Park problems leave residents looking for answers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Willowbranch Park is small and nestled between tall trees and residential properties near Cherry and Park streets. Apparently, the park is well used.

So why were the basketball nets and hoops removed? The park is in Jacksonville Councilman Jim Love's Riverside district.

"There were a lot of folks being noisy playing basketball, cuss words," said Love, "Also, they had loud music playing."

And that generated complaints from some who live near the park and when the councilman asked parks and recreation to review the situation, they had a solution.

"The parks department came up with the idea to take down some of the nets and hoops," said Love.

Love said it was a compromise to keep the park functional and control the crowd thus addressing complaints from residents.

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JSO looks for link between MoJo's and CVS shootings

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Tyler Lumley and his co-worker were cleaning the exhausts early Monday morning at MoJo No. 4 when he heard a gunshot. 

The single shot left Lumley's co-worker dead. 

RELATED: Man says he heard his coworker get robbed and shot

Earlier that night an armed robbery at a nearby CVS pharmacy left an employee at the store with a gunshot wound to his face. 

JSO investigators said it's possible that a string of robberies from over the weekend may be connected to Monday morning's robberies and shootings at two businesses.

On Wednesday JSO said it had not yet determined it the two incidents were connected but investigating to determine if the man who allegedly robbed the CVS, 24-year-old Herman Pickens, was responsible for the murder of 54-year-old Robert Sutton. 

Man says he heard his coworker get robbed and shot

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A man was shot and killed in an attempted robbery at an Avondale restaurant Monday morning -- and his co-worker heard the whole thing.

"I was sitting there just doing my job and next thing I know I hear some guy telling my partner to give him all his money," said Tyler Lumley.  

Lumley works for his dad's company, Ed Lumley's Exhaust Cleaning Service. Police are still withholding the identity of the victim, but Lumley said his partner was 53-year-old Robert Sutton.

They were cleaning equipment at Mojo No. 4 BBQ Restaurant on St. Johns Avenue around 3 a.m. when someone tried to rob his partner.

"Next thing I know, I hear a gun shot and my buddy hits the ground," said Lumley. 

Lumley said Sutton was outside pressure washing filters, but he was inside. When he heard the commotion he got under a countertop for what felt like 30 minutes. 

String of robberies leaves two dead in two days

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Sheriff's Office investigators said it's possible that a string of robberies from over the weekend may be connected to Monday morning's robberies and shootings at two businesses.

It started with an armed robbery at the bus stop just before 7 a.m. Sunday at Wesconnett Boulevard and Timuquana Road.

Police say a man was robbed, but wasn't harmed.

Then, just 200 feet away at the U.S. Post Office on Wesconnett Blvd., officers believe the same suspects demanded money from a man leaving the post office, but the victim ran, was chased down, and hit by the suspects' car. The victim was transported to Orange Park Medical Center in serious condition.

The crime spree didn't stop there. Police believe that while attempting to flee the scene, the suspects hit and killed a person on a bicycle near the 5600 block La Moya Avenue. The victim was identified as 56-year-old John T. Sikes.

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Photos released of armed robbery, shooting suspect

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Photos of an armed robbery suspect were released by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Monday morning.

The suspect is accused of going into a CVS Pharmacy in the 4400 block of San Juan Avenue around 3:15 a.m. June 8, showing a gun and demanding money. The suspect also allegedly shot a male employee in the head, according to a release from JSO.

The unidentified white male victim was grazed by a ricochet bullet and was treated and released from an area hospital.

The suspect was able to get away with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Less than an hour later, JSO was called to Mojo's BBQ in the 3500 block of St. Johns Avenue in Avondale.

An unidentified black male was shot and killed at Mojo's during what police called an armed robbery attempt. JSO said a suspect demanded cash before shooting the victim, who was an employee of subcontractor Ed Lumley's Exhaust Cleaning.

Your guide to First Coast 4th of July celebrations

Firework displays and events scheduled to celebrate the 4th of July holiday across the First Coast. Here's a list of the festivities:

Columbia County celebrates 4th of July

Clay County celebrates the 4th of July

Fernandina Beach celebrates 4th of July

Flagler County celebrates 4th of July

Neighborhood networking site taking off in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The first of its kind private social networking site for neighborhoods only is starting to take off in Jacksonville.

It is called, and it started last year in San Francisco.

Co-founder and CEO Nirav Tolia thought there should be an easier way for neighbors to connect.

He said, "Services like Facebook have shown us the value of connecting online with our friends and family. Why isn't there a service that helps us connect with people right out our front door?"

The idea behind is that neighbors can first connect online, then face to face.

Some neighborhoods have planned parties. Others help each other find lost pets, share contact information and even find a babysitter or orthodontist.

"We know that when neighbors start talking, good things happen," Tolia said.