The Florida Times Union

Articles from March 27, 2006

A Congregation Returns; Nineteen Months after the First African Baptist Church in St. Marys Burned, Members Hold Services in Their New House of Worship
Byline: GORDON JACKSON ST. MARYS -- When they last met on the grounds of the First African Baptist Church in St. Marys nearly 19 months ago, the congregation said there was no reason to question their faith -- even though their house of worship...
AMES IS TRUE; 'Long Shot' Tops Golf's Best in One of Players' Widest Winning Margins
Byline: GARRY SMITS When Stephen Ames walked off the third green of the TPC at Sawgrass Stadium Course on Sunday, his name was first on the leaderboard -- just where it had been at the start of the round. The next three names, all tied for second,...
A New Beginning, and an End; Big Changes for Course, Clubhouse
Byline: GARRY SMITS In the next few days, while Stephen Ames is still celebrating his Players Championship victory, the first bulldozer will start scraping off the soil on the TPC at Sawgrass Stadium Course. Within a few weeks, workers will begin...
Ben Carter
Byline: ALISON TRINIDAD It's hard to watch two years of work and $2 million go down the drain -- but it makes finishing first all the more rewarding. Caught in a three-way race to build a high-end mall in Jacksonville, developers like Ben Carter...
Bill Brinton
Byline: JOE LIGHT Mild-mannered Bill Brinton has an alter-ego. He may be an attorney by vocation, but if you ask ad agency veterans, in his spare time he's the scourge of billboard advertisers. Brinton, who says he spent afternoons as a boy brushing...
Bills Face Pitfalls on Way to Full Vote; A Conference Committee with Little Oversight Can Completely Rewrite the Legislation
Byline: BRANDON LARRABEE ATLANTA -- It was technically illegal, not too long ago, for a nurse in Georgia to give someone a shot. It wasn't done intentionally; it just kind of happened. A medical bill was working its way through the General Assembly,...
COLLEGE ROUNDUP; Oxendine's Efforts Help North Florida Rout FAU
North Florida's Matt Oxendine went 5 for 5 with an RBI and two runs scored, and the host Ospreys beat Florida Atlantic 13-3 in an Atlantic Sun Conference game. UNF (15-12, 8-4) took two of the three games in the series and moved back into a tie...
Craig Van Horn
Byline: JOE LIGHT Craig Van Horn has spent the last eight years trying to turn Jacksonville's red light district -- his words -- into a trendy place to live. The fruits of his labor are palpable. Once considered the pariah of Jacksonville's ring...
Dad Was Close with Son Who Witnessed His Death; Police Are Still Seeking Jason Johns' Assailants
Byline: KEN LEWIS Jason Johns took his 4-year-old son everywhere, according to family members. The two were like "peas in a pod," a grandfather said. That closeness was shattered March 11 when the boy watched as his father was shot to death...
Daredevil Knievel Makes River Jump; about 1,000 People Came out to Watch His Postponed Jump from Barges in the St. Johns
An increasingly frustrated crowd of about 1,000 people waited more than two hours for a three-second leap that sailed Robbie Knievel over a pair of speed boats and into the hearts of at least some of the spectators. "It was great, it was great,"...
Different Stadium Setting for Tebow; Quarterback Participates in Inter-Faith Ceremony before Final Round
Byline: ZACHARY SPAIN It wasn't Tim Tebow's first time at the TPC at Sawgrass Stadium Course, just his first time standing on the 18th green. Tebow, the University of Florida freshman quarterback who led Nease High School to a state championship...
Don Lively
Byline: ALISON TRINIDAD Imagine a law school focused on its students, not its image -- where the priority was on practicing law, not writing about it. Don Lively did. And 10 years ago, he made it happen in Jacksonville. Lively was the mastermind...
Driver Faces Aggravated Battery Charge after Man Struck Following Argument
A dispute about children who were in the roadway led a 23-year-old Jacksonville man to ram a 42-year-old man with his car Saturday afternoon, according to a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office report. The driver in the 500 block of Comet Street had lectured...
Elizabeth Means
Byline: URVAKSH KARKARIA There will only be one Mother Teresa -- but in Northeast Florida, Elizabeth Means comes pretty close. Means has devoted more than a decade of her life to serving the health care needs of Jacksonville's downtrodden and...
Family Man Has Masterful Performance
Byline: Gene Frenette Just when you think you've seen it all at The Players Championship, along comes a Trinidad-born, Canadian citizen with only one career victory sucking all the drama out of the PGA Tour's signature event. And then Stephen...
Family Plan Works; Players Champion Gets Big Assist from Robert Ames, His Brother and Caddie
Byline: GENE FRENETTE, Players champion Stephen Ames and younger brother Robert, his caddie for nearly three years, embraced in celebration after he tapped in his final putt Sunday at the 18th hole. Stephen said in an NBC interview afterward...
Fans Get Up and Go to Watch the Gators; in Unofficial Survey, Most UF Fans Were Leaving Early to Watch Basketball
Byline: ZACHARY SPAIN In a crowd dominated by Florida Gators apparel, the Villanova logo on Joe Walter's baseball cap was an odd sight at the TPC at Sawgrass Stadium Course on Sunday. In the hours before the Wildcats and Gators played a college...
FIVE CHEERS; River Cleanup Hailed
Keeping the river clean is a big deal in Northeast Florida. For instance, about 500 volunteers recently picked up litter along the St. Marys River in Nassau County. Over the past nine years, more than 400,000 pounds of trash has been collected near...
Flick Picks
Byline: Matt Soergel Here are some of Times-Union movie critic Matt Soergel's favorite movies in theaters: INSIDE MAN ***1/2 (3 1/2 stars) Spike Lee goes mainstream with satisfying results. It's a beautifully made throwback to the '70s that functions...
For One Fan, Final Round Was Grade A
Byline: Judy Wells Last day, and the momentum was slow to grow until the standard boards with red numbers started arriving at the No. 1 tee box. There's nothing quite like a tournament that almost anyone can win. CHOICE TRIP If you're a golfer,...
Furyk Pleased with Rally to Third Plac; after Saturday Stumble, Ponte Vedra Beach Resident Happy with Finish
Byline: BART HUBBUCH After what happened to some of his counterparts on the leaderboard early on, Jim Furyk was in no mood to complain about escaping The Players Championship with a third-place tie Sunday. In some ways, the Ponte Vedra Beach...
Garcia, Weir Get Worn out; Playing in Next-to-Last Group, Both Suffer through Tough Final Rounds at Players
Byline: ZACHARY SPAIN Sergio Garcia had his at the fourth hole; Mike Weir had his at No. 10. For the second-to-last Players Championship pairing Sunday, it was a final round full of lowlights. Garcia shot 6-over-par 78 to fall to 2 under and...
It's Time to Spring Ahead; March 2007 Will Seem Empty to Some, as Next Players Is 14 Months Away
Byline: GARRY SMITS The 2006 Players Championship is over. So is professional golf in March on the First Coast. For the last 40 years, there has been a PGA Tour event in March at five courses in Ponte Vedra Beach, Atlantic Beach and Jacksonville....
J. Brooks Brown
Byline: TIMOTHY J. GIBBONS J. Brooks Brown seems to have made a career out of finding things that needed to be changed. The biggest testimony to this impulse might be the two medical institutions he wrought: Memorial Hospital, which he helped...
Jeanne Ward
Byline: ALISON TRINIDAD Growing up, Jeanne Ward's two daughters got sick now and again. They also starred in school plays. Both put Ward in a tough spot. Ward, then a single mother, wished she could spend more time with her children but often...
Jeers Mix with Cheers at No. 17; A Splashing Golf Ball on Popular Hole Is "Not a Good Thing, but It's Spectacular."
Byline: JASON SCHNEIDER It's a breach of golf etiquette to root for disaster, but that doesn't stop some fans from cheering for a splash on the signature hole of the TPC at Sawgrass Stadium Course. Some of the loudest cheers during The Players...
Jim Adams
Byline: ALISON TRINIDAD Most people feel fortunate to touch the life of one or two children. Jim Adams has made a difference for thousands. Adams runs the lead agency for foster care and adoption in Duval County, a goverment duty that was privatized...
Joseph Cannon & Leona Sheddan
Byline: MARK BASCH "Jacksonville has changed dramatically over the last 15 to 20 years," says Leona Sheddan. "We believe Jacksonville has turned the corner and become a very progressive city." And as far as Sheddan is concerned, a progressive...
JU Students Visit Ecuador and Receive an Education
Byline: TONYAA WEATHERSBEE GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador -- Twenty-one-year-old Giomayra sidles up to me, bubbling with questions and conversation. It doesn't matter to her that I know so little Spanish that my part of the conversation will be doomed. But...
Laine Silverfield
Byline: TIMOTHY J. GIBBONS As Laine Silverfield walks around her office, her fingers trail across the pictures of those she's helped, summoning memories: Their names, their conditions, what they asked for and how it changed their lives. The number...
Laura Bailet
Byline: MARK BASCH When Laura Bailet began helping children with learning disabilities two decades ago, she discovered a common problem. "The vast majority . . . had reading problems," Bailet says. But more importantly, she's learned that...
MaliVai Washington
Byline: MARK BASCH As a tennis player, MaliVai Washington fell just short of his dreams of winning a Grand Slam title and achieving a top 10 ranking. But he's not disappointed. "There's no harm in dreaming big," says Washington, whose career...
Matthew Medure
Byline: URVAKSH KARKARIA Matthew Medure knows his sauteed escargot from his seared foie gras. After all, he may very well be Northeast Florida's high priest of haute cuisine. The bar on quality dining in the First Coast has risen several times...
NASCAR NOTEBOOK; His Crew Chief Returns, but Johnson Struggles to 30th
Byline: DON COBLE BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Jimmie Johnson had his crew chief back for Sunday's Food City 500, but he might want to send Chad Knaus home for future races. After winning twice and also finishing second and sixth in the six races that Knaus...
NBC Succeeds in Coverage of Runaway Champ Ames
Byline: JEFF ELLIOTT NBC did its best to find ways to keep viewers tuned into Sunday's final round of The Players Championship. Going head to head against the NCAA Tournament for the final time -- The Players is moving to May next year -- the...
New FBI District Chief Fulfilling His Dream; He Always Wanted to Be in Law Enforcement and the FBI Is "The Ultimate," He Says
Byline: CHARLIE PATTON Michael Folmar grew up in Pittsburgh, so you might assume that he was delighted when the Steelers won the Super Bowl last month. And he was happy. But Folmar, who recently took over as special agent in charge of the Jacksonville...
NOTEBOOK; Ex-Gator Villegas Exceeds Expectations, but Falls Short of Goal
Byline: GARRY SMITS Camilo Villegas won't play in the Masters this year. Don't count him out at any other time in the future. The University of Florida All-American made the most of his late entry in The Players Championship as an alternate...
NOTEBOOK; Horford Coming Back, His Dad Says
Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO MINNEAPOLIS -- At least one of Florida's key players will be back next season. Al Horford's father, Tito, said Sunday night that his son definitely will return to Gainesville for his junior season. "He's having too...
Packing Up Clubhouse Memories
Byline: TRAVIS HILL Ray Hite is three floors under the pro shop, behind the rows of golf carts, just past the ice machine on your right. There he is, underneath the aging pictures of 1984 champ Fred Couples and the 17th hole, which are next to...
Push Comes to Shove at Bristol; Kurt Busch Bumps Kenseth to Win Food City 500 amid Drivers' Flared Tempers
Byline: DON COBLE BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Kevin Harvick, whose disdain for Kurt Busch is well-documented, said he wasn't afraid to use his front bumper to win a race, especially when it involves anyone from his rival's family. But when Harvick had...
RACING TO INDY; Big Men Push UF to Final Four
Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO MINNEAPOLIS -- Joakim Noah, his Final Four hat plopped backward on his head, walked up to John Thompson and wrapped his gangly arms around the legendary coach's shoulders. Thompson, now an CBS radio analyst, whispered...
Robert Lee
Byline: Timothy J. Gibbons A large boat paddle hangs on the wall of Robert Lee's office in the heart of Springfield. Lee doesn't spend much time on the water. The paddle is there to remind him of the words of a white-water-rafting friend who once...
Robin & Chris Sorensen
Byline: ALISON TRINIDAD They didn't drive into Mississippi with an eighteen-wheeler full of food to have a life-changing experience. They did it to feed the Jacksonville firefighters volunteering there after Hurricane Katrina in early September....
Seeing UF Is Believing, So Believe Now
Byline: Mike Freeman MINNEAPOLIS -- Please, giddy Florida basketball fans, don't state how you saw this coming. You did not. No one did. No one saw what's now officially the best sports story so far this year in the entire state and one of the best...
Several Areas' Property Taxes Gain New Reins; as Locally Aimed Bills Become Law, Lawmakers Are Still Working toward a Statewide Break
Byline: VICKY ECKENRODE ATLANTA -- When Georgia legislators return home soon, many will be armed with compelling re-election campaign material. With all 236 seats up for grabs, those who can say they lowered property taxes during the session...
Slip-Up on No. 13 Costly to Goosen's Hopes; South African Gets Brief Opening, but Ames Closes It Quickly on Back Nine
Byline: JASON SCHNEIDER Walking off the 12th green, Retief Goosen sneaked a peek at the leaderboard that sat between him and the 13th tee box. Goosen had just missed a birdie putt by inches and was 7 under par, and as he walked toward the leaderboard...
Sports Extra
Byline: Chase Goodbread 2CENTS Conspicuous in its absence from Barry Bonds' legal complaint against the book Game of Shadows was an allegation of libel. The book, written by two San Francisco Chronicle reporters, hits shelves this week and provides...
Sylvia M. Johnson
Byline: ANGELA DRYDEN As principal of West Jacksonville Elementary School, Sylvia M. Johnson is doing what she can to eliminate one word from being spoken in her halls: Challenged. Johnson, 56, isn't satisfied with just making sure her students...
This St. Vincent's Business Analyst Started His Monday as a Hero; John Lyerly Jumped into the St. Johns River to Save a Man from Drowning
Byline: CHARLIE PATTON For many of us, Monday morning begins with a few sips of coffee and a quick check of the e-mail before jumping unheroically into the week's projects. For John Lyerly, a couple of weeks ago, Monday began with a rather heroic...
Tommie Broach
Byline: ANGELA DRYDEN Teaching math at a public school in Long Island, N.Y., Tommie Broach saw firsthand the effects of troubled students who fell behind: They either dropped out, or worse, were kicked out of school. And once they were out of her...
Toney Sleiman
Byline: JOE LIGHT Love him or hate him, developer Toney Sleiman's influence on Northeast Florida is unmistakable. Whether you live downtown or in the suburbs, chances are that you've shopped at a Sleiman-owned facility -- Sleiman Enterprises and...
UP TO THE CHALLENGE; A Group of Competitors Is in an 'Ultimate' Race around Florida: 1,200 Miles by Boat, Bike and Foot
Byline: ROGER BULL ALONG BAKER COUNTY ROAD 2 - Matt Layden, also known as Wizard, kneeled along the highway, poking a piece of rubber from a truck tire - the kind that litters all roads - into a small plastic tire rim. He had sailed 700 miles, paddled...
Wayne Wood
Byline: JOE LIGHT Wayne Wood knows his Jacksonville history. The 35-year Riverside resident helped found Riverside Avondale Preservation (RAP) and has written or helped write seven books on the history of the First Coast. Wood, who's an optometrist...
Welcome Back, Lilly, You Charming Mouse
Byline: Brandy Hilboldt Allport In 1988, Lilly, the spunky, well-dressed mouse, made her first appearance in a Kevin Henkes picture book called Chester's Way. Eight years later, she charmed audiences of all ages with her own story, Lilly's Purple...
What's New
Company name changes -- Atkinson Realty Group Inc. is now the name of the Riverside and Ortega offices formerly known as Atkinson & Knight Realty Group Inc. -- Johns & Associates, an ATS company, has shifted its focus and changed its...
Woods' Tough Week Ends on Sour Note; Round of 3-Over 75 Caps Week in Which He Flew Home to Visit Sick Father
Byline: BART HUBBUCH Tiger Woods' final round was over, but his mental toughness was still on display late Sunday afternoon. No matter how many times the crowd of reporters asked if his father's illness contributed to a disappointing finish --...