The Florida Times Union

Articles from March 27, 2010

An Essential Part of Palm Sunday Services Is Often a Special Delivery; ALL READY FOR WAVING
Byline: JEFF BRUMLEY If you happened to glimpse Berni Tomaszewski collecting palm fronds behind Trinity Lutheran the past few days, you saw an increasingly rare sight: someone from a church harvesting his own greenery for Palm Sunday services. ...
Arrest Made in Girl's Murder; JARRED MITCHELL HARRELL Man Is Charged with Murder, Sexual Battery of Somer Thompson
Byline: JIM SCHOETTLER, BETH REESE CRAVEY and DAN SCANLAN ORANGE PARK - "The monster's caught." Diena Thompson stared hard and spoke angrily into a dozen television cameras Friday shortly after Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler said that accused...
Arrest Made in Store Clerk's Slaying; Man's Arrest Months Ago in Separate Incident Led to DNA Sample, Match
Nearly two years ago a 19-year-old store clerk was shot, robbed and killed as he opened a Jacksonville Snappy Food Store on Trollie Lane. Friday, the Sheriff's Office announced the arrest of 24-year-old Michael M. Yacob in the May 4, 2008, death...
Artistic Fundraiser for Micah's Place Is Shrimply Fantastic
Byline: JACQUELIN DUNN He's pink and about 4 feet tall. He's dressed all in black and his sculpted ribs stand out below his vest. Large, dark sunglasses sit on his face. Elvis? No, it's Rock Shrimp, one of 20 shrimp statues that will be showing...
Atlantic Beach to Reconsider Tideviews Boardwalk Proposal
Byline: DREW DIXON ATLANTIC BEACH - A week after rejecting a proposed boardwalk extension at Tideviews Preserve, the City Commission will hold a special meeting Monday to reconsider the project. The special meeting, set for 6 p.m. at City Hall,...
Attorneys: Panel Can't Term Limit School Leaders; Charter Review Commission Plans to Tackle Subject
Byline: BETH REESE CRAVEY A proposal to term limit Clay County School Board members and the school superintendent by amending the county charter would, if approved, violate the Florida Constitution, according to School Board attorney Bruce Bickner....
Beach Bands to Jam for Haiti; the Concert Will Feature a Number of Bands on Sunday
A group of Beaches-area musicians and others intends to draw hundreds of people and raise money for earthquake-devastated Haiti Sunday at an event with live bands, silent auctions and other lures at Freebird Live in Jacksonville Beach. "We have...
Big Names on Leaderboard; Major Winners Els, Love and Curtis on Top, and Others Are Lurking
Byline: GARRY SMITS ORLANDO - No, Tiger Woods isn't on the leaderboard at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The two-time defending champion and six-time winner likely was hitting balls at the practice range at Isleworth, 7 miles from the Bay Hill...
Briefs
BEGINNING HONEYBEE KEEPING WORKSHOP Today from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., is a beginning honeybee-keeping workshop will be held at the St. Johns County Wind Mitigation Building. Session will be limited to 35 and cost is $15 for one person, $20 for two. Fee...
Caddyshack Event Brings Lots of Laughs; Murray's Annual Tournament at World Golf Village Benefits School's Music, Art Programs
Byline: JEFF ELLIOTT Between the jokes, the ribbing and the one-liners that flew throughout the two golf courses at the World Golf Village on Friday, there was actually some good golf that took place among the 400 participants in the 10th annual...
Callahan Couple Need No Egging on to Talk about Where They're Happiest
Byline: Nancy Bethea As a newcomer to Callahan, I often wonder why locals love the small town. It's as though the land has an invisible pull on its natives. My city-girl eyes easily overlook what Callahan has to offer and instead pine for what it...
City Faces Decision on Woods' Removal; the Commissioner Had Raised Questions about a Pipeline Plan
Byline: CAREN BURMEISTER ATLANTIC BEACH - The City Commission could soon have to vote on whether to ask Carolyn Woods to resign from the board because she charged that city officials and a property owner acted inappropriately over a sewage pipeline...
City Pays Expenses for Local Track Meet; Bob Hayes Invitational Gets $84,000 to Cover Almost All of Its Costs
Byline: TIA MITCHELL The same year Bob Hayes broke the world record in the 100-meter dash and earned two gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics, Jacksonville's all-black high schools held a track meet named after him. Forty-six years later, the Bob...
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 and photos of all the animals featured, go to jacksonville.com/ColdNoses. Meet Lucy! She is a black-and-white...
Colleges Offer Job-Placement Service to Out-of-Work Alumni; More Training Is Offered for Scoring a Job above Entry Level
Byline: MATT COLEMAN The cord isn't always cut after graduation. Economic turbulence has sent many a laid-off or unemployed college graduate scurrying back to the warm embrace of their alma mater for job-placement services. It's a trend echoed...
Community Notebook
RECYCLE ELECTRONIC AND HAZARDOUS WASTE APRIL 3 Jacksonville's Solid Waste Division will collect recyclable electronic and household hazardous waste from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 3, at Mandarin Park, 14780 Mandarin Road. Most consumer...
Dan's Drive of the 2010 Ford Transit Connect; Ford Delivers the Goods with Nifty Box on Wheels
Byline: DAN SCANLAN The plumber was leaning on his company pickup as we drove by in the much smaller, yet boxy, Ford Transit Connect. He took a long look before nodding - he knew what the odd-looking big/little box on wheels was all about. ...
Difference Makers; Austin and Andrew Mosier
Austin, 16, and Andrew Mosier, 17, spend their summers going to camps where they make new friends and have a great time. But these aren't just any camps. The brothers volunteer at Diocese of St. Augustine camps, where they are matched with a buddy...
East Coast Pushes for Rail Line; Cities Meet to Figure out How to Get Service from Here to Miami
Byline: LARRY HANNAN COCOA - No one knows how Amtrak rail service on the Florida East Coast rail line will be paid for. But that isn't stopping communities along the tracks from launching a major push to make it happen. On Friday, representatives...
Easter Egg Hunts, Festivities This Weekend
Even though Easter is over a week away, on Sunday, April 4, some Easter egg hunts and other festivities are planned this weekend at the Beaches. They include: - Christ United Methodist Church will have its Community Easter egg hunt at 10 a.m. today...
Ethics Group Hopes to Expand; but There's Been Talk of Reining It in Due to Focus on outside Topics
Byline: TIA MITCHELL The Jacksonville Ethics Commission wants more power and independence, and the City Council has the power to grant it. Council President Richard Clark would like to make sure that it doesn't. He believes the commission can...
Fair Time Swings around Again
The ridiculous fun of pig races, frog jumping, lawn mower racing, hog calling and husband calling. The sublime talents of Julianne Hough, a rising country music artist and former "Dancing with the Stars" performer, and the youngsters of Broadway...
Farmers to Families Feel Produce Pinch of Winter's Freezes; Cost Increases during an Already Difficult Economic Time
Byline: RAVEN PRITCHETT After unwrapping the waxed paper around your next hamburger, you may not find any vegetables and if you do, they may lack flavor and color. Produce vendors, grocery stores and families are feeling the effects of inflation...
Fashion and Flowers Share Spotlight during Garden Week at Cummer
Byline: CHRISTY WHITEHEAD The recent Garden Week at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens wasn't all about the gardens: It had a touch of fashion, too. The week - March 15-19 - included speakers and book-signers from all over the country, including...
Fired UNF Professor May Take Legal Action; Tayeb Giuma Is Accused of Striking a Contractor
Byline: DREW DIXON A fired University of North Florida associate professor will fight to get his job back after he was terminated this week following charges he attacked a contractor at his Queen's Harbour home, his lawyer said. Tayeb Giuma was...
First Tourney Manager of the Players Dies at 70
Richard Hoke "Moose" Wammock, the first tournament manager of The Players Championship upon its move to a permanent home in Ponte Vedra Beach, died Thursday in Orlando from complications arising from congestive heart failure. He was 70. Mr. Wammock...
FLORIDA SPRING PRACTICE NOTEBOOK; UF Players Come to Defense of Meyer
Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO GAINESVILLE - Florida coach Urban Meyer's exchange with an Orlando Sentinel reporter on Wednesday drew praise from several players on Friday. Quarterback John Brantley and center Mike Pouncey said they were glad that Meyer...
Football, Surfing and So Much More at the Beaches
Byline: Brian Kosoy The Beaches' sports scene is packed with activity this week, from future stars to near-future top events. Here are this week's top highlights: - Invited: Quarterback John Wofford, an eighth-grader at Palmer Catholic Academy...
GENERAL ASSEMBLY; House Approves Complete Overhaul of State Tax System Bill Creates Panel for Recommendations That Go to Joint Committee
Byline: WALTER C. JONES ATLANTA - The House split roughly along party lines Friday in passing legislation 111-55 to create a commission to propose a complete overhaul of the state's tax system. Opponents agreed revision was due but objected to...
GOLF ROUNDUP; Price, Beck Share Lead at Cap Cana
Nick Price and Chip Beck each shot a 6-under 66 for a share of the lead Friday after the first round of the Champions Tour's $1.6 million Cap Cana Championship in the Dominican Republic. Both Price and Beck had seven birdies and one bogey in their...
Green Cove Police's Teen Summit Honored
The Green Cove Springs Police Department recently received the 2009 Regional Leadership Award for Excellence in Public Safety for its Teen Summit, an annual event addressing topics that today's youths face. The ninth annual Northeast Florida Regional...
Grieving Process Is Necessary to Help Us Deal with Loss
Byline: Bob Howat To go through a period of grieving is a natural, healthy process. Notice I did not say happy or enjoyable. That's because it represents a loss. Many of us are familiar with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross' stages of grief. Just as a reminder,...
Historic House Turns out to Be Just the Right Style for Salon; Kimberly Clarke Lives, Works at Riverside Site She Calls 'Quite a Find'
Byline: MARY MARAGHY After sitting dormant for a quarter-century, a 1919 two-story Prairie-style home in Riverside is now abuzz with glamour, giggling and gossip. It's the Kimberly Clarke Salon, but there's no sign out front. More on that later....
Image Consultant Helps Her Clients Get It 'All Together'
Byline: MARY MARAGHY Sara Bowen recently got a promotion and a pay raise, so she wants to punch up her wardrobe, which is mainly conservative, traditional gray, black and white suits and dresses. But the 27-year-old Avondale woman said she wasn't...
It's Been ... Quite a Ride! after Test-Driving Everything from the Ford Focus to the Aston Martin DBS for the Past 15 Years, Dan Scanlan Is Putting "Dan's Drive'' into Park
Byline: DAN SCANLAN It all began a quarter of a century ago with a little Fiat-based coupe that came to the U.S. via Yugoslavia. It ends this weekend with a little commercial van that comes to the U.S. by way of Turkey. Yugo to Transit Connect,...
Jacksonville Unemployment Rate Steady; INCHING UPWARD in a Month, It Increased Just Three-Tenths of a Percent, to 10.85. FLORIDA, TOO the Local Rate Is Still below the State's, Which Crept Up to 12.2 Percent
Byline: KEVIN TURNER The Jacksonville metropolitan area's adjusted unemployment rate climbed nearly three-tenths of a percent to 10.85 percent in February, the Local Economic Indicators Project at the University of North Florida's Coggin College...
JEA Employees Turn Selves in in Copper Wire Theft Case; Witnesses Report They Saw People Cutting Wire from Utility Reels
Byline: DAN SCANLAN Two JEA employees being sought in an ongoing investigation into a materials theft ring were arrested Thursday on charges of grand theft and organized fraud. The men turned themselves in to Jacksonville police after warrants...
Jekyll Island Hires Help for Conservation; A Firm from Florida Will Help Plan for Environmental Protections
Byline: CAROLE HAWKINS Jekyll Island has hired an Orlando-based company to help develop an action plan by January for managing the park's natural resources. AECOM will function as a consultant to Jekyll Island's conservation committee, which...
Joys of Springtime: Warm and Cold, Breezes and Sneezes
Byline: Jackie Rooney Floridians get anxious when spring doesn't show up weeks in advance of the vernal equinox. It's not the norm. We're entitled to bragging rights about early springs and warm sunny weather, while our Northern friends and family...
Lawyers Trying to Stop Cisco Lawsuit; They Ask Judge to Halt Potential Settlement
Byline: TERESA STEPZINSKI BRUNSWICK - A federal judge is being asked to intervene and stop a potential settlement of a state civil racketeering lawsuit against Fairley Cisco, who is accused of cheating customers out of millions of dollars by rigging...
Longtime Pastor Passes Pulpit to Son; Rev. Cecil Wiggins Has Preached at Evangel Temple since the 1960s
Byline: JEFF BRUMLEY The Rev. Cecil Wiggins' retirement Sunday as senior pastor at Evangel Temple will be felt across denominational and generational lines, say those who know him best. "His life is marked by a ripple effect, touching neighbors...
MaliVai's Center Builds Youth Skills; Washington Wins Tour Humanitarian Award for Helping Students
Byline: FRANCINE KING MaliVai Washington takes delight in playing tour guide for his foundation's recently opened youth center in Jacksonville's Mid-Westside. But walking the halls with the former Wimbledon finalist, it's clear he's showing off...
Mandarin Mudzillas Get Down and Dirty for MS Mud Run
Byline: Rhonda Reese Dubbing themselves the Mudzillas, these athletes wore jungle boots, camouflage pants and shocking pink and black tops. They also painted their nails bright pink (a waste they admitted after a few minutes in the mud) and sported...
Mays Not Seeking St. Johns Election; the County Commissioner Was Appointed by Gov. Crist to Replace Tom Manuel
Byline: SHAKAYA ANDRES PONTE VEDRA BEACH - About a month after declaring his candidacy to retain his District 4 seat, St. Johns County Commissioner Phil Mays has decided to bow out of the race to give another qualified candidate a chance. However,...
Metal Sculptor Showcases His Whimsical Metal Pieces; Rommel Ricuarte Brings Work to Mandarin Art Fest
Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND Rommel Ricaurte grew up without electricity near a rain forest in Ecuador. He learned about art from his father, a farmer who used old tools and tractor pieces to turn out "rough" artwork. "We had to do everything...
Moody Shipyards' Battered Look a Symbol of Real Estate Downturn
Byline: DREW DIXON The Moody shipyards used to have about 100 workers bustling in heavy industrial work on vessels at the Intracoastal Waterway site north of Atlantic Boulevard. Now a half-dozen people work there, barely visible amid the sprawling,...
Morning Briefs
DATA: HOMEOWNERS UNDERWATER UNTIL 2015 The average U.S. homeowner who owes more on his or her home than it's worth likely won't see that balance tip back into positive territory until after 2015, real estate data company First American CoreLogic...
Nassau Notes; Appliances, Truck among St. Marys River Garbage
Byline: COULTER KIRKPATRICK Wow that's a lot of trash - according to a release from the St. Marys River Management Committee, 1,003 cleanup volunteers showed up for the St. Marys River Celebration on March 20, with 634 celebrating at White Oak Plantation...
Police Briefs; 14 Guns Reported Stolen from a Home on West Third Street
The following is a compilation of reports from Beaches-area police departments: ATLANTIC BEACH - Fourteen firearms were stolen from two gun cabinets about 1 p.m. Sunday at a home in the 300 block of West Third Street. Police said there were...
Police Briefs; No Weapon, No Clear Aggressor, So Couple Both Charged in Fight
Byline: MARY MARAGHY A 30-year-old man and his girlfriend were arrested and charged with battery after fighting in the 1200 block of Neva Street. Both had puncture wounds and claimed they had been stabbed by the other one. He said she slashed his...
Police Briefs; Pair Rob Wok N Roll on San Jose A Gunman Held Up an Employee While the Other Stood Guard
Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND Two men displaying guns robbed the Wok N Roll at 9210 San Jose Blvd. at 11:25 p.m. March 20. An employee told police that one of the men pointed a gun at her and demanded money. The other stood guard near the door showing...
Preschool Collects 1,000+ Pairs of Socks for Haitians
Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND & MARY MARAGHY The orphanage had one request: socks. And they got more than 1,200 pairs from the Child's Play Preschool at Lakewood Presbyterian Church. When Haiti was rocked by a massive earthquake in January, the...
READY, SET, BOOKS! Kindergarten Students Race to Fill Up Easter Bags with Books
Byline: TERRY DICKSON BRUNSWICK - Greta Truitt's kindergarten students charged into a grassy area in front of Altama Elementary School as if there was a golden egg somewhere in the bushes. But the 19 students were after books, books with princesses,...
Sawgrass Ready to Host MPS Group Tennis Meet; the Championships Are Set for April 5-11 at Sawgrass Country Club
Byline: SHAKAYA ANDRES PONTE VEDRA BEACH - The second time's been a charm so far in terms of erecting a professional women's tennis tournament. Workers are hustling to make sure every detail is complete by Thursday in time for the start of the...
SCHOOL FUNDING; Focus on Classrooms
The parking lot at Ribault High School was packed. Cars were parked along the street. Inside the school auditorium, ushers tried to find seats for people, while many were standing along the walls. Cheerleaders were outside the auditorium doors....
School Made Goal, So Administrator Made Jump; Greenland Pines Assistant Principal Sky-Dives in Honor of PTA Drive
Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND It wasn't on her bucket list. Nevertheless,Barbara Sistrunk jumped 13,000 feet as children and PTA members from Greenland Pines Elementary School eagerly awaited her landing. She landed on her behind. But thankfully,...
Spring Has Sprung with All Its Magical Colors and Smells
Byline: Beverly Fleming Thank you to all those who sent their prayers and get-well wishes during my recent stay in the hospital. They were very much appreciated. It is amazing what changes took place during those two weeks. Before, my yard and...
'The Church Has Left the Building' for This Family; First Baptist Church of Middleburg Puts Up a $130,000 House for a Family in Need
Byline: BETH REESE CRAVEY "...As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24: 15 Off a quiet dirt road in Middleburg, a new house is slowly taking shape. On the still-bare concrete floors, the unpaid volunteers who have transformed...
Tickets on Sale This Week for Riverside Avondale Home Tour
Byline: MARY MARAGHY Tickets go on sale Thursday for the Riverside Avondale Preservation Tour of Homes, a self-guided home tour Saturday, April 24, and Sunday, April 25. The event attracted more than 1,300 visitors last year. This year organizers...
Tiger Owes PGA Tour His Support
Byline: GENE FRENETTE If the situation was ideal, PGA Tour officials would already have a commitment from Tiger Woods about playing in The Players Championship (May 3-9) and could start using him in commercials to promote the event. Due to Woods'...
T-U 2
QUOTE OF THE DAY "Every day, I wake up wishing it did not happen." Washington's Gilbert Arenas, apologizing in court, after being sentenced to 30 days in a halfway house for a conviction on gun charges. 2 CENTS For the longest time,...
T-YOU; RANTS & RAVES Sense? Us? Not When It Comes to Postage
A couple of weeks ago, we received a letter informing us that the Census form was to be mailed shortly. Next we received the Census forms, filled in the information and mailed them promptly. Yesterday, we received a postcard from the Census informing...
Volunteers Spread Hugs across the County in Schools; Residents Go Where They're Needed to Help Students
Byline: MAGGIE FITZROY Brette Reiman sat on the floor with first-grader Sheddrick Jones to help him read a book. As he leaned close to Reiman, Sheddrick smiled and seemed to enjoy the undivided attention she gave him. Using his finger as a guide,...
Waycross Robbery Suspects on Loose; Police Still Searching for Men in Holdups of Two Convenience Stores
Byline: TERESA STEPZINSKI and TERRY DICKSON Waycross police continued searching Friday for two men wanted in the shooting of a convenience store clerk during a robbery Thursday night. The men entered the Petro Station store at 1001 South Georgia...
Welcome Hummingbirds to Area; Here Are Some Tips for Attracting, Feeding the Fascinating Creatures
Byline: TERRY BRITE DELVALLE It's official. It's spring and the hummers are back. A few hummingbirds overwinter in our area, but most migrate to tropical climates and return with the warm weather, usually around mid March. Hummingbirds live...
Whiting Still Good in the Surf; Plenty of Wahoo Biting
Byline: Capt. Jim Johnson A cool front is predicted for this weekend along with northwest winds of 15 to 20 knots. Building seas will damper the anglers wishing to make a run to the ledge for the whiting bite. Surf anglers, however, should still...
With No Substitutes, Girls Soccer Team Scores a Big Win
Byline: Mark Boleky Part of being a traveling club soccer team is competing sometimes without all your players. After all, when you play almost year-round, injuries and other commitments will come up. But part of being a good traveling club soccer...
Wolfson's Frank Jenkins Takes Reins at OakLeaf High
Byline: Brent Beaird Frank Jenkins, former athletic director and football coach at Jacksonville's Wolfson High School, starts Monday as athletic director at Clay County's newest high school, OakLeaf, which opens in August. Jenkins, who taught...
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