News

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.

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."

Water Taxi service soltuion


UPDATE June 5 -- The City of Jacksonville is purchasing two water taxi's Friday and plans to have them in service Saturday, according to said Chief Administrative Officer Karen Bowling. Water taxi service was expected to end Friday, but after downtown hotel operators and other businesses voiced concern, the city was able to come up with a solution.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In less than two weeks, the Jacksonville Water Taxi (JWT) is shutting down.

HarborCare has notified the City of Jacksonville that it will suspend water taxi services after the expiration of their current contract with the city. The company says the city rejected their bid to continue service. The notice says the service does not meet the required number of minimum seats. JWT has less than 40 seats per boat.

The city says the Jacksonville Parks department plans to rebid and restart water taxi services as soon as possible.

Four names added to Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Wall


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- More than 1700 names are written on the Veterans Memorial Wall near Everbank Field. Lives all given for our freedom. On an overcast Memorial Day morning, four more names were added.

Deangelo Brown, Kejuan Haywood, Johnny Oliver and Dustin Curtiss.

Curtiss was a Marine, father avid runner and husband.

"He performed honors at hundreds of funerals for active duty and retired service members, which he always said was the greatest honor of his life," said Curtiss' wife during the ceremony.

Johnny Oliver was a sailor, killed in Bahrain last May. His wife is still dealing with his loss.

"Sometimes I wake up and I think, Johnny how am I going to do this? How am I going to go on without you? Then I think about it and we have to keep living for them, because if we keep talking about them and keep their memory alive, they will never die," she said.