Additional lanes coming to the Fuller Warren

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) announced plans to widen the Fuller Warren Bridge to eight lanes. The expansion is slated to begin in 2016 and will be paid for with $136 million in funding FDOT secured for the project.

The project is expected to take three years to complete and includes changes to the flyover to I-10 West to Roosevelt Boulevard and will tie into to the ongoing Overland construction which is in the process of adding eight lanes.

Riverside and Avondale residents are concerned about the project having a negative impact on their neighborhoods. Some residents claim they had no knowledge of the project until it was announced by FDOT. Organizers of the Riverside Arts Market and the Riverside Merchants Association have also expressed concerns that the project could negatively impact local businesses.

FDOT plans to hold public meetings before making final decisions on the project.

Local high schools receive their new grades

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Nearly half of Florida's high schools are getting an A grade for the 2012-13 school year.

The grades released Wednesday by the Florida Department of Education show a slight increase in the number of A graded schools.

But the number of D and F rated schools also went up. There were eight high schools that received F grades as opposed to just three in 2012.

Police investigating reports of suspicious death

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is investigating reports of a suspicious death.

Police responded to St. Vincent's Medical Center Riverside to investigate further.

Stay with First Coast News for the latest on this developing story.

Duval Schools fall short in meeting class size

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Duval County schools made progress this year, but once again fell short of complying with mandated class size limits.

According to a head count conducted in October and analyzed by the Florida Department of Education, nearly 900 Duval County students are impacted by overcrowding.

The Florida Department of Education reported in Duval 1,075 classrooms, out of 21,000, exceed the class limit size.

In Florida, voters approved a class size amendment which states a maximum of 18 kids per pre-k classroom through the third grade, 22 students per class in grades four through eight and 25 students in grades nine through 12.

Duval County School Superintendent Nikolai Vitti says a year ago the district had 20% of classrooms out of compliance and now it is down to 5%. 

City Council votes to give taxpayer money to Unity Plaza

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville City Council President Bill Gulliford and council voted Tuesday night for the release of some taxpayer money to the developer of Unity Plaza.

The 17 to one vote is in favor of accepting documents presented by 220 Riverside developers proving they will spend at least $30 million on the project.

The Riverside Avenue project is a partnership between the city and the
developer, Hallmark Partners, which dates to 2007. Initially, the city committed almost $13 million, while the developer committed $90 million. That agreement was amended last year. The city's
costs increased to more than $17 million, while the developer's
investment was cut back to $30 million.

Suspect sought in Thursday evening robbery

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is searching for a suspect in a robbery that occurred the evening of December 5.

The unknown suspect entered the Sin City Shop at 819 Lomax Street with a gun and demanded money. When the suspect was given money, he ran east along Lomax St.

The suspect is described as 5'7", 160 pounds and at the time he was wearing a black shirt, shorts and hat.

Anyone who has any information about the location or the identity of this suspect is asked to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or email at To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward up to $3,000, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

Help homeless students through holidays

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- When you're a teenager and living in a homeless shelter, a lot goes through your mind.

"You don't want to tell your friends," said Sabon

But many of the teenagers we met who were living at the Sulzbacher Center homeless shelter made it clear than homelessness was not living in them.

These homeless students need help, like warm clothes and school supplies. That's where the First Coast News/I'm A Star HELPing Homeless Students initiative comes in.

Sabon, 17, is a a student at Englewood High.

"I'm doing fine, I have a 3.0 GPA," he said.