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Down a dirt road through High Ridge Estates

An abandoned home in High Ridge Estates, which squatters have recently used for shelter.
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – There is an abandoned home down a dirt road through High Ridge Estates. Trash festers along the front yard. Plywood boards the windows shut. I knocked at the front door…
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Magnolia Point Golf and Country Club is quietly nestled behind guarded gates, surrounded by a matrix of moss-draped oaks and magnolia trees. The community is a sanctuary of …
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Richie Van Kirk finished 12th in 8-Ball Singles last year, and now he's returning as part of But I Got Shape 8-Ball team.

Clay racks up 21 entries for USA Pool League National Championships

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Misty Powless has never been to Las Vegas, so she doesn’t know what to expect at the USA Pool League National Championships. The millions of neon lights along the Las Vegas …
Elston

Elston Kussler rolls onto City Council in April

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – Two seats for the city council were up for grabs this election cycle. Because the deadline to register as a candidate has already passed and because only one candidate registered …
Heather

O2O: The Ocala to Osceola conservation initiative

STARKE – Since its founding in 1999, the North Florida Land Trust has preserved tens of thousands of acres of natural landscape and ecosystems throughout North Florida. “The time for protecting …
Board of County Commissioners Chairman Jim Renninger.

State of Clay: Elected officials said preparation for future growth starts now

ORANGE PARK – County Mayors and the County Commission Chairman shared a common theme Wednesday at the annual Clay Chamber State of the County luncheon: the time to prepare for the future is right …
Britnney Bastidas Rodriguez

Mall security, CCSO break up shoplifting spree at Orange Park Mall

ORANGE PARK – Three people were arrested on Feb. 17 following a shoplifting spree at the Orange Park Mall. According to the arrest report, mall security told Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputies …

Darin Lee: Ignoring needs of the blind is the real disability

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – One thing is clear to Darin Lee: blindness is a disability; indifference is incapacitating. A series of strokes robbed the former Clay County Sheriff’s Office sergeant of his …
More local news

FCC Environment Services picks up garbage contract on Oct. 1

CLAY COUNTY - Commissioners voted on an agreement that will change garbage and recycling services on Oct. 1.  The full article is here: …

bestbet Poker Tournament wraps with $104k prize pool

ORANGE PARK – The 2024 Greater Orange Park Open (G.O.P.O) 200 Poker Tournament took place at bestbet Orange Park this past weekend with the final table on Sunday, February 18. The $200 No Limit …

Keystone Heights man charged with abusing girl more than 25 years ago

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – A 37-year-old woman told Clay County Sheriff’s Office investigators she was sexually abused by a man between 1996 and 1998. According to the heavily redacted arrest report, …

Town Council has $10,000 option to join state, federal lawsuits against Form 6

ORANGE PARK – Municipalities across the state limped into the new year after a wave of resignation forms were tendered statewide from elected officials in local governments. The resignations came …
This Scot first tries to gain control of the 200-pound, 16-foot camber before tossing it for distance.

Scots, many in kilts, converged to Northeast Florida Scottish Games

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – More than 1,000 revelers, many in kilts, attended Saturday’s Northeast Florida Scottish Games and Festival at the Clay County Fairgrounds. Even t hose not sporting kilts or …
Reilly McInnis won first place in the individual exhibit category for his project, “How did the Allied Powers’ victory at D-Day change the outcome of World War II?”

'Turning Points in History' at annual History Fair

ORANGE PARK – The course of human history has taken twists and turns, sometimes abruptly so. This is why “Turning Points in History” was an exciting theme for the Historical Fair and an …
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Clay Today Arts Contest
Obituaries
Joyce Mae Brantley
Joyce Mae Brantley, age 84, of Fleming Island, Florida passed away on Monday, February 12, 2024. She was born in Jacksonville, FL to the late William and Mae Patterson. She was predeceased by her …
Elaine Halley
Elaine Halley, 75, of Orange Park, FL, passed away February 14, 2024.  She was born on January 5, 1949 in Fairmont, WV to parents Olis and Mary (Lee) Bennett. She had a B.A. Degree from West …
Doyle Saunders
Doyle Saunders, 94, of Green Cove Springs, FL, passed away February 15, 2024 Please sign the family’s online guestbook at www.broadusraines.com Arrangements are under the care of …
Aileen White Lewis
Aileen White Lewis, 82, of Middleburg, Florida, passed into glory on February 10, 2024, with her husband Ed and her son Mike at her side. Aileen was a devoted follower of Jesus and was a loving wife, …
John Ronald Zuback
John Ronald Zuback, better known as "Ron" passed away on Feb. 2 2024 at the age of 85. He resided in Middleburg, Florida along with his wife Barbara. Ron attended Connellsville High School in …
Badcock Furniture Green Cove Springs
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Badcock Furniture Green Cove Springs

We believe home is a sacred space that should feel just right and just like YOU. If you find yourself facing a design dilemma or comfort crisis, your neighbors at Badcock Home Furniture &more can help! No matter your age or stage in life, we’ve got the service, selection, prices, and financing options you need to create a comfortable and safe refuge. On the Badcock Home Furniture &more Facebook page, we want to connect with YOU. We encourage you to share your feedback and interact with fellow Badcock fans!  Need to contact us? Visit www.badcock.com or call us at 904-863-3595.

Sports

HECK YEAH! Three state titles for Emma

LAKELAND - Clay High junior weightlifter Emma Heck dominated her division as expected for an unprecedented third straight double state title weekend while Fleming Island junior Bradi Johnson came …
ST. JOHNS - An overtime goal from sophomore top scorer Brooke Bunton sealed the deal for the third-seed Clay High Blue Devils girls soccer team to get to a place long denied to Blue Devil soccer fans …
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Keystone, Oakleaf, and Ridgeview rock preseason OAKLEAF - The upcoming softball season looking to be another jam-packed season of state-level competition in Clay County with returners promising to …
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Jaguars Flag Football Preseason Invite: Area flags battle in a two-day challenge

USA Womens Flag Football National team member Deliah Autry, a grad of state champion Tampa Robinson, chats with the more than 40 teams at Jaguars Flag Football Preseason Invitational.

JACKSONVILLE - With United States Women's National team member Deliah Autry encouraging the 40-plus teams of girls high school flag football teams that trekked to the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars …

Upcoming Events in Clay County

The annual "Best of Clay" contest is on now! The Clay Today is back for our third installment of the Best of Clay contest. Last year, we had over 153,000 votes cast for different businesses in Clay.

Starting February 17, you will be able to vote for the winner of every category. You are allowed one vote per category per day, so make sure to come back often! 

https://www.claytodayonline.com/best-of-clay-2024/#//

Make sure to share the contest so all of the county can participate. Voting closes March 6

Did You Know?

Every week, Clay Today will test or enlighten your knowledge on a variety of topics. This week, prove your identification at the polls. A lot’s been said about requiring voters to prove their …

Word of the Week 02/22/24

Buttress: (BUTT-russ) a noun meaning a structure built against a wall in order to support or strengthen it. More broadly, buttress may refer to anything that supports or strengthens.

The Clay County YMCA – For A Better Community

First Coast YMCA-Our DayStar Program

At DayStar, we are committed to ensuring everyone reaches their full potential with dignity while providing individuals access to the unique support they need. Daystar is committed to providing …

Crime & safety

Arrests & Bookings from 02/15/24 - 02/22/24

Tuesday, Feb. 20

John T. Prude, 73, Green Cove Springs, domestic battery

Elizabeth A. Rich, 37, Orange Park, possession-cocaine, possession-marijuana, possession-drug paraphernalia

Norma A. Aviles-Cota, 33, Middleburg, shoplifting

Edgar A. Castro, 24, Green Cove Springs, FTA

Kristina S. Frazier, 40, Orange Park, trespassing

David C. Leonard, 32, Green Cove Springs, FTA-DWLSR

Mildred N. Buzzard, 71, Keystone Heights, violation of injunction for protection against domestic violence

Kenyan D.M. Butler, 27, Orange Park, violation of injunction for protection against domestic violence

Briefs

Free Kids Concert Tuesday, March 12

FLEMING ISLAND - Kids will enjoy the fun interacting with the popular Recycles 25 piece Band from Jacksonville Florida. A great time for parents as you witness and hear the music that is joyful music …

Opinions & Viewpoints
Faith Walk

David: A Man After God's Own Heart

Pastor Billy Register

The story of David, one of the most beloved figures in the Bible, is the story of a young shepherd who rose to become a mighty warrior and a king with a heart devoted to God. His life is a testament …

This Week in History 02/22/24

Five years ago, 2019 • Managing Editor at the Clay Today Eric Cravey announces his decision to step down. "Despite all of the yelling, threats and intimidation I’ve endured from the public …

Columnists

Florida House tries to move slowpokes from left lanes

Florida may have fewer left-lane laggards on high-speed roadways next year if the Senate approves legislation that just zipped through the House. The bill ( HB 317 ) cleared the Legislature’s …
Sen. Jennifer Bradley represents District 6, which includes Clay County, among others. She is Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee on Criminal and Civil Justice in the Florida Senate.

Sen. Bradley wants consistent standards for delivery companies, food providers

According to legislation advanced by the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee, the state is looking to swallow up all regulatory authority over food delivery apps such as Uber Eats and Grubhub. SB 676 …

Daytona gloves come off as racing moves to ‘real’ season after 500

DAYTONA BEACH – There were puddles of antifreeze, brake fluid and motor oil in the Daytona International Speedway garage area after Monday’s rain-delayed Daytona 500. Piles of crumpled fenders …

Letter to the Editor: Clay County’s garbage new garbage policy

Jack, You wrote an article about Clay County Board of County Commissioners, the new curbside collection contract coming October 1 and the decision those commissioners made of getting rid of recycling …
Special Sections
New from local businesses

A year of ren"ovation" at the Florida Theatre in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE - The Florida Theatre has issued its  annual report  for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2023. Fiscal 2023 was a monumental year of shows and renovation in which many …