Police Arrest Armed Robbery Suspect, Consider Connection to Homicide

Press Release
City of Fernandina Beach Police Department
James T. Hurley, Chief of Police

May 2, 2106 4:42 p.m.strong>

John Patrick Wilson
John Patrick Wilson

The Fernandina Beach Police Department has arrested an individual in connection with an armed robbery incident that occurred at 909 S. 12th Street at 3:00 AM yesterday morning.

John Patrick Wilson, 52 years of age, formerly of Fernandina Beach and recently of Knoxville, TN was charged with Attempted 2nd Degree Murder and Armed Robbery.

Wilson and his wife claimed to be visiting with his mother and stepfather, Robbie and Johnell Richo, at 1123 Gum Street for the Shrimp Festival weekend. Johnell Richo, 67 years of age, was shot and killed early this morning outside his Gum Street home.

Johnell Richo (Victim)
Johnell Richo
(Victim)
According to witnesses, Wilson approached two victims, Larry Javon Roberts and Jerrald Jevon Owens, as they sat on the porch at 909 S. 12th Street at 3:00 AM early Sunday morning. Wilson reportedly pointed a .22 Caliber rifle at the victims and demanded money, before firing at least one shot. Roberts struggled with Wilson for control of the rifle and two more shots were fired. Roberts was able to hold Wilson until law enforcement arrived. Wilson was transported to Baptist Nassau and then flown to UF Health in Jacksonville, believing that he had been shot in the head during the struggle.

Wilson refused to talk with law enforcement and was able to walk out of the hospital after being discharged just a couple of hours after being admitted. The wound to his head was not caused by a gunshot and was not life threatening or even considered very serious.

Investigators are continuing this investigation and still want to speak with anyone that might have information about these incidents.

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Open house scheduled at Nassau county Council on Aging’s new Island Walkway site

Press Release
Nassau County Council on Aging
Melanie Ferreira, Communications & Marketing Mgr.

May 2, 2016 1:00 p.m.

COAlogo edited with taglinev2

On Thursday,May 12, the Nassau County Council on Aging (NCCOA) will hold an Open House from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. to showcase its future home. The public is invited to tour the building, located at 1901 Island Walkway, and learn how the NCCOA will use the more than 25,000 square feet to offer enhanced and expanded services for the senior citizens of Nassau County.

The new building will provide a larger, more comfortable gathering space for seniors to share time together enjoying art, music, games, educational and informative presentations as well as hot meals and companionship. In addition, a much needed state-of-the-art Adult Day Health Care facility will allow the Continue reading

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City police investigate early morning homicide

Johnell Richo (Victim)
Johnell Richo (Victim)

City of Fernandina Beach Police Department
Press Release
James T. Hurley, Police Chief
May 2, 2016 11:49 a.m.

The Fernandina Beach Police Department is actively investigating the shooting death of a 67 year old man outside his residence at 1123 Gum Street. Johnell Richo was pronounced dead at the scene after witnesses heard gunshots at 6:38 AM and called police.

Investigators are now interviewing family members and witnesses and are trying to piece together a potential motive, as well as explore other possible scenarios. Detectives want to speak with anyone that might have information about this incident, or an incident that occurred at 3:00 AM yesterday morning in front of 909 S. 12th Street.

 

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An amazing transformation

Submitted by Susan Hardee Steger
May 2, 2016 9:57 a.m.

Editor’s Note:  Hats off to the Shrimp Festival Committee and the City of Fernandina Beach for hosting another great event.  It takes considerable effort on the part of many volunteers and city staff to put this event together.  After filling up the town with thousands of visitors, and hundreds of vendors, volunteers and city staff work through the night to bring back “business as usual” on Centre Street.  We appreciate your efforts!

DSCN0885 (2)
“The Day After Shrimp Festival”
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Friends of the Library speaker’s series – “Who Ya’ Gonna Call”

Media Release
Friends of the Library
Mary Pitcher

May 1, 2016 7:14 p.m.

FOLFriends of the Library’s new monthly speaker’s series is designed to inform and educate the community about the wide variety of agencies and services available. The series entitled “Who Ya’ Gonna Call”, is a FREE round-table format featuring area experts who address a different topic each month.

The next FREE round-table is scheduled for Thursday, May 12, from 5:00 – 6:30 pm at the Fernandina Beach Library Meeting Room, and will focus on “Environmental Services” with presentations by Amelia Island Sea Turtle Watch, Wild Amelia, and Fort Clinch State Park. Brief overviews of their respective agencies will be followed by a Question & Answer period.

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Amelia Island revealed . . .

Submitted by Stephan R. Leimberg
May 1, 2016 1:00 a.m.

Leimberg Pirate - Pirate Parade - s Copyright 2016 Steve Leimberg - UnSeenImages.com _Z2A4546
“Pirate” Photo courtesy of Stephan R. Leimberg unseenimages.com


Editor’s Note: A native of Wildwood, New Jersey (another barrier island), Leimberg makes his home on Amelia Island. While residing in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Steve taught Estate and Business Succession Planning in the Tax Masters Programs at Temple University Law School , Villanova University Law School, and the American College.

On Amelia Island , Leimberg works as a professional portrait and wildlife fine arts photographer. To view more of Leimberg’s work visit www.unseenimages.com We appreciate Leimberg’s many contributions to the Fernandina Observer.

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Fernandina Beach finishes 3rd in USA Today’s “Best Coastal Small Towns”

Submitted by Susan Hardee Steger
April 30, 2016 12:01 p.m.

USA TodayWith stiff competition, Fernandina Beach ended up in 3rd place behind Ogunquit, Maine and St. Simons Island, Georgia in USA Today’s Readers’ Choice Award for the nation’s “Best Coast Small Towns.”   Other top five winners were Rockport, Texas, and Saugtuck, Michigan.

To view the complete list of small towns in the running, click here.

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Shrimp Festival schedule for River Front Stage and Kids Fun Zone

April 29, 2016 2:53 p.m.strong>

Shrimp Fest 2016 Banner

River Front Stage and Kids Fun Zone Schedule

FRIDAY, April 29, 2016
RIVERFRONT STAGE

6:00 pm – Opening Ceremonies
6:30 pm – Miss Shrimp Festival 2016 Scholarship Pageant
7:15 pm – Pirate Parade Awards
7:30 pm – “Chicago Blues Night” featuring Mud Morganfield (Son of blues legend Muddy Waters)
9:00 pm – Invasion of the Pirates
9:15 pm – Fireworks!
9:30 pm – Blues man of the South: Gitlo Lee

KIDS FUN ZONE

6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Friday only purchase a $20 wristband and ride all night! Continue reading

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Shrimp Festival Pirate Parade

Photos courtesy of
Stephan R. Leimberg
unseenimages.com

April 29, 2016 5:40 a.m.

Leimberg The Pirate Girl - Pirate Parade s Copyright 2016 Steve Leimberg - UnSeenImages.Com _Z2A4495
“The Pirate Girl” Photo courtesy of Stephan R. Leimberg unseenimages.com
Leimberg Red Head at Pirate Parade - s Copyright 2016 Steve Leimberg - UnSeenImages.Com _Z2A4304
“A Happy Spectator” Photo courtesy of Stephan R. Leimberg unseenimages.com

Editor’s Note: A native of Wildwood, New Jersey (another barrier island), Leimberg makes his home on Amelia Island. While residing in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Steve taught Estate and Business Succession Planning in the Tax Masters Programs at Temple University Law School , Villanova University Law School, and the American College.

On Amelia Island , Leimberg works as a professional portrait and wildlife fine arts photographer. To view more of Leimberg’s work visit www.unseenimages.com We appreciate Leimberg’s many contributions to the Fernandina Observer.

Photographers can submitted their photos to susan@fernandinaobserver.com Fernandina Observer Incorporated is committed to protecting the copyright and intellectual property of others. Content provided to Fernandina Observer must be content that does not violate copyright or intellectual property of others.

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Weekly comments from Dale Martin

Dale Martin
City of Fernandina Beach
City Manager

April 29, 2016 1:00 a.m.

Dale Martin City Manager
Dale Martin
City Manager

A little over two months ago, I shared with you several comments related to public transportation. Last year, an effort was made with the trolley to provide public transportation around the City. For a variety of reasons, but also notably not for the lack of investment, effort, and enthusiasm of the operator, the trolley was not as successful as hoped. Nonetheless, I still strongly believe that public transportation services represent a quality of life investment in a community.

In addition to continuing discussions with last year’s operator, I invited the Council on Aging, represented by Ms. Janice Ancrum (Executive Director) and Mr. Michael Hays (Transportation Director), to participate in the discussions given the Council on Aging’s existing transit operations. I encouraged the trolley operator and the Council on Aging to cooperatively explore transit operations for this season. Earlier this week, I met again with Ms. Ancrum and Mr. Hays to learn of those subsequent discussions.

The Council on Aging has offered to expand its operations to include a route similar to that of the trolley last year. In general, the route would begin downtown (Centre Street operations may be limited due to posted weight restrictions) and proceed east along Atlantic Avenue, with possible stops at Central Park and the Recreation Center. After Continue reading

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