Showing posts with label Jacksonville FL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jacksonville FL. Show all posts

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Veteran's foot found use syringe at Hampton Inn?

Veteran claims he stepped on syringe at Jacksonville Beach hotel

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter
June 21, 2019

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - A military veteran said his recent visit to Jacksonville Beach ended with a trip to the hospital after he stepped on a needle from a used syringe under his hotel bed.

James Ryals, who was visiting from Colorado, said it happened shortly after he checked into his hotel room Monday night at the Hampton Inn in Jacksonville Beach.
"My foot went under the edge of the bed skirt and I felt something prick my toe," James Ryals said.

He said he found a second syringe, which was empty, under the bed, but he said the one he stepped on was not.

"The one that was in my foot had about half of a “CC” of some kind of substance," Ryals said. "It was a turquoise-ish color."

So what was supposed to be a vacation for Ryals' family instead turned into a visit to the emergency room and a pile of medical bills.

"The emergency room visit itself was a little over $5000 and then the two prescriptions, which still have not been filled, are to prevent AIDS and one of them is $2000 and one is almost $2,500," he said.

He said the doctor’s biggest concern was diseases like AIDS, HIV and Hepatitis.
read more here

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Passengers saved, pets lost on Navy plane from Guantanamo Bay

Pets presumed dead from Boeing 737 plane that crash landed in Jacksonville, Florida

USA Today
Joey Garrison
May 4, 2019
"Unfortunately, they have not been retrieved yet due to safety issues with the aircraft, the Naval Air Station Jacksonville, where the crash landing occurred, tweeted early Saturday morning. "Our hearts and prayers go out to those pet owners during this terrible incident."

A charter plane carrying 143 people and traveling from Cuba to north Florida sits in a river at the end of a runway, on May 4 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo: AP)
All 143 people aboard a military-chartered plane survived after the aircraft skidded off a runway into a river in Jacksonville, Florida, on Friday night, but their pets weren't as fortunate.

At least four pets were checked in the luggage department located in the bottom of the plane that left Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to northern Florida.

Each is still on the aircraft and presumed dead, Kaylee LaRocque, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy in Jacksonville, confirmed to USA TODAY on Saturday.

Although the Boeing 737 plane is not completely submerged in the St. Johns River, the bottom portion, where the pets were positioned, is under water.

“There’s water in the cargo hold," LaRocque said. “We are so sad about this situation, that there are animals that unfortunately passed away."
read more here

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Sanford firefighter killed in boat crash escorted home

Firefighters escort body of comrade killed in boat crash
By Vic Micolucci - Reporter, anchor
June 05, 2018
Salber was a lieutenant paramedic for the Sanford Fire Department. Salber's girlfriend said he had four children: three sons and a daughter, ages 17, 18, 20 and 22.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The body of a veteran Central Florida firefighter who died Saturday afternoon in the collision of two racing boats on the St. Johns River was escorted home Tuesday by fellow firefighters from Sanford.

It was a somber and silent procession as fellow first responders moved of body of Lt. Mike Salber from the medical examiner's office in Jacksonville to Central Florida.

The caravan of colleagues and friends from Sanford did so with dignity and respect.

Firefighters and police officers from Sanford, along with Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department's honor guard and a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office motorcycle team, were at the Medical Examiner's Office as Salber's flag-draped coffin was loaded into a hearse for his final trip home.

A sheriff's deputy accompanied Salber's girlfriend, Melanie Jeanine, to and from Jacksonville. She said she had dated Salber for the past year and a half.
read more here

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

"Someone vandalized the military veteran's grave"

Jacksonville family devastated after veteran's grave defiled
By Jim Piggott - Reporter
May 14, 2018

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - For the second time in nearly two decades, a Jacksonville woman's family must lay her beloved uncle to rest. This time, it's because someone vandalized the military veteran's grave.
Cheryl Brown's family visits her uncle Willie Graham at his Bartow burial site once a week. On Sunday, however, they found it covered by a blue tarp pinned down by cinder blocks. His clothes lay nearby.

Brown, who is the secretary for the Jacksonville City Council, said Graham's loved ones have no idea what happened, or why for that matter. "We are at a total loss," she told News4Jax.

His grave was the only one ransacked.

Graham's wife, who lives in Miami, was also upset to learn the news. She's not well enough to make the trip to visit his grave site. But, like her niece, she wants to know what happened.
read more here

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

First Responders and Veterans with PTSD Share Healing Horse Power

Veterans, first responders with PTSD encouraged to find peace in Middleburg horse pasture

Florida Times Union Jacksonville
Joe Daraskevich
December 26 2017

“I want people to know that this is a place that nobody is going to be judging them.This is a peaceful place away from all distractions.” Rebecca Davenport

Rebecca Davenport envisions veterans and first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder enjoying yoga classes, group meetings, counseling or alone time in a peaceful spot where horses graze and city sounds are miles away.

For years she’s offered help to veterans suffering from physical and emotional issues through interaction with horses at Hope Therapy in Middleburg. Now she feels she has more to offer for anyone with PTSD who needs a place to get away.
“The back of our property is under some really pretty oaks,” Davenport said. “I decided there needed to be something out there.”
With construction assistance from sailors stationed at Jacksonville Naval Air Station, Davenport added a gazebo, a fire pit, benches and a pergola to create an atmosphere where veterans can escape the stresses of life.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Jacksonville Veteran Shot on Wonderwood Bridge

Police officer shoots, injures armed veteran after rampage

Friday's police-involved shooting is 9th this year in Jacksonville

Ethan Calloway
Corley Peel
Allyson Henning

Court records show Smith was arrested on Sept. 19 on two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and one count of domestic battery. On Oct. 17, he was referred to a pretrial intervention program for military veterans. He was out on bond Friday but was due to be back in court later this month. 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville Sheriff's Office officer shot and injured an armed veteran who has had previous run-ins with law enforcement, after a crash Friday afternoon on the Wonderwood Bridge in the Mayport area, authorities said.
Steven Smith, 32, is expected to survive after he was shot twice by Officer A. Will, Assistant Chief Scott Dingee announced at a Friday evening news briefing. 
At 4:41 p.m., two 911 calls came in about hit-and-run incidents on Nesting Eagles Way, where residents said a man was driving recklessly -- hitting mailboxes, poles and trees, Dingee said.
Two minutes later, Dingee said, a third 911 caller reported a mentally ill man who was posing a threat to the caller's relative on nearby Blue Eagle Way East near Girvin Road in East Arlington.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Jacksonville Navy Petty Officer Killed in Crash

U.S. Navy petty officer killed in crash in Jacksonville
Action News Jax
by: Brittney Donovan
Jul 13, 2017

Family and friends are mourning a U.S. Navy petty officer who was killed in a crash July 4 in Jacksonville.

Petty Officer First Class David Dake, 24, leaves behind a 4-year-old daughter and pregnant wife.
He was killed in a crash on Dunn Avenue and Young Road just after 3 a.m.

Dake grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, where he met his high-school sweetheart, Darcie.

He joined the Navy in October 2012 and was stationed at Naval Air Station Jacksonville.
read more here

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Missing 86 Year Old Veteran Found With Throat Slashed and SUV Stolen

Missing elderly man found with throat slashed survives
News 4 Jax
By Hailey Winslow
April 10, 2017

Family members said Clark is a Navy and Air Force veteran who then retired after years with Maxwell House. They said he was a generous person and would give anyone the shirt of his back.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Police are trying to find out whoever slashed a missing elderly man's throat, dumped him in a water-filled ditch miles from his home and stole his SUV.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said a witness found 86-year-old Melvin Clark on Saturday afternoon lying on Maxville Macclenny Highway, a dirt road west of U.S. 301. Police said Clark had stab wounds and his clothes were completely soaked, appearing to have pulled himself out of a ditch and onto the dirt road.

Clark was airlifted to UF Health Jacksonville with life-threatening injuries.

"He’s got a large cut from ear to ear on his neck," said his wife, Gayle Clark.

Investigators learned Clark was reported missing from Neptune Beach home just over three hours earlier. Clark's wife told police he was going to Academy Sports on Atlantic Boulevard, and then to the Navy Exchange on Mayport Road.

Clark's black 2005 Honda CRV was not found with the victim. Police entered it in the federal stolen vehicle database and Miami-Dade police notified the JSO at 10:30 a.m. Sunday that the vehicle was found in their jurisdiction.

In addition to his SUV stolen, the family said there were fraudulent transactions on Clark's credit card.
read more here

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Florida Combat Medic Veteran Thinks Suicide is His Only Answer After Decades of "Awareness"

Jacksonville veteran feels suicide is only answer despite push to raise awareness during September
Florida Times Union
Joe Daraskevich
September 28, 2016

Terry Russell Bass Jr. joined the Army when he was 19 years old. He believed in the military and was willing to give his life for his country so strangers could enjoy the feeling of freedom.

He’s now 35, living with his wife and three children in a mobile home on Jacksonville’s Westside, and he’s ready to kill himself so his family doesn’t have to struggle anymore.

“I’m tired,” Bass said recently as he sat on his couch wearing one of his four white undershirts and a pair of ragged athletic shorts. “If it’s OK for me to die for my country, then why is it not OK for me to die because I’m tired of being tired?”

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and the military and veteran communities in Northeast Florida have been working to spread the message of awareness and assistance that has eluded Bass for so long.

The Navy announced a new suicide-prevention program Sept. 16 called Sailor Assistance and Intercept for Life, or SAIL. The new national program provides continual support to supplement regular mental-health treatment for the first 90 days after suicide-related behavior.

“We are going to assign an advocate to follow up with them, kind of like being in aftercare,” said Command Master Chief Donald Henderson of Fleet Readiness Center Southeast at Jacksonville Naval Air Station.

He said a lot of times suicidal thoughts among sailors stem from something happening away from the base. Issues with family life or illicit drug use are common things that can lead to suicidal thoughts, Henderson said.
read more here

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Disabled Iraq Veteran With PTSD Faces Eviction After Being Victim of Fraud

Disabled combat veteran, family forced from home
I-TEAM uncovers real estate scheme affecting at least 25 local properties

News 4 Jax
By Lynnsey Gardner - Investigative reporter
Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects
Eric Wallace - Senior Producer, I-TEAM
August 22, 2016

After paying $1,100 a month in rent, they could be evicted because the company renting the house, RHMG Inc. (Residential Home Management Group, Inc.), never technically owned it but still got their money.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A disabled military veteran and his family contacted the I-TEAM for help after learning they are just days away from being evicted from their Jacksonville home -- even though they have paid their rent and have a lease.

We've uncovered it is part of a statewide scheme that could impact more local families, costing them tens of thousands of dollars. We found it happening right now in Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns Counties. It's so troubling and pervasive, we alerted Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who is now involved.

Each house that gets caught up this scheme can have multiple victims -- whether you lose your money, your credit or even your house practically overnight. That's what happened to James and Tiffany McCollum's family, who could soon be homeless.

"We just want a place to lay our head at night," said James. "I wonder how many other families are out there in the same situation, staying up at night, wondering how they will feed their families, the stress of it, the fears."
read more here

Friday, March 4, 2016

AdministrativeChanges at North Florida VA Facilities

Investigation reveals need for training, administrative changes at North Florida VA facilities
Action News Jax
by: Samantha Manning
Mar 4, 2016
Veterans Affairs said it has made changes after an investigation revealed a need for administrative changes and staff training at some of the facilities in Northeast Florida.

The investigation by the VA Office of the Inspector General did not find any evidence of intentional wrongdoing for the four main facilities serving the greater Jacksonville area.

Training, administrative changes needed at North Florida VA facilities The VA OIG investigations stem from 2014 complaints regarding patient times.

Petty Officer Chris Taylor served as a Navy Hospital corpsman for 12 years and told Action News Jax he suffers from a traumatic brain injury.

Taylor said he has been waiting for more than a year to see a neurologist at the VA Outpatient Clinic in Jacksonville.

“You call them and they put you on hold and they say you’ll get a letter in the mail, and you just never get anything,” Taylor said.

The investigation reveals the need for an administrative change at the VA Outpatient Clinic in Jacksonville when it comes to recording eyeglass prescriptions.

A report also reveals a lack of training for staff at the VA Medical Center in Gainesville.
read more here

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Wounded Warrior Project Suing 2 PTSD Veterans?

Wounded Warrior Project suing 2 injured veterans 
News 4 JAX
By Lynnsey Gardner - Investigative reporter
January 27, 2016
Sources said however, both wounded veterans, named in the lawsuits had PTSD and that's part of why they were fired from the charity. Both lawsuits only show WWP’s side, claiming the injured veterans violated their severance agreements.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - In 10 years, the Wounded Warrior Project went from non-existent to the 38th largest charity in the United States, bringing in $312 million in donations in 2014 alone.

It's a brand that has proven to be very valuable. But exactly how is the power of the Wounded Warrior brand being used?

News4Jax spoke with seven sources and only one agreed to reveal his identity for fear the charity's legal team would strike back.

Wounded Warrior Project accused of spending too little on injured soldiers “Warriors that were employees have been fired by Wounded Warrior Project,” said Carol, a woman who used to work at WWP and does not want to reveal her identity.

News4Jax sources said many of those warriors who were terminated had post-traumatic stress disorder, the same invisible wounds the charity says it strives to help warriors heal.

Sources say people have been too afraid to come forward and tell the public, until now.
read more here

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Marine Stabbed in Back After Road Rage Attack in Florida

Middleburg man jailed in apparent road-rage attack against Marine Corps lieutenant
Florida Times Union
By Dan Scanlan
Jan 25, 2016
Taken to UF Health Jacksonville for surgery when he suffered a 24-inch-long cut on his back, he is in good condition, according to hospital officials.
Josh Brannock, First Coast News

A 21-year-old Middleburg man is in the Clay County jail after a U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant was stabbed Sunday night in an apparent road-rage incident in a CVS parking lot on U.S. 17, according to the Orange Park Police Department. Tyler Lee Ennis of Seminole Village Drive was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after he was stopped in Middleburg an hour after the incident, police said.

The victim, Lt. Jared Cox, is part of the South Carolina-based Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122. He was here as part of training at Jacksonville Naval Air Station, said Capt. Clay Groover, a spokesman at the Beaufort, S.C., Marine Corps Air Station.
read more here

Saturday, December 19, 2015


WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, Big Show, R-Truth, Alicia Fox and Eva Marie embarked on a journey to greet U.S. military personnel serving overseas.
Awesome videos on WWE tribute to troops here WWE Tribute to the Troops comes to Jacksonville The 13th annual WWE Tribute to the Troops event was be held on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at Florida's Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena for military personnel and their families stationed at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station, Naval Station Mayport and Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base. Tribute to the Troops will air on USA Network on Wednesday, Dec. 23, at 8 p.m. ET.

In the tradition of Bob Hope, WWE brings together the best of sports entertainment and pop culture with celebrity appearances and performances from music's most popular acts for our servicemen and women, to honor their commitment and dedication to our country. Tribute to the Troops has become a holiday tradition and is considered TV's most patriotic and heartwarming show of the year.

While in Jacksonville, WWE Superstars and Divas spent time giving back to those who serve and their families with Be a STAR anti-bullying rallies, hospital visits and military outreach at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station, Naval Station Mayport and Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base.
click links for more

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Navy Veteran Foils Robery

Navy veteran foils attempted robbery at Westside Walgreens
First Coast News
Keitha Nelson
September 4, 2015
"We're all in this world together, so we all have to look out for each other," said Cooper.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- All it took was a few words for one local Navy veteran's training to kick in during a routine stop at his neighborhood Walgreens.
Navy veteran foils attempted robbery at Westside Walgreens (Photo: Doug Lockwood)
Those words were, "Open the register, I got a gun." Byron Cooper's quick actions foiled a robbery and possibly saved lives.

He says he stops at the Walgreens in his neighborhood, located at 7221 Normandy Boulevard, just about every night after work. Cooper normally rides his bike but Wednesday night he got a ride from a co-worker, putting him on-site much earlier than he normally would be.

Cooper believes he was simply in the right place at the right time.

"I came to the counter and this gentleman walked in and he came up behind me at first," said Cooper.

"He got a little too close for comfort, so I looked back at him and he looked at me and walked back to the front door and looked around. I had this creepy feeling that something wasn't right."

The father of four says he heard a few words that put him into military mode.
read more here

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Navy Veteran, Wife Scammed via Craigslist in Florida

Navy veteran, wife scammed via Craigslist
Torres family loses $850 after home fraudulently listed online for rent
Author: Joy Purdy Jodi Mohrmann, Managing editor of special projects
August 4, 2015

Jacksonville Florida
Navy veteran Roberto Torres and his wife Cynthia just moved back to Jacksonville from El Paso, Texas. Roberto was stationed here when he was in the Navy and loved it, so the family decided to return. However their move back to the River City hasn't been problem free.

"We already had out truck and everything ready and we were going to move, and we had nowhere to go," said Cynthia.

She got emotional as she began telling her story to News4Jax, and Roberto gave her a loving hug and kiss. The couple wants to share this story of being scammed in the hopes of helping someone else avoid something similar.

Cynthia says they needed a place so she went online and found her dream home: a three-bedroom in East Arlington. It was a perfect fit for the couple and their 2 ½ year-old son. The alleged homeowner told the Torres' he was working out of town and couldn't physically show them the house, but would give them the keys if they wired him the $850 deposit.

"Like after everything I kept having this gut feeling," Cynthia admitted. "There's just something not right about this."
read more here

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Jacksonville PTSD Veteran On Wait List for Service Dog

Local vet just wants to go to the grocery store 
First Coast News
Jeannie Blaylock
May 1, 2015
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Let's say you're craving ribs or chocolate chip cookies. What do you do? Head to the grocery store of course. And so a trip to the grocery store is no big deal to most of us, but it is to many of our veterans dealing with PTSD. In fact, to them it can be a nightmare.

James Rutland is a 12-year veteran who lives in Jacksonville. Obviously a sharp guy, Rutland is frustrated with the 41 pills he got from the VA.

He says they just throw him into a zombie state. His medical diagnosis of PTSD, however, enabled him to apply for K9s for Warriors, a local non-profit which matches trained and certified service dogs to veterans.

Rutland visited with the K9s staff and put in his application. He recently found out he's been accepted into the program.

The problem? He has to be on the waiting list until January 2016.
read more here

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Jacksonville VA Canceled Nearly 60,000 Veterans' Health Appointments

Aside from the powerful head of the House Veterans Affairs Committee is from Florida, Jeff Miller has been just one in a very long line of politicians blaming the VA at the same time making promises to fix it.

How can they fix it when so many of their buddies want to kill the VA and send veterans to private, for profit doctors and hospitals? After all, it aside from being the right thing to do, fixing the VA would actually save money however veterans are not as powerful as wealthy donors to their reelection campaigns.

Don't they know veterans have been suffering for decades while politicians make speeches?

Jacksonville VA canceled nearly 60,000 veterans' health appointments in 14-month span
By Clifford Davis
Apr 3, 2015
Out of 117,117 canceled appointments from Jan 1, 2014, to March 1, 2015, the clinic canceled 59,661 of them, according to data provided by the VA through a Freedom of Information Act request made by the Times-Union.

In February, the assistant director of the North Florida/South Georgia VA Health System pointed to canceled appointments as a contributing factor in the Jacksonville clinic’s wait times, which are the worst for any major VA facility in the country.

What Nick Ross failed to mention was that the clinic — not patients — was responsible for canceling more than half of those appointments.

“We have a fairly high number of folks who either cancel their appointment or no-show, this accounting system really doesn’t take that into effect because it’s cumulative,” Ross said when presented with Jacksonville’s wait times.

Then, as now, roughly a quarter of veterans at the Jacksonville clinic don’t get seen within the VA’s 30-day target, more than seven percent higher any other major facility in the nation. “If you take that into account, technically speaking, we can’t do anything about that.”

The numbers tell another story.
read more here

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Airman in Mississippi For Surgery Killed By Truck

Jacksonville veteran dies at 22
First Coast News
Laura Caso
February 25, 2015

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A young Jacksonville veteran was killed hundreds of miles away from home over the weekend.

Melvin Dallas III, 22, was hit and killed by a tractor trailer late Sunday night.
Karan Dallas is Melvin's mother. She says she feels '"empty inside." It's the last word Isaiah could get out when we asked him to describe his older brother. Melvin was in Mississippi for an eye surgery at the Air Force base there, but he never made it to surgery day.
read more here

Friday, January 30, 2015

Remains of Army Air Forces 1st Lt. James F. Gatlin of Jacksonville Home

Remains of fallen Florida aviator make it home after 70 years 
Tampa Bay Times
By Josh Solomon
Times Staff Writer
January 28, 2015
Four generations of a family gathered on the tarmac of Tampa International Airport Wednesday to welcome home the remains of a long-lost relative.

Nearly 70 years after being shot down over Germany during World War II, U.S. Army Air Forces 1st Lt. James F. Gatlin of Jacksonville was coming home. "We've been waiting for this to happen," said Janda Fussell, 45, of Lithia, granddaughter of Gatlin's oldest surviving first cousin, Wilma Gatlin Shiver, 89.

Fussell never met Gatlin, obviously, but when she read about him and his death, she said she wept. 

"Even though we didn't know him, we've sort of invested ourselves in him. Especially since he was such a hero." Gatlin was co-piloting a B-26C Marauder on Dec. 23, 1944, when German fighters intercepted the plane on its way back from a bombing mission and shot it.

The plane caught fire and crashed near Ahrweiler, a west-German town, south of Cologne and west of Frankfurt, killing Gatlin. He was 25. read more here