Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Givemefive

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Givemefive

Article excerpt

HANG IN THERE, CHAD

St. Johns County native and Army Spc. Chad Smith, who lost his left leg after his platoon was attacked in Iraq, was released April 28 from an Army hospital in Washington, D.C., according to an e-mail from Donna Braschone, a friend of the Smith family.

Smith, a 2002 graduate of Bartram Trail High School, and his mother are staying with friends in the D.C. area for now, but they plan to return to northwest St. Johns County May 20, Braschone said. The Chad Smith Fund at San Juan del Rio Catholic Church has raised several hundred dollars for the family.

"I was able to deposit $500 from the Church this week and expect another check next week," Braschone wrote. "The family is having their financial needs met. They are grateful and plan to send a letter thanking the community at a later date."

Donations are still accepted by mail at the church, 1714-3 State Road 13, Jacksonville, 32259.

UNBRIDLED SPENDING

Perhaps proving that coverage of Jennifer Wilbanks, the runaway bride from Georgia, has also run amok, news outlets such as CNN and the New York Post spawned stories this week about some wedding gifts Wilbanks and fiance John Mason were supposed to get before her frigid toes high-tailed it to Las Vegas and New Mexico. Quoting registries at Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Macy's and Target, the stories said the couple would have scored a Waterford Crystal ice bucket for $250, a 16-inch Lenox "Solitaire" Oval Platter at $189.99, and a KitchenAid Artisan 5-Qt. Stand Mixer on sale for $249.99.

More likely items are book and movie deals.

IMPACT FEES

New impact fees -- four times more expensive than previous fees -- for businesses in St. Johns County went into effect Monday. That loud sigh of relief you might have heard came from workers in the county Building and Permits Office, who can now think about taking vacations that were cancelled last month to handle the crush of developers trying to get projects approved before the deadline. …

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