News

Financial help available to help feed your pet

JACKSONVILLE,Fla. -- Nika Williams, 24, earns less than $15,000 a year, and loves her pets.

Williams said given her small income, the decision of when to buy pet food for her four pets gets difficult.

"It does get expensive," she said.

So she buys the cheapest food she can find and the smallest bags; the tight economy has placed many pet owners in a similar position. 

"The need is great. Everyday, animals get turned in to our local shelters because people can't take care of their pets anymore, let alone their children," said Diane Wiles.

Wiles is with First Coast No More Homeless pets and said in 2010, they saw an increase in cases where pet owners gave up their pets.

"A lot of people were surrendering their pets because they couldn't feed them anymore," said Wiles.

Car theft victim became suspect in police shooting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Gregory Black, 27, said Wednesday he saw his life flash in front of his eyes.

"I had a gun stuck to my head," said Black, "a gun pointed to my face."

The White Crown Victoria used in Wednesday's police involved shooting belongs to Black. According to a police report, it was stolen last week.

"May 9th, I discovered my car was gone and I reported it," said Black. 

Wednesday, the surgical tech was on his way to work at the hospital when he saw the stolen car near the Monaco Arms apartments and called police.

"I had no idea what was going on all I know is I saw my car and the condition it was in and I wanted to let authorities know," said Black. 

Black said while he was verifying information to one police officer on the phone, he was confronted by another officer.

Search for suspect in police-involved shooting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is searching for an outstanding suspect involved in a police-involved shooting Wednesday at Jacksonville International Airport.

Rodney Addison, 20, is 5-feet-4 inches and 130 lbs. Those who know Addison's whereabouts are asked to call JSO at (904) 630-0500.

The shooting at JAX and a possibly related incident that caused a lock down at Highlands Elementary School stemmed from police following up on a May 7 auto theft case at 2:21 p.m. Wednesday, according to Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Chief Tom Hackney.

Missing grave marker makes mourning difficult

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Each May 14th is an emotional day for Christine Little. This year, 2013, marks 29 years since she buried her then seven-month-old daughter.

"Today is her birthday so we came out to tell her happy birthday," said Little.

Little's daughter was buried in Restlawn Memorial park.

"It is right up in here," she said, "right up in here somewhere."

She knows the general area of the grave, but not the exact location and that's the problem.

"I cry, I just feel bad," said Little, "it is crazy!"

The problem is the marker or headstone, with a special design, is missing. She described it. 

"It was made of a heart shape with the wings sticking out of the heart and it was flat," said Little. "It had her name engraved on it the day she was born and the day she died."

Save Our Sons Summit targets young African-American males

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Joel Cotton knows too many young African-American men end up in prisons or early graves.

But Cotton, an 18-year-old high school senior, wants to portray a more positive picture.

"It saddens me that the good things that go on don't make the front page. The negative things always make the front page," Cotton said.

Joshua Wallace, 17, a high school junior, has dreadlocks and wears urban clothing, but he's tired of being stereotyped.

"They think I'm probably a thug," said Wallace. "I'm not any of those things. I'm just trying to go to school and be successful."

Wallace and Cotton were among the young African-American males who are looking forward to the Save Our Sons Summit.

"I think all of us are tired. That's really what this is about," said Dr. John Guns. "This is really about helping people who can't always help themselves."

FAA furloughs start at Jacksonville International Airport

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- We may start feeling more from sequestrations, this time at the airport.

All 47,000 of the FAA's employees are on furlough as of Sunday.

A spokesperson at Jacksonville International Airport said operations are expected to function as normal this week for travelers.

Air traffic controllers at JAX are furloughed between midnight and 4 a.m. According to the airport spokesperson, there are not regular flights scheduled during that time.

Travelers could see the effects from the larger airports. Some flights coming into the airport Monday were delayed more than an hour.

"It gets crazy when every body's delayed. You sit around the terminal, the chargers are out, cell phones die, lap tops die, it's so frustrating. You don't want to complain, you know that it's no body's fault but it happens," says traveler Courtney Peerson.

First Coast News employee catches theft on camera

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It is video that you don't see every day. It happened Wednesday afternoon at the Gateway Mall in Jacksonville.

A First Coast News employee captured the video. The employee reported that it was a very tense situation and is glad to be safe and alive.

Looking closely at the video, it appears to be a theft caught on camera.

In the first portion of the video, a man can be heard yelling "Hey! Hey! Stop him!"

That man continues to run in the direction of a car as he appears to scream at a person whom he says took his bag.

As the video progresses, someone is seen jumping into a white car. The driver of the car begins to speed off before the rear driver's side door is closed by someone inside the vehicle. The First Coast News employee had the wherewithal to record all of this as it was happening.