News

$26,000 Raised as UNF Students Dance for the Children's Miracle Network

JACKSONVILLE, Fla -- The third annual Dance Marathon at UNF raised $26,616.08 for the Children's Miracle Network of Northeast Florida/Southeast Georgia.

"This is a huge accomplishment," said Katelyn Tierney, the club's co-chair. "We could not have done this without the dedication and hard work of our fellow students," added her fellow co-chair, Levi Porter.

Saturday at 6 p.m. students started filling the UNF Arena on a mission to dedicate their time and to exceed the amount of funds raised by last year's event. Students accomplished both by staying on their feet for 17 hours and three minutes, as well as raising $10,000 more than the previous year's event.

Woman Finds Her Stolen Car, Follows as it Ends up in Creek

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A woman noticed her car was missing this morning when she tried to take her child to school - then found it again while she was on the road.

Daniel Block said the woman, Brianna Farley, asked him for a ride. They left their Marietta neighborhood together and as they dropped off the child at Stonewall Jackson Elementary School, in the Cedar Hills area, Block said they spotted Farley's car and began following it along Wilson Boulevard to an apartment complex in Confederate Point.

He said they called police as they followed the car to an apartment complex and followed it again as the car sped out of the complex.

Another friend of Farley's saw her car coming by him at a high rate of speed and he almost got hit. " They swerved around me about 80, about hit me so I braked," said Cory Brown. "I turned around and they just did clear the pillar of the bridge and went thru the bushes and nose dived in there."

Fire Closes UNF Library

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A fire at the University of North Florida closed a vital campus building tonight.

University Police officers are investigating a small fire they said started in the second floor men's room of the Thomas G. Carpenter Library.

Crews extinguished the fire quickly, and no one was hurt, but the library is closed while workers clean up the water used to extinguish the fire.

If you know anything about the fire, UPD asks that you contact them at 904-620-2800.

New Interview Recordings, Photos Released from Makia Coney Murder Investigation

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- New information surrounding the murder of University Christian student Makia Coney has been released by the state attorney's office.

Charles Southern and Connor Pridgen were sentenced to life in prison for shooting Coney to death in a park in February. The two pleaded to second-degree murder in July.

Pictures and audio recordings from taped interviews now tell the story in Southern and Pridgen's own words. They include audio recordings of Southern and Pridgen's first interviews with authorities.

Southern and Pridgen admitted to killing their classmate but the relationship between the trio has remained vague, until now.

During questioning, Southern described his relationship with Coney.

"Did Makia mean anything to you?" the investigator asked.

Stolen Car Found After Story Aired on First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A Jacksonville woman's stolen car was found after her story aired on First Coast News.

Friday, Jessica Wise's car was stolen in broad daylight from behind the Duval County Courthouse.

It was just before 11:00 a.m. Friday when Jessica Wise, her boyfriend and his son parked their 1995 Chrysler Concorde behind the courthouse and went inside to pick up some paperwork.

When they came back out, Wise said the parking spot was empty.

"I walked all along these meters just thinking maybe I was crazy," Wise said. "I started looking around and I was like hold on a second. Maybe...I parked in the wrong spot. Then it really dawned on me, no, I put an hour in my meter. It's really gone."

There were 45 minutes left on the meter, according to Wise; they were only gone 15 minutes.

Teen Badly Injured in Weekend Crash; Alcohol Related

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Investigators said they believe alcohol played a role in a crash that left a teenager in critical condition over the weekend.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, witnesses indicated 20-year-old Robert Tofson ran the red light at the intersection of Atlantic Boulevard and St. Johns Bluff Road, crashing into another car.

That car was driven by 19-year-old Maida M. Sy. Both drivers were taken to Shands for treatment.

Tofson's injuries are said to be minor, and Sy's critical, according to the FHP.

The FHP indicated alcohol as a cause of the crash, and said charges against Tofson are pending a full investigation.

Duval School Principal Pay Getting a Bump

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A pay plan for principals adopted four years ago in Duval County now has a source of funding: stimulus dollars.

The old pay schedule was based on years of service, but a revised formula would factor in grade level (elementary, middle or secondary), enrollment and the percentage of students on free or reduced lunch. Pay also would be based on years of experience with the district paying $600 for every year up to $12,000.

A high school principal would get $10,000, with elementary and middle school leaders getting $3,000. Each principal would be paid $2 for each student.

A dollar amount also has been attached to the percentage of students on free or reduced lunches. That varies from $125 to $250 for each percent.

The base pay for principals before the formula is $74,311.