Flooding ties up traffic, leaves driver stranded in Mandarin

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Heavy rain caused significant flooding Friday on Hood Road adjacent to Mandarin Middle School.

Deputies with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office used their squad cars to block access to the road between the school and Old St. Augustine Road.

Water was at least ankle deep in some places and drifting into some people's front yards.

Drivers were able to try and drive through the floodwater, but were advised to turn around and find another route.

At least one car, a silver Ford Mustang, got stuck in the high water, forcing the driver to evacuate.

An officer on scene said the driver is OK, and eventually the car was removed from the scene.

Dena Pantazi said she has lived in the area for around 20 years, and took extra precautions to get her kids to school safely.

"My 16-year-old usually drives to school. But today, I'm taking her. I took her at nine and I have to pick her up again later," Pantazi said.

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Mandarin Police Blotter - May 2013

No police reports at this time.


Traffic accident in Mandarin injures two

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A crash Wednesday morning blocked two lanes in Mandarin and injured two.

The traffic accident left one lane blocked on San Jose and on Old Saint Augustine Road.

The Jacksonville Fire Rescue and Sheriff's Office responded to the incident.

One person was transported to Memorial Hospital and one to UF and Shands Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, said Tom Francis with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.

UPDATE: A Florida Highway Patrol release identified the drivers. One of a Honda Civic, Lefko Petrofski, 69, and Charles Evans, 57, of a Plymouth Neon.

Jacksonville business offers chemical-free lice treatment

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Getting rid of head lice can be challenging, but the owner of Jacksonville business says the pesticide-free technique her company offers works with just one treatment.

After dealing with lice for about eight weeks and trying over-the- counter and prescription shampoos, the Slotwinski's packed up their four kids and drove more than two hours from Melbourne, Florida to Fresh Heads Lice Treatment Center in Jacksonville.

"I had past shoulder length hair about three weeks ago and I had gotten so fed up to the point where I asked him to please shave my head," said Jennifer Slotwinski.

She took a drastic step trying to get rid of head lice she got after she says her 10-year-old daughter came home from school with the creepy crawlers. She didn't shave her head, but she did have her husband chop off her hair.

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Friends say UNF student killed in crash will be missed

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Mandarin Road is a charming two lane stretch of twist, turns, and magnificent oak trees; but behind its beauty, there's danger.

Around 2:45 a.m. Friday morning Alex Pepple died in a single-car collision on Mandarin Road. 

Friends of Pepple are trying to cope with his passing. Some of them placed flowers near a tree, the spot where he died.

"He was just the funniest kid, always sarcastic always happy," said Emina Rovcanin.

Rovcanin said they have been friends from high school, best friends. She said his loss is too much for her to bear.

Justin Lemminn met Pepple through his brother so he came to the scene of the accident to share his condolences

"It was great to see him happy the last time I saw him," he said.

Lemminn said he had seen Pepple a few hours earlier.

Drivers seat ejected in car crash, driver still buckled in

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A single car crash killed one man early Friday morning.

An unidentified man was traveling west on Mandarin Road and crashed into a tree near the area where the road splits with Loretto Road, according to Det. Robert Peck with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

The driver was thrown from his vehicle upon impact still in the driver's seat he was buckled in, Peck stated.

The crash shut down Mandarin Road between Loretto and Sparkleberry Lane for for almost five hours Friday morning.

An investigation is underway. No word at this time if alcohol was a factor.

Three men wanted for liquor store robbery

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The search is on for three suspects accused of breaking into a liquor store, filling a shopping cart full of liquor and leaving.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Officer deputies responded to the ABC Fine Wine and Spirits Liquors on the 9400 block of San Jose Boulevard Friday in reference to a burglar alarm, according to a release from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

When police arrived they allegedly found a front glass window broken, along with broken bottles of alcohol behind a register, the release detailed.

According to JSO, surveillance video shows three suspects allegedly wearing gloves with their faces covered. The suspects are accused of breaking into the store and filling a shopping cart with 22 bottle of alcohol and leaving.