News

UNF students urging lawmakers not to hike tuition

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Students at the 11 schools in the State University System of Florida are rallying together to try to keep tuition from going up next year. Florida law allows a 15% tuition increase, and for the past several years it has gone up.

"I struggle to pay for it every semester," said University of North Florida student Amanda Weimar.

The 19-year-old junior is hoping to graduate with a degree in psychology, but if the cost of tuition keeps going up, she said she may not be able to afford it.

"It really is a big deal right now because I'm struggling to pay for my books this semester."

Owner of new home: "I have mold, puddles on my windows"

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Dense condensation on the windows and mold growing on the walls. Those are just two issues that a Jacksonville woman said are wrong with her brand new home. She called the On Your Side team for help.

"This was a place to retire and enjoy. I'm not enjoying it," Denise Criscitiello said.

It is a home at the Sweetwater subdivision that Criscitiello moved into in November 2011 from New York. She expected happiness.

"No, I'm not happy. It's a brand new home," she said. "I came here not to have things to do. I don't really feel like wiping windows everyday."

She claims condensation forms on and near the windows.

"I have mold and puddles on my windows," Criscitiello said "Puddles like you took glasses of water and poured them on there."

Can a trillion dollar coin help with national debt?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's a suggestion so radical, one Congressman plans to introduce a bill to block it.  There are some proposals out there to solve our national debt crisis with a coin.

Nenad Djondric knows coins.  He owns A Penny for Your Thoughts Coin Shop in Jacksonville.  So we took this proposal of creating a one trillion dollar platinum coin to help pay down the nation's more than 16 trillion dollar debt directly to the expert on precious metals. 

"It's nonsense.  It's just not possible to do," Djondric suggested.

A New Year means new laws for Florida drivers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- It is a new year in the Sunshine State and on Florida's roadways there are some new laws in effect.

To start, say you want to flash your headlights to warn other drivers about nearby police.

"Just to alert," said Kim Rolfe, of Jacksonville. "It's just a courtesy to let other driver's know 'Hey, you're about to pass a cop.'"

Before the new year, that was illegal in Florida.

"I did not know that that was illegal!" Rolfe shouted with a laugh. "I thought I was just doing something nice for my fellow drivers!"

As of January 1, 2013, it's now legal, after the state legislature cleared up the law.

"So, it could be a good law to aide in safety," William Lee, of St. Augustine, said Tuesday morning. "So, I think it's good."

If you're ever in an accident, there's another law you should know about. It's about the personal injury protection (PIP) portion of your Florida policy.

Deployed father surprises five-year-old daughter with homecoming

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Many of our military men and women will spend the holidays serving the country and away from family. However, that won't be the case for one First Coast man.

Stationed on the USS Hue City, Navy Petty Officer Second Class John Legezdh had been out to sea since June. He wasn't supposed to be home until March 2013, but an early homecoming meant a Christmas surprise for his five-year-old daughter, Brianna.

"I haven't been able to hold her for six months," says Legezdh. "She did her Santa letter and I was the first thing: 'Bring daddy home.'"

This would have been the first Christmas Brianna would have spent without her daddy, but an unexpected change in plans during his deployment overseas made her wish come true.

First Coast Gears: Cars & Coffee, Big George show

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A dreary day couldn't keep car and motorcyclist enthusiasts away from the 4th Annual Big George Car and Bike Show last Saturday. The annual event honored the life and memory of George Wolfe, a guy that loved hot rods, bikes, loud music, food and being surrounded by folks having fun.

Held at Adamec Harley-Davidson on Baymeadows, music was provided by Rip Currents while local car clubs brought along their rides.

Among the modern classics was Oscar Toledo's 2010 Dodge Challenger, which he's customized with a Christian motif. "Well my Challenger, I use it as a way to get people to know God and to give them Bibles for those that don't have any. Not just for adults but also for kids," said Toledo.

The engine bay features a dress-up kit that Toledo purchased online. He then had a Middleburg fireman paint it with crosses.

Other custom touches include a custom hidden headlights grille, LED lighting throughout and a monster sound system.

Who's the "good samaritan" in Jordan Davis' killing?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Many times when crimes are committed, witnesses choose to turn a blind eye or don't want to get involved. Fortunately that was not the case on November 23, the night Jordan Davis was shot at the Gate gas station parking lot on Southside Boulevard and Baymeadows Road.

An individual referred to only as "the witness" in a police report from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office allegedly, "observed the white male drive away in a dark colored Volkswagen." The witness also provided authorities with the Florida license plate number that traced back to the suspect, Michael Dunn.

A statement from the Law Office of John M. Phillips, who has been hired by the family of Jordan Davis, simply said, "The family appreciates the outpouring of prayer, love and support and is especially thankful for the good samaritan that helped apprehend the man that murdered their son."