Smoky Conditions Could Impact Morning Commute

Smoky Conditions Could Impact Morning Commute

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Signs are up along JTB Monday morning warning drivers about smoky conditions in the area.

A large fire began burning Sunday afternoon in Jacksonville in the area of Hodges and J. Turner Butler Boulevard.

It is still smoky Monday morning, but it was not severely impacted visibility around 5 a.m. Our crew could not see flames or an orange glow from our live location, but our access is restricted because it's private property. 

According to Jacksonville Fire and Rescue, there are two fires burning on the Hodges' family property. Lightning started both fires late Sunday afternoon.

The fires are burning on private property. They're estimated to be about 200 acres. One fire is said to be threatening homes and barns.

At this time Division of Forestry officials say the fires are not under control..

Jacksonville Weekly Gas Price Update, July 18

Average retail gasoline prices in Jacksonville have risen 3.3 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.60/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has increased 3.0 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.67/g, according to gasoline price website

Florida Highway Patrol Releases Results from Holiday Enforcement Campaign

Florida Highway Patrol announced the preliminary results from the Patrol’s Independence Day holiday enforcement effort.  During the four-day heightened enforcement period, FHP increased the number of troopers patrolling Florida’s roadways. Auxiliary troopers augmented FHP’s force.

Two-Tier Gas Pricing Catching Customers Unaware

Two-Tier Gas Pricing Catching Customers Unaware

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- What gas customers see advertised may not be the price they pay at the pump.

It's because of something gas inspection experts call two-tier pricing.

In response to many questions from viewers about the different pricing, First Coast News asked why, if it's legal and what you can do about it.

Gas stations using two-tier pricing advertise one price for cash (or company-specific credit cards, such as Shell or Chevron), but display another price at the pump for credit cards.

"They just pull up to the pump to get their gas and then realize, 'Oh, they charged me more than what that sign said,'" explained Roberta Lawson, a supervisor for petroleum inspection in North Florida.

The practice is popular in South Florida but it's becoming more common on the First Coast, according to Lawson.

The reason stations do it may be because of steep vendor credit card fees.

AAA and Budweiser Partner to Provide Free Rides for the Tipsy

AAA and Budweiser Partner to Provide Free Rides for the Tipsy

Throughout Florida a number of programs offer free rides to individuals who have had too much to drink.

AAA and Budweiser offer a service called "Tow to Go"
that provides private party goers and licensed establishments a way to get people home safely. Adults in need of a ride can call 1-800-AAA-HELP. AAA will dispatch a tow truck and will take both the driver and the vehicle home, free of charge. This service is available throughout Florida - to both AAA members and non-members.

The free towing service is not only available on the 4th of July, but over the entire long weekend from July 1 through July 5.

According to FHP, Tow to Go removes the number one excuse for drunk driving - the intoxicated motorist not wanting to leave their car - by not only taking the driver home safely, but also their vehicle home safely too.

Passengers Stuck on Plane Returning From Baltimore

Passengers Stuck on Plane Returning From Baltimore

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Passengers on flight 1007 from Baltimore have deplaned after being stuck at the gate for about 25 minutes.

The reason for the delay is due to the front door to the plane becoming stuck.

First Coast News Managing Editor Casey Clark was on that flight and snapped these pictures for us of the commotion on the plane.

Ground crews with Southwest Airlines brought an open stairwell to the rear of the plane for passengers to deplane through the back exit.

At this time everyone has deplaned safely.

OMCC Participates in Roadcheck 2011

The Florida Department of Transportation Office of Motor Carrier Compliance will take part in Roadcheck 2011, an international activity that will take place June 7-9 throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.