News

Pedestrian hit by vehicle Thursday night

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - A pedestrian was hit by a vehicle Thursday evening. The St. Augustine Fire Department and St. Johns Fire Rescue are investigating the incident.

According to Jeremy Robshaw with the St. Johns County Fire Rescue, the victim is being treated at UF Health and is in serious condition.

The incident occurred at the intersection of S. Ponce de Leon Boulevard and SR 207.

Florida School For The Deaf and Blind wins football national title

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- They've been playing football for 100 years at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, and it has been 34 years since their last Deaf National Championship.

Second year head coach Eric LeFors led his team to a one loss 2013 campaign, which included wins against both hearing teams as well as deaf teams from across the country.

They finished the year 9-1, winning their final game against the defending deaf champions, California School for the Deaf and Blind. 

"The last game was really the icing on the cake," LeFors said. 

He is also deaf, and played college football at Gallaudet. 

Last season he led the team to their first winning record in years, and said he knew he had something to build on for this year.

"After the first game I saw how the players played and their hearts, their commitment, we knew we could do more," he said.

SJC Sheriff's app aims to prevent crime

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A new cell phone application launched by the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office is offering a
more efficient way to get immediate information to users. 

Since the
app launched on Black Friday it already has over 2,000 engaged
users.

"It's a growing technology we are constantly working to change it, there's a lot of forward thinking with the technology," said Sergeant Catherine Payne of the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.

The app provides alerts to users about anything important or urgent incidents happening on the roads or in their neighborhoods that can be narrowed geographically. It's a one-way communicator right now, but the app also provides access to the Sheriff's Office Facebook page and other social media sites.

"We do receive tips through our social media through Facebook and the app ties all of our social media together as well as our website," said Payne.

Summer Haven River restoration inches closer

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- The Summer Haven River is one big step closer to being restored.

Currently, sand clogs the river in Southern St. Johns County.

Dee Parker's home is on the Summer Haven River, and she has lived there for 23 years.

When beach sand started choking the Summer Haven River, she and many others were heartbroken.

"It was devastating. Just devastating," Parker said.

So the news that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is in the final stage of approving a permit to restore the river makes her very happy.

"We're thrilled. We're excited," Parker smiled.

The river started sanding in five years ago when storms sent waves crashing through a sand dune on a nearby beach.  Since then, beach sand has slipped into the Summer Haven River, clogging it and turning riverfront homes into homes on the sand.

$6K reward in fatal hit-and-run investigation

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The reward for information in the hit-and-run that killed a 15-year-old girl has been increased to $6,000.

Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida has increased the reward to help find the driver of the vehicle that hit and killed Haley Smith on Nov. 16, according to a release from St. Johns County Sheriff's Office Media Relations Officer Kevin Kelshaw.

Smith was walking with two friends in the area of Kenton Morrison Road and Four Mile Road around 8:30 p.m. that night.

Erosion makes homeowners nervous

VILANO BEACH, Fla. -- Some rapid erosion in Vilano Beach has homeowners worried.

The nor'easters this autumn really pounded the coastline. People who live on or near the coast estimate that about 5- to 8-feet of sand dune just disappeared over the weekend.
Now some houses are much closer than they were to the edge of a cliff.

"We've never had as bad as this. This is the worst we've had it," Scott Pacetti said. He lives on Vilano Beach and his walkway to the beach is about to give way after feet of sand dune underneath it has eroded.

One neighborhood beach access point across from Boating Club Road used to slope down and there were stairs going down to the beach. However, now those stairs are gone and a 10- to 15-foot cliff is there instead.

Linda Dettlings said, "It's awful. It's devastation."

St. Augustine man sets sail for trip around the world

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A St. Augustine man is on his way toward setting a new world record.

Dr. Stanley Paris, 76, sailed off in his sailboat at 7 a.m. Monday from the St. Augustine City Marina.

His goal is to sail around the world, or 27,000 miles, alone in less than 150 days.

The current record is 150 days, six hours and one minute. Paris is aiming for between 120 or 130 days.

If Paris is successful, he will be the oldest person to hold the new record by six years.

The founder and chancellor of the University of St. Augustine also hope to be the first to successfully make this trip using no fossil fuels.

Paris has green technology like solar panels, wind turbines and hydro generators on board his 63'8'' sailing vessel.