TripAdvisor.com: St. Augustine Beach among best in nation


ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. -- A First Coast beach was named among the top 25 beaches in the nation by TripAdvisor.com.

St. Augustine Beach came in 14th in the TripAdvisor 2014 Travelers' Choice Awards.

Other Florida beaches on the list include:

-Siesta Key Public Beach, Siesta Key, Florida
-Saint Pete Beach, Saint Pete Beach, Florida
-Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin, Florida
-St. Augustine Beach, Saint Augustine Beach, Florida
-Bahia Honda State Park and Beach, Big Pine Key, Florida
-Pensacola Beach, Pensacola, Florida
-Beach at Panama City, Panama City Beach, Florida
-Clearwater Beach, Clearwater, Florida
-Lido Beach, Sarasota, Florida
-Navarre Beach, Navarre, Florida


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Fire destroys $400K Jax Beach home


JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- A Jacksonville Beach home is destroyed despite fire crews battling the Tuesday morning blaze for nearly an hour.

The fire in the 70 block of Tallwood Road was reported to the Jacksonville Beach Fire Department and Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department at 7:40 a.m. Tuesday, according to Jacksonville Beach Police Department Commander C. Mark Evans.

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A woman and her grandchildren were in the home at the time of the fire and were able to get out of the house safely, according to Jacksonville Beach Fire Department Chief Gary Frazier.

Cutting back on noise in Neptune Beach


NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. -- A proposal to scale back the time contractors can work on homes is up for debate in Neptune Beach.

Joanne Wadell has lived in Neptune Beach for more than 40 years. She said there are times when she hears saws buzzing and hammers pounding as late at 10 p.m..

"That noise sounds like a train is coming right through your house," she said.

She's not the only one who's complained. The city's mayor, Harriet Pruette, said several have complained in the last year. That's why she's trying to do something about it.

"To have to listen to industrial noise until 10 o'clock every night -- certainly puts a damper into your quality of life," she said.

Woman drowns at assisted living community


JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- A woman in her mid-sixties drowned in a jacuzzi type hot tub Friday morning.

The unidentified woman was found around 10:20 a.m. by other individuals at the Ashford Court at Marsh Landing senior assisted living community, according to Jacksonville Beach Police Department Commander Steve Corbitt.

The unidentified woman in her sixties victim was given CPR which the Jacksonville Beach Fire Department took over upon arrival. The victim was transported to Baptist Medical Center Beaches where she was pronounced deceased at 11:14 a.m. Police are in the process of notifying family.

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Man loses 265 pounds after rekindling old flame


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --- It is no surprise that entering into a relationship often means we pack on the pounds. However, Lee Jordan said his relationship helped him shed half of his body weight.

At his highest weight, Lee Jordan tipped the scale at 454 pounds. He was put on an oxygen machine in 2008, and given two years to live after gorging himself with two pizzas, Doritos and dips -- every night. Lee was single but he never stopped dreaming of his high school sweetheart, Beth. Then one day a letter came in the mail from Beth, and Johnson said his wildest dreams came true.

Beth asked Lee to meet for coffee, and of course, Johnson was hesitant due to his size. However, he mustered up the courage and met with Beth. He didn't know that the meeting at Starbucks would change his life forever and in turn, help him shed 265 pounds.

Coast Guard helps vessel taking on water off Atlantic Beach


ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. -- The Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville on Tuesday night assisted a 24-foot fishing vessel that was taking on water.

According to a release from Coast Guard, the boat crew arrived at the boat, which was 15 miles east of Mayport, around 10:20 p.m.

A Jacksonville Fire and Rescue boat also assisted with the rescue.

Pumps on board the sinking vessel helped to keep up with the water that was coming on board.

Around 11 p.m. the Coast Guard and JFRD were escorting the vessel into port at Atlantic Beach.


Atlantic Beach supports proposed anti-discrimination law


ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. -- The Atlantic Beach City Commission on Monday night voted to support an act that would prohibit sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace.

The city's support of Competitive Workforce Act passed 4-1, according to Commissioners Maria Mark and Mark Beckenbach

The act "prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation & gender identity or expression; defines terms; substitutes references to "disability" for references to "handicap"; revises & conforms terminology."

The Competitve Workforce Act is not yet state law.

According to a post on the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality Facebook page, Mark, Beckenbach, Commissioner Jonathan Daugherty and Mayor Carolyn Woods voted in favor while Commissioner Jimmy Hill was opposed.