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Jacksonville’s week of mishaps: Mathews Bridge hit and airport shutdown

Jacksonville (Fla.), Jax to most of us who live here, had two mishaps in the last 7 days, inconveniencing travelers.

First the Mathews Bridge was seriously damaged when it was hit by a cargo ship towed by tugboats on Thursday. The bridge is heavily trafficked and thousands of commuters are now being rerouted because it’s closed indefinitely.

On Tuesday, the Jacksonville International Airport shut down for hours. CBS 47 News said a passenger on her way to Washington (D.C.) sent the station video of a man being taken into custody. The man was reportedly acting suspicious and refused to sit down. He was also said to have a backpack.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office issued a brief statement:

On Tuesday, October 1, 2013, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office was called to assist the Jacksonville Aviation Authority regarding a possible suspicious package.

The JSO Bomb Squad responded to the airport and conducted a thorough search of the facility. A device was located, removed from the area, and rendered safe by the Bomb Squad.

The JSO continues to work closely with the JAA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine the nature of the activity at the airport.

On camera, one spokesperson told CBS 47 on Tuesday night the package rendered safe did have “destructive” properties, but he didn’t go so far as to call it a bomb.

The local daily said Zeljko Causevic, a 39-year-old Jacksonville man, is under arrest in connection with a bomb scare.

Jacksonville is, according to local lore, the largest city in land area in the contiguous United States. As a resident, I can say it’s a fantastic place to live and raise a family, with beaches, special natural areas and parks, and the NFL Jaguars as well as a great rugby team, the Axemen. The rugby team won the USA Rugby League national championship in 2012. Another well-kept secret is a thriving live music community, with many different styles and performers at venues around the city every day of the week.

(Filed by Kay B. Day/October 2, 2013)

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