Community Briefs 1/10/19

Clay Today
Posted 1/9/19

13th Annual Charity Golf Tourney to benefit CLAY/VISIONOAKLEAF – Registration is now open for the Middleburg Lions Club Foundation’s 13th Annual Charity Golf Tournament to be held at the …

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Community Briefs 1/10/19


13th Annual Charity Golf Tourney to benefit CLAY/VISION

OAKLEAF – Registration is now open for the Middleburg Lions Club Foundation’s 13th Annual Charity Golf Tournament to be held at the Eagle Landing Golf Club in Oakleaf.

Check-in begins at 11 a.m. on March 29 for this Shotgun Start Captain’s Choice. Registration is $75 per player and includes range balls, greens fee, cart and dinner after play, which begins at 1 p.m.

There will be a Noon putting contest, an automobile hole-in-one contest and a $10,000 cash hole-in-one contest and more. Sponsorships are also available beginning with hole sponsors at $100 each on up to tournament diamond sponsor at $2,500.

Tournament proceeds go toward funding CLAY/VISION’s vision and glucose screening programs. Throughout the year, Lions collect food for local food banks, feed the needy and help support other charitable organizations in Clay County.

For more information, contact Ed Dickson at (904) 254-7891 or Charlie Knight at (904) 813-1239.

Quit smoking for free

MIDDLEBURG – Clay County residents who have been trying to smoke but just couldn’t do it on their own, now have a program to turn to.

The Free Tools to Quit class will be at St. Vincent’s Medical Center Clay in Middleburg on Feb. 7 from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

Attendees will be given free patches, lozenges and gum, a free quit plan, workbook, water bottle, stress ball and more. Call Northeast Florida AHEC at (904) 482-0189 to register and learn more about classes near you.

Clay deputy appointed to Boating Advisory Council

TALLAHASSEE – On Jan. 4, Gov. Rick Scott announced 38 reappointments and 38 appointments to multiple state boards, including one Clay County deputy.

Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputy and marine enforcement officer Christopher Castelli was appointed by Scott on Jan. 4. He received his bachelor’s degree from Western Carolina University. Castelli succeeds Phillip Dur and is appointed for a term beginning January 4, 2019 and ending September 30, 2021.

Scott also appointed Adam Botana, 34, of Bonita Springs, is the vice president of Bay Water Boat Club and Rentals. Botana succeeds Stephen Danzig and is appointed for a term beginning January 4, 2019 and ending September 30, 2020.

Scholarship applications being accepted

ORANGE PARK – The Orange Park Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association is accepting applications from area women who will be attending college after high school.

The $2,000 IMPACT Scholarship is funded through the Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund to support a deserving female Northeast Florida student.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, reside in Northeast Florida and attend a Florida college or university in Fall 2019 which awards at least a baccalaureate degree studying at any college grade including post-graduate levels and have a current GPA of at least 3.0 or higher. Eligible women interested in applying for the scholarship should contact:

Lynn McCarthy, Scholarship Chair, Orange Park Charter Chapter of American Business Women’s Association,

Once added to the applicant database by the Scholarship Chair, application packets must be completed online by May 15, 2019. Contact chapter scholarship chair for complete application details. A minimum of three eligible completed applications are required in order for the scholarship to be considered. The scholarship recipient will be notified mid-June 2019.

Blanding Boulevard project to begin Jan. 16

MIDDLEBURG – Work is expected to begin Jan. 16 on a $19.1 million project to widen Blanding Boulevard/State Road 21 between Long Bay Road and Allie Murray Road in Middleburg, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.

Project improvements include widening the road from four lanes to six lanes; full reconstruction of the roadway; adding four-foot wide bike lanes in both directions; adding six-foot wide sidewalks in both directions; replacement of traffic signals and street lights; construction of a new drainage system; and realignment of the intersections at Long Bay Road and County Road 220 Access Road.

Contractor R.B. Baker Construction Company is expected to complete the $19.1 million project in spring 2021, weather and schedule permitting.

Traffic will be maintained in accordance with FDOT design standards throughout the project. When lane closures are needed, drivers will be alerted in advance via portable, changing message signs. Lane closure notices are available online at

The Florida Department of Transportation urges motorists to always follow the speed limit and stay within the limits of orange cones and barrels while traveling through construction zones. Call (904) 831-FDOT with any questions about this or other projects within FDOT District Two.

Rebuild Florida app deadline extended until March

TALLAHASSEE – To help as many Floridians as possible repair and rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Irma, the deadline to register for assistance from Rebuild Florida was just extended to March 29.

Rebuild Florida is a program of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help Florida families in the hardest-hit communities repair, rebuild or replace their homes damaged by Hurricane Irma.

There are still many Floridians who have yet to register for Rebuild Florida assistance.

To be eligible for the Rebuild Florida Housing Repair and Replacement Program, homes must have suffered damage because of Hurricane Irma. Priority will be given to seniors 62 and up, households with children under age 18, households with special needs or special accommodation requirements (including disability) and households with persons displaced from Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands who are permanently resettling in Florida.

Florida residents can visit or call (844) 833-1010 to register. There are Rebuild Florida centers in the most impacted counties to assist homeowners with the registration process. There are also three Rebuild Florida busses, visiting the most impacted counties and ZIP codes equipped with a team of specialists who will answer questions and register homeowners. Registration ends on March 29.

Clay students encouraged to apply for FSASE college scholarship

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections is seeking a few good high school seniors to apply for its college scholarship program.

Current college juniors or seniors at a Florida college or university who are pursuing a degree in political science, public or business administration, or journalism/mass communications are encouraged to apply.

Clay County Supervisor of Elections Chris H. Chambless invites students to apply for one of three $1,200 scholarships, available from the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections.

The FSASE scholarship is open to local college or university students who have finished two years of junior college or undergraduate work and are enrolled, or have been accepted into, the above listed programs.

Chambless encourages all interested students to review the full eligibility requirements and fill out an application either online at or at the SOE office located at 500 N. Orange Ave. in Green Cove Springs.

The completed FSASE scholarship application, a resume, a statement of financial need, and two letters of recommendation must be submitted by March 29 to the Clay County Supervisor of Elections.

For more information, visit our website or call (904)269-6350 if we can assist you.

“Ice Man” lecture at UNF

JACKSONVILLE – The Archaeological Institute of America – Jacksonville Society meets at Noon on Jan. 26 in Building 51 at the University of North Florida where Stanford University professor Patrick Hunt presents “Timely Remedies: Ancient Medicines of Otzi, the Ice Man.” The lecture focuses on the 5,300-year-old body found in the Alps in 1991.

The almost perfectly preserved remains of “Ötzi the Iceman” may give us a glimpse into medicine practiced by prehistoric peoples. We know that “Ötzi” carried a medical kit with him – his own portable pharmacy with over 10 different plant products that could heal and cure.

This lecture explores the medical evidence, including material technology he carried with vital medical and bioarchaeological data. This is research conducted under the auspices of National Geographic and the Institute for EthnoMedicine where Hunt is also a Research Associate in Archeoethnobotany.

The lecture is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served in the Archaeology Lab afterwards. Parking is free, and the faculty/staff/vendor spaces are available to everyone. For more information, contact Melva Price at (904)241-9411.

St. Johns Country Day welcomes new staffers

ORANGE PARK – St. Johns Country Day School has added two new staff members to it Orange Park campus.

Jordan Robbins Rechcigl of Avondale, a 2010 St. Johns graduate, joined the school as director of development. Rechcigl has been working in fundraising with the Children’s Miracle Network, American Lung Association, and others since she graduated from the University of Florida in 2014. She brings a wealth of experience back to her St. Johns family for this position.

Caroline Morris, of San Marco, also joined St. Johns on Jan. 7 as the school’s new director of college counseling. Morris holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and master’s degrees in social work and counselor education from Columbia University and the University of North Florida.

She has served as assistant director of college counseling at The Bolles School since 2007.

Hospital raising awareness on sepsis

ORANGE PARK – As flu season heads to its peak, Orange Park Medical Center warns residents about sepsis, the body’s response to an infection. Viral illnesses such as influenza, can sometimes trigger sepsis. For some, flu can cause pneumonia which is a common cause of sepsis.

Jennifer Chapman, emergency physician at OPMC said as many as 1 in 3 people diagnosed with sepsis pass away and those that survive can be left with chronic symptoms such as fatigue, memory loss or difficulties with activities of daily living. In extreme cases sepsis can lead to amputation or organ dysfunction.

Chapman said, “In most cases, sepsis can be treated with antibiotics, intravenous fluids or medication that increases your blood pressure.”

While low grade fever and mild weakness may occur with any infection, the following symptoms are warning signs of sepsis and should be taken seriously. If someone experiences two or more of these symptoms it is recommended that they seek medical attention – shivering, fever or feeling cold, extreme pain or general discomfort, pale or discolored skin, severe sleepiness, difficulty waking or confusion, “I feel like I might Die” feeling and shortness of breath.

Chapman said the best way to avoid sepsis during flu season is to practice good hand hygiene, rest and let your body recover if you feel ill. If you come down with the flu, stay hydrated, rest and most importantly get your flu vaccination.

Orange Park Medical Center is the only hospital in Clay County and one of two in the Jacksonville area that is certified by the Joint Commission for sepsis care.

The Florida Health Department in Clay County will provide 250 free flu shots Jan. 12 from 8 a.m. until Noon at its Bear Run Clinic at 3229 Bear Run Blvd.

Zander to lead AFP-Florida Chapter

TALLAHASSEE – A conservative organization the lobbies the Florida Legislature has named a Clay County native as its new executive director.

Skylar Zander, who previously served as deputy director, is now leading Americans for Prosperity-Florida.

“I am excited to lead the state’s best grassroots advocacy team to continue promoting common-sense policies that have propelled Florida as the best state to live, work, and raise a family,” said Zander. “I share in the passion of our activists that are committed to creating economic opportunity and breaking barriers for all Floridians to thrive.”

“We are fortunate to have Skylar lead our team,” said Chris Hudson, who was recently promoted from Florida state director to AFP’s vice president of state government affairs. “His experience in public policy and navigating Florida positions him perfectly to lead our grassroots efforts and grow our chapter in Florida. I look forward to seeing Skylar grow the chapter and expand economic freedom and prosperity in our great state.”

A former elected member of the Clay County Soil and Water Conservation District, Zander and his wife Lindsey and daughter Emma live in Tallahassee.


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