First Coast Tea Party and The Heritage Foundation team up at rally

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Leading up to the November election, the local Tea Party movement is trying to build momentum.

About 60 people attended a Your Vote event at River City Brewing Company on Tuesday.

The Vice President of The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank based in Washington D.C., says the Tea Party movement has been instrumental in raising awareness.

"We saw what the Tea Party movement was able to accomplish back in 2010. We saw their passion and we said, you know what, we want to be out with these folks and help them educate other people as well."

This event is part of a series of events, led by the Tea Party, The Heritage Foundation and Family Research Council.

First Coast News









Free health screening for local student-athletes

Editor's Note: This news release was provied by Nemours.

Jacksonville, Fla. -- On Saturday, August 4, 2012, and Saturday, August 11, 2012, nearly 500 volunteers, including 85 volunteer physicians, will provide free health screenings for approximately 1,500 local middle school and high school student-athletes in preparation for the school year.

High school and middle school girls will be screened on August 4 at Wolfson Children's Hospital. High school boys will be screened on August 4 and middle school boys on August 11, both at Nemours Children's Clinic.

Olympic fans say coverage not affecting productivity

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- If you're feeling tired, watching the Olympics might be to blame. If so,
you're not alone. A lot of people on the First Coast are watching the
coverage. Jacksonville was the 16th highest rated TV market in the
country for viewership.

At 1st Place Sports in San Marco, just about everyone was feeling a little sleep deprived Monday morning because they've been staying up late to catch all the Olympic action.

Brian Doyle works as a manager at the store and says, "Being a running specialist store, obviously our big claim to fame is track and field, but it's still great to see swimming and everything else that goes along with it."

Doyle says they never watch while at work, so his productivity remains the same. He says he does try to catch as much of the competition as he can at home and that can make for some late nights.

Over 1,000 toys donated for Wolfson Children's Hospital Christmas in July

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Last week's Christmas in July toy drive saw over 1,000 new and unwrapped toys delivered to replenish the stock at Wolfson Children's Hospital.

The toy drive was the first time the children's hospital has held a Christmas in July drive.  People dropped off the toys through the circular driveway in the front entrance.

New toys collected through the drive will restock the hospital's playroms and teen room, and help hospitalized children celebrate birthdays and other special occasions.

With over 1,000 toys donated the hospital will be able to entertain babies through older teens. The hospital estimates the toys are worth at least $20,000.  Online donations to the Virtual Toy Drive held up to July 25 totaled more than $4,900, and the hospital received an additional $285 in on-site cash and gift card donations.

FCN's Steve Smith to give weather talk at MOSH

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- First Coast News Meteorologist Steve Smith will be speaking at the Museum of Science & History on Thursday night as part of MOSH's After Dark program.

This week's program is titled Speaking of Weather with First Coast News and will last from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Steve will be giving attendees a behind-the-scenes look at weather forecasting and news production. The presentation will take place in the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium.

Afterward, a special program on hurricane preparedness will take place in the JEA Science Theater.

Admission is $5 per person for the general public and free for MOSH members, teachers and students with an ID.

To register call 904-396-MOSH, ext. 219 or register online. Registration is encouraged since space is limited.

Teacher arrested on charges of sexual battery on a child

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A teacher at Windy Hill Elementary School has been arrested on charges of sexual battery on a child.

Christopher Robert Bacca, 26, was arrested on Tuesday and is facing suspension without pay pending termination, which is what Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals will be recommending, according to Jill Johnson with Duval County Public Schools (DCPS).

Bacca began working for the school district in 2008 when he was hired as a fourth grade teacher at Long Branch Elementary School. He transferred to Windy Hill Elementary School in January 2010 and was a Duval County Teacher of the Year candidate in 2012, as well as Windy Hill's Teacher of the Year.

Wolson Children's Hospital hosting 'Christmas in July' toy drive

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Wolfson Children's Hospital will collect toys as part of their "Christmas in July" toy drive Wednesday, July 25.

People wishing to donate toys may drop them off between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Helping to collect the toys will be children of former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell and retired Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Tony Boselli.  Also taking place in the toy collecting will be a volunteer army of holiday elves, a summertime Santa and Wolfie the hospital mascot.