Man in bubble talks about his adventure at sea

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The person now referred to as the 'man in the bubble' traveled to Jacksonville Sunday, hoping to get his large plastic bubble back.

Reza Baluchi is a marathon runner. Monday, he left Miami in a hydro pod bubble with plans of traveling through the Bermuda Triangle. He was aiming to run in the bubble, all the way to Bermuda, a thousand miles away.

Baluchi, according to his website and YouTube videos, helped design and tested the bubble over a two year span.

In the bubble, he had supplies inside like power bars, a GPS, a satellite phone, water, and Gatorade. Sunday he said, "Everything inside bubble, I had."

Baluchi planned to be in the bubble for two weeks, arriving in Bermuda mid October. He also had a schedule. He said, "Daytime: sleeping. Nighttime: running."

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Woman facing cyber stalking charges after fake Facebook account

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Is your identity safe in social media? It is a great outlet to engage with family and friends, but a user can become the victim of identity theft with only a few key pieces of your personal information.


Stephanie Francis, 24, claims her identity was stolen on social media and used to create a fake Facebook account.

"How can someone like me protect themselves when in all essence when I'm the victim and I'm being charged with a crime," said Francis.

She loves social media but never thought the thing she loves could can get her in trouble.

Gag order issued in Perrywinkle custody case

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Rayne Perrywinkle, the mother of an 8-year-old girl who was abducted and slain in 2013 returned to court Wednesday morning in an attempt to regain custody of her two other daughters 6-year-old Destiny and 5-year-old Neveah.

Multiple parties were represented in court, including both parents, paternal grandfather and the state.

All parties argued and Judge Davis agreed that by statute the hearing should be closed. A gag order was issued to all parties.

The termination of parental rights was also discussed, but the hearing was delayed until August 18 at 9 a.m.

The city's efforts to get the water taxis back on the river have hit another snag.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The city's efforts to get the water taxis back on the river have hit another snag.

The service ended in early June and now it appears they likely won't be in service until after the start of the Jaguars season.

First Coast News talked to city officials the week before last and they were hopeful they could get the water taxis back on the water this past weekend. That didn't happen .

And now the word is it could be as long as two months before those water taxis are back on the water shuffling people back and forth across the river.

The two water taxis that should eventually be in service sit idle at the Sadler Point Marina off Roosevelt Boulevard.

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Water taxi service still up in the air for this weekend

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The mayor's office and the city council are at odds whether it was an emergency to buy two water taxis after the company that provided the service pulled out after its contract ran out.

On Thursday the city expects delivery of one water taxi it purchased. No time line on when the other will arrive.

The mayor's office last week acted by approving a $338,000 purchase as an emergency to fill the gap in service. On Tuesday night, the city council balked when asked to approve the spending. Council committees will now look at how the deal was put together.

"The city staff completely dropped the ball on this and we are in one heck of a position right now," said Council John Crescimbeni who doesn't believe the city should be in the water taxi business.

Country and soccer put Jax on the map in June

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- June is typically a slow time in attracting visitors Downtown, but not this month. Soccer last weekend with country music this weekend turning out to be a one-two punch the city has never seen before.

"In our history of tracking visitors in June to Jacksonville this is the best weekend we can find in our 15 year history," said Katie Mitura the Director of Marketing for Visit Jacksonville.

The website for Visit Jacksonville has been been active since last November when the two day country festival for EverBank Field was announced. So far the tourist arm of the city says its had 140,000 hits which is the highest number for any event.

"We know ticket sales from all 50 states, people coming from Australia and Canada for this big weekend, " said Mitura who noted she is told 40,000 tickets have been sold for each day of the superfest.

City paves over community garden in food desert

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Food deserts in low income areas throughout Jacksonville are a big issue. A community garden in the Downtown area created to help combat the problem of little or no access to affordable nutritious foods has been paved over by the city. A dumpster just feet away from a children's playground is one concern in front of the J.S. Johnson community center and another is what use to take up a 32x32 space.

In 2013 Val Herrmann, staff members at the community center and neighborhood kids planted a vegetable garden. It was filled with goods such as peas, collard greens and sweet potatoes. The kids were taught how to maintain it and how start their own gardens.

"It was a heyday," said Herrmann. "They were like throwing them down on the ground and coming and getting more seeds."