News

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. 

Woman rescues stranger from oncoming train

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The driver of a 1997 Nissan Altima and the engineer behind an oncoming Amtrak train crossed paths Tuesday in the Ortega area; it was an impending disaster.

"You could hear the Amtrak train," said Annette Brown, "I said 'Oh my God.'"

But to Brown, it was where faith met destiny.

"I was saying to her 'get out of the car,'" said Brown, "but she said 'but my car.'" "That's when I screamed 'get out of the car!'" 

Brown, on her way to NAS Jacksonville, got stuck behind the Nissan which was stopped on the railroad tracks.

"There were so many citizens who went around this lady and did nothing to get her off of the train tracks," she said.

Brown said she went around as well but once on the other side stopped and help.

Sibling sexual abuse hurts a Jacksonville father

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It is still one of society's greatest taboo but because no wants to talk about it, doesn't stop sibling sexual abuse. According to the Pandora Project studies have shown that between 2% and 4% of people have been sexually victimized by a sibling.  

"What is a father to do?" asked Reggie Thomas.

Thomas, 36, is a divorced father who is worried about his two children now living with their mother.

"I did all the right things I call JSO I took my child to the hospital," he said. 

Earlier this year Thomas made an ugly discovery. Court records show his children's older half-brother, a 15 year old, was charged with sexually abusing his younger siblings. Thomas' two children are eight and nine years of age.

"My daughter said this was going on for three years straight," he said. 

The State Attorney's office prosecuted the teenager.

Widow denied access to deceased husband's savings

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Married 53 years, it is hard for Julia Bolena to forget her husband and what he brought to their marriage.

Sixteen months ago, her husband died of cancer and Bolena said she has been trying to close a chapter with the bank ever since.

"I just know there's some way they can resolve it if they want," she said.

Her husband had two accounts, a checking and a small savings. The bank gave her access to the checking, but when it came to the savings, access denied.

"He failed to put that particular account in trust to me," said Bolena, "I am sure it was an oversight, being the other account was in trust to me. I'm sure he assumed they all went together."

Her name was on the checking, but not on the savings. It's only $273, but Bolena said it is money she can use.

"I'm on a very fixed income and that will pay a couple of light bills. It is not much money," she said. 

Murray Hill Ortega Police Blotter - May 2013

No police reports at this time.