Community briefs 11/23/17

Clay Today
Posted 11/21/17

Komando named partnerORANGE PARK – Law firm Kopelousos, Bradley, Garrison & Komando P.A. recently named Rich Komando its newest partner. Komando has worked at the firm for more than four …

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Community briefs 11/23/17


Komando named partner

ORANGE PARK – Law firm Kopelousos, Bradley, Garrison & Komando P.A. recently named Rich Komando its newest partner.

Komando has worked at the firm for more than four years where he specializes in criminal defense and municipal law, as well as working as a child advocate.

Prior to joining the firm, Komando served as a criminal prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office for four years. While there, he served as a chief of the Special Prosecution Division and executive director for the Fourth Judicial Circuit in Clay, Duval and Nassau counties. He also built a private law practice and worked as the general counsel for the Guardian Ad Litem program for the Fourth Judicial Circuit.

Komando is the immediate past president of the Clay County Bar Association, chairman of Project Cold Case and president of Healing Hands of the First Coast.

He holds a bachelor’s degree and Master of Business Administration from Florida State University, and he earned his law degree from Loyola University New Orleans, School of Law.

The firm’s offices are at 1279 Kingsley Ave. in Orange Park.

Fleming Island realty office adds two agents

FLEMING ISLAND – Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty recently added two news agents in its Fleming Island office.

Irena Kuchinskaya and Debbie Norman joins Florida Network Realty with several years of experience in real estate.

Originally from Moscow, Russia, Kuchinskaya graduated from the Economic University in Moscow and went on to own her own fine dining restaurant in Russia for over a decade. She moved to the United States five years ago and has continued to run her business even through her move and through obtaining her real estate license.

“I love working with my clients to help them achieve their home-ownership dream. From showing homes to negotiating offers – and even doing paperwork – I love representing my buyers and sellers and ensuring that they are taken care of through their final transaction. I always offer my best when I work with my clients, and the support that Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty offers their agents inspires me to obtain even greater success in my career,” Kuchinskaya said.

Meanwhile, Norman has 16 years of local experience as a Realtor.

“I love working with my clients to help them achieve their homeownership goals – helping buyers find their dream home, and helping my sellers move on to a new phase in their life is both exciting and satisfying to me,” Norman said.

Governor reappoints Clay man to state board

TALLAHASSEE – Gov. Rick Scott has reappointed three members of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Review Board, including a Clay County businessman. Term appointments began Nov. 17 and run through September 30, 2019.

Scott reappointed Wayne Veitch, 65, of Green Cove Springs, vice president of Ring Power Equipment Company; Jared Fritts, 38, of Jacksonville, a risk engineer for transportation at Crum & Forster Insurance; and John McTyre, 61, of Saint Cloud, director of strategic relations of Unified Logistics Operating Group.

Clay Humane warns of deadly holiday dangers

ORANGE PARK – As the Thanksgiving Day approaches, Clay Humane, a nonprofit veterinary clinic in Orange Park, is reminding families with pets of some serious holiday dangers.

“While we love to include our pets in Thanksgiving celebrations, animals have different dietary needs and safety concerns that families with pets need to remember,” said Christian Broadhurst, senior staff veterinarian at Clay Humane. “Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times of the year for veterinarians because pets suffer from a variety of life-threatening, but preventable, ailments.”

Broadhurst offers five tips to keep pets safe during Thanksgiving.

Take away the turkey bones. While it is OK to share a little bit of turkey meat with your pets, never give your pet the entire bone. Turkey bones may splinter and get stuck in your pet’s throat, windpipes or stomach.

Nix the new foods. Our tables might be filled with mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce, but these foods can cause stomach distress for pets. Foods your pets are not accustomed to eating can even lead to pancreatitis, a swelling of the pancreas that is sometimes deadly. Do not give pets table foods and instead offer them treats designed for them.

Put away poisonous foods. Some foods we humans enjoy are harmful to pets. Avoid chocolate, onions, garlic, raisins, grapes and alcohol. These are just a few examples of foods that are poisonous to pets. Keep these foods away from your animals all year long and watch for poisonous ingredients in your holiday dishes.

Retreat to a quiet resting place. Holiday visitors can be overwhelming for pets. Pets can be upset by family, friends and other visitors coming in and out of the house on Thanksgiving. Give pets a safe place to relax such as a crate or a closed room with beds or towels to rest. Remember to also offer them plenty of food and water.

Visit the vet. If your pet becomes sick over Thanksgiving, make sure you know the names and addresses of nearby emergency veterinarians. If your pet appears lethargic, suffers diarrhea or vomiting or ingests a dangerous food, call the veterinarian for assistance.

Study results in new 4-way stop

FLEMING ISLAND – The numbers are in and the intersection at Old Hard Road and Town Center Boulevard on Fleming Island will be getting a new 4-way stop.

The new safety measure is the results of what’s called a signal warrant study that the Clay County Board of County Commissioners requested. Beginning Dec. 4, additional stops signs and stop bars will be installed on the Town Center Boulevard approaches.

“The safety of our citizens is our number one priority,” said Wayne Bolla, BCC chairman. “The traffic survey revealed a level of traffic that was high enough for us to implement a 4-way stop. This area is in a residential, retail area with schools nearby.”

Message boards warning of the change will be placed at the intersection on Nov. 20 and will remain in place until Dec. 10.

Water service interruption, drinking water advisory

RIDAUGHT – The Clay County Utility Authority has issued a safe drinking water advisory for homes and businesses in the County Road 220 and Henley roads areas.

An emergency repair of a broken water main temporarily interrupted service on Nov. 17 and will remain in effect until the Utility Authority conducts a bacteriological survey of the public drinking water supply. Two consecutive days of satisfactory bacteriological samples are required before this advisory can be lifted.

The Authority will post notices on residents’ doors and update its website when the Florida Department of Environmental Protection lifts the advisory.

While the water is off, CCUA recommends that residents turn off all appliances that automatically draw water, including but not limited to washing machines, dishwashers, ice makers, water heaters and water softeners.

Service will be restored Utility Authority our technicians complete the repair and have flushed the water lines and measured disinfection levels to ensure water quality. Once this occurs, the Utility Authority suggests residents allow water to run through all the pipes for several minutes to remove any sediment or air may have entered the system. The water will appear milky if there is air in the system, but there is no need for alarm at that point. Simply flush the line until the air has been removed.

The Utility Authority is required to notify its customers as a precautionary measure. Water can still be used, but it must be boiled for at least three minutes to kill all contaminants. For more information, call the Clay County Utility Authority at (904) 272-5999 or 1-877-476-2282.

Green sea turtle nesting hits record

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that there are a record number of green sea turtles nesting in Florida this year. FWC staff have documented approximately 39,000 green sea turtle nests, based on 27 Florida index beaches used to assess nesting trends.

The final 2017 sea turtle nesting numbers from the FWC’s more comprehensive Statewide Nesting Beach Survey, covering 800 miles of Florida coastline, will be available in early 2018. Preliminary data, based on the recently completed Index Nesting Beach Survey, indicates the trend for green sea turtle nesting has experienced significant increases over the past 27 years.

“The success of our green sea turtles is a victory for conservation,” said Brian Yablonski, FWC chairman. “After years of many people and agencies working to conserve this species and its marine habitats, numbers of green sea turtles in our coastal waters and nesting on our beaches have increased substantially. Last year, the green sea turtles that nest on Florida beaches were reclassified from ‘endangered’ to ‘threatened’ under the federal Endangered Species Act.”

Nearly 30 years ago, only 464 green sea turtle nests were recorded on the 200 miles of beaches that are part of the Index Nesting Beach Survey. By 2011, the count was up to 10,701 green sea turtle nests; in 2013, it was 25,553 nests; and in 2015, it was about 28,000. The counts on index beaches represent about 68 percent of green sea turtle nests statewide. Green sea turtles nest more abundantly every other year, which contributes to the two-year spikes in their nesting numbers in Florida.

Celebrate Christmas with a Penney Farms concert

PENNEY FARMS – Timothy Tuller, canon of music at St John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Jacksonville, will help get everyone in the Christmas spirit next month with an organ concert at Penney Memorial Church.

Staged as part of the 2017-2018 Commemorative Concert Series, the concert will be held Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. and played on the church’s 20-rank Holtkamp Pipe Organ.

Tuller has performed in recital throughout the country and was featured performer at the 2017 Southeast Regional Convention of the American Guild of Organists. In addition to being an excellent organist, Tuller is also a choir director and has taken the 40-voice Cathedral Choir for choral residencies at Ely Cathedral, Canterbury Cathedral and Westminster Abby in England.

A native of Elmira, New York, Tuller earned a master of music degree from Cleveland Institute of Music.

The concert will be in Penney Memorial Church, 4465 Poling Boulevard, Penney Farms. The concert is free to the public and on-street parking is free. For more information call (904) 529-9232.

Learn about clinical research

JACKSONVILLE – Clay County residents involved in or interested in learning about clinical research are invited to attend AWARE for All, a one-day seminar scheduled for Dec. 5 in Jacksonville.

Clinical Research Education Day is a free educational event that serves as a forum for open dialogue between patients, members of the public, and health and research professionals. AWARE for All will provide information about the clinical research process and activity here in Jacksonville, as well as food, prizes, and free health screenings. The event is hosted by the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation, an independent nonprofit organization based in Boston that educates the public about clinical research.

The seminar will be held from 5-8 p.m. on Dec. 5 at the Schultz Center at 4019 Boulevard Center Dr. in Jacksonville. There will be blood pressure, Body Mass Index, glucose and vision screenings. Guests can register for the event online at

“Festival of Trees” sponsors needed

MIDDLEBURG – Canterfield of Clay County, in partnership with Life Care Centers of America’s two area locations in Orange Park and Wells Crossing, is seeking corporate tree sponsors to support a new holiday event called “Festival of Trees.”

All proceeds from “Festival of Trees” will benefit Community PēdsCare hospice services.

Cost for a corporate tree sponsorship is $100. Tree sponsors are requested to donate one decorated tabletop tree that is a maximum of 3-feet high to be displayed that evening for the silent auction. Corporate tree sponsors will receive pre-event and on-site acknowledgement the evening of the event.

Festival of Trees will take place Dec. 5 from 5-7 p.m. at Canterfield of Clay County, located at 1611 Winners Circle off Old Jennings Road. The public is invited and admission and parking are free. Guests will make merry as they enjoy holiday libations and fare, listen to seasonal music and carolers, participate in the outdoor Christmas tree lighting, visit with Santa, and bid on numerous uniquely decorated tabletop holiday trees via the silent auction.

Current corporate tree sponsors include New Way Hearing, Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home and Orange Park Florist.

For more information, contact Brenda Lee at (904) 203-6100, extension 405.


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