This Week in History 5/17/18

Clay Today
Posted 5/16/18

5 years ago, 2013School Superintendent Charlie Van Zant Jr. and the Clay County School Board mutually agreed to drop a lawsuit Van Zant filed against the board on grounds neither side wanted a …

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This Week in History 5/17/18


5 years ago, 2013

School Superintendent Charlie Van Zant Jr. and the Clay County School Board mutually agreed to drop a lawsuit Van Zant filed against the board on grounds neither side wanted a costly, protracted public legal fight.

Some 29,000 guests visited the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall on the campus of Green Cove Springs Junior High, which was coordinated by the seventh grade and a school history teacher as a civics project.

Facing sharp public opposition, Gustafson’s Cattle Inc. selected a more remote alternative site to build an asphalt plant in Green Cove Springs. The original 92.4-acre site between County Road 15A and U.S. Highway 17 was swapped for a 71-acre site just wet of U.S. 17 at the proposed intersection of the First Coast Expressway.

10 years ago, 2008

Concert on the Green co-Founders Joy Myers and Marion Wehner announced they were stepping aside after 20-years of the leading the all-volunteer nonprofit arts organization.

Former “Happy Days” sitcom co-star Henry Winkler read from his newest children’s book at the Books-A-Million store at Orange Park Mal. Some 300 guests listened to Winkle read from “The Life of Me: Enter at Your Own Risk,” co-written by Lin Oliver.

The Clay County Fairgrounds came alive with residents celebrating Clay County’s 150th birthday, or sesquicentennial, with a parade, music and other family fun marking the county’s birth in 1858.

20 years ago, 1998

A Clay County Grand Jury failed to return an indictment against former Clerk of Court John Keene regarding allegations of misusing public funds.

First Union bank awarded Frederick and Dorothea Voisen of Middleburg $25,000 for coming out on top in the CAP Investment Challenge stock investment contest where they outperformed more than 4,000 other contestants, including seasoned financial planners.

Middleburg artist John Ayers acrylic painting entitled “Flowers for Gladys” was selected for display in the national offices of the Muscular Dystrophy Association in Tucson, Ariz. after first being displayed in an exhibit at the Jacksonville International Airport.

30 years ago, 1988

Clay County Administrator John Bowles re-shuffled county employees from various government departments to ensure county policies and administrative procedures were again being followed after a former employee filed a complaint with the state ethics commission.

William M. Brown, 15, of Keystone Heights, was pronounced dead on arrival at University Hospital after being airlifted there for treatment. Police said he was electrocuted by 220-volt outlet.

The Clay County School Board heard a report about how it could lease-purchase new schools instead as a move to save millions of dollars in the face of a growing student body.

40 years ago, 1978

Mayors from Green Cove Springs, Keystone Heights and Orange Park and other elected officials met with the Clay County Development Authority to celebrate the relocation of medical equipment manufacturer Xomed to the ABC Industrial Park near Orange Park.

George Conway, 17, of Orange Park captured second place and a $175 prize from General Motors at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Anaheim, Calif. for his project entitled “Ascites cancer: detection of antigenic shedding by fluorescent antibody studies.”

The Jacksonville Electric Authority’s board of directors approved paying a franchise fee to Clay County in lieu of property taxes for a $600 million power plant – that faced strong opposition from residents – it planned to build here.


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