FSCJ receives multi-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for needs-based nursing scholarships

FSCJFSCJ Media Release
July 23, 2016 12:28 p.m.


Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) was awarded a four-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Human Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) which will provide scholarships for disadvantaged full-time students in the Associate of Science (A.S.) in Nursing degree program.

In this first year, FSCJ was awarded $647,800 to support 50 scholarships for nursing students who are in need of financial assistance. The scholarship will provide for books, uniforms and other incidentals incurred while completing the 16-month program. The full grant total has the potential to reach over $2.5 million and assist 200 nursing students to achieve their A.S. degree. Continue reading

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Wild Amelia Junior Naturalist Program “Poetry in Nature” begins August 4

Wild Amelia Press Release
Submitted by Robyn Nemes

July 23, 2016 8:00 a.m.

Junior Naturalist Class
A Junior Naturalist class for children ages 7-14 on “Poetry from Nature” will be offered in partnership with The Book Loft on Thursday, August 4, from 2-3:30 pm. Registration fee of $10 should be paid in cash at The Book Loft, 214 Centre Street in Fernandina; registration will be limited to 10 children.
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Celebrate Gullah/Geechee culture August 5-7 in Charleston, SC

Media Release



The 11th Annual “Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival™” (www.gullahgeechee.info) is themed “A Celebration of Self-Determination.” This culminating weekend of activities for “Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week” will be held at various venues in the Charleston County area August 5-7, 2016. The series of events begins on Friday, August 5th with tours of Charleston’s Gullah/Geechee historic sites and support of Gullah/Geechee owned businesses including “Scott’s Grand Hall.” Scott’s Grand Hall will be the location of the opening “Party with a Purpose” at 6 pm featuring DJ Kwame Sha of “All Mobile Productions (AMP™)” and the showing of the documentary, “Wilmington on Fire.” Gullah/Geechee cuisine and items will be available at the event.

Several of the featured presenters for the “Gullah/Geechee Reunion Day” at the Charleston Maritime Center will be on hand to sign autographs and take photos during the “Party with a Purpose.” They will take to the stage beginning at Noon on Saturday, August 6, 2016 at the Charleston Maritime Center which is an indoor venue where the “Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival™” takes place on even numbered years. Guests are encouraged to bring chairs, drums, water, and tambourines for the opening drum call and libation ceremony in which they can take part. The entire festival encourages interactions and hands-on learning. Continue reading

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Weekly comments from Dale Martin

City-seal2Dale L. Martin
City Manager

July 22, 2016 1:00 a.m.

Honorable City Commissioners, Residents, and Staff of the City of Fernandina Beach:

Please click here for  proposed 2017 budget.

The proposed budget reflects total revenues and expenditures in the amount of $115,229,929. Approximately half of that amount, however, is related to cash and expenditures associated with the Trust and Agency Funds. With those funds excluded, proposed revenues and expenditures total $73,501,151.

The portion of the proposed budget that typically draws the most interest is the General Fund, which is the primary operating fund for the City, and principally financed by property tax receipts. The proposed General Fund expenditures total $19,443,736. The proposed General Fund budget is supported by a total millage rate of 6.3044 mills, the identical millage rate levied by the City for the previous budget. The proposed millage rate consists of 6.0682 mills levied for operations (down from 6.1021 mills), and 0.2362 mills levied for voter-approved debt service (up from 0.2023 mills). The proposed property tax levy, at a collection rate of 96%, will generate approximately $10,937,700. For property Continue reading

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FDOT laying groundwork for future technology

FDOT - Lates LogoMedia Release
July 22, 2016 1:00 a.m.


Smart cars and smart roads need infrastructure

Across the globe, transportation agencies and car makers are testing
smart cars and smart highways – including autonomous cars and trucks that drive

But before any of that technology can work on U.S. highways, major investments in
technology and infrastructure have to be made in the form of cameras, video
detection devices, variable message signs and miles and miles of fiber optic cable,
according to Peter Vega, transportation systems and operations program manager for
the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) District Two, which covers 18
counties in northeast Florida.

Vega and other traffic operations engineers in Jacksonville and Lake City understand
that cars that can talk to each other will make the roads safer for everyone by
avoiding crashes; and cars that talk to the road will provide a wealth of data that Continue reading

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Nassau County Council on Aging Gala – Save the date!

Nassau County Council on Aging
Press Release
Submitted by Melanie Ferreira

July 21, 2016 07:07 p.m.

Nassau County Council on Aging Gala in October Let nostalgia sweep you back to Rick’s
Café Amerca in as the Nassau County Council on Aging (NCCOA) transforms the Cumberland Ballroom at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation into 1940s-era Morocco for its “One Night in Casablanca” themed 2016 Gala. The Gala, NCCOA’s premier event of the year, is slated for Friday,October 7th from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Casablanca (2)

The incomparable Rick Davis Live, who entertained the crowd at last year’s Gala and
had everyone dancing, is back by popular demand. Rumor has it, in addition to Rick’s
blend of Big Band tunes and Pop songs, guests will be able to try their luck at the
roulette tables for gifts and prizes. And, this year’s live and silent auctions are
sure to rival a North African bazaar for unique and unforgettable items up for bid.
Corporate sponsorships and individual seats for the Gala are still available.

paul henreid, ingrid bergman & humphrey bogart - casablanca 1943Ranging from the Peter Lorre level at $500 to the $10,000 Humphrey Bogart sponsorship,contributing to the Gala not only affords sponsors numerous promotional opportunities before and during the event, but assists the NCCOA in providing home-delivered meals, transportation, home healthcare, adult day healthcare and more to Nassau County senior citizens.

Be sure and mark your calendars now and join us for a memorable night in Casablanca at the NCCOA 2016 Gala, Friday, October 7th from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Omni
Amelia Island Plantation. Call 904.261.0701 or visit the “Events” page of our
website at www.nassaucountycoa.org for more information or to make a reservation.


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What does “PC” mean?

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
July 21, 2016 1:00 a.m.

Personal computer … politically correct … protective custody … and the list goes on. But PC has a special meaning in context of Florida politics: Political Committee, often used interchangeably with the term PAC—Political Action Committee.

According to the Florida Department of State Handbook on Political Committees, there are both pros and cons to using such committees in political campaigns:

53 pc handbook

50 limits

Election laws regarding PCs are complicated. They are not to be confused with Committees of Continuous Existence (CCEs) or Electioneering Communications Organizations (ECOs), as the chart below explains.


This year PCs have even become a factor in Nassau County campaigns. Many people in the community have expressed their distaste over a particularly negative postcard mailing targeting Kathy Burns, candidate for Nassau County School Superintendent. No other candidate’s name appeared on the mailing, a concern cited by those who were looking for the usual “paid for and approved by …” tagline. Instead, this mailing was put out by The Liberty Leadership Fund PC.

mailer - libery leadership hit piece side 1 (1)

Many people familiar with the qualifications and experience of all the candidates in the race expressed confusion as they tried to understand how the Burns bashing helped the other candidates–Janet Adkins and Cheryl Reynolds James– against whom the same charges could have been leveled.   Continue reading

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FBCC attention will turn toward FY2017 Budget in August

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
July 20, 2016 5:28 p.m.


It’s that time of year again, when the City of Fernandina Beach, along with other Florida municipalities and counties, begin the difficult chore of developing a budget for the next fiscal year that begins October 1, 2016. Governments all over the state are trying to balance needs of their communities with tax relief for their citizens. And unlike the Federal government, which can go seemingly forever on continuing resolution without adopting a budget, Floridians do not have that luxury. Municipalities and counties must have adopted budgets by September 30, or else. And the “for else” isn’t pretty.

2017 budget3

Fernandina Beach City Manager Dale Martin has been working with his department heads and Comptroller Patti Clifford to fashion a budget that addresses priorities developed by the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) this past winter along with city needs for maintenance and infrastructure that were left to languish during the Great Recession. He presented his proposed FY2016/17 budget during the July 19, 2016 Regular Meeting. Continue reading

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City recognizes ACT’s 35 years of playmaking in Fernandina Beach

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
July 20, 2016 1:58 p.m.


Pat Henderson (l) and Mary Lee Long (center) accept proclamation honoring ACT's 35 years of existence from Fernandina Beach Mayor John A. Miller.
Pat Henderson (l) and Mary Lee Long (center) accept proclamation honoring ACT’s 35 years of existence from Fernandina Beach Mayor John A. Miller.

At its July 19, 2016 Regular Meeting, the Fernandina Beach City Commission urged citizens to join them in celebrating Amelia Community Theatre’s 35th anniversary. On behalf of the Theater, incoming board President Mary Lee Long and outgoing board president Pat Henderson received the city proclamation from Mayor John A. Miller that expressed appreciation to “the hundreds of volunteers, residents, business owners, area schools and churches for actively embracing and supporting this wonderful local theatre for the past three and a half decades.” Continue reading

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“Having Fun in Different Genres” – Writers by the Sea

Press Release
July 20, 2016 10:28 a.m.

Writers 3MEETING: Writers by the Sea – Amelia Island
DATE: July 21, 2016
LOCATION: Amelia Island Museum of History,
233 S. 3rd St. Downtown
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034

TIME: 6:00pm, followed by small specialty groups

PRESENTATION: Having fun in different Genres”: Writing Adventure, Intrigue, and more!
PRESENTER: Paul Hayden

Please join us as Paul Hayden presents: “Having fun in different Genres”. In his nonconformist style, Hayden will share with us how he writes adventure, intrigues and so much more. This presentation takes place at our July meeting, on July 21st, at the Amelia Island Museum of History, starting at 6:00.

Born in New Jersey, Paul Hayden currently lives in Jacksonville, FL, after graduating from Creighton University in Omaha, NE. Besides writing, Paul enjoys painting, crafts, and volunteer activities; and is a long-time surfer and environmentalist with a deep love of nature. Among his writing accomplishments are a novel The Nonconformist, his autobiography Chicken of the Sea, and a children’s book, Byron the Lonely Christmas Tree. For the most accurate updates, please check out our FaceBook page:

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