Schools Open Next Week, Be Cautious of Children

St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar is warning residents and visitors that with schools opening next week, drivers need to be cautious of children walking or riding to school or waiting at bus stops throughout the county.

Sheriff’s Office PSA’s and uniformed deputies will be dispatched to any areas where there may be traffic congestion in an effort to alleviate problems. In addition, deputies will be at school zones around the county to monitor those zones and to issue citations.

Smoky Conditions Could Impact Morning Commute

Smoky Conditions Could Impact Morning Commute

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Signs are up along JTB Monday morning warning drivers about smoky conditions in the area.

A large fire began burning Sunday afternoon in Jacksonville in the area of Hodges and J. Turner Butler Boulevard.

It is still smoky Monday morning, but it was not severely impacted visibility around 5 a.m. Our crew could not see flames or an orange glow from our live location, but our access is restricted because it's private property. 

According to Jacksonville Fire and Rescue, there are two fires burning on the Hodges' family property. Lightning started both fires late Sunday afternoon.

The fires are burning on private property. They're estimated to be about 200 acres. One fire is said to be threatening homes and barns.

At this time Division of Forestry officials say the fires are not under control..

Jacksonville Weekly Gas Price Update, July 18

Average retail gasoline prices in Jacksonville have risen 3.3 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.60/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has increased 3.0 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.67/g, according to gasoline price website

Florida Highway Patrol Releases Results from Holiday Enforcement Campaign

Florida Highway Patrol announced the preliminary results from the Patrol’s Independence Day holiday enforcement effort.  During the four-day heightened enforcement period, FHP increased the number of troopers patrolling Florida’s roadways. Auxiliary troopers augmented FHP’s force.

Two-Tier Gas Pricing Catching Customers Unaware

Two-Tier Gas Pricing Catching Customers Unaware

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- What gas customers see advertised may not be the price they pay at the pump.

It's because of something gas inspection experts call two-tier pricing.

In response to many questions from viewers about the different pricing, First Coast News asked why, if it's legal and what you can do about it.

Gas stations using two-tier pricing advertise one price for cash (or company-specific credit cards, such as Shell or Chevron), but display another price at the pump for credit cards.

"They just pull up to the pump to get their gas and then realize, 'Oh, they charged me more than what that sign said,'" explained Roberta Lawson, a supervisor for petroleum inspection in North Florida.

The practice is popular in South Florida but it's becoming more common on the First Coast, according to Lawson.

The reason stations do it may be because of steep vendor credit card fees.

AAA and Budweiser Partner to Provide Free Rides for the Tipsy

AAA and Budweiser Partner to Provide Free Rides for the Tipsy

Throughout Florida a number of programs offer free rides to individuals who have had too much to drink.

AAA and Budweiser offer a service called "Tow to Go"
that provides private party goers and licensed establishments a way to get people home safely. Adults in need of a ride can call 1-800-AAA-HELP. AAA will dispatch a tow truck and will take both the driver and the vehicle home, free of charge. This service is available throughout Florida - to both AAA members and non-members.

The free towing service is not only available on the 4th of July, but over the entire long weekend from July 1 through July 5.

According to FHP, Tow to Go removes the number one excuse for drunk driving - the intoxicated motorist not wanting to leave their car - by not only taking the driver home safely, but also their vehicle home safely too.

Expect Congested Waterways July Fourth Weekend

Expect Congested Waterways July Fourth Weekend

Nearly 1 million recreational vessels are registered in Florida, and thousands more are brought in by tourists each year to enjoy the state’s boating opportunities. Many thousands of these boats will be cruising the St. Johns River, the Intracoastal Waterway and the many popular lakes and rivers in the northeast and central part of the state while celebrating the July Fourth weekend.

Unfortunately, these busy holiday weekends too often end tragically for some boaters. And these tragedies are usually completely preventable.