Main Street cruisers get "green light"


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A special event in Springfield that once had the city saying a "special events" permit was needed got a "green light" from city hall to go on as planned.

"We never asked city hall for a dime, just want to be left alone," said John Wells who helps coordinate the monthly event that features people cruising down Main Street in their classic cars.

This month the cruising will be part of something national, the "Great Race" that features classic cars traveling from Maine to Florida. They will be rolling into Jacksonville and Springfield on Saturday, June 28.

Wells says the city initially said the event would need a special events permit because more than 500 people would attend. With the permit comes regulations and oversight.

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Local veteran, daughter hoping to keep their house


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Neighbors in the Springfield area joined together to help one of their own Saturday.

John Foster, 87, is a Korean War veteran who lives on Market Street with his daughter, Doris, 53. In April, their worlds were turned upside down when they faced the possibility of losing their home.

"We worried quite a bit. We worried every day about what we were going to do," Foster said.

The City of Jacksonville sent the pair a letter instructing them to fix up their house or pay $250 a day in code enforcement fines.

Foster said the exterior of the two-story house seemed to be the biggest issue. "They wanted the woodwork repaired."

The problem was Foster and his daughter couldn't afford to pay the fines or do the work themselves. Foster requires a lot of assistance from his daughter to get around without falling.

Sweet Pete's candy store moving downtown


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- For four years, Sweet Pete's candy store has occupied a Victorian-style home in Jacksonville's Springfield neighborhood, but soon they'll be leaving for downtown.

Pete Behringer and his wife Allison own Sweet Pete's and were just featured on CNBC's "The Profit."

It's a show hosted by millionaire entrepreneur and investor Marcus Lemonis.

Out of 10,000 applicants, Sweet Pete's was one of eight Lemonis chose to feature.

In the show, he points out the problems and hurdles facing the Behringers' business, and gives them advice.

He also invested $750,000 in the company and became a 50/50 partner.

"There is so much opportunity ahead of us now," Pete said. "This is life-changing."

Part of the change now will be packing up and leaving the cramped confines of the old, colorful house on Pearl Street in Springfield.

Concern over proposed Ability Housing development in Springfield


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Some in Historic Springfield say a proposed development by Ability Housing would send the community "several steps backward."

At the center of the debate is the Cottage Avenue Apartments. Right now, the 12-studio complex is home to several families. Ability Housing wants to make it available for low-income and homeless veterans.

"This is a huge threat to the neighborhood," said JoAnn Tredennick, Vice President of the Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Society.

She said there's concern over the lack of background checks that will be done, and moves against the neighborhood's attempt to make the community more family friendly.

"This proposed use is unacceptable," she said.

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City of Jacksonville hands out first hen permits

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The first release of a hen permit as approved under the City of Jacksonville's new ordinance was passed out Tuesday morning.

The event was held on the steps of the City St. James Building at 8 a.m. to distribute the first few two year permits to 300 participants in the pilot program. Jacksonville resident Lauren Trad is the official first hen permit holder.

Roosters are not a part of the program only hens.

Previous story: Backyard chicken pilot program in the works

Get a free, sober ride home tonight

JACKSONVILLE, FLA-- We want you to get the new year started off safely so put this number in your phone, 885-286-9246.

855-286-9246 is the phone number to AAA's Tow-To-Go program.  You don't have to be a AAA member to use the service, it just gets you a safe, free ride home and saves you from driving intoxicated.

"New Year's Eve is the busiest night of the year for the Tow to Go program because so many motorists seem to be more inclined to use a designated driver but don't always have someone willing to be one in their own party during the biggest celebration of the year," said Gerry Gutowski, Sr. Vice President, Automotive Services, AAA–The Auto Club Group. "We prepare our call center teams and tow truck service providers for weeks in advance, so we can manage the increased call volume that's typical of this time of year."

Local high schools receive their new grades

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Nearly half of Florida's high schools are getting an A grade for the 2012-13 school year.

The grades released Wednesday by the Florida Department of Education show a slight increase in the number of A graded schools.

But the number of D and F rated schools also went up. There were eight high schools that received F grades as opposed to just three in 2012.