she said. "I'm just living for Medicare."

Hanna, 63, is among the working and uninsured and turned to Volunteer in Medicine, a non profit, for her health care needs.

"If they weren't here I would be devastated," she said.

As long as you are working and meet VIM's income guidelines, the service is free. Mike Weinstein is CEO of Volunteer in Medicine.

"We see about 500 patients a month, 6000 a year," said Weinstein. "It has been like that for ten years." 

Man wanted in Clay County

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. - The Clay County Sheriff's Office is seeking a man on their most wanted list.

John Luther Bennett Jr., 24, is wanted on charges of fleeing and eluding law enforcement, reckless driving and driving while license suspended or revoked.

Bennett's last known address was on Hebron Avenue in Keystone Heights.

Bennett is described as a white male, 6-foot-2-inches tall and weighing 185 pounds.

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.

Family hopes to get healthy home

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. -- A family in need of a healthy home is one step closer to a better life thanks to an anonymous Good Samaritan.

The home was a work in progress when the O'Connors first moved in 12 years ago. The family planned to make the necessary repairs and renovations, but the family said its health issues kept getting in the way.

"It's falling apart because we haven't been able to keep it up because when he's [Misty's husband, Joshua] not working, he's dealing with our health problems," said Misty O'Connor.

Misty and Joshua O'Connor have three girls -- nine, eight, and two. 

In 2008 their middle daughter Kiara ended up in the hospital after one of her lungs collapsed from pneumonia. Since then she has been sick often, a year ago was diagnosed with asthma, and now her older sister also has asthma.

"We're tired of seeing our kids sick all of the time. They missed a lot of school the last few years," said O'Connor.

Residents will have to bear the heat a little longer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The dog days of summer have turned Mount Carmel Gardens into a hotbed of complaints.

"It is getting bad," said Paul Makowski.

The tenants of the high rise are mostly seniors and the disabled. John Duggan said he finds it much cooler outside in the shade than inside his apartment.

"They say they're working on it," said Duggan, "But a lot of people have doubts."

The complex is privately owned but receives HUD rental subsidy.

"You call and yeah its going to get fixed, when is anybody doing anything?" asked Donna Clabough.

It is a question everyone is asking. Kenny Dockswell uses a fan in his apartment but said he's paying for air conditioning service, not a fan.