This week in history 051117

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5 years ago, 2012

The Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to allow voters to determine whether they want retailers and establishments to have longer Sunday alcohol sales.

The Clothes Closet and Food Pantry of Orange Park received the $10,000 Paul E. Reinhold Community Service Award during the 2012 Celebrate Clay awards that honor nonprofits for the work they do making the community a better place to live.

Orange Park Town Clerk Sarah Campbell earned the designation of certified clerk from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks.

10 years ago, 2007

Keystone Heights Mayor Mary Lou Hildreth and Gov. Charlie Crist said state emergency management officials and the Florida National Guard worked to extinguish an estimated 18,000-acre wildfire near the Clay-Bradford county line.

Sheriff Rick Beseler joined members of the sheriff’s office Drug Abatement Response Team and got behind the wheel of a bulldozer to begin the demolition of the Blue Room, a derelict bar in Middleburg that had become a crime hotspot .

The Board of County Commissioners, under the advice of County Manager Fritz Behring, discussed returning a $300,000 check to Comcast, a grant related to its local cable franchise agreement. They also discussed keeping $50,000 of the funds to buy equipment that would enhance the ability to broadcast BCC meetings on cable.

20 years ago, 1997

Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputies investigated two shootings in four days in Middleburg, one involved the shooting death of 16-year-old Tony Wright that occurred on Mimosa Avenue in Middleburg and a second occurred after a fight over an ex-girlfriend. Police said Ronald Allen Greer, 19, was in critical condition after being shot in the face with a .25-caliber handgun.

An 18-member committee of principals and parents was tasked with drawing up new attendance boundaries to present to the Clay County School Board.

The Green Cove Springs Fire Department and the city’s Community Oriented Policing unit worked together to set fire to two abandoned houses considered to be drug havens. They agencies used the fire as a training session.

30 years ago, 1987

Middleburg High track coach Stewart Lee Bunker resigned shortly before being arrested by the Clay County Sheriff’s deputies who used warrants issued by Leon County authorities. Bunker was charged with simple battery after students said he touched them inappropriately while in Tallahassee for a track meet.

Green Cove Springs City Council approved a measure allowing Magnolia Point to expand its original plan from 550 homers to 740.

Clay County Health Department Director Ed Stansel was joined by the Board of County Commissioners and health department staff to break ground on a new health department clinic on County Road 218 northwest of Clay Hill Baptist Church.

40 years ago, 1977

Herbert Alexander Brown Jr. was sworn in as the first black officer at the Orange Park Police Department.

The Green Cove Springs Planning and Zoning Board denied a rezoning request made by Bess C. Merritt of Jacksonville who wanted to open a psychiatric counseling office in the middle of a residential area at 150 Lester St.

Orange Park town officials dedicated its new $108,000 police department headquarters on Stowe Avenue with William A. Toelstrup, commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, as guest speaker.

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