I was jolted awake this morning shortly before 5 a.m. by the squawk of the emergency broadcast system on the television. An Amber alert relayed the news that an eight-year-old Jacksonville girl, Charish Perriwinkle, had disappeared from a Walmart on the city's north side at 11 p.m. Friday night. Police feared she was in the company of a registered sex offender, Donald James Smith. For hours, the local station provided updates as I half-slept. Around 9:30 a.m., police said the sex offender was caught in his van ... read more

While covering the first round of the Players Championship Thursday at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fl., CBS Sports golf columnist Steve Elling made a really ugly crack about an overweight fan in the Tiger Woods gallery: A distinctly rotund, lava-lunged woman was following the former world No. 1 all day, and was making no secret of her level of adoration for the 36-year-old. Make no mistake, the players in Tiger's threesome were tracking the hilarity, too, as Woods had to repeatedly fight a smirk. ... To put ... read more

I was granted media credentials by CNN to report on the GOP presidential debate last night in Jacksonville for the Drudge Retort, the first time I've had the opportunity to cover a debate. The University of North Florida squeezed around 400 journalists into a campus ballroom, putting online media together in one corner. I was sandwiched between the Huffington Post and The Guardian. A misprint on a sign led the British journalist Toby Harnden to think that Matt Drudge had come up from Miami to attend. When ... read more

I mentioned earlier that some of my neighbors in North Florida are having trouble accepting the possibility of an Obama presidency. One of them is Kim "Velociman" Crawford, who's going to flee to the Georgia mountains if Obama wins: ... I firmly believe Barack Obama absolutely loathes my kind. This man will not be content to win the presidency. He will spend his waking hours thereafter not pursuing the legitimate goals of state, but punishing those who would dare to oppose him. ... Did I mention this man hates me? ... read more

I got a flier in the mail informing me that the St. Augustine Alligator Farm is now offering a "parents night out" service: Let us entertain your kids in a safe and educational environment while you and yours have a night out on the town. Have a nice dinner, take in a movie, or just relax at home; whatever you want, we've got the kids. ... Includes: 2 slices of pizza per person, drinks, hands-on animal presentation, twilight zoo tour, a craft, nocturnal games and lots of fun! When I'm looking for a relaxing night ... read more

We're hunkered down for Tropical Storm Fay, which has stalled over Daytona Beach and is sending massive amounts of rain to the Jacksonville area. The weather buoy on the St. Augustine Beach pier reported wind gusts as high as 49 mph in the middle of the night. I pride myself on being the first person to evacuate Florida under threat of hurricane, but Fay wasn't predicted to become a category 1 hurricane until there was no time to flee, so we rode it out. The storm has stayed too close to shore to reach open water ... read more

A blog in St. Augustine, Art in the Market, is published by street artists who are tired of being driven away from the city's Old Town district by police. Ten years ago, the thousands of tourists who walked up and down St. George Street in Old Town would see a motley assortment of musicians, artists and street performers. One of our favorites was Sterling the Silver Man, a guy covered in glittery spray paint who combined robotic movements with the occasional water gun sneak attack on passers-by. My kids loved it. ... read more