All Articles Tagged "jacksonville"
If there was ever a reason to start going to the doctor more regularly, the story of 12-year-old Jackson, Fla. resident might have you inspired to do better. What was supposed to be a fun-filled summer for the daughter of Janet Roberts (child’s name withheld of course) wound up being one of anguish and confusion. The 12-year-old’s classmates were gossiping all over town for months that she was expecting a child, an allegation that seemed more and more likely to be true after her mother, Janet, started to realize that the girl’s stomach was growing. Though the young girl denied that she was pregnant, with a large belly, Janet Roberts didn’t believe her, so she stocked up on pregnancy tests and got to work, according to First Coast News. “I tested her every two weeks and it was negative,” she said, “then I said ‘if you’re not pregnant something is going on here.’”
And something was definitely going on there. Roberts proceeded to take her daughter, who just turned 12 in August, to the doctor, and what they found out was that she was not with child, but with a massive tumor. “It was 19 pounds, well 20 pounds in size,” said Roberts, “but because of her size, they had to drain two liter bottle of it before they could pull it out of her.”
The young girl was rushed to emergency surgery at a nearby hospital where the tumor was removed. While it was a benign one, doctors are very worried that the tumor could come back in the future. They are keeping an eye on her stomach and her mother wants the young girl to seek counseling to not only get over the health scare, but to get over the way her classmates ridiculed her for months, tearing up her reputation:
“She has a hard time dealing with what happen to her. She’s writing notes about what happened and how the people treated her…Before you judge a child by how he or she looks, get to know that child.”
For those who want to see the tumor–it’s NSFL: not safe for lunch–you can click over to First Coast News to check it out and be astounded by its size…
Photos courtesy of First Coast News and The Daily Mail UK
There are lots of things mothers have to be concerned about with young children, but a 3-year-old potentially contracting gonorrhea usually isn’t one of them. Unfortunately that’s the fear a Jacksonville, FL, mother is facing after he daughter found a condom on her daycare playground and did what any other toddler would do, put it in her mouth.
According to Local News 4 in Jacksonville:
This happened in December 2011 at the day care which is part of the Head Start program run by the Jacksonville Urban League on Ionia Street. It is also the site of the city’s Robert F. Kennedy Community Center and Park. This incident has resulted in an entire year’s worth of fear and worry for her mother that the child has a sexually transmitted disease or possibly HIV because the condom tested positive for gonorrhea and it can take up to a year for these kinds of diseases to show up.
The child’s mom, Tiesha Sanders, was there on the playground that day and saw what happened. Now, she’s hired an attorney and plans to sue the Jacksonville Urban League because she says she wants to make sure other children won’t be exposed to the same danger that has changed her daughter’s life.
“I just really didn’t want that to happen to my baby,” said Sanders. “If it happens to my daughter, it can happen to yours.”
During an interview with Channel 4 anchor and reporter Adrienne Moore, Sanders cried while talking about that morning at the day care. She says she brought her daughter there and watched as she ran toward the slide and a group of children.
“I lift up my head and I saw her put something in her mouth and I was like, ‘get that out of your mouth!’ And someone said see what she had in her mouth and that’s when I found out she had a condom in her mouth,” explained Sanders.
Sanders said she washed her daughter’s mouth out with water and then called the Centers for Disease Control. After that, she took the toddler to the emergency room where the little girl was checked out and the condom was tested. Medical records show the 3-year-old was put through a series of rectal, vaginal, and throat exams which are repeated every four months so doctors can rule out the possibility of HIV and other STDs which may take up to a year to show up.
Meanwhile, it appears this situation was an accident waiting to happen given details uncovered in News 4′s investigation.
According to Florida’s Administrative Code for Childcare Standards, a facility’s outdoor play area “…shall be clean, free from litter, nails, glass and other hazards…” also “…fenced to prevent access by children to all water hazards…” and “…free from toxic substances and hazardous materials.”
The incident that occurred with Sanders’ daughter was never reported to the Department of Children and Families. And, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, no police report was ever filed. In fact, neither agency knew about the incident until Channel 4 started investigating. However, DCF tells us the day care was not required to report it.
“We certainly recognize the concern parents would have about an incident like this. We inspect childcare facilities at least three times a year,” said John Harrell with the Department of Children and Families.
Harrell says DCF has cited this Ionia Street day care facility five times for unrelated, minor violations in the last two years.
“There was a health exam where the child’s shot record had been expired, and there was information that was missing on a child’s enrollment form, and finally on a playground there was some rusty chains noted on a swing on this playground,” said Harrell as he explained the previous citations.
Once Channel 4 notified DCF and started asking questions about how a major incident like this could happen, DCF’s Childcare Licensing Department launched an investigation into this case. It found the facility was not in compliance with Florida code the day this happened and was cited for posing “…a threat to the health, safety or well-being of the children due to the presence of hazardous items.”
Despite this citation, the day care will not be fined this time. Channel 4 is told it’s because this violation is a first offense. But, if it gets similar violations in the next two years, the facility could face a $50 fine, an amount set by the state.
I can’t see a $50 fine being much of an incentive for the Urban League to clean up its act, literally, but a hefty lawsuit just might. Condoms on the playground are definitely not a good look.
Do you think this mom has a case?
*Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
A few weeks ago we told you about Marissa Alexander, a Florida woman facing a 20-year sentence for what she considers standing her ground. In a 2010 altercation, Marissa fired a warning shot in the air in fear of her life when her reportedly abusive husband cornered her in the home. Though no one was shot or injured during the shooting, Marissa was charged and convicted on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and her case is quickly coming to a close.
Initially, Marissa was offered a plea deal of three years but decided not to take it, and during her first trial, she was denied protection under the “Stand Your Ground Law” when her husband said he “begged and pleaded for my life when she had the gun.” It took a jury 12 minutes to find her guilty. Prosecutor Nick Lake said following the hearing:
“The jury decided she was not in fear when she fired the gun. She went back to his house, alone, and committed a domestic battery on him (ex-husband).”
On Thursday, Marissa went before the judge in a pre-sentencing hearing and when her lawyers requested a new trial it was denied. Now, on May 11 she will stand before the judge again to be sentenced. Under the state’s mandatory sentencing guidelines, she faces a 20-year prison sentence with no chance of early release. Knowing the odds, Marissa’s lawyer has said he plans to file an appeal after her sentencing. In an interview with CNN, Marissa told Gary Tuchman:
“This is my life I’m fighting for. If you do everything to get on the right side of the law, and it is a law that does not apply to you, where do you go from there?”
Check out the full clip of her interview segment here. Do you think Stand Your Ground should apply to Marissa?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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After seeing the effect public outcry and activism had in the Trayvon Martin case, a black Florida woman is pleading for support as she faces a 20-year sentence for firing a shot in the air with a gun she had a permit for and was trained to use after her husband assaulted her—i.e., standing her ground.
JusticeforMarissa.blogspot.com is the site where Jacksonville resident Marissa Alexander’s story is being told via Lincoln B. Alexander, Jr., and according to the site, the following events which occurred in August 2010 led to Marissa’s current situation:
“My name is Marissa Alexander, I am a mother of three children, but at the present time, I am not able to be with them due to the following circumstances. I am currently sitting in the Pretrial Detention Facility in Jacksonville FL, Duval County awaiting a sentence for three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with no intent to harm. Before my life changed drastically on that August afternoon, I was in the perilous position of leaving an abusive relationship with my husband who has history of violence and documented domestic abuse towards women. Our history included one which required me to place an injunction for protection against violence and was active during the month of August 2010.
“In an unprovoked jealous rage, my husband violently confronted me while using the restroom. He assaulted me, shoving, strangling and holding me against my will, preventing me from fleeing all while I begged for him to leave. After a minute or two of trying to escape, I was able to make it to the garage where my truck was parked, but in my haste to leave I realized my keys were missing. I tried to open the garage but there was a mechanical failure. I was unable to leave, trapped in the dark with no way out. For protection against further assault I retrieved my weapon; which is registered and I have a concealed weapon permit. Trapped, no phone, I entered back into my home to either leave through another exit or obtain my cell phone.
“He and my two stepsons were supposed to be exiting the house thru the front door, but he didn’t leave. Instead he came into the kitchen that leads to the garage and realized I was unable to leave. Instead of leaving thru the front door where his vehicle was parked outside of the garage, he came into the kitchen by himself. I was terrified from the first encounter and feared he came to do as he had threatened. The weapon was in my right hand down by my side and he yelled, “Itchbay I will kill you!”, and charged toward me. In fear and desperate attempt, I lifted my weapon up, turned away and discharged a single shot in the wall up in the ceiling. As I stood my ground it prevented him from doing what he threatened and he ran out of the home. Outside of the home, he contacted the police and falsely reported that I shot at him and his sons. The police arrived and I was taken into custody.”
Beyond the account of that day’s event, several concerns about the why the stand your ground law was not applied in this instance were outlined, including:
- In November 2010, Marissa’s husband, who was arrested for domestic violence twice—once in an altercation that sent Marissa to the hospital—admitted in a sworn statement that he was the aggressor and threatened her life.
- Marissa’s injunction against her husband and admission that she was in fear of her life prior to the arrest was ignored.
- After a hearing in July 2011, a judge denied Marissa’s motion, saying that she could have exited the house thru the master bedroom window, front door, and/or sliding glass back door, despite the fact that the law specifically states: No duty to retreat.
- Under Florida’s 10-20-life sentencing guideline, Marissa’s felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to harm carries a twenty year mandatory sentence.
The idea that firing a warning shot in the air in self-defense without harming anyone has placed Marissa in this predicament has caused her family to ask people who hear her story to send letters of support to Judge James Daniel pleading for justice in her case. For more details you can also check out her website here.
What do you think about this case?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Alvin Brown, Democrat and Florida native, became the first African American Mayor of Jacksonville on Wednesday. To the surprise of many, Brown beat out his Republican opponent and businessman, Mike Hogan, by approximately 1,600 votes.
Doubt against Brown’s ability to win the election spawned from Jacksonville’s trend of electing Republican candidates; therefore, leaving the chance for an African American to become elected slim to none. However, Brown gained support from Jacksonville’s business community, which included a list of prominent Republicans.
In fact, once sworn in, Brown will become the first Democrat to take the mayor’s seat of Florida’s largest city since the 1991 election of Ed Austin.
Brown was raised by his mother and Grandmother who worked two jobs to ensure the success of him and his siblings success. While a student at Jacksonville State University, Brown worked vigorously at a Winn Dixie store to support himself through school. However, being low on cash, Brown nearly dropped out until a Jacksonville pastor co-signed for a loan in order for him to finish college.
It was this experience that Brown has not forgotten. Among several priorities for Jacksonville, he plans to create summer jobs for youth. “I want to make sure the next generation has the same opportunity that I received,” Brown said in a recent interview with BlackAmericaWeb.com. “My first priority is jobs. We must invest in the inner city and create public-private partnerships.”
In addition to his strong efforts to create summer jobs, Brown has listed improving the education system, increasing development in the downtown area of Jacksonville, addressing crime, and cleaning up neighborhoods as goals of his term as mayor.