Local News
in Jacksonville, FL

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Beaches Leader
Beaches Leader

1114 Beach Blvd
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250   Directions

(904) 249-9033


Deck the Chairs opens Saturday
11/20/2020 7:20am

Deck the Chairs opens SaturdayNews StaffFri, 11/20/2020 - 08:20 am Latham Plaza filled with lifeguard chairs as organizations began construction for Deck the Chairs. photo by Liza Mitchell Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Jacksonville Beach. The 8th annual Deck the Chairs opens at 4 p.m. Saturday with a performance by the First Coast Wind Symphony.The perennial family event will be on display from Nov. 21 to Jan. 1, 2021, featuring 40 lifeguard chairs decked out in their holiday splendor, festive music and a 100-foot octopus crafted from recycled plastics. Deck the Chairs is free and open to the public.It should be a great event this year, said City Councilor Sandy Golding. Something happy for all of us to look forward to.Local businesses and organizations sponsor and decorate the displays, which are showcased in Latham Plaza and the SeaWalk Pavilion area. The lights are on display from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. nightly. Deck Together Light Shows are held at the top of every hour from 6 to 9 p.m.Were looking forward to the lights, but its going to be a different environment, said event founder Kurtis Loftus. Im confident that the more people get involved, the more the community feels good about what were doing. Thats how were supposed to live.Beaches Go Green, a nonprofit organization that champions environmental awareness, will unveil a new light program in the Octopus Garden which is synced to music. Improvements were also made to lights and sound at the 30-foot Christmas tree which features about 9,000 lights.However, one major draw will be noticeably absent this year. The Battle of the Bands, which has drawn up to 1,000 spectators each year, will not be held in conjunction with the Gator Bowl.For us, obviously public safety is first and foremost, Loftus said of the popular holiday event. When we say we are a safe and family-friendly event, we mean it. Thats been our mission from day one. We want people to enter into that space and enjoy a nice environment.Loftus said creating a safe environment is a top priority. Organizers have worked closely with city officials to address the challenges of hosting a popular event that draws crowds up to 60,000 per year during a global pandemic.Organizers have added extra space between chairs and removed fencing along the sidewalks to allow more distance between patrons. Other safety measures include hand-sanitizing stations, a first aid/isolation tent and informational signs regarding public health policies.The COVID pandemic has taken its toll on our Beaches community, said Loftus. Business has been especially hit hard. Our hope is that the lights and free display will once again bring people into the SeaWalk Pavilion and Latham Plaza park space, and that after visiting with us, they spend time and money with our friends in the service sector.The event has a strong economic impact in downtown Jacksonville Beach. Area businesses have reported a nearly 30 percent increase during the annual festivities compared to the years prior to the inception of Deck the Chairs.For information about programming and volunteer opportunities, visit deckthechairs.org.

Thanksgiving Leaders will publish early
11/18/2020 2:40pm

Thanksgiving Leaders will publish earlyNews StaffWed, 11/18/2020 - 03:40 pm The Thanksgiving issues of The Beaches Leader and Ponte Vedra Leader will publish Wednesday, Nov. 25, instead of Thursday, Nov. 26.All advertising deadlines are advanced 24 hours. Editorial submissions, such as letters to the editor and news releases, should be submitted by noon Monday, Nov. 23.

'Beyond Bathing Beauties' opens at Beaches Museum
11/14/2020 7:27am

Beyond Bathing Beauties opens at Beaches MuseumNews StaffSat, 11/14/2020 - 08:27 am photo from beachesmuseum.org The Beaches Museum is opening a new history exhibit, Breaking Ground: Beyond Bathing Beauties.The exhibit explores the popular image of beach women as bathing beauties, which only hints at the diverse lives of women at the beaches.From the first settlers to women of today, this exhibit provides the opportunity to explore the many dynamic roles of women as proprietors, laundresses, civic leaders and more.The exhibit continues Beaches Museums year-long celebration of the 100thanniversary of the passage of the 19thamendment.Two companion events are planned with this exhibit. The first, on Nov. 15, is a cemetery tour exploring the H. Warren Smith Cemetery with history detective Johnny Woodhouse, who will discuss the well-known women interred in the cemetery. The second, which will take place Jan. 30, 2021, will be a Story Tellers event with the ground-breaking female mayors of the Beaches, past and present. The mayors will discuss their service to the community and the stories behind their motivation to run for office. Learn what it takes to not only survive, but thrive as a female leader at the Beaches.Breaking Ground: Beyond Bathing Beauties is sponsored by Florida Womens Law Group, the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra and Chao Framing.For more information about this exhibit, visitwww.beachesmuseum.orgor call 904-241-5657.

Holidays will be merry at Beaches Town Center
11/11/2020 7:17am

Holidays will be merry at Beaches Town CenterNews StaffWed, 11/11/2020 - 08:17 am Mailboxes will be available for kids to drop off their letters to the North Pole. The holidays will look a little different this year but city officials in Atlantic and Neptune Beach are working together to ensure they are merry and bright in the Beaches Town Center. Atlantic Beach Mayor Ellen Glasser recently took to social media to addressthe cooperative effort.The city is helping with the lighting of trees throughout Town Center, due to challenges that prevented the BTC Agency from doing its traditional fund-raisers, she said. The city of Atlantic Beach, city of Neptune Beach and the Beaches Town Center Agency will be issuing information on a community-oriented, socially distanced event for the holiday tree lighting to be held on Dec. 5. Detractors can split hairs, as they are apt to do, but there are no Grinches at City Hall.In years past, BTC Agency has funded the holiday lights display through various fund-raisers, but many of this years events were canceled because of the pandemic. The Beaches Town Center Agency recently launched its Light the Night campaign to raise money to put up the holiday lights display and decorations in the Beaches Town Center this year, including more than 200 trees wrapped in colorful lights along the streets from Thanksgiving to New Years Day.The Beaches Town Center Agency has come up with several ways to help raise funds. Residents can sponsor a tree for $175, purchase a virtual ornament for $50 or host a Light the Night Supper with a small group to raise funds. Visitwww.beachestowncenter.com for information.Glasser said a traditional Christmas tree will be installed at the center of Beaches Town Center where a palm tree was removed after it died. A tree will also be installed for the third year at Atlantic Beach City Hall in front of the police station. Last year, Beaches Town Center had two Christmas trees one on the Atlantic Beach side and the other in Neptune Beach.The new landscaping at the circle made placement of a tree challenging starting in 2018.There was one tree at Beaches Town Center in 2018, but the weather was inclement and the event was cancelled. The tree was moved to City Hall as part of a new holiday tradition, the citys Cocoa and Caroling event, she said. Most people have told us they loved the decorated palms and holiday trees, and some do not.While Glasser said Atlantic Beach vowed to help ensure trees would be located in both places moving forward, she said the city does not unilaterally make decisions for Neptune Beach and the Beaches Town Center Agency.The city is also working out details about a drive-thru event featuring Santa. Glasser confirmed that mailboxes will be available for kids to drop off their letters to the North Pole. Section News

Library sets second book sale
11/08/2020 6:14am

Library sets second book saleNews StaffSun, 11/08/2020 - 07:14 am Book lovers browse through the selection at the Oct. 24 pop-up book sale at the Beaches Branch Library in Neptune Beach. photo by Barbara Sperbeck Following the success of the Oct. 24 book sale, the Friends of the Beaches Branch Library FOBBL will hold another pop-up book sale Saturday, Nov. 14, from 1 to 4 p.m. The sale will take place in front of the Beaches Branch, 600 Third Street, Neptune Beach.Hundreds of gently used books will be offered at 50 cents each for childrens books, and $2 each for teen and adult books. Customers may pay by cash, check or credit card.Proceeds from the book sale will benefit the FOBBLs efforts to support the Beaches community through promoting and developing programs that enhance the librarys services,resources and facilities. Section News

Florida Times-Union
Florida Times-Union

1 Riverside Ave
Jacksonville, FL 32202   Directions

(904) 359-4111


Folio Weekly
Folio Weekly

9456 Philips Hwy #11
Jacksonville, FL 32256   Directions

(904) 260-9770


Hola Noticias
Hola Noticias

9831 Beach Blvd
Jacksonville, FL 32246   Directions

(904) 683-2198


WJAX-TV 47 - CBS and WFOX-TV 30 - FOX
WJAX-TV 47 - CBS and WFOX-TV 30 - FOX

11700 Central Pkwy
Jacksonville, FL 32224   Directions

(904) 996-0400



100 Festival Park Ave
Jacksonville, FL 32202   Directions

(904) 353-7770


Melissa’s Picks: ‘First Coast Connect’ 2020 Local Holiday Gift Guide
11/24/2020 4:43pm

What can we say about a year unlike any other 2020 will forever be known for a divisive election, the toll of coronavirus, and economic hard times. Many are glad this challenging year is nearly over. But while a global pandemic and deep recession have changed all of our lives, one thing that hasnt changed is the joy of the ...

WJCT Public Media to Present “Voices of the First Coast: One Small Step Across the Political Divide” on November 19
11/16/2020 1:12pm

WJCT Public Media to Present Voices of the First Coast: One Small Step Across the Political Divide on November 19Virtual Event Will Feature Local Conversations Recorded as Part of StoryCorps One Small Step initiative Nov. 16, 2020 Jacksonville, Fla. WJCT Public Media, in partnership with StoryCorps, will present Voices of the First Coast: One Small Step Across the Political ...


4 Broadcast Pl
Jacksonville, FL 32207   Directions

(904) 399-4000


WJXX-TV 25 - ABC and WTLV-TV 12 - NBC
WJXX-TV 25 - ABC and WTLV-TV 12 - NBC

1070 E Adams St
Jacksonville, FL 32202   Directions

(904) 354-1212


'Trying to duck a DUI': Putnam County officer removed admittedly drunk son from scene after accident
11/24/2020 10:53pm

Internal investigators found Major Johnny Greenwood was in violation of a fireable offense, but Sheriff Gator DeLoach gave him a three-day suspension.

Gov. DeSantis releases video discussing who will get COVID-19 vaccine first
11/25/2020 11:57am

DeSantis has not held a press conference in person since the morning of Nov. 4

WATCH LIVE: Joe Biden to deliver a Thanksgiving address seeking US unity
11/25/2020 1:08pm

Bidens team says the president-elect will discuss the shared sacrifices Americans are making this holiday season.

Florida active duty service members send Thanksgiving greetings to family, friends, community
11/25/2020 11:46am

While these brave men and women are sending their wishes to loved ones back home, join us at First Coast News in thanking them for their service

Jaguars to start Mike Glennon at quarterback, be without defensive coordinator Todd Wash against Browns
11/25/2020 11:13am

Doug Marrone benches rookie Jake Luton, wants Gardner Minshew to have a full week of practice before returning from hand injury

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