Collapsed wall near ditch could pose problem for students

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Every day, the children attending Highlands Elementary travel along an uneven sidewalk on DePaul Drive.

"They run up and down this sidewalk all the time," said Troy Jacobs.

Jacobs doesn't have any children in the school, but he is concerned about their safety.

"It wouldn't take much for one to trip and fall over in there," he said.

Jacobs said over the weekend, one of the head walls that supports the crossing beneath the sidewalk collapsed, creating a potential danger for the kids.

Grace Gwaltney lives near the ditch and has watched the wall over the years slowly fail.

"The other side is starting to really slope and there are cracks," she said. "The other side is going to fall."

She's not an engineer, by any means, but she knows her community.

"I've been here since 1963 and it has never been like this," said Gwaltney.

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North Jacksonville residents tired of flooding problem

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- On rainy days Roger Potter hates to look out his backdoor.

"I hate days like today when it is raining," said Potter. "Especially when it rains heavy."

Potter doesn't hate the rain, but before it stops raining he and his two other neighbors must face a recurring problem in their backyards -- flooding. 

"The area behind us is all water," he said. 

Their homes are in the Lexington Park community and adjacent to designated wetlands. Between the two is a conservation easement.

Potter said when they purchased their homes everything was okay with the wetlands behind their properties. 

"The city passed everything," he said.

But with the rainy season the wetlands have become a swamp and the water is running into their yards making a portion of it unusable. 

Scott approves funding, improvements for JAXPORT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Governor Rick Scott approved $14.8 million in bond funding for JAXPORT on Tuesday. 

The money will go towards Blount Island terminal improvements, wharf rehabilitation, tenant building improvements, rail improvements and drainage upgrades and repairs.

The approval was a portion of the $150 million that Gov. Scott and members of the Florida Cabinet approved to finance projects at Florida ports.

Port Everglades, PortMiami, Port Manatee and Port Panama City also received project funding approval. 

"This $150 million investment in Florida ports will strengthen Florida's role as a hub for global commerce. Florida's ports support international trade and domestic manufacturing, and create jobs for Florida families. With this investment, we will continue to position Florida as a leader in global trade and commerce," said Scott. 

In total, 16 projects will be funded under bond proceeds.

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.

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Real ways to help you find a job and other resources

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Shawntray from the Westside asked the On Your Side team a question.

He said he recently lost his job as a security guard because he was sick and can't find work. Shawntray said he lost his home and he's afraid he'll lose his car. He wants help.

Shawntray, here is what you do:

1) Get your hands on a phone in the area of Northeast Florida and dial the United Way's 211. It is a referral source that will refer you to places for emergency financial assistance, food, shelter and clothing and a lot of other service.

2) Call the company that you make car payments and explain your situation. Ask if some payments can be deferred.

3) Go to a place like WorkSource Florida. They have offices across the region They will help you or anyone looking for work Find a job. Call 904-356-JOBS for more information.

Mother says pre-school won't administer son's asthma medication

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Tara, on the Northside, said her 4-year old son's preschool won't give him his medication for his asthma.

FCN called the preschool's director who told us Tara withdrew her child on Monday, but he is welcome back.

All she has to do, and this is something parents should know, is to make sure you bring written documentation from a doctor specifically detailing what the medication is, how and when to administer it and other important information.




How to find good deals on children's clothes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- As summer winds to a close and the holidays approach, you may be thinking ahead about clothes for your children. There are still deals to be had and if you know how to shop, you can find them.

Here's how to save cash: First Coast News set out with $150 total to spend, with $50 in each of three stores.


Our first stop is the Goodwill store on Beach Boulevard in Jacksonville. We enlist the help of the store's manager and clerks, Ms. Maricel and Ms. Tina and others. While in the store, we find a few outfits

At Goodwill, children's jeans are $3.50, shirts $2 and pants $2.50. Children's shorts are $2.00.