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  • A court ruled that Florida cannot bar felons who served their time from voting, even if they haven’t paid their fines or court fees. Amendment 4, approved by voters in 2018, allowed nonviolent felons who served their time to regain the right to vote. Lawmakers passed a bill in 2019 that required some of those felons to pay off court fees, fines and restitution before they were able to vote. That law is now being argued in court. A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the original ruling by a Tallahassee federal judge that requiring paying all fines and fees first is an unfair poll tax. Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state will immediately ask the entire 11th Circuit to reconsider the ruling. It was not immediately clear whether felons with unpaid fees would be able to vote by the upcoming primaries.
  • The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is asking the community for help in identifying a body that was found behind a Family Dollar on Feb 14, around 10 a.m. According to SJSO, the body was recovered behind Family Dollar at 500 SR 16, St. Augustine.  The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office describes the body:  40’s to early 50’s  Approximately 6-feet tall  165-pounds  Medium length dark hair  Scruffy short beard with some graying  Wearing black flip-flops, khaki cargo shorts, long sleeve dark grey pullover sweatshirt  Tattoo of a small Celtic type cross on the inside of his right leg above the ankle  Anyone with information on the possible identity of this individual is asked to contact Detective James Jackson of the Major Crimes Unit at (904) 209-2142 or email jpjackson@sjso.org.
  • Authorities in Missouri have arrested three relatives after an 11-year-old girl gave birth last week in a bathtub at a home in the St. Louis suburbs, according to multiple reports. An adult man and an adult woman have been charged with endangering the welfare of a child in connection to the case. A 17-year-old boy was also arrested on charges of incest, statutory rape and statutory sodomy of a child younger than 12 years old, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and The Associated Press. The birth was discovered after a man brought the newborn to a hospital, claiming the child had been left on his front porch, KSDK reported. Charging documents obtained by the news station showed the infant had a body temperature of 90 degrees and still had an umbilical cord and placenta attached after being brought to the hospital. The man later admitted that he was related to the baby and told authorities he was unaware the 11-year-old girl was pregnant until she gave birth to the child, according to the AP. The man was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child, KSDK reported. A judge ordered him held in lieu of a $10,000 cash-only bond. Charging documents said he came to the country illegally and had previously been deported, according to the AP. In a probable cause statement obtained by the Post-Dispatch, authorities said a 17-year-old boy related to the 11-year-old girl admitted to having sexually assaulted the girl about 100 times. After his arrest last week, a judge ordered him held in lieu of a $25,000 bond, according to the newspaper. Authorities made a third arrest in the case Tuesday, charging an adult woman with failing to provide the 11-year-old with medical care as she was giving birth. She was ordered held in lieu of a $10,000 bond, according to the AP.
  • Two men are facing charges after allegedly stealing trailers and motorcycles belonging to Jacksonville area residents. Police are still going through dozens of stolen property at a home on Townsend Boulevard but police told Action News Jax reporter Meghan Moriarty, the men are facing grand theft charges, if not more.  Officers said they’ve found at least two stolen trailers and two stolen motorcycles, along with dozens of other pieces of property that they believe the suspects took.  Pictures show dozens of tools and work equipment inside one of the stolen trailers.  In the past few days, officers said they received several reports of people having similar property stolen, but haven’t had any tips.  It wasn’t until a sergeant noticed a truck that matched the description of a possible suspect’s car and followed it. This started a 24-hour watch where they saw the suspects casing neighborhoods.  Around 3 a.m. Wednesday, they received a search warrant for the home on Townsend Boulevard where one of the suspects lived.  The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Jacksonville Beach Police Department are working on the case together since there’s stolen property from both areas.
  • Leaders at the Museum of Science and History are one step closer to completing their goal of renovating and expanding. Museum leaders now say they want to add more interactive features to improve technology throughout the museum.  Lori Lyons home schools her two children and for her and her kids, a trip to the Museum of Science and History is always special.  “The traveling exhibit is going on right now, it’s for DNA and genetics, so today we learned about the human body,” Lyons said.  Lyons and her girls also learned the museum is expanding.  It’s all part of an $80 million project known as MOSH 2.0.  “Essentially, we will be turning our face to the river. We will be embracing downtown, Friendship Fountain Park and really making this our entire campus. We will be completely renovating this campus and then building out new construction and a brand-new entry way,” said Maria Hane, CEO of MOSH.  VyStar Credit Union is helping museum officials get closer to their goal by donating $2.5 million to their $20 million capital campaign.  Hane said she wants the museum to become a destination that everyone wants to visit.  “You can look at Pittsburgh and you can see how the museum is combined with the stadium space that really drives a destination for downtown Pittsburgh. You can look at Baltimore and you can see the museum was a true anchor for activating downtown,” she said.

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