Make A Difference Day gives facelift to Lake Wonderwood

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Lake Wonderwood sits in the middle of Naval Station Mayport and oasis for many naval families. Captain Wes McCall is the new commanding officer at the base and appreciates the lake.

"I didn't know it existed until I showed up here a couple of months ago," McCall said. "I think it is a wonderful project."

The project, Make A Difference Day, has Chief Petty Officer Jonathan Will excited. Will is married with three kids and said the lake means a lot to his family.

"I take my family there, we fish there," said Will. "I have a little canoe and it is always a little difficult getting access to it."

Will believes the Make A Difference Day project will make a difference for him, his family and Lake Wonderwood. "I would love to see a little bit more picnic tables stuff like that," he said. "I think it will improve the family environment."

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Man accused in crash that killed woman

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- An arrest has been announced in a crash that killed a Jacksonville woman when she was hit almost head on by a drunk driver.

Chantel A. Jonson's was traveling Eastbound on Atlantic Boulevard in her Nissan on the morning of September 14 when a Ford Expedition SUV crossed the median and hit her almost head on, according to a release from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

The driver of the SUV has been identified as 33-year-old Tirell Anthony Cross.

Cross was taken to UF Health Jacksonville with non-life threatening injuries following the crash.

According to JSO, Cross lost control of his SUV and struck a concrete retaining wall with the right side of car. Cross' SUV then crossed the median into the oncoming traffic lanes in the 5300 block of Atlantic Boulevard.

Car struck by gunfire near elementary school

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A car driving near an Arlington elementary school was struck by gunfire from an unknown suspect.

Patrol officers with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office responded to the 8200 block of Kona Avenue following reports of shots fired.

Three men in a Dodge Charger were shot at by an unknown male while driving through the area near Woodland Acres Elementary School. The car was struck twice, however no injuries were reported.

An investigation is underway and suspect information is not available at this time.

At least one building was struck by bullets during the shooting.

Anyone who has any information about the shooting is asked to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500.

To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward up to $3,000, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

House JEA owned by public utility up for sale

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Did you know that you bought a home on the St. Johns River?

Well, the money you spent on your utilities did.

Public Utility JEA bought the waterfront property in 2011, and now it's up for grabs.

JEA bought the property for $590,000. The idea was to run a pipe right along this driveway back to the river. If you like what you see, it could all be yours. 

3 beds, 3 bath, a fabulous boat slip and pool! Brandon Wesley would have jumped at the chance to sell the house next door.

"Off the back of this house, there's none other. This is one of the more dynamic views in Northeast Florida," Wesley said.

A real estate agent in training, he said JEA would have made a smart investment ... if they were the housing authority.  

"They're not going to take a hit because they made a bad investment. This neighborhood on the corner with a view," he said.

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Pet rescue dispute reveals many are zoned improperly

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Oceanway residents are upset because they heard that Pit Sisters wants to put a rescue on Denton Road.

Jennifer Coscia runs TARA, which stands for The Animal Rescue and Adoption Agency.

"My husband and I thirteen years," said Coscia, "We've placed 4,004 animals into homes."

Coscia just discovered that her rescue is not properly zoned for what she does.

"Until this all began, I did not know the zoning does not allow what I'm doing here," she said.

What happened is the dispute over a possible pit bull rescue on Denton Road. Which means the same zoning would not allow it either.

"Whether it was dachshunds, German shepherds, bunnies, it is against the law," said Coscia, "It is against zoning."

Scammers target JEA customers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A phishing scam targeting JEA customers on the First Coast is on the rise this week.

According to JEA, scammers are calling people to say their service will be disconnected unless they purchase a Moneypak card. 

The phone caller then asks for the number for the card. 

There has been an increase in the last week in the scam calls, according to JEA. 

In an email to First Coast News a JEA spokesperson wrote:

JEA will notify customers should their service be at risk for disconnect for non pay via their bill, letter and automated call. JEA will take payments via website, phone, at the main office, tax collector office, Winn-Dixie or any of the JEA-approved stores found on

Anyone who receives a call is asked to report the incident to JEA. 

Drop box thefts leave renters worried about eviction

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is investigating a string of drop box thefts in rental communities, more than 30 cases, and is now warning landlords and tenants to stop using their drop boxes.

The advice comes too late for Derrall Wilcox. She lives in Casa Del Rio apartment community.

"In August, I paid my rent using the drop box so it wouldn't be late," said Wilcox.

MORE: Warning for renters making drop box payments

Wilcox said she's never been late and wanted to avoid the $65 fee, but now she has a bigger problem. The two money orders used to pay her August rent were stolen from the apartment drop box.

"This is not my responsibility. I did what I was supposed to do," she said.