The Florida Times Union

Articles from May 27, 2009

A1A Resurfacing in Mayport Includes 'Dip' Removal; the $2.5-Million Project Is Long Overdue, Both Residents and FDOT Say
Byline: DREW DIXON MAYPORT - Residents in the historic fishing village are relieved Florida A1A is finally being resurfaced from Mayport Road to Broad Street. The $2.5-million project started about three weeks ago and will last into the fall....
Another Airport Rift May Take off; St. Marys Mayor Fears That City Manager's Letter about Funds Will Create New Tensions
Byline: GORDON JACKSON ST. MARYS - City Manager Bill Shanahan has asked the St. Marys Airport Authority for an estimated $100,000 in a bank account to manage the municipal airport. Shanahan said a letter was sent last week to Steve Swanson, the...
Boys Home Uses Water to Provide Grounding; Safe Harbor Has Used Boats to Build Life Skills and Counseling for 25 Successful Years
Byline: JOSH SALMAN Steve Barns spent his teenage years in and out of trouble. He got into drugs and alcohol, dropped out of school and had some minor run-ins with the law. After completing a court-issued rehab program, Barns had no where...
Classical Roots Branch out in All Directions
Byline: TAMARA McCLARAN Many musicians have been inspired while listening to popular music played on the radio as teenagers. That wasn't the case for Rebecca Zapen. The former Jacksonville singer/songwriter enjoyed a more unusual musical upbringing,...
Clay Sheriff to Appeal Union's Win in Court; DISCIPLINE PROCESS Beseler Says a State Board's Ruling Threatens the Autonomy of Sheriffs across Florida. 'OUT FOR POWER' Jacksonville FOP Leader Says Beseler Is out of Step with Rest of State
Byline: BETH REESE CRAVEY An almost 3-year-old collective bargaining dispute between Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler and the county's police union has evolved into an issue with statewide implications likely to be decided by the courts. Beseler...
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PATTERSON WILL HOST YOUTH BASEBALL TOURNEY The Patterson Recreation Department is looking for teams to enter its annual Spirit of Liberty Youth Softball and Baseball Tournament June 26 and 27 during the city's Spirit of Liberty celebration. The...
Council Chooses Its 2 New Leaders; A New President and Vice President Were Unanimously Elected
Byline: TIA MITCHELL Jacksonville City Council members stayed true to the commitments made in November, unanimously electing Richard Clark as president and Jack Webb as vice president during their meeting Tuesday night. Both men will take office...
Couple's Story Inspires a TV Movie; Hallmark Channel's "Safe Harbor" Tells of Work with Troubled Boys
Byline: MATT SOERGEL Doug and Robbie Smith's boat-filled adventure as the founders of Safe Harbor Boys Home has caught the eye of Hollywood. How could it not? It's almost too inspirational to be true. But the Smiths say Hollywood got it just...
Eat at Olive Garden? There's Good and Bad News; after a Privacy Lawsuit, the Chain Will Give Vouchers to Those Who Paid with Plastic
Byline: JAMES CANNON Have you eaten at Olive Garden in the last several years? Did you pay with plastic? If you answered yes, you may be entitled to a $9 appetizer coupon at your next visit. The giveaway is the result of a 2007 federal lawsuit...
Ex-ACD Star Stewart Is Leaving Kentucky
Kentucky announced that forward A.J. Stewart, who played for Arlington Country Day, is seeking a transfer and two other scholarship players will not return to the Wildcats. Stewart, a 6-foot-7 sophomore, sometimes provided a spark off the bench...
Ex-Teacher Gets a Year in Jail; Sentence Is for Child Abuse; He Had Faced More Serious Charges, but Case Hit a Snag
Byline: PAUL PINKHAM A former Duval County teacher was sentenced to a year in jail for child abuse after prosecutors dropped more serious sexual battery and molestation charges involving one of his students. Odis L. Moreton, 36, was scheduled...
Family-Strengthening Class Provides Help for Residents; Program Is Successful, but Now It's in Economic Peril
Byline: DEIRDRE CONNER It was school traffic time, and the parent pickup line was terrible. Someone cut off Charlene Arnold. She felt the hot temper that runs in her family rise. Then she thought about Prudence Williams touching her fingers to...
Find Island Being Shrunk by JTA Plan; It's Part of Mitigation That Will Make More Room for Restored Wetlands
Byline: DREW DIXON NEPTUNE BEACH - After about two years of objections from city officials, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority is shrinking an island near the Intracoastal Waterway just south of the Atlantic Boulevard bridge. "Our city...
Flood-Risk Map Update Could Affect Properties; and That Could Make a Difference in Their Owners' Insurance Rates
Byline: CAREN BURMEISTER Beaches and Intracoastal Waterway property owners could stand to gain or lose in a massive effort to update Duval County's 20-year-old flood hazard maps. Jacksonville is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency...
Former POWs Reunite after 64 Years; Theirs Is an Amazing Tale of War, Survival and Escape - and How They Found Each Other Again
Byline: MAGGIE FITZROY Wilson Leon of Jacksonville Beach remembers parachuting out of a burning B-24 Liberator bomber in World War II, getting captured by Nazi soldiers on the ground and surviving day-by-day in a cold, dirty, bug-infested building...
Gunman in Northside Apartment Slaying at Large; One Resident Says She Is Furious about Violence, and Calls for Action
Jacksonville police are searching for the gunman who killed a father of three in the parking lot of a Northside apartment complex Tuesday. The unidentified victim was killed shortly after 4 a.m. at the Kendall Court Apartments, 10535 Lem Turner...
Hard Work, Innovation Pay off on the FCAT; Ponte Vedra-Area Schools Help Push St. Johns to Highest Third-Grader Scores in State
Byline: DAN SCANLAN The Ponte Vedra Beach area's two public elementary schools train for the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, but that's not all that was involved in joining St. Johns County's third-graders at the top in this year's tests....
HEALTH INSURANCE; an Excellent Start
It's rare to find a plan for reforming the health insurance system that has earned bipartisan support and even compliments from bloggers. But that is the case with the Healthy Americans Act unveiled by U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Bob Bennett,...
Immigrant Store Owner's Sons, Neighbors Grieve Loss; He Was Gunned Down outside His Store; Two Were Seen Running Away
Byline: JIM SCHOETTLER The two teenage brothers hovered over a table where pictures of happy times with their father lay scattered about. There they were on a sofa, the youngest boy planting a kiss on his dad's right cheek as his smiling brother...
Internet Groups Teaching Parents to Stop Predators; Families Coached to Identify Offenders by Learning Their Signs
Byline: JOSH SALMAN Child predators have a different look than five years ago. Instead of hiding in cars and on street corners, they're in chat rooms and social networking sites. And while their style has changed, their goal has not. There...
Intracoastal Dredging Will Start This Summer; the Project Is to Restore the Channel to Low-Tide Measure of 12 Feet Deep, 125 Feet Wide
Byline: SHAKAYA ANDRES PALM VALLEY- Thanks to about $250 million worth of help from federal economic stimulus funding, the northern end of the Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Valley will be dredged this summer, officials said. The project will...
Jacobs Found Guilty, Gets Life; under a Wrongful Death Suit, Filed by Her Sons in 2007, She Also Loses $400,000
Byline: TERESA STEPZINSKI WAYCROSS - Betty Jo Jacobs glared but said nothing before being sentenced to life in prison Tuesday after an imported jury found her guilty of murdering her former husband in his Waycross medical office almost two years...
More Than Programs Needed for Stopping Crime Epidemic
Byline: TONYAA WEATHERSBEE During a recent conference here on how to tamp down the violent crime that disproportionately plagues black communities, T. Willard Fair was obsessing about another time. A time when families, not social programs, were...
Not Feeling the Need for Speed
Byline: TERRY DICKSON ST. SIMONS ISLAND - Elise Permar, the late editor of The Islander and my dear friend, wrote an editorial years ago praising the toll booth on the island causeway. Sometimes traffic backed up badly as people fumbled for change,...
Pageantry Helped Her Come out of Her Shell; Now She Wants to Start an Event for Young Women with Disabilities
Byline: MARY KELLI PALKA Amber "Gabbie" Kendall was just 9 years old when her life changed. She had been playing with friends in July 1999 at a restaurant's playground when somehow her leg twisted behind her back as she came down the slide. She...
Ponte Vedra High's First Year Closes with Special Dedication
Byline: MAGGIE FITZROY When Ponte Vedra High School opened last August with freshman, sophomore and junior classes, it was the realization of a decades-long dream for many. After a successful inaugural year, the school on Davis Park Road west...
Shrimp License Loophole Closed; SOUTH CAROLINA Deep-Hole Harvesters Will Be Required to Obtain a State License. LOCAL PROTECTION the Law Is Designed to Police against Those Coming from Georgia
Byline: SARITA CHOUREY COLUMBIA, S.C. - A little-noticed detail in South Carolina's new shore-based angling law will license deep-hole shrimpers in the hopes of tracking shrimp harvesters who have long operated in the shadows. Local conservationists...
Some Hispanic Leaders Say 'It's about Time'; but Others Are Taking a More Cautious Approach on Her Political Views
Byline: CHARLIE PATTON News that for the first time a Hispanic-American has been nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court brought ecstatic reactions from some leaders of the Jacksonville Hispanic community Tuesday. Others expressed pride that federal...
Stallions Stopped in Final; Providence Starts Hot, but Cools off in Bid to Repeat as State Champs
Byline: HAYS CARLYON PORT ST. LUCIE - Once again, Providence received the fast start it wanted. It just wasn't enough this time. The Stallions' bid to repeat as state champions came up short as Providence built a 2-0 first-inning lead but fell...
St. Augustine Center Serves the Globe; Orthodox Unite in Mission
Byline: JEFF BRUMLEY About 300 Orthodox Christians gathered in a steady rain in St. Augustine last week to celebrate the opening of a facility designed to train missionaries for their far-flung assignments around the world. Clutching cameras...
Subaru Believes Market in Jacksonville Untapped; in Wake of Closings, Dealership Is Set to Open a New Location in November
Byline: DAN SCANLAN Who would build a new car dealership in this economy? General Motors says it won't renew contracts at 1,100 dealerships and is killing off Pontiac, while the future of Hummer, Saturn and Saab look dim. Chrysler said it will...
Terrorism a Bigger Threat Than News Story Indicated
Byline: James Casey Recently, the FBI's New York Office arrested four men who were plotting to plant explosives outside a New York synagogue and fire surface-to-air-weapons at U.S. military aircraft. While the full details of this plot have yet...
The Heart of Our City Still Beats
Byline: MARK WOODS One of my pet peeves: When people say there is nothing to do in Jacksonville. This isn't New York. Never will be. But on any weekend, there are plenty of things to do here. And last weekend in particular was a good one for...
This Wolverine Bears His Razor-Sharp Claws; 'X-Men' Movie the Basis for Beefed-Up Game
Byline: ROBERT McGINTY The movie version of "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" was rated PG-13, even though you could see a little bit of Hugh Jackman's heinie. But Wolverine has always been a dark and violent character, and the movie only hinted occasionally...
Top-Ranked UF Is Ready for TV Time; Glare of Cameras Won't Distract Softball Players in Bid for National Title
Byline: BRIAN STEELE GAINESVILLE - The top-ranked Florida softball team has been doing some extra preparation lately. Not in the batting cages. Not in the field. Not even in team meetings. They spend it in front of the mirror. With their recent...
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SUPREME COURT NOMINEE HAS SPORTS HISTORY Sonia Sotomayor, your newest Supreme Court nominee, has an impressive judicial resume and years of experience - or she probably wouldn't have been nominated by President Barack Obama. Sotomayor, in case...
Universities Tighten Up on Computer Security; Stronger Measures Come after Someone Hacked the System Then Let the School Know
Byline: WALTER C. JONES ATLANTA - Since most high-tech criminals aren't as accommodating as one recent university hacker, the state's 35 public colleges and universities, and network of public libraries are implementing new policies designed to...