Searching for Ribault's shipwrecks

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The search is on for what could be the oldest French shipwrecked vessel in the New World.

A team from the St. Augustine Lighthouse is leading the charge.

A crew of marine archaeologists from St. Augustine just returned from the Canaveral coast line.

They are looking for the lost fleet of Jean Ribault, the Frenchman whose name is attached to Ribault High School and many other places around Jacksonville.

"This is something I've been think about since I was a little boy growing up in Jacksonville," Archaeologist Chuck Meide said Monday. He is talking about French colonist Ribault who was sent to help the French colonists in the New World. "When I became an archaeologist, I knew I wanted to find these ships."

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Man killed in apparent gas station electrocution

ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. -- One man is dead after an apparent work-related electrocution at a gas station in St. Augustine Beach.

Police Chief Robert Hardwick said the incident happened at an unspecified time on the roof of the Kangaroo Express in the 300 block of A1A Beach Boulevard.

An on-duty patrol officer, Hardwick said, noticed an unidentified truck in the business's parking lot and a latter going up one side of the building.

"The officer thought it to be suspicious because unfortunately that's how our criminals in St. Johns County have tried to gain access to businesses before," the chief said.

Hardwick said the officer checked with the on-duty gas station attendant, who reported no prior knowledge of the truck or latter's presence.

"There was a shift change. The clerk didn't come on until about 11, so they were unaware," he said.

Two dead in crash on I-95 in St. Johns County

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Authorities say two people died after their car veered off Interstate 95 in northeast Florida and hit a tree.

The Florida Highway Patrol reports that a Cadillac Eldorado was travelling north on I-95 in St. Johns County Monday evening when it swerved from the left lane onto an exit ramp.

The car left the road and hit the tree. The driver, 60-year-old Robert Lee Jones, and his passenger, 57-year-old Patricia Kim Newman-Jones, were both pronounced dead at the scene.


Former FSDB employee facing molestation charges

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A former employee of the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind is facing lewd or lascivious molestation charges.

According to court records, a sworn complaint against 26-year-old Amber Nicole Blackmer was filed June 6 and a warrant was issued a few days later. Blackmer was arrested on June 10 on charges of lewd and lascivious behavior following an alleged incident at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind.

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Documentary underway for St. Augustine's 450th

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla -- A documentary for St. Augustine's 450th birthday is in the filming process. Filmmakers aim to have it air on PBS next year.

The goal of the four-part documentary is to tell the history of America which predates Jamestown and Plymouth Rock. While many people on the First Coast know America's European roots have something to do with northeast Florida, many people around the county may not.

The documentary is called America: The Prequel, but the name could change by the time it hits the PBS airwaves, according to Tony Haines. He's the director of the project, and he is with Small Planet Productions out of Jacksonville Beach.

"It will be a television event," Haines said. "We were taught the wrong story about the founding of our country when we were growing up and going to school. This is supposed to set the record straight."

St. Johns County school buses not part of recall

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- St. Johns County learned Tuesday afternoon it does not have any of the school buses that are part of a nationwide recall.

That's according to Transportation Director Joe Purvis.

He and his staff were going through the bus inventory in St. Johns County.

Blue Bird is recalling more than 2,500 school buses and some transit buses to fix a problem that could make steering more difficult. The recall affects models made in 2011 or later, Purvis said.

Sheriff's worker critical after medical event on beach

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- An employee with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office is in critical condition after suffering a medical event and driving partially into the ocean.

Commander Chuck Mulligan said the incident happened early Saturday evening on a beach in the southern portion of the county.

Mulligan said the employee, who was on-duty doing beach patrol as a part-time public service assistant, was unable to maintain control of their vehicle because of the medical episode and drove slightly into the ocean.

Mulligan said witnesses rushed to free the individual from the vehicle before the St. Johns County Fire and Rescue Department arrived and took them to the hospital.

The PSA's condition is believed to be critical, Mulligan said, but the exact nature of what happened is not being released because of federal privacy law.