The Florida Times Union

Articles from December 1, 2006

Administrator Steps Down amid Pressure from New Commissioners; Retirement for Ben Adams Hinges on Severance Agreement
Byline: mark pettus St. Johns County Administrator Ben Adams told County Commissioners Tuesday he plans to retire in January. Adams, who has served as administrator since 1997, waited until the end of the day to make the announcement, when only...
As the Spirit of the Holidays Rises, So Does the Crime; Duval Police Report about 40 Robberies over Thanksgiving Weekend
Byline: KEN LEWIS A seasonal increase in robberies has descended on the Jacksonville area, including about 40 over Thanksgiving weekend. The spike is fairly typical of the holiday season, according to Jacksonville robbery Sgt. Deron Dukes. "Whether...
Audit Hits Errors at School for Impaired; the Issues Were Deemed Relatively Minor and Most Already Have Been Fixed, the Board Says
Byline: J. TAYLOR RUSHING TALLAHASSEE - A state audit of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind has found six problems at the St. Augustine school, including inadequate oversight of construction projects and documentation lapses by two of...
Bank of North Florida Leans on Service to Win Clients; the New Community Bank, Which Opens Monday Downtown, Is Part of a Growing Trend of Small Banks Opening Statewide
Byline: DIANA MIDDLETON A new community bank focused on boosting the customer service quotient for both Jacksonville individuals and locally owned small businesses will open next week. The Bank of North Florida hopes to nab customers dissatisfied...
Baze Ties Pincay's Wins Mark
Russell Baze inched closer to surpassing Laffit Pincay Jr.'s record of 9,530 victories on Thursday, riding one winner in six mounts at Bay Meadows in San Mateo, Calif., to tie the nearly 7-year-old mark. "Honest, Laffit, I'm not dragging this out,"...
Clinch Quiets Early Critics; Panthers Record Seven Shutouts since Back-to-Back Losses to Open Year
Byline: JASON SCHNEIDER After dropping the first two games of the season Clinch County coach Jim Dickerson avoided newspapers, Internet message boards and coffee shops. With expectations as high as ever in Homerville and coming off a 7-5 season,...
Coast Lines
WORKS BY 3 ARTISTS DEPICT PRIVATE MCINTOSH ISLAND Depictions of Creighton Island by artists Jeannine Cook, Kita Macon and Marjett Schille will be on display beginning Thursday at the Glynn Art Association Gallery at 319 Mallery St. in St. Simons...
Commission Orders Changing of the Guard for Zoning Agency; Planning and Zoning Agency Dismissed in First of Several Moves
Byline: mark pettus The St. Johns County Commission was scheduled to reappoint two members to the county Planning and Zoning Agency Tuesday, but chose instead to fire the entire board. Only the School Board's representative, Jim Wheeler, was...
CONGRESS; A Good Start for Pelosi
Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took a step in the right direction when she decided not to appoint Alcee Hastings as Intelligence Committee chairman. Hastings was impeached and removed from a federal judgeship in the 1980s amid bribery charges....
County Kids, Parents Can Ring in the Holiday with a Special Phone Call
Byline: terry brown Most people around the world may not realize that December's most famous old man with a long white beard and a dazzling red overcoat mistook the white sand dunes of St. Augustine beaches for the snow-covered hills of the North...
Court Upholds State Law on Piracy; the Law Doesn't Infringe on Freedom of Speech, the State Supreme Court Ruled
Byline: VICKY ECKENRODE The Georgia Supreme Court upheld a state anti-piracy law that requires Georgians to put their name and address on every CD or video copy they transfer. The state's high court ruled Wednesday in the case of an Athens man...
Dealing in Meth Expanding in Region; Traffickers Are Bringing the Drug in from Mexico and Building Bigger Labs
Byline: TERESA STEPZINSKI JEKYLL ISLAND -- The manufacture and trafficking of methamphetamine has evolved in South Georgia and Northeast Florida from small, homegrown mom-and-pop-style labs to sophisticated distribution operations involving smugglers...
DELBERT McCLINTON; 50 Years of Country, Blues and Music Distinctly His
Byline: ROGER BULL Delbert McClinton is a bit of mournful country, soulful balladeeer and a helping of piano-pounding R&B. In other words, he's built a long career as the perfect Texas honky tonker. Tonight, he's bringing his band to the...
Deverger Acquitted of Battery on Uncle; Matter Politically Motivated, McIntosh County Commission Chairman Says
Byline: TERRY DICKSON McIntosh County Commission Chairman Charles "Bubba" Deverger Jr. has been found not guilty of beating his uncle in a dispute over a tractor. After a brief bench trial, Effingham County State Court Judge Ronnie Thompson found...
Don't Let Thieves Ruin Your Holiday; Robbers Are out Looking for Easy Marks; Don't Become One of Them
Byline: DANA TREEN By the time Kimberly Vankirk came out of a one-hour workout at a St. Augustine gym last week, thieves had smashed into her vehicle, stolen her credit cards and charged more than $1,300 at a nearby department store. The break-in...
'Driving Lessons' Could Use a Healthy Dose of Wizardry
Byline: MATT SOERGEL Driving Lessons gives us an excuse to spend some time with teenager Rupert Grint, red-headed Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter movies, and that's an enjoyable prospect. He has a mug made for the movies, and it's up to the task....
Eyes on Prize; Grobe's Work as Wake Coach Could Produce an ACC Title
Byline: GARRY SMITS Wake Forest football coach Jim Grobe picked up some hardware this week and could earn more additions to his trophy case before the year is out. However, the architect behind the best record in school history has his eyes on...
Family Suing in Patriarch's Hospital Death; They Claim Orange Park Medical Center Staff Were Negligent for Not Reviving Him
Byline: JESSIE-LYNNE KERR The family of a Jacksonville man who died after seeking treatment for a sore ankle last year is filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against Orange Park Medical Center. They said hospital personnel were negligent in...
Festival Branches out to Help Others
Byline: terry brown O Christmas trees, O Christmas trees, how charitable are thy branches? Tonight, the St. Johns County Festival of Trees kicks off at the World Golf Village. Though many residents and visitors will attend the free 10-day event,...
Gator Bowl Officials Remaining Mum; General Chairman Says There's No Deal on Table with Georgia Tech
Byline: GARRY SMITS The two top Gator Bowl Association officials said Thursday that they wouldn't have any further comment on the selection of an Atlantic Coast Conference team until Sunday, when the final BCS standings are released and most bowls...
GATORS NOTEBOOK; Coach Declined Congress' Invitation
Byline: IAN FISHER GAINESVILLE - Florida coach Urban Meyer hasn't been shy about his feelings on the Bowl Championship Series, but his voice could have been heard by more influential people. Congress asked Meyer to speak on the BCS earlier this...
Give Me Five
Five things you should know about the Eighth Annual Northwest Night of Lights festival, Dec. 9 and 10 at the Fruit Cove Middle School ball fields, 3180 Race Track Road: 1) high-fivers Don't forget to purchase your luminary packages. What may...
Here's Johnny's: Hot Downtown Lunch Spot Now on Riverside Avenue
Byline: Dan Macdonald A favorite downtown lunch spot has returned to the Riverside area. Johnny's Delicatessen & Grille has opened at a new location, 474 Riverside Ave. (the old Rock 'n' Roll Cafe). Owners John and Olga Varamogiannis and...
Holiday TV
Set your TiVo to record all the holiday specials scheduled for this month and the poor thing's liable to explode. There's new stuff (a live-action version of The Year Without a Santa Claus), first-time-on-TV stuff (The Polar Express) and loads of classics....
HUMBLE BEGINNINGS; A Respectful 'The Nativity Story' Is, Unfortunately, Rather Bland
Byline: MATT SOERGEL The Nativity Story treads gingerly and respectfully through the months before the birth of Jesus, coming up with a film that would fit comfortably in the middle ranks of the Hallmark Hall of Fame. Taking elements from the...
Incentives for Adam's Mark Are Still Costing City
Byline: Ronald L. Littlepage The Adam's Mark is a gift that keeps on giving. Unfortunately, it's a lump of coal. You may recall that in 1998, taxpayers kicked in a ton of money - about $23 million, including the value of the prime riverfront...
Internationals Net FSU Success; Kuralay, Yamaguchi and Other Non-U.S. Stars Help 'Noles to National Semi
Byline: BOB THOMAS TALLAHASSEE - Fewer surprises await the Florida State women's soccer team today in Cary, N.C., when it makes its second consecutive College Cup appearance and third in the last four seasons. "This team now knows what to expect,"...
Jacksonville Journal
ZOO EVENT HELPS DOMESTIC ANIMALS FIND A DOMICILE The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens will play host to a pet adoption fair this weekend in its main parking lot. Twelve shelters and rescue agencies - including the Jacksonville Humane Society, Jacksonville...
JAGUARS NOTEBOOK; Banged-Up Secondary Improving in Health
Byline: VITO STELLINO Two ailing Jaguars cornerbacks appear to be healing, and they could make a big difference in the secondary against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Starter Brian Williams and nickel back Terry Cousin, who were sidelined against...
Leak's Legacy at UF Not about Statistics; If Success Is Measured by Championships, QB's Most Important Game Is Saturday
Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO Statistically, Chris Leak already is one of the top quarterbacks in University of Florida history. He will own career records for completions, attempts and yards when he graduates in the spring. Nobody will have more 200-yard...
Legislators Angle for Preferred Panel Seats; Requests Are in for Positions on Influential Committees or in Areas of Personal Interest
Byline: J. TAYLOR RUSHING TALLAHASSEE - Let the begging begin. Legislators are in the midst of a tradition: lobbying for committee assignments for next year's legislative session. With top leadership already in place in the state House and...
Local Agencies Band Together to Prevent Teenage Drinking; PACT Wants Parents and Kids to Talk about Substance Abuse
Byline: terry brown When Howard Guard of Ponte Vedra talks to a group of teenagers about going into his son's closet and choosing clothes for him to wear one final time, he usually gets their attention. His words strike an equally deep chord...
MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL ROUNDUP; North Florida Routed in A-Sun
Justin Hare scored 14 points to lead host Belmont past North Florida 87-32 on Thursday. Belmont (4-2, 1-0 Atlantic Sun) led 45-18 at halftime and for the game scored 26 points off 18 turnovers by North Florida (1-6, 0-1). Keaton Belcher scored...
Morning Briefs
DRC OKS CLARA WHITE APARTMENT BUILDING The Design Review Committee gave final approval to an apartment building for the Clara White Mission on*****Thursday. The building, located at Jefferson and Ashley streets, would hold 54 apartments intended...
Nease Now Has Passing Options; Dennis, Huggins, Lee Emerging to Give QB Stachitas Viable Targets
Byline: CHASE GOODBREAD When Ted Stachitas surveys defenses before the snap, Nease High School's quarterback doesn't have much of an idea which of his receivers will be open. But by all accounts, he has become a better quarterback for it. ...
Newest Detective Shows a Dogged Determination to Succeed
Byline: kevin clark The media advisory on my computer screen seemed simple enough. The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office wished to trot out a new detective to the masses, and journalists were invited to give this young lady a once-over. Maybe take...
New Exhibit at New UNF Photo Center
There's a lot more to taking a great photo than just pointing and clicking. The students and faculty in UNF's photography program are out to prove that tonight with a new show, "Through the Lens." It's also a chance to show off the university's new...
No Punishment for Firefighter in Probe; the City Found No Grounds for Action; a Firefighters Group Criticized the Mayor
Byline: BRIDGET MURPHY The black Jacksonville firefighter authorities said impeded a criminal investigation after a hangman's noose was found on his gear won't lose his job or face discipline. The city's general counsel office found no legal...
Page2People
DEVITO A 'FUN DRUNK' AS HE SWINGS THROUGH 'THE VIEW' The ladies of The View are laughing off Danny DeVito's loopy behavior during his appearance on the daytime talk show. "Danny DeVito is not an alcoholic," co-host Rosie O'Donnell said Thursday....
Passenger Dies after Car Goes Airborne, Hits Tree on Westside
A 30-year-old man died Thursday afternoon after a car drove up an incline, became airborne and hit a tree near Blanding Boulevard and Park Street in Jacksonville. The Florida Highway Patrol said alcohol is suspected to be the cause of the crash....
Rocking Hard with Disturbed; ... and Three Other Bands on the Music as a Weapon Tour
Byline: ROGER BULL Each year, Disturbed lines up a few more hard-rocking bands and heads out on its Music as a Weapon Tour. The tour arrives Wednesday at Veterans Memorial Arena with Stone Sour, Nonpoint and Flyleaf playing along with the headliners....
'Shifty' Taylor Hardly in Same Place; Dolphins Defensive End Can Pass-Rush, Drop into Coverage - and More
Byline: MICHAEL C. WRIGHT Offensive linemen chaotically point and bark out calls, their eyes widening because they know that being a half-step too slow could result in the quickest momentum change imaginable. This sight is common in the NFL,...
Songwriting Deadlines Are Approaching
Byline: ROGER BULL Deadlines are coming up on a couple of songwriting contests, so polish the lyrics and get the thing recorded. -- The Will McLean Foundation, which honors the late (and greatest) Florida folksinger, sponsors the a contest for...
Sports Extra
2CENTS Former champion Tom McEvoy was among the players, but this wasn't the World Series of Poker. I could tell because most of the players were still smiling after their luck, and their chips, had run out. The event was Chips for Charity at...
Stein Mart Soars While Wal-Mart Flounders; the Local Retailer Saw Strong Thanksgiving Sales, While Other Retailers Saw Mixed Performances
Byline: DIANA MIDDLETON Stein Mart Inc.'s total sales for November shot up 6.9 percent to $144.7 million, the company announced Thursday. Its same- store sales also were up 3.8 percent from $135.4 million in 2005. The Jacksonville-based retailer...
St. Johns Briefs
new foundation golf tournament The Champions Club at Julington Creek Plantation will host the first annual Jay Shields Osteosarcoma Foundation Charity Golf Outing Saturday. Proceeds will benefit the ongoing research and support at M.D. Anderson...
Take What You Can Get, Gators Fans
Byline: Sam Borden There isn't enough oxygen in the world for everyone to say all they want about the BCS, even though it sometimes feels as if people are determined to try. Around here, the short version of the screed goes something like this:...
This Move Is Rated 'R' for Ridiculous
Byline: Matt Soergel Even its biggest defenders would likely admit that the Motion Picture Association of America rating system is an imperfect one. After who, who's to say what will offend any particular person? At best, it is - like the newly...
TRANSPORTATION; Downtown Connection
The next piece of downtown Jacksonville's redevelopment is on the horizon, albeit in the distance. The Jacksonville Transportation Authority's nearly $170 million regional transportation center will be adjacent to the Prime Osborn Convention Center,...
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. Bobby - I wasn't even born during the...
T-YOU; Rants & Raves Prices Hurting ACC Ticket Sales
I feel the biggest impediment to selling out the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game is high ticket prices. I have been a Jaguars season-ticket holder since the first season and a frequent Gator Bowl attendee, but I was absolutely stunned...
T-YOU; THE FAITH LEADER Executive Shifted to Spiritual Center
JOHN W. (JACK) LOGUE Title, church, city: Director, St. Vincent's Spirituality Center at St. Vincent's Health System, Jacksonville Age: 69 Education: Bachelor's degree in education, master's degree in health care administration, St. Louis...
Weeknight, Schmeeknight, It's Time for Some Comedy
Byline: Laura Capitano Socially speaking, Tuesdays are slow, but they don't have to be boring. Regular weeknight entertainment is out there: The Comedy Zone comedy club features Tuesday night performances that liven up your week and still get you...
Wheels Are Turning on a Plan to Fund the Building of 9B; Commissioner's Vision Involves Bond Money and a Referendum
Byline: mark pettus David Anderson is a project manager for the Florida Department of Transportation, and when he talks about the history of Florida 9B, he describes a visionary plan that would meet the needs of a burgeoning population in a rapidly...
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL ROUNDUP; Jacksonville Loses Lead, First Game
Visiting Jacksonville University squandered an 11-point lead in the second half and lost 64-61 to Lipscomb on Thursday night. The Dolphins (4-1, 0-1 Atlantic Sun) led 49-38 on a rebound basket by Courtney Jackson with 12:30 remaining. Lipscomb (3-4,...
YELLOW JACKETS NOTEBOOK; Defense Keeping It Simple
Byline: ADAM VAN BRIMMER ATLANTA - Wake Forest's offense has evolved away from the triple-option scheme that coach Jim Grobe installed upon his arrival six years ago. The Demon Deacons still use many option principles, though, particularly misdirection...