St. Augustine double murder suspect in custody

St. Augustine double murder suspect in custody

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Hours before his wife and a family friend were shot to death inside a South Bellagio Drive home Thursday, a St. Augustine man suspected in their killing had been in court pleading no contest to violating an injunction for protection against domestic violence ordered by a judge last month, court records show.

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Suspect in double murder of wife and friend in court hours before shooting

Suspect in double murder of wife and friend in court hours before shooting

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Hours before his wife and a family friend were shot to death inside a South Bellagio Drive home Thursday, a St. Augustine man suspected in their killing had been in court pleading no contest to violating an injunction for protection against domestic violence ordered by a judge last month, court records show.

Ebron charged in plot to escape from jail

Ebron charged in plot to escape from jail

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The chief suspect in the disappearance of 21-month-old Lonzie Barton faces new charges following his arrest for an alleged plot to escape from the Duval County Pretrial Detention Facility.

William “Ruben” Ebron, 32, is accused of concocting a plot to stash keys in his sock and mouth and then use them to slip out of his handcuffs, jump out of a jail van and escape in a getaway car, according to a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office arrest report.

Investigators found out about the plan Monday when another inmate came forward with multiple recorded conversations detailing how Ebron allegedly planned to escape from custody. “Ebron directed the inmate to have the getaway car placed east of the jail,” the report said.

Ebron was arrested Thursday on charges of attempted escape from a jail, criminal conspiracy, unlawful possession of a concealed handcuff key, and smuggling contraband into a detention facility, all felonies, jail records show.

St. Marys Police arrest alleged money counterfeiter


ST. MARYS, Ga. -- Police in St. Marys say they have arrested the man responsible for making bogus twenty-dollar bills as part of a counterfeit scheme in Southeast Georgia.

A Facebook post by the St. Marys Police Department says Jacorey Anderson, 25, was arrested Monday after police were able to gain new information into the scheme.

Police say several of Anderson's fake twenty-dollar bills were used at businesses in Camden County.

A search of Anderson's home reportedly yielded a printer used for counterfeiting as well as drug manufacturing materials.

Anderson was booked into the Camden County Sheriff's Office Public Safety Complex and faces charges of possession of drug manufacturing equipment and forgery.


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Navy wife allege disabled son assaulted at Kings Bay youth center


KINGSLAND, Ga. -- Melody Munroe, Navy wife and mother of five, is fighting for her disabled child.

"I think some believe I am out to get the Navy," she said.

Recently she posted her concerns on CNN's iReport. The title was a question: why is there no help?

"I want accountability," said Munroe. "I want them to accept that they did not protect my son."

Munroe said over the summer, between June 1 and August 4, her down syndrome child attended a day camp at the youth center on Kings Bay submarine base.

"He's nine years of age with the cognitive understanding of a four year old," she said.

She said she noticed he was acting differently, but didn't think much of it.

Get a free, sober ride home tonight

JACKSONVILLE, FLA-- We want you to get the new year started off safely so put this number in your phone, 885-286-9246.

855-286-9246 is the phone number to AAA's Tow-To-Go program.  You don't have to be a AAA member to use the service, it just gets you a safe, free ride home and saves you from driving intoxicated.

"New Year's Eve is the busiest night of the year for the Tow to Go program because so many motorists seem to be more inclined to use a designated driver but don't always have someone willing to be one in their own party during the biggest celebration of the year," said Gerry Gutowski, Sr. Vice President, Automotive Services, AAA–The Auto Club Group. "We prepare our call center teams and tow truck service providers for weeks in advance, so we can manage the increased call volume that's typical of this time of year."

Authorities investigating after structure catches fire

ST. MARYS, Ga. -- Authorities are investigating after a structure caught fire Saturday at the site of the former Gilman Paper Company mill.

Officials with the St. Marys Fire Department told First Coast News the fire is now 100 percent contained, though there are some "hot spots" remaining.

Firefighters will keep a truck on scene overnight, officials said.

Lieutenant Shannon Brock with the St. Marys Police Department said his agency was called to the scene, located at 1 Marchi Drive, about 5:15 p.m.

When police arrived, firefighters were on scene, working to bring the flames under control, Brock said in a telephone interview.

"Somehow or another, it just caught fire," he said. "...It'll be on the ground before it's over."

Because the structure -- an old maintenance shed at the defunct mill -- is abandoned, there have been no reported injuries, Brock said.

There is no word yet on a cause.

Ga. family told loan modification no longer valid

WAVERLY, Ga. -- Debra Warner is worried about her home and  mortgage company.

"I'm not going to lose our home and be bullied by any bank," Warner said. 

In 2012 it took her six months to work out a mortgage loan modification with Bank of America. 

"We were happy because we were able to keep our home," Warner said.

It was not easy she said; after proving eligibility they had to get through the three month payment trial period successfully.

According to her payment schedule the Warner's paid their mortgage on time, then and now. But in 2013, their mortgage was transferred to Greentree servicing.

"I'm being punished for paying early which I've never been punished for that before," said Warner.

Greentree was still accepting her modified payments. 

"They're cashing my checks but now they're telling me it wasn't a valid modification," she said. 

Consumers asked to prepare for winter energy costs

ATLANTA (AP) - The Georgia Public Service commission is reminding consumers to prepare for winter weather by weatherizing their households, enrolling in budget billing programs and conserving energy if possible.

Officials said Tuesday they expect natural gas costs for residential customers to be roughly the same as they were last year.

Officials say consumers have several options to lessen the economic burden of paying for higher energy bills during months of cold weather.

Commission spokesman Bill Edge says consumers - especially those on fixed incomes - should begin looking into budget billing options to avoid unexpected spikes in power rates, or enroll in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program through the state Department of Human Services.

Edge says consumers can also get help from the Georgia Environmental Financing Authority to weatherize their households.

Ga. airport ups security despite outcry from Navy

ST. MARY'S, Ga. (AP) - An airport authority board in coastal Georgia has voted to move ahead with an improvement project despite objections from the U.S. Navy. 

The Brunswick News reports members voted Wednesday to erect a security fence around the facility after runway lighting systems were vandalized three times.

Authority board member Frank Drane says the group has to do more to keep the facility safe while Navy officials say they want to authority to move the airport away from Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay.

Officials say the airport has posed security and safety threats to the base since before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Authority member Frank Frasca says uncertainty over the airport's future has prevented officials from attracting new tenants.

St. Marys man charged with killing friend in traffic crash

WOODBINE, Ga. - A driver has been charged with homicide by vehicle, reckless driving and driving under the influence after allegedly killing his passenger in a crash Sunday night.

Richard Madria Ezzard, 24, was allegedly driving under the influence when the Honda Odyssey he was driving struck a tree at a high rate of speed, according to a release from the Camden County Sheriff's Office.

Ezzard's passenger, Salvatore Hauser, 21, was extracted from the vehicle and transported from the scene at the intersection of Charlie Smith Sr. Highway and Mush Bluff Road, but later died at UF Health Jacksonville.

The accident is under investigation by the Georgia State Patrol.

Real ways to help you find a job and other resources

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Shawntray from the Westside asked the On Your Side team a question.

He said he recently lost his job as a security guard because he was sick and can't find work. Shawntray said he lost his home and he's afraid he'll lose his car. He wants help.

Shawntray, here is what you do:

1) Get your hands on a phone in the area of Northeast Florida and dial the United Way's 211. It is a referral source that will refer you to places for emergency financial assistance, food, shelter and clothing and a lot of other service.

2) Call the company that you make car payments and explain your situation. Ask if some payments can be deferred.

3) Go to a place like WorkSource Florida. They have offices across the region They will help you or anyone looking for work Find a job. Call 904-356-JOBS for more information.

Trial to begin four years after Glynn Co. murders

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. -- Jury selection began Monday morning in a case that once thrust Glynn County into national news.

Guy Heinze Jr. is charged with murdering his father and seven others in a mobile home in 2009.

According to our news partners at the Florida Times-Union, more than 1,000 potential jurors have been sent summons from two Georgia counties.

Despite heavy publicity about the case, it is still expected to be tried in Glynn County Superior Court.

The jury selection process is expected to take several weeks, which is why the actual jury is not slated to begin until October 15.

Heinze Jr. has maintained his innocence and even passed a polygraph test in which he denied being the killer.

A 911 recording indicates Heinze Jr. came to the mobile home and found the individuals dead.

On Your Side: Checking an Officer's identification

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- First Coast News got an email from Joyce who said someone disguised as a police officer came to her door, demanding $6,000. She was afraid and eventually gave it to the man.

Captain Joe Bucci, with the Clay County Sheriff's Office, gave tangible information on how you can confirm whether or not someone that comes to your door is an Official Law Enforcement Officer.

According to Bucci:

1) Ask to see a badge and department identification. It'll have a photo with it.

2) Call the dispatch center when the person gives you a badge number to confirm who they are.

3) Ask for a supervisor with dispatch to triple check.

4) When in doubt, if you're not sure, take their information and confirm it inside your home while they wait outside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woman sought for credit card, identity theft

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. -- The Glynn County Police Department is seeking the public's help identifying a woman wanted for identity theft.

The unknown female in the surveillance photo above is also suspected of credit card fraud, according to a Facebook post by the Glynn County Police Department.

Anyone who has any information about this suspect is asked to contact the Glynn County Police Department at 912-554-7816.

To remain anonymous, contact Silent Witness at 912-264-1333.

Starry Nights Music in the Park Hosts Last Performance of the Season

Starry Nights Music in the Park Hosts Last Performance of the Season

The St. Marys Convention & Visitors Bureau is proud to present Starry Nights, Music In The Park on Saturday, September 14th  from 7-9pm at the St. Marys Waterfront Park.

The Starry Nights series is designed to showcase local and regional artists “under the stars.” The superior outdoor venue along the St. Marys River provides a nostalgic feeling of family and community and is always a free and family friendly event.

Bring your lawn chairs and your dancing shoes! You can grab a bite to eat in historic downtown St. Marys or enjoy a picnic dinner during the event.

The featured act for September is the Just Jazz Quartet who provide a sophisticated and enjoyable performance with classics from Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and more!  For more information call the St. Marys Welcome Center at 912-882-4000.

Winning in Wildcats' new head coach's blood

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- Camden County is a football powerhouse in the state of Georgia. Head Coach Jeff Herron led the Wildcats to three state championships and national attention in his 13 years with the program.

But earlier this year, he shocked the community with the announcement that he was leaving Camden County, a school of almost 3,000 and a Class 6A football team. He's the new head coach at Prince Avenue Christian, a Class A team with about 250 students in the entire high school.

Camden County administration hired from within, promoting Offensive Coordinator Welton Coffey to the head coach position. He's no stranger to winning.

"Coaching is not something you just do in a place, it's something that you share with the people, young people. And I've just had great opportunities to do that over my years," said Coffey, who has been coaching longer than his current players have been alive.

Camden County defeats Milton 40-7 in scrimmage

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- The Camden County High School football team has a new look this season, not with their uniforms but with the people in key positions.

Welton Coffey is the Wildcats new head coach.  He replaces Jeff Herron who led the program to three state titles in the past decade.  Coffey is no stranger to winning state titles as a head coach as he led Raines High School to a championship in 1997.

Camden County also must find a replacement for Brice Ramsey who started at quarterback the past two seasons for the Wildcats.  He's now playing at the University of Georgia along with his former high school teammate J.J. Green.

The Wildcats defeated Milton 40-7 in a scrimmage on Friday night.  They will travel to the Georgia Dome on Saturday, August 24th for the regular season opener vs. North Gwinnett, a nationally ranked team.

Former Dozier student speaks out on decision

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Arthur G. Dozier School for boys officially closed June, 2011, but still open are the many chapters to its dark history.

"Finally the truth is going to come out," said Roger Kiser. 

Kiser, founder of the organization White House Boys, is a former student at the Arthur G. Dozier school for boys. He remembers what he said the day after his first beating.

"I was beaten bloody and I said one day I'm gonna come back and report what you people are doing,' said Kiser.

It is a promise he has kept. For the past two decades Kiser has spent his time and his money exposing the horror of the reform school. 

"I put everything I had into this," said Kiser. "I don't regret for one minute that I did it, I'd do it again."

Campground tenant gets seat belt ticket while in campground

YULEE, Fla. -- It is a fact that wearing a seat belt can save your life. That is why Florida requires you to buckle up if you are driving a car. But what if the car is in your campground and not on the roadway. Is that an exception? 

Charles Ross was getting ready to leave his campground in his Oldsmobile. He said had just left his driveway and was still in the campground.

"The cop standing right there (near the exit) and he stopped me," said Ross.

Ross said a Nassau County Sheriff's Office deputy was on the property for something else but noticed that he was not wearing his seat belt.

"He said 'I see you don't have your seat belt on, I said 'yes sir I will by the time I hit (Highway) 17.'"

U.S. Highway 17 is the main road to and from the privately operated campground where Ross lives.

Your guide to First Coast 4th of July celebrations

Firework displays and events scheduled to celebrate the 4th of July holiday across the First Coast. Here's a list of the festivities:

Columbia County celebrates 4th of July

Clay County celebrates the 4th of July

Fernandina Beach celebrates 4th of July

Flagler County celebrates 4th of July

Police looking for Dish subcontractor impersonator

HILLIARD, Fla. -- Joyce Dixon, is a caterer, a Dish network customer and now victim of a phony Dish network subcontractor scheme.

"This young man came out here, super nice fellow, and debundled our windstream package," said Dixon, "He did it all right here in the house we watched him."

The phony subcontractor, Anthony Gerhold, offered the Dixons an upgrade in Dish TV service if they paid in advance.

They paid $662.29 for a year's upgrade including any repairs and received an invoice showing they were paid until March 2014, but then they began getting bills from Dish Network.

"I'd call the 800 number on the card he gave me and he told me just to tear it up and throw it away," said Dixon, "He would take care of it."

Armed robbery suspect arrested in Glynn County

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. -- Investigators with the Glynn County Police Department arrested Thomas Lavone Robinson for armed robbery early Wednesday morning. 

Robinson, 26, was allegedly involved in a robbery with another suspect on May 27 at the Friendly Express located at 3245 Cypress Mill Road in Brunswick, according to GCPD.

The clerk reported he was robbed by two males wearing bandannas over their faces.

According to the clerk, one of the males was armed with a handgun and threatened him.

The suspects fled the store on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash, according to GCPD.

The clerk was uninjured.

If you have information on the identity of the second suspect, please contact Investigator Resden Talbert at 912-554-7813.

St. Marys man arrested for sexual exploitation of children

ST. MARYS, Ga. -- A St. Marys man was arrested and charged with sexual exploitation of children after investigators found sexually explicit images of children on his computer. 

Marshall Nicolas Hitt, 29, began being investigated after Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) special agents notified the St. Marys Police Department of the case involving Hitt on Thursday, according to SMPD. 

Using information provided to them by Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC), NCIS interviewed Hitt. 

According to SMPD, once NCIS realized the crimes occurred in St. Marys, NCIS notified SMPD investigators for assistance and a search warrant was secured for Hitt's residence. 

Investigators found electronic devices belonging to Hitt which contained sexually explicit images of children, according to SMPD. 

Teacher arrested for child molestation

ST. MARYS, Ga. -- A Camden County teacher was arrested Monday on allegations of child molestation.

According to a release from Chief Tim Hatch of the St. Marys Police Department, Amy Lee Cassada, 34, reportedly electronically furnished obscene materials to minors.

In a statement, the Camden County Schools said Cassada has been terminated.

Police received a report of the allegation on May 28 after suspicious behavior was observed between Cassada and a 15-year-old Ombudsman Program student she was tutoring.

Investigators with the Armstrong Atlantic State University Police Department found through a search of digital media that Cassada sent the juvenile sexual images through text messages.

Ga. man sentenced to 15 years for child molestation

BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- A St. Marys man was convicted of two counts of child molestation and reckless conduct Thursday.

Freddie Lewis, Jr., 52, was sentenced to prison due to charges from a July 2011 sexual assault of a 13-year-old child, according to a Camden County Sheriff's Office press release.

Tuesday Superior Court Judge Stephen D. Kelley accepted Lewis' plea of guilty and sentenced Lewis to serve 15 years in prison, followed by fifteen 15 years on probation.

Lewis will also be required to register as a sex offender.

Camden man charged with making meth, again

CAMDEN, Ga. -- A man waiting to go to court for allegedly being caught with methamphetamine near St. Marys Elementary School, was caught in the act again yesterday.

Camden County Sheriff's Office deputies went to the home of 40-year-old Mark Dewayne Adams to talk to him about a pending court appearance, according to a release from the CCSO.

While at Adams' home on the 220 block of Sweet Gum Street, law enforcement noticed meth cooking process in plain sight, the release detailed.

Adams was arrested and charged with manufacturing meth and possession of meth. 

Ga. film alliance wants to attract movie makers

ST. MARYS, Ga. (AP) - Three Georgia counties have joined a growing partnership that officials in southeast Georgia say will attract more film and television projects to the region. 

The Brunwsick News (http://bit.ly/18unqRs) reports that Libert, McInstosh and Charlton counties will join the Coastal Georgia Film Alliance. They will join Camden and Glynn counties in the partnership.

Barbara Ryan is an executive at the alliance. She highlighted the USA Network's TV series "Royal Pains" recent venture into the region. The show filmed two episodes last year on Camden and Glynn locations. The new counties, she said, will expand the venues that the alliance can offer producers.

Georgia is among several states that have adopted generous tax credits to attract the television and film industry.

Glynn Academy senior died Wednesday

ST. MARYS, Ga. -- New details emerged Thursday about the death of a high school senior in Glynn County.

Major damage at Georgia airport, suspects sought

ST. MARYS, Ga. -- The St. Mary's Police Department is searching for a suspect or suspects involved in damaging 21 runway lights at the St. Mary's airport.

Officials said they do not have any witnesses or leads at this time regarding this incident and is asking for the public's help in the case.

The City of St. Marys is offering a $500 reward for information leaded to an arrest and conviction in this case.

If you have any information that you can provide, please contact Lieutenant Johnny Guy at 912-510-0436.

 

Glynn County Police seek ID of burglary suspect

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. - A burglary suspect was caught in the act on camera and now police are seeking the public's help identifying him.

According to a post on the Glynn County Police Department's Facebook page, police are looking for the suspect who attempted to conceal his identity.

If you can identify this person, please contact the Glynn County Police Department at 912-554-7837.

St. Marys Police Blotter - May 2013

No police reports at this time.

Police seek man on Glynn's most wanted list

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. - The Glynn County Police Department is looking for a man on their most wanted list.

Jeremiah Nathaniel, 29, is wanted by the Glynn Brunswick Violent Crimes Task Force for multiple charges, according to a Facebook post by the Glynn County Police.

Nathaniel's criminal history includes weapon possession charges, violent crimes and obstructing offers.

According to the GCPD, Nathaniel 's last known address is on Lodge Road in Waynesville.

Anyone who has any information in regards to this suspect is asked to contact the Glynn County Police Department at 912-270-3062. To remain anonymous contact Silent Witness at 912-264-1333.

Pornography charges in Operation Guarding Innocence

ST. MARYS, GA -- Three arrests were made on Wednesday resulting in multiple child pornography charges as part of a law enforcement effort called Operation Guarding Innocence.

The sweep began with a search warrant served on a residence on Nature's Bounty Trail. Corey Scott Thimlar, 20, was arrested after Camden County Sheriff's Office deputies found what was believed to be child pornography on a computer within the home.

On the same day, the St. Marys Police Department served a search warrant on the home of Todd Allen Manley, 47, on Miller Street in St. Marys. Manley was arrested later that day after images found on a computer belonging to him, were also beleived to be child pornography.

The third warrant was served in Kingsland at a home on Redwood Street by the Kingsland Police Department, where suspicious images were located on a computer belonging to 24 year old Bryantt Philip Allen. Allen was also arrested.

Mayor: 'Brunswick is safe' in wake of baby shooting death

BRUNSWICK, Ga,. --  What happened in Brunswick left many looking for answers: Why did it happen? Why here? 

Bryan Thompson is in his eighth year as mayor.

"Overall, we've seen the crime situation begin to fall slowly over the past few years," said Thompson.

He cites the biggest drop or decline has been in aggravated assaults.

"We've been able to make a dent in some of the statistics," said Thompson.

But two weeks ago, the city was challenged by the brutal killing of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago. Residents began to question their safety.

"Brunswick is safe, Brunswick is safe," said Thompson.

It rocked the community when Santiago was shot and killed in his stroller.

"This should not have happened here, this does not happen here, but it did," said Thompson.

Brunswick residents still reeling from tragedy

BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- Brunswick, population 15,000 with a per capita income of $23,400 a year, has been rocked by the economic downturn and elements of crime.

Residents Charles and Donna Earvin have lived there three decades and said Brunswick is not what it used to be. Thirteen-month-old Antonio Santiago was shot and killed in his stroller March 21.

"Everybody used to know everybody," said Charles Earvin.

Married 32 years, they've raised three children in this coastal Georgia community.

"It was nice back in the day," said Mrs. Earvin, "You didn't see all the crime you see today."

The Earvins blame a lack of trust in law enforcement for the crime problems.

"A lot of them wearing uniforms shouldn't be wearing uniforms," he said.

They also blame parents who they said refuse to teach and enforce strong moral values with their children.

Man wanted in 3 counties on the run

CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. -- The Camden County Sheriff's Office is seeking a man wanted in three counties.

Michael Cameron Mason allegedly failed to complete drug court and a warrant was served at his home, according to a Facebook post from the Camden County Sheriff's Office.

The post claimed sheriff's searched Mason's home and found cocaine, drug paraphernalia, ammunition and a bullet proof vest, however Mason was not there.

Mason, 33, is also wanted on warrants in Nassau and Duval counties, according to the post.

Mason is described as six-feet-one-inch tall and about 185 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

If you have any information about Mason's whereabouts please contact the Camden County Sheriff's Office at 912-510-5100.

Old Cisco location gets new life as Pilot

ST. MARYS, Ga. -- A popular destination across the border in Georgia for gas is reopening with new owners and 75 new jobs.

The Pilot Travel Center off Interstate 95 is taking shape for next Monday's opening.

Pilot is the new owner of the travel center that has been closed for several years and once operated under the Cisco name.

That operation was shut down following an investigation that revealed gas was mislabeled and pumps miscalibrated. The activity cost customers $7 million in 2005 and 2006.

Several people were prosecuted and are serving prison time.

The Pilot operation, according to the owners, is projected to generate more than $5 million in state and local taxes.

Some of the 75 new jobs have not been filled.  Applications are still be accepted on line, www.pilotflyingj.com.

Dump truck collides with school bus

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. -- The Georgia State Patrol is investigating a crash in which a school bus was rear-ended by a dump truck.

The accident took place at approximately 2:50 p.m. at the intersection of Old Jesup Road and Cypress Mill Road.

There were 38 students from Glyndale Elementary on board. Twenty students exited the bus at the scene. One of these students was transported by emergency vehicle to the hospital at their parents' request, Glynn County Spokesman Jim Weidhaas said.

The bus then transported 18 students to Southeast Georgia Health System for evaluation. No major injuries were reported at the scene.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing.

CodeRED comes to Camden County

CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. - The Camden County Sheriff's Office is offering a new service for keeping residents in the know.

Sheriff Proctor with the Camden County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday that the CodeRED Emergency Notification Network is now available in Camden County.

CodeRED can be used to notify residents via phone of anything ranging from a rash of burglaries to a severe weather threat.

Both home phone numbers and cell phone numbers can be registered for the service. Notifications will come is as voice or text messages.

According to a Facebook post form the Camden County Sheriff's Office, registration information is, "guaranteed to remain private and will only be used to notify you in situations for which you signed up."

To sign up for CodeRED, click here. The CCSO stresses the service only works if you sign up for it.

$10,000 reward for info on Glynn County murder

GLYNN COUNTY, GA. - The Glynn County Police Department is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in an unsolved murder case.

Peter J. Alston, 40, was killed just before midnight on Jan. 28 while sitting in a Dodge Durango on the 2200 block of Cate Street, according to a release from the Glynn County Police Department.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Glynn County Police Department at 912-554-7802 or to remain anonymous as a Silent Witness call 912-264-1333.

Marijuana bust in St. Marys called 'substantial'

ST. MARYS, GA. - A "substantial" amount of marijuana and other contraband items were seized Friday from a St. Marys home.

Members of the Camden County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant on Feb. 15 at a home on 4th Street, according to a Facebook post by the Camden County Sheriff's Office.

The post describes the bust as "substantial."

James Andrew Maddox, Jr., 41 was taken into custody and has been charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Georgians to pay taxes on Amazon buys

ATLANTA (AP) - A spokesman for Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal says Georgians who use Amazon.com will have to pay taxes on their purchases, though it's not clear when.

Amazon.com is not collecting sales tax from Georgia shoppers despite a new state law designed to snag the money from the world's biggest online retailer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last month. The new law went into effect at the start of 2013.

Deal's spokesman Brian Robinson says Georgia has the authority to collect the tax and "we're negotiating from this position." He tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he expects more details to be released in coming weeks.

Seattle-based Amazon has fought against charging its customers a sales tax elsewhere, leading to legal battles in some states.

Death certificate of county commissioner signed by county coroner

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. -- The death certificate of a Glynn County Commissioner found dead in the Frederica River in December has now been signed by the county coroner.

The State Medical Examiner in Savannah ruled Tom Sublett's death a suicide.

His family's attorney tells First Coast News they have 30 days from the time the death certificate was signed to decide if they will request an inquest to try to dispute the suicide ruling

The coroner says Sublett drowned after being shot in the head. His hands were tied in front of him.

Man accused of faking bite by deadly black mamba

KINGSLAND, Ga. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a man on trial in Georgia was seeking to become famous as someone who survived a deadly bite from a black mamba -- but they say the story was a hoax.

John K. Rosenbaum Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., is accused of touching off a desperate search for the snake in south Georgia after telling authorities he was bitten in November 2011. The snake is among the world's deadliest.

The Brunswick News reports that Rosenbaum faces charges of making false statements to authorities.

Prosecutors say he was hospitalized after a bite from his pet Egyptian banded cobra, but no black mamba was involved.

17-year-old charged with enticing child for indecent purposes

CAMDEN, GA -- A 17-year-old was arrested Monday on charges of enticing a child for indecent purposes.

Dennis Gary Sheppard's arrest came when deputies responded to reports claiming a man was "acting strangely" and allegedly trying to entice children in the Point Peter area, according to a release from the Camden County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators with the CCSO stated they believe Sheppard was allegedly fixated on one particular victim and is accused of arranging his life to have as much time near the victim as possible, the release detailed.

Sheppard is also facing charges of criminal attempt to commit child molestation, according to the Camden County Camden County Sheriff's Office.

A statement from Camden County Sheriff Jim Proctor said, "Sheppard's arrest possibly saved the 10-year-old victim from a terrible fate."

Theatre Performance, "COLORBLIND," Celebrates Black History and Heritage

Theatre Performance, "COLORBLIND," Celebrates Black History and Heritage

Every so often, an experience comes along that has the power to open hearts, change minds, and inspire people to readjust their values. Such is the case of COLORBLIND, an original play that will be performed by St. Marys Little Theatre at Theatre by the Trax in St. Marys, Georgia, on February 22, 23, and 24, 2013.

Mardi Gras Festival Offers 5K Color Run, Parade, Ball and More!

Mardi Gras Festival Offers 5K Color Run, Parade, Ball and More!

The 19th annual family-friendly Mardi Gras Festival & Parade is coming up in historic St. Marys, Georgia on Saturday, February 9, 2013 with a theme of “A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock & Roll.”    

Coastal Georgia Film Alliance Brings Award-winning Director to Camden to Shoot "The Prisoner"

Coastal Georgia Film Alliance Brings Award-winning Director to Camden to Shoot "The Prisoner"

Award-winning film director Mahmoud Shoulizadeh just completed the filming of “The Prisoner” in Camden County.

The story is about love, life, and death and centers on two former prison mates. One is on death row and is sentenced to be executed in a matter of days. When his buddy visits him in prison, he has one last request. Whether the doomed man’s request will be honored creates the tension that Shoulizadeh often incorporates in his films.

Star Trek gets new life in Kingsland

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- In an old warehouse space a group of hardcore Star Trek fans have built an exact replica of the set used in the original TV series.

"Most people don't know we are here," said Camden County native and set designer Royal Weaver. 

"When they hear about us they're really surprised," he said.

The group, known as Farragut Films, has been building sets in Camden County for years. 

But they just moved their entire operation to Kingsland, and now have partnered with another production group to film episodes of Star Trek Continues.

For more information about the shoot and to see previews of Star Trek Continues, click here.

Glynn County antes up reward for commissioner's killer

BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- Investigators from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Glynn County police were at the crime scene again Tuesday.

"We've had some leads, " said Chief Matt Doering. "I'm going to leave it at that." 

The body of Glynn County Commissioner Tom Sublett was found floating in the Frederica River and his vehicle inside Gascoigne Park.  The coroner said Sublett was bound and had a gunshot wound. 

"I will not comment on the evidence," Doering said. "I won't comment on anything of that nature."

Doering said Sublett's death is being treated as a homicide.

Bernice Roe, who visits the park regularly, said the killing has upset her community.

"I think it has impacted the community very deeply," Roe said. "He was a very loved man. He was a man willing to give of his time and his energy."

Glynn County commissioner's death investigated as homicide

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- A Glynn County community is waiting to find out what happened to a commissioner found dead Tuesday morning.

At about 10:30 p.m. Monday night, Glynn County Commissioner Tom Sublett dropped off a friend at his car in the Sterling area before going to hang out with a friend, according to Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering.

Hours later, at about 2:30 a.m., Sublett's wife realized that he never returned home and Doering said Sublett's wife then contacted a friend Sublett had been hanging out with the night before.

That friend went looking for Sublett but was unable to locate him, and Doering said eventually Sublett's wife contacted police to report him missing.

Officers began to search for Sublett, Doering said, launching boats to search the river near St. Simon's Island. 

23-year-old in critical condition, 3 arrested after Glynn County shooting

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. -- The Glynn County Police Department is investigating a shooting at Townsend Park.

Captain Marissa Tindale, spokesperson for the Glynn County Police Department, said officers were dispatched to the park located on Townsend Street after reports of gunshots.

Tindale said arriving officers found Tyler Scott Harris who had been shot twice.

Emergency personnel transported Harris to Southeast Georgia Health System and later transferred him to Savannah Memorial. Tindale said Harris is listed in critical condition.

Tindale said witnesses told police Harris had gone to the park to sell a firearm to a black male.

While Scott was at the park allegedly selling the firearm, Tindale said the black male tried to take the firearm from Harris. When he did, police said he allegedly shot Harris before fleeing the park. Tindale said Harris was not shot with the gun he was attempting to sell.

Camden County 34, East Coweta 14

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- Camden County advances to the third round of the GHSA playoffs with a 34-14 win over East Coweta.

Black (Thursday) Friday: Shopping hours

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- As you plot your shopping for Thanksgiving night and Black Friday, here's a list of shopping hours at major retailers across the First Coast News.

EXPLORE ALL THE BLACK FRIDAY CIRCULARS AND COUPONS

Avenues Mall:
Closed Thanksgiving
Black Friday 12am - 9pm

Best Buy:
Closed Thanksgiving
Black Friday Open 12AM to 10PM

Khols:
Closed Thanksgiving
Black Friday 12AM to 1PM

Orange Park Mall:
Closed Thanksgiving
Black Friday 12AM to 10PM

Ken's Top 5 ways to avoid travel troubles

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Heading into the busy travel season, many will turn to internet sites to book their travel plans. The reasons are obvious: to save money and to do it themselves. But before you hit the "book now" button, there are things to avoid so the travel plans do not become travel trouble.

1) Double check for typos. A small mistake such as misspelling your name can keep you grounded. Your ticket must match the information on your government-issued ID or your ticket will not be accepted.

2) Double check your travel dates when booking online. You may end up buying airline tickets for the wrong dates, the seats may be sold out when you try to re-book and the cost of changing could be costly.

3) Don't wait until the last minute to look for a bargain. You need to book your travel plans 14- to- 21 days ahead. Also, don't hesitate to compare fares with the different online sites.

Camden County 24, Lowndes 7

VALDOSTA, Ga. -- Camden County defeated Lowndes 24-7 on Friday night.

The game was nationally televised on ESPNU.  With the win, the Wildcats are region champions and they remain undefeated.

Lowndes suffers it's first loss of the season.

Saving you money: Homemade laundry detergent

BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- There are some items you'd rather not live without, like laundry detergent.

To avoid paying so much for a product many people go through like water, a Georgia mom of 2 is sharing her homemade recipe.

"I thought it would be a pain to put together," Ashlei Boatright explains, "so I just did it. I made my own laundry detergent and it was easy. Didn't take long at all!"

For just 7-dollars, Ashlei stirred up 5 gallons of laundry detergent that's lasted her nearly a year.

Watch her story on GMJ this morning (Thursday 11/01/12) at 6:25 a.m. to see how Ashlei manages to find the time to make her home-made laundry with 4-year-old Jonah and 2-year-old Mason running around.

Want to try her recipe?  She wrote it down for us:

Aircraft lands on I-95 in Georgia

GLYNN COUNTY, GA. - An aircraft made an emergency landing on Interstate 95 at mile marker 45 in Georgia near the Glynn County and McIntosh County line.

According to Georgia Highway Patrol, the plane did not crash, it made an emergency landing and officials are attempting to move the aircraft off the highway.

Witnesses tell First Coast News the aircraft seems small because they are attempting to tow it back to the airport via exit 49. 

No injuries have been reported and the FAA is investigating.

Stay with First Coast News for more information on this developing story.

One of Nassau County's 10 most wanted arrested in Kingsland

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- Kingsland police arrested one of the ten most wanted fugitives in Nassau County Monday.

Detectives from the Nassau County Sheriff's Office alerted both the Camden County Sheriff's Office and the Kingsland Police Department that one of their most wanted fugitives, 41-year-old Vincent Jones Jr., may be staying at an apartment complex in Kingsland.

Narcotics investigators with the Kingsland PD went an apartment at the Pine Haven Apartments where Jones was allegedly staying, according to a news release from Kingsland police.

Kingsland police and members of the Camden County Task Force arrested Jones at the apartment without incident the release said.

Deacon of Kingsland church arrested for child molestation

ST. MARYS, Ga. -- A deacon of a Kingsland church is arrested for two counts of child molestation and police are asking parents to come forward if they believe their child is a victim.

First Coast News visited Jones Rivers's house not once, but twice. Rivers is out of jail on a $11,700 bond after being arrested on October 10th for two counts of child molestation.

St. Marys Police raided his home on Thoroughbred Road a few months ago and received results from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that indicated Rivers allegedly had computer hard drives with images of child porn featuring children of ages 12 and under. The investigation also includes more than 100-pornographic DVDs.

In a press release, the St. Marys Police Department reports that a four and seven-year-old told police that Rivers's had touched them inappropriately and police believe the 7-year-old was also exposed to pornography on his home computer.

Police arrest church deacon for sexual exploitation of children

ST. MARYS, Ga. -- The St. Marys Police Department arrested a deacon of a local Kingsland church on charges of sexual exploitation of children.

Police arrested Jones Rivers Wednesday, October 10 at 1:30 p.m., according to a news release from the St. Marys Police Department.

Detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Rivers after receiving a report in July 2012 from a local mandated reporter who indicated two children, ages 4 and 7, had possible been victims of child sexual abuse.

The investigation by the police department revealed Rivers allegedly touched the two children inappropriately on their "private areas."  The release said Rivers also allegedly exposed the 7-year-old child to pornography on Rivers' home computer.  Originally police arrested Rivers on two charges of child molestation and one charge of furnishing obscene materials to minors.

Camden County 47, Tift County 0

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- Camden County defeated Tift County 47-0 on Friday night.  The Wildcats remain undefeated.

911 call released in Glynn County home invasion

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. -- The 911 call from a woman who was trying to save her neighbor after she had been shot in the head following an Oct. 4 home invasion robbery has been released.

According to a detective at the Glynn County Police Department, the woman is recovering from her injuries.

On the call, which is more than five minutes long, Sybrina Kneff can be heard trying to keep her neighbor calm and conscious while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive.

"They're coming baby, they're coming," Kneff said to her neighbor.

Kneff tells the 911 operator that her neighbor was shot at three times and the 911 operator instructs her to put towels on the woman's face and apply pressure.

2 in custody after Glynn County home invasion

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. -- Police in Glynn County have two men in custody after a home invasion that left one woman shot in the face on Thursday.

Police were searching for a possible third suspect, but Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering called off the search. Drugs were found, but no gun.

Southbound lanes of the Sidney Lanier Bridge were closed for several hours after the suspects led police on a high speed 25-mile chase. Onlookers report the lanes are now open.

According to the Glynn County Police Department, a woman came home at about 11:45 a.m. Thursday morning and reported finding two men inside her home.

The woman, who is expected to survive, told officers that one of the men shot her in the face and she fled to a neighbors house to call 911. The call initially came in as three males fighting on Godley Road.

A Star Trek festival and Starship Farragut premiere coming to Kingsland, Ga.

A Star Trek festival and Starship Farragut premiere coming to Kingsland, Ga.

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- A group of avid Star Trek fans from the First Coast and beyond has been laboring to recreate the magic of the original 1960s NBC series.

Farragut Films recently moved its studio from St. Marys into a bigger facility in Kingsland.  Crews have been working on tearing down and rebuilding classic Star Trek sets for months, including the iconic bridge and transporter room.

Now they're far enough along, they are inviting the public to see their accomplishments. 

A "Farragut Fest" will be held Saturday, December 8 at Farragut Films' Studio at 516 W. William Ave. in Kingsland to celebrate science fiction, Star Trek and all things related to Starship Farragut from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to a news release from the group.

Navy wants St. Marys airport moved

ST. MARYS, Ga. -- The Navy has called for the relocation of the St. Mary's Airport after two skydivers who took off from the airport landed inside the perimeter of Kings Naval Submarine Base.
    
The Florida Times-Union reports that base commander on Monday called for the relocation of the airport, where The Jumping Place skydiving business is based.
    
Two skydivers missed the airfield along Georgia's coast on Aug.12 and landed on the high-security submarine base less than three miles away.
    
The St. Mary's Airport Authority last week revoked the company's operating permit. In spite of that and posted trespass warnings, the company took off with dozens of skydivers Saturday. Four received warnings from police and five were cited.
    
Owners of the business said they tell skydivers to never land on the submarine base.

Now is the time for an insurance checkup

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The images from Tropical Storm Beryl speak volumes and remind us that hurricane season is upon us. But sometimes, these reminders are not enough for even the most seasoned Floridian.

Dick Jackson sees hurricane preparedness through rose colored glasses.

"Just go with the flow," he said, "I am probably under-insured."

RELATED: After the storm: Dos and Don'ts

While it is difficult to prepare for blown over trees and wind-damaged roofs, when it comes to a natural disaster, you want to be sure that you're properly insured.

Airport plans meeting after skydivers land on base

ST. MARYS, Ga. -- Airport officials in St. Marys plan a special meeting to address security concerns after two skydivers missed the airfield along Georgia's coast and landed on a high-security submarine base.
    
The Florida Times-Union reports that airport officials are planning the meeting for Wednesday.
    
Officials say they want to know what steps have been taken by a skydiving business to ensure that it doesn't happen again.
    
The U.S. Navy briefly held the two skydivers in custody earlier this month after they landed on the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base. They were released once their identities were verified.

Bomb threat made on St. Marys theater vendor; no bombs found

ST. MARYS, Ga. -- A bomb threat was made on a vendor used by the Kings Bay Stadium Cinemas 9 on Friday, but no bombs were found on the premises, according to Lt. S.D. Brock with the St. Marys Police Department.

MORE: Bomb threat to movie chain prompts police searches nationwide

As a precaution, the theater's home office asked law enforcement to sweep all of their locations that use that vendor, according to Bo Chambliss with the theater's home office.

Chambliss could not comment on what type of vendor received the threat or which other locations were swept.

The threat, which was made at an unknown time, stated that there were nine bombs total in the building, Brock said.

A K-9 Unit from Kings Bay Submarine Base searched the theater and no bombs were found.

Boat manufacturer: Suspect would have known how to burn boat

ST. MARYS, Ga. -- The St. Marys Police Department has released more details in a double homicide/arson case involving two skeletons found on a burned boat Monday, and a suspect who was killed Wednesday.

The boat belongs to Karen Barnes, who has been missing and is David Trauger's ex-wife. Larry Ford, who owns a boat that was located near Barnes' boat, has also been missing.

Trauger was killed by police on Wednesday.

Person of interest in double homicide, arson killed by police

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- A man who was a person of interest in a double homicide and arson case has been killed by police officers outside his apartment complex.

David Trauger, 67, was located outside at his residence at the Willow Way Apartments after the St. Marys Police Department (SMPD) received a citizen-reported tip that he was there, according to a release from Lt. Brock of the SMPD.

Police find 2 skeletons, search for person of interest in arson and homicides

ST. MARYS, Ga. -- After a suspicious boat fire in which the skeletal remains of two individuals were found, the St. Marys Police Department is looking for a person of interest.

In the early morning hours Monday, the St. Marys Police Department was called to the St. Marys Boat Yard after an "emergency 911 open line call with suspicious audible sounds overheard by the duty Communication Officer," according to a news release from the St. Marys Police Department.

When police got to the boat yard, they saw a boat fifty to seventy-five yards off shore on fire.

The St. Marys Fire Department, Camden County Search and Rescue and Georgia Department of Natural Resources also responded to the boat yard.

Camden County Search and Rescue searched the area for anyone who may have abandoned the boat. They searched the waterway, marsh lands and shore lines along North River but never found anyone.

Lilliston Ford of Kingsland gives out $50 dinner cards to military

The following is from a news release provided by Thanks-A-Bunch Dealer Programs:

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- As a patriotic gesture to support our military, and in conjunction with ‘Thanks-A-Bunch for keeping us safe’ www.thanksabunch.org, a non-profit military charity, and with local military sponsors and affiliates  is giving out free $50 Dinner Cards to active Military, Veterans, and their families for stopping by to say hello through August 5.

Family files formal complaint against EMS

ST. MARYS, Ga. --  A local family is making it their mission to put heart defibrillators in all schools.

This after the the tragic death of their son.

"I'd never heard of an AED (automated external defibrillator)," Becky Cohn said.

Now, Becky and Harold Cohn's life mission is AEDs.

On May 15, 2010, their son, Andrew, collapsed on the baseball field and died later that day.

"It was the only game I ever missed," Becky said.

A day that could have turned out differently, had an automated external defibrillator been within reach.

"It's hard everyday," Becky said. "But I think that one thing that helps Harold and me get through this is what we do through the non-profit and getting AEDs out there and spreading awareness."

Kingsland police arrest 2 robbery suspects

WOODBINE, Ga. -- Two male teens were arrested after they were positively identified as suspects in a robbery that occurred at Subway on Harriets Bluff Road on Monday evening.

Jonathan O'Leary Lemay, 17, of Woodbine and a 16-year-old juvenile, also of Woodbine, were found in the early hours of Tuesday morning near a Flash Foods store on Harriets Bluff Road, just a mile away from the Subway.

Shortly after 11 p.m., Kingsland Police Department officers were called to Subway after a female clerk reported that two white males who appeared to be under the age of 21 had stolen an undetermined amount of money from the cash register. There was no weapon displayed during the robbery and no one was injured, according to a release from Lt. Todd Tetterton of the KPD.

Police: Cocaine supplier arrested

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- Multiple law enforcement agencies cooperated to arrest a 26-year-old they say was the supplier for a cocaine operation in Kingsland.

Kingsland Police Investigators assigned to their Special Operations Division worked with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to conduct an investigation involving complex undercover purchases of illicit drugs.

During the undercover investigation, police learned Reginald Campbell was a direct supplier of cocaine to the Kingsland area and became the focus of the investigation, according to a news release from Kingsland Police Department Public Information Officer Lieutenant Todd Tetterton.

Waterspout spotted in Glynn County

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. -- A water spout was spotted around 3:20 p.m. Wednesday near the Sidney Lanier Bridge in Brunswick during a tornado warning.

According to Captain Jay Wiggins, Director of Glynn County Emergency Management, there were no reports of the waterspout making contact with land or causing damage.

Rabid fox found in Camden County

CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. -- The Camden County Health Department is urging residents to take caution after a person in northern Camden County was exposed to a rabid fox.

The encounter with the rabid fox happened near Waverly and close to the Glynn County line. The Camden resident exposed is undergoing preventive treatment.

RELATED: Bat tests positive for rabies in St. Marys

The health department said no animals in Glynn County have tested positive for rabies. Residents are urged to be cautious of wild animals, especially if they are acting unusually aggressive or exhibit other strange behaviors.

The health department offered the following tips to prevent rabies:

Wanted: Olympic portraits by kids

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- We're counting down to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

As we get closer to the games, we want your kids to get involved. Have your child draw and color his or her favorite Olympic Portrait. Portraits can include the rings, the torch, a favorite athlete or even the new Olympic Stadium in London.

Beginning July 23, 102, we will feature a different portrait each day on Good Morning Jacksonville though the closing ceremony on August 12th.

Simply email your child's photo to olympicportraits@firstcoastnews.com and be sure to watch Good Morning Jacksonville at 5:20 a.m. and 6:20 a.m.

USS Georgia to make homecoming at Kings Bay

KINGS BAY, Ga. -- This Sunday, sailors aboard the USS Georgia will return home.
    
The Ohio-class guided missile submarine will port at Kings Bay.
    
The ship and its crew had been deployed 14 months performing mission in the European and African Command Areas.

Federal prisoner shot in Kingsland dies

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- A federal prisoner housed at the D. Ray James prison in Folkston, Georgia, who was shot in the parking lot of a medical facility in Kingsland has died at Shands Jacksonville.

Larry Marcell Jr. was at a medical office pavilion on Gross Avenue when he was shot, according to a news release from Kingsland Police Department Public Information Officer Lt. Todd Tetterton.

Tetterton said several calls to the Camden County 911 Dispatch reported that a shooting had taken place. The callers also told police officers from the private prison were involved and that a prisoner was wounded. No one else was injured.

Marcell, 33, was being taken to the medical pavilion for routine medical treatment. He and two other inmates from the prison were in a secure prisoner transport van. Two corrections officers accompanied the three prisoners, Tetterton said.

Bat tests positive for rabies in St. Marys

CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. -- The Camden County Health Department is urging all residents to protect themselves from rabies after a bat in St. Marys tested positive.

If a bat is seen during the day, or in a place where they are not normally found, it should be avoided, as it might be rabid, according to a release from the CCHD.

Residents are encouraged to call Animal Control for assistance with "bat-proofing" their home. Rabies is also spread by animals such as skunks, racoons and foxes.

The CCHD offers these tips to protect against rabies:

- Keep vaccinations up to date for all dogs, cats and ferrets.
- Do not bring wild animals into your home. Call Animal Control for assistance with sick animals.
- Do not attract wild animals by leaving pet food or open garbage cans out overnight.

Evacuations stand a 3rd day as Ga. river floods

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- Dozens of residents in Georgia's southeast corner remain cut off from their homes by floodwaters in Camden County, where the St. Marys River continues to rise.

Evacuations ordered in Camden County

CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. -- Flooding is expected overnight on St. Marys River.

People along the St. Marys River in Camden County are preparing for the worst.

"We've owned it 12 years now and this is the third time this has happened, but this is the worst it will ever be," said Roger Giddens.

St. Marys River overflowing in some spots

CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. -- People living near the St. Marys River in Camden County are stockpiling sandbags.

Mark Crews, the county's emergency management director, said Friday that water has already begun to seep over the riverbanks in some spots.

It is expected some homes will begin taking on water sometime tonight or tomorrow morning.

This is all from Debby.

Meanwhile, photojournalist Mike Kaminski found that flood waters in Baker County have started receding.

A couple told him how they're coping with the flood.

First Coast News

Georgia DNR offers assistance to residents along St. Marys River

ST. MARYS, Ga. -- As the St. Marys River rose to 23.2 feet, double its flood stage of 12 feet, Georgia Department of Natural Resources officers assisted residents and law enforcement agencies affected by these rushing waters after Tropical Storm Debby.

Several South Georgia residents were stranded as GA 185 and GA 121 were covered by water. Cpl. Jason Shipes and Sgt. Patrick Dupree were able to reach 20 flooded homes by using jon boats, according to a release from the DNR.

Other rangers delivered bottled water to residents who refused to leave their homes. Cpl. Shipes also helped a man who was trying to swim to his boat and could not reach it.

Charlton County Sheriff Dobie Connor requested the DNR's assistance in case more residents chose to leave their homes.

The DNR urges residents to use extreme caution until flood waters recede.

St. Marys River flooding at historic levels

St. Marys, Ga. -- The St. Marys River is flooding to historic proportion because of the heavy rainfall from Tropical Storm Debby. The National Weather Service in Jacksonville has issued a river flood emergency for the St. Marys River in Camden County until further notice. Residents who live along the St. Marys River are at risk for flooding from high water levels and the fast flowing river. Authorities are expecting the flooding in areas that do not normally flood along the length of the river.

MORE: Mandatory evacuation ordered for part of Baker County

Camden police seeking assault suspect

CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. -- A Yulee man is being sought by the Camden County Sheriff's Office for an assault that occurred on May 21 on Wren Road off Bluff Road in Camden County.

Cecil Ennis, 36, has been charged with false imprisonment, two counts of aggravated assault (party to crime), armed robbery (party to crime) and tampering with evidence, according to a release from the Camden County Sheriff's Office. He is about 5'11" tall and weighs 165 lbs. 

Mobile Digital Mammography Receives ACR Accreditation

Mobile Digital Mammography Receives ACR Accreditation

 

ST. MARYS, Ga.  — Southeast Georgia Health System has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in Mobile Digital Mammography for its Wellness on Wheels (WOW) mobile health vehicle following a recent survey by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

Pop Warner changes rules in effort to prevent concussions

ATLANTA -- Pop Warner football, the most widely known youth football program across the nation, announced late Tuesday a set of rule changes in light of new research data regarding concussions among football players.

The changes will eliminate head-on blocking and tackling drills when players are lined up more than three yards apart. The move emphasizes no head-to-head contact between players.

The new rules, as posted on the Pop Warner website include:   

Are You Ready for Hurricane Season?

The beginning of hurricane season is a good time for homeowners to review their insurance needs.  Homeowners should meet with their insurance agent to review and adjust their polices as appropriate for adequate coverage. Families should keep in mind the 3 Ps during hurricane season:  plan, prepare and protect. 

Big picture:   

June 12, 2012 – The beginning of hurricane season is a good time for homeowners to review their insurance policies for adequate coverage for their home and property.  Homeowners are encouraged to consult with their agent and develop a complete understanding of the insurance coverage they have purchased.  In addition to reviewing insurance policies, there are three things families should keep in mind during hurricane season - plan, prepare and protect:

PLAN

44 percent of workers have gained weight on the job

44 percent of workers have gained weight on the job

 

It’s happened to most of us, especially desk-bound workers. We’re at work and feeling as if we’ve been snacking all day. A handful of candy here and a bag of chips there doesn’t seem like a lot, but it adds up, especially when it comes to the numbers on the scale.

June 9th BBQ Challenge in St. Marys Cancelled

 

ST. MARYS, GA  – The BBQ Challenge portion of the Fun in the Sun Expo has been cancelled.  There are just not enough teams to achieve a good BBQ tasting experience for guests.  A team or two will be on hand selling BBQ during the event but there will be no contest.

We still look forward to seeing you on June 9th at FUN IN THE SUN EXPO for a 5K race, Up the Creek Xpeditions kayak demo and river clean-up in celebration of National Trails Day, the Blessing of the Boats, Arts & Craft Vendors, and Lots of Great Entertainment and Activities for families during the day brought to you by the Tribune & Georgian.

For information on the day’s events contact the Tribune & Georgian at 912-882-4927 or the St. Marys Welcome Center at 912-882-4000.

Jaguars caravan hits the road

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Hit the road, Jags!

The Jacksonville Jaguars are kicking off their "2012 Jaguars Caravan" today in Brunswick, Georgia.

Jags players, cheerleaders and others will be driving all over Jaguars country to reach out to fans ahead of the start of the 2012 season.

Team officials said the caravan will help the "All in" message reach beyond metro Jacksonville.  The tour will make stops in Palm Coast, Volusia County, Tioga, Savannah, Waycross and Valdosta over the next week.  

The caravan events include music, food, games, prizes and photo opportunities.  

2012 Jaguars Caravan:

Cumberland Island National Seashore to reopen June 2nd

ST. MARYS, Ga. -- The Cumberland Island National Seashore is set to reopen June 2nd.

Once the seashore reopens, the ferry will resume running its normal schedule.

Until that time, the National Seashore is closed to visitation through June 1 due to clean-up being done there after Tropical Storm Beryl.

Fred Boyles, Superintendent for the Cumberland Island National Seashore said, "The National Seashore staff has begun cleaning up downed trees and ensuring the park is ready once again for park visitors."

Boyles said the campgrounds at Sea Camp and Stafford Beach will also re-open Saturday.  However, he cautioned visitors hiking on some of the trails may still encounter downed trees.

The park's Land and Legacy tours will start running Saturday as well.

Visitors with ferry and camping reservations through June 1st should contact the ferry reservation office at 877-860-6787 for rescheduling or for refunds.

First Annual AED Safety Fair at St. Marys Waterfront Park

The 1st Annual AED Alliance Safety Fair will take place from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on Friday, June 1, 2012 at the St. Marys Waterfront Park, located at 205 West St. Marys Strett in historic St. Marys, Georgia.

Cumberland Island National Seashore Updates Park Closure

Cumberland Island National Seashore Updates Park Closure

 

Cumberland Island National Seashore will remain closed to visitation through Wednesday, May 30, 2012 due to remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl.  Further closures will be determined daily based on the severity of the storm, its aftermath and conditions on Cumberland Island and surrounding waters. 

Cumberland Island National Seashore to stay closed through Wednesday

ST. MARYS, Ga. -- The Cumberland Island National Seashore will stay closed to visitors through Wednesday due to remnants of Tropical Depression Beryl.

The National Park Service said further closures will be determined daily based on the severity of the storm, its aftermath and conditions on Cumberland Island and the surrounding waters.

"The National Seashore staff has begun making assessments of storm damage and are beginning the clean up process," said Fred Boyles, superintendent for the park.

Visitors with May 30 ferry reservations and for future dates should monitor the situation for information about reopening. You may also call the park at 912-882-4336, extension 254.

If you want to reschedule your ferry reservation, or to receive a refund for the dates the park was closed, you are asked to call 877-860-6787.

Duval, Baker, Clay, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns schools scheduled to be open today

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Students throughout the First Coast will return to school today.

Baker, Duval, Clay, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns County schools will be in session, unless conditions worsen throughout the day. 

Calls to Bradford, Columbia, and Union County school districts have not been returned. 

USF searches for unmarked graves at Dozier School for Boys

BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- Roger Kiser, a Brunswick, Ga. resident, describes himself as a survivor of the Dozier School for Boys.

"It has taken me 19 years to get anybody to believe the conditions there," he said.

Kiser was in the reform school in 1959, 1960 and 1961 and described the conditions as horrific.

"We saw many boys brought out of the white house, we know were dead, black and white, hauled out by wheelbarrow," said Kiser, "so we know there is bodies scattered all over the facility."

Kiser wrote the book the 'White House Boys - An American Tragedy' to reveal his experience. 

"If you stepped off the sidewalk, you got beat, if you ate too much you got beat, if you smiled you got beat, if you smiled too much you got beat. It was total terror," he said.

A terror he tried to recreate in a film. 

Name released in triathlon death

JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. -- Authorities have released the name of the man who died in the Turtle Crawl Triathlon on Jekyll Island Saturday morning.

According to the Georgia State Patrol, Christopher Petty, 44  has died.

A Georgia State Patrol operator said the initial call was for a cardiac problem and that Petty may have drowned, but an official cause has not been determined.

An operator with Georgia State Patrol said an autopsy will be performed Monday.

Eric Garvey of the Jekyll Island Authority confirmed a 44-year-odl man was rescued from the water by lifeguards. He says they started CPR but the man died at Southeast Georgia Health Systems Hospital in Brunswick.

Garvey said four to six people were pulled out of the water, but that is an average number during the triathlon, which is in its tenth year.

Garvey said there were 700 people involved in this year's event.

Thanking America's Armed Forces

 

St Marys, Ga. -- To show our appreciation for those who serve in the U.S. Military, on May 19 – Armed Forces Day – the National Park Service will begin issuing an annual pass offering free entrance to all 397 national parks for active duty military members and their dependents.

Arts & Music Stroll in Historic Downtown St. Marys

Arts & Music Stroll in Historic Downtown St. Marys

Join us in coastal Georgia for the 2nd Annual Arts & Music Stroll, a St. Marys Downtown Merchants Association Fourth Saturday event on March 26th.

CALLING ALL BBQ TEAMS: Riverside event in historic St. Marys is great outdoor fun

CALLING ALL BBQ TEAMS: Riverside event in historic St. Marys is great outdoor fun

Join us at the "Fun in the Sun Expo" for some great tasting BBQ and some friendly competition during the Sand Gnat BBQ Challenge from 9am-2pm on Saturday, June 9th at the St. Marys Waterfront Park.  

Clean Out Those Cabinets: Stamp Out Hunger is Saturday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Check your mailbox!  The Stamp Out Hunger food drive is Saturday and letter carriers have been dropping off donation bags at homes all over the First Coast this week.  

This is the 20th year of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Food Drive.  

The donation drive is designed to make giving easy.  All people have to do is put some non-perishable food in a bag and leave it by their mailboxes Saturday.  Postal workers will take the donations and transport them to Second Harvest of North Florida.  

School Board Members Want To Know Why Coach Misconduct Was Not Reported

PALATKA, Fla. -- A former Putnam County School District employee was arrested in 2010 on DUI charges. Now, that incident is raising questions in 2012.

Putnam County School Board members say they just learned that the district did not report the incident to the state's Office of Professional Practices.

Board member Nikki Cummings wants to know why the misconduct was never reported to the state until now.

"I feel it is important as a department and district we don't have to speculate," she said, "and we don't try to be a judge of the law and what needs to go to the state. That's the state's job."

The ex-employee is Kyle Rice, who was the Palatka high school football coach when the incident happened.

Cummings said state law requires the misconduct of a certified educator be reported with in 30 days to Department of Education's Office of Professional Practices.

Kitchen Remodel Company Leaves First Coast Home Undone

ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Sandra Lott had to pay a second company to remodel her kitchen because the first company took her money and did nothing and she doesn't know where the company is located. 

"They go back from Miami to South Carolina to Jacksonville," said Lott.

In 2009, the Army Reserves nurse used money earned while serving in Iraq to pay a company called Extreme Kitchen Exclusive for a makeover.

"A family member recommended them," said Lott.

She paid them $8,609 up front, but it did nothing. She went to her credit card and recovered $5,000 for the cabinets. Lott said the company still owes her $3,609, which was paid by check, for granite countertops that were never delivered.

"We just want a refund," said Lott, "because nothing has ever been done."

Calls to the company's Miami and South Carolina locations were unnecessary. The president of Extreme Kitchen Exclusive is Scott Schneidermesser.

Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Donates Equipment To Brunswick Firefighters

Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Donates Equipment To Brunswick Firefighters

BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- Firefighters in a south Georgia community will be able to serve its citizens in a safer manner, thanks to a First Coast sub shop chain.

The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation gave the Brunswick Fire Department eight sets of firefighting turnout gear, valued at more than $17,000, in a ceremony this morning at a Firehouse Subs location in Brunswick.

Due to budget constraints, the department otherwise would not have been able to upgrade the equipment. The new gear will be used in training exercises and rescue situations, according to a release.

Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has donated more than $400,000 to public safety entities in Georgia since 2005.

Four Arrested In Brunswick For Breaking Into Unlocked Cars

BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- The Glynn County Police Department has arrested four people after receiving reports that they were walking around an apartment complex parking lot looking for unlocked vehicles.

Shortly before 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday, police were alerted to people walking around the parking lot of the Fox Run Apartment Complex located at 100 Walden Shores Drive in Brunswick, according to a news release from Captain Marissa Tindale with the Glynn County Police Department.

Tindale said a resident called 911 to report a "suspicous" white Cutlass that several people had gotten out of and were checking for unlocked vehicles in the parking lot of the complex.

A little bit after 1:30 a.m., police officers stopped the car near the apartments.

Firehouse Subs To Donate More Than $17,000 In Gear To Brunswick Firefighters

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – The jobs of firefighters with the City of Brunswick Fire Department will become a little easier -- and hopefully, a little safer -- thanks to a Jacksonville-based sub shop chain's foundation.

Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation will be donating to Brunswick firefighters eight sets of firefighting turnout gear, which is worth $17,688, according to a release from the foundation.

The gear will replace outdated equipment, which the department would otherwise be unable to replace due to budget cuts.

A donation ceremony will take place on Thursday at a Firehouse Subs located at 919 Glynn Isles, Brunswick, at 10:30 a.m.

"We are truly serving subs and saving lives," said Eddie Wells, franchisee of the Brunswick Firehouse Subs restaurant. "Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, with the support of our restaurants, is dedicated to equip, educate, and fund first responders."

FCATs Begin Today

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT, will be held this week for students across the state.

Kathryn LeRoy, Chief Academic Officer with Duval County Public Schools said there are some simple steps that parents can take to make sure their children are at their best.

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Eat a healthy, filling breakfast
  • Take time to relax outside of school
  • Don't try to "cram" for the test
  • Do not go to school or take the test when feeling under the weather

"There are makeup days," explained LeRoy. 

She said parents should also try to give their children positive reinforcement throughout testing. 

People in Waycross Protest Police Shooting

WAYCROSS, Ga. -- They're demanding answers and marching for their neighborhood. A few dozen protestors at Garlington Heights want to know why 26-year-old Andrew Poole was shot by Waycross police.

It happened last Thursday, while officers were searching for a person of interest in a murder case -- inside an apartment complex. The G-B-I says the officer ran into Poole inside an apartment unit, felt threatened and open fire.

Shelando King says she's the one who called police about the person of interest. But now knowing that someone unrelated to case got shot, she's rethinking that decision to call police.

The march lasted about 30 minutes. Organizers hoped to get 300 people to march. Far fewer showed up.

The Georgia Cities Foundations Visits Camden County

The Georgia Cities Foundations Visits Camden County

Georgia Municipal Association and the Georgia Cities Foundation will again explore the “Heart & Soul” of eight Georgia cities along the coast of Georgia on a three day bus tour in April.  St. Marys will be featured on Thursday, April 19, 2012 to state agency heads, business leaders, downtown developers and philanthropists who are looking at ways cities are revitalizing and capitalizing on their downtowns.

Record MegaMillions Jackpot Won't Do Much for Ga. Education

Written by Marc McAfee & Jon Shirek, WXIA

ATLANTA -- At half a billion dollars, the MegaMillions lotto jackpot is now higher than it's ever been. And as more and more tickets are sold, it's only getting higher. The sign on Peachtree Road said $476 million Wednesday morning, and by the afternoon it had risen to $500 million.

Almost 840 million tickets have been sold nationwide since late January, the last time anyone won a MegaMillions drawing. About 33 million of those sold in Georgia.

On Wednesday afternoon, people were buying about 150,000 tickets an hour in Georgia.

The extra lottery tickets sold for this big jackpot will definitely help education in the state.

No one knows, yet, by how much.

But it will not be enough to cover the shortfall.

Escaped Ga. Prisoner Captured

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Police have taken an escaped prisoner from a work detail into custody.

Captain Jay Wiggins, Director of the Glynn County Emergency Management Agency, said Coty Benefield was arrested by Glynn County Police and corrections officers Thursday morning.

Wiggins said a Code Red notification call was placed to St. Simons Island residents Thursday morning letting them know Benefield had been captured.

Wiggins said he was arrested shortly after 8:30 a.m.

Benefield escaped Tuesday from a work release program in Glynn County.  Benefield was clearing debris from a drainage ditch when he left the detail.

Benefield had been serving a burglary sentence at the Appling Pre-Release Center at Baxley.

ST. MARYS’ INDEPENDENCE DAY FESTIVAL MAKES THE LIST OF TOP 20 EVENTS IN THE SOUTHEAST

ST. MARYS’ INDEPENDENCE DAY FESTIVAL MAKES THE LIST OF TOP 20 EVENTS IN THE SOUTHEAST

The St. Marys Convention & Visitors Bureau is excited to announce a second 2012 St. Marys festival has earned a spot among the Southeast Tourism Society’s “Top 20 Events in the Southeast” list. The Kiwanis Club of St. Marys 44th Annual Independence Day Festival will be held on Wednesday, July 4th and is one of the area’s most popular and well attended events. It is most deserving of this designation.

Was There a Tremor in Georgia?

First Coast News received numerous reports this morning from our Southeast Georgia viewers and on our social media outlets about feeling some shaking around 8:15.

We put calls into the United States Geological Survey, the Georgia Air National Guard and the National Weather Serice. 

None of the agencies could confirm any sort of geological disturbance.

However, if you'd like to report feeling a disturbance you can report it on the USGS website. Or, if you felt it, share your experience by using the Facebook comment form below this story.

Naked South Florida Fugitive Arrested in Kingsland

Naked South Florida Fugitive Arrested in Kingsland

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- A fugitive from Brevard County was arrested in Kingsland after police found him sleeping in his van naked.

Police were told to be on the lookout for Matthew Ibarra, a 21-year-old from Melbourne, who was wanted for several felonies, including aggravated battery committed against his grandparents.

Police were looking for a green 1998 Ford conversion van and were told that Ibarra may be staying at a hotel along I-95 between Jacksonville and Savannah.

Kingsland Police found Ibarra sleeping in his green, 1998 Ford conversion van at the Fairfield Inn on East King Avenue.  Ibarra was sleeping naked in the van at the time, according to a press release from Lieutenant Todd Tetterton of the Kingsland Police Department.

Tetterton said when police woke Ibarra up he refused to open the door or the window.  Ibarra made it appear he was going to get out of the van, but instead started the engine and tried to escape.

USA Network’s “Royal Pains” to Film in St. Marys

USA Network’s “Royal Pains” to Film in St. Marys

ST. MARYS, GA—A production crew of 35 were in St. Marys this past Monday finalizing the plans for the filming of “Royal Pains” to take place March 19-25. The popular TV series is in its third season on the USA Network and centers around a doctor who makes house calls to the rich and famous residents of The Hamptons.

Come For The Swamp, Stay For The Trains

FOLKSTON, Ga. -- If the sound of a train whistle sounds like the perfect, soothing lullaby to fall asleep to, then there's a new place in Folkston you'll probably enjoy.

"People come here from all over the world," said Dixie McGurn.

McGurn owns a store/restaurant on Main Street called Whistlin Dixie. 

But Dixie and her husband also just bought some lodging for train enthusiasts.

"We've got the Roadmaster's Lodge, and the caboose," she said.

Both are just a few feet from the CSX railroad tracks that run directly through the heart of downtown Folkston.

McGurn, a former mayor of the south Georgia town, said tourism is a major part of their economy. 

Folkston is known as the Gateway to the Okefenokee Swamp, which brings thousands to the area every year.

But, as Dixie said, folks travel from as far away as Europe and Canada to see the trains.

Old car lot becomes organic garden in record time

Everything Camden and beyond... Hi there, We are working on the Seeds of Love Community Garden in Kingsland. This is an organic garden for vegetables planted to provide food for the food banks. Actually, we're turning an old car lot (The old Bennett Chevy place on Hwy 17) into a community garden. The garden will also have a Butterfly Garden. We're hoping this garden will be an inspiration to other organizations such as churches, schools and civic organizations to start their own gardens. This project is one of the projects showcased by Lovetown, USA and our Grand Opening is scheduled for Thursday 4.00 pm - 6.00 pm. 

Gingrich pins hopes Tuesday on big Georgia win

ATLANTA -- Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is banking on a big win in Georgia Tuesday to keep his fading hopes of winning the nomination alive.
 
The former House speaker is hoping momentum from an expected win in the state he represented in Congress for 20 years would propel his campaign, which has struggled since his lone victory in the Jan. 21 South Carolina primary.
 
Gingrich leads by wide margins in Georgia polls. He trails Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney in Tennessee, although the race there is tight and Gingrich was closing the gap in some surveys.
 
He told 200 supporters near Knoxville on Monday that he has "the chance to win a stunning victory" in Tennessee.

Kingsland Police Department Host ICAC Meeting

 

On Friday, March 2, 2012 the Kingsland Police Department (KPD) hosted the first 2012 quarterly meeting of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.  These meetings are hosted in local jurisdictions as a means to keep task force members up to date on the ever changing technology and ways that our children are being targeted and/or victimized. 

Somer Thompson Autopsy, Other Evidence Released

Somer Thompson Autopsy, Other Evidence Released

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- First Coast News has obtained the autopsy reports, toxicology tests, crime scene photos and other documents surrounding the discovery of Somer Thompson's body at a Georgia landfill.

First Coast News made a public records request on Friday and got the evidence Monday.

SLIDESHOW: Somer Thompson Crime Scene photos

The images show the spot where Somer's journey came to an end at Chesser Island Road Landfill after Jarred Harrell admitted to throwing her body out with trash.

First for You: Carpooling Could Help Pre-empt the Pump

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- We've seen it before, the last time gas prices went up to around $4.00 a gallon, drivers started looking for alternatives.  Now, transportation planners think carpooling could see a surge as gas prices go up again.

RELATED
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Latest gas prices around Jacksonville
More car news at First Coast Gears
- Latest traffic conditions

Camera's Rolling for "Heart & Soul of Lovetown" Event in Kingsland

Camera's Rolling for "Heart & Soul of Lovetown" Event in Kingsland

Have we got a great day planned for you!! The “Heart & Soul of Lovetown” will be a jam packed day of boot scootin’ good ole’ fashioned family fun, best of all it’s FREE and open to the public!  Bring your family, bring your friends and kick back at the beautiful North Shore in Kingsland to enjoy “Live Music”, “Country Line Dancing” and “Mechanical Bull Rides”. 

Heart & Soul of Lovetown

Heart & Soul of Lovetown

"Heart & Soul of Lovetown"

Sunday, March 4th

2:00 PM - 5:30 PM

North Shore Shell Cracker Clubhouse (West on HWY 40 towards Browntown in Kingsland Georgia)

IHOP Offers Free Pancakes Today

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- If a cereal bar just won't cut it this morning, you can get a free short stack of pancakes from any IHOP restaurant instead.

MORE: SLIDESHOW of Claire Cooking Pancakes with IHOP

The International House of Pancakes is offering the free breakfast in an effort to raise money for Children's Miracle Network hospitals. They will ask pancake lovers to make a voluntary donation instead of paying for their short stack. 

In Jacksonville, the proceeds will go to Wolfson's Children's Hospital and Shands Children's Hospital at the University of Florida, according to a news release from IHOP. 

The "National Pancake Day" offer runs from 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. today. 

Ken's Top 10 Cars Mechanics Hate


JACKSONVILLE, Fla.  -- If you're shopping for a new car, you may want to buy the model most mechanics hate. They hate them because they have the fewest repairs and that is good for you, the consumer.

"We hate them because we hardly see them in the shop for repairs," said Kevin White, "What's in your owner's manual?"

MORE CAR NEWS AT FIRST COAST GEARS

White, who owns White Automotive Repair Shop, said these cars have a good maintenance history.

Here are my top ten least expensive vehicles to maintain according to mechanics. The information is based on the vehicles being driven an average 15,000 miles a year for five years.

Number Ten:

Mazda Tribute. It is a compact SUV, comparable to the Ford Escape, and it has great fuel economy. The maintenance cost over a five year period is about $2600.

Ken's Top 10 Home Improvement Tips From Mike Holmes

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Your home is probably the biggest investment you'll ever make, yet we make mistakes when it comes to repairs or remodeling. Here are ten home improvement tips from HGTV's Mike Holmes who was at the International Homebuilders Show in Orlando.

Number Ten:

Before you start the project, define the purpose of it.

"What you have to look at is it's a job. It is a job and you need to know more about what's involved, educate yourself," said Holmes.

Number Nine:

You need to calculate the costs.

"I call it the dating game when it comes to talking to contractors; people need to spend money smartly," he said.

Number Eight:

Before you hire a contractor do your due diligence.

Ken's Top 10 Ways To Get Through Tax Filing Season

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- This time of year many Americans struggle with getting their tax return filed timely and properly. You may be among them and feel you can't do it yourself.  So how do you choose a tax preparer? 

Here are ten things you can do to  get you through the income tax filing season.

Number Ten:

Make sure you have all of your documents, including all of your W-2 forms. Your employer had until January 31st to mail it out. If it is still missing and you don't receive it by February 14 contact the IRS at 800-829-1040 for assistance.

Number Nine:

If you need a professional to help file your tax return, before you choose a tax preparer, check their qualifications.  They're now required to have a (PTIN) tax preparers identification number from the IRS.

Number Eight:

Florida Foreclosures on the Rise Again

After a year-long reprieve from rising foreclosures, the numbers are going up again.

One in every 624 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing in January, up 3 percent from the previous month, according to a new report from RealtyTrac.  Foreclosure activity froze in many states in 2011, due to processing delays after fraud, or so-called "Robo-signing," were uncovered in the fall of 2010.  The thaw is now on.

Running Is All In the Family for Young Bridge Run Participant

When Ansley Wood of St. Simons Island, Ga. won the 18-and-under age group and placed second in the women's division of the 2011 Southeast Georgia Health System Bridge Run, she was tickled pink to receive $500.

That was a lot of money for a 12-year-old.

Southbound Lanes to Be Closed During Southeast Georgia Health System Bridge Run

The southbound lanes of the Sidney Lanier Bridge on Highway 17 in Brunswick will be closed to traffic from 6 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, for the Tenth Annual Southeast Georgia Health System Bridge Run. Southbound traffic will be re-routed using Hwy. 341. The northbound lanes across the bridge will remain open.

Popeyes Appetite for a Cure

 

A fundraising campaign conducted by Sailormen, Inc. at Popeyes restaurants in Northeast Florida and across the Southeast will provide customers with valuable discounts while garnering support for the Muscular Dystrophy Association's worldwide research and services programs. 

Search Warrant Leads to Drug Arrest

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- A woman's efforts to flush drugs down a toilet were not enough to prevent her from being arrested.

February 8th members of the Camden County Sheriff's Office Drug Task Force served a search warrant at a home on Wren Road in Kingsland.

As they were searching the house they heard the toilet flushing in the bathroom.

Inside the bathroom police found 32-year-old Jennifer Rae Emahiser attempting to flush "a variety of illegal narcotics and drug paraphernalia down the toilet," according to a release.

Emahiser's efforts to flush away the drugs did not prove effective.  Not only did police find marijuana floating in the toilet bowl but the suspect's attempts to dispose of the drugs clogged the toilet.

According to police in the toilet reservoir and scattered on the bathroom floor they found crystal methamphetamine, syringes and "other tools used to introduce illegal narcotics into the human body."

New Reactors Bring Jobs to Georgia

WASHINGTON, DC – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has voted to approve the expansion of Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro, Georgia.  The decision clears the way for the nation’s first two nuclear reactors in more than 30 years to be constructed in the Peach State.

HB408 "The Andrew Cohn AED Act" would require AEDs in all Public Schools

 

It only took a millisecond for a  15-year-old St. Marys, Ga. boy to go into sudden cardiac arrest.

Andrew Cohn was playing baseball May 15, 2010, when a runner struck him at just the wrong moment, and the impact jolted his perfectly healthy heart into an abnormal rhythm. Andrew collapsed on the field and died later that day. His parents learned that a heart-shocking device called an automated external defibrillator, or AED, could have saved his life, if only it had been within reach.

Winning Science Fair Students and Teachers

Winning Science Fair Students and Teachers

 

Bernadette Ebri, a student at St. Francis Xavier, became the seventh recipient of the annual Dr. William T. Lipscomb Science Fair Grand Prize Award this past Saturday at ceremonies at the College of Coastal Georgia.  Kerr’s project, “Biomass to Biogas – Converting Biomass to Energy", was judged to have best epitomized concern and hope for a clean environment and healthy economy for coastal Georgia.  Bernadette is the daughter of Sheila and Patrick Ebri, and her science teacher Polly Cox.

Ga. Students Perform Well on AP Exams

ATLANTA -- More Georgia students than ever before are taking Advanced Placement exams and getting the scores necessary to recieve college credit while still in high school.
 
The College Board, which administers the exams, released its annual report Wednesday showing that Georgia ranks 13th in the country for the percentage of students scoring 3 or higher on the tests. Nearly 20 percent of students in the state passed muster on the tests, compared to the national average of 18 percent.
 
And more than 38 percent of seniors in the state's public high schools took an exam, compared to 20 percent in 2001. Georgia ranks second in the nation for the number of black students scoring a 3 or higher on the exams with 12 percent, compared to 4 percent for the nation.

LoveTown USA Comes to Kingsland!

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- Are you ready? It is finally here. The official start of the filming of the TV series LoveTown USA.  It's being called  Love Rally. It is scheduled for this Sunday, Feb. 12th at the waterfront in St. Marys from 2pm until 5pm. The whole community is invited to come out for a festive kick-off to the TV series LOVETOWN USA. It's being filmed in Camden County. And, the filming this Sunday will lead off the show's first episode on the Opray Winfrey Network.

Over Half a Million Dollars Returned to Sheriff's Office

WOODBINE, Ga. -- A Department of Justice audit of the Camden County Sheriff's Office Federal Seized Asset Program has resulted in $527,000 being returned to the sheriff's office.

The DOJ audited 18 months out of the 24 years Bill Smith was sheriff of Camden County.  During their audit they found he had misspent $662,000.  As a result of this finding the Camden County Sheriff's Office and Smith were barred from participating in the federal seized asset program.

The funds returned to the sheriff's office were seized in traffic stops during 2011.  Under the Equitable Sharing Program of the DOJ, the federal government processes seized assets and returns them to local and state agencies once a clearly defined purpose is listed.  These purposes may include training and/or purchasing new equipment.

FCN Presents a National Signing Day Special, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

First Coast News will be airing a live half-hour special on National Signing Day on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on ABC-25.

We'll be showing video from more than 20 local high schools as dozens of student-athletes will be signing letters of intent to accept athletic scholarships to the colleges of their choice.

We'll also break down the recruiting classes for the Gators, Noles, Bulldogs, Hurricanes, and more. 

We'll hear from Will Muschamp and Jimbo Fisher, plus we'll be joined live in studio by one of the top recruits in the Class of 2013, Bishop Kenny wide receiver Ahmad Fulwood.

To stay up to date with all of the developments surrounding National Signing Day, visit http://jacksonville.highschoolsports.net.

5 Things You Need to Know Today: Jan. 31

1. Eat a Banana to Honor Ham!: On this day in 1961 Ham the Chimp became the first hominid launched into outer space.

2. There’s An App for That, but You Won't Use It: Consumers ignore most apps on their smartphones. Of smartphone owners, 68% open only five or fewer apps at least once a week, finds a survey by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.

3. Contacts Lenses Don’t Discriminate: An elephant in Amsterdam's zoo has made history after being fitted with a jumbo-sized contact lens following an eye injury, a statement said Monday.

Flu Update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Influenza (the flu) is a dangerous disease that takes the lives of thousands of people in the United States every year—and causes more than 200,000 people to be hospitalized. Anyone can get sick from the flu and spread the virus to others. Increases in flu activity are expected soon as the flu season gets underway.

St. Marys Mardi Gras Parade and Festival

St. Marys Mardi Gras Parade and Festival

This year’s February 18th festival and parade will feature decorated floats and impressive costumes centered around the 2012 theme “All That Jazz!” The celebration is a quality family-oriented event that showcases exciting activities, a fabulous parade, and over eighty vendors offering food, art, and miscellaneous items.  This event has earned the Southeast Tourism Society’s designation of “Top 20 Event.”

Artist Weekend – Wine & Coffee at The Blue Goose

Artist Weekend – Wine & Coffee at The Blue Goose

In historic St. Marys, all day Saturday and Sunday, January 28th & 29th, The Blue Goose will hold its first ever Artists' Weekend. Sip a glass of wine or cup of coffee while you and friends meander through a great mix of talented local artists who will display, sell & demonstrate their artwork.

Cool Valentine's Day Inspired Treats Now at Dairy Queen

The Dairy Queen® system celebrates the most romantic month of the year with special treats including custom-decorated Valentine's Day-themed heart shaped cakes and the popular Choco Cherry Love as the featured Blizzard® of the Month for February.

Actor William Baldwin Promotes Faith Based Movie

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- William Baldwin has played many roles in a long list of movies, but the actor is walking into a role he has never played before, the coach of a blind football player.

"I know football very well and I know coaching very well," said Baldwin.

Baldwin is the coach in the faith based movie 'Blind Faith' which is being filmed in Jacksonville.

The movie is the story of Mike Chastain who had completely lost his vision,through an accident and a disease, when he decided to play high school football, and he did.

"I happen to be at the right place at the right time, that just means I happen to be at a school with a coach that would give me that chance," said Chastain.

"Think about it a totally blind kid playing a violent game like football," he added.

Georgia Man Waiting for Call of a Lifetime

ST. MARYS, Ga. - A self-described political junkie, Nicholas Taylor may get a chance to have an impact on the political process at Thursday's GOP debate in Jacksonville.

"I was thrown off guard," said Taylor.  "Last night I got the phone call and I'm telling you, I was so excited.  I was happy." 

The King's Bay Navy technician applied to get a seat at the event at the University of North Florida's Lazzarra Performance Hall.  CNN, which is putting on the debate, required everyone who wanted a ticket to submit a question that they would like to ask the candidates. 

Possible Murder Weapon Found in Connection with Soldier's Death

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- The investigation into the November shooting death of a local soldier ramped up over the weekend, leading to the discovery of the possible murder weapon.

According to the Camden County Sheriff's Office, two men found the body of 25-year-old James A. Willis off Union Carbide Road, near the entrance to Cabin Bluff, on Nov. 15.

Willis was killed with a single gunshot wound to the head, Deputy William Terrell indicated in a news release this afternoon.

Three people were arrested for the murder, including a soldier from Ft. Stewart, which is also where Willis was based.  Specialist Jeffrey Cole Eicher, 23, of Ft. Stewart, Aaron James Paxton, 36, of St. Marys, and Timothy Dale Pennington, 39, of Kingsland, all face murder charges.

Kings Bay Sailor Killed in Crash

KINGS BAY, Ga. -- A local sailor has died from his injuries following a crash over the weekend.

According to a news release from the U.S. Navy, Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Mark Dolan, 28, was ejected from a pickup truck that crashed late Saturday on Scrubby Bluff Road.

Investigators said they believe the truck was going too fast as it entered a turn, and the driver, 20-year-old Neil Alan Lavigne, lost control; the truck overturned several times, ejecting both occupants, then crashed.

Both were hospitalized.

Dolan died Sunday. Lavigne was in critical condition today.

A news release from the Georgia State Police said alcohol is not suspected as a factor in the crash.

Three School Buses Stolen from Kingsland Lot

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- Three school buses worth about $300,000 were apparently stolen from their parking lot over the long weekend.

According to Kingsland Police Department Lt. Todd Tetterton, school employees noticed the three buses were gone upon returning Wednesday from the long weekend for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Tetterton said the three all are painted with the standard school bus color scheme: yellow with white roofs and strobe lights on top.

The buses, made in 2004, 2008 and 2012, are marked with Camden County identification along the sides.

Two of the missing buses are "flat-fronted," Tetterton said, like a transit bus, and the third has a standard truck-like front.

Tetterton said the buses were apparently taken from the bus depot adjacent to Camden County High School, where buses are parked when not in use and for fueling and maintenance.

Last Plum Orchard Sunday, January 22, 2012

 

Cumberland Island National Seashore Superintendent Fred Boyles announced today that Sunday January 22, 2012 will be the last Plum Orchard Sunday.  “The ferry service has been a convenient way for visitors to see Plum Orchard, but since we started the Lands and Legacies tour, the normally high fall and winter visitation numbers have not returned,” said Park Superintendent Fred Boyles.  “While the Plum Sunday tours were always popular with visitors, the demand is not as strong as it once was.  We will continue to do the annual Plum Orchard Christmas trip in December.”

Photographers are Heroes Helping Heroes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Heroes helping heroes.

In this week's Hero Central, local photographers are making sure military families remember their heartwarming moments.

Lauren Ilagan's moment is her husband's homecoming.

Her wait for his return at Naval Air Station King's Bay and the moment they were reunited were documented in professional pictures, thanks to a non-profit called Operation Love Reunited.

"It's just a chance to kind of build that morale and our way of giving back to them," said Kara Trimmer, a photographer with OpLove.

She's one of several dozen photographers for this region; there are thousands across the country.

Trimmer feels professional photos are something service members deserve, even if they can't afford them. Because of that, OpLove photographers do them for free.

Camden County HS Wrestling Team Wins State Championship

The Camden County High School wrestling team won the Georgia state championship in Class AAAAA this past weekend in Macon.

It's the first time that a team outside of the Metro Atlanta area has won it all in this classification since 1987.  In the past four years, the Wildcats have finished 4th, 3rd, 2nd, and now 1st in the state.

Camden's team is now ranked 21st in the country according to the Amateur Wrestling News

Parking Lot Rescue Repair Scam Targets Seniors

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It was 11:30 a.m. when 75-year-old Norman Delehanty parked his car in the same area he always parks at the Walmart on Normandy Boulevard.

"I had just put something in the trunk and I hear a voice behind me," he said.

The voice behind him came from a man who claimed he was a mechanic and that he saw something wrong with the front tire on Delehanty's Ford 500.

ON YOUR SIDE

Delehanty said the man took the wheel off Delehanty's vehicle and told him there was a problem with the brakes and calipers. "He had me get in the car and pump the brakes; then he said he need $120 to buy parts to repair the brakes."

Coast Guard Ends Search Near Jekyll Island After Reports Of Plane Crash

JEKYLL ISLAND, Fla. -- The U.S. Coat Guard has ended their search after reports of a plane crash near the Jekyll Island Airport. Ronald Plant from Coast Guard search and rescue of Charleston, SC said they believe it was possibly a meteor shower.

The U.S. Coast Guard started the search at 9:45 p.m. Wednesday and suspended it around 1:00 a.m. Thursday. They used a small boat and a helicopter.

Plant could not immediately comment how many people from his agency, or how many other agencies were involved.

The FAA in Washington, D.C. said they do not have any reports of missing planes.  The one plane that was flying in the area at that time landed safely.

Health System Announces Cancer Care Center-Camden Open House

 

The public is invited to a special Open House Celebration at the new Southeast Georgia Health System Cancer Care Center in the Medical Pavilion on the Camden Campus, 2040 Dan Proctor Drive, Suite 180, St. Marys. This event is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 12, from 6-8 p.m.  Attendees will tour the new facility and meet our board-certified physicians and the Cancer Care Center team. Light refreshments will also be served.

Music Review: Tim McGraw's Emotional Traffic

Music Review: Tim McGraw's Emotional Traffic

From the day I started listening to country music, Tim McGraw has been one of my favorite artists. He has a good vocal range and the ability to make albums with a little bit of everything. By that I mean that he has a mix of up-tempo, nostalgic, and inspiring songs.

Gwinnett County, Ga. Needs Black History Month

The recent events in Gwinnett County Georgia proves America still needs Black History Month.

Not only the recognition of African American contributions to this country, but the continuation
of educating non Black, that respect and dignity should be shown at all times. In the educational
realms of our schools Professional Development is still needed for cultural, racial and colorism
understanding of teachers.

Electrical Problems at Home? Call Utility First!

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- If you're having electrical problems in your home, before you call an electrician call your utility.

Thanksgiving week Glenda Bennett learned this the hard way.

"Wednesday night I came home from my mom's house and on this whole side of the house the power was out," she said.

The electricity was off on one side, then it was on again, so she called an electrician.

MORE: On Your Side

 

 

"The electrician comes out and checks the breaker box. He said, 'when I tested the legs coming into the house, you've got 120 on one side and 40 on the other side, it is a good thing you called that's why your stove and microwave (are) not working'," said Bennett. 

ASU/GHSU Merger Proposed

 

A recommendation to merge Augusta State University (ASU) and Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU)—two public institutions in Augusta, Ga.—will be on the agenda of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia when it convenes for its monthly meeting Tuesday, Jan. 10, in Atlanta.  

Cumberland Island Fire Holding at 45 Acres

Cumberland Island Fire Holding at 45 Acres

 

Yeaterday morning around  7:00 A.M. Cumberland Island National Seashore Fire Management Officials were notified by Camden County 911 of visible smoke. 

When firefighters arrived on scene, they found a small fire burning in mixed vegetation including grasses and trees in the Willow Pond area.  Firefighting crews including the National Park Service, Camden County Fire and Rescue and Georgia Forestry, responded quickly to contain and monitor the blaze. 

Casting Producers In The Area THIS WEEK Recruiting for the new television series "Lovetown USA"

Casting Producers In The Area THIS WEEK Recruiting for the new television series "Lovetown USA"

Please Help Support Our Efforts to Be Named "Lovetown USA" by OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and BBC

KINGSLAND, GA -  Kingsland Georgia is vying to be named LOVETOWN USA by OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and BBC Worldwide Productions.  Casting producers are in the area THIS WEEK recruiting for the new television series.  We need your help in getting area singles excited about this "once in a lifetime" opportunity to find the love of your life with the help of Oprah Winfrey Network and BBC. The show's casting deadline is right around the corner, so contact us TODAY!!  You don't have to live in Kingsland to be a part of this program.

Virtual Job Fair Begins Monday, January 23

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- WorkSource will host a virtual job fair beginning Monday, January 23rd.

The First Coast Virtual Job Fair will open at 12:01 a.m. January 23rd and runs through Friday, January 27th.

The job fair is 24 hours a day.

To participate, visit www.firstcoastvirtualjobfair.org.

You can visit the WorkSource website for instructions and information on how to build a better resume.

Reality Show Casting Now in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Now is your chance to be part of the "Lovetown, USA" reality television show.

The search for singles is expanding now from Kingsland, Ga., only to Jacksonville.

The show is being produced by the BBC and the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Tryouts are going on now. Call 323-785-4616 for the casting department.

Tiger Shark, Hammerhead Prohibitions Start Jan. 1

Tiger Shark, Hammerhead Prohibitions Start Jan. 1

 

The recreational and commercial harvest of tiger sharks and smooth, scalloped and great hammerhead sharks will be prohibited in Florida state waters beginning Jan. 1.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved the management change at its Nov. 16 Commission meeting in an effort to further protect these top predators.

How to Make that Seasonal Job a Permanent One

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A holiday job could be the gift that keeps on giving this year.  According to WorkSource, 30 percent of employers plan to keep some of their seasonal help this year.

WorkSource's Candace Moody said the best way to ensure you are one of the people who stays on is to ask. 

"The people who come up to their managers and say, 'I've really enjoyed working here.  I hope I've done a good job and I'd love to be one of the people you call back if you need help in the New Year.' Will go a long way toward getting the opportunity," explained Moody. 

Local Best Buy manager Ryan Warshaw said he looks for people who are putting extra effort into helping shoppers and who have a good attitude.

Signing up for extra hours this week when others may be asking for time off can also set you apart, Moody shared. 

Gas Prices Remain Stable

 

Retail gasoline prices remain stable as the price of a barrel of oil neared $100 again after multiple reports were released last week that showed positive acceleration for the U.S. economy. Single-family home purchases rose in November to a seven-month high as U.S. unemployment claims fell by 4,000 to 364,000 last week, reported the U.S. Labor Department.

Refund Check for Foreign Fees is Legit

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Be on the lookout for a holiday surprise in your mailbox.

"It's entirely possible that I have gotten that and thrown it away actually," said Lacey Walker.

Lacey Walker should have a surprise coming and it's because she traveled outside of the country and used her credit cards.

She could be one of the 10 million people who will get a check in the mail for that travel.

The check is worth $18.04.  All you have to do is go to the bank and the cash is yours.

Sound too good to be true?  "It's good.  Cash it and go to McDonald's and have lunch," said Tom Stephens, who is the President of the Northeast Florida Better Business Bureau.

Stephens has done his research, and he said the check is legit.

Drug Investigation Leads to Animal Cruelty Arrests

Drug Investigation Leads to Animal Cruelty Arrests

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- A two-month investigation led to a "no-knock" search warrant and arrests on more than just drug charges.

Motel Fire Traced to Meth Lab

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- A suspicious fire at a local motel has been traced to a meth lab in one of the rooms, and once he is released from the hospital, a man police believe to be responsible for it will go to jail.

Receive Free Ice Cream Cupcake on National Cupcake Day, December 15

 

Marble Slab Creamery and MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream and Treatery will celebrate National Cupcake Day on Thursday, December 15, 2011 by giving customers one free ice cream cupcake from 4 to 7pm.*  Marble Slab Creamery and MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream and Treatery are managed by GFG Management, LLC.

Couples Sought for Ultimate Wedding Package Giveaway

Couples Sought for Ultimate Wedding Package Giveaway

 

Twelve Jacksonville companies are teaming up to pet and pamper one lucky Northeast Florida bride and groom on their wedding day.

Before you make plans to walk down your red carpet to wedded bliss, you have to register to win. “The Ultimate Wedding Package Giveaway” provides $20,000 worth of donated services. Couples can register to win at http://www.moneypages.com/Contests/Register.aspx?ContestID=144204. Registration ends on Dec. 23, 2011 and voting for the winning couple begins in January 2012.

LOVETOWN USA CLOSER REALITY FOR KINGSLAND: BBC Executives and OWN Network Scheduled To Visit Again

LOVETOWN USA CLOSER REALITY FOR KINGSLAND: BBC Executives and OWN Network Scheduled To Visit Again

Producers of the Oprah Winfrey Network and BBC’s new reality matchmaking television show, "Lovetown USA", notified Kingsland Mayor Kenneth Smith today that Kingsland has made it to the short list as one of the finalists in the quest to be named as the filming location for the new television series. BBC/OWN network executives and the Lovetown USA executive team will be visiting Kingsland sometime between Dec 14-16, 2011. The new show is an unscripted television documentary series that will follow a group of singles over a 30 day period. During that time, an expert team of matchmakers will guide them in their quest for love and examine how it affects the community.

St. Mary’s River Bridge to Close Temporarily Tomorrow

 

At the request of Florida DOT, The Georgia Department of Transportation will temporarily close the St. Mary’s River Bridge at the Georgia/Florida State line starting 8 a.m., Tuesday, December 13 and continuing through 4 p.m., Thursday, December 15, weather permitting. The Florida DOT will be conducting routine bridge maintenance on the St. Mary’s River Bridge.

St Marys Man Completes Training as a Crime and Trauma Bio-Recovery Technician

St Marys Man Completes Training as a Crime and Trauma Bio-Recovery Technician

 

Rana Killough, owner of Paul Davis Emergency Services in Camden County, GA, recently announced that Paul Drayton, her husband and business partner has successfully completed training as a Crime and Trauma Bio-Recovery Technician at the National Institute of Decontamination Specialists (NIDS) in South Carolina. The National Institute of Decontamination Specialists is recognized as the premier provider of the specific training. 

Child Wellness Tips: Stay Active This Holiday Season!

Child Wellness Tips: Stay Active This Holiday Season!

 

From author, Stephanie Walsh, M.D., Medical Director, Child Wellness, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

The holiday season has arrived! It’s a time for parties, presents and holiday cheer. However, it can also be a season of little activity and over-indulging. As the weather cools down, children are often tempted to stay inside in front of the T.V. or a video game rather than play outside. Holiday specials also can draw your family to the T.V. screen this time of year. Eating healthily can present additional challenges when faced with party buffets, holiday sweets and large family meals.

Jacksonville Weekly Gas Price Update, December 12

Jacksonville Weekly Gas Price Update, December 12

 

Average retail gasoline prices in Jacksonville have risen 3.0 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.24/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has fallen 0.7 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.28/g, according to gasoline price website JacksonvilleGasPrices.com.

School Links Student with Father Serving in Afghanistan

School Links Student with Father Serving in Afghanistan

 

Sterling Elementary School second-grader Griffin Moore got a nice surprise when he learned at a school-wide assembly that he had been named the school’s Golden Rule Award winner for the month of November.  Upon receiving the award from Principal Kelly Howe, he got an even bigger surprise when he turned around to see his father waving to him from a video image being projected onto the school gym wall.

Summer May Be Gone but Mosquitoes are Not

 

The weather may be cooling off but that doesn’t mean that mosquitoes aren’t still around and potentially carrying West Nile Virus (WNV). Both WNV and Eastern Equine Encephalitis are transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes and can cause mild to serious illness. Mosquitoes that carry the West Nile Virus are more likely to bite during the evening, night and early morning.

Woman's Body Found by I-95 Onramp Identified: Shot to Death

Woman's Body Found by I-95 Onramp Identified: Shot to Death

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- The woman found dead near an interstate onramp has been identified and the cause of death has been determined.

Send Your Holiday Lights Photos!

Send Your Holiday Lights Photos!

 

As you start to put up your holiday lights around and in your home, think of snapping a quick photo and sending them to us.

We might feature your photo on air and online.

Send them to news@firstcoastnews.com!

MORE HOLIDAY COVERAGE

Yahoo! Takes A Look Back At The Top 10's of 2011

Yahoo! Takes A Look Back At The Top 10's of 2011

 

The year 2011 is coming to an end, and as 2012 approaches Yahoo! has analyzed the top searches and stories of the year. For the last 10 years Yahoo! has been compiling information to gage the most popular searches each year including viral fads, top news stories and other interesting and strange things that make news.the

The top search for 2011 on Yahoo! was not a person or juicy story, but an electronic technological marvel. The iPhone beat out the reality TV drama, a closely watched high profile defendant, and America's #1 most wanted terrorist.

Southside Murder Suspect Arrested in South Carolina

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The woman accused of killing a local woman in her home Friday used the victim's debit card shortly after the murder, helping police track her down quickly even though she was out of state by the time of her arrest.

According to Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Lt. Rob Schoonover in a Sunday news conference, 40-year-old Patty Michelle White had spent some time living with Michele O'Dowd, 67, in her home on Sutton Park Drive North, until they reached a point where the "relationship wasn't good" and White left.

Friday, a relative of O'Dowd found O'Dowd dead in her home, and the medical examiner determined she had been beaten and strangled.

Also, Schoonover said, her home had been ransacked and her debit card was stolen.

Jags Fan Group Giving Away 'Khan Staches' At Monday Night Football

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Some serious Jacksonville Jaguars fans have made some twitter accounts totally dedicated to the man who will soon be the new owner.

And they're pretty specific on what they're celebrating: Shahid Khan's mustache.

RELATED: Shahid Khan Known For Business and Charity

@KhanYouDigIt and @KhanStache have more than 1,000 twitter followers combined. 

Both groups have been posting about their plans to hand out fake mustaches, 20,000 according to their twitter feeds, outside EverBank Field before the Monday Night Football game against the San Diego Chargers.

Two Tattoos on Murder Victim's Body, Still No ID

Two Tattoos on Murder Victim's Body, Still No ID

CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. -- The woman's body found Wednesday near Interstate 95 has been autopsied, and police hope two tattoos can help identify the body.

Deputy William Terrell with the Camden County Sheriff's Office released the photographs of the tattoos this afternoon and more information.

Orlando PD: Female Body Found off I-95 in Camden County Not Michelle Parker

Orlando PD: Female Body Found off I-95 in Camden County Not Michelle Parker

CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. -- The second body found this month on the side of the road in south Georgia is not missing Orlando mother Michelle Parker.

Christmas Tree Safety

Christmas Tree Safety

 

Trimming the tree is a traditional holiday pastime. Many prefer the look and scent of a fresh real tree rather than the artificial one; however, if they are not properly cared for, Christmas trees can pose a serious danger. Keep the following tips in mind when selecting and caring for your Christmas tree this holiday season:

Jacksonville Firefighters Say Bake, Don't Fry

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- If it was up to him, Jacksonville Fire Rescue Captain Roy Hall would probably outlaw fried turkey.

"As a Fire Department, we don't condone turkey frying," he explained.  "We would rather people did not fry turkeys."

Hall said fryer fires are one of the biggest problems on Thanksgiving Day.  According to Capt. Hall, most of the fires happen when people leave their turkeys frying unattended. 

Fires can also occur when fryers are placed too close to a house or other flammable objects.

Hall explained that people often underestimate how quick and large a turkey fire can be.

Capture the Spirit of the Holiday with Friends and Family

 

The St. Marys Christmas Tour of Homes is a festive tradition that helps kick off the holiday season in the small riverfront town of historic St. Marys, Georgia.

This year's tour will be held Saturday, December 10 from 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. and will feature six beautifully decorated private homes, three bed & breakfasts, and five churches. The sparkle of the adorned trees and winter wonderland décor will have you savoring the season. 

Black Mamba Investigation Continues; Questions Remain

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- The search for a possible black mamba snake is continuing, though authorities still aren't sure there is such a snake in the area.

Rick Lavender, spokesman for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division, issued an update on the story that began with a reported snake bite Monday.

Lavender said his department is joining with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Kingsland Police Department in the investigation.

Jacksonville resident John K. Rosenbaum, 22, told officers he had gone to Georgia Monday to buy a black mamba, a snake not native to the southeastern United States.

According to Lavender, Rosenbaum said the deal was set to take place at about 2:30 a.m. Monday off Interstate 95 Exit 3 in Kingsland.

Rosenbaum reportedly said while the meeting was taking place, the snake escaped, and in his effort to recapture it, the snake bit him.

Lanes to Reopen on I-95 Following 3-Semi Collision

CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. -- Police have released the details behind a series of semi crashes this morning that led to the shut-down of Interstate 95 this morning.

According to Lt. Todd Tetterton with the Kingsland Police Department, the first calls came in about a crash on I-95 northbound near Exit 3 around 5:30 a.m.

A semi was blocking some lanes of the highway, Tetterton said, adding that investigators still are not sure why.

A UPS freight truck tried to avoid the stopped semi, but couldn't, so they collided.

A third semi then approached the two crashed semis and also couldn't avoid a collision.

The three crashed trucks forced the closure of all northbound lanes for about two hours.  One lane reopened by 8 a.m., Tetterton said, and the remaining lanes are expected to reopen this morning.

Tetterton added that none of the trucks carries anything hazardous and there was no spillage.

11th Circuit Upholds Strict GA. Execution Standard

ATLANTA (AP) -- A federal appeals court has ruled that death penalty defendants in Georgia will have to prove they are mentally disabled beyond a reasonable doubt to avoid execution, the most stringent legal standard in the nation.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision Tuesday said it couldn't strike down the Georgia law because the U.S. Supreme Court empowered each state to create its own definition for the mentally disabled. Most death penalty states have a lower threshold for defendants to prove they are mentally disabled; six states don't set any.

The ruling comes as a disappointment for defense attorneys and over the objections of four circuit judges. One of them, U.S. Circuit Judge Rosemary Barkett, wrote in a dissent that the law "eviscerates" the constitutional rights of mentally disabled offenders.

Christmas Tour of Homes

Christmas Tour of Homes

The St. Marys Christmas Tour of Homes is a festive tradition that helps kick off the holiday season in the small riverfront town of historic St. Marys, Georgia. 

This year's tour will be held Saturday, December 10 from 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. and will feature beautifully decorated homes, bed & breakfasts, and historic churches.  Also featured on the tour will be Orange Hall, a circa 1829 Greek revival mansion, which was recently listed on the Georgia Trust's "Places in Peril" list, along with the Bachlott House, which houses the administrative offices of Cumberland Island Seashores National Park Service.

Jazz Concert at the St. Marys Waterfront Park

Jazz Concert at the St. Marys Waterfront Park

A Jazz in the Park benefit concert will be held on Saturday, November 26th from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. in the St. Marys Waterfront Park in historic St. Marys, Georgia.  If you've grown tired of turkey and of entertaining holiday guests then head out to the park with lawn chairs and lap blankets in tow.  This after-Thanksgiving event is being held in support of the Spirit of 1812's bi-centennial commemoration events, which will be held in February 2012 and in November 2012.  The featured artist will be Ernie Lombardi's Just Jazz Quintet offering sophisticated classics from swing to ballads, Latin to pop.  They will also be playing music from Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Gershwin and more.  A second act by a local entertainer will follow the Just Jazz Quintet.

Kohl's Black Friday

Kohl's Black Friday

Kohl’s Department Stores revealed its after Thanksgiving Day deals offering unprecedented value to all customers with more unbeatable savings opportunities than ever before and more ways to shop and share the best offers of the season. Doors open nationwide for 24 hours – from 12 a.m. to midnight on Friday, Nov. 25, to help shoppers get a jump on tremendous savings opportunities. Online shoppers can start saving even earlier with more than 500 Early Bird specials available on Kohls.com on Thanksgiving Day. For the first time ever, all Kohl’s shoppers will earn $15 Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent in store or online.

Winn-Dixie Partners with Feeding America to Help Fight Hunger

Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. announced it has joined forces with Feeding America to launch the Give a Meal program, which gives Winn-Dixie guests and team members the opportunity to help provide food to nearly 37 million Americans — including more than 14 million children — facing hunger this holiday season. Give a Meal runs through Jan. 3 and is available in all of Winn-Dixie’s 482 stores in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. Every $1 donated during the campaign helps provide eight meals to people in need.

Lovetown USA Producers to Scout Kingsland Georgia Community

Lovetown USA Producers to Scout Kingsland Georgia Community

 Producers of the Oprah Winfrey Network and BBC’s new reality matchmaking television show, "Lovetown USA", notified Kingsland Mayor Kenneth Smith last weekend that Kingsland had made the next cut in the nationwide competition seeking the perfect small-town setting for love. The new show is an unscripted television documentary series that will follow a group of singles over a 30 day period. During that time, an expert team of matchmakers will guide them in their quest for love and examine how it affects the community.

Body Found On Union Carbide Road

Body Found On Union Carbide Road

 

According to a press release from the Camden County Sheriff’s Office, the body of a 25-year-old man was found yesterday on Union Carbide Road.

The body of James A. Willis III, of Fort Stewart, was found at 10:30 yesterday morning on the north side of Union Carbide Road, about nine miles east of Interstate 95.

According to the release, Willis’ body was found about twenty feet off the road near the entrance to Cabin Bluff by two local men. Willis’ death is being investigated as a homicide, states the release.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) is assisting with the investigation. An investigation is underway.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Camden County Sheriff’s Office at (912) 510-5100.

US Labor Department, Microsoft Announce New Resources for Veterans

 

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced a new partnership with Microsoft Corp. to provide veterans and with vouchers for no-cost training and certifications that can lead to important industry-recognized credentials.  The voucher program will serve veterans in five communities with the highest number of returning post-9/11 era veterans: Seattle, Wash.; San Diego, Calif., Houston, Texas; Northern Virginia; and Jacksonville, Fla.

How to Support Our Troops and Vets this Veterans Day

How to Support Our Troops and Vets this Veterans Day

 

Today is Veterans Day. To honor the courageous men and women of our Armed Forces, both past and present, here are several ways that folks are supporting these individuals, including ideas on how you can make your impact:

Retailers, Restaurants Offer Veterans Day Freebies

Retailers, Restaurants Offer Veterans Day Freebies

 

Vets on a tight budget can put away their wallets over the next few days.

Some of the nation's largest retailers are offering a satchel full of freebies to veterans and active military members in honor of Veterans Day. Most of the freebies require proof of military service. Many are restricted to specific hours on Friday, but some of the giveaways begin earlier and have fewer restrictions.

Georgia Democrats Energized by Election Results

Georgia Democrats Energized by Election Results

With Tuesday’s election results nearly complete, Georgia Democrats are energized by the beginning of a Democratic resurgence and further confirmation that their “5% Solution” is winning crucial races.

Warm for a bit

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- We will warm to near 70 with gusty west winds, until a cold front arrives late on our Tuesday. Then back to the ice box with the threat of morning freezes and wind chill Wednesday and Thursday.