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.

Reach the Beach underway in St. Johns County

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The long holiday weekend ushered in a new program in St. Johns County called "Reach the Beach."

Free shuttles are running in two locations in the county to provide beach goers access to the beach when parking lots near the ocean fill up.

The shuttles ran from the St. Augustine Beach City Hall and in the Ponte Vedra area from the Ponte Vedra Concern Hall on A1A North. The service of free parking will continue through the weekend.

"Its hard to find a parking spot around here," said Misty Perdue who on July 4th was beach bound wrapping up her vacation from West Virginia.

By noon only a handful of people took advantage of the service in St. Augustine Beach. Signs did steer people to the free parking lot and shuttle service which the county plans to employ during summer holiday events.

Sea turtle season off to slow start in NE Florida

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) - Officials in northeast Florida say sea turtle season appears to be off to a slow start.

St. Johns County Habitat Conservation Section spokeswoman Tara Dodson says only 195 nests have been located so far this year, compared to 367 spotted by early July of 2013.

Dodson says a late summer could be behind the slow start, especially following a chilly April. Green turtle nesting is especially low.

The Florida Times-Union reports green turtle nesting occurs from June through late September. So far only two nests near Vilano Beach have been spotted.

Florida Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Annie Meylan says the results are mixed statewide. For northeast Florida the numbers are definitely lower this year.

Jury recommends death for man who killed student

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) - Northeast Florida jurors have recommended death for an escaped Louisiana inmate convicted of killing a Florida State graduate student.

A St. Johns County jury made the recommendation Thursday for Kentrell Johnson, who was previously convicted of first-degree murder and kidnapping.

A judge will make the final decision. Authorities say 29-year-old Vincent Binder was found death in an open field near Interstate 95 in April 2010 several weeks after he went missing.

Flagler College needs more dorm space

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Flagler College needs more dormitory space. It's not necessarily because the student population is growing, but because more students want to live on campus.

Freshmen at Flagler College have to live on campus, but the college president says more returning students are wanting to live on campus as well.

Dr. William Abare said the school has 50 more students than they have beds for in the fall semester.

President Abare said the students may realize the benefits on living close by such as food at the very nice cafeteria and the interaction with students. He added that the limited rental market may play a role as well.

Pedicabs and Segways face regulation in St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The City of St. Augustine is considering ways to regulate alternative forms of transportation in the city.

Keith Richardson owns St. Augustine Bike Rentals which also provides Segway tours and has pedicabs.

"I think they're trying to restrict the things tourists enjoy," Richardson noted.

He admits he doesn't know many specifics about the proposed ordinances but says he's curious how they could impact his business.

One ordinance takes up pedicabs and suggests restricting them from roads where the speed limit is higher than 35 miles per hour, Ron Brown said. He's City Attorney in St. Augustine.

He said there has also been an issue "where they pick-up people and where they drop off people."

Another ordinance regulates things called Sub 8's, little buses or oversized golf carts that carry fewer than 8 people.