Man robs Belk store, punches employee

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A man walked into a local Belk store and stole several boxes of cologne on Saturday night. 

When an employee of the store confronted the suspect, he punched her in the face and fled the scene.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the crime occurred around 9 p.m. at the Belk Department store located near Ortega at 4535 Roosevelt Boulevard. 

JSO said an employee was working behind the cologne and perfume counter when the man wearing a blue shirt, blue pants and ball cap walked into the store.  

The suspect drove away in a gray Cadillac. 

Anyone who has information about should contact the JSO at 904-630-0500 or

To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

Avondale - Riverside Police Blotter - May 2013

5/16/ 2013 2:01 p.m. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office aggravated battery unit responded to a person being shot in the area.

According to a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office police report, when police arrived, the victim, Jermaine Coakley, 26, was at St. Vincent's Hospital.

He was taken in a white convertible Mustang by a witness. The victim was shot in the leg and has non-life threatening injuries, the report detailed. The identity of the suspect is unknown.

5/8/2013 11:30 a.m. JSO aggravated battery unit responded to the 1700 block of Whitner Street. No updates at this time.

RAP fundraiser opens doors in Riverside

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Several Jacksonville residents opened their homes Saturday to thousands of strangers.

The annual Spring Home Tour put on by Riverside-Avondale Preservation (RAP) let ticket holders get a glimpse into the history of Jacksonville.

Ten homes in the old Riverside neighborhood are on the tour and some of them are nearly one hundred years old. 

It's the biggest fundraiser of the year for RAP and Saturday the event sold all 3000 tickets, the most in the event's history.

The Spring Tour of homes continues on Sunday from noon until 5 p.m. 

Tickets are $20 for the tour. 

RAP promotes preservation of Riverside-Avondale and also works to draw new businesses to the area

Two dead in Friday night accident on Roosevelt Blvd

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says speed and not the rain played a major role in a deadly crash late Friday night that resulted in the death of two drivers.

Polce say the driver of a black Dodge Charger was speeding north on Roosevelt last night when he crossed the median near McDuff Avenue.

The Charger hit an on-coming Mazda, killing both drivers.

A passenger who was in the Charger was critically hurt and was transported to the hospital.

The JSO has not yet released the identities of those involved in the crash. First Coast News will pass on  that information as soon as it is released.

Firefighters extinguish fire at senior citizen high-rise

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Firefighters were able to subdue a small fire that broke out at a senior center apartment complex on Oak Street in Riverside Sunday afternoon.

Residents were evacuated from the Riverside Presbyterian Apartments when the blaze broke out, according to Batallion Chief Brady Rigdon with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department. The fire started on the 16th floor and the sprinklers in the building went off.

No injuries were reported by the fire department.

The apartment complex suffered significant smoke damage on the 16th floor along with water damage on 11 different floors caused by the sprinkler system, Rigdon said. Twenty-five units considered uninhabitable and residents are not being allowed back inside of the building at this time.

A 911 caller stated that an electrical strip in an apartment caused the fire, but investigators still haven't identified what specifically ignited the blaze. 

JTA proposing major changes to Riverside Trolley

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Riverside Trolley has some problems with ridership and that has the Jacksonville Transportation Authority proposing major changes.

The JTA said on average, 200 people a day pay $1.50 to catch the trolley from either Downtown or Riverside. Presently, trolley service is 13 hours a day with six trolleys on the road during the middle of the day.

The plan on the table is to slash hours and the number of trolleys.

The hours being considered are Monday-Friday between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.  

Saturday service would be eliminated, as well as service to the Duval County Courthouse during the week.

On Thursday, April 4, the JTA will hold meetings for public input at Florida State College of Jacksonville's Downtown campus in Room A-1068. The first meeting is set for 11 a.m. with an evening session beginning at 5:30 p.m.   

Lost and found: In search of a good Samaritan

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Darlene Moore's emotions have gone from nervous energy to pure joy.

She's one of the potentially thousands of people on this planet each day who misplace their wallet.

It stinks. 

"I had $200 in there," Moore said.

It's frustrating. 

"Along with all my ID and credit cards," she added.

But, for the most part, a lost wallet isn't really a news story.

Unless it's a major loss, typically we cancel our credit cards and go through the major pain of getting legal IDs renewed.

A lost wallet isn't a matter of life or death.

It typically leads to several days of inconvenience.

However, it's interesting to note the longer lasting emotion that comes with a found wallet, which is the case for Moore's missing bill fold.

"I'm just on a high because this all happened like 2 weeks ago, and I'm still elated about it," Moore said.