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 “AUG. 23 VOTER GUIDE: Duval School Board District 6”
August 10, 2022

AUG. 23 VOTER GUIDE: Duval School Board District 6

Challenger Tanya Hardaker and incumbent Charlotte Joyce are facing off to represent District 6 on the Duval County School Board. Because there are only two candidates, the August primary will determine the outcome. District 6 covers most of southwest Duval County, including Argyle Forest, Avondale and Riverside. It’s a nonpartisan race, which means all District 6 voters will be able

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Featured image for “#AskJAXTDY: Will the proposed property tax for schools compound each year?”
August 9, 2022

#AskJAXTDY: Will the proposed property tax for schools compound each year?

The Jacksonville Today team is answering your voting questions ahead of the August 23rd primaries. A hot topic? The Duval Schools referendum to increase property taxes by 1 mill to increase teacher pay and boost sports and arts programs.  In Jacksonville Today’s voter guide on the proposal, we explained how schools are funded, and who’s for and against the referendum.

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Featured image for “AUG. 23 VOTER GUIDE: Florida House District 14”
August 4, 2022

AUG. 23 VOTER GUIDE: Florida House District 14

Four Democrats are on the August ballot for the newly drawn state House District 14. The previous District 14 was represented by Democrat Angie Nixon, who is now running in District 13 after the Florida Legislature’s redistricting. The race is closed, meaning only voters registered as Democrats can cast a ballot. That’s because of a last-minute, write-in candidate filing from

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Featured image for “AUG. 23 VOTER GUIDE: Property tax increase for Duval Schools”
August 3, 2022

AUG. 23 VOTER GUIDE: Property tax increase for Duval Schools

The Duval County School Board is asking property owners to pitch in more for public schools. All Duval voters are eligible to cast a ballot in the August referendum. What’s on the ballot The ballot asks voters to tick yes or no on whether the school district should “levy an ad valorem operating millage of 1 mill annually to attract

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Featured image for “AUG. 23 VOTER GUIDE: Jacksonville Sheriff”
July 24, 2022

AUG. 23 VOTER GUIDE: Jacksonville Sheriff

Five candidates – four Democrats and one Republican – are vying to fill the Jacksonville sheriff’s seat, following Mike Williams’ resignation earlier this summer. All Duval voters can vote in the August sheriff’s race, regardless of party affiliation. Meet the candidates  Candidates are in alphabetical order; photos and answers are from the first public forum with all five candidates, sponsored

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Featured image for “AUG. 23 VOTER GUIDE: Jacksonville City Council District 7, District 9”
July 21, 2022

AUG. 23 VOTER GUIDE: Jacksonville City Council District 7, District 9

Nine candidates are vying for Jacksonville City Council in the August 23rd election, as sitting council members Reggie Gaffney and Garrett Dennis have resigned to run for the Florida Legislature. The two council seats up for grabs are District 7, including Downtown, Springfield, the Eastside and parts of the Northside; and District 9, encompassing Murray Hill and parts of the

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Featured image for “Another LGBTQ resource disappears in Duval Schools”
July 10, 2022

Another LGBTQ resource disappears in Duval Schools

Duval County Public Schools has taken down a 12-minute anti-bullying video that taught middle and high school students how to support their gay and transgender peers, the latest in a string of vanishing LGBTQ resources in the district.  Besides the video, the district is planning to dramatically reduce a LGBTQ+ support guide, and the School Board will vote Monday on

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Featured image for “Florida’s most controversial new laws take effect Friday. Here’s what they mean for Northeast Fla.”
June 29, 2022

Florida’s most controversial new laws take effect Friday. Here’s what they mean for Northeast Fla.

Almost 150 new laws will take effect in Florida on Friday, including some that opponents are still trying to stop: the governor’s Stop WOKE Act and the Parental Rights in Education law. Democrats criticized the Legislature’s Republican supermajority for pushing through DeSantis-backed “culture war” bills instead of focusing on things like affordable housing. Most of Florida’s more than 200 new

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Featured image for “More than a third of Jacksonville Sheriff’s officers don’t live in Duval County”
June 15, 2022

More than a third of Jacksonville Sheriff’s officers don’t live in Duval County

Jacksonville’s recently resigned sheriff, Mike Williams, isn’t the only one who was policing the county while living somewhere else. Data obtained by Jacksonville Today show that about 35% of the officers in the agency — more than 650 Jacksonville police officers — live outside the county they patrol.  During former Sheriff Williams’ tenure, he came under fire from community groups, gun violence

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Featured image for “Local leaders respond to Sheriff Mike Williams’ move out of Jacksonville”
June 1, 2022

Local leaders respond to Sheriff Mike Williams’ move out of Jacksonville

Jacksonville’s office of general counsel is set to weigh in by 2 p.m. Thursday on whether Sheriff Mike Williams should be removed from office after he moved to Nassau County last year and continued to serve as sheriff, which violates the city’s charter.  Council President Sam Newby asked for the legal opinion after The Tributary reported last week that Sheriff

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