News

Two Jacksonville Seniors at Nathan B. Forrest High School Denied Graduation

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In a few days, the senior class at Nathan B. Forrest High School will graduate, but seniors Kenny Williams and Katura Simmons will not be able to participate.

This week they were told the disappointing news. "They're saying we walked off campus and that's it - we won't be able to walk because of that," said Simmons.

Williams and Simmons skipped school they said, to go to work.

"I didn't have permission. They didn't know," said Simmons.

But Williams and Simmons have reviewed their code of conduct and leaving school without permission does not merit the punishment.

"I feel like it is unfair," said Williams.

Williams' mother said she has waited 14 years to see her son walk across the stage and now she's being told it won't happen.

Their suspension was more than enough punishment, said Mary Blackburn. "I feel it is overboard," she said.

Death Row Inmate Indicted on Cold Case Murder

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- New technology has led investigators of a cold case murder to a suspect on death row.

Thomas Moore is currently on death row for a murder he committed when he was 19 in Duval County, said State Attorney Angela Corey today. Moore robbed a neighbor, shot him and set his house on fire in that case.

But today, a grand jury indicted him on new charges, including first degree murder. DNA evidence linked Moore to the 1990 murder of Donna Morris, Corey said.

Morris was kidnapped, raped, shot and left to die in the woods.  Corey said Moore was 17-years-old at the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family of Bail Bondsman Killed By Police Angry and Confused, Still Seeking Answers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Family and friends held a vigil and released balloons on Jacksonville's Eastside Tuesday night, in memory of bail bondsman Antonio Cooks.
    
Police shot and killed the father of four last week.  Another bondsman was critically injured in that same incident.
    
According to police, the bondsmen were looking for a wanted suspect when the shooting took place at the Mayfair Village Apartments.
    
Relatives said they still don't know what really happened, and said they aren't placing the blame on anyone at this time.  They told First Coast News they just want more information.
    
The State Attorney's Office is now looking into whether anyone violated any laws.
   

Summer BBQs Take Bite Out of Your Wallet

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- "What we're doing is enjoying Memorial Day weekend, we've been out here since Friday night," said camper Joe Carmon.

Spending the weekend camping with friends and family should be an inexpensive way to unwind.

"We've been out here every day, fishing, camping, cooking out," said camper Tracy Smith.

But it's the cooking out part of the trip that's really starting to bite into people's wallets.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, the price of beef has gone up 27% since last summer. The price of pork: 32%. And if you want an ear of sweet corn to go with it, well, that's gone up 87%.

And while the Department of Agriculture is expecting overall grocery costs in the US to rise 4% this year, Americans still feel the burn the most at the pump.

"The gas to get out here was the most expensive," said Smith.

Memorial Night Trip To The Veterans Memorial Wall

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's never too late to honor those who have fought and died for the United States.

But for some, the late night twilight was the best time to visit the Veterans Memorial Wall in downtown Jacksonville.

"I wanted to come out here earlier, but we had cookouts and other things going on all day, but I told my daughter we would not miss it," said Donna Pressley.

Pressley said she's never lost a family member or friend to war, but felt compelled to visit.

"I want to show my daughter something that is so overwhelming and show her that this is how America is. We stick together," Pressley said.

Just before sunset a half dozen men and a lone woman rolled up on their motorcycles.

Each was a member of the armed forces. They come to the wall each Memorial Day and spend silent moments with each panel of the wall.

Unemployment High Among Military Veterans

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Michael Fletcher is trying to buck the rising trend of unemployed veterans. 

"It's hard as a society as a whole to get a job," he said.  "Military veterans have other issues aside from just normal issues of just regular civilians.  You have PTSD issues in some people, you have disabled veterans like myself."

Fletcher, a member of the U.S. Air Force for six years, was injured in Iraq in 2005 after a truck flipped on him twice.  His heart stopped beating twice. 

After his accident, he said he had a choice to make: Either give up and live off his benefits, or move forward with his life.

"I met a guy at the DMV who was a part of the Wounded Warrior Project and he said, 'Don't give up, don't give up,'" he said.

Jacksonville Memorial Day Observance | SLIDESHOW, VIDEO

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Three names, including an Englewood High School graduate whose brother paid tribute to him today, have been added to the Veterans Memorial Wall for this year's Memorial Day ceremony.

The wall located near EverBank Field is Jacksonville's tribute to the men and women killed since World War I. There are more than 1,700 names.

The latest names added to the wall honor include Army Pvt. Jonathan Villanueva who was killed last month in Afghanistan.  Lt. Robert Huish was killed in December in a hit-and-run accident in Atlantic Beach.  Navy Chief Petty Officer David Gilbert was killed in an armed burglary in April 2010 at his apartment near NAS Jacksonville.

Spc. Diego Villanueva, who is also in the Army, told the crowd about his younger brother who just two years ago graduated from Englewood High School.

"I know he liked to follow in my footsteps growing up," said Villanueva.