The Florida Times Union

Articles from June 20, 2009

Around the County
ARTIFICIAL REEFS COMING TO MICKLER'S LANDING A project to seed the ocean floor with artificial reefs should return to Northeast Florida this summer. Nearly 700 tons of concrete is scheduled by August to be dropped into the 60-foot-deep waters...
Athletes of Various Sports, Range Show off Their Talents
Byline: Brian Kosoy From triathletes and road runners to star seniors and Little Leaguers, Beaches athletes have turned in some impressive performances. Here are this week's top performers and events: - Triathlon results: The second race of the...
Baby Quail Teach Students Life Cycle
Byline: BETH REESE CRAVEY Just like the RideOut Elementary students gently handling them, the newborn quail chicks had distinctly different personalities. One of the chicks was shy and quivering, hardly taking a step. Another jumped from a...
BEST PLACES; No Place like Home
Northeast Florida is a beautiful place. The proof comes with the great number and variety of beautiful and inspiring places nominated by our readers. A Web site, stoodthere.com, is collecting nominations nationwide, such as Niagara Falls or the...
Boating Industry Treads Water through Tough Times
Byline: CHRISTY WHITEHEAD As the mercury goes up, typically so do the number of people looking to buy a boat or hit the waterways, but not this year. Along Lake Shore Boulevard and Lakeside Drive in the Ortega area are nearly a dozen marinas,...
Braggin' Rights
Here are highlights from residents in Riverside, Avondale, Ortega and surrounding neighborhoods: ACADEMIC - Peter Francis Anderson graduated May 10 from The University of the South, known as Sewanee for its location in Tennessee, with a Bachelor's...
'Bright' Students Now Will Pay More; the State's Budget Crunch, Coupled with Rising Tuition, Increases the Cost of College
Byline: ADAM AASEN For the first time ever, all Bright Futures scholars will have to dig into their own pockets or find other ways to pay university tuition this fall. The starved state budget led legislators to change Florida's merit-based scholarship...
Business Briefs; Nice Music Celebrates 61st Year with Move to New Building
Byline: DEBRA W. BUEHN Now in its 61st year of business, Nice Music has moved to some brand new digs. The new, 4,200-square-foot shop at 1580 Wells Road, Suite 31, in the Wells Crossing shopping center may be smaller, but has other attributes...
Cat Lover's Efforts Couldn't Save Colony; He Got Them Neutered and Vaccinated, but They Ended Up Being Trapped and Put Down
Byline: CAREN BURMEISTER JACKSONVILLE BEACH - A good-hearted animal lover has learned a tough lesson about trying to care for a colony of homeless cats. Bob Merrick thought he was doing the right thing by feeding, then spaying and neutering,...
Clark's Fish Camp Owner Finds Gator Hiding in the Building; the Gator Came in with Flooding from a Nor'easter, High Tide
Byline: DAN SCANLAN You expect to find some alligator on the menu at Mandarin's venerable Clark's Fish Camp - fried gator tail and gator sausage. And there's even a stuffed gator among the wildlife in the eatery at the end of Hood Landing Road,...
Clay School Helps Sick Student
Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND and MARY MARAGHY The generosity of the staff at Coppergate Elementary School in Middleburg has overwhelmed James and Stace Shortley and their 11-year-old daughter, Sloane, who was homebound this school year battling lupus...
Clay's Dunning Hoping for a Giant Chance after MLB Draft
Byline: Brent Beaird To our readers: We published Brent Beaird's photo with Bob Buehn's Sporting Clay column in the June 13 My Clay Sun. Sorry, Bob. We can assure you that the photo with this column is of Brent. Jake Dunning, a Clay High graduate,...
Clay Tax Collector Warns of Increases in Fees for Licences, Tags and Permits
Byline: BETH REESE CRAVEY Fees for numerous state permits issued by the Clay County Tax Collector's Office, such as driver's licenses and vehicle registrations, will substantially increase by Sept. 1. Tax Collector Jimmy Weeks delivered that...
Cold Noses; Pets of the Week
Each Saturday, the Times-Union's pet blog, Cold Noses, is featuring pets available for adoption at area shelters. For more information, go to jacksonville.com, search term: Cold Noses. Lots of people want kittens, but older cats are more frequently...
Court Exhibit Highlights Local Cases; the Display Documents Major Legal Decisions Made in Jacksonville
Byline: JESSIE-LYNNE KERR "Liberty and Justice for All," an exhibit detailing more than a half-dozen of the most significant legal cases decided in Jacksonville federal courts, opened Friday at the Bryan Simpson District Courthouse facing Hemming...
Deer in Mandarin Neighborhood Gives One Family a Surprise; It Ran into Their Open Garage before It Fled into Another Yard
Byline: DAN SCANLAN Mandarin Road residents may want to be on the lookout for a deer in the headlights, after a deer ended up in one family's garage early Sunday. The deer bounded off after a face-to-face meeting with a 19-year-old man who walked...
Despite Rainy Weather, City Campout Proves to Be a Success
Byline: Rhonda Reese It began with a thunderous bang, lightning and an hour-long rainstorm, but the Great Jacksonville Campout was a success. Held at Losco Regional Park on Hood Road South in Mandarin, the fun-filled afternoon and overnight event...
Difference Maker
Donna Hale took on an adventure of a job when she became president of the PTO for Liberty Pines Academy. But the first-year school shone, and she couldn't be prouder of the work her colleagues put in. How was your experience with the Liberty Pines...
Duval Launches Effort to Fight Youth Obesity; Some of the Initiatives Would Be Low-Cost, but Others Would Need Funds
Byline: JEREMY COX Duval County health care advocates have released a broad list of proposals ranging from expanding the sidewalk network to providing tax incentives to grocers who sell healthy foods. Their goal: shrinking children's waistlines....
Enjoy a Little Bit of Soul; Kia's Edgy Compact Hatchback Packs Lots of Fun into Small Box
Byline: DAN SCANLAN It's just a little bit of Soul, wrapped in a box for compact car folks who passed on the Honda Element and Scion xB. Kia calls its new 2010 Kia Soul an urban passenger vehicle, shaped by its Southern California design team...
Excessive Rain Can Stress Lawns; Most of the Problems Are Manageable; Here Are Common Symptoms
Byline: TERRY BRITE DELVALLE Feast or famine seems to be the mode for rainfall in our area. Excessive rain from recent storms has stressed area lawns. Callers describe either thinning lawns with dead patches or lawns that are off-color. Others...
Fernandina Beach Is Best Place to Celebrate the 4th of July
Byline: Chuck Hall Wow... You simply must come to town for Independence Day. Celebrate with your family and join your neighbors and friends at the Stars and Stripes Freedom Festival in Fernandina Beach's Central Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday,...
Film Project a Teaching Experience; Westside Teacher Gets His Terry Parker Students Involved
Byline: SADIE SEAL Westside resident Steve Charlton, a Terry Parker High School TV production teacher and class of '88 graduate, gave his students a new educational experience with the help of the 48-Hour Film Project. But the film they made...
Georgia Briefs
ATLANTA MAN CONVICTED OF PIMPING COUSIN, 16 ATLANTA - A 26-year-old Atlanta man has been convicted of taking his 16-year-old first cousin to Metropolitan Parkway for prostitution. Zaccheus Obie will be sentenced on Wednesday for one count of...
Get Your Lines in the Water Early to Beat Weekend Heat
Byline: Capt. Jim Johnson Hot weather and light winds out of the southwest are predicted for this weekend. Local anglers will enjoy excellent fishing offshore at the reefs and wrecks, and in the surf, backcountry and around the jetties. I would...
HEAL Helps Autistic Kids Have Fun; the Organization Is Sponsoring Various Camps to Teach Them Surfing, Filmmaking and More
Byline: MAGGIE FITZROY Thirteen-year-old Gentry Groshell can't talk, but she has zest and the athletic energy of five kids her age combined. On summer days, she keeps busy walking the beach, going for tandem bike rides, touring her Jacksonville...
Help Still Needed to Move a Piece of Mandarin's History; It's Expected to Cost $50,000 to Move the Historic Schoolhouse
Byline: DAN SCANLAN The arithmetic is working when it comes to plans to relocate a 600-square-foot piece of Mandarin's educational history to a new home at Walter Jones Historic Park. But the Mandarin Museum and Historical Society still needs...
Include Your Trees in Preparing for Hurricane Season
Byline: Candace Bridgewater Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika and Fred - chances are, at least one of these names will cause you some anxiety in the next 163 days. They are the first six names chosen for storms in the 2009 hurricane season, which...
Jacksonville Children's Clinic Opens New Facility; the 15,000-Square-Foot Center Is Home to the Camp for Those with Developmental Delays
Byline: JESSIE-LYNNE KERR Hope Haven Children's Clinic and Family Center opened its summer camps and programs this week in a new facility that one veteran camper calls "cool." Ethan Kolster, 10, is attending the summer academic camp for the third...
Late Blooming Runner Doesn't Let Age Stand in Her Way
Byline: Mark Boleky A little more than 20 years ago, Ann Krause had stopped smoking and wanted a way to keep the weight off. Her sister recommended she start running. Krause got hooked, but it wasn't until she moved to Jacksonville from Detroit...
Law & Disorder; Man Charged with Child Neglect, DUI, Hit-and-Run
A Keystone Heights man faces a litany of charges after police said he drove drunk, struck a motorcyclist with his car, fled that scene, and left a 2-year-old child unsecured in his unlocked, idling vehicle while he went into a store. Police said he...
Little Bear Brings out Our Area's Big Heart
Byline: Beverly Fleming Almost everyone can remember back to when they were a child and had a teddy bear or other stuffed animal that was their absolute favorite. It was the one they slept with, the friend they shared their playtime with and the...
LONG LINES AT APPLE STORE; New iPhone 3G S Creates a Stir Some Say It's Just an Upgrade, Not a New Version, but Customers Were Waiting
Byline: JAMES CANNON The newest iPhone went on sale Friday, and was welcomed with considerably less fanfare than its previous opening days. About 75 people waited at the Apple store at the St. Johns Town Center when it opened at 6 a.m. Although...
Mandarin Man Hopes for Success in Local Film Project
Byline: HEATHER FUREY From making films to starting a film production company, director, producer and Mandarin resident Anthony Kilburn has made a name for himself at the 48-Hour Film Project. "I look at film as an art," Kilburn said. "If you're...
Mandarin Shoppers Get Thrifty by Buying on Consignment; Business at the Shops Is Doing Well, despite the Still-Slow Economy
Byline: JOSEPH BANETH ALLEN Audrey Agnew was a bit worried in January when she noticed even penny-pinchers were keeping tighter reins on their pocketbooks. It was the first real lull in steady business Agnew has experienced since opening Down...
Mandarinsun.Jacksonville.Com
BLOGS MANDARIN COMMUNITY CLUB MEMBERSHIP DRIVE CONTINUES The 2009 membership drive for the Mandarin Community Club will continue through the summer months. Membership is open to and encouraged of all area residents although one does not need...
Man Hopes "Sketchy" Film Does Well in Competition
Byline: CHARLES BROWARD In the filmmaking world, 48 hours might be just enough time for a fight scene lasting less than a minute to be shot. For Orange Park resident Keith Hutchison and his film team, Hutch's Heroes-Part Deux, 48 hours was all...
Mayport Residents Upset over Port Authority's Fence
Byline: DREW DIXON MAYPORT - A remnant of the Jacksonville Port Authority's abandoned plan to build a cruise ship terminal has some Mayport residents upset at what they call blight. A stretch of chain link fence topped with barbed wire lines...
McIntosh County Purchases 4 Used Patrol Cars for Police; the Vehicles Need Some Work but Save Government More Than $20,000 Each
Byline: MIKE MORRISON McIntosh County recently picked up four used police cars at the bargain price of $300 each. Another $1,200 or so must be spent on each one, however, before they're ready for street use, County Manager Luther Smart said....
Military Schools See Applicant surgeLocal Figures Also See Rise in Inquiries; Recession Has Helped Drive Recruitment, Retention, Desire to Join
Byline: BRIAN WITTE ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Applications have surged at the nation's three top military academies as tough economic times coincide with stepped-up recruiting efforts by the Army, Navy and Air Force schools, making the prospect of free college...
Morning Briefs
PHH CORP. PRESIDENT, CEO RESIGNS POSITIONS After losing his seat on the board of directors in a proxy fight last week, PHH Corp. President and CEO Terry Edwards has resigned, the company said Friday. Edwards and Chairman A.B. Krongard were defeated...
Morrison Has Happy Return as Jacksonville Tops Mobile; Back from a Broken Thumb, He Sparks the Suns with a Home Run
Byline: JEFF ELLIOTT Logan Morrison is back with the Jacksonville Suns and ready to take on new challenges. Morrison who missed 55 games this season because of a fractured thumb, had two hits, including his second home run of the season, to power...
Musician Landed in Jacksonville after College and Loves It; Claudia Minch Has Enjoyed Her 30 Years in the City's Symphony Orchestra
Byline: MARY MARAGHY Claudia Minch of Avondale is in a sweet position for a musician. "I can't picture a life without music," said Minch, who for 30 years has been an oboe/English horn player in the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra - a supreme...
'My Brother's Not a Beast'; Sisters Defend Suspect Arrested at Motel after 28-Hour Manhunt
Byline: JIM SCHOETTLER Shannon Ryles said the Jacksonville man arrested Friday evening in Thursday's fatal shooting of a Wendy's co-worker is not the brother she knew. Ryles knew Thomas Brown as a man trying to turn his life around after serving...
NCAA, FSU Show Arrogance
Byline: GENE FRENETTE Nothing about the prolonged dispute between the NCAA Committee on Infractions and Florida State, arguing over a fair punishment for an academic scandal involving 61 athletes, is presenting either side in the best light. ...
Neptune Won't Get Boost from Stimulus; the City Had Hoped to Get at Least $10 Million in Federal Funding for Various Projects
Byline: DREW DIXON NEPTUNE BEACH - With federal stimulus funding boosting local government projects across the nation, Mayor Harriet Pruette is angry her city is being passed over. "I am very disappointed. It seems like the smaller you are, the...
New College Grads Boost Jobless Rate; Florida Level Highest since 1975
Byline: MARK BASCH Jacksonville's jobless rate reached its highest level of the current recession last month, as new college grads looking for work increased the ranks of the unemployed. The unemployment rate in the Jacksonville metropolitan...
Northside Native Rides Skateboard to Success; He Returned to Jacksonville after Going Pro in California but Still Pokes Fun at the Image-Conscious Counterculture
Byline: MATT SOERGEL Clyde Singleton says that when he was young he did a lot of stupid stuff, and that doesn't even count the time he cut his Afro into a flattop and dyed it blond. He imitates his earlier self, adopting a high squeaky voice:...
Notebook; St. Johns Avenue Closed Today for 'Dancing in the Streets'
Byline: MARY MARAGHY "Dancing in the Streets" in Avondale will feature a live band, wine, beer and a children's bike-decorating contest. Two blocks of the business corridor of St. Johns Avenue in Avondale will be closed off to traffic during...
Not the Same Old Song and Dance
INTERDISCIPLINARY Sea, Shore, Shrimp and Slime Summer Camp The St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum is hosting a summer program that focuses on marine science and recreation. The camp is divided into three separate weeks in which kids ages 6-9...
Phil Mays Says He Is Available to District; Appointed Commissioner Disputes Claims He's Been Unreachable
Byline: SHAKAYA ANDRES PONTE VEDRA BEACH - St. Johns County Commissioner Phil Mays, who's sitting in for a suspended commissioner who is awaiting trial, said this week he's surprised people have said he's unreachable. "I'm aware of the issues...
Planning for Hurricane Season? You Need to Know This; Here's Some Information That Could Help If a Storm Comes Here
Hurricane season for 2009 runs through Nov. 30. Here is some Clay County-specific information, from the county's Division of Emergency Management Web site, for residents to keep handy: SHELTERS - Specific shelter openings will be announced according...
Police Briefs; Delivery Man Calls Customer, Gets Robbed at Gun Point
Byline: DAN SCANLAN The Domino's pizza delivery man showed up with the food June 13, but couldn't find the customer at the home in the 800 block of Grace Circle West. So he called the customer and asked where he was. "I am right here" came...
Police Briefs; Jeep Owner in Atlantic Reports His Soft Convertible Top Stolen
The following is a compilation of reports from Beaches-area police departments: ATLANTIC BEACH - A soft convertible top to a Jeep was stolen about 1:30 a.m. Monday in the 500 block of Cruiser Lane. The owner, who had folded the convertible's...
Police News; Attempted Assault with Golf Club Ends in Arrest
Byline: DAN SCANLAN A 42-year-old Mandarin man was arrested late Sunday on a charge of aggravated assault after someone tried to hit a 23-year-old woman in the head with a golf club in the 3700 block of North Ride Drive, police said. It took...
PR Expert: Twitter Your Way to Success; Conference Focuses on How to Make Social Media Work Best for a Company
Byline: JAMES CANNON Jacksonville public relations specialists are all atwitter over Web 3.0. The North Florida Public Relations Society of America met Friday at the Omni Jacksonville Hotel downtown for its annual PRville conference on the uses...
PVCA Asks for Police Protection to Stay as Is; Sheriff's Department Wants More Money to Continue Present 24/7 Coverage
Byline: SHAKAYA ANDRES PONTE VEDRA BEACH - Faced with the options of paying more for continued extra police patrols or having fewer patrols, a community group said this week the Municipal Service District should pay to keep its current coverage...
Q/A BOBBIE O'CONNOR; OneJax Promotes Respect, Understanding among Differences
Byline: MARY MARAGHY The Sun spoke with Bobbie O'Connor, an Arlington psychotherapist, who three years ago became the director of OneJax, a nonprofit, interfaith organization in Five Points that promotes respect and understanding among different...
Q/A DANYEN KOMOREK; Commission Praises Trooper for Saving Driver's Life
Byline: HEATHER LOVEJOY It wasn't just a normal day, but Danyen Komorek, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper for 10 years, didn't really show it. Only her wet uniform gave it away. Chief Chuck Cooper of Nassau County Fire Rescue said he saw Komorek...
Rabbis Respond to Museum Shooting; They Say Many Lessons Can Come from Events at Holocaust Museum
Byline: DAN SCANLAN A June 10 shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. ended with a security guard dead and an 88-year-old white supremacist under arrest. But when the shock over the incident at a place that honors the...
Red Cross' Babysitting Boot Camp Is Rigorous; Youngsters Get Instruction on Caring for Younger Children in Emergencies
Byline: MARY MARAGHY William Gerwe, 13, was a bit uncomfortable when he discovered he was one of only two male students in a classroom filled with 32 girls. But by day two, he was cool with it. William, of St. Johns County, was among 34 campers...
Rutherford Says No to Citizen Review Board; Black Community Leaders Renew Push after Recent Spate of Police Shootings
Byline: MATT GALNOR Despite a renewed push from some leaders in the black community, Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford said Friday he would not agree to a citizen review board or placing an independent member on the internal panel that reviews...
Sermon for Moms Led to Woman's Push for Father's Day
Byline: Jackie Rooney On Sunday, my spouse, the Binmeister, will get a Father's Day card from his cat. The motivation isn't just revenge over the fact that the father of my children slipped a cog and forgot Mother's Day. You know that's asking for...
Shoppers Find Deals at Church's Tailgate Market; First Christian Church of Mandarin Plans to Make the Sale a Regular Community Event
Byline: RHONDA REESE Eula Mae Teaston and Cathy Coleman were on their way to a hairstyle show in Orlando when they saw it. Jackie Smith was out doing some morning errands when she spotted the commotion. Stewart Paxton of the Westside was visiting...
St. Johns Leads State FCAT Grades; the Biggest Decrease Statewide Was at the High School Level
Byline: MAGGIE FITZROY and CAREN BURMEISTER Even though Nease High School dropped to a B after getting A's repeatedly in recent years, St. Johns County led the state in Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test school grades released Thursday. Ponte...
Teachers Get Close Look at Naval Air Station; the Jacksonville NAS Visits Will Be Included in Next Year's Lesson Plans
Byline: TIMOTHY J. GIBBONS Russel Henderlite doesn't have a pilot's license - but he can tell you how a plane flies. More importantly, he can explain to a high school student why knowing how a plane flies is an important thing to learn. "I...
Trail Will Bring Old Times to Nocatee-Area Travelers
Byline: SHAKAYA ANDRES It will be like "Old Florida" as it appeared to explorers and Native Americans. People will be able to walk, jog, bicycle or horseback ride through the pristine area when it's complete. Now that St. Johns County officials...
T-U 2
KYLE IS CAREFUL Kansas City Royals reliever Kyle Farnsworth (above) has a bandage on his left hand after breaking up a fight between his pet bulldogs. Fortunately, he throws right-handed. USGA IS REACHING OUT TO VIRTUAL AUDIENCE A day after...
Wet Leaves, Direct Sunlight a Bad Combo for Begonias
Byline: TOM BRUTON I love tuberous begonias but have had trouble in the past growing them. They mildew on me. Can you help me? Begonias (Begonia x tuberhybrida) can be grown in containers, indoors or out. The leaves don't like to get wet, which...
William G. Stroop; New to Town, Priest Left His Mark
Byline: DEBRA W. BUEHN Although he had been in town only a short time, the new rector of St. Mary's Episcopal Church was already making his mark on Green Cove Springs when he unexpectedly passed away this week. The funeral is 10 a.m. today at...