This week in history 051817

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5 years ago, 2012
Orange Park Town Council voted unanimously to allow town staff to enter negotiations with Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions to install redlight cameras at strategic intersections in the town limits.

Clay County members turned out a public event to honor the memory of service of Army Staff Sgt. Dick Alston Lee Jr., a Keystone Heights soldier killed by an improvised explosive device while on duty in Afghanistan.

The Green Cove Springs Police Department arrested Hope Williamson on one count each of child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor after she allegedly smoked marijuana with her daughter in her home.

10 years ago, 2007
The Board of County Commissioners said funds to build a connector road from College Drive to Branan Field Road would not be in the next year’s budget. Instead, commissioners accepted a recommendation to place $3 million for design fees in the 2009-2010 budget.

County officials began a series of meetings to plan for activities and events that would celebrate Clay County 150th, or sesquicentennial birthday.

The Clay County School Board approved a five-year improvement plan that touched on various aspects, including spending $215,000 a year for new teacher recruitment and another $200,000 to help teachers relocate here to teach.

20 years ago, 1997
Authorities charged Shaun Jarrod Smith, of Middleburg with second degree murder in the shooting death of his friend Tony Wright, 16, also of Middleburg, in a case originally considered an accident.

John Eric Ganion, 26, of Clay County pleaded guilty to two counts of DUI manslaughter, four days before he was to go on trial for the deaths of Carolyn Ann Knight, 51, of Green Cove Springs, and Lindley M. Lawrence, 36, of Orange Park. The two women died August 25, 1996 in a four-car collision on County Road 220 on Fleming Island.

The Board of County Commissioners voted to give embattled Clay County Film Commissioner Carl Post a $5,000 reimbursement for work he had done and approved an additional $1,000 to fund his work while the BCC considers whether to keep him on contract or eliminate the position.

30 years ago, 1987

Authorities added one count of lewd and lascivious act on a minor to the docket for Stewart Lee Bunker, former track coach at Middleburg, one week after his arrest after previously being charged with inappropriately touching at least three students.

Five years after buying the Rosemary Hill Landfill from the City of Green Cove Springs, the Board of County Commissioners and the city squabbled over dumping fees outlined in the sales agreement. The city took issue with a $1,000 bill it received from the county.

The Clay County School Board wrestled with a growth study that said the district would need $85 million to build new schools in the coming 13 years due to expected student growth.

40 years ago, 1977

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office investigated the theft of an M-16 automatic rifle from Camp Blanding that was used by Military Police Sgt. James Boone.

Carroll Arthur Gnann, 51, of Middleburg, was sentenced to five years in state prison for the Jan. 5 death of Alfred Lamar Moon, 59, also of Middleburg.

St. Johns River Community College entered negotiations with Moosehaven to lease 20 acres of land at the intersection of Debarry and Gano Avenues to establish its first Orange Park campus.

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