The Florida Times Union

Articles from July 21, 2011

10 Things You Didn't Know about Bananas
Byline: Heather Lovejoy Jacksonville is bananas for bananas. Consumers here eat so many that Dole Fresh Fruit has bestowed on us the title "Top Banana City." But how much do you really know about bananas? 1 THEY'RE NATURALLY RADIOACTIVE, BUT...
3 Commissioners Finish Course on County Governing
Byline: Shakaya Andres About two dozen county commissioners including, three from Nassau were recently designated by the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) for their completion of the association's comprehensive study program. Commissioners...
A Lot of Clutter around Can Mean Clutter in Your Thinking
Byline: maria murphy Back in the day, I was a real clutter bug. I loved my junk and I had so much of it that I sometimes didn't know what to do with it. In fact, I have an old picture of my kitchen from the '90s. On top of the kitchen cabinets is...
A.M. Briefing
SIGNS POINT TO STABILITY IN LOCAL REAL ESTATE Hints of a return to normalcy in the Jacksonville real estate market came in June, when single-family home sales and median sales prices both dropped by less than 5 percent over June 2010. That comparison...
And in This Ring ... Cyclones Makes a Triumphant Return
Byline: J.F. Mix The "Loser Leave Town" match is the oldest gimmick in professional wrestling. It's a grudge match that is hyped for weeks and culminates with the loser leaving the promotion - for a while. The vanquished always returns months...
Aspiring Writers Can Teach and Encourage Each Other; Sometimes the Critiques Are Sharp, but the Authors like to Get the Feedback
Byline: Sandy Strickland & Cristin Wilson Mandarin resident Laura Havice has a huge affinity for sea turtles. That fondness has taken the form of a sentimental short story about a little girl who spends summers with her grandparents on the North...
Best Bets
Byline: Beth Reese Cravey SOCCER MATCH AT JU IS FOR GOOD CAUSE The FC JAX Destroyers and the Central Florida Kraze will compete in a soccer match at 7 p.m. today at Jacksonville University, hosted by the Destroyers and the Children's Miracle...
Best Bets
SWIMMING ST. JOHNS Life coach Jim Alabiso will share his experience of swimming the St. Johns River tonight as part of the Mandarin Community Club's Third Thursday Lecture Series. Doors to the clubhouse at 12447 Mandarin Road open at 6:30 p.m. with...
Briefs
WSOP DOWN TO NINE FINALISTS Nine finalists at the World Series of Poker have been paid more than $782,000 each for topping the main event, and sent off for a 3 1/2-month break to return in November in Las Vegas. Martin Staszko of the Czech Republic...
Call Issued to Solve Monroe Slayings; Re-Enactment of the Moore's Ford Bridge Shootings on Saturday
Byline: Walter Jones ATLANTA Leaders of two black groups called on President Barack Obama and Gov. Nathan Deal Wednesday to commit the needed resources to solve the 1946 murders of four black people, plus that of the fetus cut from one of the victim's...
Coffee School Board Hires Leis; He Grew Up in Douglas and Is a Long-Time Educator in the Region
Byline: Teresa Stepzinski The Coffee County school board voted unanimously Wednesday to hire Morris Leis as superintendent of the 8,000-student Southeast Georgia school district, which is on accreditation probation because of leadership issues....
Commissioners Propose a Small Tax Rate Increase
Byline: Maggie FitzRoy Citing declining property values amid the continuing economic downturn, St. Johns County commissioners proposed a 0.73 percent property tax rate increase Tuesday, raising the possibility of the county's first hike in five...
CSX's CEO Sees Good Things Ahead for Company; Ward Says Railroad Is Seeing 'Modest Increases' and Is Investing in Florida Tracks
Byline: Mark Basch While many people are concerned about the state of the U.S. economy, CSX Corp. Chief Executive Officer Michael Ward likes what he is seeing. The Jacksonville-based railroad company reported late on Monday that second-quarter...
Eureka Garden Children Learn Peaceful Solutions; Summer Camp in the Troubled Complex Provides Tips on How to Avoid Violence
Byline: Mary Kelli Palka They tell the stories about the brawls in Eureka Garden and the surrounding area as if they're relaying scenes from a movie. And they talk about the need to stay at a distance - especially if guns are involved. "A...
Get out Your Nets; Looks like Busy Shrimping Season Ahead
Byline: bob buehn The shrimping season is under way in the St. Johns River, and it looks like it's going to be another great one. Last year brought the best shrimp run in at least a decade, lasting well into November. This year, Clay County shrimpers...
Grant Allows Kids to Have a Seat; about 150 in Glynn County Receive Free Child Safety Seats
Byline: Terry Dickson BRUNSWICK Jalone Murray played a computer game at the Glynn County Health Department as his mother, Courtney Mungin, waited for a class to start on child safety seats. Jalone, 4, wasn't crazy about the idea of still another...
Handicapped Tickets Down; Fewer Citations Are Being Written for Parking in Spaces for the Disabled
Byline: Steve Patterson The number of people ticketed for illegally using handicapped parking spaces in Jacksonville has dropped sharply since City Hall reorganized handicapped enforcement efforts this spring, records show. While 190 citations...
Mandarin Plant Exchange a Whirlwind of Fun - and a Success
Byline: rhonda reese It was about as much excitement as one could handle in an hour. That's how some attendees of the Mandarin Garden Club's first-ever plant exchange described the frenzied fun last Saturday. More than two dozen enthusiastic...
Man, Woman Critical after Shootings
A man and woman were shot multiple times Wednesday afternoon in their car on a Jacksonville street near Springfield. They were hit in the lower and upper torsos while in a Nissan Altima about 3:45 p.m. on Phoenix Avenue, police said. Police said...
McIntosh Group Is Dogs' Best Friend
Byline: terry dickson DARIEN As visitors rolled into George and Patty Parkinson's yard Wednesday, they were met by four hounds and a black-and-white mixed breed dog, all with tongues and tails wagging. One of the hounds was three hours into...
Meals on Wheels; Trying to Fill Tanks, Bellies
Rising gas prices are making it tougher for elderly, shut-in people to get a meal delivered to them these days. Nicole Kirkpatrick, program director for Meals on Wheels, said that fuel costs for its aging fleet of vehicles - vehicles that are specially...
Men Die Younger in Baker County; 'Preventable' Causes of Death, Such as Obesity, Taking a Toll on Florida
Byline: Jeremy Cox Kerry Dunlavey, head of the Baker County Health Department, calls life expectancy "an indicator of what's happening in our community." And she doesn't like what's happening, particularly to the county's men. They're dying...
Old Movies Bring New Money to Converters; Personal, Business Videos Restored by First Coast Firms
Byline: Kevin Turner In the years following World War II, millions of American families used home movies to record weddings, graduations, birthday parties and other special occasions. Few knew getting those memories to stand the test of time...
On Mission to Mesh; Gators' Muschamp Takes over Team DE Says Was Fractured Last Season
Byline: Garry Smits Before first-year Florida coach Will Muschamp can improve the product on the football field this season, he needs to mend what was broken in the locker room last year. From early indications, Muschamp has gone a long way toward...
Pension Fund Changes Back to Table; Mayor Wants 2 Weeks to Review Issue
Byline: Timothy J. Gibbons The Jacksonville Police and Fire pension fund is sending back to the City Council plans to change the fund, although the state auditor has not commented on those changes. The mayor's office, meanwhile, has asked the...
Police Taking Back Media Radios; Cost and Safety Cited, but T-U Editor Says Reporters Had Never Interfered
Byline: Scott Butler The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is yanking handheld scanners it has provided local media to monitor police calls and breaking news, primarily to save the cost of buying new radios. The new policy includes pulling dozens...
Q&A with Andrea Hartley; GlobalJax Offers Its International Flavor
Byline: Beth Cravey More than 2,000 emerging leaders and professionals from more than 160 countries have visited Jacksonville through the 21-year-old Southside-based agency now known as GlobalJax. In this week's Q&A, Assistant Director Andrea...
Q&A with Kerry Clark; Lyme Disease: How to Avoid, How to Treat It
Byline: Sandy Strickland Summer is here, and it's a time when Floridians enjoy time outdoors. But that's also a place where individuals can be exposed to ticks and possibly Lyme disease. In this week's Q&A, Kerry Clark, professor of epidemiology...
Q&A with Linda Mitchell; Teacher's Letters from Parents Now a Book
Byline: Beth Reese Cravey Linda Mitchell of Middleburg grew up entranced by a scrapbook her mother compiled during her time as a third-grade teacher in Newport, Ky., in the late 1930s. The scrapbook - filled with heartfelt and sometimes humorous...
Rants & Raves
DUH, IT'S SIMPLE A simple study of economics would remove all this doubt by liberal Democrats on taxes. When you continually spend more than you take in you have to raise taxes. Is this what the people want? Cut spending, reduce taxes off the backs...
Recent Questions: Webbing on Oak Trees, Finding Earthworms
Byline: beverly fleming If Juan Ponce de Leon had seen Florida in 1513 in July instead of during Easter time in the spring, he might have named our area Tierra Verde, or green land, instead of La Florida, flowery land. The rainy season has certainly...
Rice, Pasta, Seasonings Mix in Knorr Side Dish; but Not All of Our Tasters Were Impressed by the Flavored Product
Byline: Ann J. Kelley Rice can be eaten as a side dish or used as a foundation for casseroles, mixed with tomatoes, soups or sauce. Its mild flavor lends itself to a variety of ingredients, from meat and seafood to vegetables and cheese. Knorr's...
Senators Clash on Guidelines for Redistricting; Amendments Fail as Democrats Say Process Is Stacked against Them
Byline: Walter C. Jones ATLANTA Senators voted along party lines Wednesday on guidelines for redrawing legislative and congressional districts to reflect population changes since the 2000 Census. While the House redistricting committee unanimously...
Small Tax Hike for Schools, 'Minimal' Impact on Homeowners
Byline: Beth Reese Cravey Clay County property owners likely will pay slightly higher school taxes for 2011-12 than they did for 2010-11. Preliminary estimates put the Clay school district's upcoming tax rate at $7.889 for every $1,000 of assessed...
Smolinski Delivers Game-Winning Hit; Errors Help Suns Rally from Two Runs Down in the Seventh Inning
Byline: Jeff Elliott The RBI drought for Jake Smolinski is over. The Suns outfielder delivered an infield single in the seventh inning Wednesday to bring home Jim Negrych with what proved to be the winning run in the Suns' come-from-behind 6-5...
Some Drivers Avoiding Nassau's Carmegeddon; Motorists Want Relief from Congestion on Florida 200
Byline: Shakaya Andres Relief from the heavy traffic congestion along Florida 200 in Yulee can't come soon enough for Fernandina Beach resident June Kratky, who often travels along the busy roadway. When traffic is at its worst during rush hours,...
Study Questions Calories on Menus; Restaurant Tests Show Inaccuracies in Most Food Item Listings
Byline: Daniela Hernandez LOS ANGELES - Dieters beware: Offerings at popular restaurants might have more calories than what's stated on menus or company websites. A team of scientists purchased items from 42 fast-food and sit-down restaurants...
Swim across St. Johns Raises River Awareness
Jim Alabiso, 56, an open-water and competitive swimmer, successfully completed a 3.5 mile solo swim across the St. Johns River on Sunday to raise awareness for the St. Johns, the St. Johns Riverkeeper organization and the proposed Georgia-Pacific pipeline....
This Week on Tour; LPGA Makes Evian Fifth Major
Byline: Garry Smits The LPGA decided that there's nothing sacred about the number four. Commissioner Mike Whan announced Wednesday in Paris that this week's Evian Masters has been designated as the tour's fifth major championship, beginning in...
T-U 2
Byline: Francine King LARGE ORDER: BIGGEST MCDONALD'S ON MENU FOR LONDON McDonald's is super-sizing for the 2012 London Olympics by building its biggest restaurant, the Associated Press reported Wednesday. The 32,000 square-foot, two-story...
Unusual Cold Water Has Hurt Kingfish Bite and Surf Fishing
Byline: jim sutton The offshore fishing has been hampered by a large thermocline - or layer of cold water underlying the top - in the Atlantic. The kingfish bite has been miserable thus far this summer, due to the water temperatures. The bite began...
Wild about 'Harry' One Last Time; Fans Dressed the Parts for a Magical Ending to Film Franchise
The decadelong cultural phenomenon that is "Harry Potter" began its final saga in Clay County last week, with costumed fans gathering on Fleming Island to bond over the last installment of the franchise, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part...
Wish Is Now a Reality for Julington Creek Couple
Byline: Andrea Asuaje What started out as years of wishful thinking and abandoned plans by Fred and Tobi Baldwin has now become reality for the couple: They are business owners. The Baldwins are now their own bosses at their private practice,...
You Can Just Call the Mandarin Maulers Team Champions
Byline: mark boleky The Mandarin Athletic Association 10-and-under baseball team learned a year ago what it needed to do to contend for a state championship. Clearly, its members did it. The MAA "Maulers" swept through the Babe Ruth North Florida...