A New Year means new laws for Florida drivers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- It is a new year in the Sunshine State and on Florida's roadways there are some new laws in effect.

To start, say you want to flash your headlights to warn other drivers about nearby police.

"Just to alert," said Kim Rolfe, of Jacksonville. "It's just a courtesy to let other driver's know 'Hey, you're about to pass a cop.'"

Before the new year, that was illegal in Florida.

"I did not know that that was illegal!" Rolfe shouted with a laugh. "I thought I was just doing something nice for my fellow drivers!"

As of January 1, 2013, it's now legal, after the state legislature cleared up the law.

"So, it could be a good law to aide in safety," William Lee, of St. Augustine, said Tuesday morning. "So, I think it's good."

If you're ever in an accident, there's another law you should know about. It's about the personal injury protection (PIP) portion of your Florida policy.

11-year-old accused of being pregnant had massive tumor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Janet Roberts said she has lived by a rule learned from her mother.

"Our mom always told us never judge a book by its cover," said Roberts, "and see what she meant with this situation that happened with my daughter."

Roberts said her 11-year-old was the target of a wicked rumor in school.

"I did not know. I was the last one to find out," she said.

She said she found out when the school called her in for a meeting and told her the rumor around the school is her 11-year-old is pregnant.

"I was shock," she said, "To me it was a joke at first.

Roberts said she tried to squash it because her daughter felt she was being bullied or harassed, but she noticed the child had an extended stomach and wanted to be sure.

"The tests were negative," said Roberts.

But the mother of four noticed her daughters stomach continued to grow.

Business owner claims 'bad decision' cost company $19,000

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Douglas Myers has been in the manufacturing business for 20 years. He said he still regrets a decision he made a three years ago.

"My wife constantly reminds me of a bad business decision," said Myers.

Myers paid a contractor nearly $19,000 to buy an infinity wrap plasma cutting machine for his business and nothing happened.

"You work with a guy," said Myers. "You have him come and work on your machine. You just assume."

Three years later, he claims he is still trying to recover his money.

"I contacted the manufacturer and the company did not receive any money from him," said Myers.

Myers filed a lawsuit against the contractor Herb Cochley. The case is still in court.

"We want to get him into court," said Myers. "If we get him in, we will win."

Local business robbed on Thanksgiving Day

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- As many stores looked for sales on Black Friday, one store was looking for suspects. Jimmy and Diane Tait own Hawgs and Horses on Blanding Boulevard. While they were at home, celebrating the holiday with family, their store was being robbed.

"They stole several four wheelers, motorcycles, some were customers bikes that had repairs done to them," Jimmy Tait said. "They made quite a mess back here."

The Taits' store has only been in business for a little more than twelve months; and what they thought would the most lucrative weekend of the year, ended up being the costliest.

"We added it up. It's almost $15,000 worth of product got stolen. That's a lot of money. Especially for a small business that just started" explains Jimmy.

He says the robbers broke into his locked gate, dragged the equipment behind the building, through the brush to the parking lot next door, where they loaded it all into a trailer and drove away.

Black (Thursday) Friday: Shopping hours

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- As you plot your shopping for Thanksgiving night and Black Friday, here's a list of shopping hours at major retailers across the First Coast News.


Avenues Mall:
Closed Thanksgiving
Black Friday 12am - 9pm

Best Buy:
Closed Thanksgiving
Black Friday Open 12AM to 10PM

Closed Thanksgiving
Black Friday 12AM to 1PM

Orange Park Mall:
Closed Thanksgiving
Black Friday 12AM to 10PM

Police arrest man for leaving scene of fatal crash

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office arrested a man after they say he left a fatal crash Wednesday night.

Shannon Hartley, Public Information Officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, said around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday evening police were called to the intersection of Edgewood Avenue South and Trask Street where an SUV had hit a man in his electric wheelchair.

Hartley said the victim, 80-year-old Emmitt Roberts, was crossing the intersection in his electric wheelchair when an SUV hit the man, ejecting him from his wheelchair.

Hartley said the driver of the SUV, 23-year-old Steven Bradsheet pulled his SUV over to the side of the road, got out and checked for any damage before getting back into his vehicle and leaving.

Emergency personnel pronounced Roberts deceased at the scene.