Community Briefs 3/8/18

Clay Today
Posted 3/7/18

Voter registration deadline draws nearGREEN COVE SPRINGS – Clay County residents who are considering voting in their city’s upcoming Municipal Super Tuesday Election only have a few days …

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Community Briefs 3/8/18


Voter registration deadline draws near

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Clay County residents who are considering voting in their city’s upcoming Municipal Super Tuesday Election only have a few days left to register to vote.

Monday, March 12 is the deadline to register to be eligible to vote in the City of Keystone Heights and the Town of Orange Park elections, according to the Clay County Supervisor of Elections.

Voters who are already registered to vote in Florida do not need to re-register but can update their voter registration address. The Municipal Super Tuesday Election is April 10.

Voter registration applications are available at the Supervisor’s offices, all public libraries, tax collector offices, government offices handling social services or online at Address changes can be made online at, by calling (904) 269-6350 or by emailing, with birth date included.

Name and party changes may be made by sending a signed, written statement to the Supervisor of Elections Office including birth date or voter ID number. Signature updates can be made by completing and signing a voter registration application and returning it to the Supervisor of Elections Office. All new applications received by mail must be postmarked by Monday, March 12 to be valid for the Municipal Elections.

NEFBA accepts applications

for apprentice programs

JACKSONVILLE – The Northeast Florida Builders Association Apprenticeship Program is accepting applications for its electrical, plumbing and heating and air-conditioning apprentice training programs March 15 through June 15. Applications for carpentry training are accepted year around.

NEFBA’s program has offered quality construction career training for 45 years to meet the needs of employers, the industry and the community thereby enhancing the quality of life in Northeast Florida.

The four-year program is registered with the Florida Department of Education and is compatible with Post-911 GI Bill for veterans. It consists of classroom instruction two nights a week from September through April and full-time employment by a NEFBA member employer, who also provides on-the-job training and a salary. Apprentices in good standing with the program receive a 5 percent wage increase every 6 months.

Qualified applicants may apply to the plumbing, heating and air-conditioning and electrical programs by appointment 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays March 15 through June 15. Carpentry applications are accepted weekdays all year (except holidays and office closures). To make an appointment to apply in person, call the NEFBA office at (904) 421-0296 or by email to

Apply online by scanning and completing the apprenticeship application, available at, along with the required documentation, and send to

Graduates receive a Completion of Apprenticeship Certificate from the Florida Department of Education and a wallet ID card from the National Center for Construction Education and Research to verify their transcripts. During training, graduates will accumulate 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and Journeyman status. Their 600 hours of trade-related instruction gives our apprentice graduates a decided advantage when looking for and beginning a new job.

For more information, contact the NEFBA Apprenticeship program at (904) 421-0296 or by email at

Reinhold Foundation hosts nonprofit leadership seminar

FLEMING ISLAND – On March 27, board members of nonprofit organizations serving Clay County residents are invited to attend a free workshop, “Board Governance for Effective Leadership.”

The Paul E. and Klare N. Reinhold Foundation Inc. is sponsoring the one-day workshop taught by Chuck V. Loring, a nationally known expert in nonprofit board development and governance. Loring is the senior partner of the fundraising and governance consulting services firm of Loring, Sternberg, & Associates and a senior governance associate for BoardSource in Washington, D.C.

The objectives of the workshop include the top ten ways to strengthen board performance; how to develop an effective board recruitment strategy; a review of board structure and tools for improving board meetings; legal and ethical duties of board members; tips for successful board building and how to manage expectations; and a review of current data affecting the nonprofit community.

Participation is open to board members and senior staff and volunteers of 501(c)3 nonprofit groups active in the First Coast Area that provide services to Clay County residents.

Registration is required to attend. Seating is limited and registration is on a first come, first served basis. For more information or to register, contact Amy Parker, executive director, at (904) 269-5857, extension 404.

St. Vincent’s HealthCare names new chief medical officer

JACKSONVILLE – St. Vincent’s HealthCare, part of Ascension, has selected Jeff Mathison, M.D. as its new system chief medical officer.

Along with chief nursing officer Lorraine Keith, Mathison will oversee clinical and medical staff operations for the entire health system, which includes St. Vincent’s Medical Center Clay County. He previously served as a regional chief medical officer at another Ascension health system in Indiana.

“Dr. Mathison is an outstanding addition to the St. Vincent’s team. I had the privilege of serving with him in a previous role and his unparalleled care and caring for our patients and to our shared commitment and devotion to our Mission are second to none,” said Tom VanOsdol, president and CEO of St. Vincent’s HealthCare. “He is an exceptional healthcare leader and true community servant. We are fortunate to have him working with us and alongside our entire medical staff of world-class physicians and caregivers to provide patients with the care they need, when and where they need it.”

Mathison is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Medicine and has been the chief medical officer of St. Vincent Anderson since June 2016. He joined the health system in 1990 as a medical resident in the emergency department where he served for two years and began his family medicine practice in 1992. He eventually rejoined St. Vincent as a family physician before assuming his CMO role.

“For more than a century, St. Vincent’s HealthCare has been doing great work in the community and I am thankful for the opportunity to have a role in the many great things to come,” said Mathison. “Everyone deserves to have access to compassionate, personalized care close to home and I look forward to advancing this important work with the wonderful team assembled at St. Vincent’s.”

Mathison assumed his new role with St. Vincent’s HealthCare March 5.

Free safe boating course coming

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Boat owners have a chance to learn the rules of safe boating at a workshop scheduled for next weekend.

It is your opportunity to learn about your boat, what to do before you get underway, operating your boat safely, the legal requirements of boating, about boating emergencies and what to do, and much more. The course is conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. Materials are free and families are welcome.

The free Boating Safety Course on March 17, will be held at the USCG Auxiliary Headquarters, 1 Bunker Ave. in Green Cove Springs, behind the Military Museum. Seating is limited and reservations are required. For more information, to reserve seats, to receive registration confirmation, please call or text (904) 529-5979 with your name, email, and phone number or email

Persons born after January 1, 1988 are required to take a boating safety course prior to operating a vessel over 10 horsepower, unless exempt.

Girls Scouts collecting prom dresses

OAKLEAF – Girl Scout Troop 725 is collecting prom dresses for those who may not otherwise be able to attend a prom on their own.

The dresses are being collected for residents in foster care at the Baptist Children’s Home Society and teens who attend one of the area high schools.

All sizes and styles are welcome.

Donations can be arranged by contacting the troop at for pickup or dresses can be delivered directly to the Oakleaf High School front office.

Dresses are needed by April 7.

“Bells are ringing” concert scheduled

PENNEY FARMS – On March 11 at 7 p.m., Kristine Stout, solo handbell artist, will perform with 37 English handbells in Barrows Hall, located at 4385 Wilbank Ave. in Penney Farms.

Stout writes or arranges all of her own scores, and creates the digital orchestration used for accompaniments. Averaging 60 to 70 shows per year, she and husband Kirt travel throughout the United States to present her special talent. Normally, 11 or 12 people are required to play a set of hand-bells, called a “choir.” Kristine arranges her bells so that they remain in keyboard order throughout a piece. In addition to a keen musical sense, such performances require concentration, memory, and agility. Having memorized over 120 songs, in addition to producing 8 CD’s and a DVD/Video presentation, she is one of only a few professional hand-bell soloists in the U.S.

Coming from a family where both her mother and grandmother were musicians, she began piano lessons at age 8, studied music at Central Michigan University, and has been playing solo hand-bells since 1995. The concert is part of the Commemorative Concert Series.

And on Saturday, March 10, at 2 p.m., Stout will conduct a hand-bell workshop in the Fellowship Room of McCormick Hall at Penney Memorial Church located at 4465 Poling Blvd. Admission is free. If interested, call Bob Hodges at (904)654-7950 for more details and reservation.

Art Guild offering college scholarship

ORANGE PARK – The Art Guild of Orange Park is offering a $1,000 scholarship to a high school senior who is a resident of Clay County and plans to seek a degree in the Visual Fine Arts or Art Education.

Applications are available online and may be downloaded from the Guild website at

Students are requested to present their portfolio to the Scholarship Committee. Interviews will be scheduled after the deadline of April 1.

Francis to address historical society

PENNEY FARMS – Local historian Eugene Francis will be the guest speaker at the March Penney Farms Historical Society meeting.

The March 15 meeting begins at 7 p.m. and will be held in the Town Hall at 4100 Clark Ave. at 7 p.m.

Francis will discuss the history of his mother’s family, “Lycurgus” in Clay County and Northeast Florida. Francis will share a family history that has been traced with documentation back through almost 300 years.

Francis was recently featured on “Florida Frontiers: The Weekly Radio Magazine of the Florida Historical Society” for his work re-organizing the Augusta Savage Festival in Green Cove Springs.

Admission is free and the public is invited.

Fleming Island pharmacist honored

UNION CITY, Tenn. – Pharmacy News Today, a news website serving the pharmaceutical industry, named a Fleming Island pharmacist its “Florida Pharmacist of the Month” for January 2018.

Nathan “Andy” Tillis, who holds a doctorate in pharmacy from Mercer University College of Pharmacy in Atlanta, was recognized for his genuine compassion and his willingness to go above and beyond to ensure that his customers are taken care of in every possible way.

“I am truly honored. The state of Florida is home to so many outstanding Pharmacists and it is very fulfilling to be recognized in this highly skilled arena,” Tillis said.

Tillis is the pharmacy manager at Winn-Dixie’s County Road 220 location. A lifelong resident of Clay County, Tillis enjoys tennis, motor cross and skiing. He and his wife, Jordan, have two children.


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