News

Mother of slain Metro PCS worker fights for safety in workplace

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- What happened at the Main Street Metro PCS on July 20, 2013 has changed Darlene Farah's life forever.

"I go to the bathroom and lock myself in the bathroom and cry or either I go outside and cry," said Farah.

Farah's daughter, Shelby, was working in the retail shop when one of the suspects captured on security camera video, robbed the store then shot and killed her.

"For $103, my daughter lost her life. No cell phones were taken," said Farah, "$103 in ten seconds."

Farah, 46, said the brutal murder of her child has been overwhelming. 

"My kids don't want to go back to the house," she said, "Shelby will always be in our hearts, but I have two other kids to focus on."

She said children are also concerned about her safety.

Attorney calls Jacksonville 'Potholeville' and files suit

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Wilson Boulevard is heavily traveled. Its age is showing in some areas and now it is named in a lawsuit.

On March 4, 2013, Lori Lloyd was traveling west on Wilson. She was the passenger on a motorcycle.

"We were just driving along about 30 miles an hour," said Lloyd, "and he hit this dip and it was a big dip."

Lloyd said what happened next would change her life forever.

"It ejected me off the motorcycle and I landed in the center lane on my head and my shoulder," she said.

She's convinced if she wasn't wearing her helmet, she would be in a grave somewhere. Now, she's in court fighting the city over a road hazard that has left her injured. 

"I'm in pain everyday," she said, "I wake up and I have work my hands to get my fingers moving. These two are not going to move anymore, both of my shoulders hurt."

Your guide to First Coast 4th of July celebrations

Firework displays and events scheduled to celebrate the 4th of July holiday across the First Coast. Here's a list of the festivities:

Columbia County celebrates 4th of July

Clay County celebrates the 4th of July

Fernandina Beach celebrates 4th of July

Flagler County celebrates 4th of July

Sickle Cell Disease patients are being called 'drug seekers'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Kiara Owens, 24, lives with pain 24 hours a day. She has Sickle Cell Disease.

"It is scary to realize that this illness one day is going to kill me," she said.

She also has to live with a stigma that affects when and how she gets her much needed medication.

"I have been labeled a drug seeker," said Owens.

Owens said given her unexpected bouts with excruciating pain, she has to go to an emergency room more than she wants to and then it becomes a problem.

"They won't give you the medicine because they fear you're addicted to narcotics," said Owens, "and you're just pretending to get that medicine."

The Florida State College at Jacksonville student said three years ago she went to an ER and was labeled a "Drug Seeker" and it has followed her since.

Neighborhood networking site taking off in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The first of its kind private social networking site for neighborhoods only is starting to take off in Jacksonville.

It is called nextdoor.com, and it started last year in San Francisco.

Co-founder and CEO Nirav Tolia thought there should be an easier way for neighbors to connect.

He said, "Services like Facebook have shown us the value of connecting online with our friends and family. Why isn't there a service that helps us connect with people right out our front door?"

The idea behind nextdoor.com is that neighbors can first connect online, then face to face.

Some neighborhoods have planned parties. Others help each other find lost pets, share contact information and even find a babysitter or orthodontist.

"We know that when neighbors start talking, good things happen," Tolia said.

Local couple stiffed by wedding photographer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- June 30, 2012 was important to Kameeka Haynes. She and her husband Sean began a new life together.

"For any woman," said Haynes, "the wedding day is supposed to be the most important day in your life.

It was important enough for them to hire Breon Boger to record the event. Haynes said the wedding photographer came highly recommended.

"Church members recommended him and I saw some of his work and  was just mesmerized," she said.

Haynes said she also liked Boger's personality. The contracted price was $1,495. Haynes said it was paid in full 30 days before the wedding.

"I did not get married in the backyard," she said, "I got married in the Crowne Plaza. This was a big day for me and I wanted to remember it."

But now, almost a year later, Kameeka Haynes has yet to see her wedding pictures.

CIS needs your help to make a difference

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Communities In Schools, a non-profit origination, has reached into local public schools to make a difference. The agency has several approaches including mentoring and its In School Support program.

Mentoring often seems like a challenge until the participant gets involved.

The CIS program targets sixth graders, a high risk group according to CIS.

Broderick Green is a first year mentor at Matthew Gilbert Middle School.

"My experience has been a learning one," said Green.

Green, who has a two-year-old son and travels a lot, said he always wanted to give back but did not consider mentoring until now. 

"I wanted to find a way to give back," said Green. "When I was younger I had people who mentored me in an unofficial capacity."

Green knows the strength of a one-on-one relationship, but he was concerned about the time commitment.