The Florida Times Union

Articles from December 27, 2000

Activists Slap Gas-Guzzling SUVs with Bumper Stickers 'Mad Taggers' Run Afoul of Drivers, Law
CORTE MADERA, Calif. -- For four months, it's been hunting season for a pair of mischievous middle-aged men in the Bay Area. Their prey is the far-from-elusive sport-utility vehicle. Their weapon: homemade bumper stickers. Robert Lind, who runs...
All in the Family Siblings Keep Long Tradition in Produce Business Going
For Zelda Fraden, the president of a Jacksonville produce company, going to work is nearly identical to growing up: Every place she goes, she runs into a relative. Her older brother Bill (the bookkeeper) works out of an office above hers. Her younger...
Amelia to Reap Benefits of Gator Bowl Near-Sellout Drives Some to Nassau
Most hotels and resort officials around Amelia Island expect Monday's Toyota Gator Bowl between Clemson and Virginia Tech to rival the economic boost of the annual Florida-Georgia game, which is usually the second biggest week for business of the year....
A Nation Watches and Suffers for It
A fifth-grade gifted class and I discussed what "gifted" means. Just to the west, their new school was being finished for the next month's opening. I mentioned that an NFL quarterback's salary for his six-month job would just about cover the school's...
Angioplasty Odds Favor Busy Hospitals
CHICAGO -- When it comes to saving heart attack patients' lives, angioplasty beats clot-busting drugs, but only if done in hospitals that specialize in the procedure, new research suggests. In hospitals with a low number of angioplasties, patients...
Angry Airline Passengers Miss Christmas in Hawaii
SEATAC, Wash. -- They expected a Christmas of sun and surf in Hawaii. Instead, dozens of would-be travelers got chilly drizzle, two canceled flights and a visit from police before their plane finally left for the islands yesterday -- two days late....
A Really Good Feeling Spas Using Local Materials Plantation Clients Get Benefits of Natural, Sea-Based Treatments
To wellness advocates, there is more to the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean than meets the eye. The sparkling aquamarine waters, the mysterious sea flora and fauna that float in its depths, and the sandy shore that makes up Amelia Island aren't just...
Bender Makes Most of Chance
INDIANAPOLIS -- Jonathan Bender may be the final link in the Indiana Pacers' ever-changing lineup. Coach Isiah Thomas has used 11 players in eight different starting combinations this season, desperately searching for the right mix. Now it's the...
'Best-Kept Secret' Set to Go Whisenant Will Be Chairman Again
Arnold Whisenant, an insurance agency owner and veteran community activist, will serve a second term as chairman of the Southwest Citizens Planning Advisory Committee. Whisenant was elected at the group's December meeting at Florida Community College...
Brunswick's Historical Woodworker Retired Dean's Demonstrations Lend Awareness of Importance of His Craft
BRUNSWICK -- The craftsmanship that went into Morgan Stapleton's tall grandfather clock dates beyond his 63 years. "It's a copy of a 1770 Philadelphia tall case clock," Stapleton said. It is based on what other woodworkers have measured and put...
Bush Vacations, but He Continues to Work on Assembling Cabinet
FORT MYERS -- President-elect Bush began a brief family fishing vacation yesterday, but made plain that he was devoting much of his attention to building a new administration. His daughter Jenna stayed behind in Texas to recover from an appendectomy....
'Cattail Tax' Plan Opposed Guana Lake's Health a Worry
PONTE VEDRA BEACH -- Some residents are opposing a proposed tax to pay for keeping cattails from clogging the Guana River Basin. St. Johns County officials want to charge all homeowners living east of Florida A1A for the cost of keeping the waterway...
Census Population Data Ready Florida Disputes Poll's Accuracy
The first population figures from the 2000 Census will be released tomorrow. And, although the U.S. Census Bureau hired 500,000 people and is spending $6.5 billion to get the numbers, there already are charges that they are not accurate. The accusations...
Cheerleaders' Toil, Tears to Be Viewed by Millions
Girls on the Fernandina Beach High School varsity cheerleading squad are hoping the third time stays the charm. In a few weeks, they compete for their third national championship title in a row. And they will be doing it for a TV audience. The competition...
Cities, States Quick to Roll out Rules on Scooter Safety
HARRISBURG, Pa.--Last holiday season, a razor was a shaving device, a ho-hum stocking stuffer. This year, "Razor" means a scooter -- one brand of the sleek, chrome-and-aluminum, kick-powered riding machines that topped children's gift lists everywhere....
Clay School Board Approves Land Swap to Get School Site
GREEN COVE SPRINGS -- Despite one member's distaste for the deal, the Clay County School Board unanimously approved a land swap that was designed to, over a period of years, provide sites for two elementary schools and a junior high school in an area...
Clintons Continue House Hunt Family Visits Several in D.C.; No Deal Yet
WASHINGTON -- As millions of Americans rushed out yesterday to return Christmas gifts, President Clinton was still looking to pick something up: a new place to live in Washington. The Clintons came close over Christmas weekend to having another...
Closing the Year in St. Johns' Northwest with Trip, Kudos
By now the hustle and the bustle of Christmas is past. Seems like we work so hard to pull it off and it's over in a flash. I hope everyone had a joyous holiday with family and friends. High altitude, low temperatures My family and I spent the...
Coast Lines
QUOTE, UNQUOTE "I was at the mall watching people run around buying all this stuff, and I said I am not going to do this anymore." -- Gwendolyn Snow on why she observes Kwanzaa. Story on this page. HOLIDAY BUFFET SET The Jekyll Island Big...
Data on Doctors Found Lacking Consumers Want Details on Discipline Reports
Florida just finished putting profiles of its 53,000 doctors on the Internet. Now the state already is revising the Web site because consumers are complaining the profiles don't provide enough information about doctors' disciplinary records and their...
End of the Year Time to Catch Up on Area Stories
I thought it was time to do a hodgepodge column or sugar and spice, if you like. Here we are about to see the end of the year 2000. And to think that last year we were all in a panic about the Y2K bug. The bug that never bit. Now we are in a panic...
Falcons Nowhere near Super Form
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Falcons played in the Super Bowl just two seasons ago. C'mon, quit laughing. This is not a joke. It really happened. Well, come to think of it, that does seem like one of the greatest flukes in NFL history. Since...
Finding Election Afterlife Durden Lost Race, but Wins Elsewhere
While defeated candidates from the Nov. 7 election continue to brush off their egos, one Southside resident who lost his bid for election more than 17 years ago says there's life after elections. Despite losing the 1983 race for Jacksonville sheriff...
Fire Investigators Question 4 Suspects in California Blaze
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Dry desert wind drove a 600-acre wildfire dangerously close to luxury homes yesterday, and investigators questioned four young people about the blaze. The fire broke out in the middle of the night, but by midmorning no homes...
Florida Woman Sues Maker of Diet Pill over Stroke, Paralysis
SANFORD -- A woman who had a stroke that left her partially paralyzed and suffering from short-term memory loss is blaming a weight-loss supplement in a lawsuit. Brenda Propps, and her husband, Michael, allege in the lawsuit filed last week in Seminole...
Former Raines Standout Returns Gardner Anxious to Put on Show for Hometown Fans
When the Clemson Tigers won their first eight games this year, dreams of the Bowl Championship Series and a chance to compete for a national title were very real. A close loss to Georgia Tech and a blowout at Florida State in successive weeks ended...
Gator Bowl Almost Sold Out
The Toyota Gator Bowl has a sellout within its grasp. By the end of business yesterday, slightly more than 72,000 tickets had been purchased for Monday's game at Alltel Stadium between Virginia Tech and Clemson. Capacity for the game has been set...
GROWTH Dollars for Daisies
Apparently, a lot of good ideas are being batted around in the city's growth management task force. Unfortunately, a few bad ones are, too. One idea raised in the deliberations fits the latter category. It has been suggested to members of the...
HabiJax Gets Gift It Needed $1 Million Allows Agency to Hit Goal
A last-minute, million-dollar donation to HabiJax will carry Jacksonville over its goal of 200 houses built in 2000, more than tripling the output of any other city in the world. Businessman and HabiJax benefactor David Hicks and his wife, Ann,...
Here's the Lowe-Down on New Principal for RideOut
Steve Lowe, principal at Wilkinson Elementary School in Middleburg, got a new job and a new challenge for Christmas. On Dec. 20, he was named principal of Clay County's newest school, RideOut Elementary, which is scheduled to open next fall, said...
Holiday Shopping II: The Hunt for Bargains Retailers Hope to Make Up for Sales Slump
What does it take for Nina Jimenez to leave her house before sunrise and drive 50 miles? Three words: "50 percent off." Jimenez arrived at The Avenues mall in Jacksonville at 7:30 yesterday morning, searching for bargains at Sears, Hallmark and...
Ice Storm Cuts Power in Plains
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Snow and ice glazed roads and coated tree limbs across the southern Plains yesterday, knocking out power to more than 300,000 homes and businesses and grounding hundreds of flights. Arkansas National Guardsmen were sent out...
Idyllic Boston Suburb Not Accustomed to Violence Hitting So Close
The police cars roared down Main St. around 11 a.m. yesterday, just as folks in this picture-perfect New England town began discussing what they got for Christmas. Insurance agent Michael Brownson figured the cops might be headed for a car crash...
Imagined Travels of Gingerbread Man Turn out to Be Good Educational Tool
My daughter, Sherry Egnor Carnahan, a former Meadowbrook resident, calls with the news that her son's first-grade teacher has come up with an innovative teaching strategy. The teacher sent a note home with the students that each family was to get...
In Cuba, Use of Internet a New Rebellion
HAVANA -- A nerdy new rebel has emerged in Cuba: the Internet guerrilla. His laptop case has replaced the beret as the signature of revolution among thousands of mostly young male professionals, who through subversive cunning have become nearly...
Jacksonville Journal
QUOTE, UNQUOTE "We're still getting restaurateurs who don't have a clue." -- Carol Dover, Florida Restaurant Association president, about the state law that goes into effect Monday requiring restaurant workers to undergo food safety and sanitation...
Jason Robards Dies at 78 Oscar-Winner Preferred Theater, Best Known for Films
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Jason Robards, the veteran stage and screen actor who won back-to-back Oscars for All the President's Men and Julia, died yesterday of cancer. He was 78. Robards started out as a stage actor in the 1950s, gaining critical acclaim...
Jewish Holiday Observed Kids in Hospital Get Opportunity
The Hanukkah holiday is being brought to Jewish children at Wolfson Children's Hospital this year, thanks to volunteers from the Jacksonville section of the National Council of Jewish Women. Hanukkah is the eight-day Jewish Feast of Lights that...
JU's Platts Shows off for Hometown Fans
Jacksonville University senior guard Shawn Platts is putting on a show for hometown fans. Platts, a Parker High graduate and former Florida Community College at Jacksonville player, has been the Dolphins' leading scorer for the last four games....
Keystone's Valuable Gem High School Gym Provides Help in Several Areas
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS -- From the outside it looks like a state-of-the-art high school gymnasium, but the Keystone Heights High School Sports Facility Building is much more. The $2.8 million facility was dedicated at the beginning of the school year...
Life on the Beach
JACKSONVILLE BEACH RV DEADLINE-- Owners of recreational vehicles, boats and trailers are finding new places to store the vehicles since the city will start enforcing an ordinance that prohibits parking RVs in front yards on Jan. 2. Residents...
Living Up to Name Mr. Natural Plays Beaches with Ease
Local bands are a lot like fine gems. Some are rough and uncut, playing one musical style and remaining unchanged throughout their careers. Others are gleaming and multifaceted, able to offer a diverse and well-performed selection of music styles...
Loopholes Doom Prescription Plan
WASHINGTON -- The Department of Health and Human Services said yesterday it would not implement an election-year law meant to enable cheaper prescription drugs to flow in from Canada, agreeing with critics that the law had "serious flaws and loopholes."...
Meet Robert DuVall
Robert DuVall knows the reason for the season -- Christmas season, that is. DuVall, who became a Christian in 1939, and an ordained minister in 1953, said he learned early on that Jesus was the true reason for the holiday season, and people should...
Mir Briefly out of Contact; Officials Say Vessel Now OK
KOROLYOV, Russia -- A 20-hour loss of contact with Mir fed fears that the troubled space station would plunge out of control, but after regaining contact with the vessel Mission Control said yesterday that it was in no rush to send a rescue crew or...
Nassau's Oldest Resident Has Seen a Lot of Changes in Her 106 Years
The woman Council on Aging officials say is Nassau County's oldest resident celebrated her 106th birthday two weeks ago, but Florence Sharkey said she wouldn't recommend it to anyone. The small, white-haired woman is ready to move on from her home...
Nassau Will Be Focus of Major Media Invasion Newspapers Start Count Tomorrow
The election might be over, but the recount continues. Tomorrow, representatives from four major newspapers are scheduled to begin going through Nassau County's ballots to manually recount all under-voted and over-voted ballots. The review will...
Nassau Won't Try to Buy 59-Acre Plot on Amelia
What's being billed as the last large piece of undeveloped land on Amelia Island may not escape the bulldozers much longer. Despite the urging of Fernandina Beach city officials, Nassau County commissioners have decided not to pursue saving 59 acres...
NATO Allies Begin Radiation Testing on Soldiers in Balkans
MADRID, Spain -- European NATO allies have begun checking whether their soldiers may have been exposed to dangerous levels of radiation from depleted uranium ammunition used by U.S. warplanes in Kosovo last year. Spain said yesterday that initial tests...
New Puerto Rico Governor Wants End to Vieques Testing
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- George W. Bush will face battles in Puerto Rico, where the new governor intends to step up a push for the end of Navy training on Vieques, a dispute that has fueled nationalism in the Caribbean territory. Governor-elect...
New School Talk Put on Hold Board Postpones Proposed Action on Elementary
GREEN COVE SPRINGS -- The Clay County School Board has postponed action on whether to relieve overcrowding at Fleming Island elementary schools by building a new school nearby, ahead of a long-planned but delayed new school in the Green Cove Springs...
Newsmakers
FILMMAKER SINGS PRAISES OF JAZZ Filmmaker Ken Burns says jazz has something that pop music never will have, and that's why jazz is the subject of his new 10-part documentary. "Let's be honest: Most of pop music is about sex," Burns said in TV Guide....
No Home off Limits for Santa
By this time, children in Brentwood should be playing with some new dolls, building blocks and other toys. Toys that were hand-delivered by someone they never expected would come to their neighborhood. Santa Claus. For three years now, the jolly...
Norton's Seamless Ascent Chemistry, Influence Make a Fine Groove
If you asked 17-year trumpeter Chris Norton what's his favorite tune to play, you'd probably expect him to say something by jazz legends Miles Davis or Freddie Hubbard. You'd be surprised, though, if you saw and heard the 25-year-old and his band,...
Noted Developer Has Another Project Woodburn Known for Adventure Landing Work
Truckloads of Christmas trees arrived this month at Second Hand Rose Nursery on Shetter Avenue in Jacksonville Beach. One of the workers unloading the trees was nursery owner Hank Woodburn. "I believe in working elbow-to-elbow with employees...
Not the Marrying Kind -- Yet Couples Fight the Odds to Live Together before Saying 'I Do'
You're crazy about someone. Butterflies in your stomach, stars your eyes -- the whole bit. You want to spend every possible moment together, but for emotional or financial reasons, you're not ready to get married. So, what do you do? If you're like...
Other Groups Have Own Holidays Africans, Muslims Observe Traditions
ATLANTA -- As Christmas ends, other holiday traditions in Georgia are just beginning. Kwanzaa, a seven-day celebration based on African festivals, began yesterday, and today, more than 50,000 Muslims in the Atlanta area will observe the Islamic...
Pearl Harbor Sea Floor Tells Story U.S. Didn't Recognize Attack's Early Warning
WASHINGTON -- A midget Japanese submarine rests on the sea floor outside Pearl Harbor, a remnant of America's sudden introduction to World War II and a reminder of missed opportunity. American forces might have had time to prepare for the Japanese...
Police Briefing
Guns and rocks marked some incident in the Mandarin area just before Christmas. First, an undetermined amount of money was stolen Dec. 20 from a Sprint convenience store at 12453 Philips Highway at gunpoint. Police said a man wearing a black...
Prep Sports Teams Don't Take It Easy during Holidays
For many, the holiday season is a time for family and friends. For high school athletes on the First Coast, the holidays are also a time for sharpening skills and playing against top competition in preparation for the meat of the schedule come the...
Report Finds Rabbi Was Abusive, Should Have Been Fired
NEWARK, N.J. -- An Orthodox rabbi who led a national Jewish youth organization sexually abused women and girls and physically abused both boys and girls, according to a report commissioned after he resigned over the allegations last summer. The...
Ribault Seventh-Grader Happy to Find Himself in 'Jeopardy!'
Look at it this way, suggests Regina Colleton, mother of 12-year-old Brooks Colleton, whose appearance on Jeopardy! for Holiday Kids Week will be televised at 7:30 p.m. Friday on WTLV TV-12: "How many 12-year-olds took their family to California?...
Season Premiere of 'NYPD Blue' Will Air on Jan. 9
Dear Call Box: What happened to NYPD Blue? I didn't hear anything about it being off this year. I'm very curious because it is one of my favorites, and I had been missing it all fall. -- F.M. Dear F.M. Last year, NYPD Blue didn't kick off its season...
Social Security Program Tries to Close Loopholes
WASHINGTON -- The long arm of the law finally grabbed Anthony Cummings in New York City last year, but only after he had collected thousands of dollars from a Social Security program while on the run from a child rape indictment in Georgia. Cummings,...
Some Economic Development Deals Move Closer toward Approval
********** CORRECTION December 28, 2000 The Jacksonville International Airport Community Redevelopment Agency will meet Jan 18 at the Clarion Hotel Airport Conference Center. Because of a reporter's error, the location of the meeting was...
Stock Clubs Applauding Their Value Approach
NEW YORK -- Invest regularly in growth companies. Buy and hold. Reinvest dividends and capital gains. Diversify. Yawn. In the boom-boom days of the 1990s bull market, many investors chasing double- or even triple-digit gains thought the mantra...
Stovall Taking Reins of NAACP New President Looks to Improve Participation
Willie Stovall will once again take the reins of the Clay County chapter of the NAACP. Stovall, who has been active with the NAACP for about 10 years and served as the chapter's president in the late '90s, will replace Jimmy Cooper. "The first...
The Answer Line
-- CLAY ELECTRIC: I got a new computer for Christmas. Please tell me about Clay Electric's UPS unit. Answer: Clay Electric customers may lease an Uninterruptible Power Source unit from Clay Electric to help protect their computer data and peripherals...
The County Line
Serving Clay County readers every Wednesday and Saturday. TAX COLLECTOR BRANCH OFFICES CLOSED: The branch offices of the Clay County Tax Collector, located at 1372 Blanding Blvd. and 1518 Park Ave., will be closed Tuesday and Jan. 3 to allow...
Titans' Defense Finishes Year on Top Unit Takes over No. 1 Ranking with Shutouts
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- By earning the top defensive ranking in the NFL, the Tennessee defense gave the Titans the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. The Titans mauled Dallas' hamstrung offense and young quarterback Anthony Wright on Monday night, posting...
Top Male Athlete Pick Has Familiar Roar to It Tiger Wins AP's Honor for Third Time in Four Years
Tiger Woods was a repeat winner as The Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year yesterday and like so many of his amazing victories, it was no contest. Fresh off his incredible season of nine victories, three consecutive majors, the career Grand...
Triathlete Is Both Fit and Fat Some Obese Are Still Healthy, Doctors Say
PHOENIX -- Dave Alexander's overweight body doesn't stop him from being an ironman. The 5-foot-8, 260-pounder estimates he has finished 276 triathlons since 1983, causing his doctor to marvel at this remarkable combination of fitness and admitted...
Troubled Cruise SunCruz Officials Sail into Rough Seas
MAYPORT -- SunCruz Casinos President Ben Waldman says he has faced his share of opposition while starting businesses in new areas. He's facing a mammoth share now, while trying to launch another casino gambling venture in Mayport. The casino...
Turnout Surprises UM Coach
NEW ORLEANS -- When Miami coach Butch Davis released more than 100 players last Friday for the holidays, he expected about a dozen or so wouldn't make it to New Orleans yesterday for the team's first practice. So he was pleasantly surprised when...
Unemployment Nears Record High in Latest Sign of Japan's Woes
TOKYO -- Unemployment in Japan rose to near-record 4.8 percent in November as more people looked for work in an economy struggling to pull out of its deepest slump in decades, the government said yesterday. Joblessness edged up 0.1 percentage point...
Unexpected Guests
THIRD PLACE Eliza Harper sat in the old barn she now called home. It was the only building left standing on the Harper land. Remnants of furniture were scattered throughout the partially burned structure. It was almost Christmas and she wondered...
`Vinny, Jets Sticking Together
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Yo, Vinny, the Jets want you back. As Vinny Testaverde was walking to a final team meeting yesterday morning, coach Al Groh pulled Testaverde aside and told him he expects the quarterback to return as the starter. That was exactly...
Waiters, Cooks Get Special Training Food Safety Testing a State Requirement
TALLAHASSEE -- Half a million food service employees in Florida will have to undergo training in food safety, sanitation and preparation after a new law goes into effect Monday. The state's restaurant workers will be required to be tested on food...
Welcome Back, Mario Lemieux's Comeback Starts Tonight
PITTSBURGH -- The comeback the NHL never dared to dream for begins tonight, and not even the man making it knows exactly what to expect. Mario Lemieux returns to the ice after a 31/2-year retirement, restoring some star power to what has been a...
Wisconsin's Bennett Won't Divulge NFL Plans
EL PASO, Texas -- Four months ago, junior tailback Michael Bennett faced unyielding questions about whether he could replace Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne in Wisconsin's backfield. Now he's barraged with constant queries about whether he'll follow...
Woman Hopes DNA Will Prove Husband's Cheating
WEST PALM BEACH -- A woman seeking divorce from her wealthy husband is betting a DNA test will prove he was cheating on her, thereby triggering a clause in her prenuptial agreement that clears the way for her to collect millions. Nanette Sexton...
World Briefing
PARIS: ROBBERS BLAST HOLE IN ARMORED CAR, TAKE CASH Masked attackers held up an armored car yesterday on the southeast edge of Paris, blasting a hole in the truck and escaping with at least one sack of cash, police said. One security guard was injured....
Young Derek Trucks a 10-Year Touring Veteran
At just 21 years of age, Derek Trucks already talks like the most road-tested musician. It's with good reason. The Jacksonville resident played his first paying gig at age 11, and since then he's steadily built a reputation for the blues guitar-based...
Yugoslavia's Energy Crisis Forces Power Cuts in Serbia
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia -- Yugoslavia's worst-ever energy crisis forced power cuts across the country's largest republic yesterday, leaving thousands shivering in their homes and technicians scrambling to maintain electricity to hospitals and other essential...
Yulee Woman Wins Kids' Playhouse Baby Sitter Puts It to Good Use
Of all the people who could have won a child's playhouse in a random drawing, Betty Reeves was one who could put it to good use. Reeves, a Yulee resident, spends her days baby-sitting children for friends and family. During the school year, Reeves...