High School Art Contest to Benefit Manatees

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The state is always concerned about the safety of the gentle giants of local waterways, and it is inviting school children across the state to join the effort.

During November's Manatee Awareness Month, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is inviting high school students to compete for the artwork that will adorn the 2011-2012 manatee decal.

Only five entries will be allowed per school, so teachers will have to be involved to coordinate each school's best artwork.

Home-schooled students are eligible to enter as well.

Decal sales help fund the state's manatee protection program, and they are available for a donation of at least $5 to the Save the Manatee Trust Fund.

All entries must be postmarked no later than Jan. 28, 2011. Complete rules and requirements are available online.

Yulee High School Leaders Respond to Allegations of Having Ineligible Football Players

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  A First Coast father is throwing his own penalty flag at a local high school football team. 

Michael Scantling, a former part-time coach at Episcopal High, wants a judge to keep the Yulee Hornets out of the playoffs. A petition filed on his behalf in Nassau County Circuit Court Monday accuses some Yulee High School football players of being on the team illegally.

If Yulee's out, his son's team, Episcopal High School is in. At least that's what Scantling hopes for.  "Justice is the name of the game right now," said Scantling.

"My son and his teammates have worked hard all year long to achieve the ultimate goal - that is to be champions but along that way, they've had some hiccups," said Scantling.

Jacksonville Fair Kicks Off

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The 2010 Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair kicked off today.

The fair runs through Nov. 14.

Recall on Highland's Teething Tablets

These teething tablets were recently recalled due to one of the ingredients, belladonna, not being a consistent amount in each bottle.  I had used these tablets for one of my kids until my pediatrician had told me not to do so.  She had informed me that belladonna is an opiate.  I stopped using them a long time ago, but now many have been recalled.  

I know as a mom of 3 kids, it's so hard when your baby is teething.  You just want to help take the pain away.  The natural way that I tried to help soothe my kids pain was by getting a washcloth wet and placing it in the freezer for a while.  Once the washcloth was good and frozen, I'd give it to the kids for them to gnaw on.  I think it served as a soothing agent AND a distraction.  

To find out specifically which bottles are included in the recall follow the link provided.

Living Better: Giving Your Child An Allowance

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.  -- Do you give your children an allowance?  At what age did you start giving them money?

Knowing when and the right way to start your kids on an allowance, and when to stop coercing them with cash:  It's part of our "Living Better" series of stories on Good Morning Jacksonville.

Wednesday (11/3) morning, we focused on the money you give your children for a job well done.

One local Arlington family seems pretty typical; they reward their children with a few cents here and there for completing their chores without being asked, for example.

What may make their method of dishing out allowances different, is that they use a "checkbook" type system.

Later today, you'll see their story on this web page, along with some advice from local Child Psychologist Dr. Peggy Greco with Nemours Children's Clinic about how to handle allowances, no matter what age your child is.

Jacksonville University Considers Banning Four Loko

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  Young adults on the First Coast are experimenting with an alcoholic energy drink that's been called "Black Out in a Can."

Four Loko is readily available at gas stations and liquor stores. And most likely college students know what it is.

"I think 'weekend' normally when I hear 'Four Loko,'" said 21-year old Jacksonville University student Colin Gornall.  

But JU officials are seriously considering banning the caffeinated, malt liquor beverage, which costs less than $3. "I see people who have had Four Loko, and you know they are the people who are most wasted," said 20-year old JU student Ashley Kohler.  

A handful of students have gotten sick from the drink that has a content of 12.1% alcohol, said Dean of Students Bryan Coker.

"No students have ended up in the hospital because of it, but definitely some students (were) in some pretty intoxicated states," he said.

Fire Safety Investment has Taxpayers Spending $5 Million on Marine One

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department has a one-of-a-kind firefighting boat that cost taxpayers more than $5 million at a time when city hall has doubled garbage fees and increased property taxes.

Marine One is a new addition to JFRD's arsenal. It is state-of-the-art and capable of pushing 16,000 gallons of water a minute from five different water cannons the length of a football field.

The 70-foot vessel is equipped with side sonar to identify anything below water and forward looking infrared for night operations. It also is designed to handle biological threats. 

A Homeland Security grant that topped $4 million paid most of the bill. But the city also set aside $1.4 million, saved over the past three years, to match the federal dollars.