News

Motorcyclist dies following single vehicle crash

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A motorcyclist died after losing control and sliding through a busy intersection.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, along with Jacksonville Fire and Rescue, responded to a single vehicle crash in the intersection of San Jose Boulevard and Kori Road shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday.

The victim, identified as 44-year-old Vance D. Peterson, sustained life threatening injuries after allegedly losing control, according to a release from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Peterson was taken to UF Health Jacksonville and later died.

An investigation is underway, but police believe alcohol may be a factor in the crash.

Inflatable amusement ride center of several lawsuits

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Consumer Product Safety Commission found that inflatable amusement rides resulted in 31,000 emergency room visits between 2003 and 2007.

On August 29, 2012, Dominque Thomas, 25, was rushed to a Jacksonville emergency room after being injured on an inflatable amusement ride.

"There was an opening in the bottom of it," said Thomas.

The mother of two said she took her children to Big Air Entertainment fun center for a play date. She said they rode the Ninjasaur Double Slide, she and her son. On the way down the slide, Thomas said her foot got caught in an opening.

"With the speed and my weight, my ankle got crushed," she said. 

She said it changed her life. Due to the injury, her wedding was put on hold and she lost her job.

Local truckers unaware of rolling protest in D.C.

JACKSONVILLE,Fla. -- At the truck stops near Baldwin and U.S. 301 it was exceptionally busy. Truckers leaving Interstate 10 to buy much needed fuel or to take a break from the road.

Trey Hervey, a six year veteran, was on the way to North Carolina and needed a break.

"I'm not an Independent," said Hervey. "But I want to be."

Hervey loves to talk about the industry and its challenges, but when it came to the rolling protest in the nation's capital he had no knowledge.

"I don't know anything about it," he said.

And at this truck stop, a microcosm of a tight knit community, few trucks knew what was taking place near Washington D.C.

The rolling protest was to challenge the Obama administration and Congressional leaders over the government shutdown. It was to be a strong statement about America's frustration with its government.

'Yarntober' is a real thing, celebrated in Mandarin store

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A tightly knit group of friends come together at a Mandarin store called KnitWitz each day with one common thread: They all love knitting.

"I've been knitting for 24 years," said owner Kathe Loeffler. She's been in the business for nine of those years.

She educates beginners and the advanced, she also sells the knitting supplies.

"People ask me all the time, 'Do you think I can do this?' and yes, you can do it if you want to," she said.

The bright and colorful store is a kind of sanctuary for the women, and even a few men, who come here.

They say knitting is therapeutic.

"It's soothing," Loeffler said. "It like doing yoga without the sweat."

She does have completed work hanging on the walls of the store, including several sweaters, shawls, scarves and socks.

But, she said, they aren't really for sale.

Mandarin teacher killed in I-95 crash

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A Mandarin Middle School teacher was killed in a crash Saturday morning.

Julie Shepherd, 57, was killed when she allegedly lost control of her black Toyota SUV and crashed into a Chevy Camaro heading northbound on Interstate 95, according to a report from the Florida Highway Patrol.

Shepherd's SUV and the sports car driven by 29-year-old Brian Bradley, both went into the shoulder and hit a guardrail.

Shepherd was a veteran seventh grade civics and social studies teacher at Mandarin Middle School.

The Duval County School District has a crisis team and extra counselors at the school providing students and staff with grief counseling.

Real ways to help you find a job and other resources

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Shawntray from the Westside asked the On Your Side team a question.

He said he recently lost his job as a security guard because he was sick and can't find work. Shawntray said he lost his home and he's afraid he'll lose his car. He wants help.

Shawntray, here is what you do:

1) Get your hands on a phone in the area of Northeast Florida and dial the United Way's 211. It is a referral source that will refer you to places for emergency financial assistance, food, shelter and clothing and a lot of other service.

2) Call the company that you make car payments and explain your situation. Ask if some payments can be deferred.

3) Go to a place like WorkSource Florida. They have offices across the region They will help you or anyone looking for work Find a job. Call 904-356-JOBS for more information.

Foreclosure help still available in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Letitia Early, 51, lost her job in January 2008 and her ability to pay the mortgage on her home. But Early said she never lost her hope.

"I limped along and used my savings," she said, "Everything I had to make my payments."

She was doing everything to save the home she called her forever home.

"This was going to be my forever home for my disabled son and I," she said.

She was determined, but was struggling, and turned to the Making Home Affordable program for help. But the federal mortgage modification program application must still be approved by the bank and that was a problem.

"In November 2010, I actually received a rejection letter from Bank of America saying 'you did not qualify,'" said Early, "after I had provided all the information they wanted for two years."