Douglas Anderson Named National GRAMMY Signature School

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --The GRAMMY Foundation has named Douglas Anderson School of the Arts a National GRAMMY Signature School.

The honor was presented to the school Monday evening by Neil Crilly, Senior Executive Director of the Florida Chapter of The Recording Academy.

As part of the honor, Douglas Anderson will receive $15,000 monetary grant to benefit its program and a custom award.

The GRAMMY Foundation Signature Schools program was started to recognized the top public high schools nationwide for their commitment to music education.

The organization named 18 schools GRAMMY Signature Schools for 2012. Of these schools they selected the top six, naming them Gold recipients. The top Gold school was then named the National GRAMMY Signature School.

GMJ Saturday: Growing Up Jacksonville

As we approach the 450th anniversary of Jacksonville's discovery, we turn our eye to the past. Dorothy Fletcher grew up in the River City in the 1950s and 60s. She's chronicled her childhood in her new book called "Growing Up Jacksonville." Fletcher shares her experiences and what makes the First Coast such a great place for kids. She'll be at the San Marco bookstore on May 5th to sign copies of her book.

FHP Announces Aggressive Driving Crackdown

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -  The Florida Highway Patrol kicked off an awareness campaign Thursday designed to crack down on aggressive drivers.

FDLE REPORT: Troopers Erred in Deadly I-75 Pileup 

Patrolmen are focusing on people who are driving around big semi trucks, which can magnify a small driving mistake.

RELATED: Top Five Most Dangerous Jacksonville Intersections

"They are big trucks and whenever they have a crash, they're big crashes," explained Captain Derek Barrs.

In order to be cited for aggressive driving, a person must be doing two of the following:

Duval Schools' Pay-To-Play Sidelined

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A plan to have students who participate in sports pay-to-play this upcoming year has been sidelined, at least for now.

Duval County school superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals stressed this doesn't mean it won't surface again.

"We are going to put a one year pause on pay-to-participate for athletics. Doesn't mean it goes away forever," said Pratt-Dannals at a school board workshop focusing on the budget.

Last summer, a community fundraising push saved a half dozen sports that were on the chopping block. 

Another cut to magnet transportation is also on hold. A year ago, the district required some students in magnet programs to make other arrangements.  The plan was to phase in more cuts, but that won't happen.

The superintendent says what changed was more money from the state plus decisions to draw upon reserve accounts to help balance the books.

FCATs Begin Today

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT, will be held this week for students across the state.

Kathryn LeRoy, Chief Academic Officer with Duval County Public Schools said there are some simple steps that parents can take to make sure their children are at their best.

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Eat a healthy, filling breakfast
  • Take time to relax outside of school
  • Don't try to "cram" for the test
  • Do not go to school or take the test when feeling under the weather

"There are makeup days," explained LeRoy. 

She said parents should also try to give their children positive reinforcement throughout testing. 

Gas Price Question: Would You Carpool With Strangers?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- With gas prices getting close to the $4.00-a-gallon mark, and higher in some places, carpooling is an idea that could certainly save some cash.

It's a popular way of getting around in many cities. 

But is Jacksonville one of them? And have prices gotten so high that folks here would be willing to carpool with a stranger?

There have been websites around for years that allow folks to meet up to take rides together. That leads to cheaper gas, once everything is split. 

Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and some Canadian cities have really embraced this method of getting around town, according to numbers from the website

Brooks Rehabilitation Employees and Medical Teams International Helping Disabled in Haiti

Brooks Rehabilitation Employees and Medical Teams International Helping Disabled in Haiti

Medical Teams International will send four teams of physical and occupational therapists from Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida to Haiti throughout the spring and summer of 2012, in order to provide rehabilitative care to those still suffering in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake. The volunteer therapists will work with Medical Teams International’s Haiti Advantage program in Les Cayes, providing care in the outpatient prosthetics and orthotics clinic and well as the local hospital.