Community Briefs 1/11/18

Clay Today
Posted 1/10/18

Play trivia, help a person learn to readORANGE PARK – A nonprofit organization that helps adults in Clay County learn to read and become self-sufficient is holding a fundraiser this month.The …

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Community Briefs 1/11/18


Play trivia, help a person learn to read

ORANGE PARK – A nonprofit organization that helps adults in Clay County learn to read and become self-sufficient is holding a fundraiser this month.

The public is invited to come out and play trivia to help the Clay County Literacy Coalition.

Trivia Night will be held Jan. 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Courtyard by Marriott on Wells Road. Tickets are $15 for an individual, $25 for a team of two and $50 for a team of four.

There will also be a Silent Auction and a 50/50 Raffle to help buy materials used to teach adults how to read. The Coalition also holds classes on U.S. citizenship to help prepare those sitting for the U.S. citizenship test.

For more information, call (904) 336-4458 or email

Scholarship applications now being accepted

MIDDLEBURG – Calling all Clay County graduating high school seniors and current college students whose family members are involved with Clay County Farm Bureau.

Clay County Farm Bureau is now accepting applications for its 2017-2018 Scholarship Program.

The scholarship is awarded to graduating seniors and current college students whose parents or grandparents have been members of Clay County Farm Bureau for at least two years. The scholarship program is competitive and first preference is given to applicants who will be or are already pursuing a career in agriculture.

The Katy Hendry Memorial Future Agriculture Teacher Scholarship was created to honor a beloved former agriculture teacher and FFA advisor of Clay County. This special scholarship will award $1,000 to one recipient who is pursuing an agriculture teaching degree in order to become an Agriculture Teacher and FFA Advisor.

Scholarship applications must be in the Clay County Farm Bureau office at 3960 Lazy Acres Rd. no later than Feb. 9 to be considered. For additional information you may contact Terri Davis at the Clay County Farm Bureau Middleburg office at (904) 406-8143 or

Clay County Farm Bureau has awarded more than $30,000 in academic scholarships in the last six years.

Library book sale

MIDDLEBURG – If you’re looking for a fresh read to begin the new year, the Friends of the Middleburg-Clay Hill Library Book Sale may be the place to start.

Friends of the Library members get to shop early on Jan. 25 beginning at 9 a.m. while the general public comes in from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. On Jan. 26, guests can begin shopping at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. On Jan. 27, again Friends members shop beginning at 9 a.m., while the public gets in from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Also, on Jan. 27, guests can fill a Friends Book Bag for just $5.

This sale includes a large selection of books – many on World War II – and DVDs, as well as a huge collection of children’s books.

There’s still time to donate to the sale. For questions or donations, call Ed at (904) 254-7891.

Orange Park Town Council election qualifying begins

ORANGE PARK – Want to get more involved in the community this year or ever thought about running for Town Council?

Town Council Seat 3 is up for election this year. Qualifying begins on Jan. 29 at noon and ends on Feb. 2 at noon. The election will take place on April 10, as part of a multi-municipality “Super Tuesday” election in which Green Cove Springs City Council and Keystone Heights City Council positions are also voted on. For more information, contact the town clerk at (904) 264-9595.

Biologists monitoring sea turtles, manatees during cold weather

LAKE CITY – As Florida residents and visitors manage the current cold-weather conditions, the state’s fish and wildlife species may need some extra care as well. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is prepared and ready to prioritize this critical mission.

“We are committed to conserving our natural resources, and are staged and ready in strategic areas throughout the state,” said Eric Sutton, FWC executive director. “Our team of FWC staff, partners and volunteers are monitoring the status of marine species affected most by the cold, and are prepared in case rescues are needed.”

Sea turtles are one species that can be affected by cold weather. When the water temperatures drop, stunned sea turtles may float listlessly in the water on or near shore. Although these turtles may appear to be dead, they are often still alive. It is important to report these turtles to the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline as soon as possible.

“Our staff, partners and permitted volunteers are already working to rescue sea turtles in northwest Florida. Nearly 100 turtles have been rescued so far. We are also monitoring the Mosquito Lagoon and other areas of the state to see if sea turtles are being impacted there,” said Kipp Frohlich, director of FWC’s Division of Habitat and Species Conservation.

The Florida manatee is another species that can be impacted by extreme cold weather. When water temperatures drop, manatees gather in warm-water habitats such as discharge canals at power plants and natural springs. The FWC asks boaters to be extra vigilant in watching for manatees in shallow waters near the coast, both inland and coastal and obey all posted manatee speed zone signs.

“Boaters should avoid areas where large numbers of manatees are gathered,” said Gil McRae, head of FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. “Aggregated animals should not be disturbed, as this could cause them to leave the warm-water sites that help them cope with cold temperatures.”

To report any dead or distressed animal, call the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.

Clay kids invited to audition for children’s chorus

JACKSONVILLE – Students in grades two through 12 who live in Clay County are invited to audition for the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus during spring semester.

While prior musical training is not necessary to participate in the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus, an audition is required. Singers will be placed in the appropriate choir group based on their skills, maturity and readiness.

The audition process is quick and simple. A conductor will listen for the singer’s ability to match pitches, to learn a simple tune and to hold their voice part against others. Auditions are by appointment only.

Auditions began Jan. 9 and will run through Jan. 18. Auditions will be held in downtown Jacksonville, but rehearsal sites are also available in Arlington, Fleming Island, Mandarin, Orange Park and Westside areas.

There is no fee to audition and need-based full and partial scholarships are available.

Visit to request an audition time or call (904) 353-1636, ext. 1.

Wanamaker named chief strategy officer

JACKSONVILLE – Hanania Automotive Group promoted Howard Wanamaker to the newly-created position of chief strategy officer of the company.

Wanamaker, a 26-year Navy veteran and former commanding officer at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, joined the auto group in August 2016 as director of human resources where he developed and implemented new culture and employee work-life balance policies and procedures that reduced employee turnover by 15 percent.

In his role as CSO, Wanamaker will assist the CEO with developing, communicating, executing, and sustaining corporate strategic initiatives.

“Howard Wanamaker is a highly accomplished leader with proven leadership experience, and outstanding performance across a diverse portfolio of challenging assignments,” said Jack Hanania, founder and chief executive officer. “His creative and strategic thinking, strong business acumen, and ability to achieve organizational objectives in a dynamic, fast-paced environment is a tremendous asset.”

Wanamaker holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from University of Florida and a master of business administration from the Naval Postgraduate School.


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