Evinston, FL

21-year-old sentenced to 25 years in prison for second-degree murder

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Demetrius Aponcedeleon Hardy, 21, has been sentenced to 25 years in state prison following a nolo contendere plea to charges of Second Degree Murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and battery by a person detained in a jail facility.
Picture for 21-year-old sentenced to 25 years in prison for second-degree murder

Gainesville man sentenced to 25 years in prison for a 2020 murder

Last week, 21-year-old Demetrius Hardy plead to 25 years in prison for a 2020 murder. State Attorney Chief of Investigations, Darry Lloyd, says Hardy was arrested in March 2020 for the murder of Kayla Jackson that happened on 100 NW 1st St. In October 2020, a grand jury indicted Hardy...
Picture for Gainesville man sentenced to 25 years in prison for a 2020 murder

Two people killed after a wreck at an I-75 rest area

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The accident happened around 2pm when a Tesla driving into the rest area on I-75 near Paynes Prairie crashed into a Walmart tractor-trailer. The wreck shut down the area for more than six hours. “It came off the exit ramp to the rest area continued south...

Ocala woman with prior theft convictions arrested after stealing from local Walmart

A 31-year-old Ocala woman with prior theft convictions was arrested after she stole several packages of chicken from a local Walmart. On Tuesday, June 21, at approximately 11 a.m., a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to the Walmart located at 9570 SW Highway 200 in reference to a previous theft that occurred in May.

California couple killed after their Tesla drove into a parked semi at I-75 rest stop

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – At 1:58 p.m. today, a Freightliner Tractor Trailer was parked in the southbound parking lot at the Paynes Prairie Rest Area on I-75, south of Gainesville, when a 2015 Tesla that was traveling south on the interstate exited to the rest area, drove toward the tractor trailer, and struck the rear of the tractor trailer.

2 die when car collides with parked semi trailer

Two people died when the car they were riding in exited I-75 into a rest area south of Gainesville and collided with a parked tractor trailer on Wednesday afternoon. According to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), at around 2 p.m. the Tesla sedan took the rest stop exit on south I-75 near mile marker 382, which is at the edge of Paynes Prairie. For reasons still under investigation, it rear ended a parked tractor trailer, said FHP Lt. Pat Riordan in an email.

2 killed after Tesla crashes in to parked tractor-trailer at Florida rest stop

LAKE MARY, Fla. - A driver and passenger traveling in a Tesla died after they crashed into the rear of a tractor-trailer that was parked at a rest stop along Interstate 75 in Florida, according to authorities. The Florida Highway Patrol said the deadly crash happened just before 2 p.m....

Ocala residents see an increase in their utility bill

OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - Ocala residents are now feeling the effects of a decision the city council voted on earlier in the summer. On May 17 the Ocala City Council voted unanimously to increase the power cost adjustment from 2.8 cents to 5.6 cents. Staff said the power cost adjustment...

Man receives 25 years for 2020 Gainesville death

Demetrius Hardy pleaded on June 30 in front of Judge Phillip Pena and received the 25-year minimum/mandatory sentence for the 2020 death of Kayla Jackson in Gainesville. A grand jury indicted Hardy, 21, on Oct. 15, 2020, for the second-degree murder of Jackson on March 7, 2020, weeks after Hardy had been released from prison for grand theft, fleeing and attempting to elude.

FHP locates pickup involved in bicycle fatality

The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) located the pickup involved in a fatal hit-and-run that killed a Morriston woman pushing her bicycle along County Road 337 on June 24. According to FHP Lt. Pat Riordan, the vehicle—a 2006 Ford Ranger—was located last week, but no one has been arrested.

Reasons for WEC Jockey Club approval

The three Marion County Commissioners who approved the massive WEC Jockey Club project against county staff recommendations and overwhelming opposition from nearby residents and adjacent landowners have declined requests for interviews for a follow-up story on the development. Commissioners Michelle Stone, Jeff Gold and Chairman Carl Zalak III, June 21...

Game Day Countdown: No. 59 Falcon Kaumatule

We're 59 days away from Utah football's first Game Day of the 2022 season with their opener against the Florida Gators on September 3rd. With the game set for kickoff at 5:00 PM MT on September 3rd, we'll publish each piece at the same time until game day arrives!. The...

Ocala residents share their thoughts on the city’s needs

Residents from across Ocala recently submitted letters to share their thoughts and concerns regarding the city that they call home. “I am a new Ocala Floridian of 8 weeks, and I moved here for the small town vibe and location. We have all we need here, and we’re close enough to many big cities if we want to experience that. The only thing I’ve noticed is that many of the hotels are pretty rough – I stayed in a few last October when I visited. And one hotel I won’t name has reoccurring police visits. But all in all, we call this home now and like it here,” says Ocala resident Kim Edwards.
Jacksonville Daily Record

Jim McCarthy resigns from North Florida Land Trust

North Florida Land Trust announced July 6 that Jim McCarthy is stepping down as its president after eight years in the role. “Finishing law school this year caused me to look at things a bit differently. While it was directly applicable to my role at the land trust, this is the time for me to step away and take on some different challenges. We have accomplished a great deal and I am proud of that,” McCarthy said in a news release.

MCSB approves new contracts with law enforcement agencies for resource officers in all schools

The Marion County School Board signed new agreements last Tuesday with three separate law enforcement agencies to renew police presence in schools for the next three years. The School Resource Officer Agreements, enforced by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public High School Safety Act, comply with the requirement to have a Safe Schools Officer in every Florida School.

Hawthorne factory hunt featured in new documentary

In September 2021, a Colorado family won a national treasure hunt for a Hawthorne candy factory by finding a golden ticket in Indiana. If that sounds like a plot point in a movie featuring Gene Wilder—perhaps “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”—that’s by design. David...

Feeling the impacts of Food Insecurity in Gainesville

Food insecurity continues to threaten not only families in North Central Florida but across the nation. Over at the Bread of the Mighty Food Bank, Development Communications Director Maureen Quinlan says while donations are down, the need for food is up. "We're not able to purchase the food that we...

Florida announces Sean Kelly as ‘Voice of the Gators’

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - A little more than a month after legendary Florida Gators broadcaster Mick Hubert stepped down from his position as lead play-by-play announcer, the university has announced the hiring of Sean Kelly as the new “Voice of the Gators.”. Kelly comes to Gainesville after spending the...