In God We Trust now posted at all Florida public schools

As students returned to the classrooms this week, they were greeted with words “In God we Trust” posted at public schools statewide.  In the wake of the Stoneman Douglas high school shooting, a law requiring the statement to be posted was introduced by Jacksonville State Representative Kimberly Daniels and received support across party lines.   Representative Daniels is also a Preacher and Christian Author.

No sales taxes on back to school supplies this weekend!

Parents are getting ready to send the kids back to school.  It can be expensive but if you do your back to school shopping this weekend you’ll at least save money thanks to the Tax Free holiday.

The 2018 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday was passed by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Governor Rick Scott. The sales tax holiday runs through Sunday, August 5.

During this sales tax holiday period, qualifying items will be exempt from tax including: certain school supplies selling for $15 or less per item; and clothing, footwear, and certain accessories selling for $60 or less per item.

For more information and a list of qualifying items, please review the Department of Revenue’s Tax Information Publication (TIP) on the 2018 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday.



Monday July 30 is the deadline to register to vote!

We live in a country where we the people are given the power to elect our government.  It’s a system that is either copied or envied the world over.  Of course, this means nothing if you do not vote and you cannot vote unless you’re registered.

Monday is the first voter registration deadline of the 2018 election year.  If you:

  • Haven’t voted in a while and have been dropped from the voter rolls
  • Have never been a registered voter
  • Are new to the area
  • Have relocated within the area
  • Or want to change party affiliation

…if you want to be eligible to vote in the August 28th primary election.

Just stop by most public libraries and let them know you want to register to vote.  Downtown, they want you to come to the Supervisor of Elections office instead of the downtown library.

Mother of Jacksonville teen killed over loud music one step closer to Congress

The mother of the Jacksonville teenager who was shot and killed over an argument about loud music is one step closer to being elected to Congress in Georgia’s 6th congressional district in the Atlanta area.  This week Lucy McBath placed first in the democratic primary race and will face the second place finisher in a runoff in July.   Pundits believe this will be a close race, currently held by Republican Karen Handel who beat her Democratic opponent 51.8% to 48.2% in the most expensive congressional race in American history in a special election last year.  The winner of the July primary will face Handel in this fall’s midterm congressional election.

The killing of Jordan Davis on Jacksonville’s southside drew international attention and escalated the national gun debate.  Losing her only son to this senseless act of violence changed Mrs. McBath’s focus from that of a mother and airline employee to an activist for gun-control.  Jordan Davis’ killer was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Lucy McBath serves as Lead Usher at Trinity Chapel in her hometown and is an active member of  Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.


Jacksonville’s Omarosa Newman is a contestant on Big Brother

Omarosa Newman, aka Lady O of The Sanctuary at Mt. Calvary,  is competing to become the winner of Celebrity Big Brother on CBS.  If you’ve never seen Big Brother, contestants are moved into a very large house.  Each week at least one contestant is voted out by the housemates.  Often secret alliances are formed between contestants who agree not to vote to evict each other and contests are held to grant immunity from eviction, grant power to nominate others to be placed up for eviction, bonus prizes and the right not to have to eat disgusting food for a week.     Major office-style politics is in play almost constantly as contestants work to gain popularity and loyalty from each other by almost any means necessary.  The clincher, over 100 cameras and microphones are positioned throughout the house, which the show’s producers use to create each episode.

We’re already getting a glimpse on why Omarosa chose to work in the White House under Donald Trump, challenges she faced while there and how she says she was treated by the rest of the White House staff in this tearful chat with a fellow housemate.



Former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown wants to represent you in Congress

Jacksonville’s first African American Mayor, Alvin Brown, is seeking office again.  Brown hopes to unseat Al Lawson who has represented the Florida 5th Congressional District for a year.  Lawson was elected to Congress after defeating former Congresswoman Corrine Brown.

Before becoming Jacksonville’s Mayor, Alvin Brown was a member of the Bill Clinton Administration working in the US Department of Commerce.  Brown was also Deputy Administrator for Community Development, Rural Business and Cooperative Development Services at the US Department of Agriculture.  He was also the Executive Director of the Bush/Clinton Katrina Interfaith Fund, which oversaw distribution of more than $20 million used to rebuild churches that were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Me Too….

America’s Olympic sweetheart, Simone Biles is the latest prominent young lady to come forward with claims of sexual abuse.   She says her abuser was a trusted authority figure, the US gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar.  Simone joins over 140 female athletes who say the doctor took advantage of them when they were just children.

We reached out to Jacksonville Pediatrician, Dr. Prasanthi Reddy on steps parents can take to minimize the risk of their children being similarly abused.


By Prasanthi Reddy, MD

As a mother and a pediatrician, it is disturbing to learn about the abuse of power amongst people that we most trust to care for our children.  Child sexual abuse is unfortunately more common than most people know.  It is a difficult subject for parents to discuss with their children.  Parents often fear the loss of childhood innocence when acknowledging such atrocities in this world 

Unfortunately it is a subject that every parent needs to discuss with their children.   Knowledge is power even for children.   Here are some guidelines from American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Center for Victims of Crime that will help guide parents.  


  • 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse;
  • Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident;
  • During a one-year period in the U.S., 16% of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Children are most vulnerable to CSA between the ages of 7 and 13.
  • Incidence of abuse are commonly under-reported.


 What parents should know about child sexual abuse:

  • Most offenders are known to the child; they may be family members, relatives, friends, teachers, coaches, babysitters, and others in positions of authority.
  • Children most susceptible to sexual abuse have obedient, compliant and respectful personalities. They may be children from unhappy or broken homes, as these youngsters may be eager for attention and affection.
  • Children who are victims of sexual abuse can display many or few behavioral symptoms. They may withdraw from family or friends, display poor school performance, experience depression, anxiety, or exhibit aggressive and self-destructive behavior. Or they may not display any outward abnormal behavior.
  • Child sexual abuse often involves more than a single incident, and can go on for months or years.
  • Sexual abuse includes any kind of sexual act or behavior with a child, and includes activities involving genital contact as well as non-contact events- such as showing pornographic images to children, taking pornographic photographs of a child, etc.

Tips that can minimize your child’s risk of molestation:

  • In early childhood, parents can teach their children the name of the genitals, just as they teach their child names of other body parts. This teaches that the genitals, while private, are not so private that you can’t talk about them.
  • Parents can teach young children about the privacy of body parts, and that no one has the right to touch their bodies if they don’t want that to happen. Children should also learn to respect the right to privacy of other people.
  • Teach children early and often that there are no secrets between children and their parents, and that they should feel comfortable talking with their parent about anything — good or bad, fun or sad, easy or difficult.
  • Be aware of adults who offer children special gifts or toys, or adults who want to take your child on a “special outing” or to special events.
  • Enroll your child in daycare and other programs that have a parent “open door” policy.  Monitor and participate in activities whenever possible.
  • As children age, create an environment at home in which sexual topics can be discussed comfortably. Use news items and publicized reports of child sexual abuse to start discussions of safety, and reiterate that children should always tell a parent about anyone who is taking advantage of them sexually.
  • If your child discloses any history of sexual abuse, listen carefully, and take his or her disclosure seriously. Too often, children are not believed, particularly if they implicate a family member as the perpetrator. Contact your pediatrician, the local child protection service agency, or the police. If you don’t intervene, the abuse might continue, and the child may come to believe that home is not safe and that you are not available to help.
  • Support your child and let him or her know that he or she is not responsible for the abuse.
  • Bring your child to a physician for a medical examination, to ensure that the child’s physical health has not been affected by the abuse.
  • Most children and their families will also need professional counseling to help them through this ordeal, and your pediatrician can refer you to community resources for psychological help.
  • If you have concerns that your child may be a victim of sexual abuse, you should talk with your pediatrician. Your physician can discuss your concerns, examine your child, and make necessary referrals and reports.


Prasanthi Reddy, MD, FAAP, CIC is the medical director and owner of Rainbow Pediatric Center (RPC).    She is a board-certified pediatrician with special interests in childhood development, asthma and pediatric concussions.


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