Woman has severe burns after fire in her mobile home


ST. AUGUSTINE — An elderly woman living in a mobile home park was left with severe burns and smoke inhalation, according to authorities.

Maintenance workers rescued the woman from the burning trailer at 245 Wildwood Drive in the Moultrie Oaks mobile home park, officials said.

According to a neighbor, the community is very close. "She was in a wheelchair," he said of the victim. "Lived by herself."

"Three people busted through the door and got her out," Dean Stowell said, another neighbor. "Two of the maintenance workers and somebody else."

Another neighbor, a retired firefighter, said he grabbed a garden hose and started spraying the home. He was trying to protect the house next door, he said.

Stowell said that he heard the woman had burns over 40 percent of her body.

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Sand building up in Matanzas Inlet


ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Sand is slowly filling in portions of the Matanzas Inlet.

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That's according to water officials and people who live or play around the inlet.

So much sand has built up by the inlet, Jerry Dixon with the St. Augustine Port, Waterway, and Beach District said, "The inlet has deteriorated drastically over the last 5 years."

"Something's going on," Bill O'Neill said. He fishes on the bridge over the Matanzas Inlet. He noticed the sand building up in the inlet too.

One of the sandbars just East of the bridge has grown so much that some people call it "the island." It is visible even during high tide.

Bridge of Lions getting two new lions


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The Bridge of Lions is receiving a new pair of statutes on Anastasia Island.

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The two lion statutes are the largest single, private donation to St. Augustine in honor of the city's 450th Anniversary. The gift comes from Wolfgang and Miki Schau.

"With the lions, we want to express our love to the city of St. Augustine as we express our love to each other. More details about this love story may be disclosed during the unveiling," Wolfgang said.

St. Johns County School Board passes tax hike


ID=29548179ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla -- St. Johns County is one of fastest growing counties in Florida and hundreds of families are moving there because of the public schools.

On Tuesday, the St. Johns County School Board unanimously passed a measure to support sending a half cent sales tax increase to build more schools before the county commission.

"We specifically moved back to St. Johns County for the schools," said Kristin Thomas.

Thomas grew up in St. Augustine and now has children. Like others, she moved to St. Johns County from out of state so that her children can attend top rated schools.

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St. Augustine allowing parking on Francis Field on July 4


ID=29488117ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Parking is often an issue in downtown St. Augustine.

This weekend, St. Augustine will test a new parking plan in preparation for the city's big 450th anniversary celebration.

On Saturday, July 4 -- the single busiest day of the year in St. Augustine – the city will let people to park on Francis Field. It's the events field where festivals usually take place.

This is a rehearsal for the celebration because the city plans to use Francis Field next to the parking garage for parking for the 450th in September.

Hearing in D.C. yields few answers for local VA clinic


ID=29364825WASHINGTON, D.C. -- One day after a subcommittee hearing in D.C. made the St. Augustine VA clinic the poster child for issues plaguing clinics around the nation, St. Johns County assistant administrator Jerry Cameron told First Coast News no real solution was reached on Capitol Hill.

"The VA has continually told them that they're working through these things and that they're going to get it fixed," said Cameron. "What came out in the hearing yesterday was that it's not fixed."

$40 billion of national parks at risk from sea rise


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A rise in the sea level could impact $40 billion-worth of land at national parks.

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That's according to a new report and one of the most expensive parks is right here on the First Coast.

The Castio de San Marcos in St. Augustine was built to protect the town from invasions and has never fallen, but decades from now pirates won't be the fort's major threat. It will be the ocean.

"The science tells us that within the next 100 to 150 years here in Florida that even up to one meter of sea level rise will create really a big problem for this area," said Steve Roberts with the National Park Service.