Community Briefs 2/16/17

Clay Today
Posted 2/15/17

More closures on First Coast ExpresswayJACKSONVILLE – State Road 23 – the First Coast Expressway – between Normandy Boulevard and 103rd Street in Jacksonville will be closed from 8 …

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Community Briefs 2/16/17


More closures on First Coast Expressway
JACKSONVILLE – State Road 23 – the First Coast Expressway – between Normandy Boulevard and 103rd Street in Jacksonville will be closed from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly in both directions Feb. 13 through Feb. 17 as crews continue State Road 23 bridge work at Normandy Boulevard and at 103rd Street. A detour is required for the contractor to safely complete this work overnight. State Road 23 will reopen daily to traffic from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. during this timeframe.
Motorists traveling on State Road 23/FCE during these hours will be detoured to either New World Avenue or to Chaffee Road, allowing for continuous north-south travel in the area.
When completed in late 2017, this FCE North project will become part of a 15-mile-long SunPass administered toll road that connects I-10/U.S. 90 in Duval County to Blanding Boulevard – State Road 21 – in Duval County. Construction began in September 2013 on this first phase of the First Coast Expressway which spans six miles from north of Argyle Forest Boulevard to just south of I-10. FDOT hired Dragados USA to complete this project at an estimated cost of $77 million.
Once opened, FCE commuters will pass through all-electronic overhead toll plazas – also known as gantries – without stopping. Electronic systems will either detect the vehicle’s SunPass transponder device or scan the vehicle’s license plate for a toll-by-plate invoice in the mail, without any stopping and or cash required on site. The FCE from US90/I-10 to New World Avenue will not be tolled.
Up-to-date lane closure information is available at The Florida Department of Transportation urges motorists to always follow the speed limit and stay within the limits of orange cones and barrels while traveling through construction zones.

Judgeship nominations sought in wake of Hulsey resignation
JACKSONVILLE – The Fourth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission has been asked to provide Gov. Rick Scott with nominees for a vacancy in the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court after the Jan. 23 resignation of Judge Mark Hulsey.
Applicants must have been a member of The Florida Bar for the preceding five years, a registered voter and must be a resident of the territorial jurisdiction of the court at the time he or she assumes office.
Nomination applications must be delivered to Gilbert L. Feltel Jr., Chair, 4th Circuit JNC,
Tanner Bishop, One Independent Dr., Suite 1700, Jacksonville, Florida 32202. Nominations can also be made via email using the .PDF file format. Send the complete application with a color photograph to; and a redacted version of the application excluding all exempt information under Chapter 119, F.S. or other applicable public records law to
The attached .PDF files should be named so that the applicant’s name and “redacted” or “unredacted” is readily apparent in the name of the attachment. All applications must be received by 5 p.m. on March 15. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered. The application form may be downloaded from The Florida Bar’s website at
All questions in the application must be answered fully and completely. Applications should include current and accurate contact information for judges, co-counsel, opposing counsel, and references because those individuals will likely be contacted. If there is requested information missing from an application, the Judicial Nominating Commission will consider the applicant's lack of effort in submitting a complete application. Interviews will be held in the chambers of Chief Judge Mark Mahon, Room 7139, Duval County Courthouse, 501 W. Adams St., Jacksonville, Florida on April 6.

Free certification class offered for HOAs
OAKLEAF – A Fleming Island law firm is offering a free certification course to homeowners association and condo association board members.
The course, offered by the law firm Ansbacher Law, meets the requirement by Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation for board member certification and counts as 2.0 Continuing Education Credits Hours for CAMs.
The class is Feb. 21 from 6-8 p.m. at the Village Club Room, 370 Oakleaf Village Parkway inside Oakleaf Plantation. Ansbacher Law managing partner Barry Ansbacher is the guest lecturer for the course, which is designed for current or future board members of condominium or homeowner associations.
This course has been approved by the Department of Business and Professional Regulations Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes. Board members who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate of fulfillment of their educational requirements.
Attendees will learn the best practices associated with meeting and meeting notices, voting and elections, financial reporting and budget preparation, maintaining records, dispute resolution and other key areas for board members.
Register online at

Officials assess storm damage
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Clay County Emergency Management has completed its survey with the National Weather Service on the damage received from the Feb. 7 storm.
While the National Weather Service said no tornadoes touched down in Clay County, there were wind gusts that exceeded 70 miles per hour or higher in some areas of the county. Officials report that three homes were destroyed in the wind storm, four others had major damage and more than three other homes had “some sort of impacts to them.”
Electric authorities worked to restore power to the areas that had significant infrastructure damage. Between all the electric authorities, Clay County Emergency Management monitored more than 4,500 residents and businesses that without power in Clay County.
Meanwhile, officials with the Town of Orange Park said the town had more damage in this storm than it did during Hurricane Matthew. The Bird Wood subdivision on Doctors Lake Drive had multiple cases of downed trees and damages to homes. Town work crews took to the roads last Wednesday morning with saws and other equipment to assist residents and make roadways safe for travel.
Emergency Management encouraged residents to continue to use caution walking around downed trees and to stay away from any possible downed power lines from the storm. Residents who had damage to their property are asked to report damages to Clay County Emergency Management at (904) 284-7703 as well as to their insurance company.

Church to host grand opening
TANGLEWOOD – One of Clay County’s fastest growing churches is holding a grand opening of its new location on Feb. 26 at 10:30 a.m. at 1241 Blanding Boulevard in Orange Park.
Freedom Destiny Church invites the community to come for the service and remain for an afternoon of fellowship and fun featuring free food and bounce houses for the kids.
The pastors, Adam Smithyman and his wife, Candice Smithyman, say that this is a “monumental event” for their church since the new property once housed two local bars.
“We believe it is our purpose and destiny to re-establish this building for the eternal glory of God. Helping people in this community to follow Jesus is the heartbeat of our church and this facility is simply another way to carry out that mission and focus on what really matters in life,” Pastor Adam said.
The interior of the building has been remodeled and refurbished from floor to ceiling and now serves as a place of worship, service, outreach, mission, discipleship and fellowship. For months, the church has lead prayer walks through the community to pave the way for this mission.
The church envisions helping the local community and working with local officials to help make the area surrounding the church a safer place for families in Orange Park. The move to a larger facility also allows Freedom Destiny to fulfill another mission – becoming a place of restoration and redemption for those who have suffered.
This event is free and open to the public. For further information visit the website at or call the church at (904) 272-2266.

St. Johns Country Day School to offer new rigorous diploma program
ORANGE PARK – St. Johns Country Day School is one of approximately 1,000 schools worldwide to implement AP Capstone, a diploma program that allows students to develop the skills that matter most for college success: research, collaboration, and communication.
The program consists of two courses taken in sequence: AP Seminar and AP Research. Developed in direct response to feedback from higher education faculty and college admission officers, AP Capstone complements the in-depth, subject-specific study of other Advanced Placement courses and exams. The school will begin AP Seminar in the fall of 2017.
Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on AP Seminar and AP Research assessments and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing will earn the AP Capstone Diploma in addition to the St. Johns diploma. This signifies their outstanding academic achievement and attainment of college level academic and research skills. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on both AP Seminar and AP Research assessments only (but not on four additional AP Exams) will earn the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.
The AP Seminar course gives students the ability to look at real-world issues from multiple perspectives. Through a variety of materials, students tackle complex questions; understand and evaluate opposing viewpoints; interpret and synthesize information; and construct, communicate, and defend evidence-based arguments. Education, innovation, sustainability, and technology are examples of themes or topics covered in AP Seminar. However, teachers have the flexibility to choose subject content based on student interests, whether local, regional, national, or global. By tapping into students’ personal interests, AP Capstone gives students from a wide range of backgrounds an entry point into stimulating coursework more than ever before. Students are assessed through: a team project and presentation, an individual project and presentation, and an end-of-course written exam.
In the subsequent AP Research course, students design, plan, and conduct a yearlong research-based investigation on a topic of individual interest, documenting their process with a portfolio.
Students build on skills developed in the AP Seminar course by learning how to understand
research methodology; employ ethical research practices; and collect, analyze, and synthesize
information to build, present, and defend an argument.
“We are proud to offer AP Capstone, which enables students and teachers to focus on topics of
their choice in great depth,” said Trevor Packer, senior vice president for AP and instruction at the College Board. He adds, “This provides terrific opportunities for students to develop the ability to write and present their work effectively, individually, and in groups – the very skills college professors want their students to possess.”

Mardi Gras, gospel trio coming to Advent Lutheran
ORANGE PARK – The Jacobs Brothers, veterans of gospel music since 1962, will be in concert at Advent Lutheran Church, 2156 Loch Rane Blvd., Orange Park, on Feb. 25 at 6 p.m.
They have traveled millions of miles sharing the Gospel through music and have produced over 50 albums. The group is comprised of two brothers, Bob and Mike Jacobs, who are original members of the group that began in the small town of East Berlin, Pennsylvania. The third member, Mike Lawver, from McClure, Pennsylvania, joined the group in 1972. Although they specialize in traditional and sacred music, their approach to the Gospel is varied by using the diversified talents of the singers throughout the concert making for an appealing program for all ages.
Prior to the concert, take part in a free Mardi Gras Celebration Mardi Gras Celebration from 3-5:45 p.m. Guests can create their own mask or crown, take part in the King Cake Walk, visit the wise “fortune teller” and much more. A free spaghetti dinner will be served from 4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. leading into the concert at 6:00 p.m. This is a free event in which all ages are welcome.


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