Nonprofit's mission is 'Enroll America' in Obamacare

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Affordable Health Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare is the law. If you're now uninsured, you must have health insurance by 2014. That said, the program's deadlines, the various plans and who is eligible have left many confused.

"There is a lot of people who don't understand what their options are," said Tony Penna.

Penna, a former insurance executive is with Enroll America, a privately funded nonprofit that is trying to spread the word about the Affordable Care Act.

"The biggest challenge is how many people in Duval, Clay Nassau and St. Johns who don't have insurance," said Penna, "There about 300,000 people."

Enroll America staffers are now knocking on doors, making calls to spread the word out.

"About 39 percent of the people in Florida who are eligible for insurance think that the law has been repealed," he said, "It has not been repealed."

Metal gets in man's blood after hip replacement

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Steven Starrett, 34, had his first hip replacement surgery in 2007, his second in 2008, and is scheduled for yet another surgery this year.

"I've been healthy my whole life until they put metal in my body," he said.

Starrett has what he calls a metal-on-metal hip implant. He said it is wearing out in his body.

"There are very high levels of Cobalt, Chromium, and mercury and lead in my blood," said Starrett.

He is worried about what is the long term effect of high levels of the metals in his system.

"The last thing the doctor told me was 'we're going to put this new metal-on-metal implant and you should get ten to 15 years out of it; you're a young man,'" said Starrett.

There have been many recalls for hip implant devices, but apparently the device Starrett is wearing is not on the list, which makes him wonder why not?

Balloon release planned for double shooting victims

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Supporters will gather on Jacksonville's Westside Wednesday to honor the victims of a double homicide.

Megan Simmons, 14, and Jazmine Shelton, 13, were shot to death on August 10 in the 5200 block of Missouri Avenue.

It happened in the early morning hours while the girls were watching a movie inside a mobile home.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is continuing its investigation into their deaths, but no arrests have been made.

In an effort to keep the case in the public eye, family and friends will meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday on the football field at Lake Shore Middle School in the Lakeshore South neighborhood.

Lake Shore Middle School is where the girls would be enrolled right now.

A balloon release is planned, and a memorial song will be performed.

The public is invited to attend.

Meanwhile, a cash reward remains in effort for information that leads to an arrest in this case.

Upset about JEA residential deposit amount

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In Murray Hill, Evelyn is upset about what she says is a residential deposit increase of $225 on her JEA account.

FCN called JEA and spokesperson, Gerri Boyce, said Evelyn's deposit was increased and appropriately assessed because of previous infractions which lowered her internal JEA credit score.

When a JEA credit score is below 800, the company reviews the account to see if the deposit can cover twice the average bill.

Boyce said the infractions will expire in December and if no more happens she'll be credited her deposit in January 2014.

Learn more about JEA's tools to help you by clicking here.




Playground near unsecured retention pond

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jasmine Valentin lives near Ken Road and 103rd street, close enough to realize that a playground feet from a retention pond is an accident waiting to happen.

"I've been complaining to the people around the neighborhood," said Valentin, "how can you have a retention pond next to the park with no fence."

Valentin has no children, but her maternal instincts are screaming at what she sees.

"It is crazy, it is irresponsible," she said. 

The pond is near McGirts Village, an uncompleted townhome community, that sits between busy its between busy 103rd and quiet Firetower streets; the playground sits less than than 50 feet from the retention pond.

"I've seen the results of this when nobody is paying attention to things like this," said Karen Ketchie.

Ketchie is a parent, a disaster management consultant, and an emergency room nurse.

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."