Partnership Will Result in World-Class Economic Development Program

The Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce will partner with the City of Jacksonville to create a world-class economic development program.   “To help our community recover from one of the most difficult economic periods of our history, we are lending Jerry Mallot, executive vice president of the Chamber and president of Cornerstone, to the City on a limited, part-time basis,” said  Hugh Greene, CEO and President of Baptist Health System and Chamber Chair.

Former Ruth's Chris CEO Coming to Jacksonville

Former Ruth's Chris CEO Coming to Jacksonville

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Craig Miller, the former CEO of the Ruth's Chris steakhouse chain, plans to announce he'll be a Republican candidate for Senate.

Miller is flying around the state Tuesday to make the announcement. He plans stops in Orlando, Tampa, Naples, West Palm Beach and Jacksonville. 

Miller ran for Congress last year and finished third in the five-way Republican primary, 1,616 votes behind Sandy Adams. Adams won the general election.

Miller will be in Jacksonville Tuesday at 5 p.m.

He served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. Miller resigned as Ruth's Chris CEO in 2008.

Also seeking the Republican nomination to face Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson are former Sen. George LeMieux, Senate President Mike Haridopolos, former state Rep. Adam Hasner and retired Army Col. Mike McCalister. 

Redistricting Meeting in Jacksonville Gets Heated

Redistricting Meeting in Jacksonville Gets Heated

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Tempers flared at Monday's redistricting meetings in Jacksonville.

"People are trying to take politics out of it, and you can't," said Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL).

The purpose of these meetings, 26 of them statewide, is for lawmakers to gather public input on the prickly issue of redrawing legislative and congressional districts.

"Everytime we do redistricting there is always lawsuits and litigation, but the important thing is that we have the opportunity to get it right," said Republican Rep. Will Weatherly.

By law, legislators can't draw the lines until January 2012, but as time marches on some are worried that there's not yet a plan for the new districts.

"On Election Day, people are going to stay home from the polls because they won't know what district they're in," said Duval County Democratic Party spokeswoman Billee Bussard.

How Redistricting May Affect You

How Redistricting May Affect You

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Florida lawmakers are required to redraw new boundaries every ten years to ensure that their is 'equal' representation for every voter.

This time the state is adding two congressional districts and that will translate into two additional electoral votes.

"This is the end game," said Stephen Baker. Baker is a political scientist at Jacksonville University.

"When it comes to districts, you can cut them up in all sort of ways," said Baker.

A Florida legislative committee began the process to solicit the public's input.

"The only criticism is they don't have a plan," said Baker.

The plan is to use the public's input from hearings around the state to develop a redistricting plan.

Max George, who describes himself as a blue collar worker, has often questioned why some of Florida's congressional districts have an unusual shape. But George said he was unaware of the hearings.

3,000+ at Prime Osborn for Alvin Brown Inaugural

3,000+ at Prime Osborn for Alvin Brown Inaugural

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Dignitaries and performers filled the Prime Osborn as the Alvin Brown mayoral inauguration got under way this morning.

Martin Luther King III, members of Dupont Middle School, reps. Ander Crenshaw and Corrine Brown, and Fraternal Order of Police President Nelson Cuba were there. Former mayoral candidate Rick Mullaney and outgoing mayor John Peyton also were in attendance.

PICTURES: Alvin Brown Inauguration 

A little more than 3,000 people filled the main auditorium, leaving one section empty.

The first person was in line at 6:30 a.m. and a long line had formed by the time the doors opened. With 4,000 seats, some came early to make sure they got a good one.

Numerous parents brought their children so they could be part of the event as well.

Alvin Brown: Empower Young, Balance Budget, Find Jobs | SLIDESHOW

Alvin Brown: Empower Young, Balance Budget, Find Jobs  | SLIDESHOW

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The city has a new mayor.

Alvin Brown took the oath of office three minutes past 11 this morning, replacing two-term mayor John Peyton.

"Thank you for joining me on this historic occasion," Brown said. "I want to thank God for His grace and His mercy. It is because of His grace, His mercy ... I can stand here today and say I am the mayor of Jacksonville."

PICTURES: Mayor Alvin Brown Inauguration

He began by citing his three biggest influences: his mother and grandmother, who raised him, and his wife, Santhea, his "best friend in the world," who he said has been with him the whole way.

Echoing his theme of bring humbled, he said, "This election was not about me; it was about your kids, your grandkids, their hopes, dreams and aspirations."

Meet Mayor-Elect Alvin Brown's Staff

Meet Mayor-Elect Alvin Brown's Staff

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Mayor-elect Alvin Brown has chosen his staff, and the decision reaches all the way to Tallahassee.

The Democrat takes office Friday, and on his team will be state Sen. Tony Hill, who will be stepping down as senator to start his new job working as congressional affairs relations director.

State Rep. Mia Jones will also be on staff as special assistant to the mayor, but will not resign her seat.

Other appointments Brown announced today include:

  • Chris Hand, chief of staff
  • Allison Miller, executive assistant
  • Abel Harding, communications director
  • Ronnie Belton, chief financial officer
  • Kevin Hyde, chief administrative officer

Hyde, a former city council president, said he is volunteering for his position and will not receive pay.