Front Page

    School Board passes new millage rate

    07-30-2015

    By Eric Cravey
    Managing Editor FLEMING ISLAND – As the Clay County School Board moved into the phase of its budget proceedings that involve setting the local millage rate, members reiterated how little control they have over making funding decisions. The board is required to pass four mill levies each year in order to obtain funding from the Florida Department of Education. By a 5-0 vote, the board voted to set the 2015-16 total mill levy at 7.137 compared to 7.222 for last year’s budget. As proposed, the new millage rate will collect an estimated $71,032,851 from local property ...
    Read more

    No Limits!

    07-30-2015

    LAKE ASBURY – Born with one arm and other challenging health concerns, Bryanna Williams, 16, hopes to garner enough support to compete in the National American Miss Pageant in November after recently winning first runner-up in the Florida ...
    Read more

    St. Vincent’s attracting others to Clay?

    07-30-2015

    By Mike Ford
    Staff Writer MIDDLEBURG – Having broken ground for expansion in recent months, the St. Vincent’s Medical Center Clay County is not only growing, but attracting other medical providers. One company is looking in to developing ...
    Read more

    Community

      ‘One Arm Wonder’ thrives despite birth defect

      07-30-2015

      By Mike Ford
      Staff Writer LAKE ASBURY – When Bryanna Williams was born, doctors gave her a 10 percent chance of survival. She had a hole in her heart, her stomach and intestines were outside of her body, she had no abdominal wall and she was ...
      Read more

      This Week in History

      07-30-2015

      5 Years Ago, 2010
      • Ray Avery, executive director of the Clay County Utility Authority announced a new fee structure designed to promote water conservation in shifting to a monthly billing cycle. • The Board of County Commissioners grappled with raising the property tax millage rate from 7.72 to 7.44 mills in the wake of declining property values related to the Great Recession. • The American Heart Association recognized Orange Park Medical Center for its stroke care program. 10 Years Ago, 2005 • Members of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church on Fleming Island consecrated its ...
      Read more

      Mastering the sun

      07-30-2015

      By Weston Williams
      Staff Writer DOCTORS INLET – With jaws dropped in spectacle, a crowd gathers at the Riverside Arts Market, their eyes fixed in wonderment at what appears to be a man mastering the sun. From his frame, he points a beam of light ...
      Read more

      New deputies welcomed aboard

      07-30-2015

      ORANGE PARK – The Clay County Sheriff’s Office has sworn in a new group of deputies. On July 27, Sheriff Rick Beseler, shown here in center, welcomed to the agency, from left, Carl Yost, Stephanie Smith, Justin Johnson, Eduardo Cordero, Stephen ...
      Read more

      OPHS grads reunited in Mediterranean

      07-30-2015

      ROTA, Spain – U.S. Navy maneuvers in the Mediterranean and Black Seas have led to the accidental reunion of two Orange Park High graduates from the Class of 1991.
      Cmdr. Tadd Gorman of Orange Park is the commanding officer of the Ross, an ...
      Read more

      Crop conference planned

      07-30-2015

      JACKSONVILLE – The First Coast Specialty Crop Conference, created by UF/ IFAS, comes to Jacksonville on Aug. 15, the first of five new regional conferences in 2015 and 2016 across the state.
      The conference has evolved from an annual statewide event that began in 2009 in Kissimmee to more targeted, regional conferences across the state. A team of UF/IFAS Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Extension agents and other stakeholders created the conference series, said Danielle Treadwell, a UF/IFAS associate professor in horticultural sciences. Experts at the program at the Student ...
      Read more

      Ritchey joins Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty

      07-30-2015

      FLEMING ISLAND – The Fleming Island office of Berkshire Hathaway Home-Services Florida Network Realty has added a new Realtor.
      Jeff Ritchey comes to the position with six years of real estate experience. Self-described as "coming from a ...
      Read more

      Orange Park Fall Festival still needs sponsors

      07-30-2015

      ORANGE PARK – While the Town of Orange Park has sold out of vendor spaces for its popular Fall Festival, there is still room for a number of sponsors for the 33rd annual event.
      Potential sponsors are asked to go to the festival website, www.opfallfestival.com, for more information. In the meantime, Orange Park Farmers and Arts Market vendors will be able to register for the new season in August. The town will host its first market on Sunday, Sept. 6 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The town is also accepting business vendors for its "Reel Fun Night" on Aug. 14. Crafters are not allowed at ...
      Read more

      Community

      07-30-2015

      Hospital adds tool to heart health program
      ORANGE PARK – Officials at Orange Park Medical Center have a new tool in the fight against heart failure and heart disease. The hospital is the first facility in Northeast Florida to implant the new miniaturized, wireless monitoring sensor called the CardioMEMS HF System. The system is the first and only FDA-approved heart failure monitoring device that has been proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions when used by physicians to manage heart failure. "It is wonderful that Orange Park Medical Center is able to provide this ...
      Read more

      Silcox retires from fire department

      07-30-2015

      By Mike Ford
      Staff Writer ORANGE PARK – After Fire Chief Ty Silcox decided to retire after 25 years with the department, he had a scary thought: What would he do now? "I was trying to decide what to do in my retirement and the job of chief with ...
      Read more

      School

      07-30-2015

      Clay students win scholarships
      GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The Florida Sheriffs Association has awarded two scholarships to Clay County students whose parents are law enforcement officers. The scholarships aim to aid students studying for a career in law ...
      Read more

      "Get Fit and Stay Fit for Life"

      07-30-2015

      Ilove learning and experiencing new things. The concept of life-long learning has always been a core value, but it’s only been recently that I’ve considered the idea of "life-long fitness." Yet it makes sense: you can’t learn new things if ...
      Read more

      Housing permits slip from last year

      07-30-2015

      By Mike Ford
      Staff Writer GREEN COVE SPRINGS – After 20 years in the construction business, Bill Garrison had to look for another line of work when the recession hit and new home construction bottomed out. New family home development in Clay ...
      Read more

      BCC sets higher millage rate at 8.4585 mills

      07-30-2015

      By Debra W. Buehn
      Correspondent GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Clay County commissioners Tuesday set a tentative top millage rate for fiscal year 2015-2016 at 8.4585, a slight increase over the current rate of 8.1010. The vote was 3-1 for approval with Commissioner Wendell Davis voting against it, saying he preferred to maintain the current as suggested by staff. Commission Chairwoman Diane Hutchings was out of town. The new budget year begins Oct. 1, with the budget projected around $288 million. That’s a little more than $10 million over the current budget of nearly $278 million. The ...
      Read more

      Faith Walk

      07-30-2015

      GRACE
      This is a modern telling of the story Jesus told about the lost son. It is taken from the book "What’s So Amazing About Grace?" It is the story of a prodigal daughter who grows up in Traverse City, Mich. Disgusted with her old-fashioned ...
      Read more

      DEVELOPMENT REVIEW COMMITTEE:

      07-30-2015

      Meets July 30 at 10 a.m. in the Zoning Department Conference Room, 3rd Floor of the Administration Building, 477 Houston St., Green Cove Springs. The meeting is open to the public.
      BOOK DISCUSSION: The Fleming Island Public Library’s book ...
      Read more

      Coldwell Banker Vanguard aids local charities

      07-30-2015

      ORANGE PARK – Local charities continue to benefit from an area realty company’s philanthropic organization. CBV Cares, an outgrowth of Coldwell Banker Vanguard, has recently donated almost $2,000 to two Clay County charities. On June 30, CBV ...
      Read more

      How to help kids transition back to the classroom

      07-30-2015

      As a new school year draws nearer, parents can employ several strategies to help their kids readjust to the rigors of the classroom.
      The dawn of a new school year is an exciting time. Kids may not want to say goodbye to days spent lounging by the ...
      Read more

      Does seating impact behavior and learning?

      07-30-2015

      The first day of school brings many changes. Students must acclimate themselves to a new routine and curriculum, while teachers must acquaint themselves with an entirely new crop of students. The first few weeks of school are a time to ease into ...
      Read more

      Is your child ready for kindergarten?

      07-30-2015

      Age 5 is a big year in a child’s life. In many school districts, children enroll in kindergarten shortly after their fifth birthdays. But age alone does not dictate if a child is ready to transition from a preschool environment to kindergarten, ...
      Read more

      Help your student choose the right major

      07-30-2015

      As recent college graduates can no doubt attest, the job market for young people can be difficult to navigate. Many recent graduates are still struggling to find full-time employment, and some might be wondering if they chose the right major.
      Though choosing a major is about more than just finding a job, the financial burden of earning a college degree can’t be ignored. According to the Project on Student Debt, 71 percent of college seniors who graduated in 2012 had student loan debt, with an average of $29,400 per borrower. In fact, between 2008 and 2012, the average student loan debt ...
      Read more

      Finding the right preschool

      07-30-2015

      Parents know that choosing a preschool for their children is a decision not to be taken lightly. Preschools are often a child’s first extensive experience away from home, and the right school can help kids make that transition more smoothly. When ...
      Read more

      Does returning to school make good financial sense?

      07-30-2015

      When the financial crisis of 2008 first arrived, many people found themselves in the unemployment line. For some, unemployment proved a brief bump in the road, while others endured several years of unemployment before landing on their feet. Some men ...
      Read more

      Council picks St. Augustine firm for Spring Park design

      07-30-2015

      By Greg Walsh
      Correspondent GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A St. Augustine civil engineering company will design and oversee the upcoming construction of the Spring Park swimming pool, pool house and nearby area around the underground spring that feeds the ...
      Read more

      Solano wins three golds

      07-30-2015

      By Randy Lefko
      Sports Editor JACKSONVILLE – A little sportsmanship from a key opponent led to one gold medal while two others came by way of dominant performances as Orange Park master’s runner Alfonso Solano came home with three gold medals ...
      Read more

      Knights’ round table of pass catchers tops in county

      07-30-2015

      By Randy Lefko
      Sports Editor OAKLEAF – With a returning cast of sticky-finger wideouts from 2014, Oakleaf High football coach Derek Chipoletti should be able to enjoy a bit of his sideline, albeit, not too much now that the target of "contender" ...
      Read more

      Treat, Kennon splash to River City titles

      07-30-2015

      By Randy Lefko
      Sports Editor CECIL FIELD – Former Oakleaf High swimmer Carter Treat and his former teammate Elianna Kennon returned to championship form to push the Argyle Swim Team to a strong fifth place finish in the River City Swim League ...
      Read more

      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 ...
      Read more

      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 ...
      Read more

      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 ...
      Read more

      Sports

        Local runner starts second battle with cancer

        07-30-2015

        By Randy Lefko
        Sports Editor ORANGE PARK – Twenty three years ago, Orange Park master’s runner Britta Nelson Fortson lost sight in her right eye due to a rare cancer, but was able to out-battle the five year window that doctors detailed would be ...
        Read more

        FIHS harriers go 1-2-3 in Bridges 5K

        07-30-2015

        By Randy Lefko
        Sports Editor JACKSONVILLE – Three Fleming Island High School cross country runners took the top three spots in the 14-19 age group to highlight the Vestcor 5K Bridges Run in downtown Jacksonville Saturday night. Led by Evan ...
        Read more

        Blue Devils’ Singletary gets ‘Grinder Award’

        07-30-2015

        Special to Clay Today
        MURFEESBURO, Tenn. – Former Clay High defensive back Jared Singletary, now a senior defensive back at Middle Tennessee State University was given the "Grinder Award" for cornerbacks following spring drills and was named as ...
        Read more

        Baseball All Staters

        07-30-2015

        Four area high school baseball aces were recently selected to All State first teams by the Florida Athletic Coaches Association with, left to right, Keystone Heights’ Bryce Plummer getting the nod in Class 4A, Oakleaf High pitcher Skylar Arias ...
        Read more

        Former Bronco at Berry College

        07-30-2015

        Special to Clay Today
        Mt. Berry, Ga. – Former Middleburg High football wide receiver Jake Jones, right, will be playing his junior season at Berry College near Rome, Ga, in 2015. Jones played in 10 games in 2014 with seven catches for 44 yards. In ...
        Read more

        Sports Calendar

        07-30-2015

        Aug. 1
        Jaguars open training camp The Jacksonville Jaguars training camp is open to the public on Aug. 1-2, Aug. 5-7, Aug. 10-12 www.jaguars.com to register Aug. 2 Wes Whiddon Memorial Golf Tournament Where: The Golf Club at Fleming Island When: 2 p.m. Shotgun start Lunch, registration at 2:30 p.m. Cost: $75 per person www.fihsgolftournament.com HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL Aug. 3 First day of football practices (Non-contact) Aug. 8 First day of contact football practices Aug. 19-22 Preseason classics Aug. 7-8 Tour de Pain race weekend – series designed to test your ability to run three different ...
        Read more

        Opinion

          Supreme Court takes command in redistricting process

          07-30-2015

          By Bob Sparks
          The Florida Supreme Court has the final say in all things concerning the Florida Constitution. They determine, among other things, if actions taken by the legislative and executive branch are compliant with the Constitution. When it ...
          Read more

          Letters to

          07-30-2015

          Clinic is more than just a charity
          I read your July 16th Article on the Palms Medical Group’s new Kingsley office with interest. First, let me say that your coverage bringing attention to the needs of Clay County’s medically underserved residents is providing an important service to the community. The recent changes driven by both the Affordable Care Act cited in your article and recent reductions in state funding for free clinics have made it more challenging than ever to meet the medical needs of our county’s growing indigent population. Characterizing The Way Free Medical Clinic ...
          Read more

          Guest Column

          07-30-2015

          By Craig R. Seaton
          I recently returned from visiting family in Charleston and was saddened to see a group of about 50 young men gathering in a parking lot with Confederate Flags flying from their pickup trucks. This recent issue is nothing if not ...
          Read more

          Do the right thing or legal thing?

          07-30-2015

          Adult businesses are now allowed in Clay County. Though the new regulations are very restrictive many consider it unacceptable that these businesses can set up shop in Clay.
          The citizens have a right to express to elected officials their opposition, but the uncomfortable truth is that by asking your County Commissioners to outright ban adult business you are asking your local government to break the law. Many people will not accept this and hold that the county should do what is right rather than what is legal. That is a dangerous road: if you want your government to break the law in ...
          Read more

          CLAY TODAY ARCHIVES

          Want to read news in Clay Today for 2005, 2006 or last week? The archives of all the newspapers back to January 2005 are now available online.
          CLICK HERE or on the ARCHIVES button in the main menu bar.

          ADVERTISEMENT



          ADVERTISEMENT

          ADVERTISEMENT

          ADVERTISEMENT

          WEATHER

          Fair

          82°F

          Orange Park

          Fair

          Humidity: 79%

          Wind: 5 mph

          • 30 Jul 2015

            Partly Cloudy 92°F 78°F

          • 31 Jul 2015

            PM Thunderstorms 91°F 77°F