Jacksonville is receiving $450,000 from the 2012-2013 Florida Defense Support Task Force Grants, Gov. Rick Scott announced Monday.
The grants are part of $2.6 million awarded to 10 project across the state “to protect military installations and grow jobs and opportunities across the state,” the governor said
In Jacksonville, the funds will go for the construction of an explosive ordinance disposal bunker at Jacksonville Air National Guard Base and establishing a maritime research center at Mayport Naval Station.
A grant of $100,000 will to the Florida 8 (a) Alliance in Jacksonville to assist veteran-owned and defense industry small business across Florida.
“These investments are critical to supporting military jobs and further establishing Jacksonville as a major hub for aircraft basing,” the governor said.
Mayor Alvin Brown thanked the governor, saying, “This is a remarkable opportunity not only to strengthen our part of national security, but promote jobs and economic development at the local and state levels.”
A new poll by the University of North Florida showed that about 70 percent of those questioned still approve or strongly approve of Mayor Alvin Brown’s performance. In a similar poll taken last year, 75 percent of those polled approved of the mayor’s performance. In the same poll, 48 percent of those polled approve of the job the Jacksonville City Council is doing.
Those polled showed 40 percent were taking a wait-and-see attitude on newly hired Duval County Superintendent of Schools Nikolai Vitti. About 40 percent had no opinion of the new superintendent. A majority of residents, 58 percent, supported the city adding sexual orientation to its human rights ordinance.
The poll was taken between Feb. 4 and Feb. 12 and included 917 Duval County residents. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.23 percent.
Authorities announced the arrest of four men in connection with the theft and transfer of a .38-caliber revolver used in the February 2012 slaying of Clay County Sheriff’s Detective David White.
During the investigation of White’s murder, investigators tracked the firearm used and found it had been stolen in Jacksonville in May 2011. Investigators from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms allege Robert Apple II, 22, of Orange Park stole the weapon.
Authorities allege it was passed through the hands of Christopher Henderson, 22, and Curtis Dingler, 22, both of Middleburg, and Jack Lemond, 36, of Orange Park. Investigators allege that all the men knew the weapon was stolen.
They charge that Lemond provided the weapon to Ted Tilley, a convicted felon, who used the weapon on White and Detective Matthew Hanlin. White was fatally shot and Hanlin was wounded. Tilley also was shot and killed.
The four men are being held in the Clay County Jail on a charge of dealing in stolen property.
UPDATE FEB. 14
The Downtown Investment Authority will continue studying the idea of having a nonprofit foundation to run events at Hemming Plaza. On Feb. 13, Jim Bailey, publisher of the Financial News & Daily Record and chairman of the Hemming Plaza Committee of the Downtown Investment Authority, proposed the creation of a private foundation to take over administration and programming of the downtown park. The organization would be called H.A.R.T - an acronym for the Hemming Arts Recreation Team, after Isaiah Hart, the founder of Jacksonville, who deeded the land for the park to the city. Other DIA board members said more research is needed before such a committee could be formed. Board Chairman Donald Harris said the DIA was still in the fact-finding stage. Bailey’s proposal was to have 10 board members contribute $5,000 each to establish and form a non-profit to run the park.
The Hemming Plaza Committee of the Downtown Investment Authority is proposing the creation of a private foundation to take over administration and programming of the downtown park. Jim Bailey, chairman of the committee and publisher of the Financial News & Daily Record, outlined the proposal Tuesday. The organization would be called H.A.R.T - an acronym for the Hemming Arts Recreation Team, after Isaiah Hart, the founder of Jacksonville, who deeded the land for the park to the city. If approved by the Downtown Investment Authority, the non-profit foundation would be supported entirely by private contributions and its mission would be “to enhance Hemming Plaza through events, collaboration with local businesses and volunteerism.”
Mayo Clinic Jacksonville has received a five-year $7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue its study into the genetic causes of Parkinson’s disease. The clinic’s Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson’s disease has received funding for research since 1999. In recent years, that funding has dropped to about $500,000 a year, said Dennis Dickson, a neuropathologist and the center’s director. Unlike a yearly grant, the current grant is guaranteed for five years. Mayo researchers have identified 10 genes connected to Parkinson’s or related neurodegenerative diseases.
If you see a gaggle of law enforcement officers along Wells Road in Orange Park on Wednesday afternoon it is not an actual emergency, it’s only a drill. Some 65 people from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, the Orange Park Police and Fire Departments, Clay County Fire Rescue and Everest University staff and students are working together on a training exercise. The college students will be acting out scenarios such as an active shooter on campus to a hostage situation, and the officers and first responders will be honing their skills for an actual emergency. Remember, it is only a drill.
Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan unveiled new logos and a rebranding effort tailored to reflect three distinct and powerful attributes that will describe the team on and off the field _ “proud, bold and committed.”
“To be a success in business or life, you have to stand for something and hold yourself accountable to the principles you believe in,” Khan said.
“From this day, the Jacksonville Jaguars will live a brand mission of being proud, bold and committed in everything we do. Our new logo and campaign theme are the first initiatives of what will be many examples of bringing this philosophy to life,” Khan said in a news release.
The new identity keeps the Jaguars' traditional colors of black, teal and goal while offering a fiercer looking and truer depiction of a Jaguar.
The Jaguars will introduce a shield featuring a bold graphic treatment of the nickname “Jags.”
The new logos will be rolled out throughout the 2013 season as part of the team’s “Stand United” theme.
“Stand United is about the community and theme coming together and a way of life that anyone who loves the Jaguars and Jacksonville can personally understand and appreciate,” Khan said.
Two Clay County lawmakers are filing a bill that will make public-owned stadiums with professional franchises eligible for a $2 million a year sales tax rebate for the next 30 years, the Times-Union reported. If the bill passes, the city-owned Everbank Field, the home of the Jaguars, would be eligible for a total of $4 million a year based on the new rebate and a rebate the stadium received in 1995. Rep. Travis Cummings, R-Orange Park, and Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, will sponsor the bill.
Tennis Courts at Clanzel T. Brown Park will be refurbished and renovated as part of the USTA’s Davis Cup Legacy program. The City of Jacksonville and the USTA are each kicking in $21,000 for the $42,000 in renovations.
The Legacy program is designed to leave a permanent tennis legacy in the communities hosting Davis Cup events in the United States. Work will begin soon for the project that will convert and refurbish some courts for 10 and under tennis and youth tennis.
The United States defeated Brazil 3-2 in Davis Cup matches Feb. 1-Feb. 3 and advances to face Serbia in April.
The North Florida Transportation Planning Organization is in the early stages of developing a regional bicycle and pedestrian plan. The organization is asking for help in gathering information reflecting the current levels of bicycling and walking for residents living in Northeast Florida, attitudes about cycling and walking and opinions about barriers that currently exist. Community input is invaluable. Click here to go to the survey. The survey will be open until Jan. 31.
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