This Week in History 1/31/19

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5 years ago, 2014

Green Cove Springs Junior High eighth grader Aubrey Townsend spelled the word picaresque to beat 33 fellow students in her fourth straight appearance in the Clay County Spelling Bee.

Citizen-members of the Town Manager Applicants Review Committee narrowed the original field of 44 applicants to 10 candidates to pass along to the Orange Park Town Council for further consideration and possibly interviews.

Barco-Newton YMCA children’s sports coach Jimmy Laverne Holmes of Fleming Island pleaded guilty to federal charges of receiving child pornography over the internet.

10 years ago, 2009

More than 150 people turned out for a Clay County School Board budget workshop in which Superintendent Ben Wortham suggested making $23 million in budget cuts in the aftermath of losing $10 million in state funds with more state cuts pending.

The community mourned the death of 56-year-old William “Billy” Powell, the original keyboardist for Lynyrd Skynyrd, who survived the 1977 plane crash that killed band founder Ronnie Van Zant.

The Paul E. and Klare N. Reinhold Foundation announced the Reinhold Community Service Awards would be replaced in 2009 with the Celebrate Clay awards program to honor nonprofit organizations that improve the quality of life in Clay County.

20 years ago, 1999

A judge in Tallahassee ruled a petition filed by the North Green Cove Springs Civic Association against the Clay County School District was without merit and would not be heard. The civic group accused the school district of not following proper procedure when it bought land for School Q.

Orange Park Postmaster Rick Hull told Clay Today the U.S. Postal Service planned to build a new Post Office on South Blanding Boulevard and one on Fleming Island within the next two years to handle growth.

Merchant members of the Wells Road Task Force told the Board of County Commissioner’s Transportation Committee that road construction on the thoroughfare was causing them to lose customers they many never get back.

30 Years ago, 1989

A day after 37-year-old Nydia C. Marrero escaped from the Clay County Jail, newly-sworn in Sheriff Dalton Bray told the Board of County Commissioners he needs 10 additional corrections officers to fully meet the department’s needs.

The Orange Park Police Department charged Edward Grady Smith of Jacksonville Beach, with two counts of armed robbery after allegedly holding up a Days Inn and a Best Western along Park Avenue within an hour using a .25-caliber handgun.

The Clay County Dental Society held its Fifth Annual Tooth Trot 5K road race on Loch Rane Boulevard with 37 students from S. Bryan Jennings Elementary School taking part in its 1-mile Fun Run.

40 years ago, 1979

Board of County Commissioners member Frank Bruning convinced his fellow commissioners to stop spending on the county jail expansion project until construction problems on the site could be resolved.

Orange Park Town Manager Richard Fellows presented town council with a proposal to annex into the town land from Interstate 295 to Bellair Boulevard.

Officials at Moosehaven prepared for the spring completion of its three-hole miniature golf course named Indiana Fairways, which will average 150 yards a hole, including a dog-leg on No. 3.

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