The Florida Times Union

Articles from February 7, 2004

87-Year-Old Performing a Concert
Byline: Sandy Strickland, Staff writer At 87, Marie Parker would rather be tickling the ivories than sitting in a rocking chair. And you'll find her playing and practicing every chance she gets -- even at midnight. The Mandarin resident, formerly...
8 County Football Players Sign on with Division I Teams
Byline: Stephen Kindland, Clay County Line sports writer Four Clay High School athletes made history Wednesday morning in front of 1,000 students when they signed Division I football scholarships at four different colleges. The four signees joined...
Against All Odds, a Lifesaver Arrives; Callahan: Woman Who Gave Kidney and Man Who Needed It Both Credit God for Helping
Byline: Amelia A. Hart, Nassau Neighbors staff writer When Ken Bass of Callahan learned he needed a kidney transplant, a twist of fate brought him Doris Smith. Smith, of west Jacksonville, says God simply put her in the right place at the right...
Attitude Adjustment; Zook Says Fedora's Personality Best Fits Florida's Offensive Philosophy
Byline: Michael DiRocco, The Times-Union The major change Florida coach Ron Zook made to his coaching staff Thursday will result in very minor differences in the Gators' offense in 2004. Zook said Larry Fedora, promoted from perimeter game coordinator...
Beaches Expect Boom in Super Bowl Rentals; Coastal Demand Expected to Be High
Byline: Drew Dixon, Shorelines staff writer Now that the eyes of the football world are starting to focus on the First Coast as the Super Bowl is headed this way, Beaches area residents' thoughts of leasing out their homes to visiting fans are taking...
BOYS BASKETBALL; Raines, Ribault to Meet Again Vikings Overpower White, and Trojans Hold off Sandalwood to Set Up Tonight's Gateway Final
Byline: JEFF ELLIOTT, The Times-Union The fourth matchup of the year between Northside rivals Raines and Ribault takes place tonight (7:30) when the Class 4A powers meet in the championship game of the Gateway Conference Tournament at the UNF Arena....
Briefly
Byline: Dan Scanlan, Staff writer ROTARY HONORS PERRY The Rotary Club of South Jacksonville presented its 2004 Frank W. Sherman Award to Robert Perry on Jan. 27 at its weekly meeting at the Radisson Riverwalk Hotel. The award recognizes a Rotarian...
Camden Delays Vote on Animal Shelter; Humane Society Gets Time to Suggest Cuts
Byline: Gordon Jackson, The Times-Union WOODBINE -- Camden County commissioners tabled a vote Thursday night to create a new animal shelter to house animals from unincorporated areas outside city limits. The issue will be discussed again at the...
City Officials to Run for Each Other's Seat
Byline: Anne Sponholtz, County Line correspondent Although two people who are on the Keystone Heights City Council will be running for office, no incumbents are in the race. That is because Mayor Archie Green, who has reached the term limits as...
City Takes First Step to Redeveloping Waterfront; Fernandina Beach: Study Finds Worst-Off Areas
Byline: Alison Trinidad, Nassau Neighbors staff writer A University of Florida study has identified "slum" and "blighted" areas along the Amelia River waterfront in Fernandina Beach, which experts say makes the area ideal for redevelopment. Rhonda...
Clay Considers Taxes on Growth; Development in Branan Field Area Could Soon Demand More Then Government Can Afford
Byline: NIN-HAI TSENG, The Times-Union MIDDLEBURG -- Months ago, homes plotted for the WhisperCreek subdivision existed merely on paper. Today, the newest signs of growth along Clay County's Branan Field-Chaffee Road have sprung into view, as model...
Coast Lines
MURDER CHARGE DISMISSED AGAINST WAYCROSS MAN A Waycross man was freed this week after a judge dismissed a murder charge against him. Octavia Armstrong was released after Ware County Chief Magistrate Lawton Taylor ruled there was insufficient...
Controversy Dogs Baldwin Police Chief; Former Boss Now Suing Turcotte Once Wrote Him a Glowing Recommendation
Byline: Jim Schoettler, The Times-Union As his first week in office ended Friday, all Baldwin Police Chief Guy Turcotte could hope for was a new beginning. He said he waits for the day to no longer hear former chief Harvey Branch's name at every...
Convict Seeking Reversal; He's Serving 50-Year Sentence in '97 Crash
Byline: R. Michael Anderson, County Line staff writer In August 1998 a jury found 32-year-old Gene W. Higginbotham Jr. guilty of drunken driving and manslaughter in a crash that killed four people a year earlier at an intersection on Blanding Boulevard...
'Core City' Name on the Chopping Block; 'Old Atlantic Beach' Could Replace It
Byline: Christopher F. Aguilar, Shorelines staff writer Atlantic Beach's historic district, commonly known as the core city, could be renamed Old Atlantic Beach if the City Commission goes ahead with the proposal this month. "Core city is a term...
Council Unhappily Reverses 2 Fee Increases
Byline: Mary Maraghy, County Line staff writer Because of a legal threat and an oversight, the Orange Park Town Council backtracked on some past legislation Tuesday night, to the chagrin of a couple of council members and the planning and zoning...
Deputy Suspended after Drunken Driving Arrest
Byline: R. Michael Anderson, County Line staff writer An off-duty Clay County officer was arrested for drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident after hitting two mailboxes in his Orange Park neighborhood after his return home from watching...
Empowerment Center Looks for Additional Funds
Byline: John Carter, Staff writer You might say he's trying to stick to his guns to improve the quality of life in some Northside communities. The Rev. John E. Guns, charismatic leader of the St. Paul Community Empowerment Center, recently held...
Exhibit Explores Coded Quilts -- Were They Used by Slaves? Possibly Used as Underground Railroad Map
Byline: Amelia A. Hart, Nassau Neighbors staff writer A quilt made by a Nassau County woman and her friend is the colorful centerpiece of an exhibit this month at the Florida Community College at Jacksonville's Betty P. Cook Nassau Center. The...
'Exposure' Not New for TV
Byline: Lamar Thames, Clay County Line general manager I remember gathering around the small black and white television set at my grandmother's house in Reddick one Sunday evening many years ago, awaiting the start of The Ed Sullivan Show. Television...
Father's Influence Pays Off
Byline: Tonyaa Weathersbee, Times-Union columnist When Javier Garcia was a child, he never quite got why his father was always so persnickety about the way to slice a piece of ham. "I'd ask how big [to slice it], and he'd tell me to make it 3...
French Student Pitches in to Help Relay for Life
Byline: Mary Maraghy, County Line staff writer As Clay County folks field teams for the upcoming Relays for Life, one teenager should win a diversity recruitment award, if there was such a thing. Relay for Life is an all-night camp-out walk-a-thon...
Group Seeks Solution to Illegal Dumping
Byline: R. Michael Anderson, County Line staff writer A constant problem with people illegally dumping trash in a neighborhood near Keystone Heights will be the main topic of discussion during a meeting of the Highridge Estates Homeowners Association...
HEALTH CARE; the Front Lines
So, government makes sense? Then someone should explain why taxpayers are shelling out millions to buy Viagra for guys who want to have fun, while the state's trauma centers, which save lives daily, are dwindling away for lack of funds. Trauma centers...
He Donates Blood -- 60 Gallons So Far
Byline: Sandy Strickland, Times-Union staff writer For a man not overly fond of needles, Dean Willis has rolled up his sleeve and voluntarily given blood at a level rarely seen in Jacksonville. This week, Willis reached the Florida Georgia Blood...
High-Tech for Real World; 2004 Toyota Prius Offers Big-Car Amenities, Plus Decent Performance
Byline: Dan Scanlan, Times-Union staff writer We cruised slowly through the historic part of St. Augustine Halloween weekend like a ghost ship in the night, our 2004 Toyota Prius' progress on the cobbled streets almost silent bar the slight slap...
Historical Society Hopes Buyer for Billard House Can Be Found
Byline: Dan Scanlan, Staff writer Members of Mandarin's historical society are asking the Mandarin Community Club to sell a 114-year-old wooden home it owns at 11643 Brady Road to someone who can renovate it. The community club has decided to demolish...
History Rising from the Muck; 150-Year-Old Oyster Pried Loose for Study
Byline: Maggie FitzRoy, Shorelines staff writer A hundred and fifty years or so ago, a 33-foot single-masted sloop sailed up and down the Tolomato River. Oystermen toiled beneath its two sails, trolling the waters off what would one day be the Intracoastal...
Imagination Used as Teacher; Waldorf Program Unique
Byline: Maggie FitzRoy, Shorelines staff writer Four-year-old Katie Marshall was finished with blue. Now she was about to tackle yellow. She dipped her paintbrush into some yellow paint, swept the brush across the paper in front of her, then smiled....
Impact Fees Lag, Expert Tells City; Fernandina Beach to Make Changes
Byline: Alison Trinidad, Nassau Neighbors staff writer Fernandina Beach impact fees are about seven times lower than the state average, a land-use management consultant told city commissioners this week. But that might not be for long. City...
In Golf
A small group participated Jan. 28 in the Wednesday blitz at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club, with 51 men teeing off. Woody Kallas shot an 82, good for plus 7 points, to take individual honors. First place, at plus 5, went to the team of Dave...
'I Teach Because I Love It'; Elementary Teacher Wins Clay Honors
Byline: Beth Reese Cravey, County Line staff writer When Brenda Lorentzson entered the W.E. Cherry Elementary School cafeteria Wednesday, a student who was already well into her lunch looked up, saw the newly famous teacher and excitedly pointed...
Jacksonville Beach Approves Contract for 43-Acre Preserve
Byline: Caren Burmeister, Shorelines staff writer Cradle Creek Preserve, 43 acres of sawgrass and wooded uplands west of the Plantation Oaks subdivision in Jacksonville Beach, will offer wooden boardwalks, observation areas and a canoe landing when...
Jacksonville Journal
LARNELLE HARRIS EVENING CONCERT CANCELED A concert by Larnelle Harris scheduled for tonight at the University of North Florida has been canceled. The show has not been rescheduled. For more information, call (904) 620-2878. REGIONALS NEXT...
JU Knows Way around Mound; Experienced Pitching Staff Is 'A Little Cocky' Heading into Season Opener Today
Byline: ALEX ABRAMS, The Times-Union Jacksonville University pitching coach Les Wright knows exactly what kind of staff he's got. "They're a little cocky, there is no doubt about it," Wright said, cracking a smile. ". . . They don't think people...
LABOR; Root Causes
Choosing the most destructive piece of legislation from the New Deal would be a difficult task, but the National Labor Relations Act has to be a contender. It was, and was intended to be, a setback for capitalism, and its effects linger today. Until...
Last-Place Lakeland Beats Barracudas 4-2; Jacksonville Coach Duguay Says He Could See the Defeat Coming
Byline: JASON SCHNEIDER, The Times-Union One of the teams in Friday night's Jacksonville Barracudas-Lakeland Loggerheads game is in first place of the WHA2, and the other is in last. A quick glance at the league standings shows that it's the...
Let's Cheer a Spell for Yulee Teen
Byline: Derek Kinner, Nassau Neighbors editor Let's start off with some good stuff today. Then we can talk about Amelia Island traffic, again. Congratulations to our newest, best young speller in Nassau County. Justin Nipper, a 14-year-old,...
Love, Marriage and the Silken Dangers of Valentine's Day
Byline: Jackie Rooney, Shorelines columnist Valentine's Day is a week away, and the Rooney Bin is ready! A few weeks ago my true love came home proud that he'd purchased an early Valentine card, but romance actually has been in the air since Christmas,...
Man Facing Charges after Motel Incident
Byline: Dan Scanlan, Staff writer A 40-year-old Northside man who beat a woman unconscious, ripped a toilet out of the floor and jumped through a window at a Southside motel early Jan. 31 is in jail, charged with aggravated battery, criminal mischief...
Morning Briefs
MOODY'S LOWERS WINN-DIXIE RATING; OUTLOOK NEGATIVE Moody's Investment Service downgraded its debt rating for Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. notes and placed the ratings on a negative outlook following the company's earnings report and announcement this...
Music for the High-Strung; Great Guitar Gathering Students Get a Chance to Strum with the Pros
Byline: JENNIFER CHILDRESS, Staff writer A low murmur could be heard across the classroom where 28 high school students sat tuning their guitars. The strumming and picking were interrupted only by the occasional exclamation. "Does someone have...
Nease Faces Strain of Overflow from Bartram Trail
Byline: Drew Dixon, Shorelines staff writer The student population at Nease High School will probably get a big increase next fall, primarily because of overcrowding at the new Bartram Trail High in the Julington Creek area, officials said this...
Neptune Beach Considers Moratorium on Signage
Byline: Christopher F. Aguilar, Shorelines staff writer To stop new signs mounted on poles from springing up across Neptune Beach's commercial areas, the City Council will explore issuing a moratorium on those types of signs while revamping its...
New Bar Association Leaders Start; President Touts Legal System of County, Nation
Byline: R. Michael Anderson, County Line staff writer The Orange Park law firm of Kopelousos and Bradley now holds the top two leadership positions in the Clay County Bar Association. Rob Bradley, a partner in the firm with founder John Kopelousos,...
New Girl Scout Camp, Center in the Planning
Byline: Mary Maraghy, County Line staff writer Plans were recently unveiled for a new 225-acre camp and program center for North Florida Girl Scouts to be built on a bluff overlooking the north fork of Black Creek in Middleburg. "We are thrilled...
New Kings Road Bridge OK'd by Neptune Beach
Byline: Christopher F. Aguilar, Shorelines staff writer The Kings Road bridge, an aging timber structure, will be replaced with a low-maintenance concrete bridge since the Neptune Beach City Council approved a contract Monday with a Jacksonville-based...
New Law Would Allow Free Copy of Credit Report
Byline: Mike Clark, Times-Union Reader Advocate Dear Call Box: Is there a federal law that requires credit reporting agencies to provide persons with one free copy of their report each year? J.M. Dear J.M. There is such a law, part of sweeping...
New Traffic Crackdown under Way; There's Another Accident Involving a School Bus in Northwestern St. Johns
Byline: Dan Scanlan, Staff writer Police are planning a second wave of traffic enforcement around Northwest St. Johns County schools following another school bus accident Monday afternoon that sent three Bartram Trail High students to the hospital...
No Cause Found for Whale Calf's Death; Amelia Island: Mother Not Found in Area
Byline: Derek L. Kinner, Nassau Neighbors editor A necropsy on a newborn right whale calf that washed onto Amelia Island earlier this week failed to show why the baby died, officials said. The whale, which was about 1 1/2 days old, was found...
Orange Park Man Aided Others Battling Disease
Byline: Mary Maraghy, County Line staff writer Services were Wednesday for 60-year-old George Chapman who died Sunday morning at his home in Orange Park. "He was just an incredible man, a gentle soul, a giving and caring person," said his wife,...
Police Briefing; Teen Faces Aggravated Assault Charge after Domestic Dispute
Byline: Dan Scanlan, Staff writer A 15-year-old Mandarin boy was arrested Jan. 31 on a charge of aggravated assault after he threatened a 43-year-old family friend while holding a butcher knife in the 12000 block of Condor Drive, police said. ...
POLICE BRIEFS; Body ID'd; Cause of Death Elusive
Byline: R. Michael Anderson, County Line staff writer Clay County authorities now know the identity of a woman's body that was found in a retention pond near Orange Park on Jan. 31, but they're still at a loss to explain how she died. The Jacksonville...
POLICE BRIEFS; Fight over Relationship Ends in Arrest
Byline: Dan Scanlan, Staff writer A 37-year-old Southside woman was arrested Monday afternoon on a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly device after she was accused of repeatedly ramming her car into her girlfriend's vehicle at Hogan and Belfort...
Police Briefs; Man Charged with Grand Theft Auto
Byline: John Carter, Staff writer A 27-year-old man was arrested at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the 6100 block of Japonica Road and charged with grand theft of a vehicle. A police officer said he became suspicious of a car's vehicle identification number,...
POLICE BRIEFS; Man Tells Police His Ex-Girlfriend Broke in, Stole Dog
Byline: Caren Burmeister, Times-Union staff writer Following is a list of arrests and crimes reported by Beaches-area police departments: ATLANTIC BEACH A man told police Jan. 23 that his ex-girlfriend stole a pit bull that she had given him...
Police Briefs; Pizza Delivery Driver Robbed at Stoplight
Byline: Sandy Strickland, Staff writer A 24-year-old pizza delivery driver was robbed while stopped at a red light on Hammond Boulevard at 8:30 p.m. Jan. 30. The driver told police a man got out of a red Ford Expedition, walked up to his vehicle,...
Pop Star to Headline EWC Benefit Concert; Event Will Raise Money for the Jacksonville College's Fine Arts Program
Byline: John Carter, Staff writer When Grammy Award-winning singer Stephanie Mills performs here later this month, Edward Waters College students will benefit in more ways than one. Not only will the event raise money to support the fine arts...
'Promethean' Effort Ends Intense Battle; Darnell-Cookman Middle School Student Finally Wins after Confusing Last Rounds
Byline: Dan Scanlan, Staff writer Caroline Hunt correctly spelled "blithesome." She did the same for "plethora" after Karl Manalo added an extra "e" to it in Round 13 of Thursday's Duval County Spelling Bee. So event pronouncer Lee Neviaser called...
Rain Allows Lifting of Burning Ban
Byline: R. Michael Anderson, County Line staff writer A Clay County outdoor burn ban imposed Jan. 27 has been lifted after county officials determined that rainfall had improved drought conditions. However, the county manager and public safety...
Ready or Not, Teens Deserve Crack at NFL
Byline: Gene Frenette, Times-Union sports writer Maurice Clarett has, in many ways, been his own worst enemy in the falling-out with Ohio State's football program, but it's also hard to justify excluding him from the opportunity to play in the NFL....
Recurring Bird Deaths Baffle; Pelican Losses near Mayport Still a Mystery
Byline: Caren Burmeister, Shorelines staff writer Baffled by what has been killing pelicans every winter for the past decade, environmentalists are again ordering autopsies and other tests to determine what killed dozens of pelicans recently in...
Residents Move to Curb Speeding on Solana Road
Byline: Drew Dixon, Shorelines staff writer Residents of Solana Road want motorists to travel slower through their neighborhood, and St. Johns County Sheriff's officials said they'll make drivers obey the speed limit. Several residents complained...
Road Construction Could Create Detour during 2005 Super Bowl; Jacksonville's Plan, Which Is More Aggressive Than Other Host Cities, Will Delay Completion Dates of Some Projects
Byline: DAVID BAUERLEIN and MELISSA ROSS, The Times-Union and First Coast News About a year from now, a hundred thousand Super Bowl visitors will be in buses, limousines, taxis and rental cars on Jacksonville's highways. Along the way, they will...
Road Construction Could Create Detour during 2005 Super Bowl; Work on New Interchange at Interstates 95 and 295 Would Force Jacksonville Drivers to Use Philips Highway
Byline: David Bauerlein, The Times-Union Construction of the big interchange at Interstates 95 and 295 in southeast Jacksonville could force a super-sized detour during next year's Super Bowl. The state Department of Transportation will close...
School Board Member Hoping to Retain Her Seat
Byline: Beth Reese Cravey, County Line staff writer Carol Studdard is seeking a fourth term on the Clay County School Board. Studdard has filed papers with the Supervisor of Elections Office to run for the District 2 seat, which she has held...
SCHOOL ZONE; All-State Choruses Invite 4 from Clay
Byline: Toi Jefferson, County Line staff writer Four Clay County students recently participated in statewide chorus events. Katie Jones and Kaitlan Buffin, eighth-graders at Green Cove Springs Junior High, were in Tampa for the All-State Chorus....
Several Beach Runs among Activities in the Coming Days
Byline: Brian Kosoy, Times-Union sports correspondent February has begun with a bang in Beaches sports and activities. Local high school athletes signed on for college sports this week, area high school soccer teams are making surges through the...
Sisters Merge Companies after Years of Competing; They Have 1,500 Clients and Plan to Expand
Byline: SARAH SKIDMORE, The Times-Union They swear they were playing nice. "We were friendly competitors," Susan Hartley said. "There's just so much business out there," said her younger sister, Beverly Cleary. "We only went head-to-head...
Soccer Teams Sweep to District Finals; 4A Match All-Clay with Middleburg vs. Fleming Island
Byline: Stephen Kindland, Clay County Line sports writer The Fleming Island High School boys soccer team took an "ugly" 3-1 win over Ridgeview, and Middleburg continued its challenge for the District 6-4A title with a 3-1 victory over Paxon in a...
SPEEDWEEKS 2004; Shootout at Daytona Race Helps Teams Prepare for Upcoming Daytona 500
Byline: DON COBLE, The Times-Union DAYTONA BEACH -- While tonight's Budweiser Shootout all-star race remains a fan favorite at the Daytona International Speedway, the importance isn't lost among the qualified drivers. The race is open only to...
SPEEDWEEKS NOTEBOOK; Daytona 500 Purse Rises to Record $15.97 Million
The season-opening Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 15, will pay a record purse of $15,972,313, an increase of nearly $2 million from last year's posted awards. It will be the biggest payout in stock car racing history, breaking the record of $14,030,129...
STAMPING GROUNDS; Enthusiastic Crafters from across the Nation Are Expected for Next Week's Creative Palette Rubber Stamp and Accessories Convention in St. Marys, Ga
Byline: BRANDY HILBOLDT ALLPORT, Times-Union home and garden editor Here's the thing about rubber stamp enthusiasts: If you offer classes, they will come. Mark it down. In ink. Paula Amari knows this. For nine years, she has owned Old Town Crafts...
Stopable Derrick Wins $35,000 Orange Park Derby
Stopable Derrick claimed Friday's 11th race, the $35,000 Orange Park Derby, at the kennel club. Pa's Animaltrain finished second, while 2003 national win leader and the prerace favorite, Burt Road, finished third. Stopable Derrick paid $15.20...
Success Inspires Owens to Seek Third Term as Superintendent
Byline: Beth Reese Cravey, County Line staff writer Superintendent David Owens, who has worked in educationr for the past 36 years, will seek a third term at the helm of the Clay County school district. "I love what I do and I love where I do...
Support Groups' Information Available Online
Byline: Rich Ray, Times-Union staff writer Consider this an open call for those who run support groups on the First Coast. This is also a formal announcement for those seeking assistance from support groups. First Coast Community is launching...
Task Force Finds Slaying Suspect in Georgia Town
Byline: TIA MITCHELL, The Times-Union A suspect in the September shooting death of a Jacksonville man was arrested early Friday morning in a small Georgia town. Devin Williams was arrested shortly after midnight in an apartment complex in Hazlehurst,...
These Kids Able to Sail through Surgery
Byline: Sandy Strickland, Staff writer Youngsters at Wolfson Children's Hospital will now be "sailing" into surgery on specially commissioned red and blue boats. The two boats were christened Tuesday outside the San Marco hospital's operating...
This Cat Has His Own Shtick; Sylvester Doesn't Mind Doing Tricks
Byline: Dan Scanlan, Staff writer Sylvester calmly walks up to the cabinet, hooks his paw around the edge of the wooden door, pops it open and grabs for the snack inside. A few minutes later, his owner, David Grimes, points a finger at his furry...
Top Law Enforcers Turn out for Meeting; Amelia: Sheriffs Conference Draws 500
Byline: Alison Trinidad, Nassau Neighbors staff writer Sheets of rain couldn't keep Florida's top law enforcement officials from enjoying a three-day conference at Amelia Island Plantation this week. About 500 people, including Gov. Jeb Bush,...
Two Charged in Link to Mystery Death; Police Suspect Pair Sexually Assaulted Woman
Byline: NIN-HAI TSENG, The Times-Union Clay County authorities still do not know what caused the death of 31-year-old Mary Nelson nearly a year ago. But Thursday they charged the woman's stepsister and the stepsister's former husband with sexually...
UF Fall Leads to 'Cat Calls; Gators Say They Deserve Criticism after Way They Lost to Kentucky
Byline: Michael DiRocco, The Times-Union GAINESVILLE -- David Lee had a tough time on Wednesday. As he walked around Florida's campus less than 24 hours after the Gators blew a double-digit, second-half lead and failed to score in the final three...
Volunteer Still in Kindergarten ... and That Suits Her Just Fine
Byline: Beth Reese Cravey, County Line staff writer Anna Hardee and her grandson went off to kindergarten together at Keystone Heights Elementary School. Six years later, Carson Sailor has moved on to the fifth grade. But his grandmother is...
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