Breaking News

    Emergency school board meeting set for Friday

    Eric Cravey 08-14-2014

      FLEMING ISLAND – The Clay County School Board will meet in an emergency session tomorrow in the wake of the Board of County Commissioners’ action Tuesday in which that board rejected a request to allow voters to decide whether to elect or appoint the school superintendent. Tuesday, Aug. 12, in a 3-1 vote with Commissioner Doug Conkey absent, the BCC voted to place the measure on the 2016 General Election ballot instead of the Nov. 4, 2014 ballot as requested in a July resolution approved by the school board. “The state statute plainly says that the county commission shall place ...
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    Front Page

      53 year tradition continues

      08-21-2014

      By Gregory A. Phillips
      Staff Writer CAMP BLANDING – Officers in the U.S. military come in all shapes, sizes and backgrounds and now an Orange Park man has joined their ranks. Jordan Jerris, 30, of Orange Park, a staff sergeant in the Florida ...
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      School board, BCC enter legal tangle over ballot measure

      08-21-2014

      By Eric Cravey
      Managing Editor GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Fourth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Mark Borello has been assigned a case asking whether the Clay County Board of Commissioners broke the law on Aug. 12. The judge has been asked to hear ...
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      Sheriff’s office concludes internal investigation

      08-21-2014

      By Eric Cravey
      Managing Editor GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A Clay County Sheriff’s deputy returned to work this week after an internal investigation found he violated the law enforcement agency’s policy involving a 12-page email he sent to Gov. Rick Scott complaining about State Attorney Angela Corey. Deputy Charlie Welch returned to work Aug. 18, while the eight-page internal investigation report from Lt. Kenneth J. Wagner, of the CCSO Internal Affairs Division, was released to the media two days later. During the investigation, Sheriff Rick Beseler sought to clarify whether Welch had ...
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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

        Commercial property owners seek ordinance change in GCS

        08-21-2014

        By Pete Geiger
        Correspondent GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Minus his uniform and speaking only as a local property owner, Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler told the city council on Sept. 19 to ease up on property restrictions along Orange Avenue, U.S. ...
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        Liberty ship named for former Florida governor and Clay County family patriarch

        08-21-2014

        On July 25, 1944, a warm breezy of a hot Tuesday afternoon found a hoard of Duval, Clay County and Florida dignitaries gathered dockside at the St. Johns Shipyard in downtown Jacksonville.
        They were there to celebrate the launching of the ...
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        School

        08-21-2014

        EMT program accepting applications through Sept. 15
        ORANGE PARK – St. Johns River State College is accepting applications for its emergency medical technician program through Sept. 15. The program prepares students to work at the basic ...
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        Chewed up over turf worms

        08-21-2014

        In Florida, some days it seems like the pests just don’t stop. This is especially true of the summer months when many insects are breeding. While vegetable and annual flower gardeners can get ahead of pests by planting as early as possible in the ...
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        This Week

        08-21-2014

        10 Years Ago, 2004
        • The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Gary Barnard McCray II and charged him with four counts of murder in the first degree in what police said was a drug-related shoot out in the 1000 block of Blanding Boulevard. Sheriff Scott Lancaster called it Clay County’s first mass murder. • A Tynes Elementary School teacher was arrested on child pornography charges after a federal investigation. John McIntyre was arrested after trading child pornography online with an undercover FBI agent. • St. Johns River Community College celebrated its first class of ...
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        Business

        08-21-2014

        Haven Hospice receives Allstate Foundation Grant
        ORANGE PARK – The Haven Hospice Custead Care Center in Orange Park recently received a $1,000 grant from the Allstate Foundation. The grant, which is awarded to nonprofits with Allstate Agent ...
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        Proposed property tax forms mailed this week

        08-21-2014

        GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Clay County property owners were mailed a Notice of Proposed Property Tax form, also known as a Truth in Millage notice this week.
        Clay County Property Appraiser Roger Suggs reminds property owners that the TRIM notice is not a tax bill. The notice is intended to notify property owners of possible changes that may appear on the November tax bill. He said property owners are encouraged to review the information carefully. When reviewing the information on the notice that relates to the actual tax calculations, the most important figures are displayed in columns ...
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        Faith Walk

        08-21-2014

        When you pray
        Expect that something will happen when you pray. That is faith. When you enter God’s presence in prayer you must "believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (Heb 11:6) The same verse I referenced ...
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        Bullock completes basic training with U.S. Navy

        08-21-2014

        GREAT LAKES, Ill. – Navy Seaman Recruit Bria J. Bullock, daughter of Andrew K. Bullock and Michelle R. Washington of Philadelphia, Pa., recently completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill.
        During the eight-week program, Bullock completed a variety of training which included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety. An emphasis was also placed on physical fitness. The capstone event of boot camp is "Battle Stations," an exercise that gives ...
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        Briefs

        08-21-2014

        Labor Day hours announced
        GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Clay County officials report that on Monday, Sept. 1, the Labor Day observance will be business as usual for garbage pickup in the county. Advanced Disposal Services, the county’s outsourced ...
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        Agent for change

        08-21-2014

        Denton Yockey is the new executive director for the THCA
        By Megan Ingalls Staff Writer ORANGE PARK – The new executive director for the Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts Denton Yockey strives to be an "agent for change." Yockey said he hopes ...
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        New director promises mix of classical and modern music

        08-21-2014

        By Gregory A. Phillips
        Staff Writer FLEMING ISLAND – After two decades of presenting chorale music to audiences throughout Northeast Florida, the Orange Park Chorale has a new artistic director to enter into its 21st season. Timothy Snyder, ...
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        2014-15 Season

        08-21-2014

        U.S. Army Field Band-Jazz Ambassadors
        Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. free with downloadable coupon The Jazz Ambassadors – America’s Big Band is the official touring big band of the U.S. Army. This 19-member ensemble, formed in 1969, has received great ...
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        Parents Night Out Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $15

        08-21-2014

        Parents Night Out is an "instant audience favorite," delighting theatre audiences around the country. Karen Morgan, a Southern belle, and Jim Colliton, a Boston Irishman, are both comedy veterans and parents who are married ... just not to each ...
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        New season just around the corner

        08-21-2014

        By Gregory A. Phillips
        Staff Writer ORANGE PARK – Entering its 41st year of educating and promoting the visual arts, members of the Art Guild of Orange Park are ready for a new season. The Guild is planning five main shows this year, including a ...
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        October 1-31

        08-21-2014

        "16x20" Reception Oct. 12, 2-4 p.m. Reddi Arts
        1037 Hendricks Ave. Jacksonville October 23-November 21"Summer Vacation" Reception Nov. 8, 5-6:30 p.m. Orange Park Library 2054 Plainfield Ave. January 15 – April 16"Well Worn" Reception Jan. 24, 5:30-7 p.m. Wehner’s School of the Arts 515 College Dr. March 9 – April 4"Spectrum" Reception March 15, 1-3 p.m. Great Hang Ups 1560 Business Center Dr. Orange Park May 2015Annual "Anything Goes" Park Avenue Bistro 3535 U.S. Highway 17 Fleming Island
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        " Whatever

        08-21-2014

        Yockey fell in love with storytelling at an early age.
        was a voracious reader as a young kid. I read all kinds of books," Yockey said. "I guess those early impressions about reading led me to use my imagination. I think that led me to the stage and led me to wanting to be in shows and put on shows and create [my]our own little After watching his older brother act in plays and musicals, Yockey said he thought it looked exciting and I could get into to get onstage, I did it," he said. "Then I looked for ways to continue doing it." l Yockey entered college at Indiana University with the ...
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        Margarita Pie

        08-21-2014

        ½ cup butter, melted
        1 ¼ cup salted pretzels, finely chopped ¼ cup sugar 2/3 cup Realime Lime Juice ½ cup orange juice 3 Tbs. tequila 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed In medium ...
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        Foodies

        08-21-2014

        By the time August rolls around each summer, I am tired of the hot weather. I begin to wish I lived somewhere a little bit cooler. I am sure in a month or so I will be happy to live in Florida again, but right now I am over this hot, humid ...
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        Orange Park budget hammering continues

        08-21-2014

        ORANGE PARK – The Town of Orange Park Budget and Finance Committee will present 10 belt-tightening recommendations to town council as it prepares to finalize its annual budget.
        The recommendations include limiting trash pick-up to one day a week, increasing the cost of commercial permits issued by the town and looking for ways to add fees or cost reductions to offset the additional cost of converting a part-time clerk position to full-time. However, none of the recommendations would balance the 2014-15 budget. Also among the Aug. 19 committee recommendations were increasing the ...
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        Smashers bring boom

        08-21-2014

        By Randy Lefko
        Sports Editor OAKLEAF – Oakleaf High School may be called Linebacker High School in the future with the ascension of three Knights into the college ranks; one still to go two years from now. Outside linebacker Darrion Owens is ...
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        Lady Knights Varsity Volleyball

        08-21-2014

        Oakleaf High volleyball starts its season Saturday, Aug. 23 in Gainesville at a preseason classic with their regular season to begin Aug. 26 against Bishop Snyder High School at the Oakleaf Gym. Shown, left to right front, are varsity members Erin ...
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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

          FIHS sophomore Waidner wins Hurricane golf stop

          08-21-2014

          By Randy Lefko
          Sports Editor OAKLEAF – Fleming Island High sophomore golfer Lauren Waidner showed off a bit of her fall game with six birdies and 11 pars in her first round to score a decisive win in the Aug. 16-17 Hurricane Junior Golf Tour ...
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          MHS’ Reed wins summer baseball title

          08-21-2014

          By Barbara Boxleitner
          Special to Clay Today Shortstop Mike Reed emerged from summer baseball with a championship. The Middleburg High School graduate played for the Winter Park Diamond Dawgs, who won the Florida Collegiate Summer League title a ...
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          2014 High school cross country meets

          08-21-2014

          9/6 – Bob Hans Classic 7:00am Ridgeview HS
          9/13– Katie Caples Invitational 5:00pm Bishop Kenny HS 9/18– Clay County 5:00pm Middleburg HS 9/27– Bale ‘n Trail 7:00am Bartram Trail HS 10/4– Mandarin Mustang Invite 7:00am FSCJ North ...
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          Lady Broncos return nine; heavy faves to repeat

          08-21-2014

          By Randy Lefko
          Sports Editor MIDDLEBURG – Middleburg High returns all but one of their Final Four team of 2013 and looks to get a step further in 2014. Orange Park has a new coach. Oakleaf got the feel of winning in 2013 and wants more. Gainesville and Columbia are both perennial strong teams and should be such in 2014. District 2-6 (2013) Middleburg 20-11,5-0 Gainesville 16-12,4-1 OrangePark 11-14,2-3 Oakleaf 0-14, 0-3 Columbia 3-10,0-4 District 2-6A (2013): Middleburg wins district over Gainesville, regions over Pensacola Washington, loses state semifinal to Jensen Beach, eventual ...
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          Olsen top returner for Golden Eagles v-ball

          08-21-2014

          By Randy Lefko
          Sports Editor FLEMING ISLAND – Fleming Island High second-year volleyball coach Michele Fischer had five seniors to graduate and will be looking for new athletes to join up with returning senior Lauren Olsen. Olsen missed most of ...
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          New coaches take over Clay, Ridgeview volleyball

          08-21-2014

          By Randy Lefko
          Sports Editor ORANGE PARK – Former Orange Park High varsity volleyball assistant coach Destiny Brightman will be bringing a wealth of region playoff experience to the Panther Den gymnasium as she takes over the Ridgeview High ...
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          Preseason football schedule

          08-21-2014

          Thurs., Aug 21
          Providence at Clay 7pm Fri., Aug. 22 Westside at Fleming Island 7:30p.m. Oakleaf at Middleburg 7 p.m. Ridgeview at Keystone Hts. 7 p.m. Eagles View at SJCDS 7 p.m. Bishop Kenny at OPHS 7 p.m. Preseason Volleyball ScheduleSat., Aug. ...
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          Opinion

            Ask me why I can’t vote in Florida’s 2014 primary election

            08-21-2014

            By Ray Hudkins
            When you vote in Florida’s 2014 primary election on August 26 (or vote early or by absentee ballot), ask why more than 2.9 million Florida voters who are registered "no party affiliation" (NPA) or are affiliated with a minor ...
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            Letters

            08-21-2014

            Voter scratches head over BCC action
            Hopefully, this will be a moot point by the time of this week’s edition of the Clay Today. This would be the controversial decision of three members of the Clay County Commissioners. They voted to delay the referendum on whether the county’s school superintendent should be appointed or elected two more years, until November 2016. Why would these three commissioners-Diane Hutchings, Ronnie Robinson and Chereese Stewart-believe they had such powers? Are they ignorant of their prescribed role that their own Chief Assistant Attorney advised them of in ...
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            From the Editor...

            08-21-2014

            By Eric Cravey
            To me, it didn’t take a study, such as the one revealed in October 2013, to confirm it for me. I first encountered and witnessed canine feelings around 1981 when my Mama sternly told my Collie Abby, "Abby, get your big fat ...
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            Clarification

            08-21-2014

            In an August 7 article titled "Adult daycare program plans expansion," the program sponsored by the Clay County Council on Aging was referred to as an adult daycare program, whereas, it is an adult day healthcare program, which is different in both what it offers to patients and how it is regulated by the state. Adult day healthcare programs are for seniors who require assistance with daily activities such as eating, toilet use, showering and dressing.

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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

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            Humidity: 57%

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            • 22 Aug 2014

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            • 23 Aug 2014

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