Save Our Sons turns attention to absentee fathers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Ronald Clark, 31, is a barber and the proud father of four children. But Clark is concerned about his relationship with one of the children from a previous relationship.

"I feel there's a void because I have three in the house with me," said Clark, "and one not in the house with me and therefore, there's a lot of time lost."

Clark grew up in a single parent household and knows what it means to have a father MIA, missing in action.

"I only had my Mom and she was terrific," he said, "There were times I wish I had my father."

Clark is now lending his voice to the Save Our Sons' newest initiative: absentee fathers.

"I feel a father is needed in the household, a father is needed in his son's life," her said.

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On Your Side: Checking an Officer's identification

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- First Coast News got an email from Joyce who said someone disguised as a police officer came to her door, demanding $6,000. She was afraid and eventually gave it to the man.

Captain Joe Bucci, with the Clay County Sheriff's Office, gave tangible information on how you can confirm whether or not someone that comes to your door is an Official Law Enforcement Officer.

According to Bucci:

1) Ask to see a badge and department identification. It'll have a photo with it.

2) Call the dispatch center when the person gives you a badge number to confirm who they are.

3) Ask for a supervisor with dispatch to triple check.

4) When in doubt, if you're not sure, take their information and confirm it inside your home while they wait outside.








Mother of slain Metro PCS worker fights for safety in workplace

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- What happened at the Main Street Metro PCS on July 20, 2013 has changed Darlene Farah's life forever.

"I go to the bathroom and lock myself in the bathroom and cry or either I go outside and cry," said Farah.

Farah's daughter, Shelby, was working in the retail shop when one of the suspects captured on security camera video, robbed the store then shot and killed her.

"For $103, my daughter lost her life. No cell phones were taken," said Farah, "$103 in ten seconds."

Farah, 46, said the brutal murder of her child has been overwhelming. 

"My kids don't want to go back to the house," she said, "Shelby will always be in our hearts, but I have two other kids to focus on."

She said children are also concerned about her safety.

One in four Floridians without health insurance

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In Duval County 145,000 people have no health insurance, Karen Hanna is one of them.

"I tried to blame my situation on the government or the place I retired from," said Hanna.

Hanna, a retired teacher, said even with a part time job, the cost of insurance is too much.

"When you're only getting one thousand dollars and 800 goes to insurance," she said. "I'm just living for Medicare."

Hanna, 63, is among the working and uninsured and turned to Volunteer in Medicine, a non profit, for her health care needs.

"If they weren't here I would be devastated," she said.

As long as you are working and meet VIM's income guidelines, the service is free. Mike Weinstein is CEO of Volunteer in Medicine.

"We see about 500 patients a month, 6000 a year," said Weinstein. "It has been like that for ten years." 

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Dead city tree left to block homeowner's driveway

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In the Dinsmore community, it is natural to find a canopy of trees on every street.

"You see what I'm saying. They just threw stuff everywhere," said Sonya Crawford.

Crawford said in late August, a tree contractor cut big branches from a nearby oak because the limbs were leaning on the primary power lines.

In fact, Crawford's family notified the JEA of the potential danger, but when she came home, what she saw left her very upset.

"I was livid," said Crawford, "This is really unacceptable."

The JEA tree contractor hired to remove the limbs from the power line left the debris in her driveway. She has not been able to use it.

"There's nowhere to park," said Crawford, "All week. This  unacceptable isn't it?"

Crawford said her calls to (904) 630-CITY and JEA have ended with finger pointing as to who is responsible.

"They just scattered it all over the yard," she said.

Beating the heat at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- For many of us who have lived here for years, we are used to the sweltering days, but for non-natives the hot weather can be tough. On top of that, just imagine being stuck wearing a fur jacket when the heat index hits 100.

At the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, staff work hard through the summer heat to make sure the animals are staying cool.

The warthogs take a good roll in the mud to cool down on a hot day. Not only does the cool mud help keep them from overheating, it also helps protect them from any sunburn.

"I think like us they just want to chill out and stay cool," says senior mammal keeper Melanie Young with a smile.

Rayne Perrywinkle tries to regain custody of daughters

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Rayne Perrywinkle sat nervously in a Duval County courtroom waiting; she's trying to regain custody of her two daughters, ages six and four.

Perrywinkle, 45, dressed in black, remained stoic as the judge asked questions about the welfare of the children.

"Are the children set for school?" asked Judge Gooding. 

At one point, the judge expressed condolences, but there was no reunification. Instead, Perrywinkle was ordered to drug court under heavy security for screening.

"We'll see what that reveals," said the judge.

The screen was ordered after an attorney told the court that it has been reported that Perrywinkle had used prescription medication that was not hers.

Attorney Patty Parker was at the hearing. Parker represents the children.