Front Page

    Two out in town manager search

    04-17-2014

    By Gregory A. Phillips
    Staff Writer ORANGE PARK – The process of selecting a new Orange Park Town Manager advanced to the final stage as the council eliminated two possible candidates from the running. Left to compete for the job vacated last October by former Town Manager Cindy Hall are Sarah Campbell, current town clerk, Jim Hanson and William Weeks, current city manager for Brunswick, Ga. "Three of the four were given four out of five possible votes by this council and one was given three votes. I suggest that we take it down to the ones that were given four and bring them in," said ...
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    Honoring one of Clay’s fallen

    04-17-2014

    Catch and release
    Michael Robertson, left, one of four fishermen from Australia to take part in the 2nd Annual Det. David White Bass Fishing Tournament held April 12 at Whitey’s Fish Camp, has a new fish story to share, as Jennifer White, center, ...
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    City prepares for police HQ opening

    04-17-2014

    By Pete Geiger
    Correspondent GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The city’s spanking new, $5 million police headquarters at Idlewild and Melrose avenues will be dedicated at a public ceremony at 11:30 a.m. on April 21. Police dispatchers moved into the new building, which was 11 years in the planning, on April 13. The rest of the police functions will take up their quarters prior to the dedication ceremony except for the evidence room, according to Police Chief Robert A. Musco. "We want people to see the evidence room along with everything else," Musco said, "but we couldn’t have it on the ...
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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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    Community

      Clay County Memories

      04-17-2014

      It was 1945 when an Indiana Hoosier by way of a stint as a U.S. Army artillery major in Italy arrived in Green Cove Springs. For the next 50 years and more, Jim Carey proceeded to make things interesting in Clay County.
      His arrival began the ...
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      A torch runs through it

      04-17-2014

      By Gregory A. Phillips
      Staff Writer ORANGE PARK – If you happened to be driving down U.S. Highway 17 and saw a group of people running on the sidewalk, carrying a big torch, and wondered to yourself that the Olympics were just in Russia and you must be seeing things, you need not panic or make an appointment with the optometrist. You did see a torch run. It was the April 7 Special Olympics torch making its way through Clay County on its winding journey through all 67 counties of Florida before settling down in Orlando for the Florida Special Olympics Summer games in May. The Clay ...
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      Swon Brothers bring warmth to Fair

      04-17-2014

      By Sara Stevens
      Correspondent GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Amidst the hype after a successful run on NBC’s "The Voice," the Swon Brothers proved that in the dust of the Cattleman’s Arena, standing may be optional, but singing is involuntary at their ...
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      Military Briefs

      04-17-2014

      Ray completes Army basic training
      COLUMBUS, Ga. – Army Private Jalil J. Ray has graduated from One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Columbus, Ga. The first nine weeks of initial entry training, or basic combat training, the trainee ...
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      Community

      04-17-2014

      Uncle Sam wants you!
      GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Officials with the Military Museum of North Florida in Green Cove Springs are looking for a few Navy veterans. Frank Haggard, who volunteers at the museum, is planning a 75th Anniversary Celebration for Veterans who served at the former Green Cove Springs Navy Base from 1940 to 1962. Haggard is planning a 75th Anniversary celebration for October 2015. For more information, write him at his email address, honty-donty@hotmail.com. Safe Animal Shelter launches fundraising campaign MIDDLEBURG – Clay County’s oldest no-kill Safe Animal ...
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      Johnson graduates from Florida Leadership Academy

      04-17-2014

      ORLANDO – A Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputy is one of 34 new graduates of the Florida Leadership Academy.
      Sgt. Jeffrey A. Johnson graduated April 11 from the academy, which prepares first-line supervisors in criminal justice organizations to exemplify the character and integrity expected of criminal justice professionals and to examine the various components necessary to being an efficient leader. The graduates serve in leadership roles in criminal justice agencies from across the state. Seminar participants met for four weeks at the Florida Public Safety Institute in Havana, ...
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      Student performers selected

      04-17-2014

      FLEMING ISLAND – Jessye Thacker and Megan Hines took top honors at the Concert on the Green’s Young Artists Concerto Competition held April 7 at New Grace Church on Fleming Island. Each won a $1,000 scholarship and the opportunity to perform in ...
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      Simply, one of the best

      04-17-2014

      PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Middleburg High School NJROTC Academic Team recently took 12th place at the NJROTC Brain Brawl Academic National Competition held in Pensacola, Fla. The team was one of 650 NJROTC units competing in the nine-hour event that is often described as intense because of its 31 different, 30-minute rounds played in three different venues. Each of the country’s 11 NJROTC regions sends its best and brightest teams. Shown left to right are MHS cadets Kevin May, Dan Triplett, Matthew Lucas, Cody Kidson, John Chiovaro and Anthony Gamble who paused for a photo while at the Naval ...
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      School

      04-17-2014

      By Weston Williams
      Correspondent MIDDLEBURG – Fencing, singing, Salsa dancing, Oedipus Rex. While hoards of kids waited in line for rides at the Clay County Agricultural Fair, hundreds of Middleburg High School students crowded their hallways ...
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      Scholarship recipients give donors an update

      04-17-2014

      PENNEY FARMS – Members of Penney Memorial Church were recently treated to a progress report by a number of students who have received college scholarship assistance in recent years. From left to right, Emily Albright, Lixia Chen, Robert Casey ...
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      Old parts mean new business

      04-17-2014

      By Gregory A. Phillips
      Staff Writer ORANGE PARK – It takes a special kind of thinking to look at something that is being thrown out or replaced and see a business opportunity in the waiting. That is exactly what American Valley Aviation was ...
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      Nonprofit set to honor area seniors in ‘Golden Years Gala’

      04-17-2014

      ORANGE PARK – Eight Clay County seniors have been named finalists to be honored in the 7th Annual Golden Years Gala.
      Sponsored by Shepherd’s Center of Orange Park, the May 7 event will be held at Club Continental has three men vying for ...
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      Fishing tourney honors slain officer Det. David White

      04-17-2014

      Foundation raised more than $5,000 for scholarships
      By Gregory A. Phillips Staff Writer FLEMING ISLAND – Two years after his death in the line of duty, Clay County Sheriff’s Office Det. Dave White is still impacting the lives of Clay County ...
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      CCSO gets autism awareness seminar

      04-17-2014

      By Gregory A. Phillips
      Staff Writer GREEN COVE SPRINGS – One of the things that can scare the life out of any parent is when their child wanders off. Take that feeling and multiply it exponentially and that’s how the parent of a child with ...
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      Foodies

      04-17-2014

      The pollen is falling, the flowers are blooming and Easter is just around the corner. I have always enjoyed Easter celebrations. Maybe it is the bright pastel colors we decorate with and wear to celebrate the spring season or maybe it is the ...
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      Praying for immigration reform

      04-17-2014

      By Gregory A. Phillips
      Staff Writer ORANGE PARK – A military coup just occurred and, because you supported the former government, you are now an enemy of the state. Just about everyone in this situation does what comes naturally – they try to ...
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      Faith Walk

      04-17-2014

      The two greatest days in history
      Last week I wrote about the two greatest days in history. One of those days was the day of Jesus’ crucifixion. The other was the third day after the crucifixion when Jesus walked out of the tomb. The events of ...
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      SJR State to host Viking 5K Run

      04-17-2014

      PALATKA, Fla. – St. Johns River State College is calling on Clay County runners to take part in its inaugural Viking 5K Run on May 24.
      "The Viking 5K Run promises to be a fun-filled event open to runners, healthwalkers, families and anyone who seeks to raise their heart rates and support SJR State," said Caroline Tingle, SJR State vice president for development and external affairs. The Run will begin at 8:30 a.m., starting at the Tilghman House, 324 River St. in Palatka. Pre-registration for the race is $25 for the general public and $20 for SJR State employees and students. ...
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      Clay County Agricultural Fair guest numbers jump

      04-17-2014

      Attendance was 109, 868, a 6.28 percent increase from 2013. The previous attendance record for the fair – 106,789 – was set inin 2011. Fair organizers had set an attendance goal of 110,000 this year. Attendance of 22,599 on the last day ...
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      Spring Holidays Bring New Life with Plants

      04-17-2014

      This week marks two holidays that symbolize new life. Sunday’s observance of Easter celebrates the new life of resurrection after sacrifice and The Passover holiday that runs Monday evening through next Tuesday, also symbolizes new life ...
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      Strategic Plan update sets five-year path for District

      04-17-2014

      PALATKA, Fla. – The St. Johns River Water Management District, which serves Clay County, set a road map for meeting the District’s water resource challenges over the next five years when the Governing Board today approved an update to the Strategic Plan.
      With the Governing Board endorsement of the plan, which sets goals and strategic priorities, the District will continue its focus on 12 key initiatives and eight continuing core programs. The Strategic Plan allows the District to focus on the most important water issues. "This Strategic Plan demonstrates the District’s ...
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      Region bound District 3-2A Track

      04-17-2014

      Clay High track sprinter Asia Joe, right, finished second in the 100 meter dash and third in the
      200 meter dash to lead a small Blue Devil track squad to the Region 1-2A championship meet on April 9 at The Bolles School in Jacksonville. Joining ...
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      Pitching meltdown, silent bats leave Blue Devils at No. 2

      04-17-2014

      By Randy Lefko and Anthony Richards
      Clay Today sports GREEN COVE SPRINGS – With a scheduled gauntlet of four district games with major impact and one non-district game against a challenging rival, the Clay High Blue Devils baseball got a hard lesson in championship baseball after winning the lesser two of the five trying games in the last two weeks with a final two-game skid against district 4-5A top dog Ponte Vedra High. Clay rallied for a Monday 11-1 win over Middleburg in non-district play and also celebrated the from page 29 announced retirement of head coach Rob Thompson. On Monday, ...
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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

        Cougars one game from Clay County title shot

        04-17-2014

        Oakleaf, Lakeside moved to Wednesday
        By Randy Lefko Sports Editor MIDDLEBURG – Down 3-2 after two innings against Lake Asbury Junior High School, Green Cove Springs Junior High’s baseball team exploded in the third inning for four runs behind a two-run single from Caleb Lanoux and a bases loaded single by Tyler Less to go ahead 6-3 en route to holding on to a 6-4 win in their Clay County Junior High Baseball Championship Tournament semifinal game Monday afternoon at Wilkinson Junior High School. Green Cove Springs, at 7-2 for the season, will play the winner of Wednesday’s ...
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        Dye, Bigden, Speer set stage for district peak

        04-17-2014

        By Randy Lefko
        Sports Editor ORANGE PARK – With scintillating sprint wins for Ridgeview’s dynamic duo of Stanley Dye and Joel Sampson, a scorched-Earth win in the mile by Orange Park’s Joshua Bigden and yet another consistent performance 1-2 finish in hurdles from Oakleaf’s Raven Mims and Fleming Island’s Devin Middle, area track teams warmed up for this week’s district meets with strong performances at the annual Don Hall Track Invitational on Friday at Orange Park High School’s Don Hall track, named for iconic track coach Don Hall. Area teams will be entering their ...
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        Lakeside girls and boys win county track titles

        04-17-2014

        Surgeoner, Olazabal kick mile run, McEwan, Briley blast sprints
        By Randy Lefko Sports Editor ORANGE PARK – Bolstered from wins in the mile by Jack Surgeoner and a double win by weight thrower Emily Charbonneau, Lakeside Junior High School battled ...
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        Spartan track takes two titles at districts

        04-17-2014

        Girls 10th title, boys first
        By Randy Lefko Sports Editor ORANGE PARK – With a 1-2-3-4 sweep in both the girl’s and boy’s pole vaults and a sprint sweep by Cara Simpson, the St. Johns Country Day School track teams won both team titles at the district 4-1A track championships held last week at Bishop Snyder High. For Spartans coach Jay Birmingham, the girls title is his 10th in his 11 years at St. Johns with the boys winning their firstever track title. "I credit my assistant coaches; Rocky Bantag and Jody Hale and the 60 athletes that we had out there," said Birmingham. In the ...
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        Clay High baseball says goodbye to "Coach Rob"

        04-17-2014

        By Randy Lefko
        Sports Editor GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Clay High baseball coach Rob Thompson says he does not remember wins and losses, trophies, titles or any of that stuff, but relishesd the gathering of ex-players that showed up April 14 to see ...
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        Area weight lifters headed to Kissimmee April 25-26

        04-17-2014

        Listed are the qualifiers within each weight class
        Class 2A 119 Pounds (State best: 425 total) Jarred Banks (Oakleaf): District 2 champion (210,215) 425 (District 2 and state best total) 139 Pounds (State best: 585) Kirtis Davis (Orange Park): (275, 185) 460 total 169 Pounds (State best: 600) James Murray (Fleming Island): (295, 275) 570 total, 600 (District 2 champion) Larry Major (Orange Park): (315, 225) 540 total. 183 Pounds (State best: 650 (Jacob Abdel) Jacob Abdel (Orange Park): (365, 285) 650 total, (District 2 champion) 199 Pounds (State best: 660 total, Andrew Ratica) Andrew ...
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        FIHS football signees

        04-17-2014

        Three more football players from Fleming Island High recently signed college scholarships to tip the total for 2013-14 to 14 players with, left to right, Kihim Carr (College of Faith, Charlotte, N.C.), Adarius Smith (FAMU) and Nick O’Shea ...
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        Opinion

          This Week

          04-17-2014

          10 Years Ago, 2004
          • Clay County Sheriff Scott Lancaster characterized a grand jury review into agency misappropriation of funds was not an indication of guilt but "a welcome sign that the process of review is nearing conclusion." • Three Orange Park residents were among 39 Northeast Floridians arrested in operation "Up in Smoke" led by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Van Trong Phan, David Alan Woods and Jerson Cana Pacada were taken into custody during the sting. • Clay County officials put in a place a countywide burn ban in light of ...
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          Send us your"Good Deeds"

          04-17-2014

          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 de- scription of what your club or company did. Be sure to ...
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          From The Staff

          04-17-2014

          by Megan Ingalls
          It’s my first day in the office as a reporter for The Oakleaf and Clay Today. I shake hands with someone new, introduce myself as Megan and he asks what high school I attend. I’m unfazed, not surprised by the question, though ...
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          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.

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          WEATHER

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          Orange Park

          Light Rain

          Humidity: 90%

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          • 19 Apr 2014

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