New Valve Replacement Therapy Offers Alternative to Open Heart Surgery

JACKSONVILLE, FLA - A revolutionary new heart treatment is offering new hope to patients considered ineligible for open heart surgery or at great risk of suffering serious surgical complications.

Known as Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), the minimally invasive procedure is now being used to treat patients suffering from severe aortic valve stenosis. One of the most common valve disease disorders, aortic stenosis typically results from aging, as calcium or scarring narrows and hardens the heart’s aortic valve. As blood flow through the valve becomes constricted, individuals may experience chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting and palpitations. For those with severe aortic stenosis, the condition can lead to congestive heart failure and even death.

One in four Floridians without health insurance

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In Duval County 145,000 people have no health insurance, Karen Hanna is one of them.

"I tried to blame my situation on the government or the place I retired from," said Hanna.

Hanna, a retired teacher, said even with a part time job, the cost of insurance is too much.

"When you're only getting one thousand dollars and 800 goes to insurance," she said. "I'm just living for Medicare."

Hanna, 63, is among the working and uninsured and turned to Volunteer in Medicine, a non profit, for her health care needs.

"If they weren't here I would be devastated," she said.

As long as you are working and meet VIM's income guidelines, the service is free. Mike Weinstein is CEO of Volunteer in Medicine.

"We see about 500 patients a month, 6000 a year," said Weinstein. "It has been like that for ten years." 

Retired teacher remembers March on Washington

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The pictures are faded by time, but not his memory of being in the crowd that hot summer day August 28, 1963.

"I remember Mahalia Jackson singing, and I remember Peter Paul and Mary because I had been in Vermont," said Cula Jackson. 

Jackson said he was returning from a YMCA summer camp in Vermont when his parents told him they were going to Washington.

"Of course I whined," said Jackson, "I had been away from home for weeks I was ready to go home.

For a 13-year-old, Washington was a long ways from Dublin, Georgia. Jackson said when he saw the crowd, it was overwhelming.

"I had never seen so many people in my life," he said, "I vividly remember the March, I remember it was hot."

Jackson said he found a shady spot under a line of trees near the Lincoln Memorial and that's where he stood. 

Overgrown tree raises questions about liability

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Dorothy Muller has lived in her Northwest Jacksonville home 57 years and watched the tree behind her property line become a major concern.

"I'm afraid it is going to fall on my home," said Muller, "but I don't know who owns it."

Muller said she contacted the business next door, the owner said it is not his tree. She even contacted the city but was told it is not the city's property.

"No one seem to own it, and I know it is not mine," said Muller.

This is a very common problem and there are some common guidelines to follow.

Why is it taking a year to fix a Riverside pothole?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- There is a barricade in the middle of Oak Street, a two lane
road in the Riverside community and Drew Johnson said it has been there way
too long.

"They just come out and put a barricade and forget about it," said Drew Johnson. "It is crazy we just got our tax notices and they're building a new pool at the stadium but can't fix potholes. It is pretty outrageous."

Johnson, a business owner and Riverside resident, said there are too many barricades in his community and nothing is being done.

On Belvedere Avenue, the yard of the month is being humiliated by a road cave in and another barricade.

"I got an email from the city that the Oak Street problem would be corrected in March. It is still there," said Johnson.

Business owners nearby said the barricade has been replaced several times because motorists keep hitting the structure. 

Local filmmakers pay tribute to "Big Star" in new documentary film

JACKSONVILLE, Fla -- The band called itself "Big Star" and their first album "#1 Record." In the end, the critically acclaimed band never reached the heights that most felt it should, breaking up after just three years, in 1974. 

But the band's sound helped shape alternative music for past three decades, and has influenced musicians as varied as M Ward, Cheap Trick and R.E.M. 

Big Star's lead singer, Alex Chilton is perhaps the best known band member. He led the Box Tops when he was just 16, singing their No. 1 hit, "The Letter." But it was his musical synergy with guitarist Chris Bell that most credit with carrying the Memphis band into the annals of rock history.

Concerns raised after San Marco flooding

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Flooding frustration. Some people in the San Marco Square area say it's a fact of life. Others say it's a concern, especially when you get pictures of flooding during a multimillion dollar renovation project.

"The streets were up to your ankles in certain places a little higher," said Mariah Back, who works in the square.

"Where the roads dip in," Tristen Cash, who also works in the square, said. "It was just standing water. It was just flooded."

At the Pizza Palace in San Marco Square is where you'll find freshly made pies and employee Cash. As the rain fell Sunday, she grew concerned.

"How am I going to get home?" she said Monday, with a laugh.

The pizza shop sits near the heart of the square and the $5 million construction project.