On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

cloudy-day
78°
Isolated Thunderstorms
H 80° L 75°
  • cloudy-day
    78°
    Current Conditions
    Isolated Thunderstorms. H 80° L 75°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    86°
    Afternoon
    Isolated Thunderstorms. H 80° L 75°
  • cloudy-day
    84°
    Evening
    Cloudy. H 89° L 75°
Listen
Pause
Error

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Add Event

CoRK Arts District - North

Location

Add Event

The Latest News Headlines

  • More than 5.6 million people worldwide – including more than 1.6 million in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. While efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak continue, states have begun to shift their focus toward reopening their economies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Wednesday, May 27, continue below:  History in the making as House casts proxy votes in pandemic Update 11:10 p.m. EDT May 27: It was a day for the history books on Capitol Hill: For the first time, House lawmakers voted by proxy, an unprecedented move to avoid the risks of travel to Washington during the pandemic. To mark Wednesday’s history-making moment, House Republicans sued to stop the Democratic majority’s new system, in which absent lawmakers can instruct those present to vote on their behalf. The House rules change tries to strike a balance between working from home during the coronavirus outbreak and honoring the Constitution’s requirement to be “present” and voting. But it’s fast becoming a political test on party lines. More than 70 Democrats cast their vote by proxy. Twenty Republicans joined the lawsuit against the move, which House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy of California says is unconstitutional. “It’s a dereliction of duty,” McCarthy said. The House returned to Washington for an abbreviated two-day session as the city remains under stay home orders. The much smaller Senate is on recess after spending much of May in the capital. Deadlocked over the next big coronavirus relief bill, Congress is shifting its attention to a more modest overhaul of small-business aid in hopes of helping employers reopen shops and survive the pandemic. US judge refuses again to block Nevada’s mail-in primary Update 10:35 p.m. EDT May 27: A federal judge has again rejected a conservative voting rights group’s bid to block the mail-in primary election now under way in Nevada as part of an effort to guard against spread of the coronavirus at traditional polling places. U.S. District Judge Miranda Du said in a strongly worded opinion late Wednesday the Voters’ Rights Initiative’s “second proverbial bite at the apple is no more fruitful than the first.” The judge in Reno said she didn’t understand why the group essentially requested reconsideration of her earlier denial of a preliminary injunction to halt the June 9 election instead of appealing it to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, especially given that early voting began May 23. Ballots already have been mailed to voters statewide. Tens of thousands of voters have filled out their ballots and returned them through the mail to county election offices where many are being processed. Cheyenne Frontier Days canceled for 1st time in 124 years Update 9:55 p.m. EDT May 27: Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming was canceled Wednesday because of the coronavirus pandemic, marking the first time the event billed as the world’s largest outdoor rodeo has been called off in its 124-year history. City and state officials announced the decision. Event organizers decided the risk of spreading the virus was too great for the more than 140,000 people who visit the city for Frontier Days over the last two weeks in July, Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr told The Associated Press. “What this pandemic means is we just can’t come together,” Orr said. “We really have to stay apart so we can come together again sooner rather than later. It’s clear that we just aren’t going to be ready for this.” Frontier Days carried on through both world wars and the Great Depression, when tough finances prompted it to become a mostly volunteer-run event. NHL monitoring situation before choosing where to play games Update 8:55 p.m. EDT May 27: Concerns about Canadian coronavirus restrictions could push hockey south of the 49th parallel into the U.S. this summer. Seven of the 10 locations the NHL has zeroed in on to hold playoff games if it resumes are American cities not restricted by Canada’s 14-day mandatory quarantine upon arrival. As 24 teams figure out how to squeeze an expanded roster and limited personnel into one of two “hub” cities, the Vancouver Canucks are even considering relocating training camp to the U.S. if the situation doesn’t change in the coming weeks. “It’s something that we’re thinking about, but also too we just want to give it a few more days just to see if something is going to change,” Vancouver general manager Jim Benning said Wednesday. “The perfect scenario we’d like to use our facilities. We’re probably going to have 30, 32 guys here and we have great facilities for our players, so we would like to do that first and foremost. But we’ve talked about moving it off site.” Tennessee to halt sharing COVID-19 patient data Update 7:55 p.m. EDT May 27: Tennessee will soon stop providing the names and addresses of COVID-19 patients to first responders, after initially arguing that doing so would protect those on the front line. Gov. Bill Lee’s administration decided on the change this week, conceding that the data may have created a false sense of security to those responding to emergency calls. The data sharing will stop at the end of the month. The announcement follows an Associated Press review that found public officials in at least two-thirds of states are sharing the addresses of people who tested positive with first responders. A small handful of those states, including Tennessee at the time, also shared the patients’ names. Supporters argue that the information is vital to helping them take extra precautions to avoid contracting and spreading the coronavirus. Yet civil liberty and community activists have expressed repeated concerns of potential profiling in African American and Hispanic communities that already have an uneasy relationship with law enforcement. Nevada casinos start luring customers after opening date set Update 6:55 p.m. EDT May 27: Casinos from Lake Tahoe to Laughlin started announcing plans Wednesday to lure back customers beginning June 4, with one downtown Las Vegas hotel owner buying more than 1,000 one-way airline tickets to boost interest around the country. The promotions began the morning after Gov. Steve Sisolak lifted the casino shut-down order he imposed in mid-March to prevent people from spreading the coronavirus. “It’s on us,” Derek Stevens, owner of the D Las Vegas, Golden Gate Hotel & Casino and Circa Sports said in a 30-second video about his airline ticket giveaway that doesn’t require bookings at his properties. “Las Vegas needs you.” Not all properties will open at first and business will probably start slowly, said Virginia Valentine, president of the Nevada Resorts Association. Nightlife will be limited. Casino giant MGM Resorts said it will reopen its Bellagio, New York-New York and MGM Grand resorts, and its Signature gambling-free towers. Caesars Entertainment will reopen Caesars Palace and the Flamingo in Las Vegas and its Harrah’s properties in Lake Tahoe and Laughlin. The Cosmopolitan emphasized its open-air balconies over the Las Vegas Strip. 100,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 Update 5:55 p.m. EDT May 27: The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus has surpassed 100,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. According to the tally, there are at least 1,695,776 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus. Pro sports can resume in Pennsylvania, without spectators Update 5:30 p.m. EDT May 27: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday that professional sports teams and players are allowed to practice and play in counties that are in the yellow or green phase. According to a release from the governor’s office, professional sports are defined as “any sporting event at which the participants are paid by a league or team, or at which individuals or teams receive prizes or purse.” Sports affected by this new guidance include hockey, baseball, basketball, football, soccer, golf and tennis. Officials said players and teams are allowed to practice if the team or league has developed a COVID-19 safety plan. The plan, which must be approved by the Pa. Department of Health, includes several requirements such as testing or screening and monitoring of all “on-venue players and personnel.” Also, fans and spectators will not be allowed on the venue property for games. >> Read more here at WPXI.com. Republicans urge faster processing of unemployment claims Update 4:55 p.m. EDT May 27: Wisconsin Republicans sparred with leaders in Democratic Gov. Tony Evers administration at a sometimes heated legislative hearing Wednesday, faulting them for not doing enough to quickly process surging unemployment claims during the coronavirus pandemic. The hearing laid bare the partisan debate over who is to blame for the backlog of unprocessed claims. The unprecedented surge in unemployment claims caused by the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a more than quadrupling of Wisconsin’s unemployment rate to 14.1% in April, its highest since The Great Depression. The average number of weekly claims skyrocketed from 45,000 a week to 300,000. As of Saturday, 2.4 million claims had been received but only about 1.7 million had been processed, according to the Department of Workforce Development. Of the roughly 728,000 unpaid claims, about 11% were ineligible. Republicans accused DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman of not being prepared for the surge in claims and not doing enough when it arrived. MGM Resorts on Las Vegas Strip set to reopen in June Update 3:45 p.m. EDT May 27: Officials with MGM Resorts International on Wednesday announced they plan to reopen their casinos on the Las Vegas Strip beginning June 4. The hospitality and entertainment company closed the Bellagio, New York-New York, MGM Grand Las Vegas and The Signature earlier this year due to the threat posed by the novel coronavirus. “As we plan for these openings, the health and safety of our guests and employees is at the forefront of all we do,” Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts’ acting CEO and president said in a statement. “Getting many of our employees back to work and welcoming guests through our doors once again will allow us to do what we do best – entertain.” COVID-19 hospitalizations in North Carolina reach new single-day high Update 3 p.m. EDT May 27: Health officials in North Carolina reported the state’s highest single-day number of hospitalizations Wednesday connected to the coronavirus pandemic, WSOC-TV reported. Officials with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said 702 people were hospitalized due to severe complications associated with the novel coronavirus. Officials said that 29% of the state’s 19,048 in-patient beds and 22% percent of its 3,223 intensive care unit beds remained open Wednesday. Officials have reported 24,628 cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina. Nearly 800 people have statewide have died of coronavirus infections, WSOC-TV reported. >> Read more on WSOCTV.com 970 new cases of COVID-19 reported in New Jersey Update 2:45 p.m. EDT May 27: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said Wednesday that 970 new coronavirus infections have been reported, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state to 156,628. Officials also reported 148 more deaths associated with the coronavirus pandemic. As of Wednesday, 11,339 people have died statewide of COVID-19. Murphy said in a Twitter post that the high death toll -- which is the highest report this week -- was likely due to delayed reporting over the holiday weekend. Dozens of Idaho meatpacking plant employees test positive for COVID-19 Update 2:40 p.m. EDT May 27: Health officials say dozens of workers at a meatpacking plant in southwestern Idaho have tested positive for COVID-19. The South Central Public Health District said Tuesday that 44 employees at Ida-Beef in the small city of Burley tested positive. Officials said none of the workers have been hospitalized and there are no fatalities linked to the outbreak. The food processing plant is the second in the region to be hit by the coronavirus in recent days. Last week, about 50 workers with potato products company Rite Stuff Foods in nearby Jerome tested positive. The plant has temporarily shut down despite an order by President Donald Trump in April requiring meat processing plants to stay open amid concerns over growing coronavirus cases and the impact on the nation’s food supply. “It’s a slaughterhouse and Trump mandated that the slaughterhouses stay open, but we chose to close ours to get everybody healthy,” said Ida-beef CEO Allan Ward. “We thought we’d give it 10 days plus the long weekend and get everybody healthy. And we’re hoping to get a good crew coming Monday morning to kill cattle.” 443 new coronavirus cases reported in Louisiana Update 2:20 p.m. EDT May 27: Officials in Louisiana reported 443 new coronavirus infections Wednesday, raising the state’s total number of infections to 38,497. Statewide, at least 2,617 people have died of COVID-19 and at least 28,700 people have recovered from the viral infection, officials said. 74 new fatal coronavirus cases reported in New York Update 1:05 p.m. EDT May 27: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Wednesday that 74 more people have died of COVID-19 statewide. The number was slightly higher than the 73 new fatal cases reported one day earlier. More than 99,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the US Update 12:20 p.m. EDT May 27: The death toll associated with the novel coroanvirus in the U.S. surpassed 99,000 on Wednesday, according to a data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has the most number of COVID-19 cases in the world with more than 1.6 million confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins. The second hardest-hit country is Brazil, where 391,222 coronavirus infections were confirmed as of Wednesday morning. America has lost more people to the coronavirus pandemic than any other country in the world. Health officials in the country with the second-most number of fatal COVID-19 cases, the United Kingdom, said Wednesday that 37,460 people have died of the viral infection. Washington DC to begin first phase of reopening Friday Update 11:45 a.m. EDT May 27: Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C. announced Wednesday that this week the District will begin its first phase of reopening businesses shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic. Bowser said her previously issued stay-at-home order will be lifted Friday, though she noted that 'the virus is still around us.' “The public health emergency will continue and gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited despite lifting the stay-at-home order this Friday,” she said in a post on Twitter. Beginning Friday, businesses deemed nonessential will be allowed to reopen for curbside, front-door or delivery service, Bowser said. Barbershops and hair salons will be required to operate on a by-appointment basis with customers sitting no less than 6 feet apart from one another. The announcement came after Bowser said health officials had noted a 14-day decrease in the community spread of the virus. Earlier Wednesday, Bowser said health officials in the District have confirmed 8,406 cases of COVID-19 so far. At least 445 people have died in the District of coronavirus infections. Walt Disney World aims to reopen in July, SeaWorld Orlando sets sights on June reopening Update 11:25 a.m. EDT May 27: Officials with Walt Disney World and SeaWorld Orlando on Wednesday submitted reopening plans to officials in Orange County, Florida. Walt Disney World plans to reopen in two waves beginning July 11. Officials said they want to open their Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom theme parks first and follow the move up with the reopening July 15 of EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, WFTV reported. Officials with SeaWorld Orlando said the theme park plans to reopen to employees June 10 and then to the public on June 11, according to WFTV. 2,013 new coronavirus infections reported in the UK Update 11:05 a.m. EDT May 27: Officials in the United Kingdom reported 2,013 new coronavirus infections Wednesday morning, raising the country’s total number of infections to 267,240. Officials said that as of 5 p.m. local time Tuesday, the most recent date for which data was available, 37,460 people had died nationwide of COVID-19. 72 new cases of COVID-19 reported in DC Update 10:30 a.m. EDT May 27: Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C. said Wednesday that 72 new coronavirus infections have been reported in the area, raising the total number of cases in the area to 8,406. Bowser also announced five more people between the ages of 55 and 75 had died of COVID-19 in Washington D.C., bringing the total number of deaths in the District to 445. Wall Street opens higher on economic stimulus hopes Update 9:50 a.m. EDT May 27: Stocks opened higher Wednesday on Wall Street, led by financial stocks. Global stock markets rose after the European Union proposed more economic stimulus. European markets rose Wednesday after the EU commission proposed a new 750 billion-euro ($825 billion) package of financial aid meant to help the region’s economy recover from what is already considered the deepest recession in living memory. Benchmarks in Shanghai and Hong Kong, however, retreated after the White House said a proposed national security law might jeopardize the Chinese territory’s status as a global financial center. Fauci says he wears a face covering to protect self, others and set an example Update 9:45 a.m. EDT May 27: The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said Wednesday that he’s been wearing a face covering anytime he’s outside to protect himself and others and to set an example. “I do it when I’m in public for the reasons that ... I want to protect myself and protect others and also because I want to make it be a symbol for people to see that that’s the kind of thing that we should be doing,” Fauci said during an interview on CNN. Fauci noted that masks are “not 100% effective” at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus, however, he said “It’s sort of (like showing) respect for another person and (having) that other person respect you.” “You wear a mask, they wear a mask -- you protect each other,”he said. National Women’s Soccer League to resume play in June Update 8:55 a.m. EDT May 27: Officials with the National Women’s Soccer League announced Wednesday that the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup will begin next month, marking a return to play for the league’s nine teams. The 25-game tournament will kick off June 27 at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah. Officials said the games will be played without spectators. “As our country begins to safely reopen and adjust to our collective new reality, and with the enthusiastic support of our players, owners, as well as our new and current commercial partners, the NWSL is thrilled to bring professional soccer back to the United States,” NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird said in a statement. Officials said the tournament in June will be the league’s first competition since the 2019 NWSL Championship, in which the North Carolina Courage defeated the Chicago Red Stars to be named champions for the second consecutive year. Global deaths near 351K, total cases soar past 5.6M Update 7:47 a.m. EDT May 27: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 350,876 early Wednesday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. In the four months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 5,614,458 people worldwide. Meanwhile, 13 nations now have total infection counts higher than China’s 84,103.  The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows: • The United States has reported 1,681,418 cases, resulting in 98,929 deaths. • Brazil has recorded 391,222 cases, resulting in 24,512 deaths. • Russia has confirmed 370,680 cases, resulting in 3,968 deaths. • The United Kingdom has reported 266,599 cases, resulting in 37,130 deaths. • Spain has confirmed 236,259 cases, resulting in 27,117 deaths. • Italy has reported 230,555 cases, resulting in 32,955 deaths. • France has confirmed 182,847 cases, resulting in 28,533 deaths. • Germany has reported 181,293 cases, resulting in 8,386 deaths. • Turkey has recorded 158,762 cases, resulting in 4,397 deaths • India has recorded 151,876 cases, resulting in 4,346 deaths. Google plans to reopen some offices in July as coronavirus fears linger Update 7:29 a.m. EDT May 27: Specifics were sparse, but Google CEO Sundar Pichai told employees Tuesday that the company plans to reopen “more buildings in more cities” starting July 6, CNN reported. Employees at the unspecified locations will return, but only about 10% building occupancy will be allowed in the beginning, ramping up to 30% capacity by September, the network reported. “We’ll have rigorous health and safety measures in place to ensure social distancing and sanitization guidelines are followed, so the office will look and feel different than when you left” Pichai wrote in a blog post, adding, “Our goal is to be fair in the way we allocate time in the office, while limiting the number of people who come in, consistent with safety protocols.' New CDC guidance reveals COVID-19 antibody tests fail about half the time Update 7:02 a.m. EDT May 27: Antibody tests intended to detect if subjects have been infected previously with the novel coronavirus might provide accurate results only half the time, according to the latest U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. According to the new intelligence, “Antibodies in some persons can be detected within the first week of illness onset,” but the results are not consistently accurate enough to base important policy decisions on their outcomes. “(Antibody) test results should not be used to make decisions about grouping persons residing in or being admitted to congregate settings, such as schools, dormitories, or correctional facilities ... (Antibody) test results should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace,” the CDC warned. Lawmakers urge suspension of Trump’s July 4 military parade amid pandemic Update 6:09 a.m. EDT May 27: Calling the scheduled event a “vanity project,” members of Congress representing the capital region petitioned the defense and interior departments Tuesday to suspend plans for U.S. President Donald Trump’s second annual July 4 military parade, The Washington Post reported. Muriel E. Bowser, mayor of the District of Columbia, is preparing to reopen portions of the nation’s capital, while both Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan have already relaxed some social distancing policies, yet stay-at-home orders remain in place in all three areas. “Given the current COVID-19 crisis, we believe such an event would needlessly risk the health and safety of thousands of Americans,' they wrote in the letter to the department chiefs. “Further, this event would come at the cost of millions of taxpayer dollars while we are facing an unprecedented economic downturn due to the pandemic.” Read the lawmakers’ complete letter to the defense and interior departments. “The American people have shown tremendous courage and spirit in the fight against this global pandemic just as our forefathers did in the fight to secure our independence, and both deserve celebration on America’s birthday this year,” White House spokesman Judd Deere wrote in an email to the Post. Worldwide coronavirus deaths top 350K Update 4:46 a.m. EDT May 27: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 350,752 early Wednesday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. The United States – with nearly 1.7 million cases, resulting in 98,929 deaths to date – remains the nation with the highest number of infections and virus-related deaths. Brazil now reports the second-highest number of cases worldwide with 391,222, while the United Kingdom’s 37,130 virus-related deaths rank as second highest globally. Trump gives NC governor 1 week to decide if RNC stays in Charlotte amid coronavirus concerns Update 3:27 a.m. EDT May 27: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday dismissed President Donald Trump’s tweets threatening to move the Republican National Convention from Charlotte. “I’m not surprised by anything I see on Twitter,” Cooper said. “It’s OK for political conventions to be political, but pandemic response cannot be.” According to WSOC-TV, the governor said state health officials will continue to work with convention organizers to draft guidelines that will ensure the event can be conducted safely during the coronavirus pandemic. In a series of tweets Monday morning, the president threatened to pull the event out of North Carolina if Cooper doesn’t immediately sign off on allowing a full-capacity gathering in August, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Coronavirus has infected more than 62K US health care workers, CDC reports Update 2:10 a.m. EDT May 27: An estimated 62,344 health care professionals in the United States have contracted the novel coronavirus to date, resulting in at least 291 deaths, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed. The latest figures represent a nearly seven-fold increase in less than six weeks. According to CNN, the CDC last highlighted the number of cases among health care workers April 15, revealing a total of 9,282 cases at that time. US coronavirus cases approach 1.7M, deaths near 99K Update 12:40 a.m. EDT May 27: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surged toward 1.7 million early Wednesday across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, there are at least 1,681,212 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 98,916 deaths.  The hardest-hit states remain New York with 363,836 cases and 29,302 deaths and New Jersey with 155,764 cases and 11,194 deaths. Massachusetts, with 93,693 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 6,473, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 113,195. Only 16 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 6,000 cases each. Five other states have now confirmed at least 52,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 99,684 cases, resulting in 3,823 deaths • Pennsylvania: 72,778 cases, resulting in 5,163 deaths • Texas: 57,230 cases, resulting in 1,546 deaths • Michigan: 55,104 cases, resulting in 5,266 deaths • Florida: 52,255 cases, resulting in 2,259 deaths Meanwhile, Maryland, Georgia and Connecticut each has confirmed at least 41,000 cases; Virginia, Louisiana, Ohio and Indiana each has confirmed at least 32,000 cases; Colorado, North Carolina, Minnesota, Tennessee and Washington each has confirmed at least 20,000 cases, followed by Iowa with 17,703 and Arizona with 16,864; Wisconsin and Alabama each has confirmed at least 15,000 cases, followed by Rhode Island with 14,210 and Mississippi with 13,731; Nebraska and Missouri each has confirmed at least 12,000 cases, followed by South Carolina with 10,416; Kansas and Delaware each has confirmed at least 9,000 cases; Kentucky, Utah, the District of Columbia and Nevada each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases, followed by New Mexico with 7,130; Arkansas and Oklahoma each has confirmed at least 6,000 cases. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • During his visit to Jacksonville on Tuesday, Chad F. Wolf, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, also visited JaxPort. His primary focus during his presser was on the SAFER Grant for first responders. He also talked about JaxPort and how it personifies economic prosperity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Action News Jax reporter Courtney Cole is talking to JaxPort about what has allowed them to remain successful during the pandemic and their future as a cruise ship terminal.  JaxPort has been able to safely remain open during the pandemic.  JaxPort is one of the nation’s 17 Strategic Seaports. Here’s what that means: They are always ready to move military cargo for situations like national defense, for humanitarian aid and disaster relief. (PPE also come through Jaxport.)  The cruise industry in Jacksonville generates nearly 800 jobs in Northeast Florida, a 74 percent increase over the last decade according to a study funded by the Duval County Tourist Development Council.  Cruise activity through Jacksonville creates $187 million in economic impact for Northeast Florida. This includes business revenue, wages, passenger and crew spending, and state and local taxes.  Jacksonville’s cruise industry generates more than 20,000 local hotel night stays annually.  Passengers hail from 40 states, the District of Columbia and overseas.
  • Adventure Landing’s Jacksonville Beach location was empty Wednesday morning at a time it would typically be crowded with kids. Assistant General Manager Jeremy Christian told Action News Jax, “As it’s getting closer to school, we’ve gotten a lot more e-mails asking about when we’re going to open.”  Attractions across Florida are facing similar scenarios.  On Wednesday, Walt Disney World and Sea World presented their proposals to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.  “Florida is an entertainment industry-driven state, so we need to get the entertainment industry back up and running, “ Christian said.  Adventure Landing is set to test the waters on Saturday.  On June 6, leaders plan to allow guests back in the Shipwreck Island Waterpark.  Christian took Action News Jax reporter Beth Rousseau around the property pointing out social distancing markers on the ground, shields at all counters and sanitizing stations.  “We’re going to do 50% capacity, which will be around 600 people in the water park' he said. 'And on the inside we’re going to limit it to just around 200.”  Outside, deck chairs are arranged in groups of four, set six feet apart.  At the dry park, according to Christian, some attractions will stay closed until staffing and business returns to normal.  “We’ve put a lot of effort into making sure we’re complying with social distancing,” he said.  Staff will take guests’ temperatures before they’re allowed in the park.  Anyone with a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees won’t be allowed at the attraction.
  • A Houston woman is accused of confronting a South American couple with a hammer and uttering racial slurs, telling them to “go back to your country,” authorities said. Constance Lynn Bono, 61, was arrested Sunday and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to a probable cause order. The second-degree felony carries a punishment range of up to 20 years in prison, KPRC reported. Those charges could be upgraded to a first-degree felony charge if racism is determined to be the motive, the television station reported. If the charges are upgraded and Bono is convicted, she could spend up to life in prison. Arturo Cordovez and his wife, Lia Franco, are natives of Ecuador who currently live in New Orleans, KPRC reported. Franco, who treats coronavirus patients in the Crescent City, is finishing her medical residency. The couple decided to visit Houston to unwind and were looking for a restaurant when they said they noticed a woman following them. “So we stopped a little bit on the side and she was still there,' Franco told KPRC. “She stopped behind us,” Cordovez told the television station. “After that she started showing a hammer through the mirror. She was shaking her arm ... and cursing at us I think. I was thinking, ‘What did I do?’” The couple decided to call 911 and turned into a gas station, where the woman allegedly followed. Franco said Bono was screaming and cursing while brandishing the hammer. “And we go, 'What do you want?” Franco told KPRC. 'And she said screamed ‘You Mexicans, get out of my (expletive) country. Go back to your (expletive) country.’” According to the couple, Bono exited her vehicle with the hammer, the television station reported. At that point, the police arrived and took Bono into custody. Investigators have not been able to determine a motive for the incident. “I think she needs help, she needs treatment, but that doesn’t justify the fact she needs to follow the laws of her country,' Franco told KPRC. “If she broke the laws here, she needs to pay for what she did. But for me as a physician, I think the most important thing is she needs treatment, she needs help.”
  • Kentucky prosecutors have dropped criminal charges against the boyfriend of a Louisville EMT gunned down by police in her own home, and FBI officials have announced a federal probe into the March shooting. The new developments in the death of Breonna Taylor and the case against Kenneth Walker came late last week, even as Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad announced his intent to retire from the force, effective July 1. Activists incensed by Taylor’s killing had been demanding Conrad’s resignation. Conrad, who has been chief since 2012, did not mention the Taylor case in his announcement. He did allude, however, to tough times within the department. “You all are weathering a lot right now and I know how challenging this is,” Conrad said in his statement. “Approach this as we approach all our struggles – as a team. Look out for each other. Show compassion to the community, even when it might not be shown to you. And remember what a privilege this job is.” Louisville officers’ conduct is at the heart of the FBI probe into Taylor’s March 13 killing. FBI agents in the Louisville field office confirmed Thursday that they have begun an investigation into the case. “FBI Louisville has opened an investigation into the shooting of Breonna Taylor,” Special Agent in Charge Robert Brown said in a statement. “The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence and will ensure that the investigation is conducted in a fair, thorough and impartial manner.” Conrad and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer earlier this month requested that the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office look into Taylor’s death. Taylor and Walker were asleep around 12:40 a.m. March 13 when three Louisville officers, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and officers Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankinson, went to Taylor’s apartment complex in the 3000 block of Springfield Drive. In their hands was a search warrant for a drug suspect. There were two problems: The man the officers were looking for lived elsewhere, and he had been arrested hours earlier, meaning he was already in police custody. When the officers used a battering ram to break down the door, Walker got his legally owned handgun and, according to what he told authorities, fired a single shot, which struck Mattingly in the leg. Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine said Friday that the bullet pierced Mattingly’s femoral artery. If not for Mattingly’s wallet, which was in his front left pocket, the wound could have been fatal, the prosecutor said. Mattingly and the other officers fired more than 20 shots into Taylor’s apartment, striking her at least eight times and killing her, according to a lawsuit filed by her family. Walker, who was not injured, was subsequently charged with the attempted murder of a police officer and aggravated assault. Wine announced in a teleconference Friday that prosecutors had dropped the charges against Walker, who told authorities he fired in self-defense after the police entered the apartment. Walker said he believed he and Taylor were the victims of a home invasion. While making the announcement Friday, Wine also attempted to combat a rumor that Mattingly had been shot by one of his fellow officers. “His injury was not the result of friendly fire,” Wine said. The prosecutor said there has been “a tremendous amount of false information” on what happened the morning Taylor was killed. Wine said neither his office nor the police department has been able to speak freely about the case due to the ongoing investigation. Conrad expressed disappointment in Wine’s decision. “I am frustrated by this decision and I know you are as well, especially since we know how seriously our sergeant was injured,” Conrad said in a statement to his officers. 'But I still respect Mr. Wine’s integrity and judgment. We will have to let the process continue to play out and see if the case goes before a grand jury again. “Mr. Wine presented additional information publicly today. Much of that information contradicts major points in the narrative being shared in the public. But ultimately, Mr. Wine is correct – a jury would have to decide which version of the events they believe. And we will continue to let the investigations progress.” ‘A whole lot of shots’ In Friday’s teleconference, Wine played recordings of interviews with both Walker and Mattingly in which each man describes what he saw and heard the morning Taylor was killed. Wine said the men’s accounts “dovetail” closely, an indication that their recollections are accurate. Walker said he and Taylor were awakened by several loud bangs on the apartment door. When they got up and started to dress, they realized the door was being rammed open. Walker said he fired at the intruders, unaware they were police officers. “I let off one shot and then all of a sudden there’s a whole lot of shots,” Walker said. “We both just dropped to the ground and the gun fell.” Saying he was “scared to death,” Walker said he began seeing “lights and stuff.” “So, I’m like, ‘OK, there’s the police,’ and there’s a lot of yelling and stuff. They’re just shooting and we’re both on the ground, and when all the shots stop, I’m, like, panicking, she’s right there on the ground, like, bleeding,” he said. Taylor died on the floor of her hallway. No drugs were found in the home. Neither Taylor nor Walker had a history of drug arrests, according to the lawsuit filed by her family. Nevertheless, Vine said, the officers had a valid search warrant for Taylor’s apartment pertaining to their investigation. Vine on Friday disputed witness statements that the officers failed to knock on Taylor’s door. To support his stance, he pointed to Walker’s own statement to police, in which he said he and Taylor heard multiple knocks on the door. When they asked who was there, no one responded, Walker said. That’s when he grabbed his gun, which he said he had never fired outside of a shooting range. Walker said as they walked into the hallway, he saw the door come off the hinges. He fired one shot, still not knowing who was there, he said. Walker told police he aimed his gun toward the ground, hoping the shot would simply scare away whoever was breaking into the apartment. “I don’t need to kill anybody if I can just get you out of here just by you hearing that,” Walker said. Watch Wine’s news conference below and hear statements from Kenneth Walker and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, courtesy of WAVE 3 News. In his own interviews with investigators, Mattingly said he knocked multiple times on Taylor’s door. He said he and his colleagues didn’t immediately identify themselves. “We didn’t announce the first couple because our intent was not to hit the door,” Mattingly said. “Our intent was to give (Taylor) plenty of time to get to the door because they said she was probably there alone.” Though Walker and other witnesses said the officers never identified themselves, Mattingly said they announced themselves after the third knock. When no one came to the door, they used a battering ram to open it. Read the lawsuit filed by the family of Breonna Taylor below. Breonna Taylor preliminary ... by Courier Journal on Scribd Wine said Friday that he believes Mattingly’s contention that the officers knocked on the door and identified themselves as police officers before making entry into Taylor’s home. Ben Crump, a nationally-renowned civil rights attorney who is representing Taylor’s family, argued in a news release that Louisville authorities should “get their story straight.” “First, they publicized that they knocked and announced,” Crump said. 'But then they stated that they had a no-knock warrant that did not require them to knock and announce. And then today, the prosecutor said on a dry erase board that it was a knock and announce warrant. And they want the public to have faith that they can trust the police in the execution of this warrant. “Until everyone involved is held accountable and the full truth of what happened that night is revealed, justice for Kenneth and Breonna is incomplete.” WAVE 3 News in Louisville reported that Walker’s criminal attorney, Rob Eggert, filed the motion to have his charges dismissed based on the fact that a detective who testified March 19 before a grand jury never told the jurors that officers killed Taylor. The witness, Sgt. Amanda Seelye, also failed to tell jurors Walker fired his weapon because he thought Taylor’s apartment was being broken into, the motion said. “The picture presented to the grand jury completely mischaracterizes the events that took place at Ms. Taylor’s apartment that resulted in Ms. Taylor’s death,” Eggert wrote in the motion, according to WDRB. “In fact, they completely omit the existence of Ms. Taylor at all.” Listen to Seelye’s brief testimony below, courtesy of the Louisville Courier Journal. Wine took issue with Eggert’s assertion that Seelye and prosecutors acted inappropriately. “There was no misleading testimony by the detective in this case, nor was there any ethical breaches by the prosecutors in the Office of the Commonwealth Attorney,” Wine said Friday. “However, I do agree with him that more should have been presented to the grand jury, including the statement of Kenneth Walker.” Wine said that belief has led him to have the charges dismissed. “I believe that additional investigation is necessary,” Wine said. “I believe that the independent investigation by the Attorney General’s Office of Kentucky, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office must be completed before we go forward with any prosecution of Kenneth Walker.” Wine said charges could be refiled against Walker if the independent investigations produce new evidence against him. “And if he wishes to testify before the grand jury, Kenneth Walker will be given that opportunity,” he said. Walker was released from custody Tuesday, WAVE 3 News reported.

The Latest News Videos