The Florida Times Union

Articles from April 7, 2006

32259 Residents Add St. Johns to Area Names; Postal Service Will Accept It, along with Jacksonville, Fruit Cove, Switzerland and Julington Creek
Welcome to St. Johns, Fla. The U.S. Postal Service declared Wednesday that name is now appropriate for ZIP Code 32259 in St. Johns County after it counted mail-in ballots that asked area residents to choose between St. Johns and Jacksonville. ...
5-Year-Old McIntosh Jail Contaminated by Mold; the Architect Told Commissioners the Building Should Be Evacuated, Cleaned
Byline: TERRY DICKSON DARIEN -- Inspectors found mold in the air conditioning system of the McIntosh County jail and recommended it be closed while ductwork is cleaned and affected insulation and ceiling tiles are replaced. No one at the jail...
Airlines' Service Not as Smooth as It Should Be
Byline: Karen Brune Mathis I don't travel as much as some of my coworkers, but my family flies enough that I realize the turbulence of airline customer service. For example, my then 17-year-old son found himself with a list of hotels around midnight...
All's Quiet on Women Issue at Augusta
Byline: Mike Freeman AUGUSTA, Ga. -- This is a story about how Hootie Johnson kicked butt, media butt, beat us down like our name was Bobby Brown and he was the tabloid press. As media members for the past several years bravely pushed and prodded...
ANNEXATION ANXIETY IN CAMDEN; St. Marys Polls Development's Residents on Joining the City Some Cite Concerns They'll Be Forced in, Say They'd Respond by Voting Incumbents Out
Byline: GORDON JACKSON ST. MARYS -- A letter delivered to 270 households in the Point Peter development this week has residents concerned St. Marys city officials aren't paying attention to recent history. In the letter, property owners are told...
Assault Suspect Dies in Shootout; He Fired at Pursuing Officer, Police Say
Byline: JEFF BRUMLEY As shaken up as she was, Paulette Williams said she was just thankful Thursday afternoon when a police shooting in her Northwest Jacksonville yard was all over. "We were blessed that the bullets didn't hit us," Williams,...
Bottling Plant Officials Say Water Use Estimate Was Too High; They Lowered It from 1.5 Million to 1 Million Gallons of Water per Day
Byline: lisa miller Representatives of a Pennsylvania-based bottling plant set to receive $3.5 million in business incentives for its move to St. Johns County acknowledged this week they should have been "more open" about the company, which could...
Brunson Takes Aim at Pop Culture; First Baptist's New Pastor Says Some Films and Books Are Attacking Christianity
Byline: JEFF BRUMLEY The Rev. Mac Brunson's first official day at First Baptist Church is Sunday, but he's already started preaching to members of his downtown Jacksonville megachurch via the Web. In a letter posted on the congregation's Internet...
Celebrations of Faith
faith briefs meditation Guided meditation and Dharma talk, 10 to 11:30 a.m. every Sunday at Cobalt Moon, Sky Studio, 217 First St., Neptune Beach. Led by Carol Lutker, Kadampa Buddhist teacher. Everyone is welcome to attend. Cost is a donation....
Coach Benched in Sex Probe; Police Investigate Alleged Volleyball Coach-Player Sex; JU Coach Suspended
Byline: BRIDGET MURPHY Jacksonville police are investigating if a volleyball coach has had sex with underage female players after the mother of a 17-year-old on Wednesday reported allegations she heard about a coach who works where her daughter...
Commissioners Call Back Contract, Leaving County Attorney High and Dry; Board Votes to Rescind His Contract and Conduct a Statewide Search
Byline: lisa miller A seemingly simple agenda item erupted in controversy Tuesday, viciously dividing St. Johns County Commissioners and ending with a county attorney candidate walking out of the auditorium. In a 3-2 vote, commissioners decided...
Dad Seeks Permanent Custody of Evan, Now 5; the Judge Isn't Allowed to Give the Boy Back to His Adoptive Parents
Byline: PAUL PINKHAM For nearly four years, he was raised as Evan Scott by an Atlantic Beach couple who thought they had adopted him. But the adoption fell through in a three-way custody battle, and he was sent last year to live with his mother...
Difference Makers
Byline: terry brown nicky schotman Encouraging middle school-age children to learn is tough enough in today's halls of education. For Switzerland Point teacher Nicky Schotman, keeping gifted students interested sometimes requires her to think...
DRIVING AHEAD; Long-Hitting Singh Uses Putting to Take Lead
Byline: GARRY SMITS AUGUSTA, Ga. -- You'd think Vijay Singh with a hot putter would be a threat to win every week. After all, putting has been the only downfall in a Hall of Fame golf career that has spanned nearly 20 years and produced 50 worldwide...
Driving Teachers Try to Prevent a Crash Course; the School District's Driver Education Returns after a Four-Year Hiatus
Byline: lisa miller The white Crown Victoria's speed escalates -- 15, 20, 35 mph -- an action that seems mundane, simple, non-threatening. But the inches of water pooling at the end of the quarter-mile runway is enough to have anyone's foot close...
Endless Possibilities; Jazz Pianist Has Explored Nearly Every Musical Genre during His Lengthy Career
Byline: JEFF VRABEL It's a busy time for iconic jazz musician Herbie Hancock. Then again, it's always a busy time for iconic jazz musician Herbie Hancock. The legendary pianist, now easing into his fifth decade of work, released a new CD of duets,...
Fans' Waiting Game; Followers Willing to Take Patient Approach with Suns' New Players
Byline: JEFF ELLIOTT There seemed to be one common thought from fans at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville Thursday night when the Suns opened the 2006 Southern League season with a 2-0 win over the Chattanooga Lookouts. Patience. This 2006...
Fired Parole Officer Seeks Benefits; Jordan Is Member of McIntosh Board
Byline: TERRY DICKSON DARIEN -- McIntosh County school board member Dwight E. Jordan, who was fired from his state job as a parole officer after reports that he threatened to kill his supervisor, has appealed to Superior Court for restoration of...
Fruit Cove Middle Instructor Is Teacher of the Year; the Honor Is a First for Fruit Cove Middle; the Second in a Row for a Northwest School
Byline: lisa miller Jamie Godfrey's eyes erupted with tears, her mouth gaped open in pure shock. "Thank you very much to everyone . . . I couldn't do what I do without you guys and without my husband and without my daughter," she said. "I'm very,...
FSU Professor Suggests Miracle Was Jesus on Ice; He Says the Sea of Galilee Might Have Partially Frozen under Certain Conditions
Byline: JEFF BRUMLEY Florida State University Professor Doron Nof said he is not out to discredit Christianity or destroy anyone's faith with a study suggesting Jesus may have walked on frozen water in the Sea of Galilee. He said the theory may...
Full of Slurprises; 'Lucky Number Slevin' a Slick Tongue-in-Cheek Thriller
Byline: MATT SOERGEL Four people are killed just in the opening credits of Lucky Number Slevin before we cut to Bruce Willis in a wheelchair. He's "Mr. Smith," who's in an airport talking to a solitary young guy about the so-called "Kansas City...
Give Me Five
hero's welcome A special memorial service was scheduled for Thursday to honor a northwest veteran who was killed last year while serving in Afghanistan. Friends and family paid tribute to Chris Scherkenbach, an MH-47 Special Operations Chinook helicopter...
In Tune with Jazz Festival's Start, Green Wins Piano Competition; He Credits His Family for Creating the Emotion He Uses to Play
Byline: ERIN TRAUTH Forget American Idol -- Jacksonville made a new star Thursday night. Giving a kick-start to the 2006 Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Jesse Green was named winner of the Great American Jazz Piano Competition. Green dueled George...
Jaguars Get 2 Shots at Prime Time; Their 2006 Schedule Features Two Monday Night Home Games as Well as Tougher Opponents
Byline: BART HUBBUCH The NFL made an already attractive lineup of home games for the Jaguars even sweeter Thursday. The league's release of the 2006 schedule gave the Jaguars at least two appearances on prime-time television and made sure Jacksonville...
Jazz Festival: The Basics
IF YOU GO Tickets will be sold through Ticketmaster or at the door unless otherwise noted. (904) 353-3309, ticketmaster.com. Metropolitan Park shows are general admission; Florida Theatre and Ritz Theatre shows are reserved seating. -- Metropolitan...
Jury Calls for Life in Prison in Murder of 4-Month-Old; the Defense Argues That the Slain Boy's Father Doesn't Deserve Death Because He Was Abused When He Was a Child
Byline: RACHEL DAVIS A Jacksonville jury recommended Thursday that Anthony Oyibo spend the rest of his life in prison for the 2003 murder of his 4-month-old son. Circuit Judge Lance Day will enter his final decision in the case in the coming...
Kenny G Attracts a Different Sort of Fan to Fest -- My Dad
Byline: Jeff Vrabel Purists would argue that the headliner of this weekend's Jacksonville Jazz Fest is legendary piano man Herbie Hancock, and I'd certainly agree. But if you're talking about numbers and name recognition, you'd have to give the...
Mandarin Girls Win Title; O'Keefe Strikes out Eight as Mustangs Rip Sandalwood in Gateway Championship
Byline: FRANCINE KING On Thursday, Mandarin's softball team met two of its preseason team goals: reach 20 victories and win the Gateway Conference championship. The Mustangs accomplished both by defeating Sandalwood 6-1 in the final of the Gateway...
Man Dies When Camper Explodes, Then Catches Fire; Firefighters Put out the Fire Quickly but Were Unable to Save the Man Inside
A Jacksonville man died Thursday when a camper he was in exploded and caught fire in Pickettville, authorities said. Witnesses heard an explosion about noon before seeing flames engulf a camper parked next to a house in the 6600 block of Pickettville...
Mediate Doesn't Back off; Former Ponte Vedra Beach Resident Has Bogey-Free Day, Shoots 68 to Trail Singh by One
Byline: GARRY SMITS AUGUSTA, Ga. -- As one player after another voiced complaints and reservations about the course changes made at Augusta National Golf Club, Rocco Mediate had a brief and pointed message: Go home. "Someone will be glad to take...
MEDICAL FIELD; Shortage Coming
Shortages in the medical field are nothing new. Training qualified nurses each year to meet the demand is a challenge the state put to local colleges and universities several years ago. But while most of the attention has been showered on nursing...
Meet the Players
Byline: Jeff Vrabel Don't know Dee Dee Bridgewater from Delfeayo Marsalis? The Rippingtons from the Ramsey Lewis Trio? Over the next four pages, learn more about the musicians of the 2006 Jacksonville Jazz Festival. Find out who they are and when...
Mom Is Charged with Leaving Toddler in Car 9 Hours; He Died; Police Say She Found Him Dead after Her Shift, Then Drove around before Calling for Help
AIKEN, S.C. -- After leaving her 15-month-old son in her car for nine hours and then finding him lifeless, a North Augusta woman drove around for nearly two hours before calling police, authorities said Wednesday. Karla N. Edwards, 35, was formally...
Morning Briefs
HOTEL ROOM BOOKINGS ON RECORD-SETTING PACE Meetings and convention sales by the Jacksonville & the Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau are on pace to reach the highest number of hotel room nights booked in the organization's history. Hotel...
Much More at Stake for JU, UNF; Baseball Teams Set for Key A-Sun Series This Weekend
Byline: JASON SCHNEIDER It didn't take long for the rivalry between Jacksonville University and North Florida to be recognized. Before the school year, the Atlantic Sun Conference Web site posted a poll asking which conference rivalry was the...
NOTEBOOK; Crenshaw Carried by His Putter
Byline: GARRY SMITS AUGUSTA, Ga. -- For most of Thursday morning, Ben Crenshaw stepped back in time. The two-time Masters champion, a World Golf Hall of Fame member who's now struggling on the Champions Tour at 54, Crenshaw made four birdies...
NOTEBOOK; Doubles Tiebreaker Breaks Record
Byline: DAVID JOHNSON About 250 fans stayed late Wednesday night and saw tennis history at the Bausch & Lomb Championships. Australia's Nicole Pratt and Bryanne Stewart won the longest tiebreaker in WTA Tour Open Era history -- a 42-point,...
Off Tennis Court and into the Slammer; A Pro Competing on Amelia Island Is Arrested on Shoplifting Charges
Byline: BRIDGET MURPHY and JESSIE-LYNNE KERR Pro tennis player Katerina Bohmova spent Wednesday night in Jacksonville's jail after police arrested the 19-year-old and her mother on felony theft charges after they were accused of stealing about $450...
Page 2 People
Byline: Compiled by Tom Steele FRENCH SCREENWRITER NAMES CLOONEY IN 'SYRIANA' LAWSUIT A French screenwriter who alleges that Syriana was largely plagiarized from her script has filed a lawsuit against George Clooney and Warner Bros. Stephanie...
Partake in the Tropical Fun of Reggae Sunday
Byline: Laura Capitano ST. AUGUSTINE - I packed up all my sweaters and put them in storage. The lawn doubles in height each day, and there are Popsicles in the freezer. All are sure signs of summer, right along with the return of the Conch House's...
Pattaya Thai Grill Reopens in New Location on Baymeadows Road
Byline: Dan Macdonald Pattaya Thai Grill has re-opened, to the delight of its many former regulars. The new Pattaya Thai Grill is located in Baymeadows Place on Baymeadows Road. Owners Lek and Rudy Clayton closed the original location near Craig...
Picture Day; Treasured Memories Are Often Born While Standing Next to Classmates and Yelling 'Cheese!'
Byline: terry brown In movements that resembled trying to herd a bunch of scurrying ants, Gene Swire and Mary Jane Todd attempted to rein in and seat Todd's pre-kindergarten class for a very special moment. After a few minutes, the daunting task...
Police Blotter
KENTUCKY MAN ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED ROBBERY A 40-year-old Virginia man told police a man approached him Monday night outside of a County Road 210 truck stop and asked for money, according to an incident report. When he responded that he did not...
Real Estate
The following transactions were recorded by the St. Johns County Clerk of Circuit Court from March 13-19. Lot 22 Southwood PUD, Phase 1B & C: Seagate Homes Inc. to Gary J. Gordon and Alan Pacella, $256,700 Lot 64 Southwood PUD, Phase 1B...
Renters, New Home Buyers Getting Property Tax Shaft
Byline: Ronald L. Littlepage Much of the blame goes to the Save Our Homes constitutional amendment voters approved in 1992. Of course, if you're one of the ones whose ox isn't getting gored, you probably think everything is hunky dory. Here's...
Russell Sampson Project Could Bring $5 Million in Road Fixes; If the Project's OK'd, the Money Should Fund Extra Lanes for County Road 210
Byline: lisa miller Like fries in a value meal, County Road 210 fixes are becoming a common side dish for new developments. The engineers behind a 300-home proposed project off Russell Sampson Road said this week they're planning $5 million worth...
Shekinah Christian Banned for Now; Insurance Coverage Is Cause of FHSAA Ruling; 10 Other Schools on List
Byline: CHASE GOODBREAD Shekinah Christian is on a list of schools that have been banned from participating in spring sports by the Florida High School Athletic Association, although Lions athletic director Tony Bannister said it will be removed...
Sometimes We Gain Much from Our Losses, No Matter How Painful
Byline: stephanie mccormack I now know death can sneak up on you in a blink of an eye. It happens in the most unexpected places and under the strangest circumstances. And, surprisingly, it can almost be gratifying. Don't get me wrong; I am...
Sports Extra
Byline: Scott Kendrick 2CENTS Not excited about the Jaguars' home schedule yet? Then there might be something wrong with you. It's a doozy, one that should inspire every football fan to start saving their pennies. Two Monday night home...
Spring Sales Haven't Sprung; the Nation's Retailers Didn't Find Much to Smile about in March, but See a Better Season Ahead
Byline: MARK BASCH Stein Mart Inc. Thursday issued another disappointing monthly sales report and lowered its earnings forecast for the first quarter. But the Jacksonville-based fashion retailer also expressed confidence in its future by declaring...
St. Johns Briefs
wgv easter egg hunt World Golf Village's 6th annual Easter Egg Hunt will take place beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday. The event will feature more than 10,000 plastic eggs filled with candy and prizes, an appearance from the Easter Bunny, bounce houses,...
Strong Economy Eases Budget Work; House and Senate Versions of the State Spending Plan Now Must Be Reconciled
Byline: J. TAYLOR RUSHING and MIKE GIMIGNANI TALLAHASSEE -- Competing visions of a 2006 Florida budget smoothly swept through a Legislature well-lubricated with new revenue Thursday, with millions of dollars in the balance for Northeast Florida's...
Students Help Transform Dump into Protected Marshland; Swiss Point and Gamble Rogers Middle Schools Take to the Muck for Project
Byline: terry brown "Man, this is really nasty," said Daniel Andujar as he slopped his way through the mud flats with a handful of marsh grass sprigs. Covered in the thick, dark goop, Andujar and fellow classmates from Switzerland Point Middle...
'Take the Lead' Glides along with Relative Ease; Antonio Banderas and Cast Make a Predictable Story Quite Likable
Byline: MATT SOERGEL It's hard to make an unenjoyable movie about ballroom dancing, with all those swoony/sexy moves on the big screen. Take the Lead proves that again. It's an utterly predictable story -- a dedicated teacher changes the lives...
Teen Star Finds Faults; No. 4 Seed Vaidisova Ousted in Third Round of Bausch & Lomb Event
Byline: JASON SCHNEIDER Nicole Vaidisova is supposed to be the next "it" girl on the WTA Tour. She's young, tall and blonde, her name ends in "ova," and she has a global marketing campaign with Reebok. But the 16-year-old Czech player didn't...
There's No Comparison to Katrina
Byline: Mark Woods The worst news of the week: Hurricane experts are predicting another bad season. Yes, believe it or not, it's almost that time again. Fifty-five days and counting. And while any year is a bad year to get hit by a hurricane,...
Town Trying to Track Down a Caboose for Its Depot; None of the Signature Rail Cars Has Been Made since 1981 and They Are Scarce
Byline: LEE SHEARER WINTERVILLE, Ga. -- Anybody know where there's a cheap caboose for sale? Jim Mercer would like to know. Mercer, the Winterville mayor, and George Chandler, the engineer for the Clarke County town, have been looking for...
T-YOU; Business TalkBack Do You Think Airline Service Stinks?
If there's one thing many people complain about, it's airport and airline customer service. From lost bags to cancelled flights -- or worse -- there always seems to be something that misses the mark. What do you think of airline service? Go to Jacksonville.com,...
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. ATL -- An enjoyable, unpretentious, well-acted...
T-YOU; Rants & Raves
ROWDY CELEBRATIONS AREN'T A JOKING MATTER As a parent of a UF student, I have closely followed the national title run of the Gators basketball team. It has been so exciting to watch all of those involved in the basketball program achieve such success...
What Falls below Lowbrow? Its Name Is 'Benchwarmers'; and Who Better to Play Total Losers Than Spade, Schneider and Heder?
Byline: MATT SOERGEL At the very end of the outtakes over the end credits of Benchwarmers, one character turns to another and says, "That was a complete waste of time, wasn't it?" Well, not really. Not if you're looking for booger jokes, flatulence...
Winn-Dixie, Creditors Tweaking Reorganization; Jacksonville-Based Grocer Willing to Delay Plan If It Means Final Outcome Will Be Smoother
Byline: MARK BASCH Attorneys for Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. and its creditors said Thursday that the two sides are making progress in their efforts to reach agreement on Winn-Dixie's Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan. And since the reorganization...
Wolfson Savors a Half-Point Victory; Wolfpack Boys, Girls Claim Gateway Titles
Byline: ZACHARY SPAIN It was a finish that Ron Brooks had never seen at the Gateway Conference track and field championships in his 27 years as Wolfson's boys coach. But it drew jubilant hopping and loud whooping from Wolfpack athletes, coaches...