Breaking News

    Davidson indicted, state to seek death penalty

    Eric Cravey 12-17-2014

    Clay Grand Jury indicts Donald Davidson on nine counts GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A Clay County Grand Jury indicted Donald Hugh Davidson, Jr., 34, the morning of Dec. 17 for the December 1 murder of 35-year-old Roseanne Kasama Welsh who was stabbed to death in her home on Canvasback Road in Middleburg. Davidson was indicted on charges of murder in the first degree, attempted sexual battery, four counts of sexual battery, lewd or lascivious molestation, kidnapping and grand theft auto. The state has filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty in this case. Davidson is housed in the Clay ...
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    Front Page

      School nurses present unified front for pay increases

      12-18-2014

      By Eric Cravey
      Managing Editor FLEMING ISLAND – When Dana West served as a public school nurse in the 1998-1999 school year in Columbia, S.C., she made more money than she does today serving as the school nurse at Fleming Island Elementary. ...
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      Value of life in Florida law debated

      12-18-2014

      By Mike Ford and Eric Cravey
      MIDDLEBURG – Jennifer Higginbotham watched in awe the night her mother tried to stop Brooks Collier from driving after consuming at least 18 beers. She said will never be able to erase the image of how her mother ...
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      Sounds of the season

      12-18-2014

      ORANGE PARK – Third through fifth grade students at Orange Park Performing Arts Academy’s drama focus perform an oral interpretation of "The Grinch" during the school’s Winter Showcase on Dec. 11. The charter school at 1324 Kingsley Ave. ...
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      Big League Dreams moves step forward

      Super User 08-30-2013

      Residents do a little dreaming too By Debra W. Buehn Correspondent GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The proposed Big League Dreams sports complex, which moved another step forward at the Aug. 27 Board of County Commissioners meeting, looks to be leading some ...
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      Inmate death ruled homicide in state report

      Super User 08-30-2013

      By Eric Cravey Managing Editor GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A state investigation into the death of a Clay County Jail inmate has determined that the inmate’s death was a homicide. Associate Medical Examiner Stacey A. Simons, M.D. also determined ...
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      Van Zant, Board drop lawsuit

      Eric Cravey 05-20-2013

      Attorney fees $24,231.37 Managing Editor GREEN COVE SPRINGS – In an effort to minimize the expense of taxpayer dollars trying to get an appellate court to rule on a lawsuit filed April 18 by Superintendent Charlie Van Zant Jr. against the Clay ...
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      Business

        My wish list for Florida’s wildlands

        12-18-2014

        By Ginny Stibolt
        As a gardener, I am concerned about Florida’s delicate environment, so it only makes sense I would try and enact change in any manner possible. On Dec. 16, I spoke to the Clay County Legislative Delegation at its pre-legislative ...
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        ‘Free Ride’ launches on Fleming Island

        12-18-2014

        By Mike Ford
        Staff Writer FLEMING ISLAND – After a night out on the town, getting home without taking a risk of driving impaired is something left up to the individual. With no cab service available here, some might be more inclined to drive ...
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        Business

        12-18-2014

        MIDDLEBURG – A Middleburg insurance agent has been honored as a business leader and involved citizen in the Clay County community of Middleburg.
        Allstate named agency owner Felisha Foote an Allstate Premier Agency for 2014, which is awarded ...
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        Community

          Blanding six-laning project on tap for Middleburg

          12-18-2014

          By Mike Ford
          Staff Writer JACKSONVILLE – Most Clay County residents have probably been stuck in bumper-to-bumper congestion on Blanding Boulevard at one time or another. While government may often be slow to address problems, this project is no exception. The Florida Department of Transportation presented its latest five-year road construction plan on Dec. 11 that includes spending $20.6 million on widening Blanding Boulevard through the heart of Middleburg from County Road 220 to Allie Murray Road. The Blanding project also involves spending $2.7 million for the acquisition of right ...
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          Officials, community present legislative wish lists to lawmakers

          12-18-2014

          By Eric Cravey
          Managing Editor GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Roads, elections policy and high-risk testing were a few of the issues on the minds of local elected officials meeting this week with the Clay County Legislative Delegation as lawmakers prepare to offer legislative priorities to their colleagues in upcoming committee meetings in Tallahassee ahead of March’s start of the Florida Legislature. Each year, the delegation meets with officials from Clay County’s school district, the Board of County Commissioners and area governments to field concerns they believe could enhance the quality ...
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          Military News

          12-18-2014

          Clay County residents complete basic training
          COLUMBIA, S.C. – Three Clay County residents recently completed basic combat training for the U.S. Army at different Army training bases. Army Pvt. Cara D. Cochran and Pvt. Dylan J. East graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C., while Army Pvt. Patrick D. Griffin graduated from basic combat training at Fort Benning, Ga. During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, ...
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          Teen bounces back after brain surgery

          12-18-2014

          By Mike Ford
          Staff Writer MIDDLEBURG – Sundays are set aside by many families for time together but that came crashing down for the Warner Family this past August when 14-year-old Jacob had a seizure caused by a brain tumor. The family had no ...
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          Golden Eagles rise to challenge for second year in a row

          12-18-2014

          FLEMING ISLAND – For the second year in a row, the Fleming Island High Golden Eagles football team has collected a record number of non-perishable foods for the Food Pantry of Green Cove Springs.
          Just as the shiny silver Stanley Cup is coveted ...
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          Community

          12-18-2014

          Pediatric in-patient unit opens
          ORANGE PARK – Officials at Orange Park Medical Center recently opened the hospital’s Pediatric Inpatient Unit with its first patient being admitte Dec. 10. The new unit serves as a complement to the hospital’s new Pediatric Emergency Room waiting room and 10 Pediatric ER treatment rooms. Located on the second floor, the unit is filled with bright, cheerful décor and has eight private pediatric inpatient beds and two Intensive Care Unit beds close by. The secure unit is staffed 24 hours a day with specially trained pediatricians and pediatric ...
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          Cub Scouts ‘go see it’

          12-18-2014

          FLEMING ISLAND – A group of tigers recently invaded the offices of Clay Today. Members of Cub Scout Pack 310, which is sponsored by St. Johns Country Day School, visited Clay Today on Dec. 11 as part of a required "Go See It" communications ...
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          Send us your "Good Deeds"

          12-18-2014

          Is your school science club collecting canned goods for a local food pantry? Have you hit a new personal milestone in blood donations? Did your professional service organization donate money to a worthy cause?
          If you answered yes to any of the hypothetical questions above, Clay Today would like to hear from you. For the past nine months, we’ve been running an occasional column called "Good Deeds." It’s our way of showcasing all of the good works being done to help others in the community. If you have a moment, write a brief description of what your club or company did. Be sure to ...
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          SJCDS Honor Society collects bags for nonprofit

          12-18-2014

          ORANGE PARK – St. Johns National Junior Honor Society is collecting paper bags in December for the nonprofit Waste Not Want Not, a food program that rescues food for people in need.
          The bags will make it easier for people to package and transport ...
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          Girl Scouts spread holiday cheer

          12-18-2014

          FLEMING ISLAND – Girl Scout Cadette troops No. 691 and 670 and Brownie troop No. 635 of Fleming Island spread some holiday cheer on Dec. 12 at the LifeCare Center on Wells Road. The Girl Scouts entertained residents and patients with holiday ...
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          Lower School collects for Hall Charities

          12-18-2014

          ORANGE PARK – Lower School Student Government at St. Johns Country Day School chose the J.P. Hall Children’s Charities toy collection program as its service project for Dec. 8-18. They are securing unwrapped toys for underprivileged children in ...
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          Get a little nutty in your landscape

          12-18-2014

          Ihave to admit, I’m the sort of gardener who likes a little return on my investment of time and money. Don’t get me wrong – safety and appearance are very important. I always really like to find three reasons for any decision (thank you ...
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          Students fill ‘Boxes of Love’

          12-18-2014

          ORANGE PARK – Middle School students at St. Johns Country Day are making sure the children at Quigley House have a "Box of Love" for Christmas. The boxes, which are cardboard, are filled with about $25 worth of girl’s-or boy’s age-appropriate ...
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          Garden Club pitches in at school

          12-18-2014

          DOCTORS INLET – On Dec. 1, the Hummingbird Circle Youth Gardening Committee removed frost-damaged plants, planted an unknown bush left by the garden, paperwhite bulbs, and daffodils at Doctors Inlet Elementary School. Members Sadako Long, Ann Lee, ...
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          Bank aids food pantry

          12-18-2014

          ORANGE PARK – Ameris Bank’s 5th Annual "Helping Fight Hunger" campaign recently collected 4,031 non-perishable food items at it Blanding Boulevard location, while companywide, bank employees and customers donated more than 760,000 non-perishable ...
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          Clay Builders Council chips in for food pantry

          12-18-2014

          JACKSONVILLE – For the 25th consecutive year, the Clay Builders Council of the Northeast Florida Builders Association is teaming up with the Food Pantry of Green Cove Springs to provide Christmas dinner baskets to more than 100 needy families in Clay County. The effort began more than two decades ago when Council members built shelves and a reception area for the food pantry. Wanting to contribute more, the builders began giving away food baskets the next year and so began a holiday tradition.
          Through the purchase of food and overseeing its distribution, the Clay Builders Council helps ...
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          Faith Walk

          12-18-2014

          This is a season for giving. It is appropriate that we express the spirit of the season by giving gifts. After all, this whole time is about the greatest gift ever given. It is about God giving His own Son as a gift for the salvation of all who ...
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          Horse auction scheduled for Tuesday

          12-18-2014

          PENNEY FARMS – A 10-year-old mare named Red – a sorrel appendix quarter horse – needs a new home. Weighing in at approximately 1,200-1,500 pounds, Red has been recovering from a tragic accident under the care of the Clay County Animal Care ...
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          Green

          12-18-2014

          By Mike Ford
          Staff Writer GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Each time Lauren Waidner picks up a golf club, she envisions herself one day competing in college-level play. In the past two years since she became a student at the Golf Academy of North Florida at ...
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          Veterans graves prepped for Christmas

          12-18-2014

          KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – The gravesites of more than 400 U.S. military veterans in Keystone Heights are now prepared for the Christmas season. In a weekend ceremony, some 400 volunteers turned out to place Christmas wreaths on the graves of 425 ...
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          Foodies

          12-18-2014

          Charleston, S.C. is paradise for a foodie like myself. I stayed in incredible places and ate some amazing meals on my two visits to Charleston this year. Charleston is not an inexpensive city, but the rewards are many.
          The first visit was in ...
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          Chocolate Sherry Cream Filled Bars

          12-18-2014

          Brownies:
          4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate 1 cup butter 4 eggs 2 cups sugar 1 cup flour ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla Combine chocolate and butter in a glass, microwaveable bowl. Microwave on 50% power for 3-4 minutes or until the ...
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          FROM PAGE 22

          12-18-2014

          narthex, 10 p.m. choral prelude, 10:30 p.m. Festive Eucharist.
          St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church, 1324 Kingsley Ave., Orange Park, presents "Celebrate More Than Just Gifts," a special worship service for our family, friends and ...
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          Keystone Heights has eyes on Eastside

          12-18-2014

          By Randy Lefko
          Sports Editor KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – With his eye squarely on the eight ball, metaphorically, Keystone Heights boy’s soccer coach Trevor Waters emphatically challenges his team to look ahead. Specifically, look ahead to a district ...
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          Camp teaches youth leadership skills, wellness for life

          Eric Cravey 08-07-2014

          By Eric Cravey Managing Editor CAMP BLANDING – James Houston has friends from all across Florida thanks to a summer camp he is attending this week at Camp Blanding. The rising high school freshman from Mount Dora, Fla. is one of 49 Florida ...
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          School Board votes to sever possible ties with controversial conference

          Eric Cravey 10-21-2013

          By Eric Cravey Managing Editor FLEMING ISLAND – A controversy that sprang up last week surrounding a planned November conference that Clay County School Superintendent Charlie Van Zant Jr. had previously worked to co-sponsor with a St. Johns County nonprofit is closer to being ended. In its October meeting, the Clay County School Board voted 5-0 to cut any ties that may appear between the District and The Report Card and its "Dare to Think" conference scheduled for Nov. 4 and 5 at the Thrasher-Horne Conference Center on the campus of St. Johns River State College. However, a check of ...
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          This

          Melissa 08-29-2013

          2003, 10 Years Ago • Father Moises Palaroan, 52, of St. William Catholic Church in Keystone Heights was arrested on charges of allegedly stealing $196,707 in church funds and close to $100,000 from parishioners. • Rep. Jennifer Carroll(R-13) held a community meeting with residents at Kirkwood Presbyterian Church in Argyle. • Clay County School Superintendent David Owens wrote members of the Clay County Legislative Delegation asking for more state funds for local school coffers. He said the district was among one of the lowest funded in the state yet conversely was one of the ...
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          Sports

            Raiders’ streak ends at three

            12-18-2014

            OT win over unbeaten Baker County
            By Anthony Richards Correspondent ORANGE PARK – Orange Park High was on the losing end of a boy’s basketball contest for the first time in four games as the Raiders fell 49-32 to Bartram Trail Dec. 13 in the ...
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            Eagles vetoed by Senators

            12-18-2014

            By Randy Lefko
            Sports Editor NEPTUNE BEACH – Fleming Island boy’s basketball coach Chris Jackson needed to beat district 3-7A leader Fletcher High Saturday to stay in the hunt for a top two finish in the district, but the Senators did not get ...
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            Bortles’ ankle questionable for home finale vs. Titans

            12-18-2014

            By Randy Lefko
            Sports Editor JACKSONVILLE – With rookie quarterback Blake Bortles questionable as to how long he will last in Thursday night’s final home game against the Tennessee Titans, the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have had good luck in ...
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            Late drive by Wildcats ends Flames’ playoff run

            12-18-2014

            Villanova’s McCurry vs. Liberty’s Hagen
            Special to Clay Today VILLANOVA, Penn. – Villanova University, ranked fifth in NCAA FBS polls, scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:12 left in their NCAA FCS Playoffs second round game against ...
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            National champs

            12-18-2014

            The Middleburg Athletic Association’s 12-Under level 2 cheerleaders won the Youth Football League national cheer competition on Dec. 13 in Tampa after winning the city title at the University of North Florida in October. Pictured are (Front Row) ...
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            UCF v. NC State: Bitcoin St.Petersburg Bowl, Dec. 26, 8 p.m.

            12-18-2014

            Former Orange Park High football standout Terrance Plummer, left in white, will end his illustrious football career at the University of Central Florida in the Bitcoin St. Peterburg Bowl against North Carolina State on December 26 at 8 p.m. ...
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            2014 Westside Kiwanis Christmas Invitational

            12-18-2014

            1. Camden County 187
            2. Sandalwood 142 3. Fleming Island 141.5: (2-1sts), (3-3rds) 6. Middleburg 111.0 (2-1sts), (2-2nds) 106 Champion: MHS Dylan Rosetti 3-0; wins by injury default in finals; won pin :11, pin 2:28 113: No area wrestlers 120 Champion: Xaiver Sampsel won title with three falls; :30, 1:19 and 5:58 over Gant Moore (Buchholz) MHS Austin Benton 0-2, lost by pin 1:48, lost by forfeit 126 Third place: Tracy Davis FIHS 3-1, lost first to Zion Graham Camden 8-4 (Eventual champion), Finished third with 15-1, pin :28, technical fall 16-1, win 8-2 MHS Bailey Custer 0-2, lost by pin ...
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            Fleming Island third at Kiwanis with depleted lineup

            12-18-2014

            By Randy Lefko
            Sports Editor JACKSONVILLE – With four potential state qualifiers taking college tests, the Fleming Island High wrestling team got inched by half a point for third place at the Westside Kiwanis Christmas Wrestling Invitational ...
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            Lake Asbury wins wrestling title

            12-18-2014

            Oakleaf Junior High wrestler Brady Dunlap gets a close look at his near-pin by referee in match against Lake Asbury Junior High.
            STAFF PHOTOS BY RANDY LEFKO Lakeside Junior High’s Dean Granci holds on in pin hold against Suwannee Middle School. ...
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            Junior High hoops: Green Cove & Orange Park

            12-18-2014

            STAFF PHOTOS BY RANDY LEFKO
            In junior high basketball action at Green Cove Springs Junior High School, the Cougar girls of Green Cove Springs won 43-13 in the night’s opener against Orange Park Junior with the Wildcat boys team returning the ...
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            Third Annual Blue Devil Holiday Basketball Classic

            12-18-2014

            Dec. 26, 27 and 29 Clay High School
            Girls Matchups Fri., Dec. 26 Round One Game 1: Bishop Snyder v. Fletcher (9 a.m.) Game 2: Sandalwood vs. Fleming Island (10:30 a.m.) Game 3: University Christian vs. Middleburg (12 p.m.) Game 4: Ed White vs. Clay (1:30 p.m.) Round Two Sat., Dec. 27 Game 5: Losers 1 vs. 2 (9a.m.) Game 6: Losers 3 vs. 4 (12 p.m.) Game 7: Winners 1 vs. 2 (10:30 a.m.) Game 8: Winners 3 vs. 4 (1:30 p.m.) Mon., Dec. 29 Championship Round Game 9: Losers 5 vs. 6 (9 a.m.) Game 10: Losers 7 vs. 8 (12 p.m.) Game 11: Consolation Champions-Winners 5 vs. 6 (3:30 p.m.) Game 12: ...
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            Opinion

              This Week

              12-18-2014

              5 Years Ago, 2009
              • At the annual pre-Legislative session public forum, Clay County School Superintendent Ben Wortham pleaded with members of the Clay County Legislative Delegation for more funding and fewer mandates that strip teachers of their ability to teach. • The International Association of Fairs and Expositions awarded the Clay County Agricultural Fair with a first prize Agricultural Award of Excellence for its Honey House Exhibit, which was established in collaboration with the Northeast Florida Honeybee Keepers Association and the Clay County Extension Service. • ...
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              From the editor

              12-18-2014

              Looking back over 2014, Clay Today has shed a great deal of light on one of Clay County’s problems that is not going away – poverty.
              We’ve written stories about such organizations that help needy families as Mercy Support Services, ...
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              A Few Words on Florida’s newly-appointed Department of Environmental Protection director

              12-18-2014

              By Bruce Ritchie
              Jon Steverson, Gov. Rick Scott’s choice as Department of Environmental Protection secretary, has been an outspoken director of the Northwest Florida Water Management District during his brief tenure there. Whether he will ...
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              • 20 Dec 2014

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