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This Week in History

Posted 7/4/24

Five years ago, 2019 Ken Brock, a U.S. Army veteran who suffered from PTSD, completed his 2,650-mile walk from Keystone Heights to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. During the five-month journey, Brock marched …

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This Week in History


Five years ago, 2019

  • Ken Brock, a U.S. Army veteran who suffered from PTSD, completed his 2,650-mile walk from Keystone Heights to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. During the five-month journey, Brock marched through storms and burned through pairs of shoes to raise awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project's PTSD programs. 
  • The taxable property value across Clay County increased by $790 million for the year, according to an assessment made by the Certification of Taxable Value.
  • Beginning July 1, a law carried out the will of voters who approved a referendum in November to ban vaping inside the workplace.

10 years ago, 2014

  • Members of the area Shriner’s Club cruised down the road in their mini cars and motorcycles during the annual Keystone Heights Fourth of July parade.
  • Clay County of County Commissioners voted 3-0 to lift a $64,000 lien from the property at 5950 Plantation Ct. in Keystone Heights.
  • An internal investigation of how the Clay County Sheriff's Office could arrest the wrong woman twice in five months ended with four suspensions and a set of new procedures at the agency. Sheriff Rick Beseler said sloppy police work was the root cause.

20 years ago, 2004

  • Officials with Clay County Fire Rescue donated a decommissioned 1981 GMC fire truck to a Panhandle’s Calhoun County fire department. The 1,000-gallon-a-minute pumper was a big boost for the Kinard Volunteer Fire Department.
  • Clay County Habitat for Humanity held a parking lot party to raise awareness and recruit volunteers to help build homes for the less fortunate.
  • Clay County authorities investigated an apparent hit-and-run accident that claimed the life of Jason Simmons, 22, of Orange Park.

30 years ago, 1994

  • Sheriff Scott Lancaster and staff celebrated the opening of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office Middleburg sub-station at 1836 Blanding Blvd.
  • After three court trials, Assistant State Attorney Tim Collins announced he would not try Andre Clemons of Jacksonville a fourth time for murder. Clemons was charged with killing Kevin Eugene Baker, 29, while robbing a Winn Dixie store in 1991.
  • An investigation into possible theft involving the Clay County Sheriff’s Explorer Post led to the arrest of Frank Joseph Spanarelli on grand theft charges. Spanarelli also was fired from his job as a corrections officer at the county jail

40 years ago, 1984

  • The Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution allowing voters to decide whether to continue prohibiting Sunday sales of alcoholic beverages on the fall election ballot.
  • Authorities charged Robert Joseph Wasdin, 19, of Orange Park, with one count of attempted murder after allegedly stabbing Johnny Lynch, 19, of Orange Park, multiple times.
  • Headline proclaimed: “Clay County isn’t ready for disaster” as state officials listed Clay County as a risk-host area by the Division of Emergency Management in Tallahassee

50 years ago, 1974

  • The Clay County School Board awarded People’s Construction Company of Jacksonville a contract for $877,327 to construct a Vocational Technical Center on the campus of Orange Park High School.
  • School district officials also learned that previous estimates of $2.1 million may not be enough to construct Orange Park Middle School “D.” Officials say the construction costs may run as high as $2.5 million.
  • Detectives with the Starke Police Department arrested Billy Ray Wilson, 26, of Trion, Georgia, for the shooting death of John Clark, 31, of Middleburg. Wilson was charged with first-degree murder for the shooting that took place in Starke.