The Florida Times Union

Articles from June 2, 2006

2 Face Extortion, Witness-Tampering Charges; the Men Are Accused of Trying to Sell Their Testimony in a Trial
Two men have been accused of a scheme to sell their testimony in a trial for $2,500. Troy Kelley, 27, and Waynard Duan, 20, both of Jacksonville, were arrested last week and charged with extortion and witness tampering, Assistant State Attorney...
2 Teachers Challenge State Law on Hiring; They Say That It Unfairly Restricts Employment of Foreign-Born Workers
Byline: TERESA STEPZINSKI BRUNSWICK -- The constitutionality of a 1938 Georgia law forbidding the employment of foreign-born workers in many circumstances is headed for a federal court showdown this summer. A lawsuit filed by two Jamaican teachers...
After the Fire, Crews Hope for Dampening Rains; Mother Nature Knows the Best Way to Keep Wildfires from Re-Igniting, Crews Say
Byline: LOKA ASHWOOD Fighting the flames of raging wildfires is "sexy" and "glamorous," but the real work comes when the fire has died and the embers still are smoldering, firefighter Gene Madden said Thursday. "Once you kill the fire, keeping...
Alternative Route
Byline: Terry Brown Residents living along a dusty back road were sick of waiting for the rain to rid the air of the fine dirt. But when the county told them it would cost $400,000 to pave their road, they decided to take matters into their own...
A Messy 'Break-Up'; the Vince Vaughn-Jennifer Aniston Comedy Has Too Much Going on, and Not Enough Going for It
Byline: MATT SOERGEL The Break-Up is supposed to make us root for Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston's characters to get back together, but they're such a mismatched on-screen couple that your thoughts keep wandering to a more pressing matter: What...
A New Gem Emerges in Palm Valley
Byline: Dan Macdonald While it's not as secluded as it used to be, Palm Valley still retains some rustic charm. It lost a lot of its quaintness when the narrow drawbridge was replaced by the new towering span that crosses the Intracoastal. ...
Bomb Scare Reminds Us That Dangers Lurk, Even Here
Byline: kevin clark At about the time last Friday when most of us were packing our cars for a holiday road trip or starting the back nine of an early afternoon golf game, a northwest St. Johns County couple was investigating the contents of a strange...
CodeRed Notification Program Starts; the Program Notifies Residents by Phone about Local Emergencies
Byline: lisa miller Just in time for the start of hurricane season, St. Johns County launched an emergency phone notification system for residents this week. CodeRed allows officials with the Sheriff's Office, emergency management, fire rescue,...
COOL, CLEAN FUN ON JEKYLL ISLAND; New Attraction Aims for a Wetter Summer
Byline: Terry Dickson JEKYLL ISLAND -- Summer Waves Water Park is introducing a new bucket of fun this year, a huge vat that dumps hundreds of gallons of water on visitors to its SplashZone attraction. Brunswick Mayor Bryan Thompson altered one...
Could This Be Case of 'Love' at First Sight?
Byline: Matt Soergel Frank Goodin is going to Hollywood this month, along with six people who worked with him on his first film, Love Trap. They're making a big push for their movie, since it's one of the contenders for best feature film at the...
County Gives World Commerce Center $8 Million in Impact Fee Credits; Developer Must First Complete Road and Park Projects, and Donate $250,000 to DOT
Byline: lisa miller A northwest St. Johns County development received more than $8 million in impact fee credits in exchange for the completion of road improvements and a community park. County Commissioners approved the $8.7 million agreement...
Difference Makers
Byline: lisa miller bill lazar Growing up with one of John F. Kennedy's most famous quotes -- "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country,"-- Bill Lazar said he's always helped those around him. First it was...
EDUCATION; Playing Catch Up
As a parade of high school graduations have concluded in Florida, it's natural to think students bound for college will be ready. But too many are not. In 2003-04, 55 percent of all first-time college students attending state public universities...
Edward Waters College Graduates
DIVISION OF ARTS AND SCIENCES Biology: Dante Antonio Hall, biology; Zalika Rashida Shamis Howard, biology; Fallon Deloris Johns, biology; Yrin Rachelle Scott, biology. Mass Communications: Brandon Lathario Flagg and Lolita Jennings. Math:...
Escape from It All, Naturally; State Parks Are the Perfect Places to Park Your Troubles and Enjoying the Wonders of the Florida/Georgia Outdoors
Byline: Erin Trauth With the hustle and bustle of everyday life at a constant roar, sometimes it can be difficult to stop and enjoy the simplicity and beauty of the natural world. But peace may be closer than you think: More than 30 Florida state...
Give Me Five
the english are coming! Just when you thought St. Augustine was safe from reenactment attacks, news of another fake pillage-and-plunder event hits the historic streets of the Oldest City on Saturday. This time the actors will mimic a famous English...
Here's to the Graduates
First Coast Technical Institute awarded 200 graduates at a May 18 ceremony in FCTI's Coastal Conference Center. FCTI graduates are: Administrative Assistant: Taranne Fuller and Danielle Tucker. Air Conditioning/Refrigeration & Heating Technology:...
If the Glove Does Fit, It's a Stupid Hit
Byline: Mike Freeman Not since Joey Buttafuoco have we seen such deft criminal masterminds, such allegations of titillating thievery. A.J. Nicholson and Fred Rouse probably once dreamed of making All-America teams and Pro Bowls. Instead, they're...
It's No Time to Reopen Talk on Returning Navy to Cecil
Byline: Ronald L. Littlepage A mayoral wannabe and a couple of state legislators are pushing the idea that we should have a community discussion about whether a Navy master jet base should return to Cecil Field. Where were they last fall? ...
Jags RB Looking to Stay on Field; Sure, Accolades Are Nice, but What Toefield Wants Is More Playing Time
Byline: BART HUBBUCH When the latest compliment is relayed to LaBrandon Toefield, the reaction is little more than a puzzled shrug. The Jaguars' fourth-year running back has heard it all before. "That's the thing I don't understand," Toefield...
Jekyll Hotel Deal Didn't Come Easily; New Lodging for Visitors a Rarity on the Island
Byline: TERRY DICKSON JEKYLL ISLAND -- The newest hotel on the state-owned resort island will be torn down soon and replaced by another. But newest is a relative term when applied to the island's hotels. The one marked for demolition is a 32-year-old...
Man Shot in Store Denies Being There as Robber; Vincent Hudson, Who Police Say Was Unarmed at the Time of the Incident, Says He Wants the Business Owner Arrested
Byline: BRIDGET MURPHY A Jacksonville store owner who shot someone he said was trying to rob his business Wednesday fired on an unarmed man, police said Thursday. The investigation into the shooting at Marvin's Electronics on Edgewood Avenue...
McGraw, Hill Not Afraid to Take a Detour
Byline: Jeff Vrabel If you were one of the thousands who attended Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's sold-out arena shows this week, you certainly noticed that their encore included a left-field surprise: a straight-faced and fairly respectful cover of...
Meester Anxious to Return to Field
Byline: BART HUBBUCH Jaguars center Brad Meester expects to take an important step in his comeback effort today. Sidelined since early December by a torn left biceps muscle, Meester said he expects to receive medical clearance this afternoon...
Morning Briefs
WINN-DIXIE, CREDITORS CLOSER TO AGREEMENT Attorneys for Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. and its creditors said Thursday that they are getting closer to an agreement on a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan for Winn-Dixie. But they still can't say for...
Nation's Retailers See Encouraging Sales; Stein Mart Did Not Reach Analysts' Projections, but the Numbers Are Positive
Byline: DIANA MIDDLETON Stein Mart Inc. reported Thursday a mild increase in May sales, while other retailers experienced higher-than-expected gains, thanks to customers who remain undeterred by rising gas prices. The Jacksonville-based retail...
New Swim Coach Is in at Bolles; Deck Head Goes Here Goes Here Goes Here Goes Here Goes Here Goes Here
Byline: CHASE GOODBREAD The Bolles School replaced former swim coach Jeff Poppel with Rick Bishop, filling its perennial state title program with a former assistant. Bishop most recently coached for four years at Chattanooga (Tenn.) Baylor High...
New UNF Provost: Faculty a Priority; His Predecessor Was Perceived as Being Less Than Attentive to Them
Byline: CHARLIE PATTON Mark Workman says he isn't a political conservative. But there is one piece of conservative philosophy to which he subscribes. "In a university, a trickle down economy makes sense," said Workman, the new provost and academic...
Outback Race Proved Too Much for American Team's Land Rover; Switzerland Father and Son Return after Finishing 52nd out of 65 Teams, but Their Truck Took a Beating
Byline: terry brown The Outback proved to be a bigger beast than a northwest St. Johns racing duo -- and their custom-built Land Rover -- could handle, but the team recently returned to the states no worse for wear and full of tales of their attempted...
Photos Reveal Many Moments of One Man's Passion
Byline: terry brown The collective groan went up again from my family as I stopped along the pathway, slung the heavy bag off my shoulder and began to pull out my camera. "Come on, Dad," my daughter said, rolling her eyes with all the dismay...
Police Blotter
Byline: terry brown Bomb squad detonates suspicious package An investigation continues by the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, and The Florida Department of Law Enforcement into a potentially...
Property Taxes Expected to Add $14.5 Million
Byline: BETH KORMANIK New estimates of Duval County's property tax base will not be enough to cover Jacksonville's projected $42.6 million deficit. The figures, released Thursday, still came as good news to city officials because they added $14.5...
PSS World Medical Has Plan to Grow in '07
Byline: URVAKSH KARKARIA PSS World Medical said Thursday it expects to grow revenues 8 percent to 10 percent in 2007. "We have to grow to survive," Chief Executive David Smith, said at the company's investor day meeting in Atlanta on Thursday....
Real Estate
The following transactions were recorded by the St. Johns County Clerk of Circuit Court from May 1-7. Pt. Sec. 2-7-29 Etc.: June Gale Daniel to June Gale Daniel Family Land Tr. by Tr., $10 Lot 201 Samara Lakes, Unit 1: KB Home Jax LLC to Frank...
Red-Hot Suns Close to a Title; Ten-Game Homestand, Which Starts Tonight, Will Be Make-or-Break
Byline: JEFF ELLIOTT With 15 games remaining in the Southern League's first half, the Suns own a 4 1/2-game Southern Division lead over the second-place Montgomery Biscuits and begin a 10-game homestand tonight hoping to clinch the pennant. The...
Retired Surgeon Gave His Skill, Time to Haitian People; the Avid Fisherman and Diver Died of Unknown Causes during a Recent Trip to Islamorada in the Keys
Byline: JESSIE-LYNNE KERR Despite retiring from orthopedic surgery a decade ago, George Fipp of Jacksonville never stowed away his scalpel, continuing to make trips at his own expense to Haiti to provide medical care for those in need. The missions...
Science Is Wonderful at MOSH
Byline: Laura Capitano Say what you will about Jacksonville's Museum of Science and History, it has awesomely convenient free parking and a great location - complemented by a backdrop of our beloved skyline and sparkling river. The day I visited,...
Seminoles Aide Takes Job at UCF
Byline: BOB THOMAS TALLAHASSEE -- Assistant men's basketball coach Mike Jaskulski is leaving Florida State to become associate head coach to Kirk Speraw at Central Florida. Jaskulski, who just completed his second four-year stint as an assistant...
Skin Cancer Surprises a Longtime Tan Seeker; with the Arrival of Summer Vacations, Doctors Tell Sunbathers to Be Careful
Byline: ERIN ROSSITER ATHENS -- Skin cancer crept into Amy Seymour's view as she applied more and more makeup to cover the "beauty mark" darkening her right eyebrow. But she didn't recognize the malady. Family history made her fear an unseen...
Sour after 16; JU Looking to Erase Four Years of Futility vs. FSU
Byline: JASON SCHNEIDER Ask Jacksonville University baseball players about today's NCAA Tournament game against Florida State -- four times the victor in previous meetings this season -- and they'll tell you it's just another game. But if you...
Sports Extra
Byline: Compiled by ROBERT MCGINTY 2 CENTS It's easy to figure out who Barry Bonds is chasing ... it's Hank Aaron. Saying anything else would be like committing perjury in front of a grand jury. It's harder to figure out who Roger Clemens...
STANDING PAT; A Star for More Than Two Decades, Pat Benatar Can Still Hit You with Her Best Shot
Byline: JEFF VRABEL A primer on Pat Benatar, who plays the Florida Theatre next week with her husband, guitarist Neil Giraldo. Bio in brief: In the '80s, Benatar (born Patricia Andrzejewski, which doesn't look so good on a marquee) was an arena...
Timberlin Creek's Eagle Day Effort Begins to Take off Countywide; Commissioners, Audobon Society Sign Proclamations Declaring June 20 a Day to Honor the National Symbol
Byline: lisa miller Timberlin Creek Elementary's effort to create a national Eagle Day gained some wing speed this week with St. Johns County commissioners passing a proclamation making June 20 Eagle Day. "This is such a wonderful undertaking,"...
Trucker in Fatal Crash Admits Falsifying Logs; A 10-Year-Old Rhode Island Boy Died in the Camden County Wreck
Byline: TERESA STEPZINSKI BRUNSWICK -- A commercial trucker whose rig crashed into a disabled vehicle, killing a Rhode Island boy in Camden County, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal charge of falsifying his driving logs to hide the fact he had...
T-YOU; Early Religious Training Built Foundation for Life
THE FAITH LEADER RAMESH VASHI Title, church, city: board member, Hindu Society of Northeast Florida, Orange Park Age: 70 Education: bachelor's in engineering from India; master's in mathematical statistics from Wayne State University in...
T-YOU; Everyone's a Critic
So you think Matt Soergel must be on a Sno-cap sugar high when he sees films? Everyone's a Critic lets you play movie reviewer. Here's what "regular folks" think of movies currently playing at the multiplex. X-Men: The Last Stand - Let's hope they...
Waiting to See If JEDC Has Changed
Byline: Karen Brune Mathis It's a new day at the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission, and I'm waiting to see whether it really will do business in a new way. The almost 10-year-old, seven-member commission will add two members and make...
Wry Guy under the Big Sky; Sam Shepard Plays Aging Western Star in Genial 'Don't Come Knocking'
Byline: MATT SOERGEL Don't Come Knocking is a minor lark for the art-house crowd, which will notice all those names attached to it - director Wim Wenders, writer-star Sam Shepard and a cast with Jessica Lange, Tim Roth and Sarah Polley - and anticipate...
You Have a Long Commute? Try This; First Coast Program Offers Alternatives
Byline: TIMOTHY J. GIBBONS Kevin Moyer spends his day working as a firefighter at Mayport Naval Station -- but when he drives in to start his shift, he functions as "a mini-bus driver." On his way from his Westside home, Moyer picks up six other...