Community Briefs 3/7/19


Awareness, funding always criticalfor Answers’ work with women, families

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – Answers Resource Facility welcomed more than 400 guests last week to help raise awareness and funding for the growing need of women and their families in the Clay and Bradford counties area. Topics included domestic abuse, relationship issues, sex trafficking and a host of other issues.

JoAnna Weldon, Answers CEO, gave the group several heartfelt stories that helped everyone understand the immediate need to generate funding for rent, mortgage, utilities and other needs so the group can continue its fully operational non-profit work.

Answers currently has two offices, one at 115 Commercial Cr. in Keystone Heights and one in Starke.

Bill Elrod, local auctioneer from Penney Farms, helped auction off 10 beautiful cakes that raised nearly $10,000. The keynote speaker was Jeffery Dean with a mission to make families strong by equipping students and their parents to face their daily dilemmas and problems.

Answers’ vision is to be the catalyst that shapes our culture for good, by helping women and families break out of society's low standards, thus, providing regeneration to broken communities.

For more information on Answers contact them at 904-964-7000.


State Park Foundation selectsBradley as its Champion of the Year

TALAHASSEE – State Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Green Cove Springs, became the first recipient of the Park Champion of the Year Award by the Florida State Parks Foundation.

The award is presented to the person deemed to have made the most outstanding contribution to help sustain, protect and preserve Florida’s award-winning state parks. It was presented at a ceremony in Tallahassee attended by the Foundation’s board and Eric Draper, Director of the Florida Park Service.

Sen. Bradley, who represents the 5th District, “has long been a passionate advocate for Florida Parks and as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee last year, was able to secure $100 million of funding for Florida Forever. He truly is a Park Champion,” said Ben Pingree, Foundation President.

Florida State Parks Foundation supports the work of Florida’s award-winning 175 state parks and the 14,500 volunteers who donate 1.2 million hours of their time annually. Florida’s parks attract 32 million visitors every year and have a statewide economic impact of more than $3 billion.


GCS, Keystone Heights voters must be registered by March 11

CLAY COUNTY – Legal residents of Green Cove Springs and Keystone Heights must be registered to vote by March 11 if they plan to participate in the Municipal Super Tuesday Elections, Chris H. Chambless, Clay County Supervisor of Elections said.

There are three ways to register:

First, citizens with a state-issued photo and signature identification may complete an online application at

Second, come to the Supervisor of Elections office at 500 N. Orange Ave., Green Cove Springs between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and fill out an application in person.

Or third, download an application at and return it by mail.

Voters also are encouraged to verify their names, address and signatures online or by calling the office at (904) 269-6350.


Masons, Clay Electric unite to create IDs for children, seniors

Masters and Child ID Chairmen from Lodges in the 11th Masonic District of Florida recently received complete kits for generating digital child ID records. The District has lodges in Keyston Heights, Middleburg, Green Cove Springs, St. Augustine, Bunnell, Lake Como, Hastings and Palatka.

The Digital ID record contains the child’s photograph, fingerprints and personal data burned to a CD. Should a child go missing, the parents can give this CD to the responding law enforcement officer to expedite the creation of an Amber Alert.

The funds to purchase this equipment was made available by a grant from the Clay Electric Foundation and all the Clay Electric customers that participate in the Round Up Program. The Masons of District 11 wish to thank all those that participate in this program; not only for us but for the benefits provided to many organizations in Clay Electric’s service area.

According to Child ID Chairman for the 11th District Gene Jenkins: “The next events that we will have a booth at will be at the Strawberry Festival at Clay County Fairgrounds on March 9-10 and the Putnam County Fair on March 22, 23, 27, 29, and 30th.”

Jenkins also said the group will register seniors to facilitate the creation of Silver Alerts. Should you wish to arrange for Child ID to be at your event or organization, contact Jenkins at:


FDOT to close bridge Saturday at S.R. 21 at South Prong Black Creek

The Florida Department of Transportation will replace the bridge at State Road 21 at South Prong Black Creek on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Lake Asbury’s Rogers headed to Florida Supreme Court seminar

LAKE ASBURY – Michael Q. Rogers, social science educator at Lake Asbury Junior High was one of 25 teachers selected from throughout Florida to participate this month in the Florida Supreme Court Teacher Institute held annually at the Florida Supreme Court.

The institute, successfully implemented for over two decades, provides a unique opportunity for Florida middle and high school teachers to experience the state courts and the administration of justice using a case study approach.

Teachers began in the institute on opening night by participating in a simulated Supreme Court oral argument activity serving as attorneys and Justices. They also experienced the appellate process using a variety of constitutional issues and strategies.

Teachers learned throughout the week about the structure, function, and jurisdiction of the state courts; the role of judges in our constitutional structure; judicial decision making and the appellate process; and many other topics related to the judicial branch. Teachers explored the trial and appellate courts throughout the program spending time with judges, attorneys, and mentor teachers.

Faculty for the institute included all several Florida Supreme Court Justices throughout the week.

In addition to participating in presentations with the Justices, teachers learn to incorporate a variety of critical thinking and constitutional application strategies in the classroom.

Teachers explored the Florida Constitution through a scavenger hunt activity and quiz show, learned about the differences between state and federal courts, and examined the selection processes for trial and appellate court judges. Teachers also observed a mock motion to suppress hearing in the circuit courts as well as a real oral argument in the Florida Supreme Court. They explored the jurisdiction of the various levels of the courts and the role of the courts in interpreting and applying the law.

Throughout the institute, teachers were divided into groups and assigned roles as part of a culminating appellate exercise. Rogers accepted an invitation during the program’s reception dinner to deliver remarks showcasing Lake Asbury Junior High and Clay County schools.

 Upon graduation from the institute, teachers received certificates signed by the Justices and have been designated as Florida Supreme Court Teaching Institute Fellows. The Institute is a hands-on model professional development program implemented since 1997.


Deadline approaching to apply for FSASE scholarships

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Local students have until March 29 to submit their applications to win one of three $1,200 scholarships offered by the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections.

Students are required to be a fulltime junior or senior attending a Florida college or university, and they must be enrolled or accepted in the following fields: political science, public or business administration or journalism/mass communications.

Applicants must demonstrate financial need and be registered to vote in Clay County. Supervisor of Elections Chris Chambless will choose one student or consideration by the FSASE scholarship committee.

Interested students are encouraged to review the eligibility requirements and fill out an application, either online at or at the SOE office. The completed application, resume, statement of financial need and two letters of recommendation must be submitted by March 29 at the Clay County Supervisor of Elections office at 500 N. Orange Ave., Green Cove Springs.


Art Guild accepting applications for Courtenay Hunt scholarship

The Art Guild of Orange Park plans to award its annual $2,000 Courtenay Hunt Scholarship to a qualified high school senior from Clay County. The deadline for applying is April 10.

The student should be planning to major in the Visual Fine Arts or Art Education while attending college in the 2019-2020 school year.

An application is available on the AGOP website ( Along with submitting a completed application, the students will be requested to present a portfolio of their work at an interview with the Art Guild Scholarship committee. Other considerations are academic record, extracurricular activities, employment, community service, and recommendations.

The award will be presented at the May 7 Art Guild meeting at The Lion's Club in Orange Park.


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