Jacksonville Zoo trying to kill off invasive ant

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is home to an array of animals from all around the world.

But there is one insect in particular the zoo is currently trying to get rid of once and for all.

"We've had them crawling up people's shoes and all over fences and things," said Dan Maloney, the zoo's deputy director of conservation and education.

Maloney is referring to an invasive species of ant known as the crazy ant, which gets its name from its erratic and sudden movements.

The ant is native to Brazil and Columbia, but researchers believe it migrated to the United States in the '90s through cargo transportation.

Dr. Faith Oi from the University of Florida is an expert entomologist in the field and has studied the crazy ant extensively.

She told First Coast News the Jacksonville area is one of the first places the crazy ant started to reproduce.

Community Sponsors

Are you interested in promoting your business to local customers?

Baker's Sports High School Football Media Day: First Coast Preview

The First Coast Buccaneers haven't lost a regular season game since 2009. 

Last year with a talented team that featured current Florida Gators linebacker Daniel McMillian, the Bucs suffered a surprising loss in the first round of the playoffs.

This year, the Bucs have a challenging schedule that features games against Ribault, Fletcher, Raines, Atlantic Coast, and Sandalwood.

The video clip above features interviews with Kam Lott (Rutgers commit), Spencer Williams (Cincinnati commit), Reggan Northrup (Iowa State commit), and Raashed Kennion (Auburn commit).

Park problems leave residents looking for answers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Willowbranch Park is small and nestled between tall trees and residential properties near Cherry and Park streets. Apparently, the park is well used.

So why were the basketball nets and hoops removed? The park is in Jacksonville Councilman Jim Love's Riverside district.

"There were a lot of folks being noisy playing basketball, cuss words," said Love, "Also, they had loud music playing."

And that generated complaints from some who live near the park and when the councilman asked parks and recreation to review the situation, they had a solution.

"The parks department came up with the idea to take down some of the nets and hoops," said Love.

Love said it was a compromise to keep the park functional and control the crowd thus addressing complaints from residents.

Customer stiffed at going out of business sale

UPDATE 7/22/13 10:15 a.m.: Donavah Kight is to receive a refund for the items he did not receive according to Roy Hester, who handled the closing of both Circle K stores in Jacksonville, Fla.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Circle K furniture property is quiet, the gates are locked, the Westside store is now out of business. 

Donavah Kight saw that Circle K furniture was going out of business and decided to take advantage of the sale. He made two purchases, now he wants them to keep one of the items.

"I don't want it now," he said. "Not after the way they did me I don't want it."

Kight purchased a recliner sofa and a recliner chair; he was able to pick them up before the business closed.

Kight who was bidder 632 also purchased a queen size bed, dresser and a night stand, paid $1100 for those items according to his receipt but has yet to see them.

Community Sponsors

Are you interested in promoting your business to local customers?

Basketball prize giveaway leaves winner disappointed

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- At many sporting events, there are advertisers and fans who participate in various contests, fans like Kassandra DeBoyd.

"It was a family night," she said, "family fun for us."

During the Jacksonville Giants championship game, DeBoyd entered a contest for the free use of an inflatable bounce house valued at $300.

"I've never won anything," said DeBoyd, "Two weeks later, we received a phone call ... saying we had won the package."

It was unexpected

"Even my daughter said 'is this a joke?'" DeBoyd said.

It wasn't and they began making plans.

"I knew where it was going to go and what we were going to do with our prize," she said. 

De Boyd planned a party for her daughter and her friends. She felt that was the best use of the prize, but it didn't happen.

"I called the whole thing off completely because of it," she said.

Your guide to First Coast 4th of July celebrations

Firework displays and events scheduled to celebrate the 4th of July holiday across the First Coast. Here's a list of the festivities:

Columbia County celebrates 4th of July

Clay County celebrates the 4th of July

Fernandina Beach celebrates 4th of July

Flagler County celebrates 4th of July

Neighborhood networking site taking off in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The first of its kind private social networking site for neighborhoods only is starting to take off in Jacksonville.

It is called nextdoor.com, and it started last year in San Francisco.

Co-founder and CEO Nirav Tolia thought there should be an easier way for neighbors to connect.

He said, "Services like Facebook have shown us the value of connecting online with our friends and family. Why isn't there a service that helps us connect with people right out our front door?"

The idea behind nextdoor.com is that neighbors can first connect online, then face to face.

Some neighborhoods have planned parties. Others help each other find lost pets, share contact information and even find a babysitter or orthodontist.

"We know that when neighbors start talking, good things happen," Tolia said.