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USDA predicts food price increase in 2013

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Prices at the grocery store are on the rise.  According to the USDA, the average family will be spending more in 2013.

It's a trip Katina Hick dreads.  The weekly stop at the grocery store.  She said she spent, "$187."

If you haven't yet felt the recent price spikes, you will soon.  In its 2013 predictions, the USDA believes every category of food will increase this year.  Fresh vegetables will shoot up 4 to 5 percent.  Dairy products up 3.5 to 4.5 percent.

Across all categories, the average hikes will be 3 to 4 percent, including food you buy at restaurants.  Because of that, Hick said, "I had to put some back actually, I had a basket, I had to go back because I couldn't afford it all."

A New Year means new laws for Florida drivers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- It is a new year in the Sunshine State and on Florida's roadways there are some new laws in effect.

To start, say you want to flash your headlights to warn other drivers about nearby police.

"Just to alert," said Kim Rolfe, of Jacksonville. "It's just a courtesy to let other driver's know 'Hey, you're about to pass a cop.'"

Before the new year, that was illegal in Florida.

"I did not know that that was illegal!" Rolfe shouted with a laugh. "I thought I was just doing something nice for my fellow drivers!"

As of January 1, 2013, it's now legal, after the state legislature cleared up the law.

"So, it could be a good law to aide in safety," William Lee, of St. Augustine, said Tuesday morning. "So, I think it's good."

If you're ever in an accident, there's another law you should know about. It's about the personal injury protection (PIP) portion of your Florida policy.

AAA predicts lower gas prices in 2013

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Average gas prices in 2012 were the highest they've ever been.  According to AAA, the average price for gas nationwide was $3.60 per gallon last year.  The study blames tensions in the Middle East, hurricanes and refinery outages for those record prices.

Analysts forecast gas prices should drop this year, but people say they are still recovering from paying high prices in 2012.

It's a ritual Paulette Viruet goes through at least once a week.  She said it costs her about $45 to fill up her minivan.  With four kids, and plenty of places to go, Viruet can't downsize to a small car. 

Missing St. Johns County man found in New York

FRUIT COVE, Fla. -- An elderly man who was last seen in the Fruit Cove area has been located safe in Elmira, N.Y.

Ronald Pariso, 77, was last seen in the 300 block of Blue Lake Road in the Julington Creek area Tuesday morning.

Pariso was found in good condition with relatives, according to a post on the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.

The Silver Alert for Pariso was canceled and his caregiver was notified.

SJSO seeks help locating missing man with dementia

JULINGTON CREEK, Fla. - The St. Johns Sheriff's Office is seeking the public's help locating a missing elderly man with dementia.

Ronald Pariso, 77, was last seen in the 300 block of Blue Lake Road in the Julington Creek area Tuesday morning, according to a release from the St. Johns Sheriff's Office.

Pariso is described by the SJSO as 5-feet-7 tall and about 143 pounds with grey hair. Pariso was last seen wearing a grey shirt, black pants, and white sneakers and was possibly carrying a suitcase.

Pariso, originally from Pennsylvania, now resides in Fruit Cove, according to the SJSO.

Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of this man is asked to contact the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office at (904) 824-8304 or 911, if it is an emergency situation.

Tech gifts that make great stocking stuffers

JACKSONVILLE,Fla. -- Smart accessories like game pieces and fitness devices are gadgets that can connect and communicate with your phone or tablet.

"We have gaming consoles," said Gretchen Schultz.

Schultz, who works for AT&T, rounded up a few smart accessories. One of the most popular this holiday season is the iGrill thermometer. 

"Whether you're an amateur or a professional, people love the iGrill thermometer," said Schultz. "When it reaches the right temperature it is going to send a notice to your wireless phones."

There's also a gadget to make you a gamer. The Moga Gaming controller turns your phone into a gaming console.

"You no longer do you need to carry a cell phone and a gaming device," said Schultz. "For fifty dollars, the Moga takes and makes your cell phone into a gaming console.

Bluetooth makes everything easy -- even listening to music on a small box with a big sound.

New customer questions JEA customer service

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Tackett family now has running water. A few days ago they did not.

"We had to fill water jugs at the gas station to flush the toilets," said Amanda Tackett.

On December 1st, they moved from Alabama to a rental home in St. Johns County. They're still unpacking and trying to get over what they call a bad experience with the JEA.

"I've never had this experience with a utility company," said Tackett.

Amanda Tackett said during the last week of November, they mailed copies of their lease agreement, their IDs, along with a deposit to the JEA. The check was sent to a different address for security reasons.

"We provided everything ... " said Tackett, "and nothing we did was good enough."

But Tackett claims JEA delayed the service connection because of a there was a delinquent service charge to the address, which had nothing to do with them.