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This Week in History

Posted 5/9/24

Five years ago, 2019 •   Residents had the opportunity to vote for the name of the new Veterans Affairs Clinic in Middleburg. They decided to name it after A. K. Baker, who was killed in …

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This Week in History


Five years ago, 2019

•   Residents had the opportunity to vote for the name of the new Veterans Affairs Clinic in Middleburg. They decided to name it after A. K. Baker, who was killed in 1997 during a training mission in North Carolina when his helicopter was trying to refuel on the frigate USS Taylor.  From the crash, the U.S. Navy learned more about night vision and lighting on frigates.

• Ken Brock's historic 2,650-mile march from Keystone Heights to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho was interrupted not by thunderstorms or tornadoes, but by an appointment with the Veteran's Association which came up suddenly and could not be rescheduled. He made his VA appointment, and he eventually continued the 2,650-mile journey to raise awareness for Wounded Warrior Project.

• Known as the "Miracle on the St. Johns River," a Boeing 737 plane bounced off the runway and skid into the St. Johns River. Orange Park Medical Center joined to treat a few of the 19 injured passengers. There was a total of 136 passengers on board and Green Cove Springs' MOBRO Marine recovered the plane and brought it back to the city dock. 

10 years ago, 2014

  Much like a neighborhood watch program, Marine Volunteers in Police Service joined the Clay County Sheriff’s Office in patrolling the county’s waterways.

•  Pamela Lewis was sworn in for her second term as a Green Cove Springs councilwoman by Clay County Circuit Court Judge Don H. Lester. Lewis was re-elected with no opposition on April 1, along with former Mayor Mitch Timberlake, who was absent from the meeting.

20 years ago, 2004

• Judge William Wilkes sentenced Leonard Stephen Peacock, now 47, of Keystone Heights, to 12-and-a-half years in state prison for DUI manslaughter in the death of Lt. Cmdr. James Warnowski.

•  Orange Park Town Council fielded comments from a packed crowd before voting 4-1 to extend Sunday alcohol sales hours by two hours. The measure allowed sales from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Sundays.

•  Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Ryan Shupe, 23, Emmanuel Soriano, 22, and Larry Marvin, 27, on charges of armed robbery and false imprisonment for allegedly robbing a BP Store in Middleburg at gunpoint.

30 years ago, 1994

• East West Partners unveiled drawings for its $2.5 million swim park and tennis complex at Eagle Harbor.

•  Officials with the Clay County Health Department treated parents, students and teachers who had contact with a student at Middleburg Elementary diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis. Katrina McKnight, 11, of Middleburg, passed away at Baptist Medical Center in Jacksonville.

40 years ago, 1984

• Clay County Sheriff Jennings Murrhee said what had been labeled a racial incident involving several slurs spray painted on a black family’s home in Orange Park was "anything other than that" despite the use of the “n” word and KKK.

• Green Cove Springs announced William T. Bland’s appointment as chief of police. He would replace Carl Crossley, who accepted a position with the State Attorney’s Office.

50 years ago, 1974

• Green Cove Springs City Council members elected Arthur F. Rivers II as mayor. Former Mayor Leamon Johns was elected vice mayor.

• Orange Park City Commission passed an ordinance spelling out minimum qualifications for new daycare centers planned for construction.