St. Augustine rolls out website to be more transparent

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- St. Augustine is trying to make it easier to find out where taxpayer money is really going.

On Monday, the city rolled out a new website in an effort to become more transparent.

It contains the city's expenses, revenue, the budget for the fiscal year, and how much has been spent so far.

Phone calls from Santa (from St. Johns County)

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Santa's making some phone calls this holiday season to children eight-years-old or younger – or those that still believe in Santa.

St. Johns County Parks and Recreation Department is hosting its annual 'Phone calls from Santa' event from December 8 through December 11 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. every night.

You can register your children from November 16 to December 4.

To register, click this link, fax registration forms to 904-209-0321, or email them to

You can even mail them to this address:

St. Johns County Parks and Recreation

2175 Mizell Road

St. Augustine, FL 32080

If you'd like more information, please call 904-209-0377.

St. Augustine website to launch new financial transparency feature

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — The City of St. Augustine is taking steps to become more transparent.

Starting on tomorrow, the city will add a new feature to its website.

It will be called the Citizen Transparency site.

On that site, you'll be able to view the city's financial information -- including expenses, revenues, and budget information.

Elderly couple escapes massive house fire in St. Augustine

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Firefighters were called to battle a blaze that erupted at a two-story house in the Wildwood Creek neighborhood St. Augustine Tuesday morning.ID=74682662

Eight to 10 crews consisting of more than 20 firefighters responded to the home located in the 3700 block of Arrowhead Drive near Winterhawk Drive about 3:15 a.m., according to Captain Andrew O'Quinn with St. Johns County Fire Rescue.

O'Quinn told First Coast News the couple inside was able to make it of the house uninjured despite flames engulfing a large portion of the home.

St. Augustine holds off on downtown flooding fix

ID=74665696ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Some St. Augustine residents say they want a faster fix for flooding in the city's downtown area.

On Monday evening, city commissioners discussed this request. The commission instead chose to wait on the residents' request. Still, they voted to move forward with a sea level rise project that could impact flooding plans in the future.

When it rains and there is a high tide in St. Augustine, Cordova Street and Grenada Street often flood. And so does the Corazon Cinema.

"Water has come into my lobby area and we've had to mop it out," said Karla Wagner, who owns the Corazon Cinema and Café.

Former Santa Maria Restaurant building up for demolition

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The Santa Maria Restaurant in downtown St. Augustine may soon see the wrecking ball.

The Santa Maria Restaurant has been closed for months. The new owner is asking the City of St. Augustine for permission to tear it down and build another restaurant in its place.

Just across the street from the Santa Maria is the Wescott House Bed and Breakfast.

Ryan Mosher, assistant manager at the Wescott, and the inn's owner would be happy to have the old Santa Maria demolished.

"That's perfectly fine," Mosher said. "As long as they rebuild it in a way where it looks appealing to St. Augustine."

The Santa Maria sold in March for $2.3 million, according to city documents. The restaurant at the end of a pier, next to the Bridge of Lions, has welcomed guests for decades.

Sewage spill is concerning boaters in St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — A sewage spill in St. Augustine is affecting the waterways.

The city put up signs to warn people about the sewage leak.

However, the people who live the closest to the water, like those on boats, said they wanted more than a sign.

Steve Moore lives on his boat at the English Landing Marina on the San Sebastian River in St. Augustine.

St. Augustine's Public Works Deputy Director Todd Grant said the ten inches of rain Thursday and Friday was too much for the old clay sewage pipes to handle. It's the second time this year there has been a sewage leak because of so much rain.

"And so as the gravity system backs up, it starts to leak out of manholes," Grant explained.