News

Grace Lutheran School helps with The Apple Project

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Apple Project is continuing to make headway!

Grace Lutheran School in Arlington and its business partner Thrivent (a financial group) are donating $5,000 will be matched by Weaver Foundation to make a $10,000 donation!

Great part of this story: The kids did chores from vacuuming to cleaning up messy siblings' rooms to earn extra chore money!  

They made a big apple tree at school and put their apple "money" earned on paper apples. Principal Rod Jackson and organizer Julie Ann Peterson spearheaded the effort.

The school's efforts leads First Coast News and its partners one step closer in building a free dental clinic for low-income children and families in Jacksonville.

Former JU President Robert Spiro dies at age 92

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Former Jacksonville University president Robert H. "Bob" Spiro Jr. died Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C., at the age of 92.

Spiro is JU's longest-serving president, presiding over the university from 1964 to 1979. He was also an Undersecretary of the Army, according to a release from JU.

"Jacksonville University has lost one of its most instrumental and patriotic leaders; under Dr. Spiro's 15 years of leadership, JU experienced growth in stature, facilities and enhancements in all areas of campus life," said current JU President Tim Cost.

During his time at JU, Spiro was instrumental in bringing a Naval ROTC program to the school in 1971 at a time when there was an anti-war sentiment due to the Vietnam War.

Postal Service to suspend delivery on bumpy road

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Macapa Road sits between Atlantic and Beach boulevards, and connects to Hodges. It is a very short stretch of unpaved road, but it is so bumpy, driving down the road at 20 miles an hour can result in whiplash.

"I've lived here for the past 17 years," said Gene Walter.

About a dozen property owners use it, as well as trash collectors and the mail service. Walter wants to know why his road is still unpaved.

"If you notice when you go back out, some of the others have been paved and then they just stopped," he said.

The road is an issue now because its road condition is affecting their mail service.

"I mean it gets real bad when it is raining," Walter said.

The U.S. Postal Service's unofficial motto is, "neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." Apparently, that does not apply to Macapa Road.

Child admits to fabricating abduction attempt

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is no longer investigating reports of a possible child abduction after the child admitted to fabricating the story.

Tuesday morning at about 8:00 a.m., JSO responded to a bus stop at Merrill and Hartsfield Road.

According to a JSO Facebook post, the victim's mother said her child was approached by a man in a red pickup truck. The child described the man wearing a blue tee-shirt, white pants, and with a gray mustache.

Detectives learned that the suspect and vehicle description were completely made-up by the child.

JSO conducted a search of the area immediately by using their Air Unit, but did not find the vehicle or person matching the description.

Red truck sought in two suspicious incidents

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and the St. John's County Sheriff's Office is investigating reports of suspicious incidents involving a red truck in the Arlington and Julington Creek areas.

In the past few days, similar incidents have occurred in the Arlington Hills/Arlingwoods neighborhoods and Julington Creek in St. John's County, however no connection has been confirmed between the incidents.

Detectives with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office responded to reports of a suspicious person near Merrill Road Elementary School, in the Hartsfield and Merrill Road area around 4 p.m. Wednesday. 

Witnesses told police a suspicious person in a red pick-up truck was spotted in the area, according to a release from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

The pick-up truck was a red extended cab model with Florida tags, and was towing a black trailer loaded with lawn equipment. 

Zeljko Causevic in custody after devices found at Jax airport

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Two men are in police custody following an incident involving a suspicious package at the Jacksonville International Airport Tuesday.

JAX Airport Public Information Officer Michael Stewart said two formal arrests have been made following the Oct. 1 incident at the airport. Stewart said one person in custody is directly related to the incident, while the other is not related.

Zeljko Causevic, 39, was booked into the Duval County Jail at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday following an arrest by the JAX Airport Police. Authorities say Causevic was arrested at JAX Airport after he allegedly told security screeners he had a bomb in his backpack but they only found an electronic scale and batteries.

Business owners keeping a close eye on the Mathews Bridge

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Business owners near the Mathews Bridge said they need the bridge to re-open sooner rather than later -- their business depends on it.

Mo Smith works at a gas station on University very close to the bridge.

River pilot witnesses Mathews Bridge hit by ship

"Mathews Bridge was helpful for everybody -- it's helpful for the while neighborhood, and now it's a very hard situation," he said.

Smith said the weekend closures of the bridge were tough enough for his business. He said the round-the-clock shut down is disasterous.