Local News
in Jacksonville, FL


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Beaches Leader
Beaches Leader

(904) 249-9033

1114 Beach Blvd
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250   Directions


Jax Beach playground getting new equipment ahead of schedule
07/29/2021 9:36am

Jax Beach playground getting new equipment ahead of scheduleNews StaffThu, 07/29/2021 - 10:36 am The entrance to Sunshine Park in Jacksonville Beach. photo by Aline Bailey A popular playground in Jacksonville Beach will receive some much-needed upgrades ahead of schedule. The citys Community Redevelopment Agency Monday authorized $1.3 million in Southend Tax Increment Funds for the design and installation of new playground equipment at South Beach Park. Improvements are happening two years ahead of schedule based on the current wear and tear of the existing equipment.According to a recent survey of park users, the majority of respondents supported the expansion of the playgrounds perimeters. The existing playground will be demolished to incorporate the new equipment, preserving the now-iconic mermaid entrance and pavilion area.The new park design will also incorporate shade structures for the splash pads, new fenced basketball and pickleball courts, ADA access to picnic shelters and the sidewalk at the park entrance along Osceola Avenue, lighting upgrades, volleyball sand replacement, improvements to exercise stations, installation of park benches, and new show towers and drinking stations.Since its opening in 2001, Sunshine Playground has remained a popular and highly-used facility in the South Beach Park. The constant use and exposure to the elements has caused deterioration to the wooden materials which requires significant work to maintain acceptable safety standards.While the existing park model does not include ADA-compliant equipment, the upgrades will include necessary modifications to improve accessibility to children of all skill levels. It will also be constructed using more sustainable materials.The construction of Sunshine Playground was completed in the community barn-raising style with volunteers coming together to build the castle structure, butterfly tunnel and whimsical archway. Children hand-painted tiles which were installed around the perimeter of the shade structure. The CRA noted that the concept for the new playground should maintain as much of the nostalgia and unique character of the original design.City staff reviewed proposals for a comprehensive, turnkey design that would take the project from demolition through construction closeout. Play by Design, LLC was ranked highest by a committee consisting of Parks and Recreation Director Jason Phitides and staff with CRA Coordinator Taylor Mobbs. The design firm was instrumental in designing the current parks layout and able to capture the history in their submitted proposal.Parks staff will solicit public input to help finalize the design elements for the playground. The construction is tentatively scheduled for completion in spring 2022.

Jordan Park Community Center gets new covered structure
07/28/2021 9:04am

Jordan Park Community Center gets new covered structureNews StaffWed, 07/28/2021 - 10:04 am Community members gather under a new covered structure built at Jordan Park Community Center. photo submitted Beaches Habitat for Humanity and Oceanside Rotary have partnered to construct a covered shelter at the Jordan Park Community Center in Atlantic Beach. The Jordan Park Community Center is home to Beaches Habitats Education Program, where children of Beaches Habitat for Humanity homeowners and children within the surrounding community can participate in after school tutoring and mentorship. Community volunteers provide reading and mathematics tutoring to support instruction received during the regular school day.Curtis Ford, president and CEO of Beaches Habitat and member of Oceanside Rotary, is leading the project. He said the shelter is a way to help the center and provide a service for the families in the area. The shelter will be used by students participating in programs at the Jordan Center and their families as a waiting area in inclement weather.The Jordan Center provides neighborhood children with a safe place to play, study and socialize. Its a hub for local students and their families, said Ford.Oceanside Rotary was awarded a matching grant from Rotary District 6970 to fund the project. District grants are competitive and are awarded for short-term, smaller projects that directly benefit the community. Ford said there are two requirements for Rotary grants, and this project met both.First, Rotarians have to have an active role in the project. We dont just make a donation and leave all the work for someone else, he said. Second, the project has to be sustainable. The shelter will continue to serve the community once Rotarys work is done with minimal upkeep. Were blessed to have a great partnership with the City of Atlantic Beach and their park service staff will take over regular maintenance.A construction crew from Beaches Habitat built the frame of the shelter with Rotarians painting and landscaping. Romano Brothers Roofing provided the shelters roof.

Furever Friends
07/26/2021 7:49am

Furever FriendsNews StaffMon, 07/26/2021 - 08:49 am Willie is looking for his new furever home. photo submitted This cute, silly goofball is Willie.He is about 2 years old, good with other dogs and is super friendly.Willie wasrescued because he was living outside after his owner was evicted. He is being fostered by Fur Sisters,but really needshisfurever home now. He loves to hang out, snuggle and do zoomies in the yard. He is neutered, up-to-date on his shots and housebroken. His foster works from home so he hasnt had to be in a crate too often,but it is being worked on with him.If you can help this pup find his furever home, call Channing atFurever Urs Rescue, 904-563-2872.

All Feb. 5, 8 and 10 St. Johns County COVID-19 vaccination appointments full
02/04/2021 12:41pm

All Feb. 5, 8 and 10 St. Johns County COVID-19 vaccination appointments fullNews StaffThu, 02/04/2021 - 01:41 pm All 3,900 appointments to receive COVID-19 vaccinations from St. Johns County on Feb.5, 8and 10 have been filled. Additional appointments will become available when St. Johns County receives more vaccines from the state of Florida.For more information, call the St. Johns County COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 904-295-3711 dial all ten digits, text SJCVACCINE to 888777or visitwww.sjcfl.us/coronavirusvaccinations.

Cold night shelter opens at Oceanside Christian Church
02/04/2021 12:11pm

Cold night shelter opens at Oceanside Christian ChurchNews StaffThu, 02/04/2021 - 01:11 pm Volunteers check people in to the cold night shelter at Oceanside Christian Church Tuesday night. photo provided by Tracy Gebeaux By Liza Mitchell, Contributor Responding to reports of an overnight freeze warning, volunteers rushed to open the cold night shelter Tuesday at Oceanside Christian Church. The west Atlantic Beach church made the decision to open its doors as temperatures were expected to dip below 40 degrees.Volunteers scrambled to collect blankets and arrange transportation from the Mission House in Jacksonville Beach to the church located at 130 Main Street off Mayport Road.Its been a whirlwind around here. We just got the approval to do it so its like Okay, lets go, said Pastor Chris Hopkins Sr. of the cold night shelter which opened at 7 p.m. to those in need of a warm place to sleep. I understand that we live in a COVID age now but I couldnt take it anymoreseeing the other churches not stepping up. Jesus didnt turn anyone away so why should weDonations of blankets, socks, jackets and other warm clothing are needed to ensure there are enough resources to go around. Mission House volunteers and staff provided dinner before a van provided by Community Presbyterian Church in Atlantic Beach shuttled those in need to the church for the night and back to Mission House in the morning where the Jacksonville Beach day facility will also serve breakfast. Christ Church in Neptune Beach also provided transportation to deliver clients back to Mission House for services.Executive Director Carina Saladino of Mission House shared a video message Tuesday, expressing gratitude to community partners for working together to provide a warm, safe environment for the homeless community.COVID has prevented a lot of our community partners from being able to open for our clients. We are so incredibly excited to hear that Oceanside Christian Church is opening their doors to our homeless community here at the beach. We lose sleep at night knowing that our clients are in crisis and that they are on the streets. To know that we are dipping to freezing temperatures, its really hard for us to go home and leave them out in the elements, she said.To know that one of our community partners has opened their doors to let our homeless community come into a warm, safe and comfortable environment, and they are going to be okay for the night and they are going to get the rest that they need, we are just incredibly grateful. We are better together and together we are working to end homelessness in our Beaches community and it starts with nights like this. One step at a time.Volunteers at Oceanside Christian Church were diligent in adhering to the CDC guidelines, wearing masks and gloves, checking temperatures, maintaining social distance and supplying single-use cups to reduce the threat of COVID.Hopkins said many of the volunteers have either received the vaccine or already had the virus, like himself, which he said gave him even more reason to open the church up to the homeless. Im not really scared of it and I think a lot of Christians, theyre supposed to be believers in Jesus but they seem to be a little scared, he said. God didnt give us the spirit of fear but of power and of love and were trying to do that.The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has prevented several local churches from turning a dining hall or community room into a makeshift shelter. Many are also utilizing those spaces for worship since there is more room to socially distance.Program Director Natalie Collier, who coordinates the cold night shelter program at Mission House, said to meet the demand with recent near-freezing temperatures, staff opened up their building to help keep its clients out of the cold.Usually, the churches sign up and they rotate so if it was their week, they would be prepared. If they didnt get the call, then we would rotate to the next shelter the following week, she said.Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we have not been able to secure a space for the clients so in an emergency effort we decided to open up our doors. We are still working with the churches and looking at a community space for them because we cannot continue to sustain cold night shelter.Mission House staff monitors the three-day forecast in the Mayport area to determine in advance when to anticipate the need for a cold night shelter. The demand for overnight shelter will increase as temperatures consistently drop into the 20s and 30s.Hopkins said Oceanside Church has space to fit 40 to 50 people comfortably and volunteers will be staffed overnight. If the temperatures are back down, he said he will plan to reopen and encourages other organizations to do the same.Were not very big but the room that we do have, weve got to let these people in. Im hoping that a few more churches step up, he said. I understand that theyre scared but the scariest thing is hearing that someone didnt make it through the cold. Wear a mask and some gloves and lets get these guys off the street.To volunteer for an overnight shift or coordinate donation drop-off at Oceanside Christian Church, contact Hopkins athopkinsccomcast.net.Organizations willing to host a cold night shelter are encouraged to contact Collier at Mission House at 241-6767 ext. 123.

Florida Times-Union
Florida Times-Union

(904) 359-4111

1 Riverside Ave
Jacksonville, FL 32202   Directions


Folio Weekly
Folio Weekly

(904) 260-9770

9456 Philips Hwy #11
Jacksonville, FL 32256   Directions


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

(904) 996-0400

11700 Central Pkwy
Jacksonville, FL 32224   Directions



(904) 353-7770

100 Festival Park Ave
Jacksonville, FL 32202   Directions


Just Announced | The Killers, John Legend among headliners during an epic month at The Amp
08/03/2021 10:32am

The big announcements just keep coming from The Amp. Just a couple of weeks ago, they unleashed a torrent of announcements for the fall, including Thievery Corporation on the Backyard Stage, Galactic at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall and Leon Bridges on The Amp stage, proper. And this week, the folks behind the scenes at the beloved St. Johns County ...

Tampa quartet Glove brings more modern-dystopian bliss with new single and video for “Behaviour”
08/03/2021 8:55am

Glove, Tampas stylish and magnetic contemporary indie rock mainstay, has been busy making noise thats reverberating among some of the most iconic modern music makers. A pre-pandemic tour with indie darlings The Nude Party and gritty guitar pop lords BRONCHO earned them the attention of Brad Shultz Cage the Elephant, who then produced the bands forthcoming debut full-length Boom Nights, ...

Fresh Squeeze | August 2021 playlist
08/02/2021 4:15am

Each month, JME Contributors pick the juiciest noise emanating from Northeast Florida and beyond for our monthly Fresh Squeeze playlist. Featuring a several dozen new tunes from local, regional, national and international artists, there are no rules or genre restrictions just songs we thought were worth a share. Playlist Highlights: Behaviour by Glove Damn by Ada Lea Uh Huh Okay ...

Local Spotlight | 3 new songs by Jax artists out now
08/02/2021 3:47am

Jacksonville artists continue to swing for the fences. This week brought us new tunes from multi-instrumentalist and producer Shane Malone, Afro-cuban salsa orchestra LPT, and hip-hop artist Jahny Steel. Whether working within the strictures of hip-hop, indie rock or salsa, the artists featured herein are expanding the scope of their preferred genre, while simultaneously redefining what music from Northeast Florida ...

Go | This Week’s Live Music Recommendations
08/02/2021 12:02am

Big name bands are beginning to return to Northeast Florida, providing opportunities for the regions standout acts to lend support while getting in front of a larger audience. This week, local indie rock youngsters Faze Wave will open for Cold War Kids at The Amps backyard stage. Its one of the three shows JME contributors recommend checking out this week. ...


(904) 399-4000

4 Broadcast Pl
Jacksonville, FL 32207   Directions


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

(904) 354-1212

1070 E Adams St
Jacksonville, FL 32202   Directions


US plans to require COVID-19 shots for foreign travelers
08/04/2021 5:15pm

The requirement would come as part of the administrations phased approach to easing travel restrictions for foreign citizens to the country.

Yes, at least 95% of people currently hospitalized for COVID-19 are unvaccinated
08/04/2021 4:51pm

Hospitals, health organizations and government health officials confirm at least 95 of American COVID-19 hospital patients are unvaccinated.

NTSB: 2019 Miami Air crash at NAS Jax caused by flight crew error, hydroplaning
08/04/2021 4:49pm

Although none of the 143 passengers and crew onboard were seriously injured, several animals carried in the cargo compartment died in the accident.

Jacksonville councilman files emergency request asking for millions to be budgeted for COVID-19 testing
08/04/2021 4:48pm

This comes as hundreds of people across the First Coast frantically search for testing locations as COVID-19 cases across the area spike.

Jacksonville expert says gamma variant now classified as 'variant of concern'
08/04/2021 4:47pm

Experts say the gamma variant was first identified in Brazil and was found in the U.S. in January.

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