Council withdraws bill to reimburse city employees traveling for ‘treatment related to reproductive rights’
The Jacksonville City Council on Tuesday evening voting unanimously to withdraw legislation that was aimed at creating a reimbursement option for city employees who travel for “medical treatments related to reproductive rights.”
Bill to reimburse city employees who travel for ‘medical treatment related to reproductive rights’ to be introduced at council meeting
Proposed legislation that would create a reimbursement option for city employees who travel for “medical treatments related to reproductive rights” will be introduced at the Jacksonville City Council meeting on Tuesday.
Councilman discusses proposal to reimburse city employees who travel for ‘medical treatment related to reproductive rights’
Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Gaffney held a news conference Monday on proposed legislation that would create a reimbursement option for city employees who travel for “medical treatments related to reproductive rights.”
City council member wants to reimburse city employees who travel for ‘medical treatment related to reproductive rights’
City Councilman Reggie Gaffney has proposed legislation that would create a reimbursement option for city employees who travel for "medical treatments related to reproductive rights."
Councilman Gaffney defends $500K in federal funds recieved by his nonprofit
A Jacksonville city councilman who has come under fire for accepting nearly half a million dollars in federal COVID-19 relief money from the council to help run his not-for-profit organization spoke publicly for the first time Monday about the controversy.
Discussion continues about how to demolish vacant Berkman II building
We’re hearing that there is a change in plans on how to take down the vacant Berkman II in downtown. Earlier this weekend, the city temporarily shut down Bay Street and the Riverwalk due to structural concerns associated with the demolition.
Inspectors descend on Eastside complexes where ‘life-threatening’ conditions have been reported
Less than a week after it was revealed that two Eastside apartment complexes had failed miserably in their recent Department of Housing and Urban Development inspections, city and HUD inspectors were at the properties to investigate conditions again.
Gaffney mulls requiring fences for ponds in new communities after child’s death
Hours after the body of 4-year-old Gavin Douyon was found in a retention pond in a Northside neighborhood, Jacksonville councilman Reggie Gaffney promised to explore the possibility of passing legislation that would mandate fences be added around retention ponds for new planned communities.
Farm Share distributing food at 4 events around Jacksonville area Saturday
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Farm Share, one of Florida’s leading food nonprofits, is distributing food to food-insecure Floridians in the Jacksonville area on Saturday. We have heard from many of you that these events have become a lifeline, particularly during the pandemic. Recipients will receive fresh produce and non-perishable canned goods. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, distributions are drive-thru only to minimize contact and ensure the safety of all parties, and attendees must wear a mask and arrive in a vehicle with a trunk or cargo bed. Abess Park Elementary SchoolWHEN: 8:30 a.m. until supplies lastWHERE: 12731 Abess Blvd., Jacksonville, 32225Grace Baptist Church of East SpringfieldWHEN: 9 a.m. until supplies lastWHERE: Kooker Park Parking Lot, Between E 21st St. and Bennett St., Jacksonville, 32206Distribution with Councilman Reggie Gaffney & Councilman Sam NewbyWHEN: 9:30 a.m. until supplies lastWHERE: 12263 Sago Ave. W, Jacksonville, 32218Lions Club of ArlingtonWHEN: 10 a.m. until supplies lastWHERE: 6523 Commerce St., Jacksonville, 32211
Farm Share sets 3 food distributions this week
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Farm Share announces plans to distribute food in the Jacksonville area later this week. Farm Share currently serves all 67 counties in Florida. AdSince its inception, Farm Share has distributed nationally more than 707 million pounds of food with a value of more than $1.3 billion. In 2020 alone, Farm Share distributed more than 104 million pounds of food and served more than 86 million meals to Floridians. For more information about Farm Share, visit FarmShare.org.
Council members: Lot J can be a ‘game changer’
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A group of African-American community and faith leaders shared their support for the Lot J development project in a news conference Wednesday morning outside City Hall. “There have been so many negative things said about Lot J, but this is a game-changer for Jacksonville,” City Councilman Reggie Gaffney said. But the group gathered Wednesday pushed back against those claims, saying the Lot J project is an investment in Jacksonville’s Eastside and is in the best interest of the city -- and all of Northeast Florida. “Long term, it’s going to enhance the city of Jacksonville and surrounding areas because as Lot J grows, other opportunities are going to follow,” Gaffney said. “I believe that Lot J can be a game-changer for ALL of Jacksonville,” Newby said.
Displaced Gold Rush Inn residents getting help from city
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – People staying at the Gold Rush Inn on Harts Road were caught off guard Wednesday when news broke the state was shutting the motel down. He said he is getting help in the form of a $1,200 voucher from the city. City and state officials say they did the right thing due to the unsafe conditions. Gaffney promised to help residents who find themselves displaced, though concrete details weren’t immediately released. But according to the city, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and city services teams have been on-site, working with residents to figure out their options.
State shuts down troubled Jacksonville motel
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville motel that has been a magnet for violent crime, including eight deadly shootings this year, has been shut down. He noted that the city is giving motel residents until Thursday to clear out, and they’ll be given assistance. “I think we could’ve declared this a public nuisance under a city ordinance sometime ago,” State Sen. Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville told News4Jax on Wednesday. While news of the motel’s emergency closure was met with applause on Wednesday morning’s Zoom call, not everyone was thrilled about it. It’s unclear exactly how many residents will be affected by the emergency closure, or how long the closure is expected to last.
Northside’s city councilman calls - again - for crime-plagued motel to be shut down
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – City Councilman Reggie Gaffney is renewing his call for the Gold Rush Inn on Harts Road to be closed after a shooting there on Sunday evening. “I go to bed praying every night that nothing happens on Harts Road at this hotel,” Gaffney said. “They have reached out to the sheriff they have reached out to the city,” Gaffney said of the response by the Department of Business Professional Regulation. News4Jax went door-to-door and called asking to speak with the managers of the three hotels on Harts Road: the Gold Rush Inn, the River City Inn and the Red Roof Inn. JSO says they killed each other when an argument escalated, later saying a 26-year old man killed Dario Martinez in self-defense.
Community outrage grows after another shooting at Northside Jacksonville hotel
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Police are investigating another shooting at the Golden Rush Inn on Harts Road. Community members have called for the hotel to be shut down after hundreds of incidents and there this year alone. Many of seven fatal shootings on Harts Road this year are connected to the hotel. After Sunday’s night’s shooting, Jacksonville Councilman Reggie Gaffney renewed his calls for shut down. I think the landlord knows that, the whole community knows that, you can ask any person that lives on the Northside of town.
Is City Council ready to make Lot J project a reality?
City Council president Tommy Hazouri deferred the vote on the Lot J bill last week and said he’d like to see a final vote Jan. 12. At Friday’s meeting, City Council members got answers to questions and concerns that the council auditor has regarding the deal. The majority of them have been addressed and those in attendance said they feel confident that the Lot J project will move forward. Those in favor of the Lot J project say it’ll bring jobs, boost Jacksonville’s economy, and lead to a thriving downtown. Councilman Garrett Dennis said this week he supports the Lot J project, but also said no decision should be rushed without making sure all questions have been answered.
Lot J plans on hold, key element missing for $445 million project
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The $445 million entertainment project at Lot J is on hold. But the plan was missing a key element when it was introduced to the Jacksonville City Council Tuesday night — the details of the parking garage agreement. The city plans to put more than $208 million into the project which the city would have to borrow. It would be used to construct an elaborate entertainment zone which would include a new hotel, restaurants, bars and a live entertainment complex on and near the current Lot J parking lot. The lawyers negotiating this deal and the City Council that is evaluating it decided it’s in the best interest of the public to introduce the legislation at a subsequent City Council meeting.
City Council issues ordinance to rename Jacksonvilles Confederate Park
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. The Jacksonville City Council has introduced legislation to change the name of Confederate Park to Springfield Park. The ordinance was introduced by District 7 Councilman Reggie Gaffney. The park was first named Dignan Park in 1907 after a chairman of the Board of Public Works. The city renamed the park in 1914 after the United Confederate Veterans chose Jacksonville as the site for their annual reunion. According to the ordinance, the Council found that under current circumstances it is appropriate to rename the park.
Some Jacksonville organizations not looking forward to influx of people during convention
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. City leaders are busy preparing for President Trump to visit the River City in August, when hell accept the nomination of the Republican Party for a second term as president. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry spoke about the city hosting the convention while on Fox News Saturday. We demonstrated a month ago we can put on events.On Friday, Curry called it a tremendous opportunity for economic development. But some people, like Willa Durham with Second Coming Second Chance Ministry, are not looking forward to the event. The church is just north of the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, where the president will give his speech. After Florida-Georgia, we have to get up at 4 oclock to come clean the streets up for us to have church, Graham said.
Announcement expected on new grocery store in Brentwood, notorious food desert area
JACKSONVILLE, Fla – City leaders and representatives for Winn-Dixie are expected to discuss it's new location in the Brentwood neighborhood on Wednesday morning. NEW STORY: Open for details of Wednesday’s eventThe grocery chain is taking over the old Publix building in the Gateway Town Center. The store is currently being renovated and remodeled, but until it opens its doors, residents in the area are living in a food desert. To make sure residents have access to fresh food, Gaffney said Feeding Northeast Florida and Farm Share are teaming up to distribute free food to about 300 residents every week. The press conference is scheduled for 8 a.m. at the Gateway Town Center.
Winn-Dixie will replace Publix in Brentwood, councilman says
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville City Council member Reggie Gaffney announced Wednesday that he expects Winn-Dixie will replace Publix in the Gateway Shopping Center in Brentwood after Publix closes Dec. 28. “While Publix may be leaving, it creates an opportunity for other grocery stores to build a new relationship with the good people in Brentwood,” Gaffney said in a news release. I am excited to have a grocery store who wants to be in District 7.”Gaffney said Winn-Dixie could open in early 2020. Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. has requested $850,000 in city financial incentives to open the store, the Jacksonville Daily Record reported. Residents and city leaders worried that the closure of Publix would create a food desert because the next closest supermarket is about a mile away.
Councilman: Winn-Dixie interested in taking over Publix space at Gateway
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As the Publix grocery store at the Gateway Town Center is set to close Dec. 28, a city councilman wants people living in the community not to panic. After nearly two decades on the Northside, Publix officials announced the closure of the Gateway Town Center supermarket last month after deciding not to renew the lease. He said Winn-Dixie is one grocery chain interested in taking Publix's place. According to the Daily Record, Rowes IGA Supermarket owner Rob Rowe told The Daily Record he will not take over the Publix space at Gateway Town Center because he could not agree on lease terms. Rowe later confirmed to News4Jax that Rowe's won't take over the Publix, saying the rent was too high.
City gets creative to help fill void left by Publix closing
Wendland said he's now looking at possibly bringing a new grocery store into the space to replace Publix, but that takes time. "People with transportation could get steeply discounted rides to and from the grocery store," he said. Also in the mix is the possibility of teaming up with Feeding Northeast Florida to bring residents fresh food via "mobile market." The city does have money available to incentivize new grocery stores to rent the space in food deserts like the one created by the Publix closing. Earlier this year, City Council adopted a new full-service grocery program that appropriated $3 million for grocery stores and healthy options education.
Portion of Riverwalk near Jacksonville Landing reopens
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The portion of the Riverwalk near the Jacksonville Landing has reopened, the city announced Friday. "The Riverwalk in front of the Jacksonville Landing is back open. As a demolition crew began to tear down the downtown Jacksonville Landing, News4Jax reported Tuesday that bricks along the Riverwalk had started to crumble, leaving holes in the walkway. Staff members with Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Gaffney's office came out to the Riverwalk, which is in Gaffney's district. By Tuesday evening, a fence, blocking off a part of the Riverwalk near the Landing, had been set up to ensure safety.
With bricks crumbling, fence blocks off Riverwalk near Landing
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As a demolition crew begins to tear down the downtown Jacksonville Landing, there are still many who love to use the nearby Riverwalk along the St. Johns River. But some bricks along the Riverwalk have started to crumble, leaving holes in the walkway. To ensure safety, a fence has been set up, blocking off a part of the Riverwalk near the Landing until the cause of the crumbling can be determined, News4Jax has learned. By Tuesday evening, there was a fence up near the Landing for everyone's safety. Our cameras were there as staff members with Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Gaffney's office were there to look at the crumbling Riverwalk, which is in Gaffney's district.
Councilman: Reggie Brown, Katrina Brown 'have a good heart'
Katrina Brown was found guilty on all 37 counts she faced, and Reggie Brown was found guilty on 33 of 34 counts he faced. Councilman Reggie Gaffney wasn't expecting the trial to end as it did. After they were found guilty, both Katrina Brown and Reggie Brown maintained their innocence. "I had absolutely nothing to do with this," Reggie Brown told reporters as he left the courthouse. A jury determined Reggie Brown and Katrina Brown both used some of the money for personal use.