Comparing child care costs: Can you afford an Au Pair?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- How impressed were we, to walk into the Hardages' home in Riverside and hear 2-year-old blond-haired, blue-eyed Olivia speaking Chinese as well as she does English.

"She picked up the language so quickly," says Olivia's mom, beaming with pride.

"And we have Chen to thank for it!"

24-year-old Chen Zhang has been a fourth addition to the Hardage household for the past year-and-a-half.

"The benefits for our family are great," explains mom and dad, Charlie and Elizabeth Hardage.

Chen has her own room in the Hardage home, shares meals -- she's considered more a member of the family than merely an employee.

Chen is what's called an au pair: a childcare worker -- very often from overseas -- who lives and works in the home, in exchange for salary, room and board.

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SWAT callout: 1 suspect at large, 1 suspect in custody

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- One suspect is in custody and one suspect is at large after the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office SWAT team was called to a home early Friday morning.

Shawn Curtis Robinson, 23, was arrested on a county warrant for felony suspended
license, according to JSO Public Information Officer Shannon Hartley.

Deshawn Lamar Brown, 27, is still at large and wanted on a charge of aggravated domestic battery.

The situation began around 7:30 p.m. Thursday when JSO was trying to serve a warrant to Brown in the 2600 block of Gilmore Street, Hartley said.

The SWAT team was called to the home around 2 a.m., Hartley said. Robinson was also in the home and gave himself up early.

Three pops were heard by media at the scene and this was most likely the sound of tear gas canisters, which were fired into the residence at 5 a.m., Hartley said.

Apartment under renovation leaves mess and complaints

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Heather Boivin and Christina Acosta were surprised when the plumbers showed up to their Riverside apartment.

"No one told us in advance," said Boivin, "we had no prior notice."

They were there under the landlord's orders to re-plumb the entire building. They are replacing the water and sewer lines.

But the residents are complaining because it is noisy, and there's a lot of dust from the drywall being removed.

In Boivin's bedroom there's an exposed hole to where she can see the neighbor's bathroom on the first floor.

"This is crazy," she said," they have refused to put us up in a hotel."

Alex Rose is with the property management company, Locklear Realty.

"They have not asked for a hotel," said Rose.

Rose apologized for the inconvenience and said the property owner intends to reimburse half if not a full months rent to the tenants.

Jacksonville man wants 'sidewalk to nowhere' removed


JACKSONVILLE, Fla- It's broken up and it needs to go. A Jacksonville man is pushing to have a sidewalk near his home removed because he says it's in disrepair and no one uses it.

"It's literally where the sidewalk ends," said homeowner, Neil Bridgers "Nobody's really using this sidewalk."  

The sidewalk in front of his home is frustrating.

"You see where it's all cracked up because of the Oak trees?" he asked.

The uneven sidewalk is cracked and then it abruptly ends. Bridgers said it's been this way since he moved in about a year ago.

"I would rather have it removed," he said. "I don't want to sound like a mean person. If they want to fix it, then fix it, and that's fine."

Bridgers said it's even been painful.

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Some hospitals fire workers who refuse flu shots

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- What if your boss fired you because you didn't get a flu shot?  That's the new policy for some hospitals across the nation.  We did not find any hospitals in Jacksonville with that strict of policy.

Baptist South ER Nurse Kelley Costlow knows the importance of getting a flu shot.  "We see anywhere from 10 to 30 cases of flu-like systems every day," she said.

Backpack causes bomb squad incident and road closure

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A section of Riverside Avenue was closed mid-morning Wednesday due to a suspicious package in the 600 block of Riverside Avenue.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad responded to the incident, which turned out to be a backpack found in parking garage.

The JSO bomb squad X-rayed the backpack and determined it was not a threat.

Area roads were reopened around 11:05 a.m. following the incident.

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.