Cain Arrives; UNF Poll Shows Jax Voters Pick Romney over Obama

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Herman Cain has arrived in Jacksonville tonight as part of a Stand Up For America event just as a poll showing Jacksonville's preference for another GOP candidate over President Obama is released.

The Republican presidential candidate went into the Times-Union Center around 7 p.m. after chatting and shaking hands with the crowd gathered outside. Tickets to go inside cost between $60 and $80.

Cain arrived the same day a University of North Florida poll shows that among Jacksonville voters President Obama is tied with GOP candidate Mitt Romney, but leads Gov. Rick Perry and Herman Cain.

The poll results showed that if the election for president were held today, 40 percent said they would vote for Obama, while another 40 percent opted for Romney in a match-up between the two.

Tucker: Tea Party Movement Growing on First Coast

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Much of the media's attention has been on the Occupy Movement of late, and the perception of some is the Tea Party movement is waning, but First Coast Tea Party officials say that is far from the truth.

The Jacksonville group hosted 60 Tea Party leaders from 26 states this week to strategize on how to get out the vote and get out their message. Newt Gingrich happened to accept their invitation this week to come to Jacksonville well after the meeting was planned.  Tea Party members from as far away as California, Texas and Pennsylvania were in Jacksonville.

GOP Candidate Newt Gingrich: 'Be with Me for 8 Solid Years'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The economy will get better immediately after President Obama leaves office, said Republican Newt Gingrich this afternoon at the Jacksonville Landing during a town hall meeting.

"The economy will improve late on election night when people realize Obama's gone," said Gingrich.

He was invited by the First Coast Tea Party, who discussed Gingrich's visit this morning on "Good Morning Jacksonville."

"I am very proud to have worked with the Tea Party movement," he said. 

Gingrich in response to a question also championed the U.S. space program. "I want to be the leading country taking freedom out into the solar system."

Mayor Announces 5 New Appointments

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown has appointed five new people to his staff.

The official announcement was made today, along with each annual salary. They are:

  • Calvin Burney, director of planning, $120,000
  • James Cole Cartledge, director of intra-governmental services, $122,500
  • Renee Finley, director of Mayor's Office of Public-Private Partnerships, $1, works for Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Betzy Santiago, special assistant to the mayor, $70,000, works as a real estate professional 
  • Jack Shad, community planner, $75,000

The mayor said to expect other appointments upcoming.

Brazil Business Solutions plays key role in trade mission to Brazil

From left to right: Alan Vinson, CEO of Brazil Business Solutions, Greg Driskell, President of Professional Pavement Products Inc.; Jerry Mallot of JAX USA, formerly Cornerstone; and Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown. Seated at the head of the table is Lara De Lacerda Santos Rodrigues, who heads the City of Curitiba, Brazil’s Department of International Relations. Curitiba is one of Jacksonville's newest SIster Cities. Photo by Cristiana Camargo Gusso

Brazil Business Solutions is among eight Jacksonville companies joining Gov. Rick Scott, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown and officials from Enterprise Florida aiming to boost trade with one of the world’s emerging economies. The trip runs Oct. 23-27. Brazil is currently the state of Florida’s No. 1 trading partner and Jacksonville’s No. 2 trade partner behind Puerto Rico. Brazil is the seventh-largest economy in the world and, in 2010, trade between Florida and Brazil totaled approximately $13.7 billion.

JEA Paid More Than $12 Million in Overtime in 2010

JEA Paid More Than $12 Million in Overtime in 2010

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Bob Cole is out on the banks of the St. Johns River every chance he can get.

Cole said fishing is pretty much like paying his electric bill: he never knows what he will get.

"The month before last it was $303, but this time I got it yesterday, Saturday it was $160.

Cole said his JEA bills on average have gone up $100 a month.

While he is paying more, the electric authority has paid out $12.4 million in overtime in just the last year.

DATABASE: See What JEA Employees Earn

JEA said overtime makes up less than 8 percent of the salary base, which is $158 million.