News

31 rescued sea turtles come home


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The waters off Little Talbot Island State Park got 31 new residents Tuesday.

Thirty-one endangered and threatened sea turtles rescued on Cape Cod last fall were released into the warm surf after months of rehabilitation at the New England Aquarium's rescue center near Boston.

The release coincides with the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day.

New England Aquarium staff and volunteers took on the sentimental task of placing the sea turtles on the beach and watching the turtles slowly work their way down the sand to return to their home in the ocean.

The group of turtles is made up of mostly juveniles including 28 Kemp's Ridleys, the world's most endangered sea turtle, two loggerheads and one green. They all washed up last November and December in the frigid waters of Cape Cod Bay in Massachusetts.

Council votes to add more police officers


JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Beach City Council voted Monday evening on a proposal calling for the addition of four police officers.

The council voted unanimously during the public meeting to approve the proposal.

The city's current force has 61 officers. Mayor, Charlie Latham says the new officers could be on the streets by August.

You can read the full agenda, including a breakdown of proposed costs, by clicking here.

Timothy Pond, 20, proudly calls Jacksonville Beach home.

"I love living at the beach. It's great! Everything's great here," he said.

Boat fire put out by U.S. Coast Guard, no one injured


JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- The Coast Guard responded to a boat fire in the Intracoastal Waterway in Jacksonville Beach Thursday morning.

The fire disabled the boat which, was carrying two men and a dog, according to a release from the United States Coast Guard.

The men were reportedly transiting from Palm Cove Marina in Jacksonville aboard the 33-foot sport fisher Day Tripper when the boat caught fire.

A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Mayport, Fla., responded and extinguished the fire. No injuries were reported.

Also assisting in the response were Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Sea Tow Jacksonville.


3 teens charged with attacking, carjacking man


JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- Three teens were arrested Friday after allegedly beating and carjacking a 30-year-old man and taking his phone, watch and debit card on April 6.

Two 14-year-old males and a 15-year-old female, whose names were redacted on Jacksonville Sheriff's Office arrest reports, are facing felony charges of carjacking (no firearm or deadly weapon), strong arm robbery (no firearm or weapon), kidnapping/inflict bodily harm and a misdemeanor charge of fraudulent or illegal use of credit cards to obtain goods under $300.

According to a Jacksonville Beach Police Department incident report, the man returned to his vehicle, which was parked at 1st Street North and 11th Avenue North around 2 a.m. April 6 when the three teens began punching him in the face, forced him into the backseat and took his watch, iPhone and debit card.

Study: Jacksonville Beach among "most dangerous" suburbs in the country


JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- A study from a real estate blog says people who live in or visit Jacksonville Beach have a 1 in 18 chance of being a victim of a crime.

The blog, Movoto, got the numbers for their survey in the FBI's 2012 Crime Report. The study looked 116 suburbs and ranked their safety. Jacksonville Beach came in at number 9.

John Swindell has lived in Jacksonville Beach for more than 30 years. He said the study doesn't reflect how safe the city actually is.

"I don't buy it," he said. "This is more of a bedroom community -- people come out here and go to the beach."

Study: Jacksonville Beach 9th dangerous suburb in the country


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A new study lists Jacksonville Beach as one of the most dangerous suburbs in the country.

According to Movoto Real Estate Blog, Jacksonville Beach came in 9th, with East Point, Ga. taking the top spot. The data from the study was taken from the FBI's uniform crime report for 2012, the study said.

The suburb of 21,817 people ranked sixth overall in terms of murders per 100,000 residents in 2012 with five, and violent crimes were 898 per 100,000. The study says the area's property crime was 4,666 per 100,000 residents and total crime 5,564 per 100,000.

Tourism generates $2.2B in revenue for Jacksonville


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The first tourism economic impact study to be conducted in Jacksonville in five years shows gains in visitor spending and tourism job growth.

More and more people are visiting Jacksonville and the beaches to take in the sites and to spend their money.

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is the area's top tourist attraction with more than one million visitors annually.

According to research announced by Visit Jacksonville - victors and tourist to Jacksonville and the beaches generated $2.2 billion - with a B - dollars in revenue in 2013.

Visitor spending within Jacksonville rose 4 percent in fiscal year 2013.

We know tourism brings money -- it's also supports pretty big job base.