This week in history

October 29-November 4 2017


5 years ago, 2012

Chief Warrant Officer Michael S. Duskin, 42, of Middleburg, died when he was struck by small arms while on a dismounted patrol during combat operations in Chak District, Wardak Province, Afghanistan.

Clay County School Superintendent Ben Wortham attended his last school board meeting after he was elected in 2008 after going into retirement. He was defeated in the primary by former board member Charlie Van Zant Jr.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Shelly Diane Rose, 48, after the woman allegedly tried to kill her mother with a claw hammer. Police found the victim, Diane Knapper, 70, two-and-a-half days later lying on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood.

10 years ago, 2007

Bryan Coty Rollyson, 21, of Middleburg died when he was ejected from a 1993 Ford Mustang on U.S. Highway 17 near the Doctors Lake Bridge. The car collided with a culvert, overturned and struck a wall.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested John Anthony Wheeler and Christopher Scott Whitcomb, both of Green Cove Springs, and Richard P. Shelton, of Middleburg, for cultivating marijuana in the 3900 block of Michaelwood Road. Police seized more than 100 pot plants.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office foiled 30-year-old Jennifer L. Romero’s plans to “run away” with a 16-year-old boy when officers arrested her on charges of having had carnal intercourse with a person under age 18.

20 years ago, 1997

Clay County Commissioner Ron Stotler said he tentatively agreed to an out-of-court settlement involving a 1996 civil rights lawsuit aimed at preventing Clay County Clerk of Court John Keen and other elected official from using the legal system to punish people who file complaints against them.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office charged John Michael Trice of Middleburg with manslaughter with a firearm in the shooting death of Carol Ann Harpster, 32, also of Middleburg.

The Florida Highway Patrol said Pamela K. Panek, 29, of Middleburg died when she struck a tree after being thrown from the back-passenger seat of a motorcycle driven by Ronald W. Wing.

30 years ago, 1987

E. Vaughn Rivers Inc. of Orange Park submitted the lowest bid to construct the first-ever permanent Orange Park campus for St. Johns River Community College. The project was estimated to cost $4 million.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Kerry Lourcey of Jacksonville for burglary after he allegedly entered a home and pulled the bedcovers off a sleeping woman in her Orange Park home.

Keystone Heights City Council Chairman Michael Merritt resigned his position citing the need to devote time to his work and family. Council members voted in Archie Green as Merritt’s replacement effective Nov. 1.

40 years ago, 1977

The Holiday Inn on Park Avenue at Interstate 295 in Orange Park announced it was going to spend $750,000 to add 68 new guest rooms. The move would bring its total room count to 310.

Green Cove Springs residents complained to city hall about possibly illegal commercial fishing and illegally-licensed shrimp sales in the city limits.

Clay County Extension Director Jesse Godbold said there had been a record number of head lice outbreaks in schools that fall.


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