News

Drafted QB Blaine Gabbert Introduced in Jacksonville

MORE: NFL DRAFT TRACKER

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- First round pick Blaine Gabbert was introduced to the city today in a news conference where he stressed the need for the team to unite and win games. 

On Thursday, the Jaguars traded up six spots in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday night and selected Missouri quarterback Gabbert with the 10th pick. The move instantly created a quarterback competition between Gabbert and inconsistent starter David Garrard.

"Quarterbacks stick together...you gotta wish the best for the guys out there," he said at a news conference today at EverBank Field.

"You want to score points in the football game."

He said waiting to be chosen in the draft was not as stressful as it seems and that he enjoyed being in New York.

Could Duval County Teachers, Employees Face Furloughs?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Furloughs for all Duval County Public Schools employees always have been on the table to balance the school budget, but way down the list.

New numbers out of Tallahassee could cause school officials to take a closer look at the option.

Under the proposal, 10-month employees, such as teachers, would be furloughed four days, about a 2 percent pay cut. Twelve-month employees, such as principals, administrators and staff, would be furloughed 6 days, about a 2.3 percent.

"Nobody wants to do that; that is not high on my list," said  Duval County school board member Tommy Hazouri. "It is not high on the school board''s list, but it is one you have to have on the table."

Ander Crenshaw, David Garrard Team up to Fight Crohn's

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- One of Jacksonville's representatives in Washington was joined today in Jacksonville by the Jaguars' quarterback to help promote the fight against Crohn's Disease

Rep. Ander Crenshaw's daughter has had Crohn's for 10 years.  He is a member of the Crohn's and Colitis Caucus in Congress. David Garrard was diagnosed with Crohn's in 2004, underwent surgery and returned to the field to lead the Jaguars.

He then dedicated the David Garrard Foundation to the understanding of Crohn's.

The two are teaming up for the 2011 Take Steps for Crohn's and Colitis Walk Sunday at the Jacksonville Landing. Registration begins at 4 p.m. and the walk begins at 5.

Can't Get Pregnant? Free Chance to Try Saturday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's heartbreaking to want a baby of your own so badly you just burst into tears when you walk by somebody else's baby in a stroller.

Or you see a baby food ad on TV and wonder why you can't get pregnant - even though it seems the rest of the world can.

If you can relate to any of this, you may have questions about infertility treatments. Infertility affects 7.3 million people in the U.S. One out of every eight couples faces the difficulties.

On Saturday, local doctors and staff are having a free patient education symposium called the Jacksonville Fertility Awareness Seminar. It's from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Wyndham Hotel in downtown Jacksonville.

Three IVF cycles will be given away. Seminar attendees are eligible to win if they attend the entire seminar and are present for the drawings.

You must register in advance. Go to jaxfertility@yahoo.com.

SLIDESHOW | Officials: Fire Intentional at Burnt Out Job Corps Bldg.

MORE: Watch a slideshow of the fire.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The former Job Corps building in Springfield destroyed by fire has the State Fire Marshal's Office believing someone intentionally set the blaze.

"There is no reason for this fire. We don't see any actually causes," said Lt. Robby Stephens, a veteran fire investigator.

As a precaution a cadaver dog was brought into go through the ruble to ensure no one was inside the building at the time of the fire.  The dog found found nothing.   

Demolition work continues on the building that is being razed for safety reasons. The historic structure was saturated with water to battle the fire that took two hours to bring under control.

Jax Doctor Agrees, Cussing Can Cut Pain

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Next time you stub your toe, go ahead and let those four-letter words fly. Cursing actually does help dull our perception of pain, research suggests.

In the study, researchers from the UK's Keele University asked participants for five words they'd likely use after hitting their thumb with a hammer; the first word listed would be their go-to profanity during the experiment. (They were also asked to list five boring words -- ones they'd use to describe a table.)

Participants were then instructed to submerge their unclenched hand in a container of 41-degree water, and keep it there -- while repeatedly cursing -- for as long as they could. Before and after plunging their hands into the chilly water, their heart rate was recorded. And after they could no longer stand the cold temperature, they were asked to rate the amount of pain they were in, too.

We spoke to a local doctor who said she agrees with the research.

Former Jax Mayor Austin was 'Caring Mentor', 'True Statesman'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The family of former Jacksonville Mayor Ed Austin who died Saturday at the age of 84 thanked well-wishers on Easter for their support and tributes, calling Austin an "inspiration."

"He lived a great life and accomplished much throughout his life - but he was always humble and remained devoted to God and his family. Our family has been blessed by having such an amazing man in our lives," said a statement from Austin's son, Steve.

Ed Austin served as mayor between 1991 and 1995.

"Dad loved Jacksonville and it's clear from all of the wonderful words expressed by friends and people from all over town that he was loved in return," the statement said.

During his tenure, Austin initiated the revitalization of downtown through his River City Renaissance Plan. The plan led to  rebuilding the Florida Theatre, Ritz Theatre and the current EverBank Stadium, according to city of Jacksonville archives.