News

St. Johns County continues to grow


ID=18609879ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- St. Johns County is seeing a steady increase in the number of new homes going up.

If you look at St. Johns County commission agendas recently, they are chock-full of new neighborhoods that need approval or existing neighborhoods that want to expand.

The sound of construction can be heard throughout many parts of St. Johns County.

Nocatee is one of those places.

Kelly Ray is the Marketing Director for The PARC Group which is developing the Nocatee area.

Hundreds paddle board to support HEAL


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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Not everyone on the First Coast was at the beach working on their tan this Labor Day.

About 200 people participated in the third annual Great Ponte Vedra Paddle at Mickler's Landing in Ponte Vedra Beach.

It's a fundraiser for HEAL, Healing Every Autistic Life, which supports local children and individuals living with autism and their families.

New schools to open under construction


ID=14113413PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Two new schools in St. Johns County won't be completely finished by the time students arrive on Monday.

Construction began early last year on Patriot Oaks Academy in the Durbin Crossing area and Valley Ridge Academy in Nocatee.

Both schools come with a price tag of more than $21 million and were included as part of the school district's five year facilities plan.

Approximately 1,000 pre-K through 7th grade students are expected to be enrolled in each school during their first years. Then, the schools will expand to include 8th graders beginning next year.

Ponce de Leon statue vandalized


SOUTH PONTE VEDRA, Fla. -- Juan Ponce de Leon's sword couldn't fend off the vandals who recently twisted it at the GTM Research Reserve in South Ponte Vedra.

The bronze statue of the Spanish explorer greets visitors who park at the GTM Research Reserve and walk to the beach.

"It's sad people can't respect something that was meant to be here to show and remember how this place was found," Carly Barber said as she walked to the beach.

Mickler's Landing drowning victim identified


PONTE VEDRA, Fla. – St. Johns County Fire Rescue responded to an unresponsive young male at Mickler's Landing Tuesday afternoon.

St. Johns County Marine Rescue lifeguards spotted 20-year-old Thai Quoc Pham, a United Kingdom citizen in distress shortly before 3 p.m.

It appeared that Pham got caught in a rip current and began to struggle in the water about 50 yards from the beach, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.

A lifeguard was able to reach Pham a short time later, however, he was already unresponsive when the lifeguard made contact.

Pham was pulled from the high surf and strong currents resulting from Hurricane Bertha and CPR was administered.

Pham was transported to Baptist Medical Center Beaches in critical condition and later passed away.

Police pull rattlesnake from Ponte Vedra beach


PONTE VEDRA, Fla. -- Some beach goers in Ponte Vedra got quite the surprise Sunday morning.

A ratttlesnake spotted in the middle of a parking lot between Mickler Beach and Guanna Park. Viewer Ron Sloan shared these pictures of what he says is four and a half foot long Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake with us.

He and his girlfriend were leaving the beach when he saw it curled up next to the boardwalk that leads to the parking lot from A1A.

Documenting coastline before and after Arthur


ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla -- There is the potential for erosion along the First Coast because of Arthur.

South Ponte Vedra Beach is a hot spot for erosion in St. Johns County, according to St. Johns County Engineer Press Tompkins.

Some of the homes that experienced severe erosion in the winter now have sea walls, and their owners are thankful for them.

Meanwhile, Tompkins foresees a minimal impact on the coastline.