Burglars targeting Asian style restaurants

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is offering security tips for local business owners following a rash of burglaries.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is currently investigating six burglaries to Asian style restaurants since September 20, according to a release from JSO.

The burglaries have occurred in the late night and early morning hours at each business in various locations including the Arlington-Regency area, Baymeadows Road and North Main Street.

The suspects are making forced entry through the rear doors and taking cash and other items of value, the release detailed.

Some safety tips to help prevent yourself from being a victim are:

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Mathews Bridge to undergo engineering assessment

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Mathews Bridge is expected to undergo an engineering assessment Friday morning to determine how long it needs to be closed.

Inspectors will also be looking to get a firmer grasp on just how much the bridge is damaged.

Naval vessel USNS Lt. Harry L. Martin, a Surge Sealift Ship, hit the Mathews Bridge, causing major damage to the bridge and shutting it down indefinitely.

The USNS 1st Lt. Harry L. Martin was being tugged by four civilian tugboats when the ship struck the bridge near the center span at 2:15 p.m. Thursday, according to a United States Coast Guard press release.

The port side stern ramp impacted the Matthews bridge when it was traveling to the North Florida Ship Yard Inc., in Jacksonville, Florida, according to LCDR Corey Barker, Fleet Public Affairs Officer.

The ship was empty of cargo at the time and there are no reported injuries on the ship or the civilians tugboats.

Three shot inside Plush nightclub

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Shots rang out injuring three, as people tried to leave a busy nightclub early Friday morning.

Following what detectives describe as a, "mass exodus of people," around 2:15 a.m. from Plush Entertainment Complex three people were found shot, according to Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Homicide Sgt. Steve Zona.

The three gunshot victims were transported from the nightclub in the 800 block of University Boulevard North to an area hospital. One victim is currently in critical condition, the other two are currently in stable condition.

All three victims were shot inside the nightclub, according to JSO.

A fourth person drove themselves to a local hospital with what was initially believed to be a gunshot wound, but was later determined to be a cut. That victim is listed in stable condition.

An investigation is ongoing and detectives are interviewing witnesses and victims at this time. 

On Your Side team gets answers for viewers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- "I'd like them to give me an explanation why," Jeff in Arlington said. 

He asked the On Your Side team for help after his utility bill went up to $940.

First Coast News called JEA and asked why. 

Spokesperson, Gerri Boyce, said from June to July the family was using about 1,000 gallons a day, which is a lot according to Boyce. 

JEA recently did a smart check at the home to verify the reading and said a toilet leak or a leaking hose might have caused the increase.

To lower your bill, check for toilet leaks. Boyce said a cheap flapper valve can solve many toilet problems. Boyce said to make sure you turn off outdoor hoses. JEA's website has money saving tips to help you lower your utility bills.

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Hero Next Door: Johnny Upson

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  Johnny Upson is a master barber at the Cut Above Barbershop in Arlington.

It's the place where he started his career back in 1998 and it's the same place where he started a campaign that's saving babies lives in the Arlington community.

Four years ago, shortly after the birth of his daughter, one of Upson's clients shared some shocking information about infant mortality in the state of Florida particularly here in Jacksonville.  

That more infants die before their first birthday in Jacksonville than in any other city in the state.

so, upson along with a couple of others started "Barbers for Babies".

Playground near unsecured retention pond

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jasmine Valentin lives near Ken Road and 103rd street, close enough to realize that a playground feet from a retention pond is an accident waiting to happen.

"I've been complaining to the people around the neighborhood," said Valentin, "how can you have a retention pond next to the park with no fence."

Valentin has no children, but her maternal instincts are screaming at what she sees.

"It is crazy, it is irresponsible," she said. 

The pond is near McGirts Village, an uncompleted townhome community, that sits between busy its between busy 103rd and quiet Firetower streets; the playground sits less than than 50 feet from the retention pond.

"I've seen the results of this when nobody is paying attention to things like this," said Karen Ketchie.

Ketchie is a parent, a disaster management consultant, and an emergency room nurse.

60 more teachers on board in Duval County

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The new school year in Duval County came with a surprise more than 2,000 more teachers and not enough staff in place.

Four weeks into the school year, some high schools in particular are still dealing with crowded classrooms.

First Coast High School is one of them.  The school's enrollment jumped by 150 students when it was projected to go down. The school following the first twenty days has 2,321 students.

"My main concern is the quality of education that they are getting," said Christie Strickland who has two seniors at First Coast High.

Some classes at the school are being held in the auditorium since school started in August.

"We dramatically increased the number of elective classes at middle and high schools," said Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, which he described as a good challenge.

The challenge turned into a problem when 2,000 more students enrolled in Duval County schools.