Whale washes ashore in Ponte Vedra

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- A humpback whale has washed ashore in Ponte Vedra Beach near Mickler's Landing.

According to Nadia Gordon with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the humpback whale is 31-feet long and badly decomposed.

A crew from FWC was collecting samples from the body Saturday afternoon, and plans to anchor the whale overnight in order to complete the autopsy Sunday.

Gordon said humpback whales wash ashore in northeast Florida about once every 1-2 years, so it is somewhat rare.

Friday in Jacksonville beach a dead dolphin washed ashore in Jacksonville Beach.

Breaking ground for assisted living in Ponte Vedra

PONTE VEDRA, Fla. -- A new assisted living facility and nursing home will be built at 405 Solana Road on a 4.5 acre lot in Ponte Vedra.

Friday, there was a ground breaking for the facility that will be called the Palms at Ponte Vedra.

It's located between TPC Sawgrass and the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club.

The new facility is expected to create 150 construction jobs and 100 permanent jobs when it is at capacity with senior residents.

Steve Sell is the Managing Partner with Solana Capital Ventures, the project's developer. He said he hopes the facility will fill a need in Ponte Vedra for quality senior care.

The $14.8 million project will include an
84,000 square foot building that will have two stories with 24 memory beds and 70 assisted living beds.

Mother says her child witnessed her classmate's accident at bus stop

UPDATE 3/27/14: Eight-year-old Grace Barmad was released from the hospital late Wednesday and diagnosed with a concussion. Her parents say she is very sore and has significant bruising all over her body.

Her mother and stepfather say she is in good spirits overall and feel fortunate because things could have been a lot worse.

Grace's stepfather, Ty Votaw, said this is a lesson to us all to be more mindful of school buses. Grace's mother said Grace is concerned about the 17-year-old who put her in the hospital as he was probably just as scared as she was.

Original story below:

8-year-old hit by car going around school bus

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- An 8-year-old Ocean Palms Elementary School student was hit by a car after getting off the school bus on Tuesday afternoon.

A 17-year-old driver is facing charges after he allegedly failed to stop as children were exiting a school bus in the 100 block of North Roscoe Boulevard at 3:20 p.m., according to a report from the Florida Highway Patrol.

The teen struck the 8-year-old girl and sent her to Wolfson Children's Hospital in serious condition, according to the FHP report and Jeremy Robshaw with St. Johns County Fire Rescue. First Coast News has reached out to Wolfson for a condition update on the child.

Social media tip yields arrest for ATM tampering

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- A woman was arrested after allegedly tampering with an ATM thanks to a tip from social media.

Emily Rosati Gravitt, 33, is charged with criminal mischief and attempted burglary to a business after she allegedly tried to force an automatic teller machine open at Regions Bank on Ponte Vedra Park Drive on Saturday.

According to a release from the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, a citizen was able to identify Gravitt after SJSO posted surveillance footage on its social media channels.

The citizen reported the tip to Northeast Florida Crime Stoppers and Gravitt was later arrested without incident.

Suspect leaves receipt with his name at crime scene

PONTE VEDRA, Fla. -- The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office has recovered several stolen items from a Ponte Vedra rental home.

Thomas Dousharm, III, 23, Santos Osorio, 26, and an 18-year-old Nicholas Aaron Kniat were arrested in connection with the burglary, according to a report from the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies were called to the rental home on Coastal Highway after the property manager noticed the home had been burglarized. A second floor window was unlocked, which is likely how the men allegedly got in.

According to the police report, a balled up piece of paper was found in the home. It was a Time Clock Report receipt with the name "Santos Osorio."

State: Ponte Vedra Beach is 'critically eroded'

SOUTH PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- The nor'easters pounded the First Coast last week, causing severe erosion along Ponte Vedra Beach.

Chuck Herklotz, his dog and his wife live in a small home on South Ponte Vedra Beach. He said, "We retired there 21 years ago."

Their back yard took a beating with last week's storms, washing away about 30 feet of back yard in a short period of time. "I'd say in about 5-6 days," Herklotz noted.

About nine other lots near his experienced erosion as well, although some not as severe.

The erosion has crumpled beach staircases, exposed pipes and left gates dangling.

Handyman Mark Ayers just extended a set of beach stairs in the fall when another round of nor'easters washed sand from under them.