Community Briefs 8/2/18

Clay Today
Posted 8/1/18

Recent rain has officials on alertGREEN COVE SPRINGS – Clay County Emergency Management is currently monitoring the North and South Prongs of Black Creek.The recent large amounts of rainfall …

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Community Briefs 8/2/18


Recent rain has officials on alert

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Clay County Emergency Management is currently monitoring the North and South Prongs of Black Creek.

The recent large amounts of rainfall have caused both Prongs to enter in to action flood stage, with the expectation that they could enter minor flood stage later in the week, depending on the location of rainfall in the respective basins.

It is expected that the predicted level of rise will not cause issues, however any additional, unanticipated heavy rainfall in the basin could cause the creek to rise very quickly.

Emergency Management Director John Ward encourages residents along both North and South Prong to closely monitor the rainfall through the next few days.

He recommends all Clay County residents to sign up for the local alert notification system at Call Emergency Management if you have any questions or concerns at (904) 284-7703.

Cops complete executive leadership seminar

TALLAHASSEE – Two Clay County Sheriff’s Office members are among 40 first-line supervisors who recently completely leadership training at the Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute.

Steven J. Barreira, CCSO chief of logistics & general support, and Undersheriff Ray Walden graduated July 27 from the Institute’s Executive Leadership Seminar, which is designed for upper-level managers from Florida criminal justice organizations that provides continuing education about how to develop and sharpen leadership skills.

Seminar participants met for three weeks at Florida Department of Law Enforcement headquarters in Tallahassee where studied communicating through a crisis, critical thinking, leading people, managing organizations, overcoming adversity, emotional intelligence and servant leadership.

The Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute was established with FDLE in 1990 by the Florida Legislature to address the need for an innovative and multi-faceted approach to the education and training of criminal justice professionals. The Institute is affiliated with the State University System.

Calling all teachers!

PALATKA – The St. Johns River Water Management District is looking for your next great idea about water conservation and water education.

It’s time to begin applying for the District’s Blue School Grant Program, which kicks off its third year with the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.

The program is designed to support middle and high school teachers who want to provide hands-on experience in science, technology, engineering and math. During the 2017-2018 school year, teachers and their students made water quality comparisons of stormwater ponds on campus, installed micro-irrigation systems in school gardens, and conducted a seagrass restoration project, among other projects.

The SJRWMD is again making available up to $20,000 through Blue School grants. The application period is already open for teachers to prepare their grant proposals, with applications due by Sept. 7. Criteria, deadlines and the online application can be found online at There is also a video online to give teachers a bit of inspiration about the Blue School Grant Program.

OPMC celebrates new heart care recognition

ORANGE PARK – Orange Park Medical Center recently became the only hospital of about 800 in a six-state area of the Southeast to earn a prestigious award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

The nonprofits’ “Get with the Guidelines” Recognition Awards honored for high performance in all five of their programs including stroke, heart failure, resuscitation, atrial fibrillation and coronary artery disease

The hospital administration and the American Heart Association teamed up Aug. 1 to honor staff and physicians for earning this elite status.

“Holding our stroke care to the American Heart Association’s standards and being a comprehensive stroke center is what saves lives every day at Orange Park Medical Center,” said Islam Tasfish, Neurologist at Orange Park Medical Center.

To qualify for the award, a hospital must meet quality measures developed by the American Heart Association for each category. Having earned all five awards demonstrates Orange Park Medical Center’s commitment to the community by providing quick and quality treatment to those suffering from a stroke, heart attack and early detection of atrial fibrillation, which can be the root cause of a stroke or heart attack.

“A stroke patient loses 1.9 million neurons each minute stroke treatment is delayed. These awards recognize our commitment to delivering advanced stroke treatments to patients quickly and safely,” Tafish said.

The Greater Southeast area includes hospitals in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Puerto Rico.

Clean out your closet, help a neighbor in need

ORANGE PARK – The Clothes Closet and Food Pantry of Orange Park is getting ready for its Annual Garage Sale, it’s largest fundraising event of the year.

Area residents are urged to purge their closets and garages and turn over unused and unneeded treasures to help raise foods that will be used to help the neediest families in Clay County. Donations of clean, good repair and serviceable clothing, household items, furniture, toys, shoes, books, games, garden and sport equipment, small appliances and audio equipment will be accepted. Contribution receipts will be available upon request. Contact the Clothes Closet through the website or call (904) 264-5239 to make arrangements for pickup. Donations can be dropped off on Aug. 9 from noon until 6 p.m. and Aug. 10 from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.

This year the annual garage sale will be held on Aug. 11 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Orange Park United Methodist gym on the corner of Reed Street and Stowe Avenue in Orange Park off US Highway 17.

Founded in 1952, the nonprofit Clothes Closet and Food Pantry of Orange Park provides outreach services, clothing, Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets, furniture and household items to hundreds of Clay County residents in need or crisis and food each year. The nonprofit organization depends solely on donations and its annual garage sale fundraising event to fund its programs and services. All proceeds from the sale benefit the clients and operation of the Clothes Closet.

Teacher ‘Appreciation Event’ scheduled

ORANGE PARK – The Thrasher-Horne Center will welcome hundreds, if not thousands, of Clay County teachers at a Teacher Appreciation Expo planned for Aug. 6.

Hosted by the Clay County Chamber Foundation, the expo will run from 1-3 p.m. It’s seen as a time to recognize teachers, provide items for their classrooms, and build stronger relationships with the business community.

The expo is open to all Clay County teachers with proof of employment at a public, private and charter school in Clay County.

In preparation of the expo, the Clay County Chamber Foundation is seeking donations from the community of school supplies that will have teachers enjoy a successful year of hitting the books.

The supplies in order of need are white and copy colored paper, hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, dry erase markers, Kleenex tissues, pocket Kleenex tissues, sticky notes, No. 2 pencils and pens (branded ok), loose leaf notebook paper wide rule, Sharpie markers, glue sticks, highlighters, Crayola Crayons 24-count, washable markers, red ink pens, blue ink pens, pink oblong erasers, staple removers, mechanical pencils, pencil boxes, pocket folders, composition notebooks, pencil cases, wide-ruled spiral bound notebooks, Fiskars’s blunt end scissors, Elmer’s glue bottles, index cards, colored pencils, subject dividers, 1-inch binders, rulers, and white erasers.

The event will also feature door prize, free screenings, giveaways, food and beverages and more.

For more information, contact Annie Grogan at (904) 264-2651 ext. 214 or

FWC invites attendees to 9th Annual Florida Waterfowl Summit

OCALA – The public is invited to attend the free ninth annual United Waterfowlers Florida and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Florida Waterfowl Summit on Aug. 10, which will focus on aquatic plant management and the challenges associated with nutrients and invasive species. The meeting will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Ballroom at the Ocala Hilton.

Lunch will be provided at no cost to summit attendees. There will also be a welcome reception for summit attendees on Aug. 9 at 6 p.m. at the Ocala Hilton pool with dinner provided by UW-F.

The summit is free to attend, but attendees must register at: This event is founded and funded by duck hunters and co-sponsored by the FWC.

For more information on the Florida Waterfowl Summit, contact Steve Rockwood at

Soul Food Festival fundraiser scheduled

JACKSONVILLE – Make plans now to attend the 3rd Annual Soul Food Festival Fundraiser, Saturday, Sept. 15 at the Ramada Inn in Mandarin.

This year’s theme is a Masquerade Ball and it will be held in The Comedy Zone from 6-11 p.m. While proceeds will go to fund the Green Cove Springs Soul Food Festival, a percentage of proceeds will also go to the American Heart Association.

Tickets are $35 per person and $60 per couple, $75 for the VIP Package, which includes a picture and signed autograph with Tony Grant, national recording artist and former lead singer of As Yet, which the charts with the hit song “Last Night.” He went on to be the lead actor for the well-known producer and actor Tyler Perry and his show “Love Thy Neighbor.”

For tickets, contact Event Coordinator Felecia Hampshire at (904) 622-7903 or Co-Coordinator David Coffey at (904) 525-6386.


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