St. Augustine allowing parking on Francis Field on July 4

ID=29488117ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Parking is often an issue in downtown St. Augustine.

This weekend, St. Augustine will test a new parking plan in preparation for the city's big 450th anniversary celebration.

On Saturday, July 4 -- the single busiest day of the year in St. Augustine – the city will let people to park on Francis Field. It's the events field where festivals usually take place.

This is a rehearsal for the celebration because the city plans to use Francis Field next to the parking garage for parking for the 450th in September.

Hearing in D.C. yields few answers for local VA clinic

ID=29364825WASHINGTON, D.C. -- One day after a subcommittee hearing in D.C. made the St. Augustine VA clinic the poster child for issues plaguing clinics around the nation, St. Johns County assistant administrator Jerry Cameron told First Coast News no real solution was reached on Capitol Hill.

"The VA has continually told them that they're working through these things and that they're going to get it fixed," said Cameron. "What came out in the hearing yesterday was that it's not fixed."

$40 billion of national parks at risk from sea rise

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A rise in the sea level could impact $40 billion-worth of land at national parks.


That's according to a new report and one of the most expensive parks is right here on the First Coast.

The Castio de San Marcos in St. Augustine was built to protect the town from invasions and has never fallen, but decades from now pirates won't be the fort's major threat. It will be the ocean.

"The science tells us that within the next 100 to 150 years here in Florida that even up to one meter of sea level rise will create really a big problem for this area," said Steve Roberts with the National Park Service.

Governor Scott honors St. Johns County veterans


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- It was a packed house in St. Augustine as Governor Rick Scott made a special presentation to recognize the contributions to country made by veterans.

Scott presented the Governor's Veterans Service Award to 342 veterans by individually presenting each veteran their medal.

"We are clearly the most military veteran friendly state in the nation," said Scott following the 90 minute ceremony.

Tony McIntyre was among the vets who made the trip..

"I am overwhelmed right now," said McIntyre who served two tours in Vietnam. " I have not been overwhelmed since I left the military," said McIntyre.

Driver 'stable,' deputy unhurt after patrol car crash

ID=29144507ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A St. Johns County Sheriff's deputy escaped unscathed after a speeding car flipped over his patrol car Monday night, authorities said.

About 8:50 p.m., St. Augustine Police reported a driver that appeared to be speeding and driving recklessly in St. Augustine, putting deputies on the lookout, a spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office told First Coast News.

At some point near the intersection of West King Street and King Street, the driver was speeding. lost control and apparently flipped over a patrol car, spokesperson Chuck Mulligan said.

The driver, who has not been identified, was taken to Flagler Hospital in stable condition.

No injuries reported in St. Augustine plane incident

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- No one was hurt after a flight school plane had some kind of mishap and wound up on its nose at Northeast Florida Regional Airport in St. Augustine Thursday afternoon, authorities said.


It happened about 2 p.m., according to St. Johns County Fire Rescue. There was one person on board at the time, firefighters said.

First Coast News has reached out to the Federal Aviation Administration for more information. We'll update this developing story when we hear back.

Foresters: Three wildfires burning in St. Johns

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- Two wildfires merged into one as firefighters tried to gain the upper hand battling the blazes in the RiverTown area of St. Johns County.


What's now being called the RiverTown Fire has burned 84 acres and is 80% contained, Florida Forest Service spokesman Greg Dunn told First Coast News.

Dunn said flames crept as close as 400 yards to the nearest home.

A second fire in the Bombing Range area burned about 40 acres.

Monday night smoke continued to fill neighborhoods.