Community Spirit

Hundreds Greet Jacksonville Sharks at JIA

Hundreds Greet Jacksonville Sharks at JIA

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Sharks are back in the River City as ArenaBowl XXIV champions. The team landed at the Jacksonville International Airport around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Hundreds of fans waited to greet them at the gate and erupted in cheers and applause when the team came into the terminal shortly before midnight.   

Jacksonville Sharks Head Coach Les Moss tells First Coast News he was blown away by the show of support. "This is great," said Moss. "This is great for Jacksonville and obviously our franchise. These fans are the best in the league."   

Jim Alabiso: 'I Just Take One Stroke at a Time'

Jim Alabiso: 'I Just Take One Stroke at a Time'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  Friends and family cheered as Jim Alabiso finished up a 3.5-mile swim across the St. Johns River.

"I think it's really great what he's doing," said his son James Alabiso.

Alabiso, a competitive open water swimmer, began his river journey in Fleming Island.  Two hours later, his white swim cap could be seen as he made his way into the dock at Walter Jones Historical Park in Mandarin.

"It was wonderful.  It was a lot choppier than I thought it would be, probably the windiest day that we've done this course," said Alabiso.

He was happy to make it to dry land after the long trip trailed by boats for safety.  It was on this same dock, five years ago, that Alabiso made a promise to himself.    

"At that point I said I'm gonna swim across this thing," he said.

But it ended up being more than just a solo swim.  Alabiso wants this to serve as a wake-up call to everyone.

Annual School Supply Drive About to Kickoff

Annual School Supply Drive About to Kickoff

Stuff the Bus, the annual First Coast News drive to collect school supplies for those in need is almost here.  In partnership with The Salvation Army, Publix, Community First Credit Union and The United Way, we encourage those who can help to do so by dropping off school suply donations.

Innovative Internships Open Job Opportunities For Floridians Overcoming Mental Illness

Floridians who have been treated for mental illnesses will have the opportunity to be employed by private businesses under a new partnership between the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Florida Department of Education’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR).


Twenty-five paid internships will be available within the next few months for persons who are ready to go to work as part of their treatment and recovery from serious mental illnesses. Typically the unemployment rate of adults with significant mental health issues is extremely high – around 80 percent.

Runners Band Together to Save Cross Country

Runners Band Together to Save Cross Country

ST. JOHNS, Fla. -- On Saturday morning, Bartram Trail High School hosted a special 5K race that brought runners together from all over the state.

Proceeds from the Save Cross Country 5K were donated to a fund that will benefit the sport of cross country in Duval County high schools.  Cross country is one of seven sports that might be eliminated next school year because of budget cuts.  The only way to save cross country, lacrosse, golf, tennis, wrestling, slow pitch softball, and J.V. soccer is to have enough money raised from donations from the private sector.

2011 Creekside High School graduate Jimmy Clark and 2011 Mandarin High School graduate Eduardo Garcia were co-winners of Saturday's race.  They both finished at the same time (17:26).

Clark was the 2010 Class 3A state champ in cross country and Garcia finished third in the 2010 Class 4A meet.  Both runners will compete at the University of Florida beginning in the fall.

Teen Financial Literacy Series at St. Johns County Public Library

The St. Johns County Public Library System is teaming up with the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants to offer another installment of the FREE Teen Financial Literacy Series. The one-day seminar is designed specifically for individual’s ages 15 to 20 and will be held at each branch of the Library between July 9th and August 13th.

Education Foundation’s Tutoring Program Receives Book Grant

Education Foundation’s Tutoring Program Receives Book Grant

The St. Johns County Education Foundation (SJCEF) received a donation of 14 boxes of books as part of the First Book National Book Bank of Jacksonville Grant. Totaling over 550 books, the SJCEF will distribute these books to the students enrolled in the SJCEF’s Supplemental Educational Services (SES) Program.