The Florida Times Union

Articles from June 23, 2011

2011 Likely to Be Active Season for Hurricanes
Byline: Shakaya Andres Weather forecasters predict an active hurricane season this year, declaring 12 to 18 named storms. But local emergency management officials from Northeast Florida said as long as residents are prepared and have a plan, they...
5 Arrested after Walmart Robbery on 103rd
Jacksonville police arrested five suspects Tuesday in an armed robbery at the 103rd Street Walmart off Interstate 295. Three men walked into the business about 2 a.m. with one of them carrying a gun, the Sheriff's Office said. They forced the manager...
Abortion Opponents' Strategy: State Laws; 55 Bills Have Been Passed by Legislatures This Year, Including 5 in Florida
Byline: Matt Dixon This week, freshman U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio took his first foray into the choppy waters of Washington abortion politics. The Florida Republican introduced a familiar bill Tuesday that would outlaw taking a minor out of her home...
At 25, Mandarin Library Looks Backward, Forward; as a Community Magnet It Attracts the Young and Old
Byline: Sandy Strickland When the Mandarin branch library opened 25 years ago, it had so few hardback books that customers could check out only one at a time. "People would come up with these stacks of books and have to pick out just one," said...
Atlantic Beach Business Owner Wins $15,000; PostNet Selects Owner of Glass Specialists out of 244 Entries in Contest
Byline: David Bauerlein Kathryn Morris-Miller, owner of Glass Specialists in Atlantic Beach, didn't have high expectations when she entered a contest for $15,000 in cash and business services. Like many other small business owners, she's tried...
Best Bets
ARTunleashed to benefit spay and neuter program Statue art of dogs and cats by students from Atlantic Coast High School on the Southside and area artists Steve Williams, Jim Draper, Hillary Hogue and Adrian Pickett will be auctioned off today at...
Best Bets
Byline: Beth Reese Cravey Sheriff's Office to meet with Neighborhood Watch groups The Clay County Sheriff's Office Community Relations Section will hold its annual meeting at 7 p.m. today at Fleming Island High School. The community meeting is...
Braggin Rights
Kudos to these St. Johns County residents: ACADEMIC - Monye Ford, a fifth-grade student at Cunningham Creek Elementary School, was named Scholar of the Year by the Florida Foreign Language Association at the elementary level. - The St. Johns...
Briefs
UNION: NBA OWNERS DEMANDING TOO MUCH Union officials said NBA players and owners are about $7 billion apart over a 10-year span in their most recent proposals, a significant gap to close to avoid a work stoppage. Players' association executive...
Council to Decide on Residency; Will New City Workers Have to Live in Jacksonville?
Byline: Steve Patterson Saying they want to keep tax dollars close to home, Jacksonville City Council members may make new city workers live in Duval County. The council will vote Tuesday on a bill (2011-276) that would set residency requirements...
Coupon Queeny Wows These Shoppers
Byline: Rhonda Reese It's not every day that royalty spreads its riches, but it happened this month. Thanks to the efforts of Connie Darnall and Connie Stull, Coupon Queeny shared a wealth of information with those attending two couponing classes...
Defense: Fernandez Judge Has a Conflict; Fairness in 12-Year-Old's Case Questioned Because Husband Is Undersheriff
Byline: David Hunt Public Defender Matt Shirk said the judge presiding over a 12-year-old's first-degree murder case should recuse herself because of a conflict of interest. A written request on file at the Duval County Courthouse questions how...
Fishing Is Good despite the Smoke and Heat
Byline: Capt. Jim Johnson Nassau County did get some much needed rain this past week. Those of us on the coast didn't get too much, but we won't complain. The smoke from the forest fires has kept many of us off the water. Let's hope for a change...
Fishing Just Isn't at Its Best This Week
Byline: Jim Sutton The Intracoastal Waterway has been generally slow for both redfish and speckled sea trout. A couple of schools of reds are running up and down the spartina grass on the east side of the waterway from Guana River north to Pine...
Fleming Island Places Third in Class 5A
Byline: Brent Beaird Fleming Island High School, which opened in 2003, had the best sports year in its history over the past nine months. The school finished No. 3 in the overall Class 5A standing, according to information compiled by the Florida...
Former Arlington Resident Heads for a Job at the Pentagon; Navy Man Goes from Pearl Harbor to Chief of Naval Operations' Staff
Byline: Beth Reese Cravey A former Arlington resident, Navy Capt. Richard Kitchens, is on his way to a prestigious new job at the Pentagon after winning high praise for his stint as the first commander of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. At the...
Gas Superstores: Fill 'Er Up Here; New Locations Are Popping Up All over the Jacksonville Area
Byline: David Bauerlein The RaceTrac convenience store being constructed on Atlantic Boulevard near Art Museum Drive in Jacksonville has 20 - count 'em, 20 - slots for motorists to pull in for a fill-up. The superstore is part of RaceTrac's expansion...
Headmaster's Legacy Is Stronger School; Construction Projects and Tougher Standards Are Points of Pride
Byline: Beth Reese Cravey A new era is about to begin at St. Johns Country Day School. On June 3, Gregory Foster departed after six years as headmaster of Clay County's largest private school. He was the school's first new leader in 30 years...
Health Care; Cost Is the No. 1 Issue
The battle over national care is being waged over two different visions. The Democratic vision involves more government, more centralized control. It involves untested experiments and large cuts in physician reimbursements, cuts that normally...
It's Unanimous: Mustard Is Superb; Our Testers Loved It on Sandwiches, in Salad Dressings and in Recipes
Byline: Ann J. Kelley Superb, Superb, Superb! It's a rare occurrence when everyone on the Times-Union Consumer Panel agrees on a product, but this week all of them not only liked French's Dijon Mustard with Chardonnay but also gave it a five-star...
Jacksonville Economy Gets Bad Ranking; Brookings Institution Compares the City's Job and Housing-Value Losses to Other U.S. Cities
Byline: Kevin Turner Stubborn unemployment and dipping housing prices placed Jacksonville in the bottom 20 in economic performance in the first quarter when ranking the nation's 100 largest cities, according to a report released Wednesday. The...
Jones' Baseball Journey Continues with Mississippi; Two Home Runs in Series against Suns Highlight Center Fielder's Homecoming
Byline: Jeff Elliott For someone cut from his high school baseball team, Mycal Jones has made great strides. Jones, who attended Paxon for two years and Wolfson for two, returned to his hometown last week with the Mississippi Braves, who dropped...
JV Sports Teams Provide Good Training
Byline: Mark Boleky The possible sports cuts in Duval County are on a lot of people's minds. And some of those people want to do something about it. Mandarin High hosts a National Premier Soccer League game at 7 p.m. Saturday between the new...
Library's Summer Series Is All about Taking the Time to Read
Byline: Andrea Asuaje In Bartram Trail, reading doesn't stop when classrooms close up for the summer. Instead, reading expands to more than books when schools go on vacation. The Bartram Trail library branch, along with the rest of the Florida...
Open Mic Brings out Talent in People; Mandarin Library Event Helps Mark Its 25th Anniversary
Byline: Sandy Strickland The teen library coordinator juggled lacrosse balls. A 26-year-old did a routine with a lighted baton and flaring black cape. A 9-year-old dressed as a French beatnik did an interpretive dance A white-haired man...
Pain Doc Charged in Ga. Is Still at It; after Posting Bond for Felonies, Thorpe Returns to Work in Jacksonville
Byline: Kate Howard A Jacksonville doctor with a pain clinic in Savannah, Ga., was charged with two felonies related to prescribing medication in Georgia early this month. Shortly after posting $16,000 bond, Derek Beresford Thorpe returned to...
Police Briefs; Visitor Robbed in Arlington Apartment
Byline: Dan Scanlan A visit to see a friend at an Arlington apartment ended badly for a 22-year-old Atlantic Beach man June 15 when he was robbed at gunpoint, and hit with a shotgun in a complex at 3780 University Club Blvd. Then the gunmen stole...
Possible Property Tax Hike Worries Ponte Vedrans
Byline: Maggie FitzRoy PONTE VEDRA BEACH Residents expressed concerns about a potential increase in property tax rates at the Municipal Service District's June meeting, and another session to discuss taxes has been set for Monday, July 11. The...
Q&A with Isabel Balotin; Borscht Belt Days Reunite Old Friends
Byline: Sandy Strickland Isabel Balotin spends her work life as coordinator of the Jewish Federation's Shalom Jacksonville, which welcomes newcomers to Northeast Florida, including Clay County, and helps them make Jewish connections. But once a...
Q&A with Nina Sansus; Inspired by Grandpa, Virtuoso Has Spent a Life Living on Strings
Byline: Sandy Strickland Nina Sansus, 18, is a violin prodigy. As a third-grader, she played the "National Anthem" on her violin for an Atlantic Beach Veterans Day concert. In fourth grade, she was a soloist with the string orchestra at Pine Forest...
Rants & Raves
RAVE FOR TEACHER A rave for the letter from the retired exceptional education teacher exposing the unreasonable mandates and funding cuts that are destroying Florida's education system. Without such firsthand knowledge, the public is unaware of...
Retrial Pits Brother against Brother; Prosecutors Say Man Charged with Murder Asked Brother to Lie on Stand
Byline: David Hunt Prosecutors say a Jacksonville man wrote his brother a letter asking him to lie on the witness stand to help him beat a murder wrap. Problem is, the letter was intercepted from jail and became state's evidence as the retrial...
Sandwiches and Ginger Ale Worth the Walk through Heat and Smoke
Byline: Erica Burks Made in-house ginger ale, fresh, not sweet, and served with a real citrusy bite to it. If that cooling prospect during these hot and smoky times isn't enough to entice you to Olio in downtown Jacksonville, then nothing will....
Slain Woman's Love of Life Remembered; Family and Friends Mourn Death of 19-Year-Old Kalil McCoy
Byline: Jim Schoettler Kalil McCoy had just graduated from Andrew Jackson High School, was about to start a new job and couldn't wait for college. McCoy, 19, also had a love for music and dance that made her a star in the school band. And she...
Smoke Abates; Fires Still Raging; Funerals Set for 2 Firefighters Killed Battling the Blazes
Byline: Jeremy Cox A southwest wind is expected to provide some relief today in the Jacksonville area from the soupy, brownish haze that has triggered a record-tying number of air-quality advisories. Those winds should give a northward nudge...
Smoke Fails to Halt Fun for Bubba Gene
Byline: Terry Dickson Terry Dickson said he was going to drive north until he found some air fit to breathe. That was three days ago. We offer some correspondence from the Hon. Bubba Gene Hightower, mayor of Pond Scoggin, Ga. Dear Mr. Dickerson,...
Southside Nurse Has a Sierra Leone Adventure; the Stories of the People Keep Her Inspired
Byline: Jessica Mullendore Southside resident Katie Campbell spent 3 1/2 weeks in Sierra Leone, West Africa, this year, serving on the world's largest private hospital ship, Africa Mercy. The operating room nurse returned in April with inspirational...
State Pensions; Is a Pedestal Next for Unions in State?
Everybody understands that unions try to get the best possible financial deal for their members, regardless of the consequences. But, even given that, the Florida Education Association's lawsuit against the state is surprising. The Legislature,...
Study: Power Plant Too Expensive; Supporters of Proposed Coal-Fired Site Say the Report on Rates Is Faulty
Byline: Walter C. Jones ATLANTA Consumers would pay eight times more than necessary if a group of electric-membership cooperatives build a coal-fired power plant on the Oconee River south of Augusta, according to an independent analysis released...
Take Note of Plants That Continue to Thrive with Little Rain
Byline: beverly fleming Lack of rainfall means fewer flowers and shorter blooming periods. Traveling our local roadsides can still provide colorful experiences and gives us a hint of the hardiest of our state's perennial wildflowers. By keeping...
This Week on Tour; Woods Gets in Swing with Social Media
Byline: Garry Smits The Woods Watch continues. At least Tiger Woods is keeping everyone informed through social media. Woods used his Twitter account Wednesday to announce he would not play in the AT&T National next week in Philadelphia,...
Two Versatile Talents; Multi-Tasking Scantling Taking Skills to Georgia
Byline: Jeff Elliott He's talented in two sports, is one of the best all-around athletes in the area and wants to pave his own path. That sums up what makes Episcopal's Garrett Scantling one of Jacksonville's elite athletes and earned him honors...
Two Versatile Talents; Vandy-Bound Chandler Focuses on Balance
Byline: Jeff Elliott Elite performers in the classroom and in sports aren't referred to as athlete-student, but rather student-athlete. And that's the right order for Rebecca Chandler when it comes to her talent and skills in academics and athletics....
UGa Players Are Plentiful; Women's Western Amateur Features Five with Ties to Georgia
Byline: Garry Smits The college golf season ended more than a month ago. But the University of Georgia women's team, in a sense, begs to differ. Five players with Georgia ties competed this week in the Women's Western Amateur Championship at...
Wildfires Tax Resources, Keep Firefighters Busy; Significant Rain Will Be Needed to Finally Douse the Scattered Blazes
Byline: Shakaya Andres Dead shrubs and other vegetation lay charred, seemingly burnt out, along a dirt road west of U.S. 17 in Yulee after a wildfire had recently ravaged 3.5 acres there. Although flames weren't visible, the fire was still considered...
Winds Push Thick Smoke as Far East as St. Simons; Reinforcements Help out as 2 New Fires Break out in Ware, Charlton
Byline: Teresa Stepzinski Thick, brownish smoke and snow-white ash pushed by shifting afternoon winds Wednesday fueled residents' fears that two new fires in Ware and Charlton counties were making a run at containment lines plowed by Georgia Forestry...
Writing Workshops Keep Creativity Flowing
Byline: Nancy Bethea American writer, Ernest Hemingway once said, "We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master." At this point in my life, I've done several types of writing - fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama. The...
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