Claire Heddles
Claire has been a reporter in Jacksonville since August of 2021. She was previously the local host of "NPR's Morning Edition" at WUOT in Knoxville, Tennessee. During her time in East Tennessee, her coverage of the COVID pandemic earned a Public Media Journalists’ Association award for investigative reporting. You can reach Claire at (904) 250-0926, claire@jaxtoday.org or on Twitter @ClaireHeddles.
Featured image for “Duval Schools tells teachers to ‘cover or store’ books”
January 27, 2023

Duval Schools tells teachers to ‘cover or store’ books

In a video obtained by WJCT News, the district’s chief academic officer tells teachers to pull books from classrooms until they’re reviewed.

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Featured image for “Republican donor Kent Stermon had JSO access for nearly a decade as part of ‘the sheriff’s circle’”
January 19, 2023

Republican donor Kent Stermon had JSO access for nearly a decade as part of ‘the sheriff’s circle’

Kent Stermon, the donor who was under investigation when he died, was issued 5 separate badges giving him JSO access, starting under John Rutherford.

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Featured image for “Florida Ed Board OKs school book rules, rejects trans student protections and applauds ‘anti-woke’ state colleges ”
January 18, 2023

Florida Ed Board OKs school book rules, rejects trans student protections and applauds ‘anti-woke’ state colleges 

The State Board of Education signed off on measures in alignment with the priorities of Governor Ron DeSantis.

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Featured image for “5 issues that Jax-area lawmakers might tackle this Florida legislative session”
January 10, 2023

5 issues that Jax-area lawmakers might tackle this Florida legislative session

The Florida Legislature has a Northeast Florida House speaker for the first time in two decades. Here are 5 issues to watch.

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Featured image for “Mayor Curry’s ‘resign-to-run’ idea looks doomed”
January 3, 2023

Mayor Curry’s ‘resign-to-run’ idea looks doomed

It looks like Jacksonville City Council members don’t want to give up their positions when seeking another public office. Mayor Lenny Curry’s “resign-to-run” bill looks doomed to fail in the Jacksonville City Council. The council’s Neighborhood Committee unanimously opposed the bill Tuesday. The ordinance didn’t get support in the rules committee either — only Nick Howland and Rory Diamond supported

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Featured image for “Duval Schools to keep 73 ‘diverse, inclusive’ books out of classrooms”
December 22, 2022

Duval Schools to keep 73 ‘diverse, inclusive’ books out of classrooms

Dozens of books the Duval County school district ordered in the summer of 2021 will never hit classroom shelves. That’s the result of an ongoing review after the district pulled almost 200 books this spring while the Florida Legislature passed limits on what teachers can say about race, gender and sexual orientation in classrooms and set new rules for purchasing

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Featured image for “JSO blames software issue for missing Kent Stermon access logs”
December 14, 2022

JSO blames software issue for missing Kent Stermon access logs

Influential Republican donor Kent Stermon, who died last week, used a personal badge to access Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office buildings more than 700 times over the past five years and on at least 25 separate dates in 2022, according to records obtained by Jacksonville Today. Those numbers, released last week, disproved two years’ worth of blank Stermon access records the Jacksonville

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Featured image for “Mayor Lenny Curry could be violating the First Amendment on Twitter ”
December 13, 2022

Mayor Lenny Curry could be violating the First Amendment on Twitter 

Navy veteran Mandie Marron was stationed in Jacksonville almost two decades ago. She joined Twitter mostly to keep up on “tech stuff” with others on her squadron. Over the years, she’s used the platform to get more involved in local news and politics. But there’s one major government figure, and frequent tweeter, she often can’t respond to: Mayor Lenny Curry. 

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Featured image for “Duval Schools terminates contract with LGBTQ+ support organization”
November 30, 2022

Duval Schools terminates contract with LGBTQ+ support organization

Duval County Public Schools has ended a 20-year relationship with JASMYN, Northeast Florida’s leading LGBTQ support organization for young people. In an email to principals Wednesday, Superintendent Diana Greene said the decision was because of “inappropriate program materials.” CEO Cindy Watson called the move “an overreaction to a far right extremist website spreading inflammatory misinformation about our HIV prevention work

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Featured image for “$500K idling, facilitators ghosted: A timeline of Jax Confederate monument inaction”
November 29, 2022

$500K idling, facilitators ghosted: A timeline of Jax Confederate monument inaction

Advocates for removing Jacksonville’s Confederate monuments are growing impatient, as two pots of money for addressing Confederate monuments on public land – half a million dollars in Jacksonville’s city budget, and a philanthropic offer to fund a facilitated community discussion – are sitting idle, and Jacksonville City Council stalls promised action on Confederate monuments. Over the past year, the Council

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