This week in History


5 years ago, 2012

Despite a rejection from the Clay County Planning Commission, the Board of County Commissioners moved forward to create an ordinance to allow digital billboards to be erected locally.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office charged Mary Ann McCall of Fleming Island with grand theft after an investigation found she had conned at least $50,000 from different victims under the guise of not being able to pay her bills because she was dying of cancer.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office said tow-truck driver Napoleon Ballard III of Keystone Heights was killed when he became trapped under the front tire of a pick-up truck he towed to a home at 968 Sams Lane in Middleburg.

10 years ago, 2007

Timothy D. McAnnally, 20, of Green Cove Springs, was shot once by a Clay County Sheriff’s deputy after an armed standoff with officers that began with McAnnally threatening to kill himself, two weeks after his arrest for aggravated assault.

Police searched for a woman who robbed the Bank of America branch on U.S. Highway 17 in Green Cove Springs on one day and the next day, searched for a man who robbed the Fifth Third Bank at Wells Crossing in Orange Park.

Keystone Heights City Council entered contract negotiations with Kenneth Venables to become the city’s first permanent full-time city manager.

20 years ago, 1997

In Green Cove Springs, Fort Lauderdale-based Hvide Marine Inc. christened a double-hulled tank barge that was built by its local subsidiary, Sun State Marine Services. Believed to be the first double-hulled barge in Florida, the vessel cost $1 million.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested John William Cardenas of Keystone Heights and charged him with three counts of armed robbery.

County Commissioners members got into a heated debate with attorney John Kopelousos, legal counsel for Orange Park Kennel Club, in its effort to establish a poker room. Commissioners suggested the Kennel Club ask Orange Park Town Council to hold a public hearing on the issue.

30 years ago, 1987

Originally investigated as a murder-suicide, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office said Elwood Ireland, 69, of Lake Geneva, had not been charged with his wife’s death, but was recovering at University Hospital in Jacksonville after turning the shotgun on himself.

A Blue Ribbon Education Committee recommended the Clay County School Board adopt a 3-mill levy for two years in tandem with impact fees to raise enough money to fund construction of four elementary schools needed in the next five years.

The Clay Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved entry into a proposed Metropolitan Planning Organization that, when established, would help coordinate transportation planning in metro Jacksonville, including Clay County.

40 years ago, 1977

Officials from the Jacksonville Electric Authority pitched the Clay Board of County Commissioners on three local tracts of land the power company was eyeing to build a new power plant.

The National Safety Council certified 19 Clay County School District bus drivers as Professional School Bus Operators after meeting a strict list of training and performance guidelines.

Judge Lamar Winegeart Jr. denied bond for Joseph Asbell and continued his case for trial in January 1978. He was charged with sexual battery.


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