Mandarin Middle schooler admits to bringing gun to school

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A student at Mandarin Middle admitted to bringing a gun to school a few weeks ago, according to Duval County Public School officials.

Police then checked to make sure there were no guns at the school, and didn't find any, according to a letter sent home to parents on Friday.

The preliminary investigation shows that no students were put in harms way.

Police and school officials ask that parents talk with their children about the dangers of firearms at Duval County schools.

No information was released regarding the student that brought the gun to school.

Mandarin residents blame construction for shallow Deep Bottom Creek

ID=31884349JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Deep Bottom Creek is no longer deep, it's shallow.

"It is a mess," said resident Frank Peterson.

There have been historic concerns about the condition of the creek, but the recent widening of Interstate 295 seems to have made matters worse.

""When we have a rain all that dirt from I-295 goes into a retention pond," said Peterson, "it can't hold it and so then it starts overflowing, coming down the creek."

Four years ago, Rick and Roslyn Karstedt purchased a home near the creek. There was a problem then but they say it has gotten worse.

JFRD puts out fire at Mandarin pool hall

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Fire Rescue knocked down a fire at a Mandarin billiards hall apparently started while the owner was making repairs to the building's roof Friday morning, authorities said.

Firefighters were called to the business, located at 3853 Old St. Augustine Road, about 9:30 a.m., according to JFRD. When they arrived, they found the roof in flames.

Firefighters were able to quickly bring the fire under control and put it out, Battalion Chief Neal White told Ken Amaro, adding that much of the damage was to the roof.

"The business owner, I believe, was doing some repair work on the roof with a torch and started the roof on fire," White said.

It's believed the owner was making repairs to damage caused by last week's storms.

Police: Anonymous tip leads to meth bust

ID=24396683JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- An anonymous tip led to a list of drug charges for a local man after investigators uncovered the remnants of a meth lab inside a Mandarin home Tuesday.

Steven Kaai Andrin, Jr., 45, is charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of a controlled substance, both felonies, along with misdemeanor marijuana and drug paraphernalia charges, according to an arrest report obtained by First Coast News.

Local deputy injured after traffic crash in Mandarin

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A local sheriff's deputy was injured Monday morning after a traffic crash in the Mandarin area of Jacksonville.

It happened at approximately 7:30 a.m. at the intersection of San Jose Boulevard and Loretto Road.

A marked cruiser from the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office and a small sports car were involved.

The deputy's injuries are not believed to be serious. The condition of the other driver has not been released publicly.

Both vehicles sustained extensive front-end damage.

The second car ended up crashing into a utility box, which knocked out power to the traffic signals.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office was needed to direct vehicles until power was restored.

The cruiser ended up blocking one of southbound traffic on San Jose, which led to significant delays.

A heavy toll: Residents mourn loss of forest buffer

ID=22617675JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Walking through the compacted dirt across from her home, Mandarin resident Christine Conner reminisces about what used to be.

"You know what's sad? Is that my kids used to -- it was like our forest. That's where they played, you know?"

Conner bought her house 17 years ago, in large part because of the old-growth live oak right outside her door – the very kind removed in a vast interstate clear-cutting, as the Department of Transportation makes way for toll roads.

Father of teen killed in crash has a message for parents

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- Cut down in the prime of his life. The father of a 13-year-old who died in a car crash in Mandarin on Sunday spoke to First Coast News.

"Pain. Deep pain, Devastation." Larry Schaub said about his heart, following the death of his son.

Flowers mark the spot where his youngest of 4 sons, Garrett, died in a car crash Sunday morning.

"He was a very outgoing, fun-loving kid," Schaub said of his son. "He lived for the moment. He brightened up any room."