News

Driver crashes into stopped school bus


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A 20-year-old man is facing charges of careless driving after hitting a school bus Wednesday morning.

Jesse Helms attempted to pass traffic stopped for a school bus on State Road 13 by passing on the right, but instead hit a mail box and over corrected into the left side of the bus, according to a report from Florida Highway Patrol.

The school bus was carrying one passenger at the time of the crash and no injuries were reported.

The flashing lights on the school bus were activated at the time of the crash the report detailed.

Helms was cited for careless driving.


UF digs history and tourism for St. Augustine


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The University of Florida is hoping the millions of tourists who visit the Sunshine State each year will see more than the theme parks.

The school wants them to see St. Augustine as well.

Archaeologist Kathy Deagan has worked digs all over the Fountain of Youth park since the 1970s, but the current dig is blowing her mind.

"We almost can't believe it ourselves," Deagan beamed. "After 37 years of working here, and to find this now!"

This is the first time in 60 years anyone has dug this part of the park.

She and her team are finding discoloration in the soil in certain patterns, which indicates a fortification structure was on the site. It could possibly even have been a fort that no one knew about here, dating back to 1565 when Pedro Menendez settled and founded St. Augustine.

This discovery changes things, Deagan said.

Makeover for King Street in St. Augustine


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A small, busy road on the First Coast is about to undergo a makeover.

King Street in St. Augustine is scheduled for a drainage and streetscape project.

King St. is one of the main roads residents and visitors travel into downtown St. Augustine. Business owners along the street welcome the improvements.

The proposed project would run from Malaga Street to the Bridge of Lions. The improvements could include new street lights, better drainage, and putting the power lines underground. Some business owners hope additional parking could be a part of the improvements.

Pot Belly's Movie Theater to close in St. Augustine


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- An iconic movie theater on the First Coast is closing its doors.

After 36 years in business, the owners of Pot Belly's Movie Theater in St. Augustine are retiring.

For years it was the only movie theater in the old town.

It was also a place for owner Kenny Pierce to show off his massive collections of all kinds of things including movie memorabilia, lunch boxes, toy cars and model planes.

Owner Kenny Pierce says it's time he and his wife got some rest, and most of the collectibles will be sold at auction.

Pierce said, "I'm going to be 72 years old this Thursday. The kids couldn't handle all this. It's just too much stuff. What do you do? Do you store it? I've got two sheds already full of it!"

The auction will be Saturday, April 26
at Pot Belly's in St. Augustine.

Domestic dispute in St. Augustine ends with shooting


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A man is in critical condition after he was shot Sunday during a dispute in a St. Augustine subdivision.

According to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, a 29-year-old man was shot twice during a physical domestic disturbance at 12:30 a.m. in the Royal St. Augustine neighborhood.

The man was taken by air ambulance to UF Health and remains in critical condition.

According to SJCSO, a 59-year-old man involved in the incident fired the shots, but he was not arrested.

"At the present time probable cause did not exist to make an arrest and additional investigation will be required," the SJCSO said in a release.

Two females were also present during the altercation in the 500 block of Florida Club Blvd.

SJSO responding to deputy-involved shooting


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office is responding to a reported deputy-involved shooting in St. Augustine.

SJSO Chuck Mulligan says the incident took place on Colee Cove Road.

First Coast News is at the scene gathering more information.


Bicycle Crash Research Released in St. Augustine


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- In just a matter of days last week, there were three car vs. bicycle crashes in St. Augustine.

All this just before a planned meeting Monday to study what's really going on with bicycling in the nation's oldest city.

"Bicycles are a great way to get around. There's no doubt about it," Heather Neville said, a bicycle advocate in St. Augustine with a group called VeloFest.

"Riding a bike is a popular, easy, economic, healthy way to get around," she noted.

The City of St. Augustine agrees. It is placing more bicycle racks around the city and has issued press releases encouraging people to ride their bikes to local events such as the Rhythm and Ribs festival this past weekend.

However, Neville notes the number of crashes is going up, but so is the number of people riding bikes.