Free Swim Lessons to Qualifying Families Start in June

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Free swim lessons for children are available again this year for families who qualify based on financial need.

This two-week series of lessons is being offered by JaxParks, and is donated through the joint efforts of THE PLAYERS Center for Child Health at Wolfson Children's Hospital, Kohl's Cares, the Florida Swimming Pool Association Northeast Florida Chapter, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Safe Kids Northeast Florida.

The lessons are being offered in three sessions at select locations:

  • Session 1, June 25-July 6
  • Session 2, July 9-19
  • Session 3, July 23-August 2

Families qualify based on the following criteria:

DCPS Workers Raking in Thousands in Overtime

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Local high school athletes Kaitlyn Hamby and Alana Hall live for lacrosse. That's why they could not believe when Duval County Public Schools cut funding for their sport. "I love lacrosse with my whole heart," said Hall.

It wasn't just lacrosse, the district cut numerous sports, music and arts programs. These students knew they had to do something to save their sport. Last summer they started fundraising. "We had a benefit dinner, where we had a silent auction," said high school junior Hamby.

Last year, the district cut nearly $4 million from school programs. Art, music and physical education programs took a $3 million cut, while athletic supplements took a cut of $932,000.

"I was upset, I was very upset because lacrosse is something I need to get into college," added Hamby.

No Injuries in Springfield Fire

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It took firefighters about 10 minutes to put out a fire in Springfield on Thursday morning.

The fire began on the second floor of the home located near the intersection of North Liberty Street and East 7th Street, according to Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department Public Information Officer Tom Francis.

The fire started in the laundry room, Francis said, and appeared to be caused by an overloaded circuit.

There were two adults in the home at the time of the fire. They both were able to escape without injuries.

Francis said the local chapter of the Red Cross was assisting the two adults and two children who were not home at the time of the fire.

Clean Out Those Cabinets: Stamp Out Hunger is Saturday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Check your mailbox!  The Stamp Out Hunger food drive is Saturday and letter carriers have been dropping off donation bags at homes all over the First Coast this week.  

This is the 20th year of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Food Drive.  

The donation drive is designed to make giving easy.  All people have to do is put some non-perishable food in a bag and leave it by their mailboxes Saturday.  Postal workers will take the donations and transport them to Second Harvest of North Florida.  

Doctors Use Eco-friendly Technology to Ablate AFIB

Doctors Use Eco-friendly Technology to Ablate AFIB

JACKSONVILLE, FL – Richard McCoy, 66, has always enjoyed an active lifestyle between tending to his greenhouse, working full time and playing with his three grandchildren. When all of this was compromised by a heart condition, McCoy’s doctors turned to Soundstar®eco technology to help fix his ticker.

FHP Announces Aggressive Driving Crackdown

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -  The Florida Highway Patrol kicked off an awareness campaign Thursday designed to crack down on aggressive drivers.

FDLE REPORT: Troopers Erred in Deadly I-75 Pileup 

Patrolmen are focusing on people who are driving around big semi trucks, which can magnify a small driving mistake.

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"They are big trucks and whenever they have a crash, they're big crashes," explained Captain Derek Barrs.

In order to be cited for aggressive driving, a person must be doing two of the following:

Duval Schools' Pay-To-Play Sidelined

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A plan to have students who participate in sports pay-to-play this upcoming year has been sidelined, at least for now.

Duval County school superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals stressed this doesn't mean it won't surface again.

"We are going to put a one year pause on pay-to-participate for athletics. Doesn't mean it goes away forever," said Pratt-Dannals at a school board workshop focusing on the budget.

Last summer, a community fundraising push saved a half dozen sports that were on the chopping block. 

Another cut to magnet transportation is also on hold. A year ago, the district required some students in magnet programs to make other arrangements.  The plan was to phase in more cuts, but that won't happen.

The superintendent says what changed was more money from the state plus decisions to draw upon reserve accounts to help balance the books.