News

Police: Canadian man lures St. Augustine girl

MEDICINE HAT, Alberta -- A Canadian man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly luring a 12-year-old St. Augustine girl via email.

Daniel Russell Rand, 41, is charged with two counts of child luring, possession of child porn and accessing child porn, according to a release from the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT).

The girl's parents alerted the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office after discovering emails from Rand.

After hearing from the parents, SJSO contacted ALERT to get assistance in arresting Rand.

St. Augustine welcomes new Riverkeeper

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The Nation's Oldest City welcomed the country's newest Riverkeeper
Tuesday when Neil Armingeon announced he will be the new Matanzas Riverkeeper.

Armingeon, who served for eight years as the St. Johns Riverkeeper, says one of his chief priorities will be protecting the river's oyster beds, which are threatened by development, pollution and sea
level rise. Despite those threats, the southern Matanzas remains one of just
three local fisheries where shellfish may be safely harvested and consumed -- and one of just 13 in
the state.

Armingeon said he hoped to bring a new focus and energy
to local efforts to protect the 23-mile Matanzas.

Charlie Brown Christmas at December to Remember festival

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A festive performance Tuesday night at the St. Augustine amphitheater is part of the December to Remember festival.

The performance was a Charlie Brown Christmas. Jazz musician David Benoit, entertained the crowd with lively tunes from the Christmas classic.

Children also enjoyed getting their faces painted, plus elf village and dancing lights.

Visit the website to see other free performances planned for the month.

St. Augustine's fire protection rating improves

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The City of St. Augustine's fire protection rating has improved.  The recent improvement could impact insurance premiums.

Matt Cafiso and his wife, Susan, own Christe Blue in St. Augustine.

The news sounds good to him.

"We have items that are one of a kind," Matt explained. "That's what makes us different and that's why we're so happy about this report with the local fire department."

Christe Blue is a high-end consignment store and art business.

Last week, the St. Augustine Fire Department received its latest review from the Insurance Services Office or ISO.

St. Augustine spots up for Best Florida attraction

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Two spots in the Nation's Oldest City are vying for the title of Best Florida Attraction.

The Castillo de San Marcos and St. Augustine's Historic District are in the running for the 10 Best Reader's Choice awards.

Also in the running are Disney's Magic Kingdom, Sarasota's Ringling Museum and South Beach's Art Deco District.

Readers can vote once a day for their favorite nominee until December 23. Click here to cast your vote.

10 Best is a division of USA Today Travel. USA Today is owned by Gannett, which is the same parent company that owns First Coast 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.