Top Chef Cook-Off puts local restaurants to the test

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- If you like food and competition, World Golf Village is the place to be Thursday evening.

The Flavors of Florida's Historic Coast Top Chef Cook-Off will take place October 23rd from 6-9 p.m. at the Renaissance World Golf Village Resort.

It features tastings and culinary demonstrations from more than a dozen restaurants from around St. Johns County.

Chefs will prepare their signature dishes in front of you, and you get to taste all kinds of great food from around the county. Then you can cast your ballot for your favorite restaurant. The winner will a Flavors People's Choice Award.

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Ebola fears affect cost of cocoa and chocolate

ID=17323399ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Ebola fears are affecting something you may not expect: chocolate.

Cocoa prices are going up because a main source of cocoa sits next to Ebola-stricken countries.

This is impacting local business owners, such as Virginia Whetstone, who owns Whetstone Chocolates in St. Augustine.

She just placed an order for cocoa and the price had risen by two percent in just one week she said.

"The cocoa market is escalating," Whetstone said.

Archaeological dig unearths some of St. Augustine's oldest artifacts

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Discoveries are coming out of the dirt in St. Augustine.

At an archaeological dig, pieces of history are seeing the light of day for the first time in more than 400 years.

Carl Halbirt is the city's Archaeologist in St. Augustine. "These are some of the oldest artifacts we've ever found here in St. Augustine."

In the old city, whenever a landowner needs to do something that disturbs the dirt, Halbirt is called in to dig first in order to see if there's anything historically significant there.

For several weeks, he and a team of volunteers have been digging at the St. Augustine Art Association gallery on Marine Street, – which wants to create a new garden out front.

With excitement in his voice, Halbirt said, "This is a 16th century jackpot!"

Neighbors opposed to castle becoming events venue

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- An unusual looking building is at the center of a neighborhood and zoning debate in St. Augustine. The building looks like a castle and now neighbors are declaring war against it being turned into an events venue.

The castle at 100 Flagler Boulevard is one block away from Anastasia Boulevard. It used to be someone's home in the Davis Shores community. Now the new owner, Jake Firth, wants to turn it into a place for special functions. But many of the people who live around it don't want that to happen.

Firth said he bought the building known as the castle about a year ago.

Inside, the space is actually on the smaller side.

Firth showed off the interior which is under renovation and said, "This is the main room that is the castle. As you can see, it is not a huge hall that could fit hundreds of people."

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St. Johns County will blend two fire stations into one

ID=16944757ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Two fire stations -- located in one of the busiest parts of St. Augustine -- are about to merge to become one big fire station.

St. Johns County is doing it to save money and to replace buildings in disrepair.

Fire Station 5 in the St. Augustine South neighborhood is especially in poor shape, according to St. Johns County Fire Chief Carl Shank. The building is on the older side, dating back to the 80s. One of the main concerns is the metal support beams that are rusting. Shank said two engineering reports have shown Station 5 needs to be replaced.

Suspect connected to K-9's death is still on the loose

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office scaled back its intensive manhunt Tuesday evening for a suspect connected to a K-9's death. The man they are looking for is still on the run.

The front of the Sheriff's Office is adorned in mourning shrouds to mark the loss of a partner in law enforcement, K-9 Baron.

Commander Chuck Mulligan with the Sheriff's Office said deputies got a call about a disturbance near Twin Aspen Circle in the Twin Lakes neighborhood off of State Road 207 about 3:20 a.m. Tuesday.

Authorities dispatched a K-9 and its handler Deputy Farrah Ashe to the area to track the suspect, who ran off into the woods, they said

Answers sought in O'Connell death investigation

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Family and friends remembered Michelle O'Connell Monday.

It would've been her 29th birthday, so they gathered at the San Lorenzo Cemetery in St. Augustine where she's buried.