The Florida Times Union

Articles from January 3, 2007

16 Teams to Compete in Clay Rotary Wrestling; the Meet Also Raises College Scholarship Money
Byline: BILL JOHNSON Sixteen wrestling teams will hit the mats at Clay High School this weekend to put their talents on the line against their peers and to raise college scholarship money for their fellow students. "This has been a great event...
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ABET Pours on Wholesome Theater with 'Rainmaker'
Byline: TAMARA McCLARAN A farm-style Cinderella story about a family in need of a miracle is the next production slated to open at the Atlantic Beach Experimental Theatre. The Rainmaker, written by Richard Nash, is a celebrated comedy/drama classic...
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A Freeze Came in Winter 1894-95
Byline: Mary Jo McTammany As the New Year began in 1895, The Florida Times-Union captured a snapshot of life in the Orange Park society column. The winter of 1894-95 brought a killing freeze and the residents of the village were less than enthusiastic...
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A.M.Stir
TOP 10 STAYING TUNED iTunes' most downloaded songs as of Tuesday: 1. Irreplaceable, Beyonce 2. Fergalicious (explicit), Fergie 3. How to Save a Life, The Fray 4. It Ends Tonight, The All-American Rejects 5. Say It Right, Nelly...
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Arlington Notebook; Mayor Delivers Books to Child-Care Center
Byline: HEATHER LOVEJOY Children at the Lone Star Learning Center enjoyed an extra holiday treat last month when Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton read aloud The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats while visiting the child-care center to deliver about 100...
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Assistants Won't Always Be Scapegoats
Byline: Gene Frenette In the musical-chair business of the NFL (Not For Long), it seems more and more that change comes in rapid, staccato fashion. Too many owners expect instant gratification, and that impatience trickles down through the coaching...
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Beach Shorts; THIS DOCK 'RESERVED'
WRAP CELEBRATION SAFELY Now the holidays are over, the National Fire Protection Association is urging people to take down their decorations and start the new year safely. The NFPA attributes 20 percent of January home fires to Christmas trees....
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Before You Sign a Gym Contract, Don't Forget to Read the Fine Print; You May Be Excited Now, but Can You Cancel If Your Enthusiasm Flags?
Byline: DAVID BAUERLEIN After a holiday season of ham and sugar cookies, health clubs are filling up with new members eager to make good on vows to get in shape. But good intentions don't always last. People should make sure they understand whether...
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Bengals in Similar Boat
Byline: Vito Stellino The AFC team made the playoffs last year and was eliminated in the first round, but it went to training camp dreaming about having a super season. With three games left to play, the team was 8-5 and poised for a playoff...
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Builder Still Wants Tall Building; the Developer Has Asked a Judge for a Height Ruling
Byline: CAREN BURMEISTER JACKSONVILLE BEACH - A judge is considering a developer's request for the right to build a 10-story condo on First Street South despite the city's 35-foot building height cap. Attorney Brenna Durden, who represented Jacksonville...
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Carter's Years in Office to Be Meeting Topic; A Three-Day Conference Will Mark the 30th Anniversary of His 1977 Inauguration
Byline: LEE SHEARER ATHENS - A conference marking the 30th anniversary of the inauguration of Jimmy Carter as president won't just shed light on history, but will make history, organizers at the University of Georgia hope. "The Carter Presidency:...
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Clay Man Is Gunned Down in Driveway; the Crime in the Subdivision off Blanding Boulevard Has Neighbors Perplexed, Sad
Byline: DEBORAH CEARNAL A neighborhood was shaken last week when one of its residents was gunned down in a driveway next to his home. "That doesn't happen here," Maria Muma said as she waited to be allowed to return to her house, which is across...
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Coaches Succeed on Parallel Paths; Florida State's Hamilton, Clemson's Purnell Turn around ACC Doormats
Byline: BOB THOMAS TALLAHASSEE -- Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton and Clemson's Oliver Purnell have navigated more than a few obstacles along their parallel career paths. From small-school graduate assistants, they were among the first African-American...
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Coast Lines
FLORIDA MAN KILLED WALKING ON I-95 A Florida man was struck and killed Monday night while walking along Interstate 95 in northern Camden County, according to Georgia State Patrol troopers. Victor Santiago, 27, of Deltona, was struck about 9:15...
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Community Notebook; Nature Center Program Teaches Snake Savviness
Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND Budding herpetologists can learn the difference between venomous and nonvenomous snakes, how to stay safe around them and their role in the balance of nature from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. today. The "Snake Savvy" program is at...
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Cost of Success Is High; Florida Will Spend More Than $2 Million in Travel Costs for BCS Title Game
Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A trip to the Bowl Championship Series championship game in Arizona for a family of Florida fans is certainly not cheap. Taking 800 people is a seven-figure expense. It will cost the University of...
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County Gas Tax Repeal to Be Voted on by Commission; If the 5-Cent Measure Is Repealed in a Vote on Monday, It Won't Disappear until Jan. 1, 2008
Byline: KEVIN TURNER NASSAU COUNTY - If the Nassau County Commission votes Monday to repeal a 5-cent per gallon tax on gasoline, Nassau County's existing roads will miss out on funding to resurface, rebuild and improve them. County Administrator...
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Dolphins End A-Sun Skid; Kimbrough Scores 14 as JU Snaps 21-Game Conference Losing Streak
Byline: ZACHARY SPAIN For its first Atlantic Sun Conference victory in 13 months, Jacksonville University had to overcome a 3-point barrage from visiting Gardner-Webb on Tuesday night. Fortunately for the Dolphins in their 73-64 win at Jacksonville...
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Finding a Fit Fitness DVD Is a Workout
Byline: Laura Capitano Three days into '07 and many of us are still in the earnest phase of our resolutions: This year is going to be different. I'm really going to quit smoking, having Mountain Dew for breakfast, procrastinating, worrying about...
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Fire Claims Large Chunk of His Life, but Not Faith; Mourning Losses, the Keystone Heights Man Also Looks Ahead
Byline: ANNE SPONHOLTZ Steve Heine could well be considered a graduate of the school of hard knocks. He grew up in an abusive family environment and in 2003 lost his son to a drug overdose. Through it all, two things have sustained Heine - his...
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Florida Douses Flames; Gators Sloppy at Times, but They Shoot 61.8 Percent from Floor in Victory
Byline: JEFF ELLIOTT GAINESVILLE -- During one of the most important weeks in Florida football history, the Gators played a basketball game. It wasn't their best effort of the year. At times, it was sloppy enough, with bodies hitting the court,...
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For This Comic, It's about the Stories
Byline: TAMARA McCLARAN Gaelic football, a mixture of soccer and rugby, is one of the fastest and most skillful field games in the world. It is also the inspiration for Derek Coghlan's new one-man comedy show, Tog Out! You're On! Born and raised...
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FPU Customers Facing Electricity Rate Increase; Fuel Costs Are Passed to Customers without Profit, the Utility Says
Byline: MARY HURST FERNANDINA BEACH - Florida Public Utilities' electric customers are bracing for a 37 percent hike in electric fuel cost charges that began Monday. Residential base rates for residential customers using 1,000 hours of electricity...
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Gas Prices High, but Not Varied; the Range of Prices in Nassau Is Relatively Small
Byline: KEVIN TURNER Nassau County's average per-gallon gasoline prices are higher than those in Jacksonville, but they are in the mid-range compared to prices throughout the four-county metropolitan area. Prices across the region vary so much,...
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Girl, 11, Hatches Plan to Help Food Bank; the Arlington Scout Left Bags at Home to Be Filled for the Needy
Byline: JOHN CARTER When she learned about the food bank, it made her sad. Sad at the thought that not all grown-ups had enough food for themselves and their families. But Molly Neill got even sadder when she found out more. "It was bad...
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Girls Show Weightlifting Power as Schools Compete; Middleburg High Defeated Clay High at a Season Opener on Dec. 6
Byline: MARY MARAGHY Like a bull preparing to charge, Middleburg High School student Kaitlin Powers scuffed one foot, and then the other, and then again before yanking up a 105-pound barbell. She was surrounded by dozens of parents, grandparents,...
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Giving Back; This History Buff Teaches about Amelia's Past He Volunteers as a Docent at the Amelia Island Museum of History
Byline: MARY HURST FERNANDINA BEACH - Give Don Bruchman a chance to talk about the history of Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach and he's eager to do it. The Amelia Island Museum of History docent of more than eight years gives the "Isle of Eight...
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Golden Graham Crackers Build Famous Sites at Bolles School
Byline: DAN SCANLAN You could call it a sweet way to learn languages. Or, the graham cracker replicas of seven famous international landmarks (and one local one) could have just been icing on the fall semester at The Bolles School for teacher...
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Grossology? These Youngsters Love It; the Museum of Science and History Offers Day Camps for Little Scientists
Byline: CHRISTY WHITEHEAD Tiny little bones slowly come into view under Allison Hellwig's fingers. The nine-year-old Westsider doesn't seem at all disgusted by the body parts that had once been inside an owl's stomach and that now lie on her...
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Hauling Trash a Big Deal to This Sheriff's Deputy; Gary Winterstein Ensures Residents Know the Rules for Dumping Garbage
Byline: DEBORAH CEARNAL There is a right way and a wrong way to haul household waste and debris, and Deputy Gary Winterstein wants the public to be aware of the legal way. "We [county and sheriff's office] want people to understand the law,"...
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He Needs Help after Surviving Big Shock; Electricity Ran through His Body for 15 Minutes before He Was Freed
Byline: KEVIN TURNER YULEE - Melissa Owens says it's a miracle that her brother, Chad "Nick" Groover of Yulee, survived a 15-minute shock while working on a FEMA team to clean up Hurricane Katrina damage Dec. 7. Owens said thanks to the quick...
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Her Pet Project Trains Service Animals for Others; A Program Based on Amelia Island Gives Dogs the Training to Help Those with Disabilities
Byline: JAN COTE-MEROW AMELIA ISLAND - In addition to being loyal and loving companions, dogs also are making daily life easier for some Nassau County residents. The training of these dogs at Project Chance is all in a day's work for B.J. Szwedzinski,...
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High-Tech Mannequin Trains Staff to Handle a Tough Birth; St. Vincent's New Addition Breathes, Bleeds and Even Throws around Attitude
Byline: URVAKSH KARKARIA St. Vincent's Medical Center will begin using two high-tech mannequins starting early next month, to help better train its physicians, nurses and other clinicians for emergencies in childbirth. "Noelle," a life-like,...
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JEB BUSH; End of an Era
Charlie Crist, Florida's new governor, has a hard act to follow. Gov. Jeb Bush lowered taxes by $19 billion, Governing magazine reports, and offset many of those "lost revenues" with budget cuts. He used his line-item veto power to slash $1.5...
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JU Introduces Coach to Public; Bell Surprised by Turnout as Dolphins Present Face of Football Team's Future
Byline: ZACHARY SPAIN In his first public appearance as Jacksonville University's football coach, Kerwin Bell received a little more fanfare than he expected Tuesday. "This surprised me. I thought we'd have four or five people here, and I'd say...
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Kingsland Man Carnegie Hero; He Was Honored for Helping Save Couple from Burning West Virginia Home
Byline: GORDON JACKSON KINGSLAND - Warren Bennett never considered himself a hero after he dragged a man from a burning home in West Virginia 18 months ago. But he may have to reconsider. Bennett was among just 25 individuals in the United States...
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Kiteboarders Enjoy Catching Both Waves and Wind
Byline: DREW DIXON A squadron of kiteboarders has been streaking along the ocean between Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach more frequently in recent years. When the wind comes directly from the north or east, about a dozen kiteboarders can be...
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McDonald Has Dream Covered
Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The framed magazine cover still hangs on the wall of the home of Ray McDonald Sr. in Belle Glade. A week or so from now, his son could be adding one next to it. McDonald Sr. is featured on the cover...
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McIntosh Commission Fires Administrator; Douglas Alexander Will Also Be Replaced in His Role as County Attorney
Byline: TERRY DICKSON DARIEN - In its first meeting with three new members Tuesday, the McIntosh County Commission fired Douglas Alexander from his dual job as acting county administrator and county attorney effective Friday. In a specially called...
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McIntosh OKs Increase in Property Taxes; One Commissioner Says the Money Would Go to Debt and Pay Raises
Byline: TERRY DICKSON DARIEN - Citing a financial crisis, the McIntosh County Commission approved an increase in property taxes Tuesday. "I feel we have no choice," newly seated County Commissioner Owen Greene said. "We've got to start getting...
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Mountaineers Shrug off Past; after Going 0-5 in the Gator Bowl, West Virginia Finally Heads Home Happy
Byline: GARRY SMITS West Virginia snapped a couple of dubious streaks Monday when it rallied from an 18-point deficit to defeat Georgia Tech 38-35 in the Gator Bowl. However, the Mountaineers did more than shake off the past. They might have...
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Nassau Native Moves on from Helm at State DCF; Lucy Hadi Has Not Announced Her Future Plans for Certain
Byline: J. TAYLOR RUSHING TALLAHASSEE - Amelia Island native Lucy Hadi on Thursday formally passed the baton at the state Department of Children and Families and appears headed for the Department of Education. Hadi, 60, is nearing a decision...
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Nassau Notes
BRYCEVILLE READERS SOUGHT Friends of the Bryceville Library encourages residents to sign up for a Reading Club which will begin meeting in January. Friends also is selling tickets at the library for a handmade afghan to be given away in February....
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New Berlin School Loves Its Airnasium; the Outdoor Gymnasium without Walls Is Perfect for Exercise, Relaxation Breaks
Byline: LYNN SKAPYAK HARLIN Rainy weather doesn't keep New Berlin Elementary School students inside. They have an airnasium. The regulation-size gymnasium has everything other gyms have, except walls. And it has something most gyms don't...
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New Hospice Opening on Westside; the Dr. Gaston J. Acosta-Rua Center for Caring Is like the Mandarin Facility
Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND It was created in the mold of a well-respected hospice. Officials say the new $6 million Westside facility will offer the same soothing atmosphere, homey decor and end-of-life services as its Mandarin counterpart. Community...
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New Hotel Considered Instead of New Offices; the Developer for the Project at Third Street and Beach Sees a Soft Market for Offices
Byline: CAREN BURMEISTER JACKSONVILLE BEACH - With a "soft" office condo market at the Beaches, a developer is considering building a hotel instead of the planned five-story Ocean Point A1A office condos on its centrally located plot at Third Street...
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Offensive Staff Gets Overhaul; del Rio Fires Offensive Coordinator, Special-Teams Coach, Three Other Assistants
Byline: VITO STELLINO In the first move of what is likely to be an offseason featuring sweeping changes, Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio revamped his coaching staff Tuesday when he fired four assistant coaches and didn't renew the contract of a fifth....
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Officials Working on Teachers' Training; the State Requires Reading Teachers to Take - and Pay for - 300 Hours of Training
Byline: BETH REESE CRAVEY Help may be on the way for reading teachers in Clay County who are frustrated by a state requirement that they not only take 300 hours of training on their own time but also pay for it. Teachers such as Middleburg's...
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Paid Aides Should Be Phased out, Rich Says; the County Commission Chairman Wants to Save Money by Using Volunteers
Byline: CHRISTINA ABEL To reduce the St. Johns County budget, Commission Chairman Ben Rich has suggested the commissioners get rid of their paid aides and use student volunteers from Flagler College instead. Rich, whose former aide, Jerry Cameron,...
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People
ACADEMIC -- Michael Huntley of the Southside graduated in December from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., with a master's degree in business administration. -- Jeul Strickland of the Westside graduated in December from Southeastern University...
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Police Briefs; Burglar, His Victim Both Facing Charges
Byline: JOHN CARTER A 43-year-old man was arrested at 10:20 a.m. Dec. 23 in the 2300 block of Perry Street and charged with burglary and criminal mischief. The 51-year-old male burglary victim also was arrested and charged with assaulting the...
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Proper Care Can Prolong Use of Items That Take Care of Us
Byline: Bill Longenecker This first epistle of 2007 is a column in two parts. Eric the anesthesiologist is the muse for this one. Part 1: One mid-December day in the ocean, Eric asked for ideas on wet-suit care. Many readers may know someone...
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Publix Inks Deal to Open San Marco Store; Grocer to Anchor Mixed-Use Residential, Retail Project; Expected to Open in 2009
Byline: DIANA MIDDLETON Publix is coming to the San Marco area of Jacksonville, but residents will have to wait until at least 2009 to roll their carts through the aisles. The Lakeland-based grocer signed a long-term lease with retail developer...
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RENT AND ROCK; Struggling Bands Turn to Storage Units for Affordable Places to Rehearse
Byline: RACHEL DAVIS Outside the back gate at the Mayport Road U-Haul storage facility, you can hear a thousand riffs born of dreams spring from guitar strings and drum heads. It doesn't really sound like music from out here, but more the merged...
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School Board Agenda
The Duval County School Board held its monthly meeting Tuesday night. The following items were discussed: ITEM: Employee compensation study WHAT IT MEANS: The board approved the launch of a comprehensive pay study to determine whether its salary...
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Shad Back to Council after Treatment; He Took Two Weeks to Shake His Dependence on Prescription Pain Pills
Byline: BETH KORMANIK Jacksonville City Councilman Art Shad returned from a holiday break Tuesday saying he felt good and was ready to move on from the disclosure that he sought treatment for a dependence on prescription drugs. Shad, 39, spent...
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Shift Brings Vonasek Back to County Job; He Now Is the Assistant County Administrator
Byline: CHRISTINA ABEL After leaving the St. Johns County Office of Management and Budget in 2004 because of disagreements with his boss, Joe Vonasek was invited to return last week as the assistant county administrator. Vonasek was appointed...
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Soldier Remembered as Committed Christian; Tyler McCormick Was Killed in Action in Iraq Two Days after Christmas
Byline: JESSIE-LYNNE KERR Funeral arrangements are expected to be made today for a Jacksonville soldier killed in action in Iraq during combat operations two days after Christmas. The body of Pvt. Clinton Tyler McCormick, 20, is due in Jacksonville...
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Sports Extra
2 cents For a couple of hours Monday night, the BCS national championship game between Ohio State and Florida enjoyed a respite from controversy for the first time since the matchup was set last month. Michigan's loss to Southern California in...
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The Help Exchange
MUSICAL INSTRUMENT ZOO A workshop will be held at 2 p.m. today, for volunteers of the Instrument Zoo. Held in the library at Emma Love Hardee elementary school, the workshop is sponsored by Amelia Residents In Action for the Symphony. The group...
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Tybee to Get Study of Sand Erosion; One Question to Answer Is How Much Natural Forces Have Affected It
Byline: SCOTT M. LARSON SAVANNAH, Ga. - Tybee Island finally is getting a federal study called for by beach enthusiasts. The study aims to answer two questions: How much sand destined for Tybee's beach has the Savannah River shipping channel...
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T-YOU; You May Be Depressed, but Don't Give Up
Byline: Beverly Vereen I was 20 when I hit an all-time low in my life. My parents were on the brink of a divorce. My younger brother had dropped out of school to become a drug dealer at 15. I was riding an emotional roller-coaster following a...
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University Park Library Users Happy with Community Room
Byline: JOHN CARTER The library is not only about expanding minds, but a meeting of the minds as well. That's why staffers of the University Park branch, just north of Jacksonville University, are enthusiastic about a community meeting room recently...
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We'll Work Together, Crist Vows
Byline: J. TAYLOR RUSHING/Capital Bureau Chief TALLAHASSEE - Charlie Crist became Florida's 44th governor Tuesday, shrugging off the cloudy sky over the Capitol to deliver a sunny inaugural address pledging a bipartisan approach to lowering insurance...
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Woman Helps Others Avoid Trap of Domestic Violence
Byline: HEATHER LOVEJOY A stranger walks up to a woman eating in a mall food court and arbitrarily slaps her. How do the employees or other customers react? Hubbard House's Ana Martinez-Mullen, an advocate of combatting domestic violence,...
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Young Prayer Warriors Bring Comfort; Their Work to Bring Comfort to a Dying Man Involved Producing a Quilt
Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND As he lie dying, Grandpa Johnson gazed at the quilt and imagined going to the carnival one last time. First-graders at Sacred Heart Catholic School knew that Wayne "Grandpa" Johnson wouldn't be alive in March to enjoy...
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You Talking to Me? Oh, You're on Your Phone
Byline: Anne Sponholtz Another year has begun. Time to get in sync and try to remember it's no longer 2006. If you happen to be old-fashioned and still write checks, and if you are like me and happen to have a senior moment every now and then, you...
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