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.

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.

Duval Schools fall short in meeting class size

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Duval County schools made progress this year, but once again fell short of complying with mandated class size limits.

According to a head count conducted in October and analyzed by the Florida Department of Education, nearly 900 Duval County students are impacted by overcrowding.

The Florida Department of Education reported in Duval 1,075 classrooms, out of 21,000, exceed the class limit size.

In Florida, voters approved a class size amendment which states a maximum of 18 kids per pre-k classroom through the third grade, 22 students per class in grades four through eight and 25 students in grades nine through 12.

Duval County School Superintendent Nikolai Vitti says a year ago the district had 20% of classrooms out of compliance and now it is down to 5%. 

Andrew Jackson student speaks about her attack

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Shantricia, 18, was attacked by two men on her way to school, Andrew Jackson High Tuesday.

"My purse was wrapped around me, my phone was in my pocket," she said. "He asked me what was in my purse."

Shantricia said what happened next was scary. 

"Having a gun to your head is like is the worst feeling you can ever have because you don't know what's going to happen," she said.

The high school student was attacked at the intersection of 27th and Main streets, a block from the school.

"I caught chills, I didn't know what to do," said Shantricia.

She said they forced her into the back seat of a Chevrolet Impala and she began tussling with the person in the back seat.

"How am I going to get away," she said. "That's what I was thinking about."

Shantricia said she's a good student, A/B/C, who dreams of going into the military.

On Your Side: Family glad Andrew Jackson student is safe

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.. -- It was a regular walk for a student going to Andrew Jackson High that quickly became a parents nightmare.

"When I got the phone call this morning my heart dropped into my chest," said Shantoni Campbell. "That's my baby and they put a gun to my child's head."

According to police when the 18 year old reached the intercession of 27th and Main streets she was attacked by two black males.

She was dragged into a Black Chevrolet Impala at point of a gun.

"They drove around for 15 to 20 minutes, the victim stated to police she was fighting the entire time," said JSO Melissa Bujeda.

Security cameras from a nearby business show a person that could be the victim at the intersection around 7:15am; the video doesn't reveal more.