Florida Uses Twitter to Encourage Families to Adopt Children in Foster Care

Florida Uses Twitter to Encourage Families to Adopt Children in Foster Care

Florida is using Twitter to spread the word that about 850 children in foster care are waiting to be adopted.

Floridians are getting news and information about children in foster care available for adoption, plus support and resources for adoptive families, by following @ExploreAdoption on Twitter.

Want to Give Jags Scouts a Piece of Your Mind? Ticket Holders Invited to Draft Talk

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Blaine Gabbert?  A wide receiver?  Maybe a defensive end?

If you have an opinion on the Jaguars recent draft selections, and if you put your money where your mouth is, the Jaguars scouting staff would love to tell you more.

Season ticket holders who have requested a ticket will hear from General Manager Gene Smith and members of his staff this evening.

They'll be discussing the five picks made last week and will talk about the process of evaluation that led the team to pick a quarterback, offensive lineman, wide receiver and two defensive backs.

They will also be talking about the responsibilities of an NFL scout.

Season ticket holders were previously invited to register for a free ticket to the event, which the Jaguars said reached capacity in just hours.

Jacksonville Soldier in Baghdad Calls bin Laden's Death 'Surreal'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A U.S. Army soldier from Jacksonville who is currently based in Baghdad called the capture and death of Osama bin Laden "surreal."

U.S. Army Spc. Amie Jean McMillan said she woke up and was heading for the gym around 6:30 a.m. Baghdad time when a friend stopped her and shared the news.

"My first reaction was disbelief, thinking he was just joking around. But when I realized he was serious, I was in shock," McMillan wrote First Coast News via Facebook. "I couldn't believe this day actually arrived."

McMillan is with troops from Fort Bragg, N.C., currently in Baghdad, serving as a U.S. Army public affairs specialist.

She read a post on our First Coast News Facebook page early Monday morning, Eastern time, then shared her story via Facebook messages with a reporter.

Family of Southside Soldier Killed, Bin Laden Was "Evil"

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The family of a young Southside soldier killed in Afghanistan last week said Osama bin Laden's death means their loved one's death was not in vain.

The Department of Defense announced the death of Pfc. Jonathan M. Villanueva, 19, of Jacksonville over the weekend.

The DoD released a statement Saturday saying he died on April 27th in the Wardak province of Afghanistan. The DoD said Pfc. Villanueva died of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.

He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Polk, La.

On Monday, the Villanueva family released a statement saying:

50 People Become U.S. Citizens at World of Nations Celebration

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  April 30th will be a special date to remember for dozens of people attending the World of Nations Celebration at Metro Park.  It's the day they became citizens of the United States.

 "I feel so good, happy, excited," said  Cui Juan Zhenz.

Zhenz, a China native, said this moment has been 12 years in the making.  That's when she first moved to the United States.

"Last night I couldn't sleep all night, couldn't wait to come here," said Zhenz.

Zhenz is one of 50 people from 43 countries who took the oath of allegiance during the 19th Annual World of Nations Celebration.  Some shed tears during the ceremony.  The candidates had to go through interviews, several background checks and tests to get to this point.

What's Happening this Weekend, April 29

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- This is a big festival weekend all over the First Coast and into Southeast Georgia.

In Woodbine, Ga., the Crawfish Festival attracts thousands. It includes tons of crawfish dishes, arts and crafts, music and activities for the kids all day Saturday.

In Fernandina, there's the Shrimp Festival which lasts all weekend long. Just head to the waterfront in downtown Fernandina. The arts and crafts line the main street. And, there are special sections for the kids to have fun.

In downtown Jacksonville in Metro Park you can enjoy the World of Nations all weekend long; 30 different countries are represented at this cultural festival.

And, Saturday at the Tree Hill Nature Center, enjoy the Strasser Butterfly Festival from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Tree Hill Center is located on Lone Star Road in Arlington.

Around the World in A Day, Not 80

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- You won't need 80 days to travel around the world.

With the World of Nations underway downtown, it can be done in an afternoon. The event started Thursday and continues through Sunday at Metro Park.

There's $1 admission today from 5 to 9 p.m. On the weekend, the cost is $5.

Metro Park is transformed into a marketplace of cuisine, crafts and entertainment from around the world. More than 30 countries are represented.

For more information, click here.