Jacksonville Loses Counter-Terrorism Grant

Jacksonville Loses Counter-Terrorism Grant

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- "There's still a lot of angry people out there, and they want to send a message. And we need to be prepared for it," said Emergency Management Director Martin Senterfitt.

He says terrorism is still a real threat in Jacksonville, and losing the federal Urban Area Security Initiative grant increases the risk of an attack.

"By cutting our funding, that makes us the largest communities that aren't funded. And so that's our concern. We really believe the dollars are important," said Senterfitt.

Over the past six years, the grant has been worth more than $40 million dollars to Jacksonville. But this year's federal budget cut $780 million dollars to security grants across the country, so the bigger cities with a perceived bigger threat got the leftover money.

Car Dealership Employees Stop Armed Robbery Suspect

Car Dealership Employees Stop Armed Robbery Suspect

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- An armed robbery suspect was taken to jail Thursday thanks to daring employees at a Westside car dealership.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Joy Howell robbed a Cash Advance on Cassat Avenue then ran into the Mike Shad Nissan parking lot.
When employees tried to stop her, police said she fired her gun in the air.
No one was hit.
Howell then jumped on a golf cart with an employee, officers alleged.  That employee jumped off and police said he pinned her against a wall and held her there until police came.

Endeavour Heat Shields Damaged

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Damaged heat shields on the Endeavour's underbelly have NASA engineers concerned about the health of the space shuttle.

The heat shields are designed to protect the craft when it re-enters the extreme temperatures of the earth's atmosphere.

Seven places on the shuttle were damaged during the launch on Monday- though engineers have already cleared 5 of those spots because they don't pose any significant threat.

The astronauts will take a closer look at the 2 remaining places tomorrow- and if those places are enough of a problem, they'll have to do what's called a focused inspection in space.

NASA takes any damage to those heat shields very seriously since they were a contributing factor to the Columbia Shuttle Disaster of 2003 which killed seven astronauts.

VIDEO | SLIDESHOW: Endeavour Launches on Penultimate Shuttle Trip

VIDEO | SLIDESHOW: Endeavour Launches on Penultimate Shuttle Trip

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Endeavour blasted off on NASA's next-to-last shuttle flight, thundering through clouds into orbit Monday morning as the mission commander's wounded wife, Gabrielle Giffords, watched along with an exhilarated crowd estimated in the hundreds of thousands.

NASA is winding down its 30-year-old shuttle program before embarking on something new. The event generated the kind of excitement seldom seen on Florida's Space Coast on such a grand scale - despite a delay of more than two weeks from the original launch date because of an electrical problem.

The shuttle quickly disappeared into the clouds.

"That was four seconds of cool," said Manny Kariotakis, who was visiting from Montreal. The 50-year-old got goosebumps watching the liftoff with thousands along Highway 1 in Titusville.

Just before launching, commander Mark Kelly thanked all the who put hands "on this incredible ship."

Mom Knows Best; Children Share Pearls of Wisdom

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Every mother has her words of wisdom. Always wear clean underwear. Act like a lady. Study first, play later. A mixture of practical advice and stern warnings, these verbal pearls are polished by years of repetition. 

But, even when they seem to fall on deaf -- usually teenage -- ears, the maternal messages are received. Today, on Mother's Day, they are especially cherished. See, Mom? We're listening, after all.

Growing up, Stacie Sauers never rolled her eyes at her mother's advice. Well, not that she can recall. "There were things we didn't necessarily agree on, but I've always respected her," Sauers, a Pensacola resident, said of her mother, Charlotte Teston. "She's the best. I learned how to be a good mom and a good person from her."

Florida Uses Twitter to Encourage Families to Adopt Children in Foster Care

Florida Uses Twitter to Encourage Families to Adopt Children in Foster Care

Florida is using Twitter to spread the word that about 850 children in foster care are waiting to be adopted.

Floridians are getting news and information about children in foster care available for adoption, plus support and resources for adoptive families, by following @ExploreAdoption on Twitter.

St. Mark's Episcopal Third-Grade Teacher of the Week

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A third-grade teacher at St. Mark's Episcopal Day School has a love of Florida history and she shares that love and enthusiam with her students. Drew Haramis is our Teacher of the Week. 

The part of the school day Haramis especially enjoys is teaching her favorite subject. "This is my real passion with teaching. I love history, and I love Florida history and Jacksonville history," said Haramis.

Her love of history is contagious and her students really know their facts. Recently, they put on an annual event at the school called Florida Day.

Each third-grader dressed up as a character and presented numerous projects. "They come up with the costume and write their own lines. It is one of the most glorifying days of a teacher because I see their hard work pay off and it makes me so happy."