Top Stories

Schools to reopen Aug. 11 for teachers; Aug. 25 for students

FLEMING ISLAND – The 2020-21 school year will begin on Aug. 11 for teachers and Aug. 25 for students. After more than three hours of discussion about the school year’s budget, reopening plans …

County temporarily cuts off CARES Act applications after getting 4,000 in first day

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The CARES Act money continues to flow to nonprofits and it will soon start trickling to local businesses and individuals affected by COVID-19. CARES Act lead Troy Nagle …

Sheriff candidates make their cases to Federated Republican Women

ORANGE PARK – The Clay County Federated Republican Women invited sheriff candidates to a forum on July 22 to state their qualifications ahead of the upcoming primary on Aug. 18. Four of the …

School board finally builds back 5% emergency fund required by state

FLEMING ISLAND – The school district’s fund balance is back at 5% after a years-long upward climb, but the COVID-19 pandemic could cause an upset. The State of Florida requires school district …

Towne’s podcasts keep Southern rocker connected with fans during shutdown

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Because of COVID-19, fans of live music have been stuck home, far away from the normally-busy concert halls and amphitheaters during the summer season. Curt Towne’s …

Emergency manager: COVID-19 likely here for long time

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Florida is the epicenter of the national COVID-19 pandemic, with continual rises in cases during a resurgence some attribute to a premature reopening of the state following a …

Nearly 2,000 jump political parties to participate in primary election

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Primary elections are coming Aug. 18. The race for sheriff, tax collector and superintendent of schools are three of the most-important decisions facing Clay County voters – …

BCC tasked with finding ways to make up $500,000 a month shortfall

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The county is looking at a shortfall of roughly $500,000 in certain revenue streams each month as a result of COVID-19’s effect on the local economy. The Board of County …

Unite Keystone organizers still committed to their resolve to affect change

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – Zac Taylor wasn’t looking to start trouble when he reached out to four friends to start a discussion about social issues and racism in their hometown. The original plan to …

School board considers four options to get schools reopened

FLEMING ISLAND – Although the school board outlined the district’s plan for reopening schools next month, some decisions still need to be made and nothing is final. The Clay County School …

Daniels asks BCC for 9.22% budget increase for sheriff’s office

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Sheriff Darryl Daniels presented his budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year to the Board of County Commissioners, and he’s asking for a nearly 10% increase. Despite COVID-19 …

Former Marine tackles life’s challenges

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – Northeast Florida and Clay County is home to many veterans. Veterans and their families, while often entitled to benefits from a grateful nation, are not immune to the hard …

Broskie , Wiggins, Van Zant, all wrestle with plans to reopen schools during COVID-19

ORANGE PARK – With the race for Clay County District Schools Superintendent heating up, candidates Charlie Van Zant, Ann Wiggins and David Broskie all attended a luncheon last week hosted by the …

Rutkowski eager to continue serving Keystone Heights’ needs

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – Lynn Rutkowski moved into a new office at the Keystone Heights Municipal Building two weeks ago, moving a few feet down the hall to the city manager’s office. With a bigger …
In the Community

Need for Clothes Closet and Food Pantry grows as COVID-19 continues

ORANGE PARK – The Clothes Closet and Food Pantry of Orange Park is hard at work to help to provide for those in need, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has worsened to force more …

After 40 years, Weeks counting down final days as county’s tax collector

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Tax Collector Jimmy Weeks will see his decades-long tenure with the county come to a close later this year and he wouldn’t have done it any other way. Weeks has lived in …

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From patient to physician: Dr. Bullock returns to Clay Eye

CLAY COUNTY – Dr. John (Jack) Bullock has been around Dr. C.M. Harris, and the Clay Eye Optometry practice for pretty much as long as he can remember. He is now the newest ophthalmologist at Clay …

Orange Park approves long-range plan to base growth on theme-based goals

ORANGE PARK – The town council approved a strategic plan and vision that will shape the town’s direction 20 years into the future. A months-long visioning process came to a successful …

Curt Towne Band rocks into the night with free concert

It was 96 degrees when the Curt Towne Band started its free show at the Doctors Lake Marina on Saturday, Aug. 1, but it did little to dampen the festive mood. Towne’s band was set up on a floating …

Former Clay residents makes final cut for History Channel’s ‘Alone’

ORANGE PARK – A former Clay County resident recently found himself alone in the middle of the Oregon wilderness for History Channel’s “Alone” television show. Mark D’Ambrosio called …

Clay Chamber organizes drive-thru teacher appreciation event

ORANGE PARK – The Clay County Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the Clay Education Foundation and Community First Credit Union, held a drive-thru teacher appreciation event Monday at Orange …

Clay County’s census response eighth-best in state

GREEN COVE SPRINGS –Clay County ranks eighth in the State of Florida with a 2020 Census self-response rate of 65.7%, compared to the rest of Florida at 59.9, and the nation at 62.8%. In Clay …

Facebook question of the week

CLAY COUNTY – School will reopen on Aug. 25 and things are going to be a little different. Students throughout the county haven’t been in school since early March after brick and mortar …

Sheldon appointed UF/IFAS County Extension Director

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Annie Sheldon’s job changed the moment she was appointed the new UF/IFAS County Extension Director. Field trips and summer camps were replaced by virtual classes as …

Thigpen’s succulent business takes root during pandemic

LAKE ASBURY – Taylor Thigpen, 14, is Clay County’s succulent plant king. When school let out early this year for COVID-19 on March 13, thousands of students prepared for an extended vacation. …

NE Florida hospitals launch “Wear a Mask” campaign

CLAY COUNTY – Northeast Florida hospitals are asking our community to wear a mask to protect others against the spread of COVID-19. Ascension St. Vincent’s, Baptist Health, Brooks Rehabilitation, …
Arrests & Bookings 080620

(Name, age, location of arrest, charges). Key: FTA-Failure to Appear; DWLSR-Driving Without a License-Suspended or Revoked; DUI-Driving Under the Influence; VOP-Violation of Probation; BAL-blood …

Obituaries 080620

Edward Peavler Edward Peavler of Middleburg, passed away on July 30, 2020. He was born on September 20, 1938 in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. He was a Vietnam War Veteran who served his country in the US …

Obituaries 7/30/20

James D.ProulxMay 27,1931-July 20,2020Jim Proulx lived in Orange Park for 51 years. USMC. Korean war veteran. Two terms in Viet Nam. Bronze Star. Lifetime US Marine.He was preceded in death by his …

Obituaries 7/16/20

Joan Marie (Barnes) Wohlfarth Joan Marie (Barnes) Wohlfarth of Fleming Island, Florida, died Monday, July 6, 2020, at home, surrounded by her loving family. Born to father, William John Barnes and …

FAITH WALK

How many times have you heard someone say, “Give me what I deserve.” It makes me think of the adage “Be careful what you ask for because you may get it.” The last thing most of us should …

Faith Walk: Fear

One of the greatest victories you can ever with is a victory over fear. Fear can paralyze you. It can immobilize you. It can destroy you. There are fears, or phobias, that everyone faces. There …

Faith Walk: Salvation prayers

One of the most powerful things anyone can say to me is ”I am praying for you.” I know some people just use that expression as a toss away comment. But when someone tells me that and I …

Faith Walk: Justified

It is amazing that anyone could be seen as guiltless for his past no matter what he has done. However, that is exactly what the term “Justified” means in the Scriptures. The great Scripture …

Sports
Wesley LeBlanc: Grandma can have my kidney (if she gives it back in 40 years) WITH LOVE – Hey Grandma. Yes grandma. Not anyone else – I’m talking to you. I know you’re my biggest fan when it comes to my writing, so I knew if I wrote a letter to you here, you’d …
Letter to the editor 7/30/20 To the editor:Florida’s rainy season extends from May through October, typically accounting for up to 70% of our annual rainfall totals. Our summer afternoon thunderstorms and tropical rains …
This Week In History 7/23/20 Five years ago, 2015• Calavo Growers signs a lease for the old Food Lion distribution center near Green Cove Springs. The company that manufactures fresh and frozen avocado products is expected …
‘Past the point of no return’: JSO sheriff says RNC security a dealbreaker Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams, a Republican, wants to put the brakes on the Republican National Convention next month, and national media is reporting it. “With less than forty (40) days …
Letter to the Editor 7/23/20 Dear Editor – A mandatory mask mandate within Green Cove Springs was defeated [July 14] in Emergency session. This meeting served as an example of local government and democracy at its finest. …

Martin joins Florida Tech hoops

MELBOURNE – Florida Tech men’s basketball and head coach Billy Mims are excited to announce that Fleming Island High basketball star Elias Martin as the program’s fourth signee for the 2020 …
Area baseball finishes off a great summer of play
ATLANTA - Area baseball players; from most of Clay County’s high school programs, completed a successful summer of baseball at the … Read More
Throwback Thursday
Say it isn’t so! Note: With COVID-19 altering all athletics, the historic Fleming Island vs. Clay football game may be nixed in … Read More
Robinson thunder; Eagles return with solid lineup
FLEMING ISLAND - Though losing one of the top jumpers and hitters in all of Florida to graduation; Reyna Durden, Fleming Island High … Read More
Simmons headed to Eastern Carolina University
OAKLEAF - Oakleaf High senior quarterback Walter Simmons had one thing in mind when choosing his college for his next phase of … Read More
FHSAA vote 11-4:
GAINESVILLE - An impassioned plea from a former local football coach preempted an FHSAA vote to push the start of 2020 high school … Read More
Carroll takes Jacksonville Amateur title
JACKSONVILLE - Middleburg High and University of North Florida golf ace Cody Carroll added yet another lofty outing on the the golf … Read More
Bronco ballplayer gets pro ball contract
MIDDLEBURG - Former Middleburg High baseball standout A.J. Gill got a very rare Major League Baseball contract last week when the … Read More
The Clay County YMCA – For A Better Community

First Coast YMCA-One Number Different

The Y is a powerful association of men, women and children from all walks of life joined together by a shared passion: to strengthen the foundations of community. With a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y nurtures the potential of every youth and teen, improves the nation’s health and well-being and provides opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Please visit the YMCA blog to stay up to date on their latest news!

Good Deeds, Memories and Briefs
Cowford Chophouse, Cal-Maine Foods donate 1 Million eggs to Feeding NE Florida
JACKSONVILLE – The Cowford Chophouse and Cal-Maine Foods, the largest producer and marketer for shell eggs in the United States, … Read More
NAS Jacksonville: Flying drones near federal facilities is prohibited
JACKSONVILLE – The use of unmanned aircraft systems, commonly called drones, has risen in recent years. In the past year alone, … Read More
This Week in History 7/30/20
Five years ago, 2015• Brooks Rehabilitation seeks a permit to build a facility near St. Vincent’s Medical Center Clay County at … Read More
North Florida Land Trust gets $500,000 grant for O2O Corridor Project
CLAY COUNTY – North Florida Land Trust has been awarded a $450,000 transformational grant from the EJK Foundation of Houston, Texas … Read More
Community Briefs 7/23/20
Recyclable collects suspended in Clay County by COVID-19GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Collection of curbside recyclables in Clay County were … Read More
Allegro, Shepherd’s Center to honor outstanding senior volunteers
ORANGE PARK – The Allegro is presenting the 13th annual Golden Years Gala to recognize senior adults for outstanding volunteer … Read More
Crime News
Police Briefs 080620
Charges upgraded to murder following brutal Keystone Heights attackGREEN COVE SPRINGS – Charges were upgraded from assault to … Read More
Police Briefs 7/30/20
Cracked windshield leads to arrest of wanted manORANGE PARK – A passenger in a car that was stopped for a cracked windshield was … Read More
Arrests & Booking 7/30/20
(Name, age, location of arrest, charges). Key: FTA-Failure to Appear; DWLSR-Driving Without a License-Suspended or Revoked; … Read More
Police Briefs 7/23/20
Sheriff’s Office: Man arrested following 4½-hour physical, sexual assaultFLEMING ISLAND – A 38-year-old man was arrested on July … Read More
Arrests & Bookings 7/23/20
(Name, age, location of arrest, charges). Key: FTA-Failure to Appear; DWLSR-Driving Without a License-Suspended or Revoked; … Read More
Arrests & Bookings 7/16/20
(Name, age, location of arrest, charges). Key: FTA-Failure to Appear; DWLSR-Driving Without a License-Suspended or Revoked; … Read More
Calendar 080620

LAKE REGION KIWANIS CLUB: will meet Aug. 6 at 7:30 a.m. at Johnny’s BBQ, 7411 State Road 21, Keystone Heights. CLARKE HOUSE TOURS: will be Aug. 9 at The Clarke House, 1039 Kingsley Ave., Orange …

Community Calendar 7/23/20

LAKE REGION KIWANIS CLUB: will meet July 23 at 7:30 a.m. at Johnny’s BBQ, 7411 State Road 21, Keystone Heights. CLAY COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS: will meet on July 28 at 4 p.m. at the fourth …

Calendar 7/9/20

LAKE REGION KIWANIS CLUB: will meet July 9 at 7:30 a.m. at Johnny’s BBQ, 7411 State Road 21, Keystone Heights.CLAY COUNTY SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT: will hold its monthly meeting at …

Calendar 7/2/20

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS CITY COUNCIL: will meet July 6 at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 555 S. Lawrence St. ORANGE PARK TOWN COUNCIL: will meet on July 7 at 5:30 p.m. at Town Hall, 2042 Park Ave. GREEN COVE …