Salazar Attends Inaugural Meeting of St. Augustine Commission

ST. AUGUSTINE, FL. -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today joined U.S. Senator Bill Nelson and U.S. Representative John Mica to kick off the inaugural meeting of the St. Augustine 450th Commemoration Commission.  The commission is charged with planning and developing a suitable celebration in 2015 to honor the 450th anniversary of the founding of the oldest continuously occupied European-established city in the continental United States.

Redistricting Meeting in Jacksonville Gets Heated

Redistricting Meeting in Jacksonville Gets Heated

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Tempers flared at Monday's redistricting meetings in Jacksonville.

"People are trying to take politics out of it, and you can't," said Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL).

The purpose of these meetings, 26 of them statewide, is for lawmakers to gather public input on the prickly issue of redrawing legislative and congressional districts.

"Everytime we do redistricting there is always lawsuits and litigation, but the important thing is that we have the opportunity to get it right," said Republican Rep. Will Weatherly.

By law, legislators can't draw the lines until January 2012, but as time marches on some are worried that there's not yet a plan for the new districts.

"On Election Day, people are going to stay home from the polls because they won't know what district they're in," said Duval County Democratic Party spokeswoman Billee Bussard.

Governor Rick Scott's Robocalls Anger Constituents

Governor Rick Scott's Robocalls Anger Constituents

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- We started hearing about the robocalls by Governor Rick Scott right after the budget passed in May.

Then a week later another call about wasteful spending, and the week after that the phone rang again.






"Hi, I'm Governor Rick Scott," the call begins.

For the past month, the calls have been coming to households all over the state, with Governor Scott touting his pre-recorded accomplishments.

"I'm calling to personally tell you about the state budget I signed," the call continues.

The Republican Party of Florida is funding the calls, which on average cost about two cents a piece. And while it won't disclose who the calls are targeting, a statement released says: "The party is committed to helping the Governor communicate his accomplishments directly to the voters of the state."

St. Augustine Accepts Money for Galimore Pool

St. Augustine Accepts Money for Galimore Pool

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - City commissioners voted unanimously Monday to accept $400,000 from St. Johns County and in exchange, take over management of the Galimore Center.

The county signed an interlocal agreement in 2002 to run both the pool and the community center for ten years. 

But in 2009, the pool was closed by the health department because of unsuitable conditions, including cracked tiles and a worn finish. 

County administrators decided to cancel their agreement with St. Augustine because of budget concerns effective October 2011.

"Because this was an obligation that was expiring, the county felt that it was best not to recommit ourselves to the ongoing expense of operating the pool," explained Karen Pan, county spokeswoman.

Now commissioners must decide what to do with the property. 

First Coast Republicans, Tea Partiers Weigh in on GOP Debate

First Coast Republicans, Tea Partiers Weigh in on GOP Debate

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  As seven of the Republican candidates for President of the United States squared off in the New Hampshire debate, dozens of First Coast Republicans and Tea Partiers looked on.

"I haven't quite made my mind up yet. I want to see what else is out there. I wanna hear what's going on," said Chuck Berlinghoff, a member of the First Coast Tea Party.

He has been looking forward to the Republican presidental debates and waiting for a candidate to earn his vote.

"I know what we've got now is wrong, and I just don't trust a lot of the ones running," he said.

Berlinghoff said he's been disappointed in his party's candidates lately, both nationally and here in Jacksonville.

"I don't think we had really good choices for the mayoral run we had here," he said.

So who would he be happy with?

Housing Funding For Low-Income Gets Chopped

Housing Funding For Low-Income Gets Chopped

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Mellerlee Bing sat happily on her new sturdy front porch Friday.

With a big smile, the senior citizen said, "I sat on this porch last night. It was hot [inside] and I put a chair out and sat on this porch."

Bing's porch is drastically different from the rest of her 600 square foot home in West Augustine.  Her father built the house in 1925 and much of it is rotting, termite-invested, and in dire need of repair.

St. Augustine Sculptor Recognized at FWC Meeting

At their June 8 meeting in World Golf Village, St. Augustine, commissioners of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recognized St. Augustine sculptor Pierre Pierce for his contributions to fish and wildlife conservation through his highly acclaimed marine artwork.