The Florida Times Union

Articles from February 3, 2011

2011 Florida Super 75; High School Football Recruits
Byline: Hays Carlyon The top 75 senior players in Florida, as selected by Times-Union high school sports editor Hays Carlyon. Rankings are based on college potential, not high school success, and include players who have and have not qualified for...
2 Dead on Westside after Shots Ring Out
Jacksonville police, responding to a report of shots fired, found two men shot dead Wednesday morning in a Westside neighborhood. Police were dispatched about 12:15 a.m. to the 8700 block of Hencken Avenue where they found the men, said Sgt. Mike...
A Gun and a Plan Lead to Trouble in Detour; Man Shot Dead in 2009 While Pulling Gunman's Dreadlocks, Court Hears
Byline: DAVID HUNT The idea was to rob somebody, to burst into an apartment and take a big-screen television, video games and anything else with a hefty dollar sign attached. To make it work, two Jacksonville cousins said they needed someone...
A SYMBOLIC SEARCH; THE TINIEST OF TIPS CAN REVEAL AN ENTIRE LIFE A Daughter's Quest to Find Her Dad Solved a 19-Year-Old Case
Byline: BRIDGET MURPHY He once loved somebody named Cindy. Investigators knew that much about the homeless victim when convicting three men of his February 1992 murder. The trio went to prison for the attack beneath a Baldwin railroad overpass,...
Bacon County Tightens Financial Process after Thefts; Two Were Charged in Cases of Stealing Taxpayer Money
Byline: TERESA STEPZINSKI Bacon County officials are imposing new procedures intended to better protect taxpayer money after the arrest of two former employees on theft charges. "Ninety-nine percent of our people are good, honest, hardworking...
Best Bets
SOUTHSIDE STUDENTS REPRESENTED IN SCHOLARSHIP PAGEANTS SATURDAY Several Southside area students will compete in scholarship pageants at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Miss Jacksonville and Miss River City contestants are Alexa Cronin, 18, Paxon School for...
Biking, Squatting, Solar Power: All in Lawmaker's Week's Work; Four Bills Are Being Introduced by the Athens Republican
Byline: WALTER C. JONES ATLANTA - Rep. Doug McKillip is sponsoring four bills designed to address concerns of local nature lovers. Two deal with cycling. One hasn't been introduced this year and given its bill number, but it's another attempt...
Bill Seeks to Boost Port Spending; Lawmaker's Goal: $250 Million Yearly; Not the $8 Million Now
Byline: DAVID BAUERLEIN State Rep. Lake Ray wants this year's legislative session to go down as the Year of the Ports. Ray, R-Jacksonville, has filed a bill mandating the state spend at least $50 million a year on ports starting in July 2013,...
Boy Just 'Watched' after He Killed Girl, Victim's Mom Says; the 14-Year-Old Was Charged with Murder of Her Daughter, 14
Byline: DONNIE FETTER and VALERIE ROWELL HARLEM, Ga. - A 14-year-old boy stood by and watched as the sister of a girl he is accused of killing tried to save her life, said the victim's mother. Betty Jo Calahan said Aaron Schmidt shot her 14-year-old...
Boys Soccer Regional Quarterfinals
Byline: FRANCINE KING All games at 7 p.m. today. REGION 1-6A FLETCHER (12-6-4) AT PORT ORANGE SPRUCE CREEK (23-1-4) Fletcher, which bounced Spruce Creek 2-1 last year, will look for a solid defensive performance, led by Olympic Development...
Braggin' Rights
Kudos to these Southside residents: SCHOOLS - The fifteen semifinalists for the 2011 Florida Blue Teacher of the Year include five educators from Southside area schools. The semifinalists were selected from more than 158 school representatives...
Check out Energy Savers at Libraries; Kits to Evaluate Power and Water Use Available Next Month
Byline: BETH REESE CRAVEY Got a library card? Soon you will be able to use it to cut your home energy costs. In March, residents on the Southside and across Jacksonville will be able to check out JEA do-it-yourself Home Energy Evaluation Kits...
Coast Lines
STATE WHELK HARVEST SEASON BEGINS MONDAY BRUNSWICK - Georgia's whelk harvest season will open at 6:30 a.m. Monday and continue through March 31. Fishermen must have a state Department of Natural Resources permit to harvest the marine animals,...
County's Top Teacher Loves Job, Top Employee Finds It to Be a Joy
Byline: BETH REESE CRAVEY A 12-year educator who teaches three different subjects and a 15-year special education aide were named Clay County's top teacher and support employee at a recent ceremony at the Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts. James...
Data-Collecting Streamgages Allow Greater Enjoyment of the Outdoors
Byline: Bob Buehn Black Creek is wired. Not that you can get an Internet connection while boating on Black Creek, but you can get water level information gathered by four "streamgages" in the creek system and transmitted via satellite periodically...
Estate Planner Achieves Great Things with Enthusiasm
Byline: Christina Swanson If enjoying a hot fudge sundae at an ice cream social or dancing to big band music on a liner bound to Europe is not something you'd normally expect to do with your estate planner, you're right. Developing friendships with...
First Coast Tops by the Numbers; FSU-Bound Beverly Part of Biggest Signing Class in Bucs' History
Byline: HAYS CARLYON First Coast celebrated one of the area's top signing classes ever Wednesday when eight Buccaneers signed letters of intent. Five players signed with NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision schools. Running back Eric Beverly and defensive...
Fisher Has Foundation for Future
Byline: Gene Frenette The euphoria oozing out of Tallahassee right now makes all those state budget cuts feel like a hiccup. Not everything is bleak in the state capital. That's because Jimbo Fisher, before Gov. Rick Scott, is showing that he can...
FLORIDA NOTEBOOK; Muschamp: Small Class, No Problem
Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO GAINESVILLE - Florida coach Will Muschamp wasn't going to panic. He had plenty of extra scholarships open, but he didn't want to fill out his first signing class with players he really didn't want. So he signed 18 players...
FLORIDA STATE NOTEBOOK; Young Hart Is 'Amazing'
Byline: GARRY SMITS TALLAHASSEE - Because Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher has never coached at the high school level, he will get a new experience in August when offensive tackle Bobby Hart enrolls. Hart is only 16 years old. "It's the most...
Future Not Quite So Grim at Mandarin Christian; FHSAA Reduces Fine and Postseason Ban, Limits It to Football
Byline: Mark Boleky Six weeks ago, Mandarin Christian High School didn't know if it would have much of an athletic future. A $142,500 fine and a five-year ban on state playoffs for all sports made it doubtful the school could continue in the Florida...
Grand Jury: Child Porn Made; Man Faces Exploitation Charges of Two Girls and One Boy, So Far
Byline: TERESA STEPZINSKI BRUNSWICK - A federal grand jury indicted a Kingsland man Wednesday on charges of sexually exploiting at least two young girls and a young boy by using them in child pornography for nearly four years. Angel Luis Rivera,...
He's Polite, but Not on Gridiron
Byline: TERRY DICKSON BRUNSWICK - On National Signing Day, student athletes put their signatures on letters of intent putting their strong bodies at the disposal of college coaches for four years. Shakir Robinson signed up for nine and he did...
HOME'S 'EXTREME' REDO WELCOMES CLAY FAMILY; TV Show, Plus 3,000 Volunteers, Put Up 3,400-Square-Foot Home
Byline: DAN SCANLAN MIDDLEBURG - It came more than 1,000 voices strong late Wednesday afternoon, the long-awaited cry of "Move that bus!" on North Chicory Avenue. Then the big "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" bus moved, and Middleburg High School...
Invasive Christmas Berry Is Hard to Destroy
Byline: Rebecca Jordi I have a short, dark green plant popping up in several places in my yard. It has red berries hanging on it. Can you tell me what it is? -GP Thanks for bringing samples into the office of this plant, as it makes it so much...
Jacksonville Journal
GOVERNOR DONATING TO WOUNDED WARRIORS Gov. Rick Scott is donating $200,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project, a Jacksonville-based nonprofit he visited while campaigning. The money was raised during Scott's inauguration, to which he had invited...
Jones-Drew Says It, Kids Listen
Byline: Beth Reese Cravey Jacksonville Jaguar Maurice Jones-Drew recently visited Chets Creek Elementary on the Southside for a Fuel Up to Play 60 event. He spoke to the children about the importance of eating healthy and exercising. Fuel Up to...
Landon Student Wins County Spelling Bee; Sixth-Grader Prevails in 35th Round of Marathon Contest
Byline: RHONDA REESE It was a dark and stormy night outside, but inside Mandarin Middle School last week, 21 elementary and middle school students enlightened listeners on how to spell some challenging words. In one of the longest contests in...
Look Who's the Center of Attention; Ankle Injury to Former Gator Pouncey Is One of Game's Top Storylines
Byline: VITO STELLINO DALLAS - The center on a Super Bowl team tends to be just another face in the crowd and gets ignored during most of the pregame hype. Maurkice Pouncey of the Pittsburgh Steelers is changing that this week. He's the focus...
Martin J. Gottlieb Day School's Science Fair Has a Real Kick to It; Teacher Themes Event "Motion Commotion" to Show How Fun Subject Is
Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND Micah Rubin received a heavy blow to the head while playing quarterback for the Ponte Vedra Sharks. That incident, which resulted in a concussion, led him to drop raw eggs wrapped in various materials from the second...
Meyer's Remaining Ties to UF Severed; Former Head Coach Can't Work for School and Be ESPN Analyst
Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO Former Florida coach Urban Meyer resigned from his yet-to-be-finalized position with the school because his new job with ESPN could have led to possible NCAA rules violations. Meyer resigned Dec. 8 but was going to remain...
Moran, Lee Campaigns Share D.C. Consulting Firm; the Republican and Democrat Are Mayoral Candidates
Byline: DEIRDRE CONNER A Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm is working for two Jacksonville mayoral candidates at once, but only one of the candidates is paying. Audrey Moran's campaign gave GMS Consulting $2,900 for short-term consulting...
Morning Briefs
REGENCY CENTERS POSTS LOSS IN FOURTH QUARTER Regency Centers Corp. reported Wednesday a net loss of $36.7 million, or 44 cents per diluted share, for the fourth quarter, due to write-offs related to the value of some properties. For all of 2010,...
Nassau Notes; Help Plan for Future with Sustainable Nassau
Byline: COULTER KIRKPATRICK Sustainable Nassau will take a look at prospective land planning futures for Nassau County when it meets today at the Betty Cook Center at Florida State College at Jacksonville's Yulee Campus, 76346 William Burgess Blvd....
NATIONAL SIGNING DAY; A Hugh Haul for Seminoles
Byline: Hayes Carlyon On national signing day, Florida State and Georgia were smiling, Miami was struggling a bit and Florida was somewhere in the middle. The grades, from Times-Union high school sports editor Hays Carlyon: FLORIDA STATE A+*****An...
National Signing Day; Inside the Classes
Byline: GARY SMITS FLORIDA STATE Total signed: 27 JAMES WILDER JR.*********RB***6-2***219 Tampa Plant - Ran for 1,597 yards and 22 TDs as senior, would have been a top recruit at LB as well. TIMMY JERNIGAN*********DT***6-2***275 ...
National Signing Day; Inside the Classes
Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO GEORGIA Total signed: 25 FIVE IMPACT PLAYERS RAY DREW******DE***6-5***243 Thomas County (Ga.) Central - One of the strongest defensive players in the country should get on the field quickly. MALCOLM MITCHELL***DB***6-1***187...
National Signing Day; Inside the Classes
Byline: HAYS CARLYON FIVE IMPACT PLAYERS MIAMI Total signed: 16 ANTHONY CHICKILLO***DE***6-3***226 Tampa Alonso - Far and away, Chickillo is the gem of Miami's class, the lone member of the Rivals 250. JALEN GRIMBLE***DE***6-4***255...
Neighbors Help with Extreme Makeover; the Results: Dream Home for Guardian and Her Three Girls
Byline: AMANDA WINKLE Editor's note: Jacksonville.com's Amanda Winkle spent several days at the site of the Extreme Makeover home reporting on the demolition and building of the new house. As a St. Johns County resident who works in downtown...
Notebook; Fashion Show Offers Hope for Kids
Byline: Beth Reese Cravey Tickets are on sale for the Children's Hope Alliance's sixth annual Hope by Design Fashion Show, presented by Panera Bread. The event will be held Feb. 19 at Queen's Harbour Yacht and Country Club, 1131 Queen's Harbour...
OUR CHILDREN; Make a Difference
Despite the challenges facing many of Jacksonville's children, there are solutions. Poverty is a hurdle but not a curse. Armed with the right information, parents and caretakers still can make a huge impact on their children. Called City of...
Patriot Looks Forward to Internal Company Growth; It Is Also Considering Acquisitions to Grow Transportation Sector
Byline: MARK BASCH After a decrease in revenue and operating earnings in fiscal 2010, Patriot Transportation Holding Inc. officials are hoping for better things in 2011 as the economy improves. And the Jacksonville-based transportation and real...
Pursuing a Gluten-Free Existence
Byline: MARK BASCH I love pizza. And beer. And plain old bread. And a lot of other foods too numerous to mention. But no more. A few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which you may more commonly know as a gluten intolerance. So...
Q&A with Darryl Herren; Teacher Is Also Team Coach for Half-Marathon Team
Public information meetings are under way in Northeast Florida for the upcoming Team Challenge, a half-marathon training and fundraising program for the non-profit Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. Team Challenge members begin training in...
Q&A with Lolly Norstrom; Secret to Long, Healthy Life? She Says Be True to Emotions
Lolly Norstrom, who turns 100 on Feb. 20, has had quite the life. A Minnesota native, she was an actress and play director in California, had a brief early marriage to a big band director and a 64-year marriage with husband Art, who decided at their...
Q&A with Thomas Tolxdorf; Chef Cooks Up Good Life in Nassau
Byline: COULTER KIRKPATRICK Chef Thomas Tolxdorf, executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, oversees all aspects of the resort's food and beverage operations - with nearly 100 staff serving food in catering, conference banquets, lounges...
Regional Signings
JACKSONVILLE UNIVERSITY Kevin Battle, OL, Ridge, Orlando; Mark Bodkin, OL, Lincoln, Winter Springs; Matt Davis, OL, Winter Springs, Winter Springs; Zac Dyer, OL, Celebration, Orlando; Jean Bertrand, DB, Blanche Ely, Pompano Beach; Herbie Firdy,...
RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION; Speak out against Injustice
When people think of religious persecution, they often conjure up visions of Christians being fed to lions, in front of a roaring crowd, in ancient Rome. In fact, persecution still takes place in many parts of the world, even today. Lions no...
Riverkeeper's Website Gives Accurate View of the River
Byline: Ronald L. Littlepage About 310 miles south of Jacksonville, the St. Johns River begins with not much more than a trickle. As it flows north, it is fed by rainwater, springs and tributaries until it widens into the mighty river that flows...
RV Sales Begin Rolling Again; Recession Had Hit Sales Hard, Cutting Them by Half, but That's Changing
Byline: ROGER BULL The last few years have not been kind to the RV business. Sales across the country of that very discretionary toy dropped by almost half from 2007 to 2009. In Jacksonville, they dropped more than that. "For two and a half years,...
Scammers Targeting County's Seniorscontact Us; Sheriff's Office Advises Caution If Anyone Asks for Money
Byline: SHAKAYA ANDRES PONTE VEDRA BEACH - A 78-year-old Ponte Vedra resident was duped out of $5,600 in cash this week. It was the latest of several recent scams on elderly people in the St. Johns County area. And it was among the most fruitful...
Scoreboard
HIGH SCHOOLS BOYS BASKETBALL ARLINGTON COUNTRY DAY 75, IMG 46 IMG (46): Sheldon 2, Greene 10, Deanecke 3, McDonald 2, Connor 12, Traylor 14, Pillar 3. ARLINGTON COUNTRY DAY (75): Morris 9, Baker 12, Browne 6, Boykin 4, Josephs 10, Goodman...
Scott Removes Dozens of Crist Appointees; Art Graham, Marty Fiorentino and Donna Harper among the Cuts
Byline: LARRY HANNAN Former Jacksonville City Councilman Art Graham has been yanked off the Florida Public Service Commission by Gov. Rick Scott. The new Republican governor announced Wednesday he was rescinding dozens of appointments made by...
Simple Exercises Can Help Keep You Strong and Safe; Increased Longevity and Less Risk of Falls Are Some Benefits
When you're sweating in a local gym to lose those extra five pounds and fit into your skinny jeans, you may not realize that your propensity for maintaining a regular exercise schedule as you age is directly related to how independent of a life you...
Speckled Trout Closed for Month
Byline: Capt. Jim Johnson Another closure is upon us. Speckled trout is closed for the month of February in Northeast Florida. It has now become "what can I keep?" when I go fishing not, "what can I catch?" The list of what a fisherman can't...
Start Date Pending for New Homegrown County Manager; She Already Has Visited the Office to Meet with the Staff
Byline: BETH REESE CRAVEY Newly named Clay County Manager Stephanie Kopelousos checked out her new workplace Monday, met with staff and received briefings on ongoing county issues. And she's not even officially on the job. On Jan. 25, the...
State Sees Challenge Caring for Disabled; Deal Suggests Budget Increase for Mental Health Care
Byline: WALTER C. JONES ATLANTA - Last year's closure of Central State Hospital included glitches that shouldn't be repeated when the state closes the Northwest Regional Hospital in Rome, according to a parade of advocates for the mentally ill who...
Stearns' Bills Tend to End Up Nowhere; He Leads the Delegation in Filings, but Critics Say It's Mostly for Show
Byline: MATT DIXON If filing legislation was an art form, U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns would have it perfected. Over his career, he has filed 67 more bills than the other three members of the Northeast Florida congressional delegation combined. Those...
Steelers Going with the Flo
Byline: VITO STELLINO DALLAS - The Pittsburgh Steelers are back playing the sentiment card again this year. When they beat the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl in Detroit five years ago, the emphasis was on winning it for Jerome Bettis is his...
St. Marys Bills for Lawyer Raise Group's Hackles; Citizen Activists Want Specifics of City Work by St. Simons Attorney
Byline: TERRY DICKSON After mounting a petition drive that landed the St. Marys City Council before a county grand jury to answer questions, a citizens group now believes it has found some money to account for. Bob Nutter is questioning why St....
Strickland Was Star in Multiple Sports; His Basketball Jersey Number Was First to Be Retired in JU History
Byline: GENE FRENETTE Roger Strickland, one of the greatest basketball players to come out of Jacksonville and still the career scoring average leader at Jacksonville University with 27.3 points per game, died Wednesday in his Southside home after...
Testers Sipped Lattes They Made at Home; Most Liked the Vanilla Caramel Flavor in the Instant Beverage
Byline: ANN J. KELLEY When you make a frothy cup of Maxwell House International Cafe Latte, you can use either hot water or milk. Members of the Times-Union Consumer Panel tried it both ways, indulging in steaming mugs of Vanilla Caramel Latte,...
The Shoulds and Musts in Life Only Lead to Misery
Byline: Bob Howat About 20 years ago, I was introduced to rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) by its founder, Albert Ellis. He told a story about a man he knew who called and requested an appointment. John's wife had died after a long bout...
THIS WEEK ON TOUR; TV Ratings on Rise during Early Events
Byline: GARRY SMITS PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said two weeks ago that the Tour doesn't judge the success of its television broadcasts solely on the ratings for a given telecast. But they certainly won't hurt the Tour as it prepares for...
Tougher Sentence in New Trial; Killer Goes from Serving a 45-Year Sentence to Life in Prison
Byline: DAVID HUNT A Jacksonville man granted a retrial in the beating death of his girlfriend is worse off now after being sentenced to life. Wednesday's sentencing replaces a 45-year prison term Steven Willie Montgomery received in 2007 for...
Two Bills Would Change Elections in St. Marys; the Legislation Would Alter Election Dates, Majority Vote Issues
Byline: WALTER C. JONES ATLANTA - Rep. Jason Spencer introduced two bills that would change St. Marys elections. One would schedule elections on even-numbered years, and the other would require candidates to get a majority of the votes cast to win,...
T-YOU; RANTS & RAVES Mullaney's Ads Insult Municipal Employees
Mayoral candidate Rick Mullaney is a bit insulting to city employees in his campaign commercials. He makes it sound like the average city worker is responsible for the city's financial crisis and that they need to suffer another round of pay cuts....
Urban Flats a Fit for Families or Date Nights
Byline: J.F. MIX I haven't had the occasion to drive down Touchton Road near Tinseltown for quite a while. I didn't realize how many people live along this road. This is relevant because it means there are a great many people who are happy about...
Water Temperatures Turns Things Topsy-Turvy, but Not All Is Lost
Byline: Jim Sutton We were treated to some nice weather over the weekend, but temperatures in the high 60s and light winds didn't seem to help. It was nice fishing, but slow catching in general. In brackish water, the redfish seemed to respond...