Community Briefs 9/2/21

Clay Today
Posted 9/1/21

Coast Guard Auxiliary conducts open house in Orange ParkORANGE PARK – The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is holding an open house to share information about the organization, what it does and the …

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Community Briefs 9/2/21


Coast Guard Auxiliary conducts open house in Orange Park
ORANGE PARK – The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is holding an open house to share information about the organization, what it does and the benefits of membership. The event is Saturday, Sept. 4, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
It will be held at the Clay County Library in Orange Park at 2054 Plainfield Ave.
The public is invited to attend and learn more about joining this national service organization. For more information call Scott Alfassa at (904) 644-8730. No reservations are required.

Time running out for
water management district education grants
CLAY COUNTY – The deadline is fast approaching for teachers planning to apply for this year’s round of Blue School Grant Funding.
Now entering the sixth year of this water education grant program, the St. Johns River Water Management District anticipates offering up to $20,000 in grants for projects that enrich student knowledge of Florida’s water resources through hands-on learning. The application deadline is Sept. 10.
The District has funded 61 water resource education projects in the past five funding cycles.
Through the District’s Blue School Grant Program, up to $2,000 a school may be awarded to middle and high school teachers to enhance student knowledge of Florida’s water resources. Public and charter school teachers within the District’s boundaries are eligible to apply. Each school within the District is eligible to receive funding once per academic year.
Grants may be awarded in three areas: freshwater resources field study, water-conserving landscape projects or water conservation community/school awareness campaigns.
Examples of previous successful grant applications include:

• Service-learning projects where middle and high school students partnered to study water quality
• Creation of native landscape garden with educational signage
• Water quality comparison of stormwater ponds on campus
• Conversion of traditional irrigation to micro-irrigation in school landscape
• Water conservation awareness posters and video
Teachers receiving grants will be notified in early October.
Information about STEM careers, as well as criteria and deadlines and the online application can be found at

GCSPD cancels Rock the Dock Fundraiser, Trunk or Treat
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Due to recent circumstances and out of an abundance of caution, the Green Cove Springs Police Department has decided to cancel Rock the Dock on Sept. 11 and the city organized Trunk or Treat on Oct. 30.
Due to rising cases of COVID-19, the police department has come to the conclusion that it would be extremely difficult to hold both events with COVID safety measures, especially social distancing, as the location space for both events is small and have had tightly-packed crowds in the past.
This was a difficult decision for the police department, as officers and staff look forward to organizing Truck or Treat for the community all year. However, the department feels that this is the best decision to keep the Green Cove Springs community safe and help stop the spread of COVID-19.
“While we always like to showcase our City with our City-organized events, we are also serious about making sure that our Citizens and staff remain safe from the COVID-19 pandemic. We will work to make next year’s event even better,” said Green Cove Springs City Manager Steve Kennedy.
For any questions or more information, please contact Public Information Officer Tiffanie Kelly at or (904) 297-7046.

Governor appoints Primrose to chair Florida Elections

TALLAHASSEE – Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Nicholas Primrose Fleming Island, Marva Preston and Carlos Lopez-Cantera to the Florida Elections Commission, designating Primrose as Chair.
Primrose is the Chief of Regulatory Compliance for the Jacksonville Port Authority. Previously, he was a Deputy General Counsel in the Executive Office of the Governor and General Counsel to the Florida Division of Emergency Management. Primrose earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Lake Forest College, Master of Public Administration from DePaul University and his juris doctorate from Barry University.
Preston, of Crawfordville, is a retired Detective from the Miami Police Department, serving for 27 years, and Lopez-Cantera, of Miami, is President of Pan American Consulting and the 19th Lieutenant Governor of Florida.
The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

COVID-19 forces adjustments to county’s library hours

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Clay County public libraries are taking additional precautions to protect the health and safety of our patrons and staff.
All library branches will be limiting library hours and encouraging everyone to practice CDC recommended physical distancing guidelines.
Libraries will be open from noon to 8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays; and, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
To make browsing and checking out materials more convenient, patrons can utilize the HoldIT Self-Service pick-up kiosks located at each branch. The library catalog is available online at
Using your library card to log in to your account, you can select up to 15 items to place on hold. You will have the option to select from which branch you want to pick up the materials, and if desired, choose “pick up from locker” to retrieve the items. Items can be retrieved from lockers and dropped off in the book drop next to the lockers 24 hours a day.
Additional library services include:
• Seating is available for studying and Wi-Fi use
• Free Wi-Fi is available in all library parking lots 24 hours a day
• Mobile Wi-Fi “SmartSpots” are available to check out for 14 days with your library card
• Chromebook laptops are available to check out for 14 days with your library card
• Newspapers are available for public use
• Meetings rooms are available for reservations
• Study rooms are available 
• Self-check stations are available for contactless service at all branches
Email for more information or call the branch directly, contact information here:

Clay County looking to fill several job openings

CLAY COUNTY – The Board of County Commissioners are looking for a few good people – make that a lot of good people.
The county posted several job openings, including: animal control officer, building inspector, deputy director of engineering, engineering specialist, equipment operator, firefighter/EMT, grants administration analyst, grounds maintenance technician, HVAC technician, kennel attendant, laborer, permit services technician, veterans’ services officer and 4-H young development extension agent (apply through University of Florida).
For more information, click the Career Opportunities tab on the county’s website,

Caldwell, Gladding highlight Fleming Island Garden Club meeting

FLEMING ISLAND – The Garden Club of Fleming Island will be holding its monthly meeting on Monday, Sept. 13 at 10 a.m. The meeting will be held at the Fleming Island Library located at 1895 Town Center Blvd.
The guest speakers will be Martha Caldwell and Connie Gladding.
Caldwell is a past President of the Northeast Florida Daylily Society. She also is an exhibition judge in the Society. She continues to hold other positions and continues to be an active and participating member of The Northeast Florida Daylily Society, and she’s a Master Gardner and a member of  The Clay County Masters Gardeners.
Marta will be speaking on the propagation and maintenance of daylilies.
We will also be hosting as a guest speaker Connie Gladding. She retired in 2018 and joined the local garden club, where she loves serving on the club’s civic projects. Connie also completed her training as a Master Gardner. Since 2018, she has served as her Club’s President and today is President of the Clay County Master Gardener Volunteers.
Connie also is active in the Northeast Florida Daylily Society as the Treasurer and is an American Hemerocallis Society Exhibition Judge. She is a Certified Gardening Consultant for the National Garden Clubs and is District IV’s Director. She is eager to serve the District’s members; help the clubs and circles enrich our communities and advance Florida Federation Garden Club goals. She sees Garden Clubs as 
Nature’s Caretaker!  Connie will also be speaking on daylilies and companion plants.
The meetings are open to the public and there are no fees or charges.

Sen. Jennifer Bradley to host delegation hearing on Sept. 15

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – State Sen. Jennifer Bradley (R-Fleming Island), Chairwoman of the Clay County Legislative Delegation, will conduct the annual delegation hearing on Wednesday, Sept. 15 from 4-6 p.m. at the Board of County Commissioners meeting room on the fourth floor of the Administration Building, 477 Houston St. in Green Cove Springs.
Seating at the venue will provide for appropriate social distancing and the use of facial coverings is encouraged. The legislative delegation holds a public hearing each year to afford local officials, members of the public, and other interested parties the opportunity to present legislative proposals or express opinions on state issues.
“I am extremely honored to be representing the people of Clay County in the Florida Senate and look forward to discussing issues of importance to the community,” Bradley said. “These hearings help us to understand the needs and the goals of the community as we establish our respective legislative priorities.”
The Clay County legislative delegation includes Bradley, Rep. Bobby Payne (R-Palatka) and Rep. Sam Garrison (R-Fleming Island).
The next Regular Session of the Florida Legislature will convene on Jan. 11 in Tallahassee.
For additional information or to be placed on the agenda for the hearing, contact Senator Bradley’s office at (904) 278-2085, or email her staff at

Pars for Paws golf tournament tees off for Clay Humane

FLEMING ISLAND – Join Clay Humane, a nonprofit veterinary clinic located in Orange Park, for the 15th annual Pars Fore Paws Golf Tournament on Monday, Oct. 4, at Eagle Landing Golf Club.
The tournament beings with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. Registration is $100 for an individual or $360 for a foursome and includes 18 holes of golf with cart, bag services, complimentary driving range balls, lunch, dinner and prizes.
There is no rain date or refunds as all proceeds help Clay Humane provide low-cost veterinary services including spay and neuter and humane education programs. Register at

Comedian Bill Engvall coming to Thrasher-Horne Center

ORANGE PARK – Bill Engvall is a Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum selling recording artist and one of the top comedians in the country will bring his humor to the Trasher-Horne Center on Jan. 29.
Bill can regularly be seen in a recurring role on the hit FOX sitcom “Last Man Standing” playing Reverend Paul. He was recently awarded “Casino Comedian” of the year at the 2019 Casino Entertainment Awards in Las Vegas. He is currently on tour and since 2016, Bill has hosted a weekly podcast “My 2 Cents” with PodcastOne which offers his funny, thought-provoking and unique perspective on just about everything.
Bill’s latest comedy special “Just Sell Him For Parts” is currently available on VUDU streaming service. In addition to acting and stand-up Bill is also the spokesperson for the insurance company Health Markets. Bill recently wrapped production on A New Season where he reprises his role of Coach Z, from “Catching Faith” in 2015. He also had a role in the thriller, “Monster Party,” where three teenaged thieves infiltrate a mansion dinner party secretly hosted by a serial killer cult for the social elite.
Bill was part of the enormously successful Blue Collar Comedy concert films, which sold more than nine million units and received a Grammy nomination. He also starred on the WB’s hit sketch comedy show Blue Collar TV and in several solo specials for Comedy Central. In 2012 he reunited with Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy on the Them Idiots Whirled Tour, which aired as a special on CMT.
Bill’s first album, “Here’s Your Sign,” is certified platinum and held the No. 1 position on the Billboard Comedy Chart for 15 consecutive weeks. His second album, “Dorkfish,” also debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Comedy Chart, as did his subsequent comedy albums. Bill has written several books, including his 2007 autobiography Bill Engvall –Just A Guy.
Tickets start at $49 and are available at, or by calling (904) 276-6815 or visiting the Thrasher-Horne Center ticket office at 283 College Dr. in Orange Park on the St. Johns River State College campus.


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