News

Atlantic Beach commissioner faces ethics complaint


ID=72291654ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. — Commissioner Maria Mark is facing an ethics complaint following her actions last month at the home of someone who supported her opponent. Mark lost her bid to get reelected to a second term.

Sheri Lawhun provided a copy of the complaint she filed last week that stems from an incident Aug. 27 when officers where called to her home after Mark showed up to talk about the election.

Lawhun, in her 911 call, described that happened that evening. "She (Mark) just jerked my front door open, but it is locked. OK she jerked it open, but it is locked. No she tried to jerk it open," said Lawhun from inside her home as she waited for officers to arrive.

Police: 1 dead, 1 injured after single-car crash in Jax Beach


JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — A single-car crash Saturday morning off JTB Boulevard north of Sanctuary Boulevard in Jacksonville Beach has left the driver dead and the passenger in critical condition.

According to the Jacksonville Beach Police Department, just before 3 a.m. on Saturday a car lost control near Sanctuary Parkway and crashed into the wooded area nearby.

The driver, Bill Joe Pate III, 33, of Jacksonville, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The passenger, Joseph Gaines, of Jacksonville was reportedly airlifted to UF Health Jacksonville with critical injuries. Police said he is improving.

Toxicology results are pending and the investigation is ongoing, according to police.

As more information becomes available, this post will be updated; stay with First Coast News for updates.

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Incumbents, mayor included, ousted in Atlantic Beach


ID=32376787ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. -- Tuesday night wasn't kind to incumbents on the Atlantic Beach City Commission as challengers ousted two incumbents, including Mayor Carolyn Woods.

Challenger Mitch Reeves edged out Woods by 41 votes in the commission seat 1 race, taking 50.64 percent of the tally, according to results reported by the Duval County Supervisor of Elections.

Challenger John Stinson breezed past incumbent Maria Mark in the commission seat 2 race with nearly 55 percent of the vote, the SOE reports.

Man killed by SUV while on sidewalk in Jacksonville Beach


JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — A pedestrian was struck and killed while on the sidewalk of 4th Avenue North in Jacksonville Beach early Sunday morning, according to the Jacksonville Beach Police Department.

Michael Allen Gunderson, 24, was visiting from out of town and walking on the 200 block of 4th Avenue North shortly when he was hit by SUV speeding down the sidewalk, police said.

The SUV was first parked in a private lot near 3rd Street North and 4th Avenue North and then, for unknown reasons, jumped the parking curb and sped down the sidewalk on the side of the road, according to JBPD.

The driver of the SUV hit Gunderson, then a tree, then a Honda Civic, and then a JTA trolley before coming to a final rest.

Man on Jacksonville Beach sidewalk hit, killed


JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- A 24-year-old Wisconsin man was hit and killed by a driver while walking on a sidewalk with friends.

"It just sucks that we didn't even get a chance to say goodbye, we were supposed to do that this morning but that got taken away," said Leila Burton.

Mike Gunderson, 24, has never seen the ocean, so he and his friends drove down to Jacksonville for vacation.

His friends say they enjoyed every minute of their seven day trip. Investigators say early Sunday morning, Gunderson was leaving a bar with friends when the driver of an SUV jumped the curb, drove onto the sidewalk and killed Gunderson.

"He was where he was supposed to be, there is no reason that it ended the way it ended," said Emily Burton.

Nippers stays open despite bankruptcy filing


JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- A popular Jacksonville Beach restaurant marred by tragedy has filed for bankruptcy.

Nippers Beach Grille found itself in local headlines after a man was killed during a summer event there in 2014.

The owner says that shooting along with other issues left him with little choice. June 26, 2014 is a day Rudy Theale will never forget.

Couple married for 60 years brings unexpected joy to hundreds


JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- Sometimes it's an unexpected random act of kindness that can have a profound impact. You might expect to get flowers on your birthday or your anniversary, but what if you got a beautiful bouquet from a stranger -- just because?

Seven days a week you can find Pop Pop, 80 years young, handing out a car full of gorgeous flowers with his wife of 60 years, GiGi. The Jacksonville Beach couple asked that we refer to them as their 11 grandchildren do, Pop Pop and GiGi.

"She's a year younger so she has strength to get in and out of car. I drive there and she takes them there and gets all hugs and accolades and they will ask what's his name out in the truck," said Pop Pop.